Do ISIS have a Kiwi journalist hostage?

On RadioLive this morning Bill Ralston talked about a rumour that ISIS have a “a Kiwi journalist in their hands”.

SUNDAY MORNING PANEL: PHOEBE FLETCHER AND BILL RALSTON

From about 12:44

Ralston: Sort of running parallel to this and when you talk about encouraging ISIS to strike here in New Zealand, I mean that’s entirely possible, but I do continually hear a rumour that there is a New Zealand journalist in ISIS hands, that presumably the Government is not saying anything about that if that is the case, um for um um security reasons um so…

Sainsbury: What? For how long?

Ralston: Well I’ve been hearing this has been going on for some weeks, there is a Kiwi journalist in their hands. That’s entirely possible, New Zealand journalists run all over the world, particularly into hot spots.

If so that complicates the current issue and is likely to entrench opposiong views on deploying trrops in Iraq.

Siasnbury: And of course see the problem with these things isn’t it is that it could also be something that started and these things sort of feed off itself, but if that’s a, jeepers if that is true that means that the you know the implications  of the decision are even more serious.

Ralston: Keep an eye on YouTube I suppose….things could get very ugly. And I don’t know how New Zealand would react to something like that, if in fact they decided to um….

There would be range of strong reactions.

It would be given as a good reason why we shouldn’t get involved in the Middle East. And as a good reason why we have to be involved, because we’ll get drawn into it anyway.

It will make a difference if the journalist was captured before the decision to go to Iraq was made.

Innocent until proven a risk should be an inalienable Kiwi principle

It was inevitable that the French killers have been killed. They lived by the gun, died by the gun. A fair enough outcome.

Sad that more innocent people have been killed.

What does this mean for New Zealand? There’s far less risk of anything like this happening here but it’s not zero risk. There should be and will be much discussion about surveillance for protection versus intrusion on privacy.

There will also be ongoing discussion on immigration. There will also be ongoing discussion on immigration. There have been a number of calls to stop immigration of other cultures and religions, and some have even suggested deportation of all Muslims.

It’s worth noting that the Kouachi brothers were born in France.

So should anyone whose parents weren’t born in New Zealand be kicked out of the country just in case there’s a nutter amongst them?

100% protection against terrorism is impossible.

Terrorists want to create mayhem and provoke division. The best way to combat that is to remain calm and cautious, and to not change how we do things in New Zealand as a knee jerk reaction to events in France.

Reacting to the hate and intolerance of terrorists with hate and intolerance allows them to destroy our special way of life.

We need to hold New Zealand values as very precious – our tolerance of different cultures and religions with a relative absence of persecution based on differences.

Innocent until proven a risk should be an unalienable Kiwi principle.

The soft and loud of “Pākehā”

(Repost)

I’ve often wondered what ethnicity to call myself.

I’ve never felt anything like “European”.  I only recently visited Europe for the first time in my life, and didn’t go to the countries my ancestors emigrated from.

European
— adj
1.     of or relating to Europe or its inhabitants
2.     native to or derived from Europe
— n
3.     a native or inhabitant of Europe
4.     a person of European descent

http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=european&ia=ced

I’m of European descent, but then a lot of the world except Africa could probably claim some European link. Anyway, I see “European” as having a link to Europe now, not some time in the distant past.

“Caucasian” is another term sometimes used but it sounds more remote to me than European.

Cau·ca·sian
1.
Anthropology . of, pertaining to, or characteristic of one of the traditional racial divisions of humankind, marked by fair to dark skin, straight to tightly curled hair, and light to very dark eyes, and originally inhabiting Europe, parts of North Africa, western Asia, and India: no longer in technical use.

http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=caucasian&ia=luna

So technically, that’s not me either.

usage: The word Caucasian  is very widely used in the US to refer to people of European origin or people who are White, even though the original classification was broader than this

http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=caucasian&ia=ced

And I have no US heritage so ruled out there too.

So I should be using some local description. I certainly identify as a New Zealander and a Kiwi, so in a wider sense that is appropriate.

kiwi
As slang for “a New Zealander,” it is attested from 1918.

http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=kiwi&ia=etymon

That sounds fine, but it isn’t universally known. I was talking to an American once who only knew a kiwi as a brown furry fruit, the sort that was called a Chinese gooseberry back in the old days.

New Zealander
— n
a native or inhabitant of New Zealand

http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=New+Zealander&ia=ced

Yip, I’m one of those. But what sort of a New Zealander am I?

I was put off a common native language description, Pākehā, because I’ve heard some fairly derogatory “definitions” relating to fleas or fat pigs, but I’ve done some research that pretty much rules them out. What does Pākehā mean then?

