Monday, November 24, 2014

When Auckland Council fails to engage with ethnic community: A case of demographic imbalance

When Auckland Council fails to engage with ethnic community: A case of demographic imbalance

Thakur Ranjit Singh

Reference in this article to Ferguson, USA is to draw an analogy to ethnic imbalance that exists in strategic positioning of media and communications portfolio, not only at Auckland Council but other organizations which are frustrated at their inability to reach to out to increasingly non-Anglo-Saxon (European) people.

The forum was informed that English, Maori, Samoan, Hindi and Mandarin (Chinese) were languages most spoken in that order. If some 40,000 Punjabi and Gujarati speakers are taken in (many are bilingual with Hindi) then Hindi is the third most spoken language in New Zealand, especially Auckland. Yet, Carol Hayward from Engagement Communications team at Auckland Council, could not name an Indian Communications person in her team.

Part of audience at Waitakere Ethnic Board (WEB) Forum on "Engaging with ethnic communities at local level" Second from left in front is the President of WEB, Tuwe Kudakwashe, who spoke about racial imbalance in communication and engaging staff of Auckland Council
In an earlier Waitakere Ethnic Board (WEB) Forum on elections in August 2014, I seemed to have hit a sensitive nerve, or perhaps poked a hornet’s nest. I stated that because of Henderson-Massey Local Board’s indifference attitude towards WEB, which was based in Henderson, it (WEB) was considering shifting to Whau Local Board, based in New Lynn. Whau Local Board is not only the best reflection of a multicultural Auckland, but it is also very receptive to funding needs of WEB, which represents and advocates for ethnic communities. Whau Local Board is the face of Auckland, with a Samoan, a Tongan, a Chinese, an Indo-Fijian and of course the mainstream Anglo-Saxon Kiwi board members. Auckland Council or most of its other Local Boards, like the mainstream media, does not bear the demographic resemblance of a fast “browning” city. To give an illustration of this demographic imbalance, I had given an example of a US city, Ferguson, which has been in the news for wrong reasons.

Ferguson is a city in St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. It is part of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area. The population was 21,203 at the 2010 census. Two thirds or just over 14,000 are American-Africans (Black) while the others are White American. According to The Washington Post, the Ferguson Police Department "bears little demographic resemblance" to the mostly African-American community, which already harbored "suspicions of the law enforcement agency" preceding Brown's shooting, with 48  (over 90%) of the police force's 53 officers being white. It gained international attention on August 9, 2014, when a young man, Michael Brown, was fatally shot by a Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer, sparking ongoing protests and civil unrest, which continues to date. (This case is still causing racial ripples in USA). Based on my statement, the Chair of Henderson –Massey, Vanessa Neeson had reportedly expressed her displeasure, and wanted a meeting with WEB and yours truly, but this never eventuated.

Some of WEB Executives, presenters and support personnel at the Forum
The latest WEB Forum on 12 November, 201 4 at New Lynn Community Centre kept digging up on that sensitive nerve as it was about “Engaging with Ethnic Community” at Local Government level. The President of WEB, Tuwe Kudakwashe led the discussion by pointing at lack of color in the Council where ethnic communities felt neglected, where “blue-eyed” boys got jobs which required engaging with the wider ethnic communities.

Presentations were by the Chair of Whau Local Board, Catherine Farmer, Steve Tollestrup from Waitakere Ranges Local Board, Peter Chan from Henderson-Massey Local Board, Carol Hayward, Senior Specialist Engagement and Consultation, Communications and Public Affairs of Auckland Council and Dr Camille Nakhid, Associate Professor at Auckland University of Technology and former Chair of EPAP- Ethnic Peoples Advisory Panel.

Peter Chan
Steve Tollestrup

Catherine Farmer

One bone of contention was the composition and action (or rather the lack of it) of EPAP. KIWI PUNDIT will carry a special article on this subject, as to how EPAP has become a laughing stock of the Council and ethnic people. It was acknowledged that  hardly anybody know who these people are and many felt that it appears the new EPAP members are cheerleaders of the mayor, and merely add color to a white Council, without any teeth or longevity.

When asked how many people had responded to or knew about submissions to Auckland Plans, only a few hands went up reluctantly. This shows that despite their multi-million dollar communications budget and a media strategy that is still very white, Auckland Council is unable to engage with ethnic communities. Like in case of Ferguson mentioned earlier, it had to do with demographic imbalance. The forum was informed that English, Maori, Samoan, Hindi and Mandarin (Chinese) were languages most spoken in that order. If some 40,000 Punjabi and Gujarati speakers are taken in (many are bilingual with Hindi) then Hindi is the third most spoken language in New Zealand, especially Auckland. Yet, Carol Hayward from Engagement Communications team at Auckland Council, could not name an Indian Communications person in her team. Not that there have been no interest. Mayor Len Brown and CEO Stephen Town are aware of the complaints of an Indian Masters in Communications Graduate with Honors from AUT, who failed to make it to Auckland Council’s engagement team, and he, like most ethnic qualified people unable to be recognized for their skills, is driving a bus. As the President of WEB quipped earlier on, recruitment at Auckland Council is obviously lopsided in favour of “the blue-eyed “boys who get preference in communicating and engaging jobs in a fast “browning” landscape where the recipients are ‘foreign’ - ethnic people.

