BIG NEWS: 08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

Is Twitter account owner lying to media over Bradford death threats?

update: apparently so - Henk van Helmond responds in comments
The man who owns the Twitter account that had this threat addressed to Sue Bradfords twitter account said he had no knowledge of the threat until TV3 appeared on his doorstep. He claimed his Twitter account had been hacked. He said that after TV3 turned up he looked at his Twitter account and saw the tweet.

Now TV3 could not have known that Henk van Helmond owned the Twitter site that made the threat before I blogged this yesterday. Neither did Sue Bradford.

But van Helmond knew about the threat on his Twitter site. He knew before TV3 turned up. Because he wrote this on the CYFSWatch site at 12:04pm yesterday, commenting on the Sunday News report of the tweet. And as far as I am aware, Sue Bradford knew about that post on the CYFSWatch site before the media was told of the name of the owner of the Twitter account the threat came from.

Van Helmond’s story does not stack up. Either that or his CYFSWatch site was hacked, or someone is writing very similar words to him. Here's what he wrote on CYFSwatch when it was on Blogger in 2007 ( now deleted)
If ever someone needed a beating, it is this sociopathic witch.She is projecting her own allergy to correction or any form of discipline onto the families of New Zealand, so that our kids can end up as sick as she is.Bradford is a worthy candidate for NZ's first political assassination - I only wish I had the resources to do it.
And from his Twitter account in 2009
@suebr is STILL a good candidate for NZ's first political assassination. (watch sue run to the Police because of a death threat, stupid cow).
Go figure.


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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sue Bradford a candidate for assassination

On Twitter, someone recently wrote this
@suebr is STILL a good candidate for NZ's first political assassination. (watch sue run to the Police because of a death threat, stupid cow).
The person who wrote this goes under the name Kiwi1960.

I thought that sounded familiar. A person underthe name of Kiwi1960 has said stuff like this before. He has a You Tube site. In the intro he says that he is Kiwi1960, has MS. He says that "CYFS created me, and payback is gunna be a bitch". I blogged about Kiwi 1960 and his mates some time ago after Helen Clark got a brick chucked through her electorate office window.

Kiwi1960 is Henk van Helmond, and on this site he called Sue Bradford a communist.But here he even comments on the Twitter post in light of an article written by the Sunday News today.
Sue Bradford, you have my Email address, please provide me proof of these death threats, because even if you said the world was round, I’d still think it was a lie because of the mouth it came out of.
Nasty piece of work, isn't he?


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Friday, August 28, 2009

Not much from me in the next week

Off to Auckland in the weekend, back Thursday. Things to do in the real world.
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New Zealand Week

Every Friday I wake up and read The New Zealand week . It's a good wrap up of the news and events of the preceding week and the URL gets delivered straight to my inbox as a reminder. There's always something in there that I have missed.

I recommend it.


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John Key to be interviewed on Big News

Prime Minister John Key is going to sell New Zealand to the blogosphere when he is interviewed by top political blog Big News next month.

Mr Key is booked for a mid-September blog post while he is in Auckland to speak at the Family First conference .

He is a key speaker at the forum.

"It's an opportunity to promote to the blogosphere what I really think, it's gold when it comes to New Zealand from a political point of view," Mr Key said today.

"This is a blog that hundreds of people visit worldwide, it really is a Big News opportunity."

Since the election Mr Key has focused on being all things to all people, every day in every way in all areas of New Zealand all the time.

"The blogger at Big News is very keen on New Zealand politics," he said. " He was last time we met".

"I understand he spent a fair bit of time ribbing Sue Bradford about how great New Zealand parents were, so I'm sure I'll be able to reinforce her comments."

Radio New Zealand incorrectly reported Key's interview on Big News was arranged by a National Party supporter who left a comment on Key's Facebook page.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Political question of the day

Who was the first Maori woman to become a minister in the New Zealand parliament?

Too easy? Answer this, then.


