Last week’s TVNZ Poll asked voters what they thought of race relations in New Zealand.

14% said race relations were getting better, 35% believe it’s about the same, and 47% say race relations are getting worse.

Add into this the ramifications of a post Covid community where the sacrifice was unequal in an unequal society alongside crime and economic anxiety mixing angrily with social media hate algorithms, and we have a level of wrath towards one another that borders on the Springbok tour.

This election, no one wants to build bridges, they only want to burn them and erect walls.

The vitriol spat out at one another on social media has created echo chambers of opinion that goes feral and turns malicious.

We have allowed the worst angels of our nature replace good will and common ground.

Politicians whip this anger up, social media companies manipulate us for our attention outrage and the resulting political landscape brings little but a harvest of spite.

We have lost good faith and allowed furious resentment to replace it.

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In the community, in the real world where people need to work together there are still the bonds of basic humanity that bind us: Food Banks, Marae, Churches , Community Centres, RSA – all are places where the milk of human kindness can still be found, but those rivers are trickles now in a bleak social environment of subjective rage.

If we can not find the common ground between us, we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.

This election isn’t just about power, it’s about the very soul of us as a people.


First published on Waatea News.

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