The viewer’s guide to all things water
On the eve of the Olympics it’s great to see a fine line up of Bay athletes ready to give their best.
From our spectacular cover shot this week, featuring Mike Dawson, to the stories inside on the other BOP champions, we’re pleased to bring you their stories. More on those water sports later. In the meantime, the government has been dabbling in some water fun of its own.
I’ve had a strange week since my shoulder operation; riddled with pain one minute and floating on a morphine induced cloud the next.
Between naps, grumbling and pretending to be sorer than I actually am, I’ve drifted in and out, making the ridiculous pantomime of recent weeks all the more strange.
Or at least it would be if it weren’t so staged.
First, word sprang forth that Maori would attempt to block, or slow, the Government’s plans to sell minority shares in Mighty River Power, Solid Energy New Zealand, Meridian Energy, Genesis Power and Air New Zealand by asserting owning rights to water.
As if that notion wasn’t ridiculous enough, one of my fits of consciousness delivered to me the image of Tariana Turia in a beret, looking every inch the revolutionary that Che Guevara was.
Only shorter, far more preposterous and lacking in any real intent.
She later claimed she thought she had lost the hat, emblazoned with the image of tino rangatiratanga, a decade earlier after buying it at a Porirua market.
Granted, she spoke strongly, with feeling. She spoke of the prime minister’s assertion of fact that the Government could choose to ignore any recommendations made by the Waitangi Tribunal as “insulting” and went further, saying they were intended to influence those recommendations while “helping to fuel the racism” of New Zealanders opposed to Maori claiming rights to freshwater and geothermal resources.
It was no mistake.
The words, like the beret, were carefully chosen, and a great deal of people fell for it.
Then I fell asleep.
I awoke, in a haze, to see that each side had softened.
Maori Party officials, who had previously refused to rule out splitting from National, wore no hats at all while accusing the media, panting, with bated breath in turn, of inventing the whole thing.
John Key, cheerful smile at the ready, refused to apologise but said he was looking forward to Wednesday night’s meeting which went exactly as many knew it would.
To sleep again, to awake with an epiphany, about complicity.
In that groggy state I knew that every step of the saga, as with every other, had been telegraphed by those apparently on different sides.
Both parties, as it was with National and Act before the last election, were playing the long con – not the short.
Each managed to play to its own electorate and each will prosper, in a way, from whatever deal was done.
Both parties knew the media would faithfully report each and every syllable uttered to an expectant public.
They stage managed the whole production and reduced media organisations, including ours, to PR filtering puppets.
We know that we are complicit in all of this - it’s obvious every time a Government communications manager provides information and says “you can attribute that to the minister”.
What about you?