I have stood in the wings as this ‘small drama’ has been playing out and have chosen not to join in because one of the two players is my daughter. The other is a man who has taken offence at some words that my daughter threw at him in a moment of passion. That passion was fired by a stance she took alongside many others who took a political stand together in a ‘hikoi’, a peaceful and dignified action of protest that has been practiced for generations by New Zealanders when they feel a sense of injustice. Player #2 objected to that hikoi and claimed it ‘brought shame to Maori’
Both players are claiming the basic ‘human right’ to speak their mind. Indeed Player #1 is an advisor to the Human Rights Commission. Player #2 has seized on this and used it to keep this ‘small drama’ in the public eye. New Zealanders have seen Players like this before who love to be in the limelight and who will say inflammatory things just to achieve this. This letter may well help his cause, but that is not why I write.
I write because as I stated at the beginning, Player #1 is my daughter. So that makes it personal. I have stood in the wings of the public stage that Player #2 has chosen to act out this ‘small drama’, because my daughter is well capable of standing up for herself.
Player #2 claims that the words bandied by my daughter have hurt him and he complained to her employers, knowing that this would assist his super objective on this matter: ‘to enjoy the meagre limelight that comes of it’. Player #2 received an apology from her and her employers took the appropriate action. He responded by attacking her and her employers again. Consequently my daughter withdrew that apology. She tried to do that outside of the media, but again Player #2 seized on the opportunity to strut his stuff in this public arena. I expect that Player #2 will seize on this too, especially since I am someone who does have a public profile. Indeed that is another reason that I have waited in the wings. I cannot wait any longer.
Enter Player #3. I am now on the stage and I address you directly Player #1. You sir have bandied hurtful words too: hurtful to my daughter, her fellow protesters, her employers, her work colleagues, her mother, her siblings, her husband, her children, her family elders, her wider family and me. I do not expect an apology from you because your behaviour thus far, tells me that you simply are not the apologising kind. In turn, you will not get another response from me, because no doubt you will cry hurt and take this opportunity to draw out this ‘small drama’.
Let me conclude by quoting one of the greatest dramatists of all time, someone who has managed to remain in the public eye for longer than you can ever hope to – William Shakespeare. This quote sums up my feelings on this matter and your claims and insults toward my daughter: “Thou art a most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise breaker, the owner of not one good quality!” This comes from the play aptly entitled ‘All’s well That Ends Well’. I know it has for my daughter. As for you…
Exit Player #3 with his daughter, leaving Player #2 to strut and crow as much as he desires…
Rawiri Paratene – Father