Michael Jones was my boyhood hero (one of many). I probably should have known back then that the ‘no rugby on Sunday’ thing was an early sign of political toryism, but I was blinded by his football skills and humble kiwi blokeishness. Still it’s funny how the idoliser and the idol go their different ways.
I’m an outsider to the many pacific island cultures but my sense, from the little I have seen, is that it is not, as Jones implies, an excessive focus on poverty elimination rather than economic development that is holding countries like Samoa back from ‘asserting their dreams and aspirations’.
I’d hope that John Key’s dreams and aspirations for pacific islands people include the many pacific islands people here in New Zealand who are feeling the force of his budgetary choices far more harshly than most. I’d also hope that he is cognisant that for pacific islands people, both here and on the islands, poverty elimination and economic development are both now intrinsically linked to the choice countries like New Zealand make about carbon emission reduction targets. If Key can look at the evidence and quietly change his mind on hip hop tours surely he can do the same on climate change.