Friday, June 8, 2007

Definitely not "Black" power

The sad Muliaga saga goes from bad to worse.

If you've just crawled out from under a rock and missed it, in May (2007) Mercury Energy sent a contractor to cut the power at the Auckland home of Folole Muliaga, a mother of four, after her family fell $168.40 behind in its bill payments. Without power, an electric pump supplying Muliaga's oxygen stopped; she died shortly afterwards.

Now the family spokesperson, Brenden 'oh why was I cursed with a white skin?' Sheehan is accusing the police of racism because they had the nerve to interview the family in English!


How long have these people been in NZ?

As far as I'm aware, the only foreigners allowed in NZ without passing an English test are those with more than five million dollars to invest in the country - and if the Muliaga's were in this category, I REALLY hope their investment advisor has found another calling.

According to the article ( the family have been here six years. Well, I think about it like this - in NZ, you can start learning a language in Year 9, and sit Level 3 NCEA in that language in Year 13, by which time you are proficient in that language - after speaking it one hour a day, often less than five days a week, for five years of between 35-40 weeks each.

So the Muliaga family is either a) academically challenged, or b) lazy. If I went to live in France, I'd learn to speak French. If I moved to Germany, I'd learn German. Samoa, I'd learn to speak Samoan. And I'd hope that after two years of speaking French, or German, or Samoan non stop, that I'd be pretty fluent. My sister spent a year in Italy on an AFS exchange, and came back pretty fluent in Italian despite having known almost nothing before she went.

So Brenden, whose fault is it that they are not able to speak English? Probably the white middle class's fault - everything else seems to be. Maybe we need to make it compulsary for all the palagis to learn Samoan, Tongan, Fijian, Tuvualuan - oh, not to mention Maori, of course.

Isn't this guy a union organiser or something? Seems to me that he knows an awful lot about stirring the pot anyway. Here's a great quote that sums it all up for us: "These people are victims. What hope has any brown person got if they are a suspect in a case in this country?" Notice the word 'brown'. HE is making this a racial issue. No one else is. Funny how the first person to use the race card is usually complaining about something.

Oh yeah, whatever happened to 'when in Rome, do as the Romans do?' If women from NZ go to Iran, they put on a head scarf - because that's what you do over there. They don't go to a Christian mass - because if you do that in Iran, you can be executed. So we respect other people's cultures in other people's countries. In Samoa, we'd respect Samoan tradition.

I just looked on a map. Yes, just as I thought. Samoa is NOT New Zealand. The Muliaga's were happy enough to move here for the better lifestyle opportunities and the higher pay. They have to accept some kind of trade off. Imagine the chef in some high priced restaurant who is told to make an omelette, but doesn't want to break any eggs to make it. How long will that chef keep his job?

Oh, and what was this about demanding that the police stop investigating the whole incident? There is DEFINITELY something else going on here.

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