BIG NEWS: 04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Is this a gimmick?

A Labour list MP is to lodge a Member’s Bill seeking the entrenchment of the Maori seats in Parliament. His name is Mita Ririnui. Some of you may have heard of him. He sometimes contributes to debate in Parliament. Like on four days in the past seven months. One of those days was today. But he could soon have a higher profile.

Labour supported entrenchment of the Maori Seats while in Government, but didn't have the balls to do anything about it. The Maori Party drafted a bill but that got scuttled in the confidence and supply agreement with National. So what Labour is trying to do now is cause havoc in the Maori Party by hoping they will support it if the bill gets pulled out of the ballot. Under the agreement with National, the Maori Party can vote for entrenchment, provided that it is not "pursuing" entrenchment.

Given that 75 percent of Parliament have to vote for this bill in the committee stags to make it law, this will require National support. National won't support it and Ririnui knows that. So this is wedge politics aimed at causing a rift between National and the Maori Party.

Hopefully Maori will see this bill for what it is: a gimmick bill.

While in Government Labour pushed through legislation that affected about 300 people a year. That was the Civil Union Act. Then they pushed through a bill they did not expect to be upheld. That was the anti smacking legislation. They then pushed through a bill that it did not want to enforce - the Electoral Finance Act. Now it wants to push through a bill that with a primary aim other than that of passage. The aim is purely to piss off both the Maori Party and National - for different reasons - and Labour is using Parliament's lowest profile Maori MP to do it. Race-based bill fronting is what I call it.

UPDATE Indeed, the Maori Party is pissed off. Labour's motto seems to be "if you want 'em, but can't get 'em, your main opponent has 'em but doesn't want 'em, try to entrench 'em".

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Church rules on swine flu

New Zealand's Catholic bishops have issued hygiene recommendations for church services in preparation for a swine flu pandemic.The bishops are stopping parishioners receiving communion wafers on the tongue, communion wine from the chalice and from shaking hands at the sign of peace at masses.

So what will happen instead? The communion wafers will be on a plate, wine from a drinking fountain or some such - or little cups. The sign of peace could be merely a "thumbs up", a cheerie wave or a " high five". However the two finger peace sign would be safer and apt.Let's hope the wrinkly side of the fingers are facing towards the peace maker or else it may look offensive.

Also, it would be good to have no dipping hands in the bowl of holy water before leaving, to be consistent.

Or shaking hands after the service.

If this starts an international trend, let's hope Mr Shake Hands Man is not Catholic.

UPDATE SundayI was advised that only the priest took communion today, there was no hand shaking - but a "smile" of peace - and use of holy water was banned. Which begs the question if it really is holy water, and the wine is transubstantiated, surely this would veto or cure any disease of swine fluness.

Read more on this over here.


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Bollard cuts interest rates to all time low

Its just been reported that Allan Bollard has taken 0.5% off the official cash rate, bringing it down to 2.5%.Bollard said:
We consider it appropriate to provide further policy stimulus to the economy. We expect to keep the OCR at or below the current level through until the latter part of 2010. The OCR could still move modestly lower over the coming quarters.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Statement on Salient news editors: Spamming done in Salient offices

Students Association threatens Big News with defamation

Salient is the newspaper of Victoria University. Its news editor is Michael Oliver. Oliver was a sports reviewer under former editor Steve Nicol, and, as I was a sub, I had to sub his stories.

Readers will know that someone left multiple comments on this blog, under different names earlier this week, including the names of some well known journalists such as Mike McRoberts, Mark Sainsbury, and Carol Hirschfield, as well as under Salient news editors including Steve Nicol, Jackson Wood - and a “Janet Sampson”. I can now reveal that those comments on this blog were done in the offices of Salient, and a Salient volunteer has taken the rap. I doubt whether this volunteer was alone. I was advised today, after being threatened with a defamation suit by the Victoria University Student's Association(VUWSA) two days earlier, that current editor Jackson Wood was "aware of it" and knew "who is responsible" after initially writing to me denying any knowledge of the spamming. Perhaps others were also aware of it. A statement denying any involvement in the spamming of this blog from anyone in Salient was also posted on the Salient Twitter page by Jackson Wood. It has now been deleted.

It was my reasonably held opinion that Oliver was the person who left the comments. This was based on similar comments, names and phrases on the Salient website, some of which Oliver wrote. So I spoke to Oliver and offered him the opportunity, on this blog, to refute my claims, but he refused to do so. Instead, Salient (actually to be correct, it was VUWSA ), threatened to sue me and I received a letter from barrister Paul Chisnall. As it transpired, it was not Michael Oliver who spammed this blog.

The lawyers advised that Salient and Oliver considered statements I made were defamatory. But this afternoon, just as I was about to shoot off a letter to the lawyers telling them why they weren't, VUWSA and Salient called off the legal action. However, this was not a sudden move, it was the result of an ongoing – and helpful - dialogue with one Salient representative over the previous 24 hours. Wood emailed this to me and his lawyers:
I would like to formally apologise on behalf of Salient for the comments that were posted on your blog on 20 April 2009. As discussed, I have talked to the volunteer responsible to ensure that they understand what they did was wrong and I believe that they are genuinely sorry for their actions. I will ensure that they do not do this again.