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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dictator dicatates to the dictated

Well, by now you`ll all know that Herr Key has decreed that National will not support Acts smacking bill, which was drawn out of the ballot today. John Boscawen should postpone the debate on the bill's first reading until just before the election (because National would have been written off by then and is likely to vote for it), then Labour can get back in for one term with an increase in support for NZ First, reject the legislation and get booted out at the following election for rejecting the bill.

Meanwhile, the Treaty of Waitangi and democracy should be taught in all schools and a petition should be creatively drawn up relating to the Boscawen bill - and have it presented just before the bill is due for a vote in the house.

National ignores referenda,ignores select committee deliberations, now it opposes a bill its supporters want to be able to submit to a select committee on. Can we have our democracy back? Hope you are looking forward to the next few polls as well as I am.

Finally, if you voted for National at the election, you should ask yourself why. And watch NZ First rise in the polls soon if it gets its act together.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Telecom injustice

Telecom boss Paul Reynolds is getting paid $5 million salary, after Telecom profit dropped 43.9%, while Telecom workers - the people who actually work for their living for Telecom - are facing a terrible choice between lay-offs with no redundancy pay or buying their own jobs to work for up to 50% less pay.

The company's other top six executives pulled in another $11m between them. Labour Party president Andrew Little, in his role as EPMU spokesperson, said while hundreds of frontline Telecom workers were having their livelihoods and work rights stripped from them, Telecom was being driven by shameless greed and a disregard for the network they were entrusted with.


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Another child dies

When is it going to end? Story here TV clip here. Sue Bradford too busy posting pics of protests on Facebook to comment.

An interview of the neighbour will be on TV3 news tonight.
Update Looks like it may be a premature newborn. The cause of death has not been disclosed. It is as tragic as an abortion.
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I find it quite ironic that quite a few two-faced Act supporters are annoyed at John Key's undemocratic stance in ignoring the smacking referendum, but are quite happy for Rodney Hide to run roughshod over the select committee process - and treat a Royal Commission report like it didnt exist - with regards to Maori seats on the Auckland City Council.

On 26 May, Rodney Hide said
I have faith in parliamentary democracy and the select committee process. I have made it plain what my views are, but ultimately the decision will be made by Parliament.
He had faith in Parliamentary democracy because he knew that Parliament would not be making the decision on the seats: Cabinet had already made it on 6 April 2009 as noted in Cabinet minute 0912/7, [PDF] that Māori representation should not be provided for within the new Auckland governance structure. At that stage the select committee hadn't even looked at submissions. A week later Hide told John Key that he would resign if Cabinet changed its mind and Maori seats were introduced in the Auckland City Council.

The select committee has not even reported back, yet Cabinet has already made its decision not to include the seats and Key knew for more than two months that he would lose a Minister if the seats were included. I believe that Key and Hide had always intended not to include the seats even before the select committee process started, and that is simply disgraceful.

Rodney Hide is a two-faced hypocrite. Tau Henare has called him a jerk-off. Hide urged National to listen to the public after Key told the country he'll ignore the referendum results. But Hide had effectively just told the public he would be ignoring their submissions on Maori seats in Auckland before they even submitted to the select committee.

It's a shame that Act supporters are not outraged about Hide's blatant unwillingness to agree to anyone that disagrees with him on one issue, while at the same time being outraged that people don't agree with him on another. For Act supporters, democracy is only under attack if their views are attacked.

There is absolutely no way Act can be taken seriously in this government.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Cabinet has agreed to ask police not to uphold the law

Cabinet has agreed to ask police and Child Youth and Family to review their procedures to ensure good parents were treated as Parliament intended with regards to smacking legislation.

But if the law is working as parliament intended, as claimed by Key, why this move? Obvious, really, the law is not working as Parliament intended so instead of changing the law, the Government will change the administration of it. As Parliaments' intentions don't match the written law, that is the easier option rather than aligning intention and legislation.

