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I agree with Alan Duff when he says, “Real men don’t beat up kids, or wives, or anyone else. Real men love.” I know that, as a child, he experienced domestic violence. I respect him as a writer and for his fantastic work with Books for Homes. I admire the passion with which he tackles the burning issue of child abuse among Maori and violence against women.
At the same time, when he suggests this hateful violence is a legacy of a “simple” pre-European Maori culture, with its “screaming, eye-popping haka”, he is wrong. In saying that, I realise I run the risk of being flagellated as a bleeding-heart liberal, or worse, by some of the Herald’s readers.
** cough **
Rather than appealing to scholarly authority, then, let’s turn to the accounts written by European men who visited New Zealand in the very early days and saw with their own eyes how Maori family life was conducted.
We can begin with the traveller John Savage, who wrote in 1807, “The children here appear to be treated with a great degree of parental affection. They are robust, lively, and possess, in general, pleasing countenances.”
Samuel Marsden, the leading missionary who visited New Zealand for the first time in 1814 (and could never be accused of possessing a bleeding heart), noted: “I saw no quarrelling while I was there. They are kind to their women and children. I never observed either with a mark of violence upon them, nor did I ever see a child struck.” Read more »
It is hard to get away form the impression that today’s budget was more about corporate welfare than anything else.
ACT’s press release says:
Funding for $761 million in corporate welfare via ‘Innovative New Zealand’ is an insult to taxpayers, says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Bill English needs to ‘just say no’ to Steven Joyce’s corporate welfare addiction,” says Mr Seymour.
“There is no public appetite for hand-outs to businesses. There is no pressure from the opposition or the media. So who’s been pouring poison into Steven Joyce’s ear?
“The Government could have simply used these funds to drop the company tax rate. This would help all New Zealand businesses – not just those that are politically trendy.
“This spending comes on top of the Government’s existing $1.3 billion annual corporate welfare spend.”