Carol Hayward

Dr Camille Nakhid

The reason this article began with reference to Ferguson, USA is to draw an analogy to ethnic imbalance that exists in strategic positioning of media and communications portfolio, not only at Auckland Council but other organizations which are frustrated at their inability to reach to out to increasingly non-Anglo-Saxon (European) people. My complaints have fallen on deaf ears and nobody seems to care to listen to a coloured boy. This lackadaisical attitude has given rise to a Frankenstein monster and social media attacks on an unresponsive Auckland Council. Auckland is much civilized than Ferguson and will not have racial uprising.

The author and blogger at KIWI PUNDIT blog site, Thakur Ranjit Singh (left) with former president of WEB and Deputy Chair of EPAP, Amail Habib (centre)  and Auckland Mayor Len Brown at Waitakere Diwali function. The mayor takes all opportunity to beat the drum of a multicultural city with opportunity for all, but fails to listen to grievances of ethnic communities.
However Auckland Council will continue to look hypocritical and receive flaks from ethnic meetings, ethnic blog articles (especially in KIWI PUNDIT) and other occasions where the Council or the Mayor tries to cloud reality and beat the drum of multiculturalism, fair opportunities and world’s most livable city, at ethnic festivals. In reality, all these seem to be myth at ground zero where Auckland Council fails to engage with ethnic communities because of demographic imbalance-just like in Ferguson, USA.

[About the author: Thakur Ranjit Singh is Media and Community Liaison Board member of Waitakere Ethnic Board (WEB). He is media and communications scholar from Auckland University of Technology, (AUT) with Masters in Communication Studies with Honours. He is a media commentator, runs two blog sites and is a social and community worker.]

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Is Labour losing touch? Can its caucus deliver loyalty?

Is Labour losing touch? Can its caucus deliver loyalty?

Thakur Ranjit Singh

Labour Party has been in the news for wrong reason. After some divisive actions within, we saw media hijacking Labour’s internal procedures, forcing the cart before the horse.  Labour Party has succumbed to external pressures to sacrifice its common sense, and punished and pushed aside its previous leader before knowing the reasons for the Party’s dismal performance. Quite a few were because of external factors, including attack politics and, of course, Dirty Politics.

After seeing the demise of sacrificial lamb on the altar of Labour leadership prematurely, I was invited to a ‘pocket” meeting called by Andrew Little in the process of getting yet another leader. As a new Labour member, I attended the meeting, and as a media commentator, I present a no-holds-barred observations. Rather than like other Indians and ethnic people, clutching to coat tails of MPs to climb up the list, I possess no political ambition. I am therefore happy just being KIWI PUNDIT and a Devil’s Advocate that Labour needs urgently.

ANDREW LITTLE at the Servo Cafe at Te Atatu Peninsula on Labour weekend on 27 October, 2014, addressing the audience at an informal meeting. The policies he will re-consider are on Capital Gains Tax and  retirement age to 67, among others.

However the question that goes begging is: Can the new Labour leader expect loyalty from the caucus which failed to honour the previous one?

I consider myself a left wing blogger for some years now - KIWI PUNDIT, ( counteracting negative comments that the Labour Office appears incapable of or ineffective in doing. I wrote many rebuttal articles and analysis of Dirty Politics in Kiwi Pundit blog site, sent e-mails to Labour office and some MPs, wrote so many Facebook comments and tagged people and MPs in Labour Party. However I never heard from them, from the Labour Office or was ever acknowledged by anybody. It seemed as if Labour Party has become colour-blind and I did not exist for them. It has been embarrassing for me when people in my community comment that I was backing the wrong horse, as they (Labour) would never acknowledge or value you. That may be true. That is how lethargic Labour machinery appears to be, and we are wondering why people have been voting with their feet.

When I became a Labour Party member some months ago, I had given my expertise as media and communications, and on many occasions, indicated to Labour Party about their wanting and ineffective media strategy (assuming they had one). There was no response to take advantage of my expertise. They contacted me to go door-knocking. Maybe Labour Party still thinks Indians/Indo-Fijians are only good as taxi/ bus drivers and dairy /liquor shop operators and manual chores, even for Labour Office. Previous leader’s Chief of Staff seemed to have been sleeping on the job, while the leader perished. Having a relative as your Press Secretary is unhealthy, as the previous Labour leader learnt at his peril. Lackadaisical attitude appears to have been the hallmark of Labour Office as one after the other their stuff-ups and inefficiency surfaced as the new leader took over.

Hence, it came as a surprise when I got an invitation from Andrew Little’s office for a chat at The Servo Cafe, 458 Old Te Atatu Rd, Te Atatu Peninsula on Monday of the Labour weekend (27 October, 2014) for a pocket meeting. So, I went to this meeting, oozing with excitement to ask some questions and raise some issues.