So Parliament intended for a law to be passed but not enforced. Because enforcers were enforcing the law the enforcers have been explicitly told not to enforce it because Key doesn't want to relitigate the "explosive" smacking debate , preferring to put in "additional safeguards"

An independent person would assist in the review which would be completed by December.

In the media conference today Key said
If the law shows that through its application that New Zealand parents are criminalised or their chldren are taken off them for what can only be described as... minor or inconsequential smacking then the law has to be changed
I wonder what Erik and Lisa, whose kids were taken off them for what can only be described as minor or inconsequential smacking, think of that.

A report on the effects of the law would be brought forward from the end of the year to late September/early October and the police would continue with their ongoing reviews of the law.

Not good enough.

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Visit John Keys Facebook page

John Key has a public Facebook site here. In the past day or so nearly 80 people have left messages urging him to reconsider his position on smacking. Not one supports his stance.


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Sunday, August 23, 2009

If you break the law we`ll make sure you don't get prosecuted

This is what I think John Key will tell Cabinet tomorrow.

He will advise that the law surrounding smacking should not be changed. Instead he will instruct police and CYFS not to prosecute or investigate cases of light smacking. [Update: well, not before they report every case of smacking to the Government]. This will not reassure parents because he has said this before and one parent got convicted for smacking, with others getting prosecuted.

Our panty-waisted Prime Minister just hasn't got the balls to change the law. We expect Parliament to pass laws in line with democratic interests, not pass policy. The referendum asked whether smacking should be a criminal offence, not whether parents should be prosecuted or investigated by police or CYFS.

Parents want to live within the law, not to break the law in the knowledge that they wont be hassled.What John Key is effectively doing is putting a used condom over the law to provide added protection. It won't work. It is also undemocratic as the public don't want that. They want to parent within the law and smack their children in the knowledge that such as smack is not a criminal offence.

If we can break a criminal law passed by Parliament with the explicit intention, after an overwhelming referendum ,that it will not be upheld, I guess we can break other laws too - perhaps small amounts of shoplifting will be fine, especially in a recession. After all shoplifting laws are working well, aren't they? And shoplifting, like smacking, can also happen in the supermarket.

Any other suggestions welcome.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Who said this. And when

The way to send a strong message on child abuse is to make the law clear and precise and then to police it strongly and vigilantly. This bill as it stands does the opposite. For me, a result that sees the criminalisation of parents for a light smack is simply not on the table.
Anyway, its not the "criminalisation" of parents that is the issue here. Parents don’t want to have to be looking over their shoulders or glancing sideways if they should smack their kid in the supermarket or the mall or wherever, wondering who has ratted on them to the police or to the CYFS. Nor do they want fear investigation or prosecution for an act that they dont consider criminal.

That’s what the law has done. The law needs to be changed. As David Farrar says, Parliament should not insist that a smack is a criminal offence if it lacks majority support for being a criminal act - or in this case one that has massive and sustained opposition. Criminal laws that that have opposition by so many people should be changed.

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A half-year of hell in New Zealand - Sue Bradford's legacy

Its all outlined here.. Go read it.


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Friday, August 21, 2009

Maori are not listening to Maori Party over smacking

Those in the Maori electorates are more opposed to smacking being a criminal offence in New Zealand , on average, than those in the general electorates, despite the Maori Party's stance on the issue

The Maori Party has been encouraging a Yes vote. Yet in one of their electorates it holds, 90.74% of those who took part in the referendum voted no. The lowest was 85.13%. Overall Maori are more opposed to the current law than those in the general electorates.

Wonder what the Maori Party thinks of that.

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A lot of people voted NO

post has been updated
A lot of people voted NO in the referendum this month. In fact more people 1,420,959 - voted No than those who party voted all parliamentary parties other than Labour in the 2008 election, and for all parliamentary parties other than the main governing party every other election since 1996.

The Yes Vote has their collective tails between their legs:
The Yes Vote ran a positive, constructive campaign that attracted the support of hundreds of organisations that deal daily with children and families, and thousands of individuals who reject physical punishment as effective parenting,” said the coalition’s spokesperson, Deborah Morris-Travers.
Trouble is, not a great proportion of the people in those organisations voted Yes, so they didn't even influence their own "supporters". Sue Bradford said she believed that the number of spoiled ballot papers returned may be "comparatively high".

