This government has done everything in their power to divide Maori and those of European descent (I refuse to refer to them as Pakeha), but the protests prove that such divisions have failed miserably. We are all New Zealanders. And I thank God for that.
by Christie 5 March, 2022
It has taken me until now to actually co-ordinate my thoughts about the riots at parliament on Wednesday. You see, I know a number of people who attended the protests; they were mostly locals, so they didn’t stay overnight, so I do not know if any of them were there on Wednesday. Actually, I do know of one, but he was heading down there as the rioting started, and so – very sensibly – he kept his distance.
I watched most of it via Chantelle Baker’s Facebook livestream, and her screams of anguish as she watched her father, Leighton, being rough handled by the police still ring in my ears. This is Leighton Baker, former leader of the New Conservative Party we are talking about, being treated like a criminal because he wanted to exercise his right to protest.
What have we become, New Zealand?
Leighton Baker was arrested with a group of others, who were charged and then released fairly quickly, but Baker was not. Being a politician, he was held overnight, to the great distress of his family, who had not heard from him. Eventually, he was released, but one of his bail conditions is that he is not allowed to speak in public against the COVID Response Bill.
Well, if you thought the police were not politicised, then you need to take off your blinkers. This is politics, pure and simple… and now people are being muzzled from speaking about proposed legislation.
What have we become, New Zealand?
It is also notable that genuinely peaceful protests have been condemned, both in Canada and in New Zealand, as being threatening to politicians’ lives, full of conspiracy theorists, “rivers of filth”, and generally violent… but when the supporters of George Floyd went on rampages around cities in the US, actually looting and burning buildings, the media described them (while standing in front of a building in flames) as “mostly peaceful”.
I would love to say, “You can’t make this stuff up”, but we are way beyond that.
But do not despair. All is not lost. We are not alone.
Just stop and think about how a large number of normal, ordinary Kiwis descended on Wellington to make their position clear. Many were vaccinated, but they came out in force to protest the inequalities that are happening in New Zealand. And remember that there were a large number of people of Maori descent among the protests at parliament. That makes me enormously proud. This government has done everything in their power to divide Maori and those of European descent (I refuse to refer to them as Pakeha), but the protests prove that such divisions have failed miserably. We are all New Zealanders. And I thank God for that.
There are still many of us who believe in the values held by most New Zealanders, and nothing has changed. We are all still the same.
It is not us, but the politicians that have changed.
I confess I have no idea who to vote for next year, but it will not be any of the traditional parties. And I was the one who told you to hold your nose and vote National.
Don’t. They do not deserve your vote.
And it would not have come to this, had it not been for our cowardly and selfish politicians who have done a disgraceful job of putting people at risk by refusing to talk to the protestors, and thereby left them at the mercy of serious rioters.
We have a right to protest. All of the politicians in our parliament have denied that. They have denigrated the protesters as “rivers of filth”, as vermin, as second class citizens, but next year, they will all be begging us for our votes and pretending that they love us all, really.
Well, they will not be getting my vote. No party currently in parliament will be getting my vote.
Just about everyone I speak to, whether they supported the protest or not, agree that, if the politicians had talked to the protesters, the awful scenes on Wednesday would not have happened. That is very telling.
It acknowledges that all our politicians see themselves as an elite, and their voters as ‘deplorables’.
They do not negotiate, they command, and if you do not obey their demands, then it is tear gas and pepper spray until you do.
This is what we have become, New Zealand.
And our esteemed prime minister took a tour of the grounds after the riots had ended and all she was concerned about was the damage to the children’s playground. Of course she was. That was Neve’s kingdom. She never gave a thought to the children whose lives have been torn apart by the mandates that she enforces. No. It seems that even amongst children, there are elites and deplorables too.
This is what we have become, New Zealand. Never forget.
AUTHOR: CHRISTIE. Ex-pat from the north of England, living in NZ since the 1980s, I consider myself a Kiwi through and through, but sometimes, particularly at the moment with Brexit, I hear the call from home. I believe the only way ahead in life is through education and hard work. Political affiliations: National and ACT.