Who say Labour Party is not popular? A pleasant huge crown packed the Servo Cafe in Te Atatu Peninsula for informal meeting with Labour leadership candidate, Andrew Little.
When I walked into the Café, I was pleasantly surprised to see it chock-a block. Even more surprised I was to see Te Atatu MP, Phil Twyford, who the media made us believe, supported somebody else. The other thing that surprised me was the absence of colour and diversity in an area where we should have had more ethnic supporters. The gathering resembled a National/ ACT meeting in Remuera. I, as an Indo-Fijian felt as the odd one out from almost 95% White supporters. If David Lange had called such a meeting, the venue may have been teeming with Indians, Pacific Islanders and ethnic people. Maybe, only members were invited, and it indicates a falling membership, and losing of colour within Labour.

Does this resemble a Labour meeting  in Te Atatu or National/ ACT meeting in Remuera? Where has all colour and diversity gone from Labour party?
It was a good interaction, and Little appeared big. The question and answers saw good interaction, but one sore-point that became evident was COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION, and COMMUNICATION, or rather the lack of it. As a media scholar, my assessment is that Labour Party has a very wanting, ineffective and deficient communications, media and public relations cell. The questioning time was cut short and not everybody could raise issues they wanted to. Hence, on departure, I informed Little that I would raise what I was denied through my blog site, KIWI PUNDIT. 

Here is what I would have asked, had I been given time to ask. Hope Andrew Little, unlike other MPs, will acknowledge my existence, and Labour office will give credit to expertise of people who show interest in Labour course. The question I did not get to ask:

 “I am new to Labour Party, and hence a new face of diversity. I hope Labour Party will be able to retain me, as I love walking. My speciality is media and communications, but I never heard back from Labour Party for any help, despite many attempts to get their attention. The Party needs to improve on two things, firstly to inculcate diversity and efficiency in its administrative and support office. It has performed miserably, election campaign was very wanting, and an ineffective media and communication let the party down. It is one thing to have good policies (even bad ones), it is quite another to sell them well dressed for the market. Labour Party appears very weak in this field, and the previous leader failed to listen to my caution, at his peril.

Dirty Politics - the book and National Party's strategy of attack politics,  reportedly headed by Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater (left) and  revealed by author Nicky Hager (right) is not dead. Despite assurance that Labour has a team looking after this issue, it is the Green Party which is stealing thunder from Labour. No publication or analysis on this is seen from Labour while this blog site, KIWI PUNDIT has presented a five-part series of articles on this issue.
Dirty Politics, how many of you have read, comprehended and appreciated it. National’s smear campaign and attack politics over some years have paid dirt by demise of Labour’s three leaders: Goff, Shearer and Cunliffe. The smear campaign and throwing mud over the years and months, saw some hitting target, and hence the negative perception. No need to re-invent the wheel: KIWI PUNDIT has already done a five –part analysis of this, and is available to Labour Office if they will care and acknowledge that a non-White person can also write. Little informed that Labour Party has a team looking into this, but Greens appear to be stealing the thunder from them. Again, somebody is sleeping on the job.

My question is, with so much highly paid and supposedly celebrated media, communications and public relations team, why did we have such an unfortunate and defeating let down by this department? Do we have credible, efficient and effective people in Labour Office? Why was the campaign ineffective to attract party votes? What is the strategy on Dirty Politics? Why has Labour Party failed to score when Nicky Hagar had placed the ball on the penalty spot? Why is it the Green Party which seems to be capitalising on this, and showing some semblance of being the Opposition? Why has Labour Party failed to effectively use Facebook to its advantage? “[End of my questioning]

NZ Herald is wrong again? Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford addressing the audience and "Chaired" the informal meeting. Herald had named Twyford supporting another leader candidate. Wonder what is the real story.
These questions would themselves have provided answers to a review on performance, which should have come BEFORE the leadership battle. Media seems to be running the administration of Labour party, and they hounded them into putting the cart before the horse. And the Party was weak to succumb to such external forces, which also added to its dismal performance.
Whether I also vote with my feet like other ethnic people will be determined by how Labour Party recognises, acknowledges, and utilises the expertise of somebody honest enough to point out the weaknesses and flaws within.

[About the Author: Thakur Ranjit Singh is a scholar in media and journalism, with post-graduate honours in communication studies. He runs two blog sites, FIJI PUNDIT and KIWI PUNDIT ( , which give an ethnic slant to stories which a predominantly White mainstream media is unable to deliver.]

Monday, October 13, 2014

Waitakere Diwali: The Unique Event that heralds the comeback of Mayor Len Brown

Waitakere Diwali: The Unique Event that heralds the comeback of Mayor Len Brown

Thakur Ranjit Singh

The spirit of Waitakere Diwali 2014 West Auckland heralds the return of Mayor Len Brown, as the Chief Guest, who will be accorded all the honours a city father and a city head gets and deserves. It is hoped he is forgiven and once again can continue in his job in minding the affairs of the city.

