How did Kiwi kids handle the lockdown? Did they breathe a sigh of relief for not having to go to school? Did they take refuge in social media as whole communities vanished from cities and country roads alike, in the most punishing of categories – Level 4?
What should an Oranga Tamariki social worker do (when uplifting a Maori child) to help the child’s parents feel better about themselves? I pose this question after reading the Commissioner for Children’s report on the practice of ‘uplifting’ children and failing to make the parents feel better about themselves.
Here’s why we should all feel particularly glad to live in New Zealand at this time, and not only because Covid-19 has gone.
First, because we have no natural predators, and secondly the three rapacious leaders of America, China and Russia don’t think we are worth bothering with. And just in case they do happen to look our way, they will be confused by our headlines.
Excerpts from Kiwiosities, a book by Gordon Ell on the traditions and folklore of New Zealand.
The Last Moose
Tales of giant elk or moose in deepest Fiordland arise from their importation from Canada early last century. These giant northern deer have a very large antler spread and were keenly sought by trophy hunters along the remote shores of Dusky Sound, where ten were liberated.
In spite of extensive advertising claims to the contrary, most men afflicted by baldness find the condition irreversible. An American superstition claims that baldness can be delayed by cutting the existing hair very short then singeing the cut ends. Another superstition claims that when a man starts to go bald, he can slow the process by stuffing cyclamen leaves up his nose. And sprinkling parsley seeds on the head three times a year is also believed to help.
I don’t share the wishful thinking of those who believe the Corona pandemic will somehow lead us to a more enlightened way of thinking. As if the blight of dirty dairying, unsustainable tourism and no-tax housing investment is going to be less inviting after alert level one has come and gone.