Well today is my first full day of being unemployed. I had to resign yesterday to avoid compromising my former employer (MoE). Public servants aren’t allowed to make comments to the media and the 24 hours after Paddy Gower dropped his Shane Jones bombshell I would have broken that rule, I dunno, maybe 30-40 times.
Anyway I sat down this morning to address all the Facebook, twitter and email messages and well-wishers only to find my computer has well and truly crapped out.
Responding to them all on a smartphone is proving nigh on impossible.
So sorry if i don’t get back to people in a timely way.
So far people have been gracious regarding my pending return to parliament, but I expect the threats and nutters to start up again the closer we get to the Election. Oh well, such is the lot of a politician.
I just want to reinforce my four political priorities before RSI sets into my thumb.
People will no doubt criticise them and say there are other, better, more important things I should focus on, but I guess in the first instance I’ve got to be true to myself and focus on what I’m passionate about.
Priority 1: no surprises, improving Maori educational achievement, and more importantly, improving Maori achievements through education. I’ll argue to my dying breath that education is the road to Maori success.
Priority 2: Regional Development for Te Tai Tokerau. We’ve got plans and strategies coming out our ears in TTT, but unless a Govt stumps up with some serious dough to implement these plans we’re wasting our time. Even a quarter of 1 percent of the money going into the Christchurch rebuild would go a long way to rebuilding the Tai Tokerau economy. Te Tai Tokerau has endured it’s own tragedy, but it happened over 40 years not 40 seconds. The effects on our people have been equally devastating in the long run.
Priority 3: Te Reo Maori, it’s in a sad state and one of the reasons is that it has been rendered down in most communities to a ceremonial language that had little relevance to most peoples everyday lives. We need to make Te Reo a transactional language so that if i wish I can walk into any business, bank, supermarket, service station or pub and conduct my business in Te Reo if I choose. It is a right English speakers enjoy without having to think about it. Those who wish to conduct daily transactions in Te Reo do not enjoy this right. There are a number of simple and relatively inexpensive practical activities that can happen to get people speaking Te Reo in the community. A lot of dosh is being spent on initiatives that have questionable impacts on improving Te Reo. They need to be reprioritised.
Priority 4: Stopping sexual, physical and emotional abuse of women and children, and yes to men as well.
I was outraged with the Roastbusters scandal and the well publicized sexual abuse/ pedophile cases in Kaitaia over the last few years.
I sat back and waited for a male MP especially any male MAORI MP to make a stand and say something along the lines of “What the bloody hell is going on that men can treat women and children like this?” I was waiting for a male MP to take a stand and tell all of us men that this abuse is (predominantly) a male problem, and that we need to sort our shit out ourselves. We need to have serious conversations with our sons, grandsons and nephews about how a real man treats a woman. But i bet this is just too hard for most males.
I said in my maiden speech that it’s one thing to be born a male, but another thing entirely to become a man. We need to MAN up any have the balls to have those hard conversations with our boys.
Instead the only noise coming from male MPs was the sound of crickets chirping.
So I determined if no other male MP was prepared to stand up and start lecturing men on how we need to treat and love our women and children, and if I was ever in the position again to pick up that mantle, I will.
Some months ago I approached some people who work in this field and told them if i ever get back into parliament, tell me what I need to do to support them. I’ll give them a call soon.
So men, I don’t give a rats arse if I’m accused of not being a REAL bloke, I’ll still be a sports and rugby fanatic, get on the piss, keep up my fishing, shooting and getting lost up in the bush – but i love my wife, daughters, mother, sister, nieces,cousins, friends and colleagues too much to ignore sexual, physical and emotional abuse any longer.
So that’s me. No doubt I’ll make plenty of stuff ups along the way but what the hell. I’m determined to enjoy my second chance at this and loosen up a bit.
More than one Maori reporter had told me “You’re bloody hilarious on Twitter, but when we interview you you’re as dry as a brick. We need to see more of the real you.”
I’ll try to remember that advice, but in my own defence improving outcomes for Maori, growing the Tai Tokerau economy, breathing life in to Te Reo and stopping sexual, emotional and physical abuse is fairly serious work.
I better get on with it I guess.