Wednesday, November 07, 2007

blog has MOVED

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I think it is good news that the Treaty of Waitangi and tikanga is included in the school curriculum. However I am concerned that there is only one "professional development" day allocated to get up to speed with the curriculum.

I can just imagine what untrained teachers will be telling their kids about the Treaty, let alone about climate change. They`ll probably equate indigenous rights with Treaty rights. They`ll probably say that the four Maori seats initiated by the 1867 Representation Act were initiated because of the Treaty. They`ll probably say that the number of Maori seats have increased due to the Maori Electoral option under MMP, and that option was to provide greater representation to honour the Treaty of Waitangi. And like most MSM journalists, they`ll probably tell their students that Te Reo is one of three official languages in New Zealand.

In order for children to learn about the Treaty, teachers need to know about it before being able to correctly teach it. Most teachers probably don`t even realise that the Treaty is currently part of our Constitution. But let's hope they can spell the word "curriculum" better than this minister of Youth Affairs.Go over HERE
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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Tax cuts

Helen Clark has announced that Labour will be offering tax cuts. Coincidentally, it so happens that it can now afford to- right on the weekend of the Labour Party conference and within a year of an election with Labour sliding in the polls. The announcement did not say when the tax cuts will be reversed, who will get a tax cut, when, and how much.

The announcement came after Michael Cullen recently told the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee that people who think there should be tax cuts on the back of the big surpluses should be taken out and quietly drowned.

The difference between Labour and National on tax is that you can rely on National to have a bettter tax policy and to deliver it.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Its a bitter way with Labour - way bitter.

powered by ODEO

Chris Knox has written a song that will be used in Labour's campaign. It's pretty good, but like many of Labours policies it starts well and goes downhill. The song is a bit repetitive towards the end. You can hear it here. Its called " Its a better way with Labour, but sounds like "its a bitter way with Labour".

Chris Knox is better known for his top 10 song "Not Given Lightly". The first line may be more appropriate for Labour. However I suspect Labour wouldn`t like it:"Hello my friends, its morning, time to wake now". Perhaps that will be the theme song for Labour's next conference.

Finally, here's Mike Williams criticising National at conference. And, strangely enough, he doesn`t have much to say!He says National wants to give tax cuts to people who do not need them, a bit like Labour has given WFF paynents to parents who dont need them.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Parliament to have an open day

Parliament is having an open day this Sunday. Openly gay MPs will be doing a guided tour and the Labour front bench will be coordinating the church service at 10am. Mallard will be offering his uppercut services to any Maori MPs who will take him on. Show starts at 11am just after church. Ron Mark will be demonstrating how high he can lift his middle finger and Nandor will be doing a skateboarding demonstration.

Unfortunately Helen Clark and Judith Tizard won't be there. It's an open day, y'see.

Should be good.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Prominent blogger suggests banning marriage

Russell Brown is a nice guy. Quite likeable in fact. But his comment that marriage should be banned because singer Amy Winehouse - of "Rehab" fame - was "tipped" into hard drugs because she got married is not only erronous, its is stupid. Firstly, Winehouse did not get into drugs because she was married. Secondly her dad did not say that her marriage tipped her into drugs, as Russell has claimed.

What the article did say was that Winehouse hard drug use coincided with, not was caused by, her marriage of six months. What it also said was that Winehouse has put on a stone in weight since her marriage. So that weight gain has coincided with her marriage.

Gee, perhaps we should ban marriage. Why not ban de facto relationships as well. I know someone else who has put on a bit of weight since his. People are gaining weight due to entering into relationships. They should start doing drugs to lose weight or be single, forthwith. Especially Amy Winehouse. No relationships; no,no,no.

Helens halloween special

The reshuffle. More of a trick through crooked teeth than a treat.

We have a minister of Women`s Affairs called Steve,and a Claytons minister. Cosgrove takes over Sport and the Rugby World Cup. Cunliffe is on Health - and only just in the front bench - after smacking his kids in a carpark, and Carter has Education because he has a masters degree and a teaching qualification. The ministers of Social Development, Education and Health have more Ministerial portfolos and are lower ranked than the Minister of Maori Affairs. The Associate Ministers of Education and Social Development are ranked higher than the actual minister.

Hodgson is still on the front bench and is the Tertiary Education and Economic Development Minster so he can stuff up his portfolios in silence. A large Government ministry is not even on the front bench - Dyson has Social Development.

