Our Columnists of the Year (Contd)


Pam Vernon’s hatred of injustice and corporatisation  in NZ

Pam Vernon, of Foxton, is another of our great new columnists. Here’s her personal story:

With Whina Cooper on the Land Hikoi

By Pam Vernon

Raised in the post WWII era in rural Rangitikei, both of my parents were from Whanganui, my father of Māori descent (Atihaunui-a-Pāpārangi), my mother English.

While raising my small family, I qualified as a social worker at Massey University in PN,

and worked as a Care and Protection Social Worker for the better part of the 1990’s.

I then began a second degree in Māori Visual Arts at Massey in 2001 (Toioho ki Apiti),

but due to the unexpected onset of an immune disorder, I retired early from everything to rest.

I’ve since been occupied with mainly researching and writing … in particular our histories, am currently writing a book about land issues, and recently returned to complete the Art degree.

The 1975 Hikoi

I’ve always been imbued with a hatred of injustice which has influenced how and what I write. This is also reflected in my art.

I had the privilege of taking part in the 1975 Land Hikoi (March) from Te Hapua in the North down to Wellington … the beginning of the move to halt all land Māori confiscations.

Hearing Dame Whina Cooper’s rich and detailed oratory along that route

Dame Whina Cooper speaking outside Parliament at the end of the Hikoi

opened my eyes to our concealed histories and the historic injustices unleashed, which set me on a path to research my own roots.

The drive for assimilation

The drive for assimilation that included the banning of te Reo Māori, had ensured that most of that  knowledge remained concealed, creating a generation of people who felt they belonged in neither world.

The NZ that myself and my peers grew up with, a land of plenty, of full employment, of caring for the less fortunate, of levelling the playing field has changed.

The NZ we now have was set in motion by Rogernomics and neo-liberal capitalism.

Instead of prosperity for all — corporate rule

Homeless in Auckland

Instead of the prosperity which was promised us, we have a growing gap between haves and have-nots, a corporation instead of a nation, corporations instead of government departments, and companies instead of local councils.

We also have corruption and the demise of democracy.

The bottom line of corporations/companies is profits not people.

40,000 homeless

NZ now has forty thousand plus homeless and ‘boasts’ the third highest child poverty statistics in the world.

An excellent exposé of this corporate mentality can be found in the documentary called ‘The Corporation’.

Corporations lie quite bold facedly and we trusting Kiwis believe them most of the time.

Hence much of my writing currently is directed at exposing this phenomenon on my website and blog called <envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com>.

We are lied to about many environmental hazards like chemical additives, sprays on our food crops, the effects of electro magnetic frequencies, the little known practice of geoengineering… the list goes on. I encourage you to examine the independent research for yourself.