As of today there were 802 invalid votes and 9696 informal votes. Perhaps the 803 invalid votes were spoiled - 0.04%. That's not "comparatively high" and Bradford is nuts to claim that it would be. Its not spin, that's stupidity. Even if you you include the informal votes, that's a little over half a percent, with more votes to be counted.

To further put the vote into perspective, in 1993 55 percent of electors voted in 1993 in the first of a two-part poll, and 85% decided that the electoral system should be changed. In 2009, a higher percentage - 87% decided to vote NO.

More people voted no than supported MMP. More people voted NO than those who didnt vote at all.

John Key said he had listened to the result of the referendum and plans to take some proposals to Cabinet on Monday. But he won't be changing the law.
I think they will give New Zealand parents added comfort that the law is working and that the law will be administered in a way they have resoundingly demonstrated through the referendum that it should be administered.
Oh and another statistic.. The 2008 election turnout was 79.46%, or from 2,386,181 eligible votes, 1,420,959 NO votes out of 2,386,181 people that would bother to vote even in a general election is a 59.55% NO result.


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Legal opinion on pay equity tells us nothing we don't already know

The Human Rights Commission has released legal opinion [PDF] on pay equity and EEO ( equal employment opportunities) reviews All the reviews except one found gender pay gaps that varied in size from 3 per cent to 35 per cent. The opinion states that even though the Government has scrapped the pay equity review, chief executives must take reasonable steps, based on current information, to implement those duties.

In other words CE's just need to report that they are doing something, without actually bothering to find out or say what they are doing or saying, if anything. All based on "current information".

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Boo-hoo Sue

Sue Bradford is already commenting on the results of the smacking referendum before results are even announced.
Feedback I've received from the public over the last few weeks tells me a lot of people feel pretty angry at the confused nature of the referendum question and the waste of $9 million of taxpayers' money this represents
Feedback I've been getting is that a lot of people are pretty angry that Bradfords bangs on about the law provides children from the same legal protection from violence as adults.

Now if she'd only replaced the word violence with correction, she`d be more accurate. But the word "correction" doesn't have the same violent audible soundbite on TV as the word violence does. Sue Bradford is about to get violently riding cropped by the NO voters and she doesn't like it.

Because the rights of the children should come first - except in Green policies like abortion and gay adoption.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rodney Hide to resign over Maori seats

post has been updated
Rodney Hide says he will have to resign as minister if Auckland gets Maori seats on the super council, as it is fundamentally against the culture of New Zealand. He even said it won't threaten the stability of government as Act will still provide confidence and supply.

He's wrong about the seats. He's partially right about the stability; as the Maori Party also provides confidence and supply, stability wont be threatened even if Act withdraws its support.

My take is simply this: Auckland should get the seats.If Hide wants to resign it is up to him, but he`d be a hypocrite not to if Auckland get the seats. Audrey Young said this in October last year
Act's Rodney Hide put his weight behind the Maori Party last night, supporting any move to entrench the Maori seats on the basis that what was good for the general seats should apply to the Maori seats too.
Whereas here he says the Maori seats are " just wrong". If they are just wrong, why support entrenchment and stand ACT candidates in the Maori electorate at the 2008 election?

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Is he a jolly Goodfellow?

Stuff reports that National Party president Peter Goodfellow will not be resigning. Does that mean that National considers their president a jolly Goodfellow?


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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A must read

I don't very often do " must reads" - but this is a must read.

Bryce Edwards recently spoke at Dunedin's Drinking Liberally and has put the speech notes - more like a chapter - on his blog.. It's a longish read for a blog post but it is a superb account of the politics of the Left in New Zealand, although with strong leanings towards Bruce Jesson.

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Political question of the day II

Okay, that first question was a little too easy for some of you. This one may be a little more difficult.

