All posts by Rachel Mackintosh

That’s how the light gets in

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Speaker and Worship Leader:- Rachel Mackintosh

That’s how the light gets in
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Rachel Mackintosh © 15th January 2023

If you think about the vastness of space, and how enormous our galaxy is, and how big our planet is, and how small we are, I’m not really eating all that much cheese.

Thanks to Kay for finding and sharing that.

Continue reading That’s how the light gets in

Forging new pathways

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with Rachel Mackintosh

Forging new pathways
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Rachel Mackintosh © 23 October 2022

Ki te kahore he whakakitenga ka ngaro te iwi

“Without foresight or vision the people will be lost.”

This past week a colleague of mine who lives in Taranaki mentioned the town of Patea, which he described as being “nothing since the freezing works closed”.

For 100 years from 1883, the local freezing works had been the heart of the Patea economy. In 1982, the works closed. That’s 40 years ago – 40 years of “nothing”.

The freezing works closed without a vision or a plan for what else could be at the heart of the local economy.

Forty years on, the damage from that lack of foresight can still be felt.

Continue reading Forging new pathways

Burning down the house

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with Rachel Mackintosh

Burning Down the House
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Rachel Mackintosh © 21 August 2022

Burning Down the House was part of the soundtrack of my adolescence.

The song came out two years after the 1981 Springbok tour of New Zealand that had united a nationwide protest movement from across the political and socio-economic spectrum, where tens of thousands of us had marched together periodically in the year leading up to the tour, and twice a week from 19 July — my mother’s birthday and the day our family went to the airport at dawn to protest the Springboks’ arrival — to 12 September — the fourth anniversary of Steve Biko’s death from severe beating in custody and the date of the final test match of the tour. The second match — against the Waikato provincial team on 25 July — was called off after protesters invaded the pitch. Apart from that one match, the tour went ahead. The movement didn’t achieve its aim of stopping the tour.

The introduction to the subject of the tour on the NZ History website has the subheading, “A country divided”.

Continue reading Burning down the house

Transform a scream into a song

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with Rachel Mackintosh

Transform a scream into a song
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Rachel Mackintosh © 13 March 2022

What do you see when I show you this image?

Who do you see?

Do you project yourself on to this person?

Yes?

I don’t. I see a neutral person, not me.

Could it be a woman? Hard to imagine.

I see a man.

Could he be Māori? Doesn’t even occur to me.

Could he be disabled? Clearly doesn’t need a wheelchair, and invisible disabilities don’t enter my view.

Could it be a non-binary person?

What?

Is this person old?

No.

This is just a normal, average person.

A young white able-bodied man, that is. Did I not mention cisgender and heterosexual? Goes without saying.

Normal.

Continue reading Transform a scream into a song

The art of the impossible

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with Rachel Mackintosh

The art of the impossible
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Follow this shortcut to the bottom of the page for the various readings, videos, etc. shared in the service.

Rachel Mackintosh © 16 May 2021

The pandemic is a great rupture. Those who seek hastily to sew up the rupture and return to pre-pandemic normal are seeking to preserve a world where wealth is funnelled to the already wealthy at alarming rates, while millions upon millions pay.

The alternatives to a return to normal are political. It is a cliché that politics is the art of the possible. We are at a moment in the arc of history where what once was politically impossible is possible. We can now perform the art of the impossible. It will take all of us.

Continue reading The art of the impossible

The art of walking upright here

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with Rachel Mackintosh

The art of walking upright here

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Rachel Mackintosh © 14th February 2021

Reading: The Skeleton of the Great Moa in the Canterbury Museum, Christchurch

The skeleton of the great moa on iron crutches
Broods over no great waste; a private swamp
Was where this tree grew feathers once, that hatches
Its dusty clutch, and guards them from the damp.

Interesting failure to adapt on islands,
Taller but not more fallen than I, who come
Bone to his bone, peculiarly New Zealand’s.
The eyes of children flicker round this tomb

Under the skylights, wonder at the huge egg
Found in a thousand pieces, pieced together
But with less patience that’s the bones that dug
In time deep shelter against ocean weather:

Not I, some child born in a marvellous year,
Will learn the trick of standing upright here.