This happened in my office under my watch and so I would like to extend my personal apology to you as well. Once again, I'm very sorry about what happened…all legal proceedings will be terminated…I hope that this can be the end of issue, and that there is no ill feelings between us.
I'm tired. It's a pity that those who use VUWSA computers to spam or write comments like this are not told at the time to "understand what they did was wrong"; rather, wrongdoing is only understood when grownups get involved.


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National begins dirty tricks campaign in Mt Albert, apparently

Excellent media release here from Annette King, DLOTPWNCFMA (Deputy Leader Of The Party With No Candidate For Mt Albert).
National’s dirty tricks have started even before Labour has selected a candidate for the Mt Albert by-election, Deputy Leader of the Opposition Annette King said today.

National and John Key’s dishonest attempt to discredit one of eight potential Labour candidates shows the Government’s eyes are off the ball when they should be focusing on peoples jobs and the upcoming budget. National has trawled through research papers written by David Shearer dating back to1998. The papers looked at the use of private security in war torn nations where innocent civilians, mostly women and children, were dying and there were no better alternatives.

“They’ve fed this information to their right wing blogging friends.
So why haven't I been fed? Or aren't I "right wing blogging" enough. Actually I' m not even left wing blogging enough, either, as nobody gave me any papers after Mike William's trip to Melbourne.

Actually I've already got the research paper. On my internet. (Okay its just the first page). The full article is also on the Internet thanks to Kiwiblog, the right wing blogger who did not get it from National, because it wasn't a Nat staffer who checked the databases.Annette King, DLOTPWNCFMA, says:
Why are they trying to dig dirt on one of the nominees, I predict that by the weekend they would have gone through the whole eight.
Now, there's a thought! Lets start with the candidate who is named after a Christian radio station: Rhema Vaithianathan. She's written a journal on the Economics of Female Genital Cutting which you can download here. In the article she argues that female genital cutting is a pre-marital investment associated with better marital outcomes. Which has got to be good for social and economic policy. Anyway back to King, DLOTPWNCFMA:
“I hope it’s not a sign of the tactics National plans to adopt for the campaign. Labour is committed to fight a strong, clean and fair by-election. that they have kneecapped their best candidate because they don't want their worst list MP back in Parliament if he wins.


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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's by-election time

Labour has its billboards up already for the Mt Eden by-election

Perhaps this is appropriate.
hattip Kiwiblog.


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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Campaigning in the Mt Albert by-election

Many are calling the Mt Albert by-election a win for National. Since the Mt Albert electorate was formed in 1946, the party of Government has never taken a seat from an opposition party in a by-election.

So this by-election could make history if Mt Albert turns blue. From figures in the last general election, all it takes is some Clark-loving National voters to vote for the National candidate, and for Green to vote for Russel Norman, and a few hundred extra to vote for the National candidate, provided the rest vote for someone other than Labour.

If Norman wins, the Greens will get an extra seat in Parliament. Labour would like to get an extra seat, too so it has to select a person other than a current List MP to stop Judith Tizard getting in. Its failed list selection process meant that should their favoured candidate win, Tizard will be back in Parliament. Labour wants to avoid that. Tizard should have been way down the list. Favoured candidate Phil Twyford - a list MP - has a right to be pissed off.

Given the number of people in the race, it remains to be seen how many votes fringe candidate and Salient editor Jackson Wood will get. He has issued a media release on the candidacy of Russel Norman - and even spells Norman's name incorrectly. He has even set up a Facebook campaign page as part of the joke. One of the members is a Michel Olivier. He is the Salient News editor.

It would be fitting if Michael J Oliver - or Jean-Michel Olivier - was Wood's campaign manager. Perhaps if he was in one of Wood's politics classes he may have been. Nevertheless, I'd encourage everyone to vote for Jackson James Wood, because as far as I know, he is the only candidate to live in a suburb starting with "Mt".

Update He has also got a good sense of humour.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Back in town

I've put my clock back for the winter. And now I'm home again for a few days.
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Dodgy dealings by Dave

Although I am travelling around the North Island this month, I just wanted to let you all know that this article is not about me.


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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shock, horror!! The Children's Commissioner says something useful about children

A baby-faced rapist coached to stalk and rape when he was 14 and who later raped his best friend in prison will be freed by December.

Maka Renata was 14 when he went out raping with his foster father, Dean Hiroki, a senior Mongrel Mob member and serial rapist, in June 1999.

Actually he had been placed by CYFS social workers with Renata just before the rape. Renata had 17 pages of convictions including rape, attempted rape, and threatening to kill but CYFS didnt bother to find that out. But what was he even placed with the gang?
The children's commissioner said imprisoning people so young was a disaster and rehabilitation was "very, very difficult". "They're likely to be made angry and have a grievance against society for the rest of their lives."

