You saw on TV1 tonight Kaitaia being dubbed the murder capital of NZL. You can't argue with the numbers but there is another side of the story.
It is my privilege to know some really good folk up there putting their heart and soul into that community. Toss Kitchen, Fire Brigade Chief, Councillor and Hospital Board member; Bill Stead, Mike Masters and Jim Burrows, good solid farming stock; David Russell, one of the driving forces behind the restoration of the Kaitaia War Memorial; Sheridan Waitaia who works tirelessly on the Te Hiku - Make it Happen project; Carol Berghan; Ricky Houghton, CEO of the He Korowai Trust; the lady owner of the Beachcomer Restaurant for her continued work in brightening up the town; Don and Liz Stevens, stalwarts of the Baptist Church who have spent much of their lives doing good works ... the list goes on and on.
But they are swamped by the ferals who inhabit the town and environs. The mobsters from Ngati Kahu who think nothing of closing down Kaitaia airport as part of a inter-tribal feud; Maori who think nothing of ripping off fellow Maori by peddling fake car registrations and WOFs; those whose lifestyle choice is the dole supplemented by some wacky-baccy growing and paua poaching and the acceptance by their peers and family that this is acceptable. Parents who abuse their kids as a matter of course. A belief that they are exempt from societal norms.
The programme ended with calls for massive government intervention. Got news .... there IS massive government intervention in Kaitaia and has been for a long time. But it's all destined to fail unless there is a paradigm shift in the way people view society and take responsibility for their future. Sir Apirana Ngata had it right when he said back in 1936 that "social welfare will destroy our people". Socialism has failed Maori and Maoridom and only Maori and Maoridom can fashion the ladder which will allow them to climb out of the hole dug for them.
Whanau Ora is a start but I have to say it's disappointing that the MP for Northland (seldom seen) has tried his very best to undermine that programme at every opportunity. Only to be expected from a politician who works best at pulling things down rather than building things up ... sad.