Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Everything you need to know about Te Anamata a-Kai o To Tatou Taone

A press release from the Wellington City Council advises that the council has formalised Te Anamata a-Kai o To Tatou Taone. This is described as “an action plan for a sustainable, equitable, healthy and resilient food system in Poneke”.

By Poneke, which is an old transliteration of Port Nicholson ("Port Nicky"), the council PR flunkies obviously mean Wellington. Where this leaves Te Whanganui-a-Tara, which is the more commonly used Maori name for Wellington these days, isn’t clear. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up.

Anyway, the press statement went on to explain that the Action Plan is part of “Te Atakura First to Zero framework” and is aligned with something called the Tupiki Ora strategy. “It is an integrated, co-ordinated approach across Council to support food systems’ shifts in business-as-usual workstreams”.

What this means in everyday language is anyone’s guess. The statement was heavy on buzzwords – “resilient”, “sustainable”, “equitable”, “culturally appropriate” – with the mandatory references to climate change and social justice. Wellington City Council isn’t quite the madhouse that it was in the last term but there are still some flaky operators in the council chamber and deputy mayor Laurie Foon, who issued the press statement, is apparently one of them.

There’s a strange, Year Zero quality to pronouncements like these. They are so freighted with ideological jargon that it can be almost impossible to work out what they actually mean in practical terms. But what they do reveal, vividly, is that council bureaucracies have become highly politicised and detached from the pressing everyday concerns of ratepayers.  

As an aside, I used to work with Richard MacLean, who for many years has been the Wellington City Council media manager. He was a good newspaper reporter and a very funny man with a highly developed sense of the ridiculous. As a journalist, he would have laughed heartily at this sort of bullshit.

The encouraging thing is that people have grown wise to woke PR flannel. The comments under the press release on the Scoop website oozed cynicism. TrevorH, for example, wrote: “What is ‘soil sovereignty in relation to the cultural landscapes’? [Yes, that’s a line from the press statement.] Does any of this psychobabble have any relationship to reality whatsoever?”

There was a lot more in a similar vein. Ian Apperley commented: “I often wonder if the WCC can produce even more gibberish, and then they prove to me that they can.” Someone called Barb added: “New logo for WCC should be 110 per cent B.S.”.

Interestingly, no one commented on the use of te reo in the press statement (and also on the council website, where it takes precedence over English). Presumably that's because it's now taken as a given. 

For the record, Maori make up 8.6 percent of Wellington's population.


Ken said...

A double whammy today Karl - remember when you expected to council to effectively run local facilities not to educate you on the error of our ways and when you tuned into the radio news expecting to hear what was going on in the world rather than be told how to think.
Ken Maclaren

Doug Longmire said...

Well, I found the use of Maori words made the article incomprehensible, because most of the words do not have a proper translation.

But the biggest and most laughable statement in the article was this:-

"Wellington’s climate-responsible food culture and system is reversing the effects of climate change."

Wow !! All on their own, Wellington are saving the planet - all on their own !!

Russell Parkinson said...

A couple of things occur to me.

Is the extensive and overbearing use of the Maori language, spoken by no more than 5% of the population, by councils and government departments a failure in their duty to keep ratepayers and tax payers properly informed?

I listened to the Wellington Mayor (or is it Mayoress?) yesterday being interviewed on the 12.9% rates increase being proposed for her on the city which included more money spent on cycleways than fixing water issues. Her responses were outrageous really but I couldn't help but feel that the public servants, council workers and greenies who voted her in were getting what they deserved. The same applies to "Te Anamata a-Kao o Tatou Taone".

Am I being too harsh?

Chris Nisbet said...

Are councils really able to decide for themselves what ratepayers' money should be spent on? Since when has it been a council's job to feed us culturally appropriate food, or reverse climate change?
Nek minnit they'll be telling me how far I'm allowed to travel in my car.

Don Franks said...

Top of the WCC's virtue signal :" Everyone in Wellington has dignified and secure access to nutritious and culturally appropriate food"
Wellington’s City Missioner Murray Edridge recently said many people were on the cusp of needing additional support financially, and after a couple of testing years, mentally as well.
“And it only takes something small, they blow a tyre in the car - if they have a car - or one of the kids gets sick and needs some medication or support.
“Then all of a sudden that one thing starts to create this cascade of chaos, because people are just getting by.”
"I think next year is going to be the hardest year we've seen for a very long time, probably in most people's living memory," Edridge concluded.
As the Council's irritating chatter intensifies, low paid people's real life problems remain the same or worsen.

