I sat last week soaking up the talk by Helen Marieskind, a daughter of Christchurch, who has lived mostly in USA for her adult life. Her views of the Pacific and her sharing her observations of USA and its political scene were really absorbing. The discussion was lively from the floor, and really entertaining. It was fascinating to contemplate the Chinese imperialism which is marching stridently through the Pacific. It made me think about all my Pacific Island friends and how vulnerable their whanau are back in the Islands. We must reinforce the important role New Zealand and Australia have to protect them from modern colonialism, and to work alongside them to assist self-help and self-determination.
The talk on American politics was really revealing. Helen had been on John Kerry’s campaign team and so could speak from the inside of the Democratic machine. I have an abiding interest in politics but I’m not sure whether I could survive in the USA scene.