An international event as widespread and influential as the Covid 19 pandemic was always going to force nations to change the way they do things in order to survive in a world where choices are at a premium.
While most governments have reacted to this threat to
their sovereignty in a conservative manner and hoped for the best, few have
been bold enough to adopt policies that offered greater rewards in spite of
increased risk of failure.
Some, like our own country, have squandered advantages that accompany an island state that provided protection against the initial onslaught not available to most other nations having to impose lockdowns that dramatically affected the economy.
The old adage - “fiddling while Rome burns” is an apt
description of our government's oversight, even accepting that their early
decisions were justified and had proved successful In halting the spread of the
But whatever the reasons for the last twelve months of
inertia, we have transformed as a nation proud of its reputation valuing the
aspiration of becoming a true egalitarian society to one that has been
deliberately divided based on race and employment preferences.
For want of a better term, (l call it our “postequity”
period) it looks as if we have abandoned all those characteristics that ensured
we emerged from previous national challenges (world wars, international
financial crises, environmental disasters and other epidemics) with our
international and humanitarian reputation in tact.
We are now in a period where many of those qualities of
citizenship that supported us through every major threat to our existence are
We are being born again in a society that favours
individual endeavour only if you happen to be of one particular skin colour or
openly state your allegiance to a system opposed to individual expressions of
thought - climate change, free speech etc.
It didn’t need to be this way.
Where l live amongst some of the lowest decile
communities in the country, the opportunities for every New Zealander to
participate fully are accepted as being part of our heritage. It just so
happens that the biggest and most successful local businesses are Maori owned
and operated. It is no surprise that these innovative and intelligent people
have been able to take advantage of opportunities available to everyone.
When you talk to them, they just want the government to
get out of the way and let them get on with it. I applaud their endeavour. It
is refreshing in this current climate where Maoridom is continually portrayed
as victims and under resourced.
The truth is that this false narrative is promoted not
only by the government but unashamedly by the media and many of those employed
by the State or its agencies because it is in their best interests to do so.
We are being divided as a result of a deliberate act of
government to ensure control of just about everything is vested in the hands of
an elite group of unaffected ideologues who wouldn’t recognise truth even if
they fell over it.
Meanwhile, the common citizen just tries to find ways to
feed their families, hoping that one day we will be relieved of this gigantic
betrayal and return to a society that values freedom of choice more than it
fears death itself. Our forebears have shown us that sacrifices by some are
often the key to future prosperity for all. We should not forget their
contribution to an environment where equal opportunity is available to every
individual irrespective of race, creed, sexual preference or place of the
There is no greater aspiration than one that thinks more
of our legacy to future generations than the immediate difficulties experienced
in the process of establishment.
We should return to the days when we all believed in
those guidelines. But time is of the essence. It may soon be too late.
Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.