Burning Away the Overgrowth
"Tungia te ururua, kia tupu whakaritorito te tupu o te harakeke"
“Burn away the overgrowth and let the flax shoots grow through”
I have had seven fruitful years; the establishment of the 'Rethinking Crime and Punishment' project, and the creation of ‘Justspeak’. Now it is time to move on.
This new website celebrates the final and full transition from the role of administrator and manager, to full time writer, social commentator and advocate in the area of criminal and social justice. It is time to spend more time in reflective writing, and sharing my views with others. This website is a repository for earlier writing writing, opinions, ideas, and thoughts. It is a vehicle for grappling with current issues, primarily through the KIWA blog. But it also has its eye firmly fixed on the future, and will often ask (and answer) the ‘what if’ questions.
The success of this webpage will be measured by the extent to which the overgrowth of irrelevancy can be peeled away, to reveal undisclosed or unspoken truth. If it promotes dialogue about alternative models of criminal justice and better ways of doing justice, and an occasional flax shoot emerges, then it will have done its work.
The Aspiring Warrior Philosopher
The term ‘Warrior Philosopher’ arises from the legacy of the Spartans, and is rooted not only in their martial ability and their experience of warfare, but in their ability to unite those experiences with knowledge.
Many scholars, but not all, approach their theories, premises and assumptions on information or knowledge that is secondhand and based on their life experience as an observer. They are usually not active participants in the subject matter, basing their writings solely on observation and the past writings of others.
I will be writing for this website as someone with 58 years of work experience, combined with a lifetime of exploring information and ideas.
Information without experience remains just information; information combined with experience results in knowledge; wisdom flows from the combination of knowledge and experience.
I aspire to be a Warrior Philosopher.
Our First Blog:
(I’m Afraid) The Masquerade is Over –
A Pentecostal Approach to Reducing Crime and Reoffending
A 6.5% increase in prison numbers over the last year, is a serious issue, and blows current prison population predictions out of the water. Go to the blog
2015 – A Time to Dredge up Old Memories
I have started this year on two major projects; a memoir, and a publication on the criminal justice system since 1985.
Memoir – An Imperfect Justice
In 2013, after co-writing with Tracey McIntosh a chapter on “Crime, Imprisonment and Poverty’ for the book ‘Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis’, the publisher Bridget Williams asked if I had ever considered writing a memoir. We discussed the idea, and a few weeks later Bridget came back with an offer to publish. The memoir is currently in progress with a working title ‘An Imperfect Justice’. With editorial support from Tom Rennie, and the support and advice of others, it should be completed within the next 12 months.
The 2015 JD Stout Fellowship
In November 2014, I made a successful application to the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies, to be awarded the 2015 JD Stout Fellowship. I am now happily ensconced at the Stout Centre, in a delightful office, surrounded by native trees, and writing to the accompaniment of birdsong. The proposed publication ‘The Criminal Justice System, the State and Maori from 1985 to 2015 – and Beyond’, will require my (almost) undivided attention, in the hope that I can peel away some of the more questionable assumptions and understandings about our criminal justice system, and reveal more of the truth. I talk about the book in more detail in the Wairarapa Moana Trust’s ‘Wairarapa Moana mailer’.