The unique and exceptional Waitakere Diwali will be held at the House of Diwali, The Trusts Stadium, Central Park Drive, Henderson on Saturday 18 December, 2014 from 11 am to 10.30 pm, culminating in a spectacular fire-works display. Entry and parking are free. All welcome to attend, where Auckland Mayor Len Brown is the Chief Guest.

The Official poster for WAITAKERE DIWALI 2014,at TRUSTS STADIUM ON 18 OCTOBER, 2014.

If Auckland Council wishes to use a community organisation “owning” an event, and working in partnership with it to bring festivities in a particular region, in a cost-effective fashion - then Waitakere Diwali fits that bill.

With funding from Auckland Council or its related arms, and sponsors, Waitakere Indian Association (WIA) has been lighting West Auckland for over a decade, where Auckland Council or its predecessor, Waitakere City Council, did not have to directly get involved in Diwali of West Auckland for over a decade. This is because a community organisation, WIA has been efficiently and effectively organising this event annually, with 100 per cent volunteers.

Naveen Prakash, President of Waitakere Indian Association during formal ceremony last year. He is proud of leading a hard working, passionate and dedicated team of volunteers. He also heartily invites all of you to WAITAKERE DIWALI 2014, AT TRUSTS STADIUM ON 18 OCTOBER, 2014.

This is where the uniqueness of Waitakere Diwali comes in. This would be one of the very few Diwali celebration of its size where the actual community and those who feel passionately about the festival actually run and manage this function. As Diwali is basically a Hindu cum Indian festival, these are the people who are in the driver’s seat, managing and organising the whole event. In fact the President of Manukau Indian Association, Veer Khar has eluded to the fact that festivals and events which belongs to a particular community should be empowered by Council and funding agencies to run it.  He said “The problem is that democratic institutions formed by community in each city are being pushed aside by individual owned trusts. “ He further said that Diwali had become a cash cow and seeing the potential, more and more groups are being formed every year to milk money from the occasion.

" Well done, WIA, you deserve more Funding". ...The spirit of Diwali 2014 in Waitakere heralds the return of Mayor LEN BROWN, as the Chief Guest, who will be accorded all the honours a city father and a city head gets and deserves. In the Spirit of Diwali, it is hoped he is forgiven and once again can continue in his job in minding the affairs of the city
The community needs to resist these events being commercialised by those corporate, tin-pot trusts and business organisations whose interests are in promotion, marketing, publicity, public relations and generating revenue. That is exactly the difference in Waitakere Diwali, where the theme is to unite the community, inculcate an atmosphere of diversity and raise awareness of the actual essence of Diwali. This year’s theme is “unity in diversity.”

The second uniqueness of Waitakere Diwali is that the House of Diwali, The Trusts Stadium, happens to be the largest indoor Diwali Festival in New Zealand, hence, it is weather-proof.
A very significant uniqueness is that unlike other festivals around Auckland, WIA’s community-based organisation is fully-run by volunteers. Unlike other corporate or council organised Diwali events, WIA does not have any paid officials managing this event. In Council events, people on six-figure salary may be the paid officials to organise something that Waitakere is blessed free by its community-based organisers.

Part of Waitakere Indian Association (WIA) team which organised the very successful and theme-oriented event. This year's theme is : UNITY IN DIVERSITY. None of them are paid officials-all are volunteers who have passion towards their community.

As a community organisation, WIA is appreciative of religious, cultural, traditional decorum, demeanour and sensitivity of the event. Hence WIA ensures that tradition of Diwali theme will not erode under this community-organised event. Reports have been received from various Diwali events of dancers shaking their bums, half naked performing under the name of Diwali. Waitakere Diwali has strict rules about dress code and other issues safeguarding sanctity and reverence of Diwali.

The final uniqueness is related with West being the best. After the controversy that Mayor Len Brown was embroiled in recently, it is very befitting that an Indian organisation has invited Mayor to officiate as Chief Guest in a solemn festival that, among other things, celebrate overcoming of evil by good deeds, lighting the inner self and embracing all in a forgiving mode of brotherhood. It is significant, that the original writer of the Hindu epic Ramayan was Ratnakar Dacoit, a Daku, a common robber, who saw the light, repented, changed a leaf in life, embraced goodness and was forgiven. And he ended up writing this holy epic, Ramayan.

Mayor Len Brown , lighting the Diya ( holy candle) at previous Waitakere Diwali celebration at Trusts Stadium, when previously he was the Chief Guest. Assisting him, on his left is Pundit Ami Chand,  the Board member responsible for Ethnic Affairs at Whau Local Board. based in New Lynn, Auckland.
In a similar spirit, Diwali 2014 in Waitakere heralds the return of Mayor Len Brown, as the Chief Guest, who will be accorded all the honours a city father and a city head gets and deserves. It is hoped he is forgiven and once again can continue in his job in minding the affairs of the city, without being a victim of a well-organised conspiracy.  (KIWI PUNDIT ( will cover this issue under separate cover.)

