Housing issue not just ethnic – Pākehā leaders have ‘failed’, says author

AUT Policy Observatory’s Dr David Hall (from left, podium) with fellow “fair borders” panellists Dr Arama Rata, Andrew Chen and Dr Evelyn Masters at last night’s discussion. Image: Rhahul Bhattarai/PMC

By Rahul Bhattarai

Author and researcher David Hall has criticised anti-immigration rhetoric in New Zealand’s housing crisis, saying a more serious problem is “Pākehā leaders … failing to take action”.

Speaking at a panel discussion at Auckland University of Technology last night, Dr Hall, editor of the book Fair Borders: Migration Policy in the 21st Century, said harm and hurt from such rhetoric created side effects impacting on migrants.

Negativity directed towards home buyers with Chinese sounding surnames diverted attention from “long lines of people with British sounding surnames” that held and continued to hold powerful and influential positions over the housing issue.

Although there is an ethnic dimension to housing crises, he said that the most significant issue was that “Pākehā leaders supported by electorates with Pākehā majorities [were] failing to take action.”

Dr Hall, senior researcher of AUT’s Policy Observatory, was joined by three of the book’s contributors, Andrew Chen, Dr Arama Rata and Dr Evelyn Masters, to discuss how New Zealand’s borders impacted on its citizens, recent immigrants, and on people barred from the country.

Dr Hall said that over emphasis and over simplification of the role of immigration was not just a way of avoiding taking action, it was a way of avoiding responsibility for taking action and that helped nobody – “not even Pākehā and I say that as a Pākehā myself”.

-Partners-

He pointed out that one continuous theme was the failure of successful decision makers to make the tough decision that might have made a difference, such as the mayors of Auckland going back to the 1990s or the housing ministers.

“There is bit of pattern here,” he said.

‘Tricky’ issues
Dr Hall said that house prices had been rising since 1990s and only eight years ago there were more people leaving the country than were arriving, yet the house prices rose during the negative migration period.

The issue was “very tricky” with some of the genuine social strains such as housing affordability and policy and its relationship to migration.

The debate treated “immigration as an economic medicine that might taste a little bad and people just need to put up with which also doesn’t do anything to address peoples’ genuine worries”.

This was not his story to tell as no one ever challenged him based on the colour of his skin.
“As a Pākehā this isn’t really my story to tell because no one ever challenges me on whether I belong here, no one ever suggests to me that I shouldn’t be speaking English in public and no one tells me to leave by virtue of my appearance but this happens all the time to people,” he said.

Dr Arama Rata, a research officer at the University of Waikato, said that in New Zealand there was a border in place which was established by the invaders.

Māori border ignored
But the “Māori border has been ignored, a new imposition of state authority is being imposed, borders have been closed around the nation state to allow certain desirable white migrants in and to exclude others, and now we have a very secure racist structure in place”.

She said borders needed to be in place but, “it should be controlled more by our values rather than just purely economic incentives and the way I think we need to stop framing immigration as a problem”.

Dr Evelyn Masters, with Pākehā lineage and Cook Islands heritage that she is really proud of, said she struggled in explaining her New Zealand identity because people judged her based on her appearance.

Dr Masters, research manager of NZ Institute for Pacific Research, said people struggled to understand that she had multiple lineage in her blood line and wanted to be known as a New Zealander.

She did not have to be just one race because she looked brown, she said.

“I just want to say that I am a New Zealander, because my experience is I am multiple – I have brown people and white people in my family, why do I have to be just one as you see me.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Gender and diversity research at AUT turns 10

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Headline: Gender and diversity research at AUT turns 10

By Helen Twose in Auckland

Auckland University of Technology’s Gender and Diversity Research Group has reached a significant milestone, celebrating 10 years of research and debate on gender and diversity issues within the community.

Formed in 2007 with the aim of establishing a network of researchers within (and beyond) AUT who share an interest in gender and diversity, the research group has developed a thriving research community the institution and internationally through an active research programme of applied and theoretical research, and contributing to new approaches to gender and diversity research in the academic community.

