Kia ora mai ano tatou katoa. Kia ora tatou e hui tahi nei i roto i tenei whare rangatira o Tamaki-makau-rau. Tena koutou, tena koutou, kia ora tatou katoa. *
Look, ah, mine’s going to be a little bit different, don’t be offended folks, when I get into my korero.
I noticed it at the last public meeting on the Bill that we held in Mt Albert, and I noticed it here again tonight that our audience is mainly middle class, mainly Pakeha, people with jobs, home, life security and the time to ponder the issues of the day – issues such as this [audience claps].
I don’t say that to be offensive, I simply say it to highlight the difference, and the disparity in the lives that we lead in this country [audience claps].
Because regardless of whether people are Maori, Pasifika, Pakeha or of any other ethnic origin – poor people, hungry people, people without jobs, people without security, beneficiaries, just don’t have the time or the inclination or the energy – to worry about things like global spy networks and the gathering of metadata [audience claps].
And chances are most of them don’t even know about or care about Bradley Manning or Edward Snowden or Julian Assange or Wikileaks or even Whaihopai – and it’s not because they don’t care about spying, far from it – beneficiaries’ care about spying alright, they experience it every day, they suffer from it, their families are affected, by their families destroyed by it, they are frustrated by it, and their spirits are broken by it, by the grinding, ruthlessness of it all.
Sure it’s not the James Bond sort of stuff that we all hear about , nor is it the macho, gun slinging fiasco, like when the Keystone clowns broke into the Kim Dot Com mansion – but it is still spying.
Beneficiaries in this country are already spied upon. Their life details checked, cross checked, amended, deleted, debated, destroyed – how do you say published starting with a ‘D’ – [audience laughs] – distributed [audience claps].
Without their knowledge, and without their consent – by a network of computers, by Work and Income, Housing New Zealand, the Accident Compensation [Commission] Corporation, Child Youth and Family, Inland Revenue, the Justice Department, the Department of Corrections, the Police, and no doubt a few other departments and agencies I’ve forgotten to list.
And yet who marches for their rights?
Who stands up for them?
How many, how many Queen Counsels – kia ora Rodney [Harrison QC] – New Zealander’s of the Year, law professors, human rights advocates, political leaders, or even New Zealand residents of German extraction [audience laughs].
Will stand up for the rights of the poor, and the down trodden, right here in Aotearoa [audience claps].
Are we here tonight simply to express our indignation at the loss of our own precious freedoms?
I will happily stand alongside all those around the country who oppose moves to expand Government’s capacities to spy on its own citizens.
But let me gently remind those of us comfortable enough to be able to be upset by such moves – that those moves began sometime ago, and that many of you gathered here tonight may have harrumphed with righteous indignation, and possible even nodded in support, when those laws were passed to allow our own Government to intrude upon and to spy into the lives of our fellow citizens.
This is something that affects us all.
Just over thirty-two years ago I attended a HART meeting just after the Police had bludgeoned many of our friends at Molesworth Street in Wellington.
When I was asked to join with everyone else in condemning the actions of the Police, I said I’m sorry for those who have been hurt but in a way I was kind of glad that middle New Zealand was finally feeling what Maori and Pacific Island had been feeling for decades [audience claps].
And tonight as we gather to express our disappointment and our anger at the state and intruding upon our lives, please bare with me when I say again, that hopefully middle New Zealand finally stands up and gets what Maori and Pacific Island people have been fighting for decades [audience claps].
In 1981 we stood together united with by view, that the blow to freedom of anyone is a blow to freedom of us all. Now I can tell by the number of the grey beards out there tonight – there’s quite few of you who are here tonight.
It’s the same thing – it is the same thing.
Apartheid over there, racism over here -G[C]SB and the global spy network and its impacts on us here – right here in Aotearoa.
As we stand here united in our opposition to the GSCB Bill and in our, our commitment to rolling back this vicious piece of legislation, I hope that unity lasts until we roll back every piece of legislation that criminalises people for daring to try to survive in a deeply unequal world.
Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoua.
* Greetings again to us all. Greetings to us meeting together in this chiefly house of Auckland. Greetings to you, greetings to you, greetings to us all
Download pdf transcript: GCSB 2013 08 19 Auckland Town Hall – Hone Harawira