today has been "deal with racism" day. started off with the stupid waikato times front page cover about the fact that *shock, horror* tainui aren't paying any tax on their business ventures. because they are a charitable organisation and not required to do so.
the times has been consistenly running negative stories against tainui for quite some time now. if it's not about the the maori king, tuheitia, it's about the tainui parliament or about maungatautari ecological island. the source this negativity? the best description i've heard describes it as the waikato land wars between tainui and business owners in the CBD.
with their treaty settlement, tainui have invested in and built up a major shopping centre at "the base", being a former air force base just out of hamilton. because parking is free and there are a whole heap of shops altogether in one location, the base has drawn a lot of business from the city centre. the city council got into the act by trying to restrict development through their processes, but tainui took them to court and won.
this is a charitable organisation, this is a maori organisation using the laws of the land and carrying on business in a perfectly legal way. not only that, but they are contributing hugely to the local economy through the shopping centre & through their other activities. they are also providing benefit to their own community, and building up their asset base. if the city & business people want to bring business back to the CBD, why don't they do it by being competitive? the council had trialled free parking on saturdays over the last year but have now decided to scrap that. they need to provide cheaper rents, better products and i'm sure there are plenty of other measures.
these attacks on tainui aren't going to be bringing business back to the city centre, and they aren't going to do anything for building a cohesive society. if this is news, i don't think it's the kind of news that merits a huge front page that has nothing else on it but the headline on it, and much more inside. it's nothing short of malicious.
so that was first thing in the morning. then i attended a consultation meeting which was even worse. i had to sit there and listen to people saying beneficiaries spent all their money on drugs & alcohol. and some comment about how a woman visited ethnic women found that they were all quiet & let their men speak for them, and wouldn't take up leadership positions. and of course the whole tainui thing about not paying tax. i couldn't believe the level of judginess and stereotyping. i have to say, it makes me laugh when a group like this then wonders why young women & ethnic women aren't joining and participating in numbers. who wants to put up with that kind of crap?
and if that wasn't enough to spoil my day, as i was shopping at pak'n'save, i got to the halal meat section. some twisted soul had decided to put a big chunk of pork (in a packet) on top of a packet of halal meat. it's a deliberate act of nastiness, and coming after the trials of the day, i don't know, just very demoralising.