Saturday, November 24, 2007

Boyracer Death

Police make arrests in boyracer death crash
6:10AM Tuesday November 20, 2007
By Martha McKenzie-minifie

Two men have been charged with reckless driving causing death, after a delivery man was killed in an Auckland street race that went terribly wrong.

A 28-year-old man and a 35-year-old man have been charged with reckless driving causing the death of Aaron Chan, a 21-year-old from Manukau.

Witnesses said Mr Chan went through the windscreen of a blue Nissan Skyline, which was chasing a white Subaru WRX along West Coast Rd just before 6.30pm.

Anand Kumar, of Aj's Superette on West Coast Rd, said it appeared the cars were racing and touched when one tried to overtake the other.

The Skyline apparently hit the truck first, then the man - described as an "innocent bystander".

"He got hit, taken up, went through the windscreen and he was inside the car," said Mr Kumar.

It is understood two people were in the Subaru and four in the Skyline. Police said five people from both vehicles were taken to hospital.

Patrick Hunt, of BTS Gym in West Coast Rd, said he and a client saw the cars racing before the crash.

"We just heard burnout noises down at the lights - that's what got out attention - and we looked up. We heard a loud bang."

Mr Hunt said there was little he could do at the crash scene.

"I saw him just lying there - pretty much every single bone in his body was broken." he said.

"The windscreen was broken but it wasn't broken going out, it was on impact, it was obviously something from the outside."

The road was closed for several hours as crash investigators studied the scene.

Earlier, Inspector Ian Brooker said police had both cars and were interviewing the drivers. Investigators wanted to speak to anyone who saw the crash or noticed how the two vehicles were being driven beforehand.

Boy-racer legislation introduced in May 2003 gives police the power to automatically impound cars for 28 days if they are being driven with unnecessary speed or acceleration or are doing burnouts. Scores of cars have been taken off the roads.

In South Auckland alone police have seized as many as 50.

Staff in the Waitemata district, which covers West Auckland, North Shore and Rodney, had impounded 933 cars by May this year.

But some road policing managers have called for more powers, saying the legislation means they have to wait until the drivers have committed an offence before they can act.

Authorities in Tauranga have gone a step further, introducing a bylaw last month that means boy racers face $500 fines if they are caught in the city's industrial areas.

It bans vehicles under 3500kg from entering dozens of industrial streets in the city between 9pm and 5am.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Aotearoa Indians

Indian settlement in Aotearoa Indians have been living in New Zealand for over 100 years and for the first time there's a book that tells the story of their settlement in this country. The first gold discovered in Otago that led to the rushes of the 1860s is believed to have been found by an Anglo-Indian from Goa named Edward Peters but the permanent Indian community traces its origins to two Sikh brothers who arrived about 1890. Most subsequent settlers were from the Punjab or from Gujarat. Until 1945, most of the settlers were men, some intermarrying with local women - Maori and Pakeha. Indian Settlers, published by Otago University Press, is an authoritative book of the story of Indian settlement in New Zealand. Its author Jacqueline Leckie is programme coordinator of social anthropology at the university. For more information or a copy of Indian Settlers, contact Donelle Karagedikli at Otago University Press at .

Chinese Cinemas

Nine films out of China To celebrate 35 years of diplomatic relationship between China and New Zealand, New Zealanders have an opportunity to see some recent examples of Chinese cinema featuring work by some of China's top filmmakers. The nine films are The Knot, Courthouse on Horseback, Seven Swords, Prince of the Himalayas, The Go Master, Beautiful Homeland, The Forest Ranger, Crazy Stone and Fearless. The festival has screened in Auckland and Hamilton and moves on to Wellington (November 16-18) and Christchurch (November 23-25). More information is available at and .