1. (loan) (noun) New Zealander of European descent.
Te rongonga o te Māori i te reo kihi, hoihoi, o Kāpene Kuki rātou ko ōna hōia ka kīia e te Māori he Pakepakehā, ka whakapotoa nei ki te Pākehā. Nā te Māori tēnei ingoa i hua e mau nei anō (TP 1/1911:5). / When the Māori heard the soft and loud sounds of the language of Captain Cook and his sailors the Māori called them ‘Pakepakehā’, which was shortened to ‘Pākehā’. The Māori created this name. which is still used.

http://www.maoridictionary.co.nz/index.cfm?dictionaryKeywords=pakeha

That sounds reasonable enough. What else is known about it? From Wikipedia:

There have been several dubious interpretations given to the word Pākehā. One claims that it derives from poaka the Māori word for (pig), and keha, one of the Māori words for (flea), and therefore expresses derogatory implications. There is no etymological or linguistic support for this notion.

Although some are apparently offended I’m happy with the derogatory versions being ruled out.

The origins of the term are unclear, but it was in use by the late 18th century. Opinions of the term vary amongst those it describes. Some find it highly offensive, others are indifferent, some find it inaccurate and archaic, while some happily use the term and find the main alternatives such as New Zealand European inappropriate.

New Zealand European seems very strange, associating opposites, like an Arctic penguin.

Historian Judith Binney called herself a Pākehā and said, “I think it is the most simple and practical term. It is a name given to us by Māori. It has no pejorative associations like people think it does — it’s a descriptive term. I think it’s nice to have a name the people who live here gave you, because that’s what I am.

I can comfortably agree with that.

So depending on the circumstance I’m happy to describe myself as any of New Zealander, Kiwi or Pākehā.

Kiwis and kiwiness also insulted by Prosser

Yesterday Richard Prosser tweeted “Hmm, wouldn’t it be terrible if people read the whole thing for themselves before commenting.”

I’ve read the whole thing. It seems very deliberately provocative and extreme. Prosser (et al) attacks one of the essences of Kiwiness.

This is how he concluded his column, with my comments.

I say this: In order to ensure safety for passengers, crew, and civilization alike, on the world’s airlines, it is necessary to send a message to those who would threaten that safety, and it is this;

If you are a young male, aged between say about 19 and about 35, and you’re a Muslim, or you look like a Muslim, or you come from a Muslim country, then you are not welcome to travel on any of the West’s airline …

– not at least and until, the religion of Islam has taken it upon itself , and proven that it is able, to prevent the extremists withing it’s fold from behaving in the manner in which they have done, these past dozen years and more.

I don’t believe that such an unreasonable demand to make.

It is a very unreasonable demand to make. One and a half billion people can’t be held responsible for the extreme actions of a few thousand who happen to share a very diverse religious umbrella.

Others will, of course; plenty of commentators will take umbridge at my suggestion, and not only because I’m an MP.

To me this says that the enemy is not merely at the departure gates; but that he – and she – is already within, that excessive tolerance, coupled with the twin evils of diversity and multiculturalism upheld and promoted by political correctness and other weaknesses of spirit and nationalism, mean that the citadel has already been breached, and that the terrorists have already won.

That sounds to me like a direct attack on Kiwi tolerance. And on our multiculturalism. We have a very diverse multicultural society.

I have debated a lot on blogs with people who have similar views to Prosser. These people seem to want just one religion, their own. They want just one culture, their own – a mythical single culture of the ‘good old days’.

They say that people who don’t fit their narrow ideal should not be allowed to immigrate here. Some go as far as suggesting that those already here that they don’t like should be deported.

While it’s hard to gauge what proportion of Kiwis would agree with these extremes it’s clear there are some. That helps  demonstrate how diverse Kiwi culture actually is – ranging from famous Kiwi tolerance to extreme bigotry and intolerance.

We can do better than this.

Yes Richard, we can do better than this. We can start by accepting that Kiwis are are very diverse cultural bunch. A bunch that won’t abuse and offend foreign peoples and different religions. A bunch that shouldn’t suggest draconian restrictions on hundreds of millions of people because of the extreme actions of a few thousand.

And closer to home, we can do much better than attacking tolerance, diversity and multiculturalism. They are not evil. They are very Kiwi.

Richard, you are attacking Kiwiness.

And you are talking up a problem we don’t have in New Zealand. We don’t have a problem with Muslim terrorism. We don’t have a problem with tens of thousands of New Zealanders who choose to follow the religion of  Islam. They deserve to be treated like the rest of peaceful and law abiding New Zealanders.

We don’t have the ‘enemy within’ that you seem to be suggesting. We have many enemies within, but not the one you seemed intent on stirring up.

One of the enemies within New Zealand is intolerance of differences, where some from within are intent on insulting and isolating and ostracising and rejecting fellow Kiwis because they are different to themselves.

We can do better than this.

The soft and loud of “Pākehā”

I’ve often wondered what ethnicity to call myself.

I’ve never felt anything like “European”.  I only recently visited Europe for the first time in my life, and didn’t go to the countries my ancestors emigrated from.

European
— adj
1.     of or relating to Europe or its inhabitants
2.     native to or derived from Europe
— n
3.     a native or inhabitant of Europe
4.     a person of European descent

http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=european&ia=ced

I’m of European descent, but then a lot of the world except Africa could probably claim some European link. Anyway, I see “European” as having a link to Europe now, not some time in the distant past.