What was the first legislative action that aimed to provide Maori with the franchise?

UPDATE Too hard, huh?


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Monday, August 17, 2009

"Don't know" and "dont care" are the top two preferences for Labour's leaders - with "someone else" third

Following on from last night's TV3 poll, people were asked who should be Labour's leader instead of Phil Goff. Twenty three percent said they didn't know or didn't care who Labour's leader should be, the next highest was " someone else" . I'm guessing that the 15.5% who said Annette King did so because they couldn't think of anyone else. Laila Harre polled 7.3% and she`s not even a member of Labour, let alone an MP - that's just a bit less than Shane Jones on 7.6% who is both.

Meanwhile, not a word from the Standard about the poll.


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Political question of the day

Which person has been married to two different people who have become members of Parliament? At different times, of course..


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Bolt breaks 100m record again

Usain Bolt is super fast. He has broken the 100m world record again, running 9.58 seconds, beating his own record of 9.69 set in Beijing.Actually he smashed it - by more than a tenth of a second and became the first man to break the 100m world record three times in succession. You can see the race here.

It was also the biggest margin since at least the 1960's. The third place getter ran 9.84. That was the world record way back in 1994, so Bolt is bolting ahead of the field.

Wonder if he`ll break the 9.5 second barrier by the end of the year?


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Sunday, August 16, 2009

"Politics is a marathon, we're at the start of the race": Phil Goff

Phil Goff really is not helping Labour at all. Labour is running a marathon and Labour is at the start of the race according to Phil Goff. National is also in the race, but at least it has got off the starting blocks. Isn't it about time Labour at least shows it wants people to know it too is at least out of the the starting blocks.

Goff was responding to the 3 News polls. Labour is at 29.2%. National is at 58.1% . More people favour Helen Clark to be Prime Minister than Phil Goff.

Meanwhile the wheels on the bus go round and round.

All day long.


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Saturday, August 15, 2009

A basic misunderstanding of politics

Colin Espiner has written an interesting column saying that although Labour should be critiqing the government, this does not mean it has to take a different position on every issue.

I agree. But No Right Turn doesn't. He believes that Labour's stance should flow from Labour values and the values of its supporters - or as he says - the people Labour represent - meaning these values, and the values of all its supporters, are not aligned to those espoused by National. By implication that means National's stance should also flow from National values and the values of its supporters and the people it represents. The only time both parties should agree is if they genuinely agree on the issue - in which case the positions of the respective parties and the majority of their supporters would be aligned.

The problem is that many of Labour's supporters are now National supporters and voted National. Labour has a diminishing support base, but this does not mean that non-Labour voters are not represented by their local Labour representative.What if a National voter seeks assistance of their electorate Labour MP - should the constituent not be represented because his or her values are different to that of his representative? Representation by representatives who are aligned to an opposition party is not just about reflecting party values that oppose the Government in every way - it is also acting on behalf of the interests of constituents,according to their wishes, in matters that concern them, and it is about time people who are interested in representative democracy recognise this.

The same applies to representatives in the governing party. But that is something that Labour and National have forgotten recently. Their party positions change without reference to their supporters and voters, which is why Labour has lost support of Maori as well as other groups and people vote National because they are teh lesser of the two evils. If the Opposition is to oppose the Government in everything - except things they genuinely agree on - Idiot Savant would do well to question the values of political parties. He would do well to explain why National supported the smacking legislation that many of its MPs and party supporters were opposed to.

As representation is a democracy is of a kind that reflects the wishes of constituents, Idiot Savant may well consider the principled stand of Georgina Beyer in voting in according to her constituents wishes, but against the wishes of her party in the Foreshore and Seabed legislation. He may well ask why Labour supported the undemocratic Electoral Finance legislation that even some of its fervent supporters and candidates opposed - but then quickly supported its repeal when National took office.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Busy writing - but not here

Blogging will be intermittent for the next week or so. Have a lot of writing to do. Just not here, that's all. Oh, and for anyone who wanted to know, the debate went well.
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Monday, August 10, 2009

Still needs help

A little girl saw her mum smacking her sister. She was only nine. She called 111. She felt like she needed some adult help.