But before you praise Cindy Kiro for speaking up on behalf of children there is just one minor point. It wasn't Kiro who defended children. It was left to former children's commissioner Ian Hassell to do so. The current children's commissioner was nowhere to be seen - probably working out some spin on how she could defend CYFS, or planning her next overseas trip.

Thank God she is going to be a former commissioner. No child was better off because of her. She has been an utter failure - truly awful. She has been worse commissioner than Judith Tizard was an MP.


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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Foreshore and Seabed review

The architect of the Foreshore and Seabed legislation, Michael Cullen, has made Labour's submission to the Foreshore and Seabed review. Labour has done an about-turn on the legislation it so dramatically passed in 2004.

Now, Labour wants to restore the ability to apply for an award of customary title - in the first instance to the Maori Land Court but with a right of appeal to the High Court. But Labour does not believe customary title should be able to be converted into freehold title, which would enable its sale. So why didn't Labour do that instead of passing the Foreshore and Seabed legislation in such a panic? Michael Cullen's submission said that further thought needs to be given to just what powers the possession of customary title would involve in conjunction with other legislation like the Resource Management Act. He submitted that the agreement with Ngati Porou would be a good starting point in any discussions. This agreement recognises and protects customary rights by granting the iwi effective co-management of the coast, complete with consultation rights on fisheries and conservation decisions and a veto on resource consents which would interfere with customary activities.

Had Labour taken that position when they drafted the Foreshore and Seabed legislation, who knows what our political arrangements may have been now. And if the Maori Party didn't have an agreement with National, the review may not even have taken place and we would never have got a formal admission by Labour that it botched its own law.

The Maori Party doesn't just want a review: It wants a repeal.

[Just as background, as a result of a long dispute between a coalition of South Island iwi and the Marlborough District Council over customary fishing and aquaculture rights, the Court was asked to rule whether there was any legal barrier to land below the high water mark - the foreshore and seabed - being declared Maori customary land. It found that there was not. Whether a particular piece of foreshore or seabed was in fact Maori customary land was a question of fact, to be determined by the Maori Land Court - but the Court unequivocally had the power to make such determinations.

The Labour Government did not want Maori to be permitted to win customary title through the courts, so it passed legislation to permanently and retrospectively vest ownership of the foreshore and seabed in the crown.The legislation was justified by two arguments: the need to preserve public access to what was generally assumed to be a communal space, and the need to prevent uncertainty to business.

The legislation removed the jurisdiction of the Maori Land Court to hear claims for ownership of the foreshore and seabed - the sand that gets wet by the tide - allowing exploration of customary usage rights, but short of the award of actual customary title, or ownership. It created a system for recognising and managing those customary rights, through comprehensive negotiation.]

[Hat Tip No Right Turn]


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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Prime Ministers salary

In 1998, just 10 years ago,the Prime Minister was paid $185,000. The speaker was paid $126,000. A Chairperson of a Select Committee got $86,500.

John Key gets more than all three combined in 2008. That's not including his allowances. Is your position paid more than double it was 10 years ago?


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Taito, Taito, its back to court we go

The Taito Philip Field trial has been delayed after seven of the jurors were discharged after they said they`d be in financial hardship if they sat on the trial for three months.

There are plenty of people who are unemployed. They won't suffer further financial hardship. Its a pity unemployed people don't have a fair chance of getting on juries as do public servants. And does it really need to take three months?


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Salient News Editor volunteer spams websites in his spare time

UPDATE I have been formally advised in writing today by Salient that Michael Oliver was not involved in spamming Big News. But it was done in the Salient offices by, I was told a volunteer. I have written a post on this matter which you will see here.

Salient is the Victoria University newspaper. It has a news editor by the name of Michael Oliver. But Oliver is no ordinary news editor.

He is also an internet spammer and a troll.

Tonight he left nearly 50 messages on this blog under different names, presumably from the Salient offices and then later in the evening. I've deleted some but kept copies.

He has posted under the names of various journalists, and has even used the names of his own editors, current editor Jackson Wood, and the 2007 Salient editor Steve Nicol. He was a sports reviewer under Nicol and, as I was a sub, I had the misfortune to have to fix up his badly written stories. As a result of all the fix-ups he won that year’s ASPA’s sports award. (He gloats about it here). Wood has already confirmed to me that he was not involved in the blog spamming, and had no knowledge of his staff member’s activities.But he did know that some his writers have been googling my name, one who has stuck an old pic of me on his Facebook site.

But it is not just this blog this dude is spamming. He is spamming his own Salient site under multiple fake names to build up comments for his articles, in some cases directly after his own editor has left a comment himself. Most comments on this article are written by Salient staff members - and it's not the only one, either. Oliver posts under multiple names, including the name "Janet Sampson". He also posted under the name "Janet Sampson" on this blog here, tonight, as well. One of Mr Oliver's little phrases is " sprouty sprout sprouts" which he uses on this site in a comment under the name of "Janet Sampson".

