Let’s have ‘Pakeha’ in Cen­sus

The New Zealand Herald - - EDITORIAL & LETTERS -

It is Cen­sus time again and New Zealan­ders who iden­tify them­selves as Pakeha are once again ig­nored in the cur­rent for­mat. They have only two op­tions: ‘‘New Zealand Euro­pean’’ or ‘‘Other’’.

Those who do not con­sider they are Euro­peans of any kind are de­nied the op­por­tu­nity to de­scribe their eth­nic­ity ac­cu­rately, in an of­fi­cial lan­guage of New Zealand. They may ac­knowl­edge the Euro­pean an­ces­try of their fore­bears but do not con­sider that their eth­nic­ity.

In 1996, the rel­e­vant cat­e­gory was ‘‘NZ Euro­pean or Pakeha’’, but the ‘‘Pakeha’’ op­tion has been re­moved from all Cen­suses since, ap­par­ently be­cause some peo­ple ob­jected to the ex­pres­sion Pakeha.

Surely it is un­fair to deny those who iden­tify with the term on the ba­sis that other peo­ple do not feel com­fort­able with it. Re­cent re­search has in­di­cated we are mov­ing past those days any­way.

At the last Cen­sus, about 15,000 Pakeha New Zealan­ders checked the ‘‘Other’’ box and wrote in ‘‘Pakeha’’. Per­haps if more do so this time, the au­thor­i­ties will get the mes­sage and in fu­ture in­clude a ‘‘Pakeha’’ or ‘‘NZ Euro­pean or Pakeha’’ op­tion, as so many other sur­veys do.

Waste­water charges

My re­cent state­ment from Water­care in­cluded a waste­water charge of $35.81. I was abroad for all but seven days of the billing pe­riod, and neigh­bours wa­tered my garden dur­ing my ab­sence.

I have ap­pealed to Water­care over the anom­aly of this charge and of­fered a so­lu­tion — that the waste­water charge should be based on av­er­age use over the win­ter months of June, July and Au­gust.

There are only two in my home and I have no prob­lem with paying a charge for the water we use. For the re­cent billing pe­riod, dur­ing which we were at home for only seven days, our us­age was in the high four-per­son daily con­sump­tion.

Water­care ad­vises that the one-siz­e­fits-all pol­icy was ap­proved by the mayor, so it will not con­sider my so­lu­tion. Its so­lu­tion is for me to con­nect a me­ter to my out­side tap at a cost of $459.16 and pay a waste­water charge on 100 per cent of my water use.

At a time when coun­cils have adopted a user-pays pol­icy for many ser­vices that were pre­vi­ously free or had a nom­i­nal fee, it is ridicu­lous that this pol­icy ap­plies only to Water­care and coun­cils, not to homeowners.

Ar­chi­tec­tural hor­rors

A Her­ald ar­ti­cle on the draft uni­tary plan says that ‘‘shoe­box’’ apart­ments in Auck­land could come back. So what will change?

Over many decades, mem­bers of Auck­land coun­cils have ‘‘per­mit­ted’’ Auck­land, which must have been on one of the most beau­ti­ful sites in the world, to slowly be­come the most unimag­i­na­tive area of city ar­chi­tec­ture any­where in the world.

They can­not blame de­vel­op­ers. De­vel­op­ers build what coun­cils ‘‘per­mit’’ them to build.

Some coun­cils have per­mit­ted de­vel­op­ers to re­build city cen­tres as they were orig­i­nally built cen­turies ago be­fore they were blasted flat by bombs or earth­quakes.

What have our de­vel­op­ers been per­mit­ted to build? Shoe­boxes and other forms of un­sightly ar­chi­tec­tural hor­rors. On such a beau­ti­ful site.

Coun­cil­lors and bu­reau­crats blame the rules and laws. Who makes the rules and laws?

Hous­ing pref­er­ence

We have em­phat­i­cally shown when buy­ing houses that most of us pre­fer to live in sep­a­rate houses with our own small piece of land.

How­ever, the Auck­land Coun­cil bu­reau­cracy, aided and abet­ted by Deputy Mayor Penny Hulse, ar­ro­gantly thinks it knows bet­ter and that we must be re-ed­u­cated and forced to com­ply.

While tub-thump­ing about de­crepit ‘‘her­itage’’ build­ings that must be saved, trees and other mi­nor cul­tural mat­ters, the coun­cil in one stroke thumbs its nose at ratepay­ers by de­lib­er­ately set­ting out to de­stroy our way of liv­ing, the main­stay of our cul­ture.

We are to be forced to live in high-rise jun­gles, po­ten­tial slums, mag­nets of crime and vi­o­lence, all the things our fore­bears fled from when they mi­grated here.

Ferry for Wyn­yard

I agree with colum­nist Brian Rud­man on the is­sue of new of­fice de­vel­op­ments in the Wyn­yard Quar­ter.

It will be im­pos­si­ble for the num­ber of peo­ple who will be work­ing in the of­fice com­plexes en­vis­aged by the waterfront agency to be able to use the tra­di­tional trans­port method of one per­son, one car to get to work.