Her parents don't recall that event. But they were dragged onto nationwide television by that daughter to state that to the nation. Now this daughter has dragged her own daughter into the issue. She is on the posters at Barnardos.

This woman wouldn't be the Barnardos staff member who authorised a letter to staff to say they must vote 'Yes' and are not allowed to vote 'No' in the current referendum on smacking? Surely not.

The woman is Deborah Morris-Travers, of The Yes Vote and has an agenda.

Who would have ever thought?

Morris Travers said her sister left home at 15, had a child at 17 and her mental health was " never good". She got clinical depression and committed suicide at age 35.

And Morris-Travers thinks there is a link between her sister getting smacked and killing herself. She said if her sister was not smacked it is possible she would not have killed herself. Her parents disagree. But Morris-Travers also got smacked. By the same parents. So how come she, as a former MP as well, is still alive?

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Carter plays the gay card

The Herald notes that Chris Carter thinks he has been unfairly treated by the media over travel expenses because he is gay.

Why didn't Edward Gay write the story? He was already on the case.

Carter's spending was twice as much as the average Labour cabinet minister, included $83,000 on international travel, $83,000 travelling in limos, taxis and rental cars, $23,000 on domestic air fares and about $20,000 on accommodation. That was after he stopped being the minister

He was the education minister - now he is the opposition spokesperson for overseas travel.

Lets look at some other facts.
He has also been cautioned by colleagues over recent years to cut down on his overseas travel.

He is the only opposition MP to have spent more than $80,000 taking his spouse on international travel and he hasn't even got a spouse.

He defended his costs by focusing only on trips he took as a minister. He is not a minister now but is still a high spender.

Carter want to China -but as WhaleOil notes, went via Bangkok. We all know that one night in Bangkok makes a hard man humble.

Carter's partner is a school principal. Did Carter plan his trips around the school holidays so his partner could go - and for longer?

Some of the people he met this year are detailed on his website. Top of his UK list was Ben Bradshaw. He's a good friend of Carter's.He's gay and in a civil partnership too.Is that why they met? What are the saunas like in the the UK?


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Sunday, August 09, 2009

Off the dole - and back into WINZ

National is recruiting staff off the benefit and into case management because too many people are becoming unemployed. Of the extra 300 staff, 206 are to be focussed on "finding jobs" and the rest are going to be answering phones. Could that mean they are going to be case managers or work brokers. Because case managers are not focused on finding people jobs, they are focused on paying people money.

Last year there was hardly one work broker per WINZ Office. And those answering phones merely put people through to answerphones or make appointments for case managers. Ever tried to ring a case manager that actually picks up the phone? Case managers have appointments wall to wall every day. They are over-worked, under-trained, over-stressed and under-valued.

But most of those who are employed will not be focusing on finding jobs, as the media claims. They will be focusing on putting people into short term courses and the like - and some will be irrelevant courses that most beneficiaries will not want to go on, and will not benefit from.


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Who did you meet and by the way I saw this in the paper

Most married couples live a reasonable normal life. They go to work, come home and sometimes have tea together before putting kids to bed. They talk about their day, sometimes griping about injustices at work, and perhaps watch TV to relax. Some do part time study in the evenings.

A certain couple is different. They talk on the phone. They rarely meet or see each other. The most exciting thing they talk about appears to be who they met and what they saw in the paper.

Shallow. I'm referring to Miss Helen Clark and Mr Helen Clark.

Her ideal night is going out to the opera. She suggests a play called Ruined, which is typical really. Just what she did to New Zealand. Apparently it is an absolutely incredible and gripping (gripping?) play about sexual and gender-based violence in the Congo. She didn't take her husband, of course. She took her young grip - Darren Hughes.


