Waikeria Prison stand-off: a commentary on Māori Party intervention (Chris Trotter)

AS WORD OF Rawiri Waititi’s successful intervention in the Waikeria Prison stand-off spreads, the Maori Party’s mana will grow significantly. It is difficult to think of a better metaphor with which to illustrate the party’s political mission than its co-leader, under the disdainful gaze of the authorities, leading 16 parched, burned, bleeding but unbroken prisoners out of danger and into safety. Surely, somewhere in New Zealand, a young Maori musician is already composing a song to celebrate Waititi’s success. He’s earned one.

It is difficult to imagine anyone bothering to write a song for the Corrections Minister, Kelvin Davis. Throughout the six days of the crisis at Waikeria, the Minister maintained an obdurate silence. The resolution of this crisis, New Zealanders were given to understand, was an “operational matter” – something best left to the public servants and corrections officers on the spot. The very same public servants and corrections officers whose actions – and failure to take action – were responsible for sparking the uprising in the first place.

http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2021/01/a-powerful-political-metaphor.html

Photo: screenshot newshub.co.nz

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