But he uses the sprouty phrase in the Salient site in a fake article he wrote just over a month ago before adding a comment under the same fake Janet Sampson name. Then he goes into Facebook, searches the name Janet Sampson and writes another comment on the same Salient page 45 minutes later, pretending to be the Janet Sampson who owns the Facebook page, and writes.
I just put my name into the google and found this. I hope everything is going well for you guys down there in New Zealand.Love and kisses.Janet Simpson

Yeah right - 45 minutes after a blog comment someone in Manchester so happens to google her name and finds the Salient website, and spells her name Simpson? Apart from spelling names incorrectly, Oliver wrote other comments on his article under various names.

Soooo. Smarty smart arse Oliver has been sprouty-sprout-sprung spamming Big News and the website he is news editor of. Unless it was someone pretending to be him, which I very much doubt as nobody would be so purile.

update In the interests of fairness Oliver is welcome to leave a comment on this blog under his real name ( not the six or more names he uses on his Salient comments) with a proper link denying my opinion. He is welcome to state that he has never written multiple comments under different names on Salient and this blog. He has so far refused to do so.

more here

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Recognise her?

Here is a little clue



The rise and rise of blogging

A good article by student journalist Sandra Dickson in Newswire discussing influence of political blogs in the election.
New Zealand’s most popular blogger, David Farrar, of Kiwiblog, agrees right-wing blogs in particular created a “sense of crisis around Winston”, and says bloggers can be motivated to dig deeper, while journalists are under time constraints.
Actually bloggers are also under time constraints if they want to break stories on their blogs - and we do. For free. Self-imposed constraints, mind you, but to get to the story first that's what you have to do.
Kiwiblog and fellow right blog Whale Oil were not prepared, for example, to take New Zealand First assurances about funding at face value.

“When New Zealand First said they’d paid $158,000 and it turned out to be to the Susan Couch Charitable Trusts, it was blogs that researched the trust and found out that two of the three trustees are Winston’s personal lawyers, that Susan Couch doesn’t have any control over the trust, she’s not named in the trust deeds.”
It was this humble blog that first reported some of that.

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Plea to bloggers

Would people please stop linking the latest media stories on Tony Veitch. They should never have been written.

UPDATE and well done TVNZ for pulling tonight's story on Veitch.

UPDATE I see staff from Victoria University's newspaper Salient are having fun in the comments section. Immature little boys. Does editor Jackson Wood know about this - or is he part of it?


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Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Yes Vote

Most people know that in July there is to be a postal referendum on laws surrounding parental correction . The referendum will ask:
Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?
There are two ways you can answer that: yes, and no. Those who don't think a smack as part of good parental correction should be a criminal offence in New Zealand will answer 'no'. Simple.

No, not really.

There is a website that is encouraging people to answer yes in the referendum, not because they believe a smack as part of good parental correction should be a criminal offence (they don't), but because they are pissed off that the petition got enough signatures to force a referendum and to answer the question honestly, they'd have to say no.

But they don't want to do that.

So any 'yes' vote is not a vote that answers the referendum question with conviction. It is not even a vote for the current law on corrective discipline. It is a vote opposing any change to a law that will line up with their own convictions and beliefs on the question asked of them. It is simply a protest vote - against those who vote 'no'.

Anyone who wants to vote 'yes' in the referendum will be voting against their conviction, because they also don't think a smack as part of good parental correction should be a criminal offence. Like politicians, they don't want to answer this question at all; they`ll do it purely in an attempt to both sabotage the referendum and to shut down the opinions of people who they don't agree with - the views of people who will answer the question honestly.


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Friday, April 17, 2009

Breaking news: Man goes out

This from Fiji Daily Post today.

It’s official: a man went out.

Neighbours reported that they saw him go out last night.

‘I thought he was just mad’, a woman opined while asking to remain anonymous.Another neighbour said he saw him open his door about ten o’clock.

‘Arreh, he went out’, he added.

When approached, the alleged man admitted to stunned reporters, ‘OK, yes, I went out’.

But he was unable to give a reason why.Asked if he would try it again, the man said, ‘yes, I think I like going out’.

Asked where he would go, the man said ‘out’.

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Fijian media write stories about paint drying and getting on buses

Some great stories in the Fijian media recently. Thanks to censorship, they have to write about other things.

Paint has apparently dried on his old couch
Paint has apparently dried on his old couch, Max reports.

Given the job of painting the couch, Max was excited at the prospect of the paint drying. But when asked how it dried, he was nonplussed.

“It just went on wet, but after about four hours, it started to dry.That was when I realised, paint dries,” the young scholar observed.

Fiji Daily Post asked Max if he intended to do more painting.

“Oh yes,” he replied, “I like watching paint dry.”

Or this one:

Man gets on a bus
In what is believed to be the first reported incident of its kind, a man got on a bus yesterday.

“It was easy,” he said.“I just lifted one leg up and then the other and I was on”.

Fiji Daily Post reporters found witnesses willing to confirm the happening.

