Author: Denis O'Reilly

Joe Walsh’s awakening at Ōtātara

“It was here on a visit many years ago, up on the hills, that I had a moment of clarity. I don’t understand it, but I reconnected with my soul, and I remembered who I used to be . . .” — Legendary Eagles’ guitarist Joe Walsh, on his awakening at Ōtātara, Hawke’s Bay.

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Reason to feel hopeful about Aotearoa

“The tamariki received a standing ovation, partly because they filled the audience with hope and belief that the disrespectful and demeaning politics of the present will fade like mist before the sun of our nation’s culturally adept youth.” — Denis O’Reilly.

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Circus, opera or rodeo?

“The promise is that, in the first 100 days of a National-led government, Aotearoa will see the scourge of gangs eliminated — or at least, gang members corralled in a feedlot at an annual fee of only $190,000 per head. Systemic labelling and prejudice come at a price.” — Denis O’Reilly.

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The least of these, my brethren

“Māori gang members . . . have suffered the negative consequence of being poor, young and brown in contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand without enjoying any of the compensating advantages of a strong sense of Māori identity.” — Denis O’Reilly.

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Reading the room

“I’m not sure that the room is anything like the one being described. At Waiohiki, I saw New Zealand citizens of many races using the marae as a place of refuge. The rain fell on us all.” — Denis O’Reilly.

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He maimai aroha: Wiremu ‘Knockers’ Allen

“Knox was feared and respected in equal measure. He served serial terms of imprisonment. However, age, maturity, the influence of a loving partner, and the presence of children, even in a rapscallion’s life, tend to soften and heal.” — Denis O’Reilly on Black Power leader Wiremu ‘Knockers’ Allen.

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Sort Out The Warriors

“According to the police’s own history, initially, the New Zealand Police were formed to counter a gang problem — that problem being the gangs of Pākehā sealers and whalers wreaking havoc among Māori communities.” — Denis O’Reilly.

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