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Friday, August 07, 2009

Reaching out to the wider community

A Church of England book has recommended that overweight or bald people should be regarded as worshippers with ‘special needs’ alongside the blind, the deaf, very short people, and readers of tabloid newspapers. The advice is part of an initiative to make churches more friendly. It says that bald people could be “in trouble from those overhead radiant heaters some churches have unwittingly installed” and that special arrangements might need to be made for people who are overweight. “Some pew spaces and chairs are embarrassingly inadequate for what is known in church circles as ‘the wider community'
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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Sunday Star Times smacking survey

The results are in from the Sunday Star Times alternative smacking referendum.

Among the 1600 people they sampled; 66% felt that the anti smacking legislation of 2007 should be reversed and 72% felt that smacking a child is acceptable. Of course many qualified this response with the comment that while a light corrective smack may be permissible, child abuse is not. Many respondents suggested that the referendum is ambiguous and does not address the real issue.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

You thought "Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand" was bad....

It appears that the question which we are asked to answer this month isn't so bad. In 1999 this question was the subject of a petition. The question wording was carefully considered - all it needed was the required signatures to go to the country for a referendum.
Should New Zealand adopt direct democracy by binding referendum whereby ideas for laws would be submitted and voted upon as of right by the public, and, according to the result, submissions collected from the public and then assessed by opinion poll, resulting in draft law alternatives being prepared by independent groups, from which one opinion would be chosen by majority vote by the public; the resulting legislation to be binding?
Needless to say, this 70-word question didn't get the required signatures. But how on earth did the wording get approved for a petition? Imagine putting it on Twitter - it`ll take four tweets just to get the question out.

Would you have answered yes, or no had that been the question?


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Corrupt Christian convicted criminal

In May 2008, the Dim-Post carried this
Prime Minister Helen Clark today announced an independent investigation into the independent investigation of former Labour Party MP Taito Phillip Field.

The new inquiry will investigate the Ingram inquiry and examine the inquiry’s examination of its investigation.

The terms of reference for the inquiry do not include inquiring into the narrow terms of reference for the previous inquiry.

The inquiry into the Ingram inquiry will be headed by Ingram inquiry head Noel Ingram.
The Ingram report in 2006 cleared Taito Philip Field of allegations of conflict of interest relating to his employment of Thai workers on the property in Samoa and he was also cleared of taking advantage of an indebted family whose house he bought, before selling it later for a large profit. Field had denied wrongdoing. He lied. He is now a convicted criminal as he has been found guilty of bribery and corruption.

He is the second Christian leader of a political party – assuming he is still leader of the Pacific Party - to have a public court case go against him. Helen Clark stood by him all the way. She probably knew he was corrupt.

Eddie from The Standard tries to put a helpful spin on things and it didn't really work. She wrote
Good on Clark for sacking him as a minister when the allegations first came out. Different standards back then I guess.
The problem is that Field wasn't sacked when the allegations came out. The allegations appeared on 12 September 2005. Helen Clark didn’t do anything about it until three days after the election – on 20 September. Even that wasn't a sacking. Eddieiot!

UpdatePerhaps Taito Phillip Field and Graham Capill could start a Christian political prisoners prayer group. Capill made news headlines today. Impeccable timing.

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Monday, August 03, 2009

Vote NO – or NO vote?

It’s a shambles. I have just got in my mail today a voting paper from a government agency suggesting that I vote in a $9 million citizens initiated referendum, when Prime Minister John Key has effectively said not to bother because my opinions don’t matter and my vote will be disregarded. In a recession, too.

The question, “should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand” is not the best – but it is no worse than earlier referendum questions. Historically, citizens initiated referenda have been dismissed as irrelevant by Governments. But this one is different as it is the only time a Prime Minister has so publicly stated that my vote does not count before the voting papers have reached my letterbox, while funding promotion of a particular viewpoint through my taxes. In effect John Key has said that should anyone vote, the Government will pay the postage and vote processing, and then ignore it. In other words, don’t bother.

