Home' The Wellingtonian : February 2nd 2012 Contents 11
THE WELLINGTONIAN, FEBRUARY 2, 2012
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Taking a Far North view of politics
Routinely, the Far North
political personalities, and
Northland's new National MP,
Mike Sabin, seems no exception.
At 43, he's already enjoyed
careers in the armed services,
police and with his own metham-
phetamine abuse prevention firm,
That experience however, has
all been within strongly hierarchi-
cal organisations. Does Sabin
think his past careers have pre-
pared him for the horse-trading
and compromise that's basic to
Fair comment, Sabin replies.
The way he sees it though, his
driving passion has been all about
That's what being in the mili-
tary and in the police, and even
Methcon, was all about. Those can
be considered uncompromising
environments. But that doesn't
describe my personality traits, if
So what does -- did he, for
instance, vote for MMP in last
year's referendum? No, he cer-
tainly did not.
In his view, politics isn't some
utopian environment where differ-
ent sorts sit around and discuss
things in a collegial fashion.
Politics is very hierarchical
and adversarial. Not that I'm
suggesting that's a good thing.
But while the art of compromise is
important, you can also get the
tyranny of the minority, by way of
We've seen many, many
examples of how people who have
a minimal mandate can actually
have quite an extreme degree of
Sabin got his first taste of the
heat in the political kitchen while
chairing a recent public meeting
in Kaitaia about children at risk.
It transpired that a local Maori
trust board had been rapped over
the knuckles for using some of its
funds to feed hungry children at
five schools in Kaitaia.
Sabin warned the meeting that
if schools provided lunches, then
mothers and fathers would never
have to do it.
When it was pointed out that
some parents were spending their
money on pokies instead, Sabin
reportedly replied: We have to
investigate that, otherwise we'll
have 50,000 more parents who are
not feeding their children.''
Really? It seems hard to
imagine the prospect of a free
lunch would trigger a nationwide
abdication of parental care.
Surely, I asked, you feed the
hungry child first, and then
address the cause?
Sabin sticks to his guns. This
situation isn't a community or
government responsibility, he
believes, but a parental one.
And when some parents aren't
meeting it? No problem, he claims.
If you go down to WINZ, you get
these food parcels. There's any
manner of ways in which you can
get emergency food to assist a
Whoever is in authority then
has to get on to those parents.
As a parent, Sabin has not been
insulated from personal tragedy.
In 2010, his teenage son Darryl
suffered brain damage from a
rugby field encounter.
Initially, Darryl's prognosis was
dim, but today? Aside from some
weakness in his right leg and
right arm, he's the same kid that
he was before his accident.''
The incident has led Sabin to
advocate for a database of sports
head injuries, one managed by the
referees or by someone else inde-
pendent of the coaches and
players -- mainly, to counter the
dangerous bravado of treating a
head knock and getting up again
as being just a rite of manhood.
We've got to think about better
ways to manage risk,'' Sabin says.
In rugby, and in society at
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He referred to mayor Celia Wade-
Brown and councillor Iona
Pannett with the phrase: They're
usually screaming and yelling
about these things. They tend to
see problems that don't even
In doing so, he is cementing his
reputation for being antagonistic
and unco-operative with the
mainstream, mayor-led council.
The idea of a paperless office is
great in theory but to launch this
kind of crusade in such an angry
fashion is sure to guarantee he
receives little cross-council
support and seems to show a
martyr complex at work.
In response to Jack O'Brien's
letter (January 26), I would say
there is no case for the mass
media catchphrase known as
Global Warming'' and if he
sought out the other side of the
story, he might realise that it's all
just a scam run by the rich elite to
further their goals to control
Where Mr O'Brien does have it
right is in his observations of the
weather becoming more erratic
and seemingly unseasonal''.
This can easily be attributed to
man-made weather modification.
Geoengineering (aka weather
modification) has been employed
by governments and corporations
for many years and one important
component of this, aerosol trails,
can be seen in the skies of
Wellington and indeed the entire
country, on any given day.
Aerosol trails, commonly
referred to as chemtrails, are a
worldwide problem. The trouble is
that the mass media is owned and
controlled by the same elite who
are modifying the weather, so the
public never gets to hear about it.
I would urge anybody reading
this letter and thinking it's not
true to do a bit of investigating of
their own. Type chemtrails'',
HAARP'' and weather
modification'' into any search
engine and see what pops up.
Catherine O'Reilly (Jan 26)
complains that there is no
apparent focus to the Occupy Wall
Street movement in Wellington.
Broadly, Occupy is about we
the 99 per cent''. It has never been
so clear before now, especially
after the 2008 bailout of the
finance sector crooks in the
United States, that we the 99 per
cent'' are expected to devote our
lives for the benefit of the 1 per
The strategy of Occupy is to
remain visible with that basic
message so as to encourage the 99
per cent to become engaged in
discussions of the changes
necessary to build a sustainable
future and end their slavery to the
1 per cent.
It could be expected the
progress of this process would be
bumpy. Perhaps the annoyance
evident in Ms O'Reilly's letter
shows the strategy is beginning to
work here in Wellington.
Gordon Campbell's treatise on
David Shearer's appointment
(January 19) as Labour Party
leader highlights a fundamental
Just as when Phil Goff was
appointed leader, so too does
David Shearer face a similar
conundrum and that is the Labour
Party's huge disconnect with the
Even during the election, there
was a feeling that certain factions
couldn't galvanise themselves
around their leader. Rather, they
were jockeying for a leadership
tilt after the election.
Over the holiday break, the
Ports of Auckland has used this
time to announce that it intends
to casualise and contract out its
workforce. This is a further
erosion of the labour laws.
Labour's response has been
First it said we had too many
ports -- ie get rid of staff. Then
instead of backing workers' rights,
it did just as it did in the 1980s
and 90s: stone cold silence, simply
because Labour no longer believes
in backing those who work.
A big thanks to zoo staff,
volunteers and Wellington City
Council for inviting zoo
neighbours for a free visit this
It's years since I went to the
zoo, and it's much better these
days. I'll be back.
I loved seeing baboons, kiwi,
otters and the photogenic sun
The best treat of all was
watching my Somali neighbours
hand-feeding the graceful giraffes.
It was interesting to read Emma
Beer's article (January 26) on the
resealing in Southgate.
However, city council pavement
engineer Neill Douglas might
want to take a trip up Mt Albert
Rd to inspect the two freshly-
In less than 10 days they are
back to the same pitted surface
they were prior to the resealing.
Basically, the exercise was a
waste of time and money, given
the surface is again pitted with
2.5cm deep by 15cm long holes
that started to appear the day
after the resealing.
I've travelled this road every
day for almost 23 years. Chip
surfacing has never lasted as well
as those areas surfaced with
asphalt, in my opinion.
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