So the portfolio responsibilities and the seniority are all out of whack - especially Horomia - he's one of FOUR associate ministers of Social Development and everyone seems to have forgotten about him today. What's he doing so high up the rankings? Is it because he is a Maori? Given that the woman with crooked teeth has done her Halloween reshuffle, how come nobody is asking why “Horrormia” is so high up the rankings. David Farrar suggested yesterday that he will retain his ranking because he is a Maori. True? How Horoble. Bad trick.

Goff didnt get Health - so he`ll get Finance when Cullen goes. Annette King gets Police, Justice and the Law Commission - to set up her campaign to get the Electoral Finance Bill passed.

Obviously there is not much depth in Labour. Trevor Mallard is the Minister of Labour as a reward for punching Tau Henare in the jaw at work. Wonder what his policy is on violence in the workplace. Heh.

I should have had a coffee after all...
The Lineup is here

Labour's possible top 10 this afternoon

This is what I have come up so far - but I havent had a coffee yet so if Im wrong.... But Horomia could stay on the front bench because he is a Maori. But Jones would do a better job of Maori Affairs. Hodgson should drop. He deserves to.But he may not drop that low...
Clark - PM SIS
Cullen -Finance
Goff - Health
King - Justice
Cunliffe -Education
Parker- Social Development
Cosgrove -Corrections, Police
Jones - Maori Affairs
Dyson -CYFS
Hodgson - Climate Change

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

woman smacks a kid so hard he's dead

A woman beat up a kid and is arrested. The police have notified the parents of the arrest and they have asked for privacy at this time

Yeah, if I wasn`t looking for after my kid, and someone esle killed him, I`d be asking for privacy as well. What kind of person calls their kid Jyniah anyway.

Another murder when the "whanau" was looking after her, as opposed to the parents, both of whom were beneficiaries. The arrested person is not the mother, it is a caregiver who was turned in with the assistance of Family Party leader Richard Lewis.

Some caregiver. Maybe she goes to Destiny Church? Hopefully not for too long.

Several other children, all relatives of Jyniah aged between two months and eight years are being cared for, though police were not sure who the current carers were.

Well, we know who the carer isn't.

UPDATE Apparently the caregivers family goes to Destiny Church

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Another politician smacked in the gob

Ruth Dyson says she is gobsmacked at Rodney Hides hypocrisy. She says Rodney Hide is a hypocrite because he voted against the smacking bill and called Labour hypocritical for voting for it and then putting up with Mallard's assault on Tau Henare.

Family traumatised by police and CYFS after mum lightly smacked her son on the hand

A Wellington mother says her family has been left traumatised by new anti-smacking laws, after her son's school reported her to Child, Youth and Family for smacking him on the hand. So she reported it to the Family First lobby who told the media What this story indicates is that anyone who gets reported to CYFS or police for light smacks on the hand will not only recieve unwanted CYFS or police attention, they`ll also get media attention as well.

This is what the woman told Family First. You read it here, first.

Dear Sir,

I would like to inform families of the potential repercussions of Sue Bradford's bill. I wish to do this by sharing with you our own family's traumatic experience, since this bill has been approved.

During recent school holidays, I arrived home around 5.30pm after a fun filled day with my children to notice a card left by Child Youth and Family, asking me to get in contact with them ASAP. There was no detail as to the reason. We received no official letter from CYF. After leaving six messages, over a period of four days, I was finally able to contact the Care and Protection officer.

The Care and Protection officer informed me that they had received a complaint from the school, and that under new policy they were obligated to follow it up. My child (hereinafter also referred to as X) had shown aggressive behavior towards another student. When questioned by the teacher as to why, X answered that they had been smacked that morning. The Care and Protection officer also explained that under new policy, teachers were required to report all smacking incidences directly to Child Youth and Family Services and that this was now just standard procedure.

The Care and Protection officer went on to ask me questions relating to X’s behaviour, and whether they needed help in any way, eg medication, special needs etc. I replied, not that I was aware of - just a normal every day child having a bad day.

She also enquired about my family and when she was satisfied, she assured me that she would not take this any further and could I please ask the school to contact me directly if this sort of thing happened again.

Later when my husband and I questioned our child, X explained that they had thrown a ball and that it bounced and accidentally hit a class mate. X had woken up in a bad mood that particular day and was very reluctant and unhelpful at getting ready for school. I told X to hurry up – X was refusing and throwing a wobