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July 9, 2008 | by  | in Online Only | [ssba]

The Waste Land

Yesterday the Bay of Plenty Times published an opinion piece. Opinion is the correct word in this incidence, as what Richard Moore wrote was obviously a personal belief or judgement that is not founded on proof or certainty, and is a vague idea in which his confidence is (mis)placed.


Richard Moore BoP Times 8/7/2008

CAN anyone tell me how to get bloodstains out of white linen? And how do you stop the edges of pillow cases fraying – particularly around eyeholes?

Why? Well I want to look my best in a figure-hugging, hand-stitched Ku Klux Klan outfit when I zip up to South Auckland to join the newly created Asian vigilante groups.

They’ve been overrun by robbers, crackheads, lowlifes and killers so I reckon they need a bit of a hand to keep the ever-increasing forces of darkness at bay.

The Asian community is so sick of the tidal wave of crime in its area that some 10,000 Chinese, Koreans, Indians and Japanese marched last week to protest against anti-Asian violence. And who can blame them.

In recent weeks three Asians have died as a result of crime in South Auckland. Robbed, then shot. Robbed, then run over. Robbed, then fatally beaten up.

So why are Asians ending up as victims? Well, one would suggest they are the ones with the energy and drive to set up businesses, they are the ones who work all hours in some dodgy areas and their perceived success makes them targets.

In South Auckland they’d stand out like the proverbial canine babymaking repositories because in that region having a job and being good citizens would be turning against generations of family culture.

But now the thugs of South Auckland are going to get a bit of a shock as triad gangs and vigilante groups, trained in martial arts, will be roaming the streets looking for trouble-makers.

And let’s hope they catch a few and deal to them in an unofficial capacity. I don’t necessarily mean lynchings, or burning tyres around necks, or being dragged behind peoplemovers, but you never know.

Of course there are going to be people who scream out about vigilantes and say it should be left up to the authorities – but haven’t politicians and police allowed this boil on the country to fester untreated?

Every law-abiding citizen has the right to expect to be safe and if the police cannot maintain order then people are allowed to protect themselves and their families.

Politicians should take note of the Asian community’s protest because it is a hard-working section of New Zealand that normally remains quiet and gets on with life. Other groups in this country could improve their lot by following similar ideals and practices.

Police need to put extra bodies on the streets in societal wastelands such as South Auckland and, if they can’t, they need to tell us why not. The top coppers need to put political considerations aside and tell us what they need to make the streets safe again.

In the meantime Jackie Chan, Kwai Chang Caine, Grasshopper, Hong Kong Fui et al – along with a white-clad guy in a pillowcase – will be hee-yaaing the baddies of South Auckland until further notice.


Moore paints a picture laced with horrible stereotypes about the Asian, Pacific Island and Maori communities, and puts the Asian Anti-Crime Group in the same basket as the Klu Klux Klan. He dobbs this canvas with racial slurs, brush stokes of endorsing violence, he paints South Auckland as a societal waste land where the only solution is violence and intimidation.

One comes away wondering if the BoP Times supports this racist rant, and how a person with such bad taste could be given a column.

Raybon Kan gives us a good insight when he says: “AAG sounds like a finance company. AAG sound like they offer debentures and 90-day bills, not instant custom justice for the aggrieved underdog.”

Kan also points out that we are talking about a group of older people in the Asian community. Peter Low, the organiser said that the AAG “are training people in hand-to-hand combat and how to handle situations.” They aren’t teaching them how to burn crosses, they aren’t teaching them to lynch, they are not instilling racial hatred, what AAG are doing is preparing people for the likelihood that they may get mugged. Education is never a bad thing, and self-defence classes for women have been run since the 70s. So if one is at the counter of a diary or liquor store and some punk assaults them, they can fight back if they have to.

Yes it may have been naive for Peter Low to say he would call in Triads, but that just shows how dire the situation is and why the police, Manukau city council and central government need to act effectively to solve the social issues which culminate in diary owners being shot. Rather than dispelling South Auckland a place beyond help as Moore has done.

In his Maiden speech to parliament Michael Joseph Savage expressed the opinion that he did not want a piebald New Zealand. He did not want a country segregated by colour and says “We are very much concerned about our race. We never seem to appreciate the fact that the other race is just as much concerned about theirs.” In other words we should all be concerned about one another and love our fellow man.

As Russel Norman pointed out last week in his maiden speech “The difficult truth is that if you show people how to be human, and if you respect them as human, then they’re more likely to act humanely.”

David Lange, former MP for Mangere and Prime Minister, said in his maiden speech that “I represent ordinary people, people who need to be clothed, fed, and housed, and people who, when they are under the stress that our current economic climate can engender, may do things that are against the law. We need to protect other people in the community, and the closest we can come to achieving that is by having effective policing.” Nothing seems to have changed in the 31 years since Lange made this speech and what he said there still rings true. We need to bring people into the fold and create an environment where people do not have to resort to crime and we have to bolster this with effective policing. Not vigilante justice and definitely not more cops driving around with bigger guns.

This issue is a very serious issue, people have died, escalating violence is no doubt going to keep on happening and bad racist satire is the last thing the situation needs.

Shantih shantih shantih


About the Author ()

The editor of this fine rag for 2009.

Comments (13)

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  1. Moore average journalism says:

    That was supposed to be satire? Moore needs to get himself an education ow.

  2. Neesha says:

    I have been conferring with Laura the Editor of the BOP on this piece and I found her generally dismissive. Basically saying this is a satirical piece, Mr Moore is known for his satirical style sorry if we caused offense.
    I have read the piece a number of times now and for the life of me I can’t see the satire. All I see is scary hate driven words.

  3. Jackson Wood says:

    If you would like to contact the BOP Times editor to voice your concern over Moore’s article, here is her email:

  4. Judas says:

    How obvious that the editor would say it is satire! It’s not like she’ll admit that the author is just a racist old fart and the piece was only meant to be read by rich, old retirees in Tauranga. Those old whiteys in Tauranga love a bit of race hate.

    The convenient thing is she can say to anyone who complains that it was just the reader who ‘misunderstood’ the intent of the article.

    There’s no way you could read that and see ‘satire’.

  5. Moore seems to have a naive belief that the Asian community are all hard-working Ninjas who will clean all the scary Polynesians off the streets for their white buddies. It’s funny, the kind of world people perceive in their navel once they’ve been staring at it for too long.

  6. Michael Oliver says:

    Wow, that was pretty cringe-worthy. Sure, there’s palpable pieces of racism flowing out of that, but am I wrong in thinking the most offensive part about it was that it supposed to be satirical? I mean, isn’t satire, you know, funny ? I’m not sure what’s so clever about “AHAHA, FUCKING SLANT EYES KNOW KUNG FU, WATCH OUT RANGI! TELL THE BROS THAT CHING-CHING-KARATE CHOP IS COMING TO GET YA! HAHAHAHA BEING WHITE FUCKING RULES” but hey, I’m not Richard Moore.

  7. Hong Kong Phooey says:

    At least he’s covered all bases by being offensive to pretty much everyone except white folks.

    Mind you it’s offensive to intelligent white folks. And people who like satire.

  8. hey wait says:

    Top 5 species to be wary of

    5) The Chinese

    Not that I’m accusing Salient of outright hypocrisy, but

    it makes you think.

  9. Contextualiser says:

    Hey wait:

    It was actually:

    top five species we should be wary of
    1. Those damn dirty apes
    2. Choloepus Didactylus
    3. Penguins
    4. The Chinese
    5. Very poisonous snakes

    This top 5 was between

    Things that are actually good in spite of what people think
    1. Cold Spaghetti
    2. Eating with your hands
    3. Cigarettes
    4. Masturbation
    5. Suppression of prejudical evidence


    Rolling Stones theme songs to the Lousise Nicholas musical
    1. Sympathy for the devil
    2. Miss you
    3. Can’t always get what you want
    4. Rough Justice
    5. (I can’t get no) Satisfaction

    Salient versus BoP times:

    Salient: 6000 a week, BOP Times about 200,000 a week
    Salient: Students, BOP Times: 90% of the people in the BoP
    Salient: Students, BOP TImes: APN News and Media.
    Liscence to ill:
    Salient: Yes, BOP Times: No

    You my dear sir, have been contextualised.

  10. hey, wait says:

    Number of enraged letters from Chinese students claiming it was racist= priceless

    How come you left that off your list?

  11. Gidget says:

    It’s not only racist against Asians. It’s even more racist against black people.

  12. Tamar says:

    I complained about the column to the editor of the Bay of Plenty Times. This is what I got back.

    Dear Tamar,

    I’m sorry to hear the opinion piece has offended you.
    Our columnist Richard Moore is known for writing satire and as such his column should certainly not be seen as condoning racism but as highlighting the issue of vigilante action and its history.
    I’m sure that his intention was the opposite of the meaning you have taken from it.

    Thank you for expressing your views.


    Laura Franklin

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