D'Esterre said...

Karl: "Interestingly, no one commented on the use of te reo in the press statement (and also on the council website, where it takes precedence over English). Presumably that's because it's now taken as a given."

I commented on that story, as you'll see. I ignored the use of Maori, not because I see it as a given, but because I simply can't be bothered giving it the time of day, so to speak. I've discovered the hard way that criticism of the Maori language being used, sometimes to the exclusion of English, not only brings no change, but other commenters use it as a chance to fling the "racism!" epithet at me. Or at anyone else foolhardy enough to raise the issue. And: I've also discovered that my comments on this issue (and presumably those of others) are edited or moderated out on many blog sites. So much for free speech in NZ.

"...soil sovereignty in relation to the cultural landscapes..."

In my comment, I asked what this meant. That part was moderated or edited out.

Doug Longmire: "Wellington’s climate-responsible food culture and system is reversing the effects of climate change."

In my Scoop comment, I also challenged this, which in my view is ideological nonsense. It was edited or moderated out.

Don Franks: "As the Council's irritating chatter intensifies..."

While I don't expect any better of Council officers, it's really difficult to figure out why so many Councillors are so tone-deaf, with regard to the desperate economic straits in which many ratepayers are mired. Even the government has (belatedly, and only after doing a good deal of economic damage to NZ) woken up to the fact that citizens are doing it hard.

Tangentially related to this story: last year, Tamatha Paul (WCC councillor) complained about racism and abuse towards Maori councillors. It was reported on Scoop, and I commented on it. See this:

More fool me. As you'll see, I was subjected to a pile-on. Some of those commenters were of Maori descent; many were not. They're the woke left. My experience there neatly illustrates why many commenters shy away from anything to do with the Maori language. I don't blame them. One needs to be made of stern stuff to withstand it: I am, and I gave as good as I got on that story. But it's an experience I could've done without.

Gary Peters said...

"Everyone in Wellington has dignified and secure access to nutritious and culturally appropriate food"

Now in that vein, and in an attempt to bring a little joy to the masses, one of my favourite "cultural" meals is Curry Laksa and it is a habit of mine and my son's when in different parts of the country and the world, to seek out a small Asian restaurant that makes this dish.

I can report that Satay Palace in Cuba Street wins hands down and we have sampled said dish in far flung places like Malaysia, Singapore and even various cities in New Zealand and Oz where there are significant populations of Asian immigrants creating a demand for the dish.

So, Satay Palace is definitely number one and Satay Malaysia, just up the road a bit and owned by the same family, is a close second.

How's that for a culturally appropriate insertion?

Odysseus said...

"Wellington City Council isn’t quite the madhouse that it was in the last term". Sorry to contradict you Karl but it is rapidly becoming clear that Wellington City Council this term is total bedlam. They have now just imposed a 12 percent plus rates increase but the Mayor ( a former Lotto winner and Greens apparatchik) has no idea of, or concern for, the impact on the city's ratepayers. She struggles to answer basic questions and shoots from the lip constantly. The dominant Labour-Greens cabal are becoming more extreme in their politics than ever before, and the small number of independents can do little about it. Wellington is locked in a doom-spiral.

JohnC said...

Hi Karl,
As an aside, at my Wellington gym I occasionally chat to a bloke who works at the Wellington City Council. He recently told me there are 55 people in the Council's HR unit! My jaw almost hit the flaw on hearing this. Clearly the Council lives up to the image of a bloated and wasteful bureaucracy. It's a comfy life for Council staff while ratepayers take cold showers and cut their supermarket spending in half, just to stay solvent.

Paul Peters said...

Corrected version:

In reply to Chris Nisbet, re telling you how long and when you can use your car. That is on its way. Along with individual spending cards with built-in carbon tracking and limits within a given period.

Stuff did a patronising piece about ''conspirators'', going on about Hamilton mulling 15-minute cities. What could be wrong with all you need within 15 minutes. Stuff went to appropriately on- board academics who joined the chorus denigrating silly conspirators.

Stuff, of course, did not mention the downside of 15-minute cities with potential for restrictions on distance, permits, and limiting car days.

I recall Green persons a year or so back saying the ''lessons of lockdowns'' could be ''usefu; for tackling climate change''.