In this spirit of goodwill and forgiveness, all are invited to Waitakere Diwali at Trusts Stadium, the largest indoor Diwali in Australasia, organised by volunteers working free for the community, where the event is organised by the community for all people of New Zealand. Apart from authentic food and craft stalls, the highlights are indoor cricket, Caribbean Steel Band and non-Indian students of Waitakere College, speaking about Diwali. The other highlight includes Ram Lila, tales of Lord Ram, leading to the reason for Diwali. As usual, there would also be assortment of cultural and Bollywood items that will keep you and your family busy and occupied.

The team from ISKCON in their traditional costumes in our past Waitakere Diwali, added the flavour to the solemn theme and sanctity of Diwali (unfortunately, generally missing from commercialized Diwali events.)

Remember, Waitakere Diwali at Trusts Stadium, Central Park Drive, Henderson, Auckland on Saturday 18 October, 2014 from 11am to 10.30 pm, culminating in spectacular fireworks display. All free and all welcome to an event, organised by the community for the community.

Waitakere Diwali on Saturday 18 October, 2014.

[About the Author: Thakur Ranjit Singh is a scholar in media and journalism, with post-graduate honours in communication studies. He runs two blog sites, FIJI PUNDIT and KIWI PUNDIT, which give an ethnic slant of stories which a predominantly White Main Stream media is unable to deliver. Stories published here are those that are not covered by other commercial or Indian media]

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Shooting the messenger: Are police impartial in searching Hagar, or is there another storm in Remuera “Teapot”?

Shooting the messenger: Are police impartial in searching Hagar, or is there another storm in Remuera “Teapot”?

Thakur Ranjit Singh, as KIWI PUNDIT

A reader writes in NZ Herald: I see that police were ordered to search Nicky Hager’s home and files. Are they now going to be ordered to search Cameron Slater’s home and files? Are they going to search Judith Collins’ home and office for incriminating evidence? If justice is to be done then all the parties must be treated the same way.

David Parker, the Acting Labour leader quips: “While we respect the police's independence, we are concerned that an arm of the state appears to be being used against Mr Hager while nothing appears to be being done about the wrongdoing he exposed.”

Who say “Dirty Politics” is a left-wing conspiracy? Does not it appear to be a right-wing tool?

Cameron Slater (left) and Nicky Hager, with his book Dirty Politics which reveals wrong-doing and mischief-making emanating from Prime Minister's and some Cabinet Minister's Office in Beehive. Animal Farm? Are Police treating some as more equal than the others? Why selective enforcement of law? Dirty Politics?

So, it appears Nicky Hagar’s efforts in compiling Dirty Politics has not gone in vain. He had cautioned us of dirty politics. And it seems he is the first victim of it within weeks of the election.

The chapter “Shooting the Messenger” in a sequel to Dirty Politics may read as follows:

“The rookie Minster of Police, Honourable Michael Woodhouse, National list MP for Dunedin North, was seen as easy meat within weeks of Cabinet been appointed. He was told of an arthritis attack on Police, and there were underhand pressures from the hounds who were named in the original book. Cameron Slater and David Farrar, who Newstalk ZB Radio still use as commentators, despite allegations, especially regarding “Cash for Comments” in Dirty Politics . The duo, used their position to pressure the new police minister to provide some arthritis medicinal doze to a lethargic police in nicking Hagar. The now- backbencher Crusher Judith Collins, as former police minister, pulled a few strings she still had in her hands to make sure the whistle of the whistle-blower was silenced. Hence a squad was dispatched for a thorough hunting expedition on Hagar’s Wellington home, naming him, NOT as a suspect, but as a witness…”

Those who have read about wheeling and dealing emanating from top cabinet positions and directed from Prime Minister’s Office, would not be surprised at what is hypothesized above. Labour’s Acting Leader, David Parker, who now appears to have a better Press Secretary  (than Cunliffe),  quipped: "While we respect the police's independence, we are concerned that an arm of the state appears to be being used against Mr Hager while nothing appears to be being done about the wrongdoing he exposed.” That is exactly the case where an analogy is made with John Bank’s in-famous Remuera “teapot tape” saga, where police were seen to be harassing the journalist at behest of Key. Acting Labour Leader was right is issuing a caution to police: “Nicky Hager was doing what the fourth estate ought to do and police need to take care to protect his rights and to avoid the appearance of intimidating the media."

What? Dirty Politics? It is bloody left-wing conspiracy, with fictitious characters.

Parker was right in calling the police to pay similar attention to investigating some of the issues the book had uncovered. In the present case, there is an appearance that they are seen to be pursuing a political agenda whilst not paying due attention to dirty tricks, mischief and unethical actions, bordering on illegal activities, alleged as a result of what Hager uncovered in Dirty Politics. Among others, this included any potential illegality in the accessing of Labour's website and using that information to undermine Labour Party. The other one is attempts to undermine then Serious Fraud Office head Adam Feely.

Mr Parker rightly said that Dirty Politics had revealed serious alleged wrongdoings and issues on whether former Justice Minister Judith Collins was involved in undermining the Serious Fraud Office and whether the PM's Office was involved in misuse of power in its oversight of Official Information Act requests.

