Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has always been good for a quote - remember her "post-colonial traumatic syndrome" of a few years ago? Today, she's at it again - this from Radio New Zealand:
"Turia says tagging an alternative viewpoint
The Maori Party appears to have its own interpretation of the law when it comes to tagging.
Co-leader Tariana Turia says there is no legislation preventing youths from tagging, and describes it as 'alternative points of views.' However, the Crimes Act says tagging is a criminal offence, which carries a penalty of up to three months in jail.
Mrs Turia says some members of the community see tagging as an expression of identity. She says it has been around for a long time and she describes it as 'art crime.'
Manukau City mayor Len Brown says he believes that graffiti leads to a criminal treadmill."
Sorry Tariana, but last time I looked there was an offence called Wilful Damage, and that's what tagging is - a crime. And it's a crime committed largely (but not exclusively) by young Maori and Pasifka males, who believe that they can do what they like, when they like, to whosever property they choose, with no fear of consequences.
More sinister though are the gang overtones of tagging. Tariana - you live in the same suburb as I do - do you not notice the "gang tags" on buildings (occupied and unoccupied), fences and structures? The "Royal Bloodz", the "FTW" tags? I certainly do. And I know many elderly people in our community who are seriously intimidated and frightened when their prized properties are "dealt to" by these young punks.
Tariana - you, and presumably your party may see tagging as "art crime", "expression of identity" and an "alternative point of view". Most New Zealanders leave out the weasel words and see tagging as crime - nothing more, nothing less. And many New Zealanders look at the situation of Bruce Emery and think "there by the grace of God go I".