Things to Think about

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

Concerns about separatism should not be lightly dismissed

20 May 2021
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One of the most common arguments against Maori wards is that they would be a racist development but that is a misuse of the term. Racism generally means to act against people simply because of ethnicity and Maori wards will not do that. They are a positive rather than negative concept but are they really justifiable? Many non-Maori don’t think so but seem reluctant to say so in case of accusations of racism.

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Open Season

1 May 2021
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Most hunters will have carefully read the hunting regulations which apply to their areas and have a shooting licence and firearms licence safely tucked away in a back pocket but few will yet have had the opportunity to read the damming report of a year long review of the organisation which manages their sport.

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Is ANZAC a nostalgic dream?

25 April 2021
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The so-called trans-Tasman relationship, which we will commemorate next Sunday on Anzac Day, has never been more abused than it is now. While the somewhat idealistic brotherhood in arms tradition was established by a previous generation on the bloody slopes of Gallipoli more than a century ago, there is now a new conflict festering beneath the surface which is raising temperatures and tempers on both side of the Tasman.

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Revenge is not Justice

18 April 2021
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The appeal by the man convicted of the 2019 Christchurch mosque massacre against his jail conditions and terrorist status was not surprising. He probably has little else to do and his action follows the pattern of many long-term prison inmates who have used their time to engage in ongoing litigation, often at taxpayer expense.

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Maori Wards must be decided by ratepayers, not councils alone

12 April 2021
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While Hamilton City Council and the Taranaki Regional Council appear to be approaching the thorny issue of Maori Wards for local bodies from completely different positions, they are in fact both taking exactly the right course. The Taranaki Regional Council recently resolved to establish a Maori ward in time for the 2022 local body elections.…

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Feed and Build Community before Debates and Travel Bubbles

6 April 2021
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In a time of unprecedented uncertainty about our protection from a deadly disease and the future of the planet it can often be helpful to look back at how our parents and grandparents managed in the face of adversity. They fed and clothed often quite large families through the very tough times of the major economic depression of the 1930s and the dreadful uncertainties of two world wars. In addition, they helped others less fortunate than themselves in an age when that was a traditional responsibility.

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Cool it

29 March 2021
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Investors and speculators in real estate are equal contributors to a ridiculously overheated housing market and they should have seen these changes, or something similar, coming at them like a freight train at least five years ago. There have been warnings enough that the booming house market would not be allowed to continue without Government intervention. If anything, that intervention has taken too long.

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Water and local body woes

15 March 2021
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Projected large scale changes in the near future to the way potable water is supplied to homes throughout the country should not have come as a surprise to anyone. Last week the Waipa District Council announced the possibility of spending millions of dollars on water system upgrades, then being forced to hand them over to…

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A virus is not deterred by bishops or anybody else

8 March 2021
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It has been a long and difficult year since the first nationwide lockdown to take Covid-19 out of the community and keep the deadly virus confined to managed isolation facilities.The economic cost for many has been enormous, the social cost for others has been devastating, a few have lost family members but many have had…

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