It appears communications and media cell of Labour Party took a turn for the better for Acting Leader, who is able to come out emphatically on issues that could have highlighted misgivings of Government unearthed by Hagar. He cautioned police to take proper steps to protect journalistic privilege of those who are doing proper job to be a watchdog of democracy.

That is where, as a First World Democracy, New Zealand needs to be wary of the brand of media which degenerates it as mere lapdogs of government in power. That is what Dirty Politics tried to warn.

And that is where Labour Party failed miserably to score from the penalty spot, and in turn have been scoring own goals. Even now they appear to have a blind spot for a well-oiled communications and media department.

If Matt McCarten has survived Labour’s eclipse, will somebody please communicate to him the importance of COMMUNICATION, COMMUNICATION, and COMMUNICATION.

Monday, September 22, 2014

When a fugitive German "poisons" elections to unseat a Jew… and it backfires.

When a fugitive German "poisons" elections to unseat a Jew… and it backfires.

Thakur Ranjit Singh

It is a pity the way NZ Election has featured. Every man and his dog has been trying to blame Cunliffe for the historical win for National, which even surprised Key. Labour caucus, which appears to have a happy-trigger, please before apportioning blame, look at yourself first and YOUR DEVIDED HOUSE. You have already let us down – please accept the view of people, and do not let us down again. Please allow Cunliffe to complete his unfinished job of sitting in the back seat of Prime Ministerial BMW. You need to sort out your difference, without hanging your dirty lined in public. Stop tearing yourself apart.

DAVID CUNLIFFE - He should be given an opportunity by Labour caucus to finish his job, climaxing as Prime Minister  Caucus in a divided house with some MPs with a lackadaisical attitude to shadow ministry, doing nothing, is equally responsible for the current plight of Labour. If  Cunliffe goes, they should bear  collective accountability and forfeit their positions as well.
Read this article and contemplate on what no mainstream journalist has propagated. But a nondescript ethnic media commentator hazards to claim that there were outside forces beyond anybody’s control (with your collective internal deficiencies) which contributed to Labours thrashing at the polls. Please do not make Cunliffe a scapegoat of something that is collective weakness of Labour within the caucus. Read on…..

Congratulations to the Team Key for their historic win – the first time in history when a government for a third term retained power with an increased best ever results, with an unexpected thrashing for Labour. It appears, nobody could really explain this phenomenon in the results, which appeared to have shocked most people, including the victors.

 We had an election scenario where Bill English could not give details of any new economic spheres, where David Cunliffe seemed to have drawn, if not being the overall winner, in leader’s debate; where National had a lacklustre campaigning with nothing outstanding, and we had muddied waters and distractions favouring opposition. In such a situation Labour and its coalition were expected to just make it. Surprisingly, it was a disaster, a historic third term loss. What caused this historic win for Key?

How come I have all the Aces and Queens, but John Key is still the King? The big fat German, Kim  Dotcom, with the power of money obtained via questionable activities, thought he was King. How badly he had judged New Zealand public? 

The answer, among others, lies in the White Flight from Labour to National. People should realise that some 3 million of New Zealand’s population is of European descent (White, Anglo Saxons), which accounts for some 69% of our population of around 4.4 million. Hence, proportionally, this also comprises over 1.5 million “White “or some 70% of total voters. And when John Key proclaimed that some million voters gave party preference to National, he was perhaps correct. But what he failed to inform was that he himself was surprised with the unprecedented and unexpected shift from left. The win was a miracle in form of some external forces that never existed or occurred within the weeks of past elections.

The German, Dotcom (right) and the Jew, Prime Minister John Key( who traces his lineage to a Jewish family). Dotcom's hatred for Key blinded him to the fact that  politics was not for sale in New Zealand. After his failure, he admitted that he had poisoned  the electoral system and the party he propped up, where Hone Hariwera was a casualty, among others.
Firstly, never in the history of New Zealand elections did we have a German fugitive (Dotcom) trying to poison and unseat a Jewish Prime Minster (Key). In the rebound and the consequent electoral Holocaust, we witnessed genocide of Internet Mana, Conservatives and part of the Maori Party, with Labour party and coalition suffering the collateral damage of the White Flight. The Moment of Truth, which was supposed to be an explosion, boomeranged into a bomb-out situation of phus phus…s and putt…putt...putter. On the heels of claims of mass spying by Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) came the Australian terror raids on home-grown Islamic terrorists associated with ISIS, so close to home.

Terror raids in Australia, unearthed through their successful spy agency work on the terrorists. This backfired on Dotcom who was trying to paint an evil picture of spying, when Australia was saved by it.
The terrorists were reportedly at the final plans of beheading to spread terror in Sydney and Brisbane. They were unearthed because of an effective spying agency, which Internet Mana Party (read Dotcom) was trying to curb in New Zealand. In absence of such spying, Australia would have seen mayhem and possible bloodbath by ISIS terrorists. Many Kiwis felt they were prepared to sacrifice their privacy in exchange for security and safety from this type of terrorism. Just coming on the eve of NZ elections, this incident made Kiwi voters feel secure with Key: cautious mass spying, maintaining status quo and erring on the side of caution against erosion of privacy. Hence they milled around to support Key when he was under threat from “outsiders.”. The intent of Internet Mana party had a negative effect of consolidating Key’s position – there was White Flight from Labour to avoid having a government propped up by such shady characters.

