Things to Think about

Most of the following opinion columns by Tom O'Connor have been previously published by Stuff in the Waikato Times.

Cultural and traditional harvest of natural and exotic resources

11 May 2022
Posted in

Towards the end of more than forty years in front line journalism I became increasingly aware of the development of an informal duality of citizenship in New Zealand, the acceptance of that duality by community leaders and the long-term potential for dis-harmony and, in 1991, I wrote a rather long essay on my observations. This…

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The insidious development of separatism in New Zealand

11 May 2022
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From the time I started in journalism in 1963 I have seen a number of changes in the social structure of New Zealand and not all of them have been positive. Journalism wasn’t the only occupation I tried my hand at but in those early days of my writing career, most of our training was…

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Dictatorial Socialism by Stealth

20 February 2022
Posted in

Like all protests the, initially legal, anti-vaccine mandate gathering currently paralysing Wellington quickly generated it’s own energy and velocity with a wide range of unconnected and vaguely associated causes, groups and individuals attracted to the free publicity like flies to an abandoned dirty nappy.  The Government’s opening response to the arrival of Covid-19 almost three…

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Separatism

16 February 2022
Posted in

On Friday February 11, 2022 I  tuned into a Zoom meeting hosted by Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) to discuss Treaty of Waitangi partnerships in local government.  Firstly, the principal objective in the constitution of LGNZ which hosted the discussion is to “To promote the national interests of local government through the promotion of LGNZ’s vision…

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Resist Accusations of Racism

20 December 2021
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In the first two decades of the twenty first century among the most misused words in New Zealand were racism, apartheid and separatism. Sometimes they were applied incorrectly or used interchangeably and too often they were used to stifle debate or denigrate people who dared to question a new political development

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Tolerance

13 December 2021
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Are we losing our tolerance for the dissenting opinion? By world standards we New Zealanders are a very tolerant lot. We might grumble and even get a little outraged at what other people write, say or do if we disagree with them. However, provided they are within the law and don’t advocate illegality, we are usually prepared to let people express a different opinion.

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Miracle needed for three waters

30 November 2021
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It is written that a gifted young man in a land far away and long ago could walk on water. The Government might need a similar miracle with their controversial Three Waters restructure project.
The unpopular and controversial project began with the catastrophic failure of a Havelock North wellhead in 2016 which resulted in the death of four people and 5000 people falling seriously ill. A year later a comprehensive report revealed that a significant number of public drinking water systems, managed by district councils, were potentially unsafe through underinvestment in maintenance over many years.

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Violent protests prove and achieve nothing.

29 November 2021
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The legal right to peaceful protest is an important part of our folklore but it does not, and never has, included the right to break the law, engage in violence, mayhem and property destruction. We have seen all of these in the growing intensity of anti-vax rallies and protests but it is not a new phenomenon. We have seen this mindless behaviour many times as the ill-informed and rebels looking for a cause deliberately create mistrust, fear and havoc in someone else’s peaceful protest.

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COP26 on course for disaster

22 November 2021
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When the Global Climate Summit finally concluded Glasgow recently the representatives all 197 attending nations knew they had failed simply because they had no real leadership and no unity of purpose.
In fairness we should liken the complex problem of global warming to a large passenger liner travelling in calm seas without a captain.

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Not a threat to Freedom

15 November 2021
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Covid vaccination is no threat to our freedom. In spite of hysterical anti-vax placard waving, irresponsible gatherings of self-proclaimed martyrs and illegal road blockages none of the rights and freedoms we take for granted in New Zealand are under threat.

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