Today, in 1769 Captain Cook sighted New Zealand. A lot has happened on our shores since that sighting.
Which is why the racist remark of Paul Henry’s in incredible. In prime time on our television he chose to criticise the Governor-General for not looking like a New Zealander. Hells bells! What does a New Zealander look like? The statement was worse than poor taste. There are steps on the path to the final solution. This was one..
He insulted the Queen’s representative in front of the Prime Minister. I can only go on replays and therefore the producer’s selection. But John Key didn’t seem to be that affronted, indeed he seemed to joke about the matter. It was a leadership opportunity missed. There are MPs from both major parties who do not fit Henry’s category of looking like a New Zealander. Should they be excluded? TVNZ authorities tried to stare the issue down by saying Henry's comments reflected what others were thinking and saying. They do not reflect my thoughts.
I was delighted to see a SouthAfrican born athlete carry our flag at the Commonwealth Games. Should she be precluded from such an honour because of her birth-place? Or does she look and sound like a New Zealander? Maybe Henry’s prejudice is about pigmentation. If so he’ll exclude thoudands of peoople I’d call New Zealanders
I draw attention to Renee Liang’s blog on the subject in the Tuesday Poem site. We have too few political poems in Kiwiland.