“Yes”, said one who asked to remain anonymous, “I saw him get on the bus”.

Another witness who also preferred to remain unidentified told this newspaper it was “the early morning bus”.

“I was waiting opposite the shop when I saw him run to catch the bus.”

What happened next was a remarkable feat – the man actually got on the bus, we believe. Students from a local school who had been waiting for two hours in the rain for the bus also confirmed that they saw the man board.

“We are happy for him”, one student remarked in terms reminiscent of Neil Armstrong (the first man to step onto the moon): “it may be one small step for him, but it is one giant step for the people of Fiji”

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New Children's Commissioner announced

Child care and protection expert John Angus has been appointed Children’s Commissioner for six months from 2 May while a permanent appointment is sought.

“I have decided to make an interim appointment to allow time to find the right permanent appointee for this important position,” Social development Minister Paula Bennett said. “I am grateful that we have someone of Mr Angus’ ability and standing available while we work to fill the role long-term.”

John Angus is a former front-line social worker, and was later a senior public servant. More recently he worked on the review of the Children Young Persons and their Families Act 1989, and he led inter-departmental work on preventing child abuse and neglect for the Taskforce for Action on Violence Within Families.

“Mr Angus has high integrity and immense respect within the sector for the policy research and academic work he has done on child care and protection over many years,” Ms Bennett said. “He is regarded as thoughtful, considered and a safe pair of hands.”

Bennett thanked outgoing commissioner Dr Cindy Kiro for her commitment to children and young people over more than five years in the position.

“Dr Kiro has been a strong advocate for the rights of children, and she has left a lasting impression.

So, who is John Angus? He was a former head boy at Bayfield High School and is currently the project manager for the MSD's child maltreatment programme which is focused on eliminating child abuse and neglect. The lead agency for this is the Office of the Children's Commissioner.

Angus is a strong advoate of putting children close to the centre of public policy and public life, believing it leads to effective policy and better outcomes for children, from swimming pool design to drug reform. If you want to know what his personal position on children's rights is, read chapter two of this document.

Angus' PhD research was an examination of children's learning through audio visual media in relation to a model of simultaneous and successive information processing.

Sounds like a safer pair of hands in the interim.


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Guess how old this guy is?

Answer is here

Hattip boingboing


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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tony Veitch to appear in court 9am tomorrow

[ Update see below for his sentence]
The depositions hearing against Tony Veitch will not proceed as planned on Monday, but no-one is saying why. Instead Veitch will appear in court tomorrow morning. He was charged with assaulting his partner.
TVNZ has the possible legal options:
-Veitch could be pleading guilty to all the charges.

-Veitch could accept that there is a case to answer, will plead not guilty and the matter will go straight to trial.

-The hearing may not take place because one or more witnesses are not available.

-The hearing may not take place due to police withdrawing all charges.

-The hearing is unnecessary, due to police replacing existing charges with lesser ones, and a plea bargain has been negotiated.

I'm wondering if it will be either a plea bargain or a withdrawal of charges. He wont go to jail.

UPDATE He pleaded guilty under a plea bargain although seven charges were dropped. Sentenced to nine months supervision and 300 hours of community service and a $10,000 fine. Probably the only person to to lose his job over community service and a fine - before being sentenced.

It's good that is is now over. Let him get on with his life. He's already lost $100,000 to his former partner. Do you think he deserved his sentence?


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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A very simple question

Bill English was asked on Radio Live today whether a smack should be allowed as part of good parental correction. The answer of course is yes, but he didn't want to say no, or yes. He was asked at least six times. Here's the transcript. It's a classic.

Radio Live Breakfast Show - 14 April 09
INTERVIEWER: The Labour Party seemed to have amended their position on Section 59, the smacking legislation. What do you think? Should a smack be allowed as part of a good - as good parental correction?
BILL ENGLISH: Look, the Government's position hasn't changed since a compromise was done with the previous Labour Government. And the Prime Minister has said many times, as has the rest of the Government, that if there is evidence that law abiding parents are being wrong(ly)prosecuted inconsistent with the spirit of that law then we would look to change it. And has been - and there hasn't yet been considerable enough evidence to warrant changing it.
INTERVIEWER: Well, did you think - do you think a smack should be allowed as part of good parental correction?
BILL ENGLISH: Well, look, I think the law, as it is, is the law of the land and needs to be enforced in a sensible way. And...
INTERVIEWER: But do you think a smack should be allowed as part of good parental correction?
BILL ENGLISH: I - I think the law, as it is, is the law of the land that should be enforced. If there is evidence that it is being enforced in instances where it's - where it's inappropriate because the event is
trivial or [indistinct]...
INTERVIEWER: No, no. Sorry, Minister, I just wanted to know whether you could answer that, that should - do you think a smack should be allowed as part of good parental correction?
BILL ENGLISH: Look, it's a matter of complying with the law of the land.
INTERVIEWER: Right, it's a simple question, isn't it?
BILL ENGLISH: It's like asking whether the speed limit should be - whether you should drive at 120 kilometres an hour. The law - the law...
INTERVIEWER: Well, clearly you shouldn't.
BILL ENGLISH: That's right. Well, the law - the law, as it stands, is the law that should be enforced.
INTERVIEWER: Do you - do you think a smack should be allowed as part of good parental
correction? It's simple yes or no, isn't it?
Bill ENGLISH: Well, look, the law takes a stance about smacking and it gives the police some discretion about how they use their capacity to prosecute. If there is evidence that they are prosecuting people inappropriately, then that current government would look at changing the law.

