"The Terrorism Files"

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  • Sara Noble,

    [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%22Touch_of_the_tar_brush%22|Wiki] agrees with you regarding the origin of "a touch of the tar-brush". It's funny that I think the only person I can remember using the phrase is my father who, being a supposedly liberal joker, uses it in a supposedly joking way.

    Interesting re boats and farming (thanks) which make more sense because I guess if you're going to be tarred and feathered its more likely to be poured than painted (?). I don't think I have ever really thought about tar-brushes in any context other than "a touch of". So I think the 2 usages crashed together in my head. Again, I wonder if their is any demonstrated link in etymology. If only I could write to Peter Sinclair.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Sara Noble,

    Damn, when I started writing here, I proof-read about 3 times, then trial posted. Now I just bung it up and watch the typos glare at me. Sorry!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Sara Noble,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Great to see this new anti-terror law working.

    "Three smacks and he's 'guilty' "

    "The Masterton man was sentenced to nine months' supervision yesterday after admitting he had grabbed his son by the shoulder, held him on his knee and hit him with an open hand."

    The sentence of 9 months supervision is entirely appropriate. Don't bash your kid & we're watching.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4283366a10.html

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    I have never heard "touch of the tar brush" used in any NZ context. I think of it as old American and even older British usage. It's not part of my working vocab and I can confidently say there is no crossover in my mind.

    I would have suspected "tarring with the same brush" is a nautical term from

    Oxford Dictionary gives the origin as Sara Noble - from the old punishment of tarring and feathering, and the origin is Old English.

    I'd never heard the term "touch of the tarbrush" until I came here, and heard my husband Paul's friends using it - referring to him, his Mum's Maori obviously Maori ancestry and his apparently white appearance - in that jokey-jokey way that is called 'funny' here. It was always uttered in the same jokey-jokey breath with the phrase "nigger in the woodpile" and I was really, reallly shocked by both phrases, shocked at them for using it and Paul for not reacting - despite being made very uncomfortable - because 1) it would encourage them to do it more and 2) it was "only a joke".

    The open - if "jokey" racism here made it very hard for me to adjust in my first years here, as I would argue with anybody who spoke like that... though it endeared me to my mother in law, who, like Paul, had been quietly and politely taking that kind of shit all her life.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I heard Derek Fox say "nigger in the woodpile" on National Radio today. Funnily enough for this thread, it was in reference to the terror raids, specifically wondering why we hadn't heard about the police officer who directed the raids.

    It took me by surprise, I can tell you.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Sara Noble,

    Another really interesting part of the Derek Fox discussion today was in relation to freeing up money held by the Maori trustee so that it can be applied to Maori development. This brings back another aspect of the discussion we have had in the past in that so many of the mechanisms that have been put in place by government supposedly to remedy grievances Maori interests have themselves become obstacles to Maori advancement. Fox mentions the $90M held by the Maori Trustee (who in the past was almost never Maori) and the Crown Forestry Trust, there are multiple other such organisations - the fisheries commission, many of the Iwi Trust Board for example, that also hold large amounts of money that are not available for general Maori or Iwi development. T don't know a whole lot about this, but I do know that it is the cause of considerable frustration to many.

    The Tuhoe Trust Board was set up in about 1967 and the Board members were appointed by Government, without the mandate of Tuhoe, and many of the original Trustees are still in place. I understand that Tuhoe has become unified (i.e. hui throughout the subtribes) around the need to get rid of this board, as it also has 10's of millions of dollars worth of Iwi assets tied up. Some in Tuhoe wonder about the coincidence of this unification and the police raids - i.e. the hui process was concluded a week before the raid.

    Equally, the Maori Land Court, District Maori Councils etc were set up supposedly to administer Maori Land to their benefit, but again were set up with little or no consultation, without reference to Iwi boundaries and have often effectively suppressed Maori development. And on and on it goes...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • A S,

    As far as I can recall, the Maori Trustee has been Maori for the last twenty years or so. If the Maori Trustee has been holding back Maori development, it seems a bit of a longshot to say that pakeha are doing the holding...

    While the institutions were set up by Europeans (the Maori Trustee was originally the Native Trustee - so you get an idea of how far back it goes), the vast majority of the money they administer is generally to benefit Maori or some other such term.

    It is really important to also remember that using the services of the Maori Trustee to administer your Maori land (assuming you are Maori and you have shares in a land block) is optional, it is not compulsory, and in fact you would probably be much better in terms of returns to shareholders etc. to administer any land interest independently of the Maori Trustee (The trustees job is to administer it, making productive use of it is optional).

    In terms of the list of organisations invented by pakeha, we shouldn't forget to add iwi. A fairly strong argument could be made that iwi have played more than their fair share of a role in holding back Maori development over the years also.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2007 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • Sara Noble,

    On an almost-entirely-different subject (going back to Shep's and Dyan's posts), one of the things that occasionally strikes me about Pakeha culture in general is how we seem to have a very high tolerance for other people's distress. (For Neil's benefit I will put in the proviso that generalisations are abstract and therefore do not necessarily apply to all individuals or situations - and I do own it for myself.) It's weird, because I think we can also be very anxious about treading on toes and are rather averse to direct criticism or conflict.

    But so much criticism, and even abuse, is passed off as joking. The scenarios Dyan describes are totally familiar to me. I'm sure Maori face this stuff all the time (I've seen it and the evidence is there). On National radio today, Michael Walker (Ranginui's son) talked about it. Also the appalling sexual "jokes". Two instances from my past are - 1. bending over to tie my shoe laces, aged 14, at a friend's parents' party and a drunk middle aged man shouting to his drunk friends "I'd like to fuck her up the arse." I still feel sick just thinking (writing) about this. 2. My husband's godmother's husband (lets call him "the Colonel") calling for some free legal advice, gets me instead: "Oh, Sara, how is your husband, I suppose you rape him every night." I was more polite and restrained (ie disarmed) then and said "well I suppose you should ask him" to which the Colonel said, "Oh no, I could never say that to him," and I replied "no, so maybe you shouldn't say it to me either." Subsequently, HE refused to come to Christmas at the in-laws because WE don't have any sense of humour. Turns out of course that my husband's sister had been suffering similar (worse) verbal abuse since she was about 12 and of course mummy dearest had always denied that he "meant anything by it." Its disgusting - and in case anyone doubts it, really damaging, especially when it's cumulative. (Which it tends to be given the prevalence).

    The other bit about tolerating others' distress is how when some appalling crime has occurred the neighbours and workmates are always trotted out saying - oh, but he was such a nice man (Joseph Thompson) or, they were such a nice family (the Bains). Then of course it turns out that the daughter is abused and a prostitute etc etc etc.

    I remember when the Bain case was fresh in the media, after a few days of "but he was such a good bloke (robin)" etc, a camera actually went through the house and it was, literally, a tip. Newspapers and rubbish bags and dishes and god knows what literally stacked up all the walls - hall way, kitchen, everywhere. Doors pushing rubbish in front of them as they were opened. I remember at the time thinking (and this was before I was aware of many of the revelations) "this family is depressed" or distressed, or at least seriously malfunctioning. And it seemed no-one had noticed.

    And the same goes for parenting. Its a shit job - hardest in the world (forgive the hyperbole), lousy pay, no holidays or sick leave and no thanks, at least for the first 5 years. I pushed my girl over once and smacked her many times - all in anger - and I believe it is inexcusable. It is so sad that it comes to police action/prosecution for it to happen, but thank goodness the state is now going to pay for counselling for them - how many young families can afford $80 - 120 per hour for the duration that it takes to really address parenting and/or anger problems?

    Ok. Enough already. Breathe.....

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Sara Noble,

    the Maori Trustee was originally the Native Trustee - so you get an idea of how far back it goes

    the Maori Trustee has been Maori for the last twenty years or so

    the Maori Trustee (who in the past was almost never Maori)

    Okay - 20 years out of 100 is not "almost never," point conceded, but I did say "in the past."

    It is really important to also remember that using the services of the Maori Trustee to administer your Maori land (assuming you are Maori and you have shares in a land block) is optional, it is not compulsory

    This isn't true, huge amounts of land was put into Maori Trust (under the act) between at least the 1920's and the 1970's most of which is still there - and as you say, not to much commercial advantage.

    In terms of the list of organisations invented by pakeha, we shouldn't forget to add iwi.

    Please explain. I am fascinated.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • A S,

    On the iwi thing. According to quite a few kaumatua (from quite disparate parts of the country) I've talked to over the years, iwi was a structure that was historically a useful mechanism to identify shared whakapapa. Their contention was that whanau and hapu were the actual structures of Maori society, while iwi was a more distant concept (clumsy wording, but hopefully this makes sense).

    They also made the (quite fair in my view) observation that iwi only gained the status they have now amongst Maori, mainly because government actively sought to engage with iwi rather than deal with the various whanau and hapu, as that meant there were an awful lot less Maori for government to have to deal with.

    So my comment, perhaps not the most elegantly put, was trying to say that iwi appear to be given a prominence that seems to be due to bureaucrat's wishing to minimise their interactions with Maori, rather than because they represented a clear desire amongst Maori to have these structures represent them in so many issues as they do currently.

    Since that time, iwi have had the lions share of attention from government, in terms of cash, attention and giving far too many old men far too much opportunity to pontificate on a regular basis.

    In terms of the land administered by the Maori Trustee, the way I look at it is: Maori own around 6% of land in NZ. The Maori Trustee (based on what I've been told) administers around 6% of that 6%. It could be seen as a relatively large amount of land, but it represents only a fraction of total Maori land.

    Most of that land isn't compulsorily administered by the Maori Trustee, so if I'm somewhat callous about it, if the owners can't be bothered sorting out their own interests, then really they get what they deserve.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2007 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • Sara Noble,

    Interesting - thank you. It makes good sense, even of something my friend said the other day about traditional Maori society being both more authoritarian and more consensus orientated than the modern Westminster system. I have been wondering about the business of how Maori might go about the process of achieving a legitimate mandate for something - anything - given that most of the structures that they have to operate within (legal in particular) have been imposed from outside.

    I guess I have a lot more sympathy with the idea that Maori, having been ripped from their land, traditions, language etc are not going to be terribly able (in general) to fight for themselves - especially given that the mechanisms for that fight are almost exclusively dominated by the system, language and culture of the invader.

    I can't dispute your 6% of 6%, but I suspect that if you added up all the land and resources under the various statutes and structures that are nominally Maori (e.g. all the forest and fishery corporations, the Maori reserves, the Leaseholds for which only peppercorn rentals were/are paid etc etc, it might be quite a lot more. Then again I think it is time for a kind of "reverse Surplus Lands Act" - that all land in Crown ownership that is not directly productive (and probably even much of that) should immediately be returned to some kind of communal Maori ownership, retaining its various designations where they are considered to be of national importance (like scenic, scientific etc reserves) so that at least the underlying mana whenua was returned. And thats just for starters!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 127 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    I'm out of touch & a little confused as to the SAS CTTAG & the SIS CTAG.

    It looks like CTTAG could operate within CTAG - anyone know?

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    CTAG isn't part of the SIS, it's a Combined Threat Assessment Group, and includes SIS, Police, Defence Force, and GCSB. It's hosted within the SIS but it's more a gathering together of the four rather than any great big new unit.

    My understanding, and someone else might know more, is that CTAG is a threat assessment group. They assess information gathered across all intelligence gathering agencies.

    CTTAG is a response group, they're at the other end, and they kick down the doors and shoot the bad guys and rescue the hostages and whatnot. They're SAS trained soldiers. CTTAG are defence force entirely, and they'll come under the command of the defence force. I'm not sure what it would take to activate them, but I presume it has to come from the Prime Minister or Minister of Defence.

    I can't imagine there's any relationship between the two. CTAG would be top officials from the four agencies sharing intelligence, CTTAG is a SAS group of soldiers.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Cheers Kyle but I'm not sure you can exclude CTAG from SIS by saying it's hosted by it.

    CTAG co-ordination is a good thing, just need to follow the rules & be up front when one area crosses over to help the other. As CTAG includes NZDF - CTTAG is part of NZDF they could well play a part in CTAG.

    Still very much in the dark here.

    I just hope CTAG doesn't co-ordinated between services & agencies with CTTAG on hand to hold up 12yr old girls and Grandmas at gun point.

    Was it here or somewhere else I was told FBI don't have their own email or online access? I initally thought that was for ultra security but it wasn't - they are the poor dirty cousins of the CIA.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Cheers Kyle but I'm not sure you can exclude CTAG from SIS by saying it's hosted by it.

    Well OK, up to you.

    CTAG co-ordination is a good thing, just need to follow the rules & be up front when one area crosses over to help the other. As CTAG includes NZDF - CTTAG is part of NZDF they could well play a part in CTAG.

    I don't think you understand what they do. CTAG is a threat assessment unit. They gather evidence across multiple agencies, look at it, and inform the relevant agencies and the Prime Minister etc. They're not a command and control group, they don't have any military, police, or other 'active' staff under them. Their job is threat assessment. People from the various parts get seconded to CTAG to work on threat assessment. They're a bunch of spooks and intelligence professionals and senior suits from the four agencies.

    CTTAG are soldiers. Here is a photo of a CTTAG soldier. They don't collect intelligence, they don't assess intelligence, they're the guys who get all dressed up throw in stun grenades and storm the farmhouse/plane/building whatever.

    The only connection between the two is that they are parts of an anti-terrorism process. CTTAG might act on information collected by CTAG, but only under orders from the Prime Minister/Minister of Defence/Head of the Defence Force. There's no connection between the two, and CTAG has no command and control authority, that continues to reside with the independent organisations that make up CTAG.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    I sure don't understand CTAG but intellegence gathering is a role of the SAS & therefore possibly CTTAG.

    CTTAG was developed for NZ based Terrorism & CTAG to co-ordinate - at least we can learn from the yanks silos.

    If CTTAG were deployed to the Ureweras to gather intel, then report to CTAG, and then CTTAG go and raid Ruatoki. We have a self forfilling circle jerk of death.

    I expect down the track this might become clearer.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    If CTTAG were deployed to the Ureweras to gather intel, then report to CTAG, and then CTTAG go and raid Ruatoki. We have a self forfilling circle jerk of death.

    But no defence forces were deployed. So your self-fulfilling circle jerk of death (and, it would be useful to remember, no one was killed, or, actually physically hurt during the raids) is, y'know. Made up.

    I wasn't even aware that CTAG were involved, though I presume the police intelligence was shared. By my understanding the raids were conducted entirely under police jurisdiction, and no permission of higher authority was sought.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    "But no defence forces were deployed"

    You know this how?

    "I wasn't even aware that CTAG were involved"

    If CTAG weren't used that would seem to be a serious error ignoring a body set up exactly for the sort of thing the cops thought they had.

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    "But no defence forces were deployed"

    You know this how?

    Because when they're deployed for law enforcement, the PM must inform parliament at the earliest opportunity, which she hasn't done.

    From the Aramoana wikipedia page:

    As of 2007, it remains the only time that the crack New Zealand Special Air Service, a branch of the army, has been placed on alert for a domestic incident.[citation needed] New Zealand law prohibits the use of the Army for law enforcement without the approval of the Prime Minister (who must then report to Parliament at the earliest opportunity).

    "I wasn't even aware that CTAG were involved"

    If CTAG weren't used that would seem to be a serious error ignoring a body set up exactly for the sort of thing the cops thought they had.

    I said I wasn't aware that they were involved, it's entirely possible that they were. CTAG is an information sharing and report writing body, it doesn't make decisions, so 'being involved' simply means, the police pass their information onto it, and they possibly write a report on it.

    What I said was, the action undertaken on October 15 was a police action under the authority of the Commissioner's warrant. I presume acting on a CTAG report is under the authority of the Prime Minister, and that's not what happened in this case. The police may have considered that because the incident was entirely domestic, it did not require working with CTAG, or CTAG might have been given the information and decided not to report on it. A good defence lawyer using the OIA and Privacy Act could try and find out the answers to those questions.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Shep Cheyenne,

    Kyle, my trust gage is on empty at the moment for the powers that be in regards to Ruatoki.

    I was wondering if NZDF/CTTAG are civi-washed if they are engaged via CTAG & the cops?

    Since Oct 2007 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I was wondering if NZDF/CTTAG are civi-washed if they are engaged via CTAG & the cops?

    I don't know what this sentence means sorry. civi-washed? engaged via?

    It's my understanding, and I'm not an expert, that CTTAG can only be deployed by the same means as any other part of the NZDF, if that's what your asking. The police, and CTAG have no powers over the NZDF, except there are NZDF staff involved with CTAG.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • InternationalObserver,

    This is off thread, but kinda on-topic (esp since everyone's using initials). I just watched an episode of NCIS today that I'd recorded earlier (not sure if was last Tuesday's ep). Two NCIS agents were blown up on US soil by a suicide bomber (but not really, as it later transpired) and Mark Harmon's boss had to call the agents families and give them the bad news. She says sombrely to Harmon: "I've got some calls to make and you've got a terrorist to kill".

    It struck me because surely his job was to catch the terrorist and bring him in, but no, the scriptwriters felt confident enough to suggest the terrorist should be killed outright. Obviously that kind of gung-ho spirit plays well to an American audience and suits the recruiting needs of the US military; but it also encapsulates the mind-set of the Bush administration's 'War On Terror'.

    And the WOT has been forced on the rest of the world, and even NZ is not immune. This so called Anti-terror legislation is, we're told, necessary because of our commitments to the UN (a commitment driven by the US).

    Thank god no shots were fired in Tuhoe, but considering how far we've come already down a path most feel abhorrent (and unnecessary) I wonder at what point we will reach a time when shots will be fired? 2010? 2019? And when will we have our first 'terror related death'??

    The weird thing is that the world already knows the emperor has no clothes, and yet we still dance to his tune...

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I/O, that sums up one of my great fears about this whole business very well.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Me too.
    And the pictures of "commando-style" police, with assault rifles, at the ruatoki checkpoint and elsewhere, make me feel we've made a serious mis-step in walking this tight-rope.
    If some people do- or did- fancy themselves as terrorists, the best defence, the sanest and soundest approach seems to me to treat them as criminals where that's warranted. And very much NOT to ramp things up and play to their idiotic ideas.
    (I'm not saying that's what's happened. I suspect it's not even that much.)
    Reading the Dom Post quotes again, it's pretty evident why the S-G didn't press terrorism charges. A "plot" involves at the very least some serious planning. You do this, at point A, he'll do that, then we'll proceed to B....
    There's nothing like that in the quotes so far. It will be interesting to see how the "bush-training camps" evidence plays out. Some people probably were entertaining some pretty stupid ideas. (I know I have!) Regrettable, but...
    This saga has left a curious and bitter taste. It's been mis-handled by almost everyone involved. It's left the country in worse shape- more distrust, more animosity, more grand-standing, worse laws. There was a time I felt Helen Clarke was "statesperson" enough to take a broad view, a deep breath, and settle everything down. Haven't seen that leadership from anyone yet.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

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