Warning: This conversation with Mr McQuilty contains language that can be heard in and around New Zealand. If you find that offensive do not read it and be offended.
Terrence James McQuilty is well-known in the district (and the ones surrounding it). His late Mother knew him as Terry, her second son; the kids he rode the school bus with as TJ (farter extraordinaire) an abbreviation and attributes which followed, or perhaps dogged him, through the district high school and his apprenticeship as something or other.
Quilty-I’m guilty, never made it to the premier footie division but hindsight and history ensured that down the Club, Quilty-I’m guilty, was as talented and articulate as a macaw. Mostly ‘Quilty-I’m guilty’ was known in his part of rural New Zealand for his ability to share his opinion and ideas (particularly after a jug or two of real beer not that girlie-piss, crafty muck they’re drinking up there).
Quilty-I’m guilty was born to vote blue-True Blue! He’d put on the inherited, now slightly too small pure wool, pseudo-Harris Tweed, hacking jacket-style, sports coat, cleanish shirt and a real tie and put in an appearance at the Cottage Meetings held in the musty-smelling hall by a succession of candidates, MPs and Ministers – all so blue a visitor would think of resuscitation. None of that Red Fed muck around here. If you voted anything other than National in Quilty-I’m guilty territory you had the brains to keep it to yourself.
Quilty-I’m guilty is the backbone of the country from his well-worn Red Bands to his highly polished bigotry and self-interest. Quilty-I’m guilty has spent many a post-tractor, late afternoon telling anyone who’ll listen that “the g’ment” are a bunch of over-educated, latte drinking (no wait that was that other joker who said that at the Omokoroa Settler’s Hall – scrub that), useless pricks. There is no point in telling Quilty-I’m guilty that the Prime Minister is a female – it’s the only time in his florid- faced, fat-arsed life that Quilty has been gender neutral.
So you can imagine my incredible surprise, no total disbelief, when I find that Quilty-I’m guilty and I are making horribly similar utterances about our society and current government policies. Quilty can’t believe the dumb cunts are still giving the water away. Quilty tells anyone who’ll listen there should be a flat rate volume charge for water that is exported. Even Quilty, who had intense difficulty in Miss Fitzgerald’s art class, knows you don’t just give it away. What brain-dead fuck-wit thought that up….? Quilty, who thinks he may have a mahjong set in the hall cupboard, says it’s got nothing to do with them all being Chinese. What dickhead gives away a valuable product for free. Quilty says they’re laughing all the way to the bank while you dumb bastards stand there clutching your privates bleating “no one owns the water”.
I must admit I choked on my latte when Quilty started on the banking system. Okay, so he thinks Don Brash is a stunner. Leaving that to one side with the accumulating bottles: Quilty can’t believe that if he can see it why can’t you blokes see it. Or as Quilty says “is there something we don’t know?” Quilty never met Henry Kissinger but you’d swear to God he’d been watching him on YouTube. “What pink-eyed, commo-derelict thought it was a good idea to have all our banking profits go overseas?” Quilty is convinced if we could only have a real, true blue, New Zealand bank with all the profits coming back to the real people of NZ we’d be hosing it. It almost make’s Quilty sick to think of us being ripped off by those bastards next door, even if he does do the Gold Coast every winter and his sister Janet has just bought an apartment in Surfers. Quilty says why would he work his tits off just to give the money to the farm next door? Thinking about Quilty unclothed makes me nauseous.
It’s not that Quilty-I’m guilty, doesn’t like tourists. Quilty doesn’t like “foreigners”. If you’ve just come in from Manchester, Bognor-Regis, Mumbai, Shanghai, Santiago, or New York most probably Quilty won’t take to you. But, if you’re a fourth generation New Zealander and your Aunty Kamla played basketball on Saturday with his sister Maryanne you’ll have spent a good half-hour hearing Quilty’s comments on recent migrants. Quilty is very clear – why let all those bastards in when we don’t have enough houses, schools, hospitals, roads. It isn’t that Quilty doesn’t like turbans Quilty just doesn’t like the fact that there isn’t enough of anything anymore. And don’t let Quilty get started on the roads. Even the most hardened Quiltyite can only take an hour of Quiltyisms about the state highways. If he starts doing his impersonation of Julie-Anne Genter cycling to the maternity hospital you know it’s time to get home – no more beer.
