Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Morning in Auckland

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  • Stephen Judd,

    Ross, there's a whole bunch of former Yugoslavs outside. I can't tell them apart but they seem quite unhappy with each other, even the next-door neighbours.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    Ross, there's a whole bunch of former Yugoslavs outside. I can't tell them apart but they seem quite unhappy with each other, even the next-door neighbours.

    And seemingly the same deal between Indians & Pakistanis.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5443 posts Report Reply

  • uroskin,

    It's what you identify with

    I'm a Belgian-New Zealander (origin-nationality). Soon my origins won't exist anymore (we haven't had a government for a while now) so I'll become a Flemish-New Zealander. Good thing I'm not from Old Zeeland then!
    They might have to rebrand the Belgian cafes too. Just keep drinking our beer.

    The identification thing is interesting in the sexual orientation studies debate: are you straight because you identify as such or because you only commit heterosexual acts? The disconnect between the two I meet regularly at gay saunas.

    Waiheke Island • Since Feb 2007 • 178 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    there's a whole bunch of former Yugoslavs outside. I can't tell them apart but they seem quite unhappy with each other, even the next-door neighbours.

    Yes. I tried to add "Hutu" + "Rwandan" to my post above but the bleddy site timed me out again and the window closed (subtle How I Met Your Mother reference).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Sacha said:

    I think someone pointed out on a previous thread about this that health is where you want to know race in some cases rather than ethnicity

    Education too. It's one of the few single factor correlations affecting participation and outcomes. In Australia, Indigeniety is stongly correlated with low-levels of participation and achievement. My memory, eight years on, is that similar but less dramatic trends apply in NZ.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The identification thing is interesting

    To me, part of what makes traditional identity politics problematic is that it deals with the negotiation between how I describe myself and how others describe me largely by ignoring the latter. Individualism obscures the part groups play in our lives, whether we want them to or not.

    It frustrates me when well-intentioned but naive colleagues push the identity line and then wonder why public understandings about disability are very slow to shift.

    It's easier for us humans to blame an individual rather than look at the context for answers. In that sense, promoting wording like "people with disabilities" is similar to saying "people with Indian-ness" when you're trying to engage with a social process like racism.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Education too. It's one of the few single factor correlations affecting participation and outcomes. In Australia, Indigeniety is stongly correlated with low-levels of participation and achievement

    I think you're talking about ethnicity, aren't you? Race is more physical in focus, hence the link with health (though not without significant change).

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    My son is one of 2 white children at his kindergarten. So far he has not learned to classify the other children by any racial traits, nor their sex. But he has learned their names, and has classified some of them by what they do. "x plays Playdoh, y screams, z digs in the sand". It's inevitable that he will learn the differences, though - my own upbringing was much the same, a white boy in a mostly non-white school, and the other children taught me I was a Palagi, or a Pakeha, or whatever. Usually with threats, sneering and exclusion, so I don't have happy associations with the words.

    Interesting points in Wiki on race:

    Tragically,[16] those characteristics most closely associated with classifying races: skin color, hair color and texture, and facial characteristics—while evolutionarily important—are among the most superficial of human genetic traits.[16]

    and

    Dr. Craig Venter and scientist Francis Collins of the National Institute of Health jointly made the announcement of the mapping of the human genome in 2000. Upon examining the data from the genome mapping, he realized that although we are indeed further apart genetically from each other, (1-3% instead of the assumed 1%), the types of variations don't warrant calling each other different races. Venter says quote.."Race is a social concept. It's not a scientific one. There are no bright lines (that would stand out), if we could compare all the sequenced genomes of everyone on the planet." "When we try to apply science to try to sort out these social differences, it all falls apart."[74]

    All of that said, I guess the census is asking for our opinion on our view of that social construct, so calling myself European isn't hard - most people will see my light skin, brown hair with touches of red, greenish eyes, hear my NZ English, and make the same judgment. They won't be analyzing my blood type, comparing my skull to some fossil record, or asking about my beliefs, which are considerably more influenced by where I grew up, have been, and the people I have met and read, than where my great-great-greats came from. To be honest, the UK is one of the parts of the world I feel the least affinity to.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Also, the census is of individuals. So while you might be able to describe a Platonic ideal of an ethnic group having all kinds of characteristics, as soon as you actually try and apply these to real people you have to face all the issues like inter-marriage between supposed ethnicities (and intermarriage of their scions), adoption, and other things that pollute the imposed boundaries.
    All this on top of arguments around if dominant cultural groups can be ethnicities within their own sphere of influence, or the term only applies to minorities within a larger unit (the imperial model).
    On some days I am a New Zealander. On days when I consider the question in more detail (such as when filling out the census) I am a Pakeha. I don't consider myself a New Zealander of European descent as after 5 or 6 generations, I don't have any particular personal cultural affiliation to Europe. I am definitely not a white New Zealander by ethnic affiliation (though I have a very pale pink skin tone). I am happy with census accepting my opinion of my ethnicity, and being able to derive useful correlations from that.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Also, the census is of individuals.

    True. A lot of what I'm interested in knowing about won't ever come from adding up individual responses.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Make Adjustments Go Get It Energised...