So this is the position of Bill English. Laws should be enforced. The smacking law should be complied with. A smack as part of good parental correction is against the law. There is no evidence that, quote, "law abiding parents are being wrong(ly) prosecuted", unquote, for breaking the law when lightly smacking their kids.As if law abiders should be prosecuted and can be convicted for breaking the law.

What Radio Live should have asked is this: 1)If you believe that laws should be enforced, why don't your believe that parents who lightly smack their kids - thus breaking the law - should be prosecuted?


2) Why do you treat parents who administer light correction to their children as law abiding parents, while at the same time insisting the laws they break should be enforced?

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Anti-smacking referendum dates

Just heard that the anti-smacking referendum has been confirmed to be held between 31 July 2009 and 21 August 2009 . It will be a postal ballot.


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Goff happy to have any former Labour colleague back in Parliament

Labour has no problem with former MP Judith Tizard coming back to Parliament on its party list, Phil Goff says.He was reacting to speculation that the party would select a non-list MP to stand in the Mt Albert by-election to avoid Ms Tizard returning to Parliament on the list.
Asked how he felt about the potential return of Ms Tizard, who lost Auckland Central to National's Nicky (sic) Kaye, Mr Goff said: "I am very happy to see any former Labour colleague back in parliament.

So he was happy to see Tariana Turia, Roger Douglas or Peter Dunne back in Parliament after they left Labour? Or is he really meaning that he his happy see any former Labour colleague back in Parliament under the Labour banner. Like Roger Douglas, John Tamihere or David Benson Pope, perhaps. Or former Deputy PM Bob Tizard even.

At least Bob Tizard wouldn't say anything out of line. And he'd waste less money than his daughter.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Goff on smacking

Phil Goff said on Q&A yesterday that he did not think a smack as part of good parental correction should be allowed under law, despite voting for a law that allowed exactly that. So now that it is, he says that parents should not be prosecuted for it. In other words, if you break the law, you should not be prosecuted for it. Even if you smack your kids in the supermarket.

Yet if the law reflected the intention of parliament - or certainly, Goff's position on it, it would have to be amended to remove criminal sanctions. So if there should be no criminal sanctions for smacking, why would Goff not support the retention of the current law, but with the removal of these sanctions so that the law reflects his position? Goff's position is undefendable. If I was him I'd keep a little quiet about this law.

Even if he came out and said that if the smacking referendum result was to reflect current public opinion he would respect that, he'd be a hypocrite given that he would no doubt instruct Labour not to vote for ACT MP John Boscawen's bill that attempts to change the law, should it come out of the ballot and be passed before the referendum.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Failed Labour candidate gets fellow MP to lie to the media

Former CTU secretary and current Labour List MP Carol Beaumont, who contested the Maungakiekie seat and lost to National MP Peseta Sam Lotuliga, a Samoan, is moaning that Lotuliga is remaining on the Manukau Auckland City Council while remaining an MP.

Still smarting that she is not a constituent MP as National overturned a huge majority, she ropes in a Samoan Labour MP Su'a William Sio to comment on her media release. Sio happened to be on the Manukau City Council when he was elected to Parliament, in fact he was the Deputy Mayor at the time.

He says that after he got elected to Parliament he resigned from the council immediately because it was impossible to do justice to both jobs. Immediately.

Trouble is, he didn't, as he finally admitted to me today. He did not immediately resign.

He only resigned from the Deputy Mayoralty a week after he become an MP but he did not resign from the Council for five weeks as Whale Oil also noted.

Yet he has the cheek to criticise Lotuliga for not resigning from the council, as he said he did. Even though he didn't. That must make him a liar. And a hypocrite. He stayed on the council to help choose the deputy mayor, when he was supposed to be in Parliament.

"Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga is not fulfilling his Council role," noted Beaumont, concerningly. Beaumont couldn't care less whether he was fulfilling his council role, she was just pissed off that she got thrashed at the election after expecting to easily win. So she wheels out a fellow Samoan Labour MP who also happened to be on an Auckland area council when he become an MP as an example of what should happen - only for him to lie in the media release hoping that nobody noticed.

Well, we did notice. WhaleOil also remembered that no less than five Labour MPs have been MPs while working their council roles and calls them Class A hypocrites.

I asked Su'a William Sio to immediately advise whey he said he "immediately resigned" when he resigned six weeks later. I have yet to receive a response. Perhaps a response will be forthcoming in six weeks.

