October 17th, 2007

I really shouldn’t be online, but on Tuesdays and Wednesdays when I start at 10 and I take a bit longer about getting up and about I have the habit of turning on CCTV 9 as background to my usual morning routines. It’s good for keeping track of the time and occasionally broadcasts something that could perhaps pass as news or information. But with certain current events in Beijing, CCTV 9 is even more insufferably mind-numbingly boring than usual.

Anyway, so I did a quick check of the email and then opened the NZ Herald to catch the latest on this police “anti-terror” operation in the Ureweras. Tuhoe country. As a fellow-Kiwi colleague said, the police really seem to love Tame Iti. Anyway, it seems the Herald sent a journalist into the Heart of Darkness and this report is the result.

Yeah, it is rather shallow, I know, but it still makes for an interesting read, at least so far as it hints at a region of Aotearoa that lies way beyond even the wildest imaginings of lily white Pakeha middle New Zealand. All of a sudden, I’m interested and I wouldn’t mind paying a visit.

But this police operation has me worried. Sure, if there really were terrorists training in the bush deep in the Ureweras, arrest the bastards. But heavy-handed tactics only serve to radicalise people. I note that the police stationed themselves along the Confiscation Line on Monday. That’s the line marking up to where Tuhoe lands were confiscated. I’ve read reports that suggest the locals felt just as terrorised by the police as the police allege we were supposed to feel terrorised by Tame Iti. Armed police searching a school bus? Bit over the top, perhaps?

And it seems the Green Party is rather sceptical of the police’s reasons for searching the houses of conservationists and other usually rather pacifistic dissenters. Not that I have a huge amount of respect for the Greens- they are politicians, after all. They’re just the party I hate the least.

Anyway, better get my arse into gear.

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