28 Folgen

A look into climate change, the Paris accord and New Zealand's role in a global existential crisis.

Imagine my relief. Imagine my relief.

    • Gesellschaft und Kultur

A look into climate change, the Paris accord and New Zealand's role in a global existential crisis.

    Parihaka: we begin by sharing who we are.

    Parihaka: we begin by sharing who we are.

    Take a course in another language and you will soon be introduced to simple one to one mappings – kia ora, haere rā, tēnā koutou, ka kite.

    But open the Williams dictionary and you’ll soon see that this language looks at the world very differently.

    I still know very little, but some individual words carry extraordinary weight and learning them alone is taking a step outside yourself. The words I mulled over at Ihumatao were manaaki, kaupapa and tīpuna.

    Tīpuna means ancestor, but ancestor in Maori tipuna resonates inside a more indigenous sense of time. Hape, the club-footed brother who rode to Ihumatao on a magical stingray is tipuna, as is a dead auntie, as is yourself when you think, as you must, seven generations into the future. Tīpuna is both mission and duty.

    Manaaki is hospitality and that too reaches far beyond the one for one. Manaaki is the duty of care that speaks to the disappointment that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is yet to come on the atea at Ihumātao. The duty of care, the sense that manuhiri must be honoured and korero must be heard is more. Yes, we have unresolved issues, and so we have prepared a place for you that we may begin by sharing who we are.

    The word at Parihaka was whakamā.

    Whakamā is shame. The meaning of that word is also more expansive than the Engish counterpart. Whakamā may apply to either side, it is a kind of lessening. Rachel Buchanan, in the recent book Ko Taranaki Te Maunga, suggests that some Taranaki speakers took it even further, finding somehow a place in the word for some redemption.

    I’m just starting to learn these things and rather than veer wildly out of my lane I’ll just tell you briefly of some books. Of course, Rachel Buchanan’s is essential reading for someone wanting to start this journey. Any discussion of indigenous experience also leads me back to Steve Coll’s ‘Private Empire’ – a long piece on Exxon Mobil. Read together the two books construct a three-dimensional model with colonisation on one axis and extraction on the other.

    When I arrived in Taranaki I visited the excellent Poppys bookstore in New Plymouth where Reni Eddo-Lodge’s ‘Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race‘ was that month’s staff recommendation. This echoed much of the exasperation I’d seen from Maori when trying to address the newcomers to environmental activism. She says:

    The perverse thing about our current racial structure is that it has always fallen on the shoulders of those at the bottom to change it. Yet racism is a white problem. It reveals the anxieties and double standards of whiteness. it is a problem in the psyche of whiteness that white people must take the responsibility to solve. You can only do so much from the outside.

    Back in Wellington, someone at a cafe started a conversation about the book and we traded – I then read Ta-Nehisi Coates ‘Between the world and me‘ – a long letter to his son. He speaks of ‘people who think that they are white’. And this cuts directly to the problem. This arbitrary difference created a world where some people are brutalised from the foundations of our civilisation all the way up.

    Parihaka is both a beacon and a warning. This is what the project of empire does, here is what is lost and, just as Reni Eddo-Lodge said,

    • 1 Std. 31 Min.
    Not Another Acre: Ihumātao

    Not Another Acre: Ihumātao

    The bus was pulling out of Te Kuiti when I heard about the fire at the Sky City Convention Centre. The rooftop burned for five days, fueled by insulation materials and the rubber based sealant that appears to have ignited first.

    My phone was constantly emitting Civil Defence warnings about the toxins in the air while all round K Road and Queen Street people walked in safety masks.

    The next day I took a bus to the airport and walked the 5 kms to Ihumātao. I was around for much of the next four days, helping with odd jobs and chatting on the atea. I did some night shifts at the ahi – a fire that had burned for nearly 100 days.

    You can really talk around a fire. I think it’s because staring in lets you stop and listen. Manaaki people. Hospitality and care. The more I think about the problems of climate change the more threads lead me back to the way we saw the world before the Project of Empire.