“Caucasian” is another term sometimes used but it sounds more remote to me than European.

Cau·ca·sian
1.
Anthropology . of, pertaining to, or characteristic of one of the traditional racial divisions of humankind, marked by fair to dark skin, straight to tightly curled hair, and light to very dark eyes, and originally inhabiting Europe, parts of North Africa, western Asia, and India: no longer in technical use.

http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=caucasian&ia=luna

So technically, that’s not me either.

usage: The word Caucasian  is very widely used in the US to refer to people of European origin or people who are White, even though the original classification was broader than this

http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=caucasian&ia=ced

And I have no US heritage so ruled out there too.

So I should be using some local description. I certainly identify as a New Zealander and a Kiwi, so in a wider sense that is appropriate.

kiwi
As slang for “a New Zealander,” it is attested from 1918.

http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=kiwi&ia=etymon

That sounds fine, but it isn’t universally known. I was talking to an American once who only knew a kiwi as a brown furry fruit, the sort that was called a Chinese gooseberry back in the old days.

New Zealander
— n
a native or inhabitant of New Zealand

http://dictionary.reference.com/cite.html?qh=New+Zealander&ia=ced

Yip, I’m one of those. But what sort of a New Zealander am I?

I was put off a common native language description, Pākehā, because I’ve heard some fairly derogatory “definitions” relating to fleas or fat pigs, but I’ve done some research that pretty much rules them out. What does Pākehā mean then?

1. (loan) (noun) New Zealander of European descent.
Te rongonga o te Māori i te reo kihi, hoihoi, o Kāpene Kuki rātou ko ōna hōia ka kīia e te Māori he Pakepakehā, ka whakapotoa nei ki te Pākehā. Nā te Māori tēnei ingoa i hua e mau nei anō (TP 1/1911:5). / When the Māori heard the soft and loud sounds of the language of Captain Cook and his sailors the Māori called them ‘Pakepakehā’, which was shortened to ‘Pākehā’. The Māori created this name. which is still used.

http://www.maoridictionary.co.nz/index.cfm?dictionaryKeywords=pakeha

That sounds reasonable enough. What else is known about it? From Wikipedia:

There have been several dubious interpretations given to the word Pākehā. One claims that it derives from poaka the Māori word for (pig), and keha, one of the Māori words for (flea), and therefore expresses derogatory implications. There is no etymological or linguistic support for this notion.

Although some are apparently offended I’m happy with the derogatory versions being ruled out.

The origins of the term are unclear, but it was in use by the late 18th century. Opinions of the term vary amongst those it describes. Some find it highly offensive, others are indifferent, some find it inaccurate and archaic, while some happily use the term and find the main alternatives such as New Zealand European inappropriate.

New Zealand European seems very strange, associating opposites, like an Arctic penguin.

Historian Judith Binney called herself a Pākehā and said, “I think it is the most simple and practical term. It is a name given to us by Māori. It has no pejorative associations like people think it does — it’s a descriptive term. I think it’s nice to have a name the people who live here gave you, because that’s what I am.

I can comfortably agree with that.

So depending on the circumstance I’m happy to describe myself as any of New Zealander, Kiwi or Pākehā.

Why do Kiwis support “anyone but England”?

Last night’s rugby world cup match between England and Scotland demonstrated strong support for “anyone but England”, in this case Scotland. This is partly support for the underdog, and it partly demonstartes a strong Scottish cultural influence in New Zealand. But there is also a strong English cultural influence in the old colony.

Both Scotland and Ireland get strong support from Kiwis. There are many Kiwis with Scottish and Irish ancestry, but that’s only part of the reason – there is a lot of English ancestry here too. There’s even a few Kiwis who still support maintaining links with the Queen of England.

Why do many Kiwis have little or no support for old mother England?

I really don’t know. And I’m an example of this phenomenon.

On my father’s side of the family my grandmother came from Chelsea, a great grandfather emigrated from Liverpool, and a great grandmother was part of the very English emigration to the Canterbury settlement. But I don’t feel like I have any connection with England apart from a historical curiosity. I don’t feel any empathy with England.

I don’t have any known Scottish or Irish heritage (but my granddaughter has a cool Scottish dad!) – but I would normally side with them over England. I don’t know why.

My mother’s parents came from Wales, arriving in New Zealand a couple of years before she was born. However my Welsh empathy only  amounts to a little more historical curiousity  than my Englishness.

My mild natural support for Wales over England is on about the same scale as my natural wish for Ireland or Scotland to beat England.

What has England done to deserve this? A Kiwi disdain of the English arrogance and self appointed superiority? Many UK immigrants to New Zealand wanted to get away from the English class system, maybe it’s a residual of that feeling. Kiwis are more likely to have a favourite “working class” football team than they are a more toffee rugby club (not me though).

England, we don’t hate you, maybe we just like to feel our independence as Kiwis and “anyone but England” is one way of doing this.