Te Karere Ipurangi
Fiji Coup Supplement

Sunday, May 27, 2000 - 2.00pm
FIJI - Thanks


Kia ano koutou katoa

Just wanted to say kia ora / thank you to all of you who have sent messages to tautoko / support  what I've been doing this past week. Mostly been too busy to reply to them individually. It's been a long hard full-time mostly one-man-band effort. Also too busy to reply to those of you who want to debate me in detail. Thanks anyway for your views.

To those of you who don't like getting too many emails, or don't like what some have called "my political crap", kia ora, and thank you for your patience ((-:  Hopefully the crisis will be over soon, and your emailboxes will get a well deserved rest..

I haven't just been stirring our New Zealand government, although that's been an enjoyable part of it. I got really hoha in 1987 with our government's over-the-top reaction to those coups. This time I decided to use the power of the Net to do something about it.

It became obvious to me that Taukei Fijians didn't have a web presence or a media presence worth speaking of. The media and web in Fiji seem to be dominated by Indo-Fijians, and they were getting as much exposure as they wanted. So I thought I'd have a go at putting an alternative view out there in the the international media and in cyberspace. In doing that I have been working with a few taukei and other supporters around the world. Not a lot but a significant few.

This crisis has reinforced for me the absolute necessity for Maori to be out there creating a strong presence in Cyberspace, for when our turn comes again to be vilified in the media and by politicians, we need to be strongly out there. Cybersapce is a powerful powerful medium.

This has also been a learning exercise in e-politics, e-diplomacy and e-geopolitics. Individuals coming together from around the world to create and promote shared agendas. We hear a lot these days about e-commerce and e-government and even e-citizens. I've even been promoting the concept of e-communities myself. But we need to realise that it is also possible to use information and communications technology (ICT) to influence the unfolding of events both locally and globally, by networking over and under and around and above and behind and beyond governments and their global organisations. Citizen diplomacy and ICT, as well as international TV, played a major part in the breakup of the Soviet Union. They can also play a major part in shaping the future of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific. We don't have much access to TV, but we do have access to ICT.

It's very important to link the use of email and websites together. A few taukei have email access, but as I said earlier, no real web presence.

I also have a strong interest in foreign policy and geopolitics, and I'm deeply concerned about the eurocentric, arrogant and neo-colonial policies and behaviour of New Zealand politicians of all persuasions in that important sphere. Hopefully we will be able to use ICT as e-citizens, e-politicians and e-diplomats to take a lot of the foreign policy initiative away from governments, particularly the New Zealand and Australian governments. Subversive stuff huh? I've got an article on foreign policy coming out this coming week.

So where have my emails been going? Everywhere man. And sent on by active supporters to lots of places beyond that, into other networks. Media (local and international), our government, all our Maori MPs, some cabinet ministers, other governments, indigenous networks, Maori and Pakeha (non-Maori), te mea. te mea, etc. I've also managed to get some popular websites to link to my Fiji Coup site, including Yahoo News and Pacific Islands Report. Yahoo has brought in a lot of international visitors. Thanks to Scoop News NZ for carrying some of my articles on the international wire.

An interesting observation was made to me by someone just returned from a couple of weeks in Europe and the USA - the Fiji coup hasn't even made it into most of the media over there. Just here in our region, and in Britain of course. But the Australian and New Zealand governments and media have beat it up into an earth-shattering calamity.

The really exciting thing for me this week has been the alternative proposal for a remedy to the crisis that a few taukei have been working on, and our ability to get it out into circulation using the Internet via my website, and our combined email networks. Powerful stuff. And its also been exciting to get your many emails of support. So once again kia ora to you all. And I hope that those of you who are politically active might have been learning as much as I have this week.

Heoi ano, na
Ross Nepia Himona

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