    Qiane Matata-Sipu told me of the price paid at her whenua in the name of progress: the maunga removed to build roads, the moana used as oxidation ponds, the awa turned into a landfill. Just as the waterways were beginning to heal thousands of litres of dye were dumped, killing everything off again.

    Bizarrely, the millions of litres of water used to dowse the burning rubber in town was pronounced ‘clean’ just as I was leaving town. It would soon be making its way out to Ihumātao too.

    I received a letter from the campaign via Action Station, asking for submissions to Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga. There’s only a few hours left so follow this link and send in your support:


    My additions to the submission:

    The enormous destructive force of capitalism is coming to the back of the woodpile. The driest pieces are being thrown in the flames now. To the North of this island you can literally see it glowing now as Spring ignites Australia. Whatever place you have in this moment, whatever lever is yours to throw, know that the extinction rate was multiplied one thousand times by our civilisation. The book of life is closing around us and there is much to be done. 

    You can also find ways to support the campaign through the website at https://www.protectihumatao.com and the Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/protectihumatao/

    Apologies for the sound quality on this one – I didn’t have all my gear and we were in a portacom.

    This episode was recorded at Ihumātao. Next episode is from Parihaka. I recorded them in the other order but I’m letting the story lead us back there.

    • 1 Std. 14 Min.
    Stealth Vegan

    Stealth Vegan

    Tēna koe, nau hoki mai ki taku kōnae kōrero – te taunga o te oranga ngākau.


    The arguments around livestock and plant based foods are endless. While the vegan lifestyle was traditionally about the ethics of exploiting animals for food many are now coming to a

    plant based diet for other reasons. The emissions and biodiveristy loss associated with large scale livestock farming appear to have a simple solution: just don’t use it.

    You can put the facts and figures in front of people all day – the fact is a very small number are swayed by this stuff and, creatures of habit that we are, we just carry on doing what we

    know and hope that things will work themselves out.

    There is a third way: you take people into the future with such subtlety that they didn’t even know it was happening. While in Taranaki recently my mum took me to a cafe in Oakura,

    and there I met Barbera Olsen-Henderson: stealth vegan.

    This episode was recorded in Oakura, Taranaki. Next episode will be with Howie Harris, recorded in Parihaka, Taranaki. In the light of the rise in non violent direct action around the

    world we’ll be talking about the seeds that were by Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kåkahi in the 1880s.

    • 1 Std. 31 Min.
    Why don’t we know? Thomas Everth and the school curriculum.

    Why don’t we know? Thomas Everth and the school curriculum.

    The recent school strike saw 170,000 people in the streets of Aotearoa demanding action on climate change. A physics teacher in Whitianga makes the point that the current curriculum requires him to teach Nuclear Physics when it’s clear that it’s the laws of Thermodynamics that will circumscribe their lives.

    • 1 Std. 17 Min.


    From the outside you probably imagine those caught up in climate action to be a somber

    lot. How could you face all of this gloom and not be.

    It turns out that the reverse is true. It’s teeming with life and frequently bursting into song. I spent an hour of this inconceivable moment at the beach with the astonishing Marcus Carambola.

    • 59 Min.
    Becoming Porous: Buddhism and Activism

    Becoming Porous: Buddhism and Activism

    Spend long enough staring into this problem and we all come to the same thought: we’ve been looking at everything the wrong way. Things we never questioned growing up turn out to be not just wrong but wrong in layers.

    With so little time left, how could we pause for reflection at all. And without changing massively, how could we not. Sounds like a koan.

    I spent an evening in the company of Alex Litherland and Kate Martin, two buddhists who found their their path converging with ours.

    Later, when I sat down to edit the sound file I saw frequent spikes in one channel. That’s Kate bursting into laughter.

    • 1 Std. 23 Min.

Top‑Podcasts in Gesellschaft und Kultur