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Archive for April, 2014


Anzac Day or Waitangi Day – which means the most to you?

New_Zealand_Cities

You could argue that New Zealand has two ‘national’ days.  Waitangi Day is when we (supposedly) acknowledge the founding of our nation and the agreement between Maori and the Crown.  ANZAC Day, while ostensibly being about remembering people who have served and fallen in past years, also seems to be becoming about remembering an event which is often seen as a key moment when our nation came of age.  Although ANZAC Day is supposed to be about remembering New Zealanders have served in all wars, often the primary focus seems to be on the Gallipoli campaign.  Many people talk about Gallipoli as the moment when New Zealanders started to think of themselves as New Zealanders rather than as citizens of the British Empire, and indeed as the point in time when we started to question the ability of British generals (and by extension British rulers) to make decisions on behalf of New Zealand troops (and by extension people).

I’d suggest that this ‘founding of a nation’ message of ANZAC Day is not as strong here as it is in Australia, but it’s definitely present.

In that context, I thought it would be interesting to ask New Zealanders which of those two days meant more to them – ANZAC Day or Waitangi Day.  The question was asked in a SAYit online survey of n=1000 New Zealanders, conducted in late March / early April 2013.  The question was simply ‘which means more to you personally – ANZAC Day or Waitangi Day?’:

  • 60% said that ANZAC Day meant more to them personally than Waitangi Day
  • Just 8% reported that Waitangi Day meant more to them than ANZAC Day
  • 29% said that both were equally important
  • 2% were unsure.

That’s an emphatic result, which to my mind probably says more about how people feel about Waitangi Day than how they feel about ANZAC Day.  Waitangi Day has become associated in many people’s minds with protests and treaty grievances – it’s a day that forces us to confront one of the more controversial issues of the last few decades.

The same can’t be said about ANZAC Day, particularly when the primary focus is on battles that were fought many years ago.  I’m sure many people have views about whether New Zealand troops should have been sent to World War I or World War II (or indeed Vietnam), but it’s not something we’re likely to see street protests about.  Although there have been protests about New Zealand troops being sent to Afghanistan, I don’t think those protests have ever come to be seen as the primary focus of ANZAC Day.

The views of Maori on this issue are very different to those of the population as a whole.

  • Just 29% of Maori say that ANZAC Day means more to them than Waitangi Day, while 56% regard the two days as equally important.
  • 14% of Maori feel that Waitangi Day means more to them than ANZAC Day.

The number saying Waitangi Day means more to them than ANZAC Day generally remains low across all demographic groups, but there are substantial variations between demographics in terms of the numbers saying ANZAC Day means more to them and the numbers saying both days are equally important.

  • National voters (78%), those whose highest qualification is from high school (67%) and over 60 year olds are particularly likely to say that ANZAC Day is the more meaningful for them.
  • People with postgraduate qualifications (39%), Green voters (39%), Labour voters (34%) and under 30 year olds (33%) are relatively likely to say that both days are equally important.
  • Green voters (21%) and people with postgraduate qualifications (17%) are clearly the most likely to say that Waitangi Day means more to them than ANZAC Day.

http://petesplace.blogtown.co.nz/2014/04/11/anzac-day-or-waitangi-day-which-means-the-most-to-you/

Naenae New World closing down because of earthquake risks…

 

Naenae New World closing down because of earthquake risks. Extremely unlikely that any consideration will be given to a rebuild. There are other supermarkets around Lower Hutt bearing Progressive Enterprise franchise names: New World and Four Square Lower Hutt, and Pak’ n ‘Save in the central Hutt and out at Petone as well. It will be business as usual until April 30 2014. The supermarket received an ‘E’ category, which is earthquake prone. Another blow for the Naenae suburb which has lost a number of industries and business in recent years.

NewWorldweb

NZ Womens Sevens team beat Australia in China 7’s tournament…

Hundreds of Kiwis take to the streets demanding total ban of legal highs…

Synthetic marijuana destroying some families…
  • Synthetic marijuana. (Source: Breakfast)
    Synthetic marijuana. – Source: Breakfast

Hundreds of people around the country have taken to the streets today, calling for a total ban on legal highs.

The protesters, many of whom have first-hand experience of the impact of the legal drugs, believe new legislation aimed at regulating the synthetic drug industry doesn’t go far enough.

Demonstrator Dean Maguire says his use of legal highs almost destroyed his family.

“I neglected my oldest son for the first few years of his life,” says Mr Maguire.

“I was more concerned about being out with friends and smoking the stuff as oppose to being at home with that quality time with my children.”

Business owners are also unhappy, saying shops selling the legal highs are bad for their businesses.

“We see people having arguments and fights outside the shop,” says tattooist Jordan Henare.

“Other people are likely to not come over and things when they see groups like that hanging around.”

However, the Government says it’s impossible to ban all synthetic substances as manufacturers continue to invent new mixe

It says the new legislation has slashed the number of shops selling legal highs from 4,000 stores to just 153 and from 300 synthetic drugs being on sale there are now just 40.

