So how did we get here and whose values are at stake?

So how did we get here? Why is it that Stefan and Lauren?s conservative immigration views are so controversial amongst an apparently new grass-roots protest movement when almost half our country voted for immigration cuts due to the housing crisis?

This ?new? social movement we see in the news recently has been brewing at ground level for over a decade. And new socio-political events, like ‘Love Aotearoa’ are being formed almost weekly, including combinations of both Maori and political activists, along with FIANZ.

This time though their message is not just targeting local government, but the private individuals attending these speaking events. Interestingly, the latest groups to band together and form ‘Rally Against Racism’ all share similar values. We know they?re not really worried about ?racism? or cutting immigration because they voted for cuts at the last election. FIANZ represents no race in particular. So whose values are at stake here?

Let?s wind back to just over a decade ago, to a conversation at my house:

Him:?… Hey, you agree that the Western governments are corrupt right? Western society is immoral and harmful! Christianity is hypocritical! Everyone knows this…?

Me: yeah, I guess so.

Him: ?Well you?re not the only one… come along to a BBQ… you?ll meet the guy who helped me get sorted… he knows more than me and will answer your questions… he can prove the West is corrupt… these guys even want to sponsor me to go overseas to study, and the local travel agent has offered airfares… we?re really going to make a difference… it won?t cost you anything… just come along, you don?t need to bring anything… no beer!?

Me: umm, okay.

So, it turned out he was legit. And so was his friend that he introduced me to. Everything he said that day (and on later occasions) about western politics or religion, was 100% true, as far as I could see. The others at the BBQ were so accepting of me, and we found that we had a lot of thoughts and experiences in common together. It?s not illegal to talk against the government or church. We all do it. I couldn?t commit, but kept in contact for a couple of years with friends who did.

The guy leading this outfit, which didn?t appear to be anything official, was an honest hard working Kiwi bloke. He was committed to community work helping those without direction in life. Each person was encouraged to get involved in like-minded community groups. He found volunteer work for some at local markets publicising his community and offering courses and certificates in community values. Others found volunteer work for real-world businesses. He was well networked with a number of different organisations and brought people into his network, giving them status and purpose where they had none. He had respect. He put in the hard yards daily, from house to house, suburb to suburb, meeting venue to meeting venue, training disciples to imitate him, as my friend had done with me;

?…Western governments are corrupt.. society is immoral… Christianity is hypocritical…?

Hundreds, possibly thousands of these conversations have taken place over the last decade in New Zealand. Face to face networking, even extending to public and private spaces within our universities.

Te Amorangi Kireka-Whaanga

In 2009 this hard-working social justice evangelical, Te Amorangi KirekaWhaanga, was labelled as one of the world?s top 500 most influential for his work, primarily amongst Maori, along with the then FIANZ President. He deserved this honour, especially for his work helping the down and outs rejected from mainstream society.

Capitalising on this goodwill within Maori communities, FIANZ have since started registering Maori tourism ventures as ?Halal certified?, while working closely together on other community projects. As their literature states, Maori and Islam have many shared values together in this country.

Another example of sharing FIANZ values is found in a group called Auckland Peace Action (A.P.A), who have previously (2017) held peaceful demonstrations in support of Gaza during the same period that FIANZ were fundraising for Gaza welfare support. So, after at least a decade of this type of ground-level networking with different groups, is it any surprise that those lobbying together at Auckland council level are both FIANZ and APA, who threatened violence? Now knowing how we got to this point, the question becomes how can this progress differently to the way that things are turning out in Europe and in the UK, or even Sydney?

 

by Warri?r M?use’

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