March 4th, 2023Kyle’s Rant…
IT ALL started innocently enough, writing that is, when this mild-mannered photographer started banging away on the keyboard to produce this rant back in September 2013.
I had been working for Fairfax as a photographer and had been asking if I could maybe start writing briefs (short stories) in the hope of furthering my journalism career. That was about the time we parted company, as this was viewed as demarcation and not permitted.
To date we have produced 274 editions of The Local, now that’s a lot of words, and to my surprise my last column was accused of being recycled. In case you missed it and were tidying your sock drawer, I was speculating on the lack of “whole of life” vision that the Hepburn Shire had when it came to roads and other projects.
Please let me assure the accuser that the column was not recycled. I may have dredged up some old facts in order to drive home my point and any thoughts you had of reporting me to the boss, you can shove where the sun don’t shine, I am the boss.
Now I have gotten that off my chest, I would like to push on and talk about Nicole Chvastek’s piece (this edition of the TL hard copy), and please note some of this has been mentioned previously, So, for those who can’t abide reading something they may have already seen, please skip the read.
It was many years ago at a barbeque that I first meet Nicole. Being of Kiwi origin I noticed a couple of words she used sounded like they came from across the Ditch.
We did the usual flip-flop conversation to see if we could place together one of the six degrees of separation. It wasn’t long before we landed on her father Dover Samuels, the famous NZ politician who fought for Maori rights in the 80s.
My father was a fisherman, fighting for quota in the tumultuous fishing industry. He was the largest quota holder in Northland at the time and had worked hard for it. He had no time for Maori historic fishing rights and no time for Dover’s ideas.
This time in New Zealand’s history to me was divisive and pitted fisherman against each other based on skin colour and upbringing. In short it was a fight to get as much future fishing tonnage (quota) out of the government as possible through historical data from the commercial fisherman. And the understanding of the original occupants of the land’s birthright to have their own fishing quota.
Skipping ahead to the early 1990s, with Dad retired from the fishing scene, I was desperate for work and armed with a skipper’s ticket and local knowledge I approached Dover for a job. He had a small fleet of fishing boats at the beach near the Marae and I lasted about one week.
Even though I was an independent adult my father refused to let me work for him and instead backed me into my own fishing boat.
So, that is my and Nicole’s brief history of how our fathers knew one another and I am glad to say that even though our fathers don’t share the same views, she and I are good mates.
Rambly rant over…