    ...the window closed

    overall, that was quite subtle...
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    They could watch Magnum P.I. on 3, if they wanted.

    No they couldn't. This hasn't been on on weekdays in a long time. I'm not even sure it lasted a full month after Sunrise's cancellation.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3215 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Make Adjustments Go Get It Energised

    Now *that* was subtle

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Ross, there's a whole bunch of former Yugoslavs outside. I can't tell them apart but they seem quite unhappy with each other, even the next-door neighbours.

    It is why I added "usually" to the physical bit. Culture etc comes into the equation I s'pose. Religion to?

    Which brings up an interesting point you see. One needs to dig deeper to discover how these groups - who YOU can't tell apart - are "different". But the CG thing was about colour and voice. There is no doubt about that.

    So I gather if you got a bunch of Yugoslavs (does the term exist anymore?) together who did not know which "group" the others were in, would they have any difficulty deciding who they should hate with no other information?

    Irish Catholic and Protestants anyone? And of course Indian and Pakistan.

    Race is more physical in focus

    I don't think is even exists anymore. It was very much associated with the "sub human" of the "new worlds".

    Darwin has a lot to answer for. If he hadn't been around we would probably still be preaching to the natives.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    No they couldn't. This hasn't been on on weekdays in a long time. I'm not even sure it lasted a full month after Sunrise's cancellation.

    Yeah, that's part of the joke, Graeme. :)

    That said, I watched it twice about 5 or 8 weeks ago, but that was more like 9 or 10am.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    But the CG thing was about colour and voice. There is no doubt about that.

    NZ research shows a job application by someone with a name like Anand Satyanand is much less likely to result in a job interview than an identical one by someone called John Smith or similar. That's without clapping eyes on the person or hearing their voice.

    Consider the damage that does to all of us as a nation. About one in three Aucklanders were born overseas (compared with about one in six over the whole country, I think - can't find the number to link to). At the recent TEDxAuckland innovation event, a show of hands revealed that *two* thirds of the attendees were born overseas. Join the dots.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Linneaus (taxonomy) more than Darwin. But people don't need much excuse to hate other people, as the Stanford prison experiment showed.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    They could watch Magnum P.I. on 3,
    if they wanted.

    No they couldn't....

    currently a good alternative to the evening news
    is Callan on UK TV (if you have access to it)

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    How about all the people who wish to deny my ability to identify my 'ethnicity' as an NZer check out the results of the question from Stats NZ. The Ethnic Groups they report on refer to large numbers of either nation or region based groups that wouldn't meet your strict definition of 'ethnicity' either.
    E.g. American, Australian, Chilean, West Indian, Belgian, Shetland Islander, Taiwanese

    At some stage the question becomes meaningless except as a survey people living in NZ and their identity and feelings about questions of ethnicity.

    Which is all very interesting, but doesn't help the Ministry of Health, Education, Police, Corrections, various university researchers, historians etc when they want useful information. It's been put into the census because it's useful information to have.

    (See also people who write 'Jedi' as their religion, which also annoys me).

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    "If you asked me who'd be my favourite actor, I'd have to say that Edward Woodward would be." - Alas Smith and Jones

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    he would would he?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Which is all very interesting, but doesn't help the Ministry of Health, Education, Police, Corrections, various university researchers, historians etc when they want useful information. It's been put into the census because it's useful information to have.

    Neither does telling them you identify as 'a' when you also have equal amounts of 'b', 'c', and 'd' ancestry when it comes to health stats.

    Schools ask students what ethnic group they are from when they enrol so each school has it's own records of their ethnic breakdown to run their own programs as a response, so the census matters for diddly squat there. The government gets this info fed back to it and it's a lot more 'live' than a census every several years.

    How ticking "European New Zealander" helps them greatly is beyond me. Especially when you're not from Europe and don't know what crimes you need to be committing, grades you should be gaining, and ailments you should be suffering from to fit the criteria.

    as time goes by maybe they can look at the figures for "New Zealanders" in education, health, crime etc and get something useful from them.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis,

    Edward Woodward would be

    Sound a bit like a fantail when I say that fast a few times. Not a very cute fantail mind you.

    Since Nov 2006 • 903 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Which is all very interesting, but doesn't help the Ministry of Health, Education, Police, Corrections, various university researchers, historians etc when they want useful information.

    We are getting useful information from it though, because the sort of people who affiliate with x are well understood in terms of demographic background. That said, I have a few (personal) qualms around some categories of analysis about the extent to which they are analyzed because they were collected vs. usefully analyzed because they are a known or suspected direct contributor to the area being studied. For example, if you truly want high quality data for health, education and police you would:
    - collect some hair for genetic assay
    - ask the question "Do you eat dinner at the table with your children"
    - ask the question "Do either of your parents have a criminal conviction"
    But in reality, that is what more detailed research on particular topics is for, the census is for very broad demographic descriptions (used for things such as forecasting schools and infrastructure) which is why data is limited to mesh block sizes.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I'd have to say that Edward Woodward would be.

    It's a dream porno name.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

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