And I wouldn’t want to be you if Quilty finds you taking a crap round the back of the district war memorial. Quilty’s put part of the farm he got when his grandfather croaked into QEII covenant. You may think he’s as thick as pig-shit and has absolutely no taste and buys cheap toilet paper from the Warehouse but Quilty loves the land. Dumb bastard’s got all the family growing native tree seedlings for riparian planting of the creek they’re fencing off. And, Quilty’s not completely thick, he’ll tell anyone who’ll listen that these stupid sheilas wouldn’t be flashing their bums in the bush and on the beach if we’d got enough public toilets. Quilty says we should be getting them to contribute to the cost of all this stuff when they buy their airline ticket here. Quilty says if they can’t pay an extra $200 a year who needs their shit; they’re not picking the apples. Quilty can’t believe his second-cousin or whatever he is, Joe, up in Auckland has been living in his car. Quilty knows Joe was always a strange one and when he started smashing the windows and lighting the fires on top of the silage pit he knew nothing good was going to come of it for Joe. When Joe shows up home, Quilty can’t believe what’s happened to him. Some kind of mental illness. His wife and the kids left and he got kicked out of the house after he lost his job and couldn’t pay the mortgage. Some guy with 36 rental properties bought the house. Quilty feels sick because he knows there is nowhere and nothing for Joe. Quilty, who wouldn’t have got a scholarship to Harvard, says why the fuck don’t they use some of the water money to look after people like Joe and buy back or build enough houses to get all the families off the streets or use the money to make sure all the kids are warm and don’t get sick. “What the fucking, fucking, fuck did the old-man and Uncle Jim fight for?”
Mrs Quilty aka Toastie – not because she was hot but because she loves tinned spaghetti toasted sandwiches with a beer after the footie. Been eating them since she was five years old and that’s longer than the Queen’s been on the throne (as Quilty likes to say in a moment of humour). Toastie makes sure you never really get Quilty- I’m guilty, going about anything. She’ll meet you at the door and tell you “not to mention the browns getting all that money because of that historical hoo ha stuff. Don’t, don’t tell him you’re learning that ti whatsit – you’ll only set him off. And don’t for Christ’s sake tell him what you’re writing about or there’s a Rainbow Festival in Tauranga – he’ll go off his head and I’ll have to get the helicopter to show up or the cops if he starts ramming the old barn wall with the front end loader. And don’t for God’s sake tell him that you and he agree….he’ll have a breakdown or at least refuse to get up and feed out the silage ….” I’m always fascinated by the ARTbop facebook posts which generate the most traffic/interest. It’s generally not something about the Bay of Plenty creative community achievements or events or exhibitions coming up or going on. It’s usually something odd, unusual, weird, a social justice, community, environmental or international affairs issue.
A morning facebook feed tells me the creative rentiers among us are thinking about the central government imposed future upgrades for privately-owned rental properties.
Do I have an opinion about what you’re saying about privately-owned New Zealand rental property tenants (and some of you are nasty) – yes, but like the interminable facebook comments about State Highway 2-Tauranga West Road I don’t think that would advance anything. So applying my mantra of “let’s fix it and then find out who to blame…”
The fundamental issue is New Zealand needs more money. We keep looking at “blood out of stone schemes” like increasing taxes on ourselves, usually those of us least able to afford them. How feudal is that? But we like to keep “giving it away” and I don’t mean the relatively miniscule amounts we give as foreign aid. What would happen if we:-
(a) Move all the domestic/residential lending back to a centralized government agency so we the people get back some of the mega-bucks in profit currently benefiting overseas owned banks. The profit from this scheme would not go into the consolidated fund but one specifically targeted for residential lending with an income-related sliding scale of interest rates; buying existing dwellings in established areas for sale to people (not just families) under long-term agreement for sale and purchase (rent to buy); lending at affordable interest rates for domestic/residential maintenance/property improvements; creating a network of specialist emergency accommodation and….
(b) Had a volume charge for water which is exported. The profit from this scheme would not go into the consolidated fund but one targeted at health and education, future superannuation…
(c) Had a tourist contribution of $200. per annum. The profit from this scheme would not go into the consolidated fund but into pre-determined separate funds such as infrastructure, environmental protection, creativity, future superannuation….