I work in the quar­ter, and it just will not be pos­si­ble to use the al­ready clogged roads to spill an ad­di­tional cou­ple of thou­sand ve­hi­cles on to Fan­shawe St. And where are they go­ing to park? Each new build­ing means a park­ing lot is lost.

The bus stop out­side Air New Zealand will not cope. And any­way, it is then a 15-minute hike to the new ASB build­ing.

A rail­way sta­tion then? Not for an­other 30 years, says the Government. But surely a sim­ple and over­looked way would be a ferry sta­tion.

The down­town ferry sta­tion, the busiest, is de­signed to shovel peo­ple into the city cen­tre. It is no good if you work in the quar­ter. So how about a new ferry sta­tion at the Wyn­yard Quar­ter?

Liv­ing wage

One hun­dred years ago, Henry Ford in­tro­duced the mov­ing as­sem­bly line to pro­duce his Model T cars. Less than a year later, he dou­bled the ba­sic pay rate to US$5 a day, re­duced the work­ing day from nine to eight hours, and in­tro­duced three shifts a day in­stead of two.

With twice the in­come and more jobs, more work­ers could af­ford Ford cars. Within a year, an­nual labour turnover fell from 370 per cent to 16 per cent.

Pro­duc­tiv­ity soared. By 1919, Ford had re­duced the model T price from $800 to $350. By 1927, 15 mil­lion Model Ts had been sold. The auto rev­o­lu­tion had be­gun.

An­nounc­ing the 1914 package, Ford said he be­lieved in mak­ing 20,000 men pros­per­ous and con­tented, ‘‘rather than mak­ing slave-drivers mil­lion­aires’’.

The com­bi­na­tion of poli­cies did, of course, make Ford a bil­lion­aire. But they also changed the face of so­ci­ety, devel­oped a soon-wealthy mid­dle class, spurred the free­way rev­o­lu­tion and cre­ated sub­ur­bia.

mag­a­zine still ranks his de­ci­sion to dou­ble his work­ers’ wages as first in ‘‘the great­est busi­ness de­ci­sions of all time’’.

Char­ter schools

Con­trary to the views of Kar­ran Harper Royal, an ed­u­ca­tion ac­tivist from New Or­leans, char­ter schools were re­ceived with over­whelm­ing sup­port in that city, and help ac­count for huge im­prove­ments in pupil per­for­mance (up 24 per cent) com­pared with pre-Hur­ri­cane Ka­t­rina re­sults.

United States char­ter schools are set up in the worst-per­form­ing schools’ so­cioe­co­nomic ar­eas, not af­flu­ent ones. Ex­am­ples of char­ter schools, such as the Amer­i­can In­dian Pub­lic Char­ter School and Success and Char­ter Net­work schools, re­ceive less fund­ing and per­form far bet­ter.

Some­thing needed to change in the US be­cause schools’ per­for­mance had not im­proved for 40 years, yet the cost of ed­u­ca­tion had tre­bled (ad­justed for in­fla­tion).

Char­ter schools here should be de­bated on the mer­its and facts for New Zealand, not un­founded hys­te­ria about the US sys­tem.

Crime against tourists

The rob­bery on Mt Eden-Maun­gawhau in­volv­ing a firearm raises the level of crime in one of our main tourist park lo­ca­tions.

More than 600,000 tourists a year visit Maun­gawhau, and more needs to be done at this and other pop­u­lar venues to make them safe. I have seen the dis­tress tourists face when their cars are bro­ken into. Oc­ca­sion­ally, vol­un­teers find prop­erty aban­doned by th­ese thieves.

In the past few weeks, three po­hutukawa trees were cut down by van­dals. Th­ese trees were help­ing sta­bilise the old quarry and the sum­mit area.

Greater dis­cus­sion is needed be­tween the Auck­land Coun­cil, the po­lice, vol­un­teers and other agen­cies to make tourist lo­ca­tions safer. It can­not all be left to the po­lice.

Why can’t there be mo­bile elec­tronic sur­veil­lance? Where is the report on the ranger ser­vice that was to be re­ported back to the coun­cil in 2011? Do we just ac­cept that this crime is the way large cities de­velop?

As in other coun­tries, there are al­ter­na­tives, such as elec­tronic sur­veil­lance and a pro­fes­sional ranger ser­vice help­ing the po­lice.

Maths logic

The ar­gu­ment that the use of cal­cu­la­tors means that a ba­sic knowl­edge of ta­bles and men­tal arith­metic is not now needed is flawed.

As a sec­ondary school math­e­mat­ics teacher, I found that stu­dents had no ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the rel­a­tive size of num­bers. They would ob­tain an un­re­al­is­tic an­swer to a prob­lem, but be­cause they used a cal­cu­la­tor, it had to be right.

If they ap­prox­i­mated the num­bers in­volved and did a quick men­tal cal­cu­la­tion they would know what or­der of mag­ni­tude to ex­pect of the an­swer and be aware of the ab­sur­dity of their re­sult.

I be­lieve there is a time (about 7 years of age) when, dare I say it, pri­mary pupils are con­ducive to rote learn­ing of ta­bles.

If this op­por­tu­nity is missed it is very hard to re­cover lost ground.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.