LOCAL political heavyweights Chester Borrows and Dame Tariana Turia have often sat on the opposite side of the fence ...

So when they are in sync and put their combined clout behind a cause, we should take notice.

Even if that cause is getting US millionaire hip-hop artist - and partner-basher - Chris Brown a gig in New Zealand.

There is an argument that Brown's songs are such drivel that NZ Immigration should put the barricades up to keep him out but the debate here is not about Brown's vocal suitability but his criminal record and his beating of then-girlfriend Rihanna.


Britain and Australia have already said "No thanks" on the basis of the rapper's rap sheet, and there are those in New Zealand speaking out strongly against a convicted perpetrator of domestic violence being allowed into the country.

But Dame Tariana this week threw an interesting word into the conversation, a word we do not hear enough of - "forgiveness".

And Mr Borrows echoed the sentiment in his column in yesterday's Chronicle.

People are quick to judge and slow to forgive - especially hardliners of the "lock-'em-up-and-throw-away-the-key" mentality who always try and claim the high moral ground.

I am sure Brown is still far from the perfect gentleman but if he seeks rehabilitation and redemption, let's give him that chance in New Zealand.

After all, our political masters put out the welcome mat for foreign leaders with far bigger criminal pasts - it is just they haven't actually been convicted.

Meanwhile, the other big talking point this week came from Nasa with their ground-breaking discovery of signs of running water which raises the possibility of some form of primitive life ... in the England rugby camp.

We shall see ...