Scotland referendum to stay with the Queen and be part of United Kingdom may have rekindled nationalistic feeling that  prompted white flight to National, which is seen as a representative party of people of European descent in New Zealand.
The second was the Scotland referendum and possible flow-on effect of rekindled British nationalism with victory of “No” voters. British-origin voters make the largest chunk of National and their potential voters. With National representing largely White right-wing voters, this has some unconscious effects. The publicity and love for mother-Britain flowing from this may have had some ethnocentric effect on British descendants to mill around their comfort zone, which is National.

The atrocities of ISIS have helped in the white flight-where especially white voters rallied around whom they felt they could trust and be safe with. They saw these things in National.
Thirdly, the threat of ISIS and folly of Britain, France and Germany, (and now Australia) with migration of people of one particular religious belief in large numbers gave rise to threat of home-grown terrorism. New Zealand currently have these people in smaller numbers. Nevertheless, this may have prompted the White Flight of people of European descent feeling safer with status quo, Key’s stability and a relatively “clean” characters within National Government and its partners.

Fourth is something internal. That is a perception of Labour’s Party nurturing and treating beneficiaries as a possible vote - bank. Working people and small business owners are against Labour’s soft stance on beneficiaries and people who use unemployment as a lifetime occupation. While they (taxpayers) are working hard and paying taxes, they claim these people have parties, make babies, get high on alcohol and drugs, kill babies, and commit crime in their lifestyle of waste. Labour is accused of cultivating a welfare state. Voters have positively viewed and approved National’s strong-arm tactic in pushing such people into employment.

The threat if ISIS helped people seek refuge in their comfort zone.
Finally, Labour to me seems to have had a very wanting and ineffective media and communication strategy, if they had one. Right-wing blogs had field days in tarnishing image of Labour while they do not appear to have any ammunition to counteract those character assassination, from “the smiling assassin” and associates. It is one thing to have policies, it is quite different to sell and protect them against dirty politics.

Labour can relax a little in the knowledge that election results were buoyed by some factors beyond their control. But they cannot blame others for internal infighting, poor management and administration issues discussed above. Labour also need to sort out the revival of ABC (anybody but Cunliffe) team and division among itself that appears to be a common knowledge.

There is a year to sort things out and prepare for a victory for the next two years. I suggest as per majority opinion polls, David Cunliffe has to continue as the leader to consolidate his position.  Like Gordon Tietjens who has taken NZ Rugby Sevens to ups and downs for over a decade, without being fired for a loss, I feel Cunliffe has much potential and experience curve to deliver. Anyway, I cannot see anybody in the lengths and breadths of Labour Party who could spar with an experienced John Key in any skills as a leader, as Cunliffe has done.

Terror raid in Australia led to protest by migrants, and this unconsciously forces the mainstream population to rally in their comfort zone. National Party has been providing that stable leadership and trusted government, where voters appear to have chosen status quo 
Hence, with Cunliffe, and with a bit of damage-control, media strategy and coaching, Labour has the best chance to counteract dirty politics, and match experience and acumen  of Key, and provide continuity and prospects of victory, come 2017.

Please, I plead, resurrect Labour, do not let Cunliffe’s exposure and experience go to waste. If anybody has to go, it is not David – but some of the caucus members who have spent their lifetime in Parliament, and their use-by date is over. Ask Chris Carter-he has already spoken on this. Please make way for younger blood and new generation to take over the party.

Labour Party (like National has done), needs new blood to rise from the (almost) dead.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

DIRTY POLITICS-PART 5: When “the smiling assassin” Key assassinates characters, using hired hunting hounds.

DIRTY POLITICS - PART 5: Chapters 11 & 12

When “the smiling assassin” Key assassinated Labour’s characters, using hired hunting hounds

Thakur Ranjit Singh

We are in the eve of electing a new government and a desirable and honourable leader to be our prime Minister for another 3 years.
Coming from Fiji, dirt in politics in acceptable, but I am perturbed at naivety and gullibility of Kiwis who are passing off “Dirty Politics” as a left-wing conspiracy, with their heads in the sand. It is far from that-it reveals a face of John Key that average Kiwis do not know about. 

You can judge a person by the company he keeps, his accomplices and henchman – that term has come back to haunt Key. This article will reveal, and a read of “Dirty Politics” will divulge why John Key does not deserve to lead us if we wish to clean –up politics here. His association and reliance of hired hounds to depend on power rules him out as an honourable Prime Minister. Read on, please...

DAVID CUNLIFFE - the next Prime Minister of New Zealand after 2014 elections. John Key utilized attack politics and Cameron Slater to tarnish Labour's image in general and Cunliffe's in particular, trying to project him as a liar and untrustworthy person. It is hoped change in government is the only thing which will remove dirty politics so well nurtured between John Key, Cameron Slater and other right-wing bloggers.

