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Ruta Mave: ‘You are who you associate with’

Monday 18 September 2023 | Written by Ruta Tangiiau Mave | Published in Editorials, Opinion


Ruta Mave: ‘You are who you associate with’
Ruta Tangiiau Mave. Photo: CI NEWS

Step right up, step right up ladies and gentleman, welcome to the greatest show on earth. The circus is here where everything is an illusion and people are notably con-artists turning tricks looking for the next score. Welcome to our government.

Ringmaster Brown is supposedly running this three-ring circus by not being here. 

Authors of ‘How to be a success 101’ often give summaries like ‘set goals, write down your goals, and read your goals daily to be a success’.

For leadership, they often say you can be judged by, and or, obtain success by the books you read and the people you associate with.

Right now, Mark Brown our esteemed Prime Minister must be reading, ‘How to Win friends and Influence People’.

If his constant Facebook posts of selfies with the text heading ‘look who I am promising trade with now’ Is anything to go by.

So far, as associates, go you have to wonder about his inner circle.

Acrobats, jugglers flying trapeze tight rope walkers and clowns swirl around as magicians pull doves from inside their sleeves then disappear behind clouds of smoke.

A post-election photo showed Brown sitting next to Robert Tapaitau whom he had stood down due to charges of fraud and theft, then reinstated him when he thought he needed his seat to count him into government - and who is now stood down pending the outcome of his court case.

On the other side was George ‘Maggie’ Angene, as we all know burnt down the Justice Ministry, was given a made-up portfolio for Corrections when the then Prime Minister Henry Puna wanted his seat counted to get into government.

At least you can say he had experience in the area.

Alongside was Albert Nicholas who was also sacked and reinstated before Puna’s election, for the similar reasons, while knowing he had a warrant out for his arrest for the theft of a vehicle in New Zealand.

All Brown’s spinning plates and juggling balls, he had up in the air, he has given over to clowns who are all thumbs or have a water pistol in the flower of their jacket - it’s difficult to take them and - by association him, seriously.

The voting public can understand Brown adopted this bag of misfits into cabinet when he was appointed PM upon the resignation of Puna.

The fact he chose to keep them, and what’s more orchestrated their continuance in order to serve his own political ambitions is all on him, his choice.

You are who you associate with – which must be why he is frenetically collecting all these photos to frame for his wall of who’s who in world leaders.

Politics is politics, and strategically placing supporters is nothing new, so we can see why he has them close - doesn’t mean we have to like it.

What can’t be fathomed by us, the reading public, is the circus he has left in charge while he is out and about ‘pressing flesh’ – shaking hands and making promises.

The banners are gone, the circus remains, leaving big white elephants still lumbering in the room.

At first, he took all the portfolios because he couldn’t trust anyone to be able to read them, let alone act on them.

Then he hands them out only to have them mismanaged, and end up as headlines in the newspaper.

In his absence he gives the deputy role to Nicholas whose rap sheet has mysteriously disappeared, and who had a medical event while attending a medical conference.

The new deputy is Rose Toki-Brown who recently made headlines for spending copious amounts redecorating her office - which is still under investigation.

When Brown announced he gave his portfolios to George Maggie, he must think he is an avid reader?

Maybe Brown is hoping when he gets back, Maggie will have installed a water station and planted some terevete.

Are there any members of parliament whom Brown can rely on?

Mac Mokoroa was a name that popped up until he was asked about the arrival of the controversial South Korean cult Grace Road Church in the Cook Islands.

He denies any involvement with the cult, but coincidentally Mokoroa just happens to be in South Korea at the moment for a private personal trip for medical purposes, how interesting.

Most of us go to New Zealand or Australia. I don’t believe in coincidences.

I can resist anything except temptation.

When writing my opinion piece, I try to be as broad in my subject matter as possible, but when the government give up so much material to write about, it would be rude not to.

But then it becomes not an opinion piece, but the pure and simple truth of facts.

The trouble with the truth is, it is rarely pure and never simple.