The group commemorated the significant milestone with a research day that included reflection and looking backwards as well as looking forward and imagining new futures for gender and diversity research, said Professor Judith Pringle, founder of the Gender and Diversity Research Group.

“Particularly pleasing was the high attendance from a broad range of people, from academics to those outside the university, including business community and NGOs, who have a very high commitment to reducing inequality among groups, organisations and society,” Professor Pringle said.

Beginning with a keynote from Professor Pringle looking at the evolution of gender and diversity research over the last 30 years, which has fed into the strong establishment of gender and diversity research at AUT, the day included an in-depth discussion from emerging scholars looking at the importance of Māori research and knowledge and its place in academia, the #MeToo movement, and the role of arts in gender and diversity research.

Turning to the future, the group envisioned an “ideal” world without gender and diversity inequality, and how to get there. In the words of one participant: “My two favourite ideas I took from the day are the need to build strong networks within your community of work and the re-imagining of research”.

Event organisers, Dr Katherine Ravenswood and Dr Barbara Myers, said that while the group’s success and longevity was significant – especially in an environment which has seen the demise of Women’s Studies programmes and research groups at universities in New Zealand – it was also confronting.

Valuing Te Ao Māori research
In spite of increased attention to issues of discrimination, the topics addressed on the day, such as sexual harassment, the valuing and contribution of Te Ao Māori research, gendered occupational segregation and glass ceilings, were just as pertinent as 10 years ago.

“The need for the critical, brave research this research group conducts has not diminished. As participants discussed we need to continue to build communities, develop new research methodologies, and to continue to tell the stories and experiences of women from a feminist perspective,” they said.

Key research undertaken by the group includes :

  • Submission on the 2017 Draft Employment (Pay Equity and Equal Pay) Bill and research into the gendered valuing of work
  • Research into the careers of older women self-initiated expatriates
  • Commissioned research into women’s careers in the professions, such as law
  • Supporting the development of feminist teaching and research through development workshops
  • Postgraduate scholarships to encourage new and emerging researchers

The Daily Blog: Jacinda’s Waitangi Day 2018 aroha creating a Māori legacy relationship

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Headline: The Daily Blog: Jacinda’s Waitangi Day 2018 aroha creating a Māori legacy relationship

Cartoon: © Malcolm Evans/The Daily Blog

OPINION: By Martyn Bradbury, editor of The Daily Blog

Waitangi Day 2018 smells different doesn’t it?

It tastes different too.

No bitter “Māori privilege” nonsense from Don Brash and his shallow racism.

No spiteful “Let’s have a NZ day so we don’t have to feel guilty about the Treaty” whining from newspaper editorials.

READ MORE: PM Jacinda Ardern makes historic speech at Waitangi

No constant media barking up of predictions of aggression and protest.

-Partners-

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s desire to show Waitangi Day the respect it deserves with a 5-day tour visiting every marae large and small alongside ministers meekly lined up to do the BBQ cooking for Waitangi Breakfast is building a movement of aroha among Māori which will create a legacy relationship that is going to dominate Māori politics.

The electricity when she visits marae is palpable and extraordinary. Her incredible ability to connect emotionally with people has generated a rapport among those packed marae she has visited in a way that will earn her devotion among voters while forgiving any shortcomings.

Political lifetime
If she makes this 5-day tour an annual event she will build a following that will see Māori voting Labour because of their relationship with Jacinda for her entire political lifetime.

Her being pregnant is just the emotional icing, Māori in Northland have taken to Jacinda with nothing short of joy and her visiting everywhere has conjured up an excitement that will bind.

They will speak about Jacinda passing through for decades to come.

This personal relationship is going to cement Labour Party dominance of the Māori electorates leaving any resurgent Māori Party under a new leader like Dr Lance O’Sullivan with only the right for political movement because Labour will totally dominate the Māori vote on the general roll and the Māori roll.

With Jacinda building a huge reservoir of Māori voter support and the Māori faction inside Labour now one of the most powerful factions inside Labour, this puts the Iwi Leaders Forum, the Māori King and the Public Service all in a troubling position.

