Core business

The idea of regional rating for facilities used by minority pursuits (cycling, car racing) is especially badly timed mayoral nonsense.

If anyone, apart from those wedded to the velodrome cause, disagrees, it's time they acquainted themselves with the depth and breadth of Horizons' core business.

Our regional council is doing amazing science and monitoring work to protect our streams, rivers, lakes, land, bush, native species and settlements as we find ourselves dealing with the vicious impacts of climate change.

Much of Horizons' work is part-funded by government and much is in collaboration with other regional, district and Palmerston North councils, plus national science bodies.


That work is of utmost importance to every one of us and our future generations, and that is where we must invest . . . not in nice-to-have, expensive minority interests like rain bikes and cars.

This IS about core business and Horizons' core business has never been more important and more urgent than it is now.


Maori enough

With all the blah about the new National Party leader Simon Bridges not being Maori enough for some tastes, as well as his deputy Paula Bennett, I got to thinking about what makes a Maori and what makes a Kiwi.

This is relevant right now, as we are currently doing the Census. Apparently, the Census asks what ethnic group one identifies with, among which is "European".

I am of Maori descent and affiliated to Ngati Mutunga. Like many thousands of Kiwis who can trace their settler lineage back to the 19th century, I am pakeha to look at but have significant Maori roots.

I personally identify with my Irish, English and Maori whakapapa. I do not class myself as European. I was not born in Europe and, apart from holidays, I have never spent any significant time there.

Now I turn to the question of not being "Maori enough". Some Maori do not welcome approaches from pakeha with iwi affiliation. Thankfully most do, however.

What is "Maori enough" for these observers of ethnic purity? I am conversant with te reo, I know my whakapapa back many centuries, I identify as Maori to my friends and acquaintances, although I appear pakeha. Some would say that this is not enough to be Maori.

It seems to me to be most unfair for brown-skinned Maori who have seemingly grown up in the pakeha world. They are referred to as brown on the outside but white inside by some Maori, which is a shameful comment to make by 21st century people.

Maori leaders should not lower themselves to comments such as "let's see what Bridges and Bennett can do for Maori before we accept them".

As this country progresses through the coming century, Kiwis need to put this dangerous racial profiling of others behind them. This country is becoming part of Asia and we need to move on from whether someone is brown enough to be a Maori or not. Bigger things are coming, folks.

Bastia Hill

Wrong John

No respected biblical scholar, historian or theologian would agree with today's (March 5) assertion in Thought for today that ''John, Jesus's disciple, wrote the fourth Gospel''.

It is generally agreed that John the disciple, an Aramaic speaker, a poor fisherman from Galilee, did not write the educated Greek of John's Gospel. And John, the writer of Revelation, wrote poor Greek and was therefore unlikely to be either the disciple or the Gospel-writer.

The biblical, historical and theological ignorance that so often pervades this column is appalling. Could we please have a more educated level of thought? Otherwise cancel it altogether.


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