Hat tip WhaleOil

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Journalists, Twitter and the c-word.

Many journalists pass their time away on Twitter. Bloggers read Twitter too. Because some journos say things to each other on Twitter that they will never publish in the newspapers.

Like this, discussing Michael Laws and the h not yet in the word Wanganui.

UPDATE 1:20pm April 13. Apparently he does not want to Tweet anymore. Twitter. Tried it, failed to see the point or get excited, gonna stick to blogging and RL. Will keep my account open though. Bye all.


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Friday, April 10, 2009

NZPA once again writes yesterday's news

The NZ Herald ran this story this afternoon.

New figures released by the Department of Corrections show the number of prisoners using drugs has hit a record low.Acting prison services assistant general manager Leanne Field said the number of prisoners returning positive results after being randomly tested had plummeted to 10.5 per cent, the lowest rate ever recorded across all prisons in New Zealand.

That's weird. Judith Collins said the same thing ten days ago.

The figures were given to the Minister in March. So the figures are not as new as NZPA makes out. But thanks for the old news, NZPA. It's just a pity you didn't bother to ask Corrections any questions - like these ones. After all you had a bit of time to do so.

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Salient Poll

This weeks Salient Poll: Should there be an 'H' in W(h)anganui?

The answer of course is no. There is no H in Whanganui. Or Wanganui. Or W(h)anganui, for that matter. But nobody is even suggesting Wanganui will be amended to WHanganui.

Dumb poll. The real question is, should there be an 'h' in Wanganui? The answer is Yhes.

The next question is where to put it. Wanghanui anyone?


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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The annual Easter rant

Every Easter David Farrar complains that the shops have to shut on Easter and that prevents people from working. But some shops are allowed to open and some aren't. Supermarkets aren't allowed to open on Easter Sunday, which is not even a pubic holiday. That makes Easter trading laws illogical, he says.

And he's right. Although supermarkets can't open, Foursquares and Starmarts can. Shops in some areas can open, but not in others. Restaurants with on-licences can open on Good Friday and Easter Sunday for dining purposes, but customers cannot buy a drink without a meal.

Farrar says that a shop assistant can earn around $450 extra in working this Friday and Sunday. He's wrong for several reasons. Firstly, it depends on if that shop assistant is lucky enough to get $20 an hour. Secondly even if he or she did, penal rates would have to be paid on Sunday and that can't happen unless it is a public holiday. Easter Sunday is not a public holiday. Of course for a shop assistant to earn $450 extra they'd have to earn $60 an hour to get the time and a half rate for the two days :-)

As far as I'm concerned, if it is not a public holiday, the shops can stay open, and I don't care what other Christians think of that. I can't work Good Friday and Easter Monday because they are public holidays, but my employer says I can't work on Easter Sunday either,even though that is my normal working shift.

So why isn't Easter Sunday a public holiday if its good enough for Good Friday and Easter Monday? "Non-trading days like Easter Sunday should be abolished and declared public holidays. Furthermore if you are working essential services on Good Friday you get penal rates. You should be able to get them on Easter Sunday too but at present you don't because it is a "non-trading day" only. So if I go to the garden centre on Sunday and they slap on a surcharge, they`ll be getting a good telling off.

Rotorua MP Todd McClay has a private members bill that is a small step forward. It allows local communities to decide whether or not shops can open on Easter Sunday. Until Easter Sunday is declared a statutory holiday, I can see no reason why employers cannot have that choice.


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Let's shut down Waihopai

New Album out here. You an also listen to the title track there or here. Its about the US spybase in Waihopai - just out of Blenheim.


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Does the Minister of children in parent-led services still stand by this statement?

Right now children in parent-led services such as Play Centre and Kohanga Reo miss out on 20 hours ECE. This is not right and is not fair.


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Recent blog

Brian Edwards Media. Obviously doesn't have much to say.


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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Maori representation

Why is it fine to retain Maori Parliamentary seats but not have seats for indigenous people in the Auckland super council as recommended by the Royal Commission?

And on that note, did anyone pick up on the fact that one Royal Commission recommended Maori seats, National said no, whereas another one nearly 23 years ago recommended some Maori seats be abolished, but the Government retained them.


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Monday, April 06, 2009

Who said this. And when?

Right now children in parent-led services such as Play Centre and Kohanga Reo miss out on 20 hours ECE. This is not right and is not fair.
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Apparently some families affected by the recession are too poor for others to identify with

In the weekend the Fairfax magazine "Your Weekend" featured a story of a person who was cutting down on her expenses due to the recession. It was called "Just saying no - one woman's answer to the recession".

It was a good article, but she was spending thousands every week on various things and she called it cutting down. She was proud of spending "just" $1200 in discretionary spending each month (that's not including food,power, mortgage and other essential bills) and just $200 a week on food.

When I pointed out to the editor that many families - for example ours - don't have the money to spend $1200 a month on discretionary spending he said that readers would not be able to identify with that experience. Therefore he would not publish an article on how to drop discretionary spending to less than $1200 a month or how to cut down your credit card bill to $2500 a month. Y`know, like living in a recession, but affected by it as well.