Many Māori live in urban areas and are not tribe affiliated. Their needs for better social services, jobs and the legacy issues created by colonialism trump Treaty deals which is offside to the goals of the Māori King or the Iwi Leaders Forum. With urban Māori having a far more powerful voice inside the new government, those movements will need to see any extra resources making a dynamic impact on the poorest.

But there’s another segment who are about to face an existential threat – the Public Service.

Building of fiefdoms
Māori know first hand the structural racism of the social service providers who care more about the building of fiefdoms than the actual welfare of Māori. Already the Public Service is strangling ministers with ministerial suffocation but the new Māori faction aren’t going to accept that.

Māori social service providers offer a wealth of cultural initiatives that bring a holistic view to caring about people and the Public Service will either need to adapt to those new initiatives or they’ll face an ongoing battle with a Māori faction that knows damn well how the Public Service denigrate their people.

The crowds thronging Jacinda on every marae suggest it’s a fight the Public Service are going to lose.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz

Film industry sources criticise TVNZ ‘devaluing’ of Māori programmes

MIL OSI – Source: Evening Report Arts and Media

Headline: Film industry sources criticise TVNZ ‘devaluing’ of Māori programmes

By Kendall Hutt in Auckland

Independent filmmakers fear a slow erosion of Māori and Pacific content at Television New Zealand has begun.

Their fears have emerged after the role of commissioner for Māori and Pacific programmes was removed from a full-time commissioning role in recent restructuring by TVNZ.

The move has left some within the film and television industry shocked and questioning whether it is ignorance or arrogance.

“Given that we are an increasing demographic, this seems like a mad racist move,” said Joanna Paul (Ngai te Rangi), an independent television producer who was one of the pioneers of the Māori Television Service.

“That TVNZ considers this a part-time job is arrogant and ignorant enough, but given there is more Māori and Pacific programming on air than ever before beggars belief,” Paul said.

She told Pacific Media Watch in August she had “nothing to lose” in bringing TVNZ’s moves to light and calling the public broadcaster to task.

-Partners-

“The only way to stop TVNZ and find some justice is to be open and be transparent to the media.”

Victim of restructure
The role was previously included in the factual entertainment, Māori, Pacific and children’s commissioner role, but recent developments have seen the position reduced from a 0.5 position to a 16-hour-a-week “commissioning consultant” role.

This is despite an internal document provided to Pacific Media Watch, dated June 16, 2017, which stated the role of the commissioner “is a part-time role, which is in line with our current output”.

The commissioning structure, according to the 16 June 2017 document.

The commissioner for Māori and Pacific programmes is responsible for the commission of Māori and Pacific language programmes from the initial “sell” of the programme, right through to production, delivery and its fine-tuning throughout the shows tenure on air.

As the “most senior voice at TVNZ as a Māori”, the commissioner also provides guidance on tikanga Māori across TVNZ’s content team and output, former commissioner Kathryn Graham (Ngati Koroki Kahukura) said.

In the position for 13 years before her exit in July, Graham told Pacific Media Watch the commissioner was also responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders including NZ On Air, Te Māngai Pāho and Ngā Aho Whakaari, along with Māori and Pasifika communities.

TVNZ’s flagship te reo Māori news programme Te Karere.

But one independent Māori producer who did not wish to be named said the way the new role was proposed had potential negative impacts for both Māori content and independent Māori producers.

“It limits the ability of the person in the 0.4 position to truly participate as an integral member of the content team as they will not be present full-time and therefore cannot be involved fully in broader commissioning decisions.

Independent producers affected
“For independent producers making Māori and Pacific content, not having a commissioner available to them full-time is a potential disadvantage as often decisions need to be made quickly, and feedback is required promptly.

“They will have to work around the part-time availability of their commissioner which may impact on their ability to be agile and nimble in their programme making,” they said.

The producer also expressed concern at the disestablishment of the Kaihautu role and Māori programmes department, which they described as a “scaling-down” of TVNZ’s commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and true partnership, and the “de-prioritising” of Māori and Pacific content.

However, TVNZ spokesperson Georgie Hills said in a statement in response to Pacific Media Watch’s questions that TVNZ was not scaling back its commitment.