Allen Curnow, 1943

Musings: The art of walking upright here

Last week was Waitangi Day. Marking the signing on 6 February 1840 of Te tiriti o Waitangi. So it may seem as though today’s service is a week late. To adapt a Christmas poem:

“When the waiata on the marae is stilled,
when the sound from the megaphone is gone,
When the rangatira and the manuhiri are home,
when the workers are back in their workplaces,
Then the work of Waitangi begins”

The work of Waitangi is the work of all of us, no matter how much we feel we know or don’t know.

Continue reading The art of walking upright here

Gender and Economic Equality for Women in New Zealand: Progress and Challenges

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Gender and Economic Equality for Women in New Zealand: Progress and Challenges

The Human Rights Commission in partnership with the National Council of Women, Pacific Women’s Watch, Māori Women’s Welfare League and Business & Professional Women are hosting a panel to discuss “Gender and Economic Equality for Women in New Zealand: Progress and Challenges”.

Posted by New Zealand Human Rights Commission on Monday, 9 March 2020

Following on from her talk – What are we waiting for? — the pitfalls of respectability – to us on International Women’s day 8th March, Rachel Mackintosh was part of this panel discussion hosted by the Human Rights Commission, held on Tuesday 10th March.

Gender and Economic Equality for Women in New Zealand: Progress and Challenges was chaired by the Right Honourable Helen Clark, former prime Minister of New Zealand, and featured panellists:

  • Saunoamaali’i Karanina Sumeo, Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner
  • Prue Kapua, President of the Māori Women’s Welfare League
  • Lisa Lawrence, National President National Council of Women
  • Rachel Mackintosh, Council of Trade Unions
  • Rebecca Barnes-Clark, Ministry for Women

What are we waiting for? — the pitfalls of respectability

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with Rachel Mackintosh

What are we waiting for? — the pitfalls of respectability
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Rachel Mackintosh © 8 March 2020

The seeds of International Women’s day were sown the year my grandmother was born. In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter working hours, better pay and the right to vote. It was the Socialist Party of America who declared the first (US) national women’s day a year later.

The idea to make the day international came in 1910, at an international socialist conference of working women in Copenhagen. An attendee called Clara Zetkin suggested it and the100 women present from 17 countries unanimously agreed. The first international celebration was in 1911, in Austria, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland.

Continue reading What are we waiting for? — the pitfalls of respectability

I am a man

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I am a man
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Rachel Mackintosh © 22 September 2019

When I was 17 I wrote a 500-word essay in English on this quote from King Lear: “I am a man more sinned against than sinning.”

Just to recap in case you have forgotten or never knew, King Lear was on a heath in a storm, having been thrown out by his daughters Goneril and Regan, even though he had given them half his kingdom each and was expecting to live with them in his old age. He had been proud, arrogant and pretty irritating. They had been venal and unloving.

Continue reading I am a man

From Samuel Parnell to the future: working  in union

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with Rachel Mackintosh

Service Leader: Clay Nelson

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The Eight Hour Day is by Australian singer, songwriter, poet, John Warner, and is sung here with Margaret Walters.

Bread and Roses originated from a speech given by U.S. laabour union leader Rose Schneiderman; a line in that speech “The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too.” (appealing for both fair wages and dignified conditions) inspired the title of the poem Bread and Roses by James Oppenheim. It is now most often sung to the tune by Mimi Fariña popularised by her sister Joan Baez.

Rachel Mackintosh © 21st October 2018

I mostly avoided history at school. Too much reading. I like reading. Modern poetry. Shortish novels. Brevity is the soul of wit. History had great heavy tomes. So when Clay asked me to speak on Labour Weekend, I thought, “Labour Day. Hmmmm. Samuel Parnell. What exactly?” I do believe in considering how the past has got us to here, but I’m often hazy on the details. Thank goodness for the New Zealand Dictionary of Biography. And Google. And before Google, thank goodness for the index. So I invite you to join me on a journey out of the haze. Continue reading From Samuel Parnell to the future: working  in union