Non-binding referenda are in effect expensive and toothless nationalised opinion polls that have yet to provide citizens the power to alter public policy – while petitioners are charged $500 per question. Making referenda binding won’t help either – very small numbers of people could impose their will. That is exactly what would have happened in 1994 under a binding Act. Just 28% of registered voters bothered to vote on a referendum on the number of firefighters. There would have been protests had the Government been bound by such a referendum - which had no mandate and was essentially a taxpayer–funded industrial dispute.

Some blame Sue Bradford for the current referendum given she initiated the offending legislation. Others blame Kiwi Party leader Larry Baldock and Family First director Bob McCoskrie for leading the referendum charge, when it was not even their question.

I`ll let you know who is the culprit. Tomorrow, probably. And like most sensible people, I`ll be voting NO.

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Scoopit! 1 Comments

Key's English: The smacking law will be changed if it "starts not working"

John Key talks about the anti-smackling legislation in which he is happy for a law that he supported not to be enforced.
I've always argued that if the law doesn't work we will change it. If an overwhelming bulk of New Zealanders vote no then what that should do, I think, is give Parliament the strength of courage to change the law if it starts not working," he told Newstalk ZB.
In other words, if the law is enforced. But Key should know that the law has already started to not work. It's about time Key stopped to start not to not have the strength of courage.

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

For he's a jolly Goodfellow

Auckland businessman Peter Goodfellow has been elected the 18th president of the National Party. The New Zealand Herald has the story. Have a read of both the first and last paragraphs. Could the Herald actually read their stories when they update them?


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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Kids these days

Apparently more than half kids who start school cannot count to 20, do not know the alphabet, cannot hold a pencil correctly, cannot write their own name or recognise colours. A quarter cannot tell the difference between a number and a letter. Given my daughter - who can do all the above with ease - counted to 130 today before she got bored, it looks like she’ll do well at school once she turns five then.
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Do you think a person who is taken to court for drunk driving should be let off if they say they were drinking coke?

Most people understand the above question and will say that a person should not be let off for drunk driving if they say they were drinking coke.

This survey, released by Barnardos, asks kids what researchers think is a similar question, in th hope that most people will give a no answer. Do you think adults who are taken to court for hitting a child should be let off if they say they were disciplining the child? The kid had to make up his or her own mind whether the question implied an excuse for abuse, or whether they think the question meant that the person was conducting reasonable discipline but was charged with assault of a kind that should attract sanctions.In short, bad question that unlike the drinking question, can be interpreted in multiple ways.

If they were disciplining someone else's child they never had a legal defence before the old section 59 law.If they were not disciplining at all they shouldn't be either. Nearly 52 percent of kids who were asked that question thought parents should not be let off. Fair enough. They probably didn't see it as a physical discipline implication without probing, which was probably the intention of the interviewers.

But in an attempt to twist the research further, they took comments from 0.6 percent of callers, who expressed a range of opinions. Those writing up the survey results did not specify the proportion of the 48, who thought hitting parents should not be let off court charges and those who should be. They asked questioned about whether kids thought they should be hit and reported them as to whether kids thought they should be disciplined. They reported that some kids explicitly said that some parents who hit children should themselves be disciplined. Note the language. No examples were given. Perhaps there weren't any and they made it up.

One kid answered the question and then tried to turn the question around to the discipline angle. She was then asked if she thought it was OK to smack. She said yes.Then the leading questions started. The surveyor said, what if something (perhaps a weapon?) was used to smack the kids with - was that okay? The child refused to answer that question so the interviewer then asked what she thought of smacks that cause bruises. The child wasn't happy about bruises. If she was happy about bruises one wondered what the next question would have been - a punch in the head? I guess she was one of the 52% recorded as believing adults should not be let off in court for hitting kids - even though she was OK with parental smacking.

One wonders why these surveys are actually done. They are unreliable, unrepresentative, and invalid. Pointless. One wonders why they go to all this bother to hook up kids, solicit them, and treat them like research prostitutes for political purposes.

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