“The changes we’ve made to our content team this year do not change our commitment to continue providing New Zealand’s most watched Māori programming.

“Under our new structure, we have created a dedicated role with a singular focus. The new consultant position sits within our content team and specifically oversees TVNZ’s Māori and Pacific content,” Hills said.

Hills added the public broadcaster was proud of its Māori language content, responding to claims it was “scaling-down” its commitment to Te Tiriti.

TVNZ’s ‘scant concern’
“We’re proud of our dedicated Māori language content and we embrace the everyday use of te reo Māori in TVNZ’s broader local content offering.

“We typically air nine hours each week of dedicated Māori programming – 483,000 viewers tuned into at least one of these programmes a week during the financial year of 2017,” she said.

However, Pacific Media Watch’s industry sources claimed TVNZ had scant concern for their statutory obligations.

Under the Broadcasting Act 1989, New Zealand’s Broadcasting Commission is required to reflect and develop the country’s identity and culture, which includes the promotion of Māori language and culture.

“Our commitment to reflecting Māori perspectives is enshrined in legislation, such is the fundamental importance placed on the role we fulfill,” Hills responded to industry criticism.

Although the role is advertised as “commissioning consultant”, Hills added TVNZ was open to the time being 0.4 or 0.5 and that the title of the role was “immaterial in the big picture”.

“It will depend on the skills and capability the individual candidate brings to the role. We’re flexible. If our output increases, so will the role.”

‘Unrealistic job description’
But despite TVNZ’s assurances, some remain fearful the role will be disestablished.

“I predict they will scrap the role entirely using the reason they cannot find a suitable candidate,” Graham told Pacific Media Watch.

This was criticised by both Paul and Pacific Media Watch’s anonymous source, who said an “unrealistic job description” illustrated a lack of respect and priority for the role, placing “inherent limitations” on potential applicants.

“The commercially sensitive nature of the role makes it very difficult for anyone to juggle this with other production work, either for TVNZ or any other broadcaster.

“Creating a position which will likely struggle to attract the kind of candidates they are asking for does suggest a lack of respect and priority for the role,” one source said.

TVNZ first advertised the role on November 7, but it has been readvertised and the closing date has been extended from November 28, December 8 through to January 15, 2018.

“It’s a key role and it takes time to find the right candidate with the highly specialist skills we’re after. We’ve advertised, put the call out to our own network of contacts, the production community and have taken recommendations from within the industry,” Hills stated.

‘Conflict of interest’
Since Graham’s exit in July, the role has been overseen by the general manager of content creation, while Scotty Morrison (Ngati Whakaue) has been available to provide expert advice and guidance.

This is not the first time the general manager has overseen Māori and Pacific programming, one source told Pacific Media Watch.

A former TVNZ staffer who did not wish to be named said that for 15 years Māori and Pacific programmes had no commissioner at all and had successfully been overseen by the general manager.

“We count ourselves immensely fortunate to have somebody of Scotty’s skills to call on. His te reo and tikanga expertise have been invaluable to our content team,” Hills said.

However, Morrison and TVNZ have been criticised by Pacific Media Watch’s industry sources for a “conflict of interest”.

This is due to the fact that Morrison, along with his wife, fellow broadcaster Stacey Morrison, does consultancy work for shows with Māori content.

With the role of Māori and Pacific programmes commissioner hanging in the balance, Pacific Media Watch’s industry sources say TVNZ’s restructuring means a conduit for Māori and Pacific voices is being lost.

TVNZ ‘devaluing role’
“TVNZ is devaluing the role and putting it aside. It is symbolic of chipping away at Māori programming,” Pacific Media Watch’s independent Māori producer said.

“The lack of a commissioner is a another kind of door shutting. It’s a total disservice to Māori,” Graham reflected.

Ngā Aho Whakaari did not respond to several requests for comment.

The Directors and Editors Guild of NZ declined to comment.

Kendall Hutt is contributing editor of the Pacific Media Centre’s Pacific Media Watch freedom project.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Article by AsiaPacificReport.nz