We can gauge volumes of water and count contaminants – but measuring the mauri may be challenging for modern scientists

The latest press statement from the office of Kiritapu Allan serves as a reminder that this is a country where science is being positively blended with – or negatively debased by – a knowledge and belief system known as mātauranga Māori.

The press statement looks innocent enough.  It tells us the Associate Minister for the Environment, Kiri Allan, is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer.

“The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said.

“This was highlighted in the 2016 campylobacter outbreak in Havelock North when close to 60 people were hospitalised.

“We are proposing improvements in three areas; standardising the way we define source water areas, strengthening regulation of activities around water sources, and adding more water suppliers to the register.”

Allan impedes the comfortable digestion of her statement by English-speaking readers at this juncture by melding two languages:

“The changes recognise Te Mana o te Wai, the fundamental importance of water to the health and wellbeing of our people and our environment.” Continue reading “We can gauge volumes of water and count contaminants – but measuring the mauri may be challenging for modern scientists”

Three Ministers to pick up extra duties while Kiri Allan is treated for cancer

Marama Davidson – we note – is not one of three Ministers who will take care of Kiri Allan’s portfolios while the well regarded Labour politician takes leave of absence to be treated for  cancer.

Pity. Being given one of the three acting positions might have enabled Davidson to issue more press statements, lifting the number from the grand total of four in her name on the Beehive website. 

Kiri Allan, the Minister of Conservation and Emergency Management and Associate Minister for Arts and Culture, has issued four statements since March 21.  Her tally since she became a minister after the 2020 general election is 30.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today Allan is taking a leave of absence while she undergoes medical treatment for cervical cancer.

The only other statement on the Beehive website this morning was from Police Minister Poto William, who announced the members of the Ministers Arms Advisory Group, established to ensure balanced advice to Government on firearms that is independent of Police. Continue reading “Three Ministers to pick up extra duties while Kiri Allan is treated for cancer”