These cartoons, both by Mike Moreu, are about one of the big issues in New Zealand at the moment: whether Maori iwi (tribes) should have “reserved seats” on the new council that will serve the proposed Auckland “supercity” – an amalgamation of all the small “cities” that at present make up the urban entity known as “Auckland”.
As I understand the debate, it is basically between those who believe the Maori, as the tangata whenua (“people of the land” or indigenous people) have a special status in this country, and those (mainly white right-wingers) who maintain we are “all New Zealanders” and that no one should receive preferential treatment. (Such people are usually against any kind of “affirmative action”, and maintain that if the Maori lag in a whole range of social indexes they should simply pull their socks up – easily said if you are speaking from a position of social advantage.)
Since power in this country is at present held by such people, in the form of the National Party, the decision, unsurprisingly, has been that the Maori iwi should have no special representation in Auckland.
At the time of writing, in the words of a Television New Zealand report on August 27:
“Protests are being organised against the Government’s decision to rule out reserved Maori seats on Auckland’s new city council and the Labour Party is going to try to create them by putting up amendments in Parliament.
“Cabinet this week ruled out any reserved seats for Maori , causing tensions within National and between its support parties – ACT and the Maori Party.
“ACT leader Rodney Hide, the Minister of Local Government, strongly opposes having reserved seats and the Maori Party is just as adamant they should be part of the new council’s structure.”
The cartoons are from the Manawatu Standard of August 21 (top) and August 26.
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Something that cartoonist Mike Moreu does quite well is bring out the violent, intolerant streak in white, middle-class New Zealand society. The above cartoon is from the Manawatu Standard of August 29, 2009.
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Bound and gagged
by academic protocol,
the Faculty is forced to watch
while Satan graduates
as Doctor of Philosophy,
delivers his oration
in a cultivated Texas drawl,
his cloven hooves incongruous
in cut-price cowboy boots
How persuasively he speaks of God,
of freedom and democracy –
the ballot box
that bites the fingers
as one’s paltry vote is cast.
He lectures, too, on Reverence for Life,
his twitching hands
an inch above imaginary Colts.
Then ‘Bang!’ he says.
And smirks: ‘You’re dead.’
Cartoon from the Manawatu Standard of August 19, 2009.
Cartoon from the Manawatu Standard of August 12, 2009.
In this month’s issue of Crescent International, there are also articles headlined Israeli soldiers admit to war crimes, West’s destabilization plan fails in Iran, Brutal murder of Muslimah in German courtroom, Endless agony of Srebrenica victims, and Irrelevance of nuclear weapons. The latest issue of Australia/Israel Review is, as usual, appalling in places. I’m sorry, but when Zionists start talking about the need for “moral clarity”, my disgust almost overwhelms me.
It goes without saying that “Armageddon”, if it comes, will almost certainly come as a result of actions by the United States/Israel. But before their (nuclear?) attack on Iran can be launched, public opinion in the West must be “softened up” by a propaganda campaign – of which cartoons like this are an integral part. It makes its point by (a) deliberately distorting Ahmadinejad’s statements on the subject of Israel, and (b) suggesting that Iran, rather than Israel, is the aggressive party in the Middle East that threatens peace. One is reminded of the way in which Nasser and Saddam were “set up” in 1967 and 2003, respectively. Next, we will probably hear the usual blather about how “we have no quarrel with the Iranian people”, and about how an attack on Iran, and an overthrow of the Iranian regime, will enable us to “save” Iranian women – who will, of course, be eternally grateful to us (even if they have had half their families wiped out by American-Israeli bombs and missiles).
The cartoon is from the Manawatu Standard of August 5, 2009.
Mike Moreu’s cartoon in the Manawatu Standard of July 31, 2009.
Mike Moreu’s acerbic comment on the somewhat hypocritical stance of the money-grubbing New Zealand Government on the “Maori passports” issue. To understand this, you will have to read the following articles:
Beware of Maori passport scam, says Minister
The Minister of Maori Affairs, Dr Pita Sharples, is warning the public to beware of fraudsters offering cheap passports in the name of the Maori Party.
“I have just been advised that meetings have been called, targeting Pacific Island communities, by crooks claiming to represent the Maori Party,” said Dr Sharples, who is also a Maori Party Co-leader.
“The group calls itself Hapu Tino Rangatiratanga Atawhai Whangai,” he said.
“We know of meetings at Manurewa marae and in Hamilton, where over a thousand people turned up, and there may be others.
“My electorate representatives have succeeded in closing down one meeting, but we have been told that some people have already paid $500 each for a fake passport or a visa for overstayers,” said Dr Sharples.
“This is a scam. I have alerted the police, and if anyone else hears of any such meetings, they should call the police straight away.
“And whatever you do, don’t pay money to anyone for a passport or visa, except the Internal Affairs Department’s passports division. If you have immigration queries, go to the Department of Labour Immigration Service,” said Dr Sharples. (New Zealand Government media release, June 17, 2009.)
Pacific Islanders target of ‘Maori passport’ offer
Pacific Islanders are queuing up in their thousands to pay $500 for “fake visas”, despite warnings by police that it is nothing more than a scam.
Officials fear the fraudsters will now target regions where large numbers of Pacific people work in the horticulture and agricultural sectors, including Nelson and Marlborough.
Tom Henderson was among about 5000 people who turned up at Manurewa Marae in South Auckland on Wednesday night for a seminar.
It was held by a group calling themselves Hapu Tino Rangatiratanga Atawhai Whangai and headed by Gerard Omiti.
Omiti was asking people at the meeting to register for the scheme, in which they would pay $500 in return for a Maori birth certificate, Maori passport and $500 in “Maoritanga” currency, Henderson said.
“He’s targeting overstayers.”
A former television cameraman, Henderson filmed the meeting as part of a documentary he was making on the scheme.
Wednesday night’s meeting was due to have been attended by about 300 people, he said. However 5000 people turned up, filling the building and spilling out into the car park.
Eventually marae manager Mary-Ann Harris “shut it down”, saying they were permitted to host just 1500 people.
Police said they were aware of similar meetings held in Hamilton.
Hamilton district crime services manager Detective Inspector Peter Devoy said they were gathering information before deciding if any offence had been committed.
It appeared prospective immigrants were being offered documentation that may include the stamping of their passports with a fake visa.
He asked that anyone who attended one of these meetings contact their local police.
A meeting due to be held in the city last night was shut down because numbers turning up at the marae were too vast to cope with. Instead, people were being told to text their interest to Omiti’s cell phone.
Immigration New Zealand was the only legitimate body in the country that could issue visas and permanent residence and legitimate passports could only be obtained from Internal Affairs, Devoy said.
Pacific Island Affairs Minister Georgina te Heuheu said “these fraudsters” were likely to move on to the Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Nelson and Marlborough regions to target seasonal workers.
“It’s deplorable that anyone would do this to some of the most vulnerable people in our country,” she said.
Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples has also warned people to be aware of “fraudsters offering cheap passports”.
“This is a scam. I have alerted police and if anyone else hears of such meetings, they should call police straight away.” (Article by Kim Ruscoe, stuff.co.nz, June 19, 2009.)