And the comments about having to insulate, provide heaters and extractor fans in private residential property. In a country as fundamentally wealthy as New Zealand you privately-owning rentiers shouldn’t exist. As many of our citizens as possible should own or be buying their own dwelling whether that’s the traditional single-dwelling, suburban home, a duplex, an apartment, a…. and they should be doing it with loans and mortgages where the profits go back to the country and the community for ongoing development.
And the “heaters” and the extractor fans? I was very proudly shown a modern, free-standing, wood (not pellet) burning fire which provides both heating and a cooking top. It’s designed and engineered to produce the least amount of environmentally negative effects. Look around New Zealand – there is wood everywhere. It would make more sense to require the installation of these units than “heat pumps and extractor fans” which those on low incomes cannot afford to use.
And on the “quid pro quo” – some of the money we are currently throwing away could be used to subsidise the purchase and availability of alternative fuel individual cars and transport. I’m not thinking a bicycle in every room. With all this wealth why do we have to pay to use any form of public transport?
Well, time for morning tea (no scones) and a review of our achievements – banking profits (off-shore), water profits (off-shore), public housing (inadequate or privately owned), infrastructure (inadequate.failing or privately owned), public transport (non-existent, minimal, expensive), public health system (inadequate and failing), education system (inadequate, expensive and failing), environmental issues – well we don’t use plastic bags at the checkout now (yes we do but they’re bigger and you pay for them and don’t look in the supermarket – it’s full of plastic packaged products).
Have a lovely day complaining about your assets- but not anywhere near Quilty-I’m guilty who may discover that he’s become a socialist!
Note: Terrence James McQuilty, his wife. immediate and extended family including Janet and Joe, and Miss Fitzgerald the Art Teacher are fictional characters with no deliberate resemblance to anyone living or dead. Don Brash, Henry Kissinger, and Julie-Ann Genter are alive and New Zealand supermarkets are still full of plastic packaged products. Julie-Ann Genter really did ride a bicycle to hospital. And, Rosemary Balu will be starting Te Reo Maori lessons at Whakamarama School with Te Wananga o Aotearoa next Monday.
Rosemary Balu. Rosemary Balu is the founding and current Managing Editor of ARTbop. Rosemary has arts and law degrees from the University of Auckland. She has been a working lawyer and has participated in a wide variety of community activities where information gathering, submission writing, community advocacy and education have been involved. Interested in all forms of the arts since childhood Rosemary is focused on further developing and expanding multi-media ARTbop as the magazine for all the creative arts in the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
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MOLLY MORPETH CANADAY AWARD, Whakatane
Winners of the 2019 Molly Morpeth Canaday Award – John Brown, Teresa HR Lane, Danae Ripley, Lea-Anne Sheather, Esther Deans, Raewyn Martin, Adrienne Millwood, Kirsten Ferguson, Nicola McCafferty, Toby George King, Sena Park, and Mary Duggan.
Read all about the award results below, and please come along to see the exhibition in person at Te Kōputu a te whanga a Toi – Whakatāne Library and Exhibition Centre if you are able. Open 9am-5pm on weekdays, and 10am-2pm on weekends.
Remember – you can also help to select a winner – vote for the People’s Choice Award at the gallery!
TAURANGA ART GALLERY
THE CARLTON GALLERY AT THE ARTS JUNCTION, KATI KATI
Exhibitions change regularly in the Carlton Gallery and the Gallery is available to be hired for your show of work. (if you’re interested in exhibiting contact details are below)
The Arts Junction is open Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm and 10am to 2pm Saturdays and Sundays. Located at 36 Main Road, Kati Kati (next to the Western Bay of Plenty Museum) Phone 549 5250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.facebook.com/TheArtsJunction/
CURRENTLY SHOWING AT THE CARLTON GALLERY: The Work of Paul Herbert of Waihi Beach 4 -17 March 2019.
2019 Trustpower Photographic Exhibition
CHECK OUT THE WINNERS OF THE TRUSTPOWER PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION
From 3698 competition entries, the 20 winning images are now showcased in the third annual Trustpower Photographic Exhibition! Come and see the breathtaking winning images, presented on large-scale display boards in the Bay’s largest outdoor photographic exhibition. It’s on right now on The Strand, in Downtown Tauranga until 14 April 2019
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