Because being affected by recession is "just saying no" because of necessity, not because you can spend your way out of a refusal to say no on occasions. Being affected by recession is not about buying fewer coffees or going on less holidays - it's living on less income. In order to have an answer to the recession you have to have an answer that people affected by a recession - particularly those who have lost their jobs - are able to identify with.

That article was not it.


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Helen Clark's husband Peter Davis said that his dear wife felt rejected by the country after the election.

That's right. She was rejected. And way before the election. Goodbye Helen. Fall into the arms of the UN. Labour will be better off without you.
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Sunday, April 05, 2009

Spending more time on Twitter than on Blogger

Like many bloggers, I'm spending more time on Twitter. Here's a few of my recent tweets.

Tony Blair is the world's best paid speaker. Wonder why?

Here you go, a Twitter workshop for Journalists.

Google is to buy Twitter? OK.

Topless Coffee Shops Coming To A Town Near You? We have several courtyards in Welli cafes.No roof.Topless.

Well,I'm listening to DJ Steve Hill @ the mo. Masif

NEWSFLASH!!!! Phil Goff Stands Next To Famous Person.

There is a newspaper in Portland that is for and by the homeless of the area. Really intruiging story.

Helen Clark was arrested for being drunk and disorderly.

Man bites dog back, banned from owning a dog Dog owner bites cop. Dog still owns her.
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Saturday, April 04, 2009

The Maori seats are positive for the Right

If talk of getting rid of the Maori seats had eventuated into action in removing these seats, Labour may have won the election and there would have been no "mana -enhancing" for Maori at all.

Thanks to the Maori Party siding with National, which unofficially for many months before the election, they were anyway, Maori have gained political mana. Labour would never have given Maori any mana, because Labour sidelines their support and confidence and supply partners.

So the Herald's heading Big steps from the sideline to the frontline is apt.
Tariana Turia has taken on responsibility for Maori and Pacific employment as well as the Government's overall strategy on family violence.

In health, her focus includes provider development. But wider responsibilities include sexual health, diabetes, tobacco, communicable diseases and breast and cervical screening.

Pita Sharples is expected to find ways to address Maori over-representation in crime, as well as more effective rehabilitation of Maori offenders. In an area dear to his heart, he gets responsibilities for Maori education such as kohanga reo and kura kaupapa.

In some ways these areas are more significant than their main ministerial portfolios of Maori Affairs for Pita Sharples and the Community and Voluntary sector for Tariana Turia.

This is a big deal. But I didn't notice anyone from Labour congratulating the two leaders on this deal. Nor have any of the blogs on the left of the political spectrum commented on this yet. This arrangement means that Turia and Sharples can address "whanau ora" [family wellbeing] social policy areas, such as health and education. It also means that it can concentrate on such things that really matter in the back pocket for Maori. Sure the Foreshore and Seabed is important, but isn't Maori development and good health, education and employment more important in terms of whanau ora?

This arrangement also means Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples need to deliver, or they will remembered for not doing so. That's the challenge. Yet they are only Associate Ministers in these portfolios. National need to ensure that they do deliver as responsibility that does not lead to results is pointless.

Read the whole column.

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Friday, April 03, 2009

Aussie government adopts UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples

The Aussie Government has officially adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) at ceremony in Parliament House. Australia was one of just four countries to vote against it in 2007, joining the United States, New Zealand and Canada.

Now, wonder if New Zealand will adopt UNDRIP and reverse its decision like Australia has done? Should it?

Though the Declaration is non-binding, NZ's endorsement would signal to the international community this country is serious about commitment to Indigenous Rights. So it has a political effect, not a legal effect.

Anyway I think this is a great video from Armand van Helden. Do you?

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

The three hypotheses of Cherishsiliala

A little girl lies dying. An ambulance get called. Despite being about 25 minutes away it arrives two and a half hour later. Cherishsiliala Tahuri-Wright is now dead. There are three hypothesis as to why she died. One is from WhaleOil. She died because she had silly first name syndrome. Her name even sounds like " Cherish silly ala".

The sceond hypothesis is because the ambulance was late, meaning that she would have not died had the ambulance arrived earlier. "Cherish died after St John delay" screams the newspaper. "It really pisses me off to think they dicked around for a couple of hours while a little girl was dying," said family spokeswoman and Porirua Deputy Mayor Litea Ah Hoi.

Then there is a third hypothesis. She was killed by a relative after that relative gave her severe head injuries. That relative has been charged with murder and is now in custody. Had her relative not given her severe head injuries, the the ambulance would not need to have been called. They would not have need to have "dicked around" trying to stabilise the poor kid her due to her horrific - and later fatal - injuries before taking her to hospital. Had Ah Hoi's relative not given this kid severe head injuries, the little girl would be alive today.

It's a real pity family jokesperson Litea " silly first name" Ah Hoi was not as pissed off about that.
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