 

Fijian dictator Bainimarama names new military commander…

Frank Bainimarama

DAVID WHITE/Fairfax NZ
LEADER: Fiji coup leader Frank Bainimarama.

 

Fiji’s military strongman Frank Bainimarama has named a fellow 2006 coup plotter as the next commander of the country’s military forces.

Bainimarama, who says he is retiring from the Fiji Military Forces (RFMF) to run in democracy-restoring elections this year, named Land Force Commander Colonel Mosese Tikoitoga to take over.

Meanwhile, the regime has ordered Parliament to move to another building after the elections.

An at times blustering man, Tikoitoga has remained loyal to Bainimarama ever since he was part of the military troika that overthrew a democratic government in 2006.

Tikoitoga last year played a key role in destroying a partially New Zealand-funded new constitution after its writers tried to limit the RFMF role in Fiji civil life.

Constitution drafts were burned and a new constitution was written.

“Let me tell you this, don’t mess with the RFMF,” Tikoitoga said at the time.

He rejected the proposal that soldiers should not have to follow orders they considered illegal.

Whether orders were right or wrong, they had to be obeyed and whoever gave the order would be responsible if questions arose over the order, Tikoitoga said.

“Soldiers sign an oath to follow orders and they will at all times abide by it,” he said.

He rejected any downsizing of the RFMF, which can call on up to 10,000 soldiers, saying cuts would not happen.

Tikoitoga said the military were cleaning up the government system and would not stop.
“There is no turning back,” he said.

He became better known outside Fiji after he took over as president of the Fiji Rugby Union before to the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

It resulted in Fiji’s worst-ever rugby performance and recently the International Rugby Board cut support funding it gave to Fiji over corruption issues.

All four of Fiji’s coups have had strong military involvement so the issue of who leads its 3500 active soldiers and 6000 territorials is important to stability.

Tikoitoga will formally take over in a ceremony in Suva tomorrow.

However, the reality will be that Bainimarama will still be the strongman in Fiji and the new military commander will be answering to him.

The ceremony will mark the end of Bainimarama’s military life.

Bainimarama joined the Fiji Navy in 1975 as an able seaman, rising to midshipman within a year.

He served with the Chilean Navy, serving on exchange on the sailing ship Esmeralda at the time it was being used by Augusto Pinochet’s regime as a base to torture political opponents

Unlike the bulk of the RFMF, Bainimarama never served in peacekeeping operations or in combat.

The only hostile fire he experienced was in November 2000 when, in the wake of the George Speight coup, his soldiers mutinied.

He escaped being killed by running down a bank. Three of his soldiers died and five rebels were killed – most of them after they surrendered.

Meanwhile, in an odd move, the military-appointed attorney-general, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, yesterday ordered that any new parliament be moved out of its striking Fiji village-style compound in Veiuto in Suva, and return to its original home at the Government Buildings in downtown Suva.

The Veiuto parliament witnessed two coups – 2000 and 2006. The original parliament was seized by RFMF third in command, Sitiveni Rabuka, in an armed coup.

Both assemblies have bullet holes in their ceilings.

Veiuto would now become part of the courts system.

The return to the original parliament meant it was more accessible to the public.

“It is walking distance from the bus stand; it’s near the media organisations, closer to town so it provides lots more accessibility to members of the public,” Sayed-Khaiyum said.

Acknowledgements:   © Fairfax NZ News

http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/south-pacific/9789408/Frank-Bainimarama-names-new-commander

http://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/240665/fiji-tv-station-investigated-over-bainimarama-story

Use of bitcoins to pay for home deliveries of illegal drugs – avoid police attention

Home delivery of illegal drugs and payment by bitcoins helps buyers avoid attracting police attention.

Bitcoins helps buyers avoid attracting police attention. Photo / NZ Herald

Bitcoins helps buyers avoid attracting police attention. Photo / NZ Herald

Drug dealers are increasingly providing home deliveries in response to text orders in a system known as “dial-a-tinny”.

A Massey University survey of 330 frequent illegal drug users found 25 users who mentioned text-and-deliver as a new trend that worked well “to avoid being seen by cops”.

It also found a handful of drug dealers selling drugs through Facebook and other social networking sites.

Two people had even used “bitcoins” as “non-traceable dollars” to buy drugs online.

Researcher Dr Chris Wilkins said the trend was no surprise because the Kiwi drug market had always operated mainly among friends rather than through big dealers.

“It’s a bit like selling Avon versus through Farmers,” he said. “If you have Avon you have people selling on to other people, and that is what has made the illegal drug market so resilient – you take out one person and they might only have three customers.”

Massey’s annual survey interviews drug users found by word of mouth and through help agencies in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

The most dramatic recent change has been the sudden appearance of new synthetic cannabis drugs – and an equally dramatic reversal in the latest survey for 2012 after Kronic and related products were banned in August 2011 and harmful side-effects became better known.

The effect was most dramatic for Ecstasy users, who are mainly university students.

None of them used synthetic cannabis up to 2009, then suddenly 21 per cent used it in 2010 and 45 per cent in 2011, but the number dropped in the latest survey to 24 per cent.

Read the full report here: