Simply turned away from abuser

Re: Helping out racism . . . November 1 letter.

Your singular example of a white woman confronting a Filipino family in Wellington was very selective.

I had a similar situation in Gisborne about 18 months ago, but unlike yourself, Meredith and many others, I walked away and ignored my abuser.

I was confronted by a young Maori woman outside Pak’nSave who asked if I was the Mike who wrote the article in the previous night’s paper. I politely told her I was, and then “wham”! She let fly with both barrels. She said “you are a typical white racist and it’s a pity no one has bashed you”.

Her anger arose from an idea I suggested that one of the local iwi build a simulation of a Maori village and charge tourists a moderate fee to visit it. I felt that this idea, along with the return to our district of the magnificent meeting house Te Hau ki Turanga, from Te Papa, would draw countless tourists to our area.

This attack certainly upset me, but I simply turned and walked away.

Tell me, Mr Porter, should I have rushed to The Herald or phoned Maori TV? Of course not! She was just venting her personal frustration and opinion, although, may I say, it was not in the best manner.

I think I acted a little more sensibly and diplomatically than a number of those who cannot stop claiming “racism is alive and unwell” in Gisborne.

As I have said many times, racism is a two-way street. The problem here is that one side is downhill and gathering momentum.

Let us solve the council problem by appointing a qualified expert in Maori tikanga, and let that person advise the council on the correct procedures etc prior to any matters regarding Maori.

The late Lewis Moeau, the government adviser on Maori protocol, was a prime example. His passing was a great loss to New Zealand.

By the way, Mr Porter, I do not believe Mr Hill’s letter was hypocritical but I do feel that your closing sentence “There’s much more to come” was written by a very threatening pen.

Mike Mulrooney

Re: Helping out racism . . . November 1 letter.

Your singular example of a white woman confronting a Filipino family in Wellington was very selective.

I had a similar situation in Gisborne about 18 months ago, but unlike yourself, Meredith and many others, I walked away and ignored my abuser.

I was confronted by a young Maori woman outside Pak’nSave who asked if I was the Mike who wrote the article in the previous night’s paper. I politely told her I was, and then “wham”! She let fly with both barrels. She said “you are a typical white racist and it’s a pity no one has bashed you”.

Her anger arose from an idea I suggested that one of the local iwi build a simulation of a Maori village and charge tourists a moderate fee to visit it. I felt that this idea, along with the return to our district of the magnificent meeting house Te Hau ki Turanga, from Te Papa, would draw countless tourists to our area.

This attack certainly upset me, but I simply turned and walked away.

Tell me, Mr Porter, should I have rushed to The Herald or phoned Maori TV? Of course not! She was just venting her personal frustration and opinion, although, may I say, it was not in the best manner.

I think I acted a little more sensibly and diplomatically than a number of those who cannot stop claiming “racism is alive and unwell” in Gisborne.

As I have said many times, racism is a two-way street. The problem here is that one side is downhill and gathering momentum.

Let us solve the council problem by appointing a qualified expert in Maori tikanga, and let that person advise the council on the correct procedures etc prior to any matters regarding Maori.

The late Lewis Moeau, the government adviser on Maori protocol, was a prime example. His passing was a great loss to New Zealand.

By the way, Mr Porter, I do not believe Mr Hill’s letter was hypocritical but I do feel that your closing sentence “There’s much more to come” was written by a very threatening pen.

Mike Mulrooney

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