Lyndon Hood - unemployed, Lower Hutt

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

A while ago it was pointed out to me that if you append the adjective "Pakeha" in front of every reference to a New Zealander of European descent, you can make the news item of your choice sound pathetically obsessed with race. Witness the recent slew of of Pakeha scandals, such as the Pakeha WINZ employee who defrauded the taxpayer of more than a million dollars, Maori TV sounds quite good (since I have no TV I can claim I would be watching it all the time)or the Pakeha member of parliament who publicly and unrepentantly broke the law and still has the full support of all his Pakeha mates. Them Pakehas must be a dodgy lot. Did you know that a hugely disproportionate amount of New Zealand's health spend goes toward Pakeha? But you just try taking it away from them! Where do these crooks get off demanding this special treatment?

I have no TV. I get my news from state radio and the Saturday Dominion Post. But even I can't shake the impression that there's been a concerted run of news stories in which our Maori friends (in this context I prefer the term "Maori" to "non-Pakeha") are somehow associated with corruption and scandal. Since Don Brash tapped New Zealand's impressive capacity not to know relevant facts about the law, social realities, history, and the Treaty (in that order). I'd got the impression that some kind of dob-in-a-an-Iwi campaign was gaining its own momentum. I had assumed that someone felt there were enough such stories to get us right through to the election (I assumed this as an extension of my faith that there are enough Maori-free scandals to get us through to the election after that).

Of course, now all of a sudden Maori TV sounds quite good (since I have no TV I can claim I would be watching it all the time) and there's a settlement on the offing for the land deal the started the New Zealand Wars. We have started a new week without a fresh scandal. In a way, this is simply the other side of the coin: in the current environment, news about anything Maori reflects on the entire race (Linda Clark, for example, seems unable to dissociate Maori Television from Tuku Morgan's boxer shorts). This is not privilege; it's a prima facie case of institutionalised racism. And in the absence of any actual debate on Treaty issues, it could be that, and not the merits of a return to the economic policies of the 80s, that decides the next election.

I'm trying to get a graphic design job in Wellington. I don't really know anyone to network with, so I've resorted to making attention-getting CVs. The cover of my portfolio has my name stamped into it with metalworking letter-punches. I'm contemplating the use of actual bells and whistles to make people hire me. But my long term goal is to produce a CV that makes racially charged speeches to the Orewa Rotary Club.