Bloggreen: January 2006

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Tent Embassy

Wow I just had one of the most amazing few days of my life on a trip to Canberra to visit the Tent Embassy.

I was asked at the end of my time there what the highlight for me was. And I decided to share that further. The highlight was being given the opportunity to sit at the feet of elders and just listen. There are some truly amazing people involved in the campaign for Sovereignty in Australia and to be able to sit and listen to the tales of a lifetime of resistance was truly awe-inspiring. And it was terribly sad.

Some of the stories I heard over the last few days of genocide were heart-breaking to say the least and it makes me really sad that so few Australians know the true history of their past.

But the spirit there was amazing. There were plenty of successful meetings that went on. And a strong statement came out from the Embassy which amongst other things, declared the 26th of January Aboriginal Sovereignty Day.

What blew me away though was the spirit there. The fires are certainly burning strong and are only going to burn stronger this year.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Egad how long has it been!

Sorry anyone who got sick of looking at boring old posts. Although the conversation around the top 10 list got interesting briefly.

So the reason I've been absent from here is because I'm so bloody busy.

Finally got some work working for the Wilderness Society which I'm absolutely loving. I get to spend all day outdoors talking to people about environmental and all sorts of other political issues, and it's face to face so I'm actually engaging with people. Fantastic. And it's taking me around Victoria next week so I get to check out East Gippsland and other delightfully cool places like that.

However the major thing occupying my time is the Black GST Campaign. I'm actually in Canberra at the moment at the Tent Embassy, here for a few days to 'celebrate' Invasion Day. And to assure my crew bakc home, my Tino Rangatiratanga flag is flying high, they love it here.

It's quite nice to be checking out the Capital. Although, I was asleep when we arrived at 7 this morning so I have no idea what the place looks like except for Parliament, and this giant syringe tower thing they've got here. But the weather is lovely and the people are nice.

I'm currently hanging out doing some work in Parliament itself (yay the Greens) and it's pretty cool. The building is like this giant military style hobbit hole, it's great. And they actually have security here. Had about 15 people check my bags on the way in - X Ray machines and all. Although, I think that may have something to do with the fact that John Howard is about to deliver a major speech to the Press Club about racism in Australia.

More on that one later.

Anyway, back to work, supposed to be writing a press release.

Love you all.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Surprise surprise

Hat tip Span.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Racist questions cultural protocol

I see Mr PC Eradication man questioning the Golden Bay volunteer fire brigade signing a written agreement with local iwi to respect tikanga.

"I'm uneasy about the whole idea of a written protocol," he said. "It feels divisive, it separates people as opposed to bringing them together. These things ought to be resolved through dialogue." Mr Mapp said dialogue and sensitivity were "hugely important" and services like the police and coroners offices had learned that. "It has been an important part of building understanding, but to then formalise it. . . that just doesn't feel right to me."
So let me get this straight. Mr Mapp has no problem with people respecting each other, no problems with people trying to undertsand each other. He just has problems with them writing it down when they do? WTF? This is nothing other than out and out racism. Mr Mapp has attempted to gain political mileage out of story by taking a story which is about positive workings between different groups of people and objecting to it purely because the story involves tangata whenua. If the Golden Bay volunteer fire brigade signed an agreement with the local RSPCA about the protocols about rescuing animals, do you think Mr Mapp would have any objections? If the Golden Bay volunteer fire brigade wrote agreements with local car wreckers about what to do with wrecked vehicles, do you think Mr Mapp would have any objections about that? Of course not, it would be a sensible, practical thing to do. If you have an agreement with another organisation about how you will work together, you write it down and both parties sign it. Admit it Mr Mapp, the reason it 'feels' wrong is because it conflicts with your middle class, white male existence of ignoring the needs of others. I want to congratulate the Golden Bay volunteer fire brigade for their positive moves to work with their entire community. I have been involved in the process to develop a MoU before, and it is hard work. So congratulations on completing the MoU and thank you for all of your hard work looking after the people of Golden Bay.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Nice innings!

Happy Birthday for yesterday to Albert Hoffman, whom we all know is the father of LSD. Mr Hoffman has just turned 100 which is pretty bloody impressive. Thanks for being a great chemist. xox

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Interesting justice news

I read today in The Age that Collingwood is to get a neighbourhood justice centre which includes a community representative on the magistrate selection panel. I'm not entirely sure how the judicial appointment process works here yet, but if it's anything like Aotearoa, they're appointed by the Attorney-General and is announced by a press release, which is rarely picked up by the media. So I see this as a positive move towards community engagement in the maintenance of community peace and justice. It will be interesting to see how it works out. And some amusing news, the Victorian Police were looking at purchasing some Segways to use for city patrols. Nice idea, except for the unfortunate wee issue with the fact that they're illegal! Oh well, better luck next time.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Oi NZ, you better behave!