Wellington Oral History Project

Wanted: Personal stories about Wellington Members of Wellington's Chinese community are invited to volunteer their stories for the Chinese Oral History Project to be broadcast on Wellington Access Radio. Project coordinator Sonia Yee says the project involves making a six part series for radio and for the Wellington Access Radio website (). The programmes will also be broadcast on other access radio stations around New Zealand. Ms Yee says she is looking for six to eight charismatic participants who would like to talk about their experiences of living and growing up in Wellington. Integral to the project would be candidates who can remember the Haining Street days of Wellington's old Chinatown. There will be an initial workshop meeting for everyone who wants to be involved. Contact Sonia Yee at or call 04 385 7210 before the end of November.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

NZ Listener Articles 3-9 November 2007

This week's Listener has a few good articles

Monday, November 05, 2007

Gwe Leng Village Canton China

Migrants need to hold on to Identity

Lincoln Tan: Migrants need to hold on to identity in new home
5:00AM Monday November 05, 2007 Lincoln Tan
One of the upsides to having this column is that it has allowed me to meet some really nice and interesting people.
A couple of weeks ago, one such person, Joan, invited me to afternoon tea at her Karaka Bay beachfront cottage, where I had an enjoyable time listening to her perspective on life in New Zealand and sharing mine with her.
Since she retired as a surgeon, Joan had spent time working with refugees and migrants, and it was really refreshing talking with someone who has a good knowledge of Asia and Asians.
Unlike her, at least three readers who responded to my column last week referred to Singapore as part of China in their emails, and I still find it hard to believe the level of ignorance some people have of Asia.
Before I left, she loaned me a book titled Guests of the New Gold Hill.
In this novel, author Jye Kang, a former sociology lecturer at Massey University, talks about the plight of the early Chinese; their fleeing the poverty of China and their struggles to survive the hardships in the New Gold Hill, New Zealand (California was the Old Gold Hill). The book described New Zealand as hostile, inhospitable and often cruel to the new guests.
The first few chapters in the book did enough to open my eyes to the wide divide between the early settlers and the new Chinese immigrants, as is reflected by two letters sent to me last week.
A local-born Chinese, who said he was a third generation New Zealander, had this to say: "The early Chinese came here and were ready to accept that with their decision, comes the need to abandon their culture and adopt the one of their new home. (Although) we were brought up eating rice, we enjoyed rugby, went fishing, tramping, things that normal Kiwi families do. As the saying goes, when in Rome do as Romans do. Therein lies the problem with immigrants like yourself, who are unable to shrug off your Chinese culture or Singapore mindset.
"We kept our heads low because we recognise that we are just visitors to this land. I do not speak any Chinese and feel appalled that new migrants continue to speak their native languages at the expense of learning the language of their adopted country."
In contrast, a new arrival from China asked in her letter: "Why should I learn to be Kiwi? I'm Chinese."
She wrote: "Other parts of the world now want to be more Chinese by learning the Chinese language and understanding the Chinese culture. There is more value to me to be Chinese than to become Kiwi."
The early Chinese, who had to raise the equivalent of two years of wages to pay the poll tax to earn their right to come in New Zealand, came under a backdrop of a poor and impoverished China.
Some were even ashamed to be called Chinese and wanted their future to be with New Zealand. To gain acceptance they tried to become as un-Chinese as possible, and I have recently worked on a story where local born Chinese ditched their family names for European ones to help them with assimilation.
But times have changed and tables turned. Some Asian countries, which once received handouts from New Zealand, have become economic power houses in their own right, and it is New Zealand which is now seeking business and trade opportunities with them.
China has risen to become the world's biggest and fastest growing economy and Asia the fastest growth region, and everyone, including New Zealand, wants a piece of the Asian pie. This was clearly spelt out in a paper titled Our Future with Asia launched by Prime Minister Helen Clark and Foreign Minister Winston Peters a fortnight ago.
With China's economic growth comes a renewed sense of pride among the Chinese.
Under this new backdrop, it would be that much harder to convince new immigrants that they should stop being Chinese and become Kiwi.
Why should they? Being Chinese is no longer something to be ashamed of and unlike the early Chinese who see their future tied with New Zealand, many of these new immigrants regard themselves as global citizens.
The local Chinese man, in his letter concluded with this suggestion: "When we are in New Zealand, we must do as New Zealanders do. Maybe its time you changed your love for soccer for the love of rugby, and you may find that its not so bad after all."
This was what his ancestors did to integrate, he said.
Well, they probably did not have Sky television or the internet then.
With the realities of this changing world, it would make more sense to abandon this traditional inward looking, self-contained approach and become more outward looking.