Sunday, May 27, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
We had a two week visit from Darin's mom, so we had fun taking her around to see the North Island. During our visit to the Northland (yes, again!!), we hit the historical highlights: the Waitangi Treaty Grounds, the old stone store and missionary house in Kerikeri, and the museum in Russell. My favorite was the old stone store, where I learned that a horrendous Maori inter-tribe massacre followed the sale of guns by Samuel Marsden, the first missionary to give a sermon in NZ, to a Maori chief out for revenge. I found it ironic that a man who was there to spread Christianity also profited from tools of death. On further consideration, this isn't really too much of a surprise. Just look at what the European settlers did to the Native Americans. The Maori have survived and have a relatively intact culture in NZ, at least superficially. Given the violence of the past, our relatively peaceful coexistance is impressive.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Another significant policy difference between New Zealand and Australia that
emerged in 2001 was the response to the resettlement of a group of asylum
seekers from the Middle East and Afghanistan. These asylum seekers were picked
up (at the Australian government's request) by the Norwegian freighter, the
Tampa, while trying to reach Australia from Indonesia. The New Zealand
government accepted 150 of the Tampa refugees who had been temporarily housed on the central Pacific coral island of Nauru while their refugee status was
assessed by UNHCR. The Australian government was determined that none of these
"boat people" would be allowed to land in Australia.
Also, New Zealand was the first country to give women the right to vote. Good on ya, NZ!
I still have a lot to learn. Creating this blog has been helpful, and distracting. Other things I've been thinking about, and researching lately: the pet food recall and thousands of dead cats and dogs in the US, human food supply safety (next book to read: Diet for a Dead Planet), and the root of many of humanity's ills, overpopulation (though no one wants to talk about it).
OK, enough of this darkside stuff- time for Happy Tree Friends!