“Ken has worked in ‘and survived’ ten countries, and loves them all.”
Who: Kennedy Graham
What: Politician, New Zealand for The Green Party. Kennedy entered political life, December 2008.
Skill Sets: The Green Party website writes: “Ken teaches international politics and international law at the School of Law, Canterbury and Victoria University, and has previously worked for NGOs, the United Nations and as a diplomat.
“He was involved in negotiating the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone, defending the policy as a NZ diplomat before the UN in Geneva and New York and was also Director of a UN programme in the Middle East.
“Having returned to New Zealand he now aspires to contribute his experience and perspectives to helping the country tackle the global problems we face.” This man thinks Peace and thinks Green.
Hollywood Claim to Fame: A great grandson of Robert Graham, New Zealand’s first Magistrate and also the Superintendent of Auckland City.
About Robert Graham: Wikipedia says this of the Scotsman turned Kiwi:
Robert Graham (1820–85) was a New Zealand politician. He represented the Southern Division electorate (containing Waikato, Coromandel, the Bay of Plenty and East Cape) in the 2nd New Zealand Parliament from 1855 to 1860.
He then represented the Frankin electorate in the 3rd and 4th Parliament from 1861 to 1868, when he resigned. He was Superintendent of Auckland and served as a provincial councillor at other times.
He has two great-grandsons who are or have been a Member of Parliament. Kennedy and also:
Doug Graham was a National MP from 1984 to 1899 and a cabinet minister. You can also see Sir Douglas Graham in a post, where I wrote some poetry in Hollywood, published in the Mauri Ola book of poetry this year. Sir Doug’s picture can be seen here.
I was raised on the stories of Kennedy Graham‘s grandad Robert – who is also my kinsman too through my grandfather, Graham Edward Cruickshank. The oldest firstborn males of the Cruickshank-Graham families all have leather bound copies of Sir Robert’s life story, held within our families. Some days, my father would read me tales of Robert Graham. He read like an action man, in The Adventures of Maoriland – he was brave, had courage like no other settler, and he was confrontational without fear for good causes.
Robert Graham is legendary because he didn’t dare enter political office in New Zealand without first knowing the Maori language. He spoke fluent Maori, Maori Chiefs loved him and he loved to roll out with horis.
He set a star template from what all New Zealand politicians should seek to become as culturally nuanced ambassadors of New Zealand in the World. He realized that if you respect a nation’s Indigenous People like equals, you’ll learn their language before you try and mediate anything with them. If you do, this might make you a global ambassador of all peoples. We have yet to see politicians as a norm, with the same courtesy and respect Robert Graham showed Maori people, he led by knowing our culture in both spirit, tongue, and deed.
Robert and his family have always exemplified unusual success at mediating Peace between people of differing cultures with disputes.
Without meaning to sound nepotistic, Robert Graham is one of my New Zealand heroes. Go here to read, how Kennedy Graham and my family are related. And when I watch this clip of Kennedy, he’s very similar to my dad, when dad was his age. The way their hori (old English for silver) colored hair, falls naturally from their right side part is exactly the same; a rather spooky family resemblance. Both men of conviction and principles.
“Ken enjoys classical music and opera, reggae and folk, philosophy and history, and follows rugby ‘passively yet passionately’” says his political bio.
Mauri Ora Kennedy Graham . See you in the future. :)
~Posted by Horiwood.Com, Hollywood California USA. 10.1.10~