They don't like it up 'em

Shane Kawenata BradbrookI attended the Maori Affairs select committee today to give my submission on Smoking. There surely can’t be a more ridiculous proceeding than watching troughers line up one after the other begging to stay at the trough.

I can tell you it was an eye opener. The three submitters before gave submissions that were frankly ridiculous.

There was a couple of submitters who’s great idea to stop Maori smoking was straight out the Eugenics/Nazi handbook. If only the other submitters and some of the committee were smart enough to notice. He rambled on first about how much he was missing all his dead whanau killed by the evil tobacco companies who targeted them, then forced the cigarette into their mouths, then forced them to flick the bic to light it. Then he gave his great idea, a software database the records all of the whanu, hapu, and iwi members and their parents and their parent’s parents. Then record all those who smoke and then they would be able to trace the bloodlines to identify new mokopuna who’s bloodline suggested that they would smoke. Pure unadulterated bullshit. The most unbelievable aspect of his submission was that he was able to muddle along for about 30 minutes un-interrupted.

The next person to submit thought it brilliant to reinvent myths fairy-tales “Maori History” and re-tell the tales of Maui, Tane Mahuta etc but with a no smoking message. Like Maui couldn’t have fished up the North Island if he was a smoker because he wouldn’t have been fit enough. But that wasn’t all, they then wanted to put all that to music, hip-hop or whatever and design a kapa haka dance. Yeah that’ll work. Again from this submitter there was much wailing again about the evil white man’s smoke stick. Again they rambled past their 15 minutes uninterrupted.

Next up was veteran trougher Teresa Taylor. Who with her daughter presumably, the other half of T& T Consulting told us all about her mothers 15 siblings who were murdered by the tobacco companies. Much blame, finger pointing and grievance claiming. And all with the “support” of Shane Bradbrook, Te Reo Marama master trougher who kept patting her back as she recall the tragedy of 15 uncles and aunties dying and how she missed them all so terribly. As I wiped a tear from my eye i got my box of documents ready.

Then the guy immediately before, well half-man really, he had a body like a half sucked throatie, told us that his parents and grandparents smoking, now dead, had caused him to have itchy eyes, blood noses, skin irritations etc. I wondered if he had ever heard of hayfever and migraines.

Now it was my turn, I was called. “Cam, bro, your turn, get up here” from Tau Henare. The room went cold, the air crackled. Death-stares came out. Shane Bradbrook and Teresa Taylor shifted from the back of the seating to right up behind my chair. I started my submission and not 2 minutes into it Metiria Turei interrupts me mid sentence and tries to call time. I shit you not. then she negotiated with Tau Henare and they gave me 8 minutes more. Fuck me dead. I couldn’t believe it. It seems if you are Maori you can waffle on with idiotic ideas and If you are a white Mofo telling the truth about the 40 troughers sitting behind you the think it is ok to be rude,and interrupt. Well fuck them I thought and carried on. Next time I was interrupted it was by some Labour moll doing the same thing. I think BK was asleep beside her. Same nonsense, give 2 more minutes, I was up to 12 minutes. Then cut off. It seems like they don’t like hearing the truth. The whole way through my submission Shane Bradbrook was cursing me under his breathe, audible to me only. When I challenged the troughers and the committee to tell me exactly how many smokers there are, they scoffed at my claim there were no statistics fresher than 2005. There isn’t, it was a safe bet.

Loud complaining started when I said that everyone who has submitted before me in the course of this committee or will submit after are nothing but troughers asking for more money to stop smoking. The simple facts are that money won’t work, the only people being helped by all the money are the troughers and their immediate families. In 2004 when this Industry began under Labour there were 700,000 smokers, on one of the troughers websites in their 2009 strategic plan, a plan I might add contained only one number, quoted that there were 700,000 smokers. Well they are the experts, that is what they get all the funding for so it must be right. So, for the grand total of $168,712,369 we have not many any progress. We have essentially thrown money away and the troughers have gleefully picked it up.

I’m told that today was the first time media had attended, and they unattended as soon as I finished and went outside, only to be accosted by a woman. Who was more than a little ticked off with me. The louder she talked the softer I talked. Eventually she gave up. The media packed up as soon as I did and left as soon as I did, seems they weren’t interested in anyone else’s submissions.

This whole process is a farce, every single submitter except me had a vested interest, they are either knee deep in the trough, in charge of the trough or in more than one instance doing both. The whole Tobacco industry is nothing but a huge fraud perpetrated in New Zealand. They have no KPI’s, they measure nothing, is it any wonder we are chucking $55 million a year at this and going nowhere. They were basically asking for more of everything. Well I say fuck them. Show us some results. They can’t and they know it.

I learned one thing for sure, this is just another grievance drive for Maori who are intent on blaming everyone but themselves, but who is say we don’t deserve it, we have bred this dependence and feeling of grievance. It’s our own fault and for sure no one on that Select Committee is going to upset the troughers.

My respect for Metiria Turei evaporated to nothing today by her petty politics in a Select Committee process against a submitter who wasn’t on her team and wasn’t brown.

They sure didn’t like it up them.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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