Attack politics has been quite popular as many people in position of power have benefited from this. They are mostly respectable and successful people who were willing to use the dirty and dishonest services of Cameron Slater and his colleagues, on the assumption that their crimes would remain hidden and deniable. Personal and corporate advantages trumped ethics. But the biggest beneficiary of and collaborator in the attack politics was the Prime Minister, John Key.

By early in 2014 election year, John Key was working more closely than ever with Slater and Farrar. His staff was actively collaborating in a succession of political hits and stings. At that stage Key feared a close election and attack politics was a proven powerful tool.

Yours truly also felt something dirty was going wrong with the daily postings  in 2014 with relentless attacks against Labour and its coalition partners, and type of information revealed was as if Whale Oil had its ear to the horse’s mouth.

THE OSTRICH SYNDROME: National Party and John Key hoodwinks the nation by claiming that Dirty Politics is a left-wing conspiracy. This stance appear to expose more than the butts of the Ostrich and the National Party

There was this case to smear Winston Peters with the revelation through Whale Oil about “three visits “to Kim Dotcom’s mansion. It was also revealed that John Key “regularly called” Slater, and in one conversation, agreed that he discussed Dotcom. And Cameron Slater admitted” If the Prime Minister says I’m the source, I guess I must have been.”

As I noticed the trend of Slater to mount this attack on Labour Party on any and every small issues, such as when they farted and how it smelled [my comparison]. It became as dirty as it could get, with hound dogs, on constant trail of Labour There were about 500 articles attacking Labour in the first six months of the election year. Whale Oil in fact degenerated into Labour Party smear site. If David Cunliffe and Labour felt something was wrong, they were right-they were attacked by a pack of hunting dogs, hired by John Key and his National party hangers-on.

The Master and Prime Minister, John Key (middle) with key ( pun-intended) tag team of attack- right wing bloggers , David Faraar (left) and Cameron Slater, who is the leader of the attack-pack, which barks, bites and tarnishes the image of political opponents. Victims, among others, have been David Cunliffe, Winston Peters, Phil Goff and a very-badly mauled Mayor of Auckland, Len Brown. Informants include prostitute friends, among others.

There was the case of Cunliffe’s grandfather’s military records or anything that could prove Cunliffe was a liar or somebody who could not be trusted. It was similar to ways blogs were used by US Republican Party where one staff’s job was to record everything that an opposition target said, and at any time anything ’stupid” was said, it was put on internet within 24 hours to be seen by a great number of people. This was the scenario Labour and Cunliffe were placed by Whale Oil.

When Key first arrived back in New Zealand as a millionaire businessman and jumped into a safe National party seat, it emerged that his nickname while he was a currency trader had been “the smiling assassin” During the years he built closer ties and became more reliant on his lead hunting and attack hound, Cameron Slater, and his Whale Oil blog.

Slater became a victim of his own foul-mouth with his gratuitous insult about the young “feral’ who died in Greymouth and “did [the] world a favour.’ In the ferocious public backlash that followed, Slater’s friends rallied around him to support him. According to revelations in his Facebook, one of those who phoned him to commiserate (console) was John Key. When the rest of the country was feeling appalled by Slater’s offensiveness, the Prime Minister of New Zealand was calling to show support.

A two faced Prime Minister, using two-track policy of attack politics, with one face of PM as a nice, smiling person, while on the other side, hires mongrels and hounds  in form of right-wing bloggers to maul and discredit political opponents, mostly Labour Party and its Coalition partners, including Winston Peters.

Slater’s comments about the man’s death are what apparently led to his website being taken down and eventually to the leak of the information that allowed this book [Dirty Politics] to be written. So, it is perhaps fitting that Key should share in this political karma. The retaliation against the remarks exposed both Key and Slater, the friendly and unfriendly faces of National, who secretly collaborated throughout the period of dirty politics.

Now, from last paragraphs of “DIRTY POLITICS

Unfortunately, people sometimes succeed in politics, as in other spheres, precisely because they are not ethical (like National Party?) There are simple rules about what is fair game in politics. It is legitimate to expose deliberate untruths, hidden influence and abuse of power: things that stop political people acting with integrity and accountability for their decisions and actions. But attacking other people’s personal lives and denigrating them as a tactic is not fair play. An overemphasis on small errors and slips also trivialises politics.

Cameron Slater of Whale Oil Blog (left) and Nicky Hagar, author of Dirty Politics. Hagar names Slater as Prime Minister John Key's lead hunting hound to discredit political opponents, so that National Party's and Key's name remains untarnished.

All countries need and deserve politicians who respect news media independence, freedom of information and the rights of their opponents; politicians who refrain from dirty tricks and abuses of power even when these could provide an advantage; politicians who would not knowingly use something as negative and unscrupulous as the Whale oil blog. It is never right to poison the political environment for short-term political game.

People have to make a choice whether they want this type of dirt in their next government. Go ahead and make that change to clean New Zealand politics.


[Disclaimer: All information in the above article is either direct quotations, para-phrasing, editing or interpretations from Nicky Hager’s book, Dirty Politics]