A column published in the Northland Age by Hone Harawira, MP for Tai Tokerau
13 October 2009
MTS BIDS FOR THE RUGBY …
Funny how we let government pour hundreds of millions into TVNZ for decades and say nothing while it loses millions of dollars every year, but that as soon as Maori Television gets a measly $3 million top up to help their bid for the rights to broadcast the Rugby World Cup, all of a sudden everybody is bitching and moaning about it.
John Key says it’s not about racism, but at a certain level it is, and when critics say it’s about the fact that thousands of people won’t be able to see the rugby if MTS gets it, I say bullsh#t!!
Was this level of nastiness directed against Prime when it won the bid to free-to-air sport, even though the same thousands of people don’t get to see it? No! Did rival channels take the piss out of Prime because they missed out? No! Did any of the critics point out the fact that many parts of the country still can’t get TV One, TV2 or TV3? No! Did anyone moan during all those years when TV One was suckin’ up hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars so we could watch our beloved rugby? No!
So what’s the difference when Maori TV does it – apart from the fact that Maori TV is run by Maori …
TAITO GETS JAIL…
I got roasted for standing up for Taito when he was copping flak over the Thai tilers doing some work on his house. One article that caught my attention at the time was by Herald columnist Tapu Misa. It wasn’t so much a criticism of my views as a very well written column about the emerging status of Pacific leaders and the overly high and unrealistic expectations that society placed upon him as our first Pacific Island MP.
Well Taito’s just been sentenced, but am I the only person who’s asking why he gets 6 years in jail for fraud and corruption, while all those finance company A-holes that stole hundreds of millions of dollars from Kiwi investors are not only still walking around free, but still got their hands on a lot of the money they stole?
AND I GET TO GO OVERSEAS
By the time you read this, I’ll be in Brussels (Belgium), leading a delegation including Katrina Shanks MP (National) and Dr Rajen Prasad MP (Labour).
We’ll spend a couple of days meeting with various MPs from all over Europe, sharing information and discussing issues around the global economic crisis, immigrant communities, and multiculturalism.
We will also visit the World War One battlefields at Flanders including the Ramparts Cemetery at Lille Gate in Ypres where we will pay our respects to members of the Maori (Pioneer) Battalion who are laid to rest there, and to lay a wreath at the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate.
Then we’ll be wingin’ our way across France to Geneva (Switzerland) for a meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the world organisation of parliaments of sovereign states, where we will discuss issues including youth and democracy, organised crime, prevention, and human rights.
Then a few days Pacific networking before I get back home at the end of the month.
It all looks like hard work, but somebody’s gotta do it. So laters !!!