As for the carbon cards Doconomy teamed up with MasterCard for volunary trials in Sweden, where there were plenty of takers. OK if it is voluntary . But the topic comes up at WEF with Alibaba exec touting its potential as a way of controlling spending/carbon .

Apparently pointing this out, things actually said or proposed is ''conspiracy theory''. Nothing to see . Like co-governance was.

Dave Lennys said...

Specific outcomes from Te Anamata a-Kai o To Tatou Taone will doubtless include more employment for ratepayer-funded coordinators and PR staff, but a council which can’t deliver reliable 20th century water reticulation will deliver 21st century food [insert preferred, inspirational buzzwords]… Yeah, right.

Ben Thomas said...

Is deputy mayor Foon related to the Race Relations Conciliator; another one given to speaking in buzzwords and slogans.

Bryan Flanagan said...

"Maori make up 8.6 percent of Wellington's population" you say.

Wouldn't it be correct to say something like "There are no known full blooded Maori in Wellington but people with at least some Maori ancestry make up 8.6 percent of Wellington's population" ?

Anonymous said...

I’m a Welllington City Councillor and one of the independents and for the record, I’m absolutely opposed to the woke councillors. If this comment about the number of HR people is true, I’m absolutely flabbergasted and will check this today!

Anonymous said...

To JohnC - that wouldn't surprise me, apparently Auckland Council has 150.

D'Esterre said...

Bryan Flanagan! "...people with at least some Maori ancestry make up 8.6 percent of Wellington's population" ?"

It would. This is where we get into strife with identity politics. The biologically accurate characterisation is "people of Maori descent".

But this country is supposed to be a representative democracy: in such a system, one's ethnic ancestry doesn't matter at all. It's one citizen, one vote.

Providing separate services, electoral systems, or special consideration for people on the basis of their ancestry is downright undemocratic. There's no other way to describe it.

Trev1 said...

D'Esterre: Wellington Scoop is a very biased , unreliable site. Any post with information that reflects badly on the Labour government never sees the light of day, or is edited to the point of meaninglessness. Scoop are strong proponents of Mahuta's 3 Waters scheme and are little more than Left Wing shills. For example the fact that ratepayers will be made liable under the 3 Waters Amendment Bill currently before Parliament for the mega entities' borrowing, which is estimated to reach as much as $200 billion, is routinely suppressed. I know this from repeated attempts to share that very important information on the Scoop site in debates on the subject.

Gary Peters said...

And now we see why mayor tory needed a 12.9% rates increase, not for water pipes, just virtue signalling.

What culture is KFC culturally appropriate food for?

Doug Longmire said...

My own views on use of (mainly faux) Maori names which are being recently created is as follows:-

I am not blind - so I do not use braille.
I am not deaf - so I do not use sign language
I am not disabled - so I do not use a wheelchair
I am not Maori - so I do not use or accept Maori words, except for established place names, like Te Kuiti, Paekakariki etc.

Brendan McNeill said...

C'mon Karl, cut the good folks at the Council a break. Let's face it, maintaining footpaths, collecting rubbish, managing water, it's all kinda boring.

What these folks need is a sense of meaning and purpose greater than their small lives can offer. If saving the planet is what it takes, then let them have at it. It appears that some Councils are keen on actively promoting DEI causes as well. Isn't it the responsibility of every rate payer funded Library to run Drag Queen Story Hour for children?

Do try and catch up man.

D'Esterre said...

Trev1: all of us who comment on Scoop know what it's like. But it isn't quite so hard-Left that it prints no dissenting views. I've been very critical of Treaty revisionism and how it's been applied in particular to our electoral system. My comments have been published, often without editing. Although it is true that editing is a feature. I've had entire chunks removed from comments, and some comments not published. Others I've spoken with have had the same experience.

"Any post with information that reflects badly on the Labour government never sees the light of day, or is edited to the point of meaninglessness."

This isn't entirely true. There's been critique of three waters and other issues, though doubtless the more hard-line comments don't get through moderation.

In general, there isn't the verbal rough-and-tumble that one might find on many other blogsites. On other sites (one in particular), when I disagree with the author, my comments just don't get published. I've largely given up going there.

On many NZ blogsites, free speech is often honoured as much in the breach as the observance, as the saying goes. Unfortunately, Scoop is one of them. But I go there because it specialises in local news, and it does allow readers to comment.