Tonight I decided to peruse the AM stations in Melbourne to see what I could find. While cruising through (searching for something in English, which was cool!) I heard a discussion about Wellington so I sat on that station for a bit. Now apparently (and this may not be big news to anyone else, but I'm not generally up with these kinds of things) the heart of Phar Lap is taking a visit to the Wellington Racing Club (I think I have this right). Why this is happening is beyond me but according to these guys on the radio, NZers aren't to be trusted with it. There is a couple of people travelling with this heart in order to make sure it doesn't go out clubbing or something. But that's not enough! These guys reckon someone form NZ might try and steal Phar Laps heart. 'Cause, right, we care that much! This has happened coincidentaly with the announcement by the Australian Government that they're sending another 100 troops to Afghanistan. So these guys on the radio reckon the government's got their priorities all wrong (no disagreement there) and the govt should be sending troops to mind Phar Laps heart. WTF? I understand that there's a bit of the ol' cultural ownership battle going on there about where Phar Lap was from but NZers aren't that stupid, are they? I dunno. It's all a bit weird the perceptions of NZ from over here. Some people seen to think we're a whole different species. But most people are pretty cool when you say you're from Aotearoa. In fact, most people in Melbourne are from Aotearoa but that's another story. This conversation (I'm having with myself) reminds me of a post I've been meaning to write for a while where I do my best ever Letterman impersonation and play... The Top 10 Weirdest Things About Australia! (in my limited experience) 10. Ravens and Bats! Well, they're not weird, more spooky. And bats are damn cool too! 9. 24 hour drive in florists I can't explain this one. Can you imagine the market that's out there for people at 3am exclaiming 'oh god, I need fresh cut flowers, where shall I get them from?'. I think not, but apprently there must be. It's not too far from my house so I promise I'll let you know if it ever comes in handy. 8. Multiple streets with the same name in the same area This is more stupid than weird. It's gotten me twice now that I've gone to a street to meet someone and they actually meant the street with that name in an adjoining suburb, grr. My favourite example is Brunswick Road which is in Brunswick which is just down the road from Brunswick Street in Fitzroy. That's just wrong. And don't even get me started on the street numbering system. 7. Skinny milk I always thought trim milk sounded odd but skinny milk? You feel like quite a dick delivering someone's coffee and saying 'here's your skinny latte'. I find it amusing to imagine a cup of coffee 6. Eating native animals It's going to take me a while to get used to this one. Seeing native animals on a restaurant menu is just plain weird. I know that there's heaps of these animals around, and they're even pests in some areas. But it's just so damn strange! 5. The Prime Minister doesn't reckon the place is racist. ROFL 4. Their parliamentary structure Well, it's not exactly weird, more impossible to understand. I pride myself on being rather geeky about matters constitutional and it's taken me ages to get my head around how it all works. And I had to use wikipedia to finally get it. Everyone I asked had no clue. That is somewhat concerning. 3. Moreporks They have them here. But they're called Moepokes. He he. Say it outloud, funny word! 2. Hook Turns I think they're unique to Melbourne too. I first saw it on this commuter map thing I got when I first arrived here. I read the instructions and didn't really get it. It seems to work alright but in a pretty beautifully unconventional way. And the number one weirdest thing about Australia is... They haven't colonised us yet! It's strange. The topic has come up in a couple of conversations I've had with people, so it's not like the idea isn't incomprehensible to people here. And they do have the military capability to do it. And we've got so much stuff that they don't, like mountains, and water. Guess they might just like us. Awww...

Nice example of culture jamming

The Melbourne Age reports that some billboards have been 'adjusted' in Melbourne. For those of you who don't live here the original ones were a source of entertainment to me. They were along the lines of "Attention fare evaders: you suck so much that we have to put notices up to tell you". And they sit quite nicely alongside the "Attention Passengers: If you see anything remotely suspicious, please tell us so we can justify our terrorism budget expenditure" posters. So this jam works really nicely in my humble opinion. Especially since we're starting the slow slide into terorrism paranoia with the upcoming Stolenwealth Games in March. But didn't ya love the Minister's reaction

"These ads are offensive, they are stupid and they should be pulled down, and the Government is making it very clear today that we want these ads pulled down," he said.
If it's offensive to highlight the dangerous effects of stereotyping people based on their appearance then surely it can't be offensive to promote the discrimination against people based on what they look like. Oh wait, that's what fear campaigns are all about. Right, I get it now.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Nice news on the conservation front!

The Govt just announced the purchase of the Stonewall Block, a 121 hectare coastal property near Cape Palliser on the southern Wairarapa coast. Fully sick mate! Seriously, that is good news, there is some stunning coastline around there and it will be nice to see it protected. And secondly, the Karori Wildlife Santuary have just announced that their Hihi population has doubled in the last year. I was involved in a theatre project last year to promote the Sanctuary and it's a truly cool place to hang out. To all those who live in Wellington who haven't been there yet, get ya shit together. This is one of the best times of the year to go there as well. Yay nature!

Thank god that year's over..

Yay it's no longer 2005! Christ, what a year that was... So I spent NYE in the most wonderful place ever. Imagine sand dunes as far as the eye can see, not a single bit of civilisation anywhere and a soundsystem right in the middle; a killer crew of DJs and a small gathering of beautiful people dancing all night long. Aah :) So now I'm back and throwing myself back into life and all my various wee projects and indulging in a bit of surfing to find some new things to start thinking about. Like this one! Loving it so far, got some really interesting content and I think I'll be reading this sote for a while. I've added another new blog to the roll, ladies and gentlemen may I introduce Rahz And finally, killing time with some inane web games. Hattip to MGK for the Sloganizer! My favourites so far: Who wouldn't fight for Kakariki? Nonstop Kakariki. Kakariki. Making people sucessful in a changing world. Ha ha, small things eh? Hope you all had a lovely break (oh except for Dr Cam, his break wasn't too nice eh?) and have a totally stonking 2006. xox