It took the devastating Australian bushfires to bring home to the country’s politicians that perhaps, maybe, they had to update their thinking on climate change. Perhaps, because that thinking remains dominated by an ideology which increasingly looks untethered to present day realities. Below are some of those realities:
Understanding India from a distance, or even close-up, is not easy. The variety of warring ethnic groups, tribes, languages, religions, casts, class and political grouping complications is bewildering. Just one of those factors, social class, makes 1920’s England look like a classless society.
Watching television was now beginning to be ingrained in the 60’s household social routine not entirely due to the magnetism of Ena Sharples and the Coronation Street’s Rover’s Return!
Waiting in the wings was Networking, the move of News to Auckland, the advent of colour and the famous Philips K9 TV set and TV2’s first Telethon.
We sat on a wide verandah and looked out on a backyard. Backyard? This one was huge, park-like and its green flowed past crimson flowered jacarandas on both sides for more than an acre. Finally it gave way to a to a lily-covered billabong under the shade of towering ghost gums.
He boarded the outbound 737 from Auckland looking out of place and time.
He was a Buddhist monk, replete with flowing brown robes, practical sandals and on his left wrist, corded bangles. Not a sober sort, he joked with other passengers as he settled into his seat. One asked him what religion he belonged to. A pause.
A tohunga of the Urewera, Rua came to believe that he was the reincarnation of John the Baptist and on occasions the Holy Ghost. Building what he called the New Jerusalem at remote Maungapohatu, he was frequently at odds with the Crown, placing himself apart from the law.
Bernard Breslau’s 1959 hit song assured everybody that we need feet – ‘to keep your sox on, and stop your legs from fraying at the ends.’ But we assured from other quarters that we need them for additional things, and there are superstitions to tell us:
In South Auckland’s Ihumatao, a peaceful group of Maori activists continues the campaign it began in 2015. Their aim? To stop Fletchers building 480 homes on what they believe is sacred land.
And a few miles away in the leafy suburb of Mt Albert early last month, middle-class Pakeha began their protest.