If you’re a Maori who speaks French or Spanish, that is.

HBRC (or, technically, the HB Regional Investment Company) has announced that either a French (Bouygues Construction) or Spanish (Obrascon Huarte Lain) company will build its dam, if the project moves forward.

Just so Maori job hunters can get a good start on your applications, here is a suggested ‘suck up’ line to lead off your cover letters …

Translate “The dam is magnificent!” into …

Le barrage est magnifique!


La presa es magnífica!

Perhaps HBRC job brokers Roger Maaka or Mike Mohi can help you with the rest of your application.

And for good measure, to impress the new CHB land owners when they visit, you better brush up on your Chinese …


Although most of the dairying jobs will go to Filipinos.

Hmmm. What does that leave job-wise from the dam for Maori?

1. Maybe planting riparian strips. [That’s the current offer on the table.]

2. Wait staffing in the board dining rooms of Australian banks … that’s where the loan interest will go. [However, transportation not included.]

3. Freelance translating.

Yep, bring on that iwi investment money!

Tom Belford

Join the Conversation


  1. Tena koe Tom.

    He tika tou korero.
    You are absolutely spot on! In what you say.

    Spectacular of the Three Gorges Dam – It’s called sucking-up.

    我認為這個項目 és un projecte cela pue l’ he mahi tinihanga.
    Chinese.. Catalan.. French.. Māori

    I think this project reeks of trickery.

    Cheers (hei kona ) Māori

  2. Good one Tom. If it wasn’t so tragic it would be even funnier. Just when you thought it couldn’t it just gets worse and worse. I don’t suppose you’ve sent through a copy to H.B.R.C.? No? Thinking they might not get it? What can we do? Cheers, Heather

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