It is a blight on our nation, a nation regularly regarded as one of the best places in the world to live if you are elderly. It remains our national disgrace, and continues to haunt us as the years pass by. The sudden financial loss to the elderly at the hands of Pakeha-run finance companies.
Like all sensible New Zealanders I regard elder abuse in this country to be an overwhelmingly Pakeha disease. The financial statistics prove as much, as do the photos of the company directors and promoters who have wronged them. Their names are etched into our collective consciousness: Mark Bryers, Rod Petricevic, Eric Watson, Allan Hubbard, and now Mark Hotchin.
And those are just the names we recall. For every name we remember there are half a dozen others, and they are overwhelmingly white. When you consider the legions of the retired or semi-retired who have lost their livelihoods to these monsters, it is little wonder that every Pakeha should now be regarded with suspicion.
But the official response is always more handwringing. Successive financial reforms have been weak-kneed and have achieved nothing beyond vast fees for the mostly Pakeha consultants, advisers and lawyers who have devised them. The epidemic of investment failures continues. When we hear of a finance company collapse we will guess the ethnicity of those responsible. Four times out of five we are right.
In the case of Mark Hotchin the story has affected me personally. Because I too might have put money into Hanover Finance, if it wasn’t for the fact that I never would have. So when I hear of the shocking tales of retirement incomes lost I sigh and think “there but for the grace of God…”
In response to the tragedy I have decided to post a picture of Mr Hotchin on my site. I “borrowed” it from the Stuff website, but frankly it doesn’t do justice to the callousness of this particular Pakeha. I already anticipate objections to the posting of this photo (i.e. I don’t own the copyright or have a licence from the copyright owner), but the real reason why people will feel so uncomfortable with the photo is that it reminds us of an inconvenient fact: Mark Hotchin is white.
But for that I make no apology. Why do we continue to pretend that race is irrelevant, when it must be? Look at the numbers and tell me there isn’t a problem with Pakeha financial abuse.
So enough of this conservative bullshit that says the markets must be deregulated so that capital can go where it likes. The handwringers and the financial regulators have all failed us, so don’t listen to what they have to say. Just remember to walk away if the face of the person who wants to take your money is white