With hope borne of nothing more than a fresh year, I dream on: That we all woke up to the inequity that has passed for national values for too many years. The reckless obsession with the glittering lights of our economy, dairying and tourism, illustrate how self-interest has overtaken public interest as a legitimate goal. I couldn’t resist showing, with minor deletions, Charlotte Bronte’s view of this clash of values in Shirley, published in 1849:
Category archive: NZ History
Within living memory there were many men and woman who kept secret the ‘shameful’ fact of growing up in an orphanage or similar homes for children who could not, for various reasons, be cared for by parents or extended family. Whatever the reason for their exclusion from society, the inevitable implication was that they were unwanted, by family and community.
I’ve always struggled to understand economics, which means I have a bit of cheek embarking on a view of the economics of the western world. Still, in my possibly naive view there are simple rules. Take Alzheimers for instance. By taking daily exercise, eating healthy food and maintaining mental and social stimulation, there is a good chance of avoiding Alzheimers. Similar rules apply for avoiding type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and probably many other diseases that swoop in when the rules are ignored.
In the protest decade of the 60s and 1970s, my reporting beat covered Auckland University where, being the Sixties, full-time students were also part-time protesters.
Their activism embraced everything from feminism and environmental issues to the most riveting of the time – the growing protests against the Vietnam War and Apartheid.
A bus strike in Auckland – how strange that was when media reported little in the way of carpooling, the tactic which served locals well in the oil shocks of the 1970s. Another hint of the collapse of community? Aucklanders were warned about the obvious traffic jams ahead – as if there aren’t any most other days. The city’s woeful dependence on cars is its major failure and in Wellington that hasn’t been helped by a lack of vision.