Voices at a powhiri...
Pakeha 1: Bit of a marathon…
Pakeha 2: That's polite.
Pakeha 1: More English might have helped.
Pakeha 2. Bloody oath. It's not just about them. It's about us. We’re all New Zealanders…
And the next day after another powhiri… a thought crime:
Young Maori woman executive tells a guest: "We are the force in this country".
Guest: "No - you're one of the forces".
Exec: "We know you - you're a multi-culturalist!"
Question: How come sports people whose personal dealings are largely a mystery to the public, become the most trusted?
Answer: Because Reader's Digest keeps asking the wrong question. Its poll of the most and least trusted Kiwis was published to great media hooha last month. In the top ten, 9 of the 12 names were sportsmen and women (Some came equal which accounts for there being 12 names). And there we were, silly enough to think we'd done with the '50s when sport, like cold showers, built character. Shouldn't the venerable Digest be asking who is most admired, because sporty types have often ended up in court. Which brings us to the non-sports winners. Top in trust was VC winner Willie Apiata. Children's author Margaret Mahy was fourth and Alison Holst, celeb chef and author came in tenth equal).
Least trusted was former assistant police commissioner Clint Rickards. Wasn't it only yesterday we trusted police?
Spotted on the TVNZ website, this gem of what we as a nation desperately needed to know from the network's news team: 'Latest news/breaking news: Howard Helmer, the world's fastest omelette maker…'
And on the subject of gems, here's one which was discovered when clearing old box files: "The standard of literacy in New Zealand appears to be falling, most notably among the young…. TV programmes like the Disney cartoons of their several mutations are replacing the book as disseminators of knowledge and morals. Programmes like RTR and the MTV channels have incorporated the appeal of the visual effect with the impact of audio and societal message" wrote Dr Margo Buchanan-Oliver, director of Strategic Planning at the ad agency Ogilvy and Mather Direct.
More scarily she added: "This audience which once had an attention span of one hour in 1958, and 20 minutes in 1988, is now estimated to have an attention span of 12 minutes - which is predicted to shorten by another five minutes by the year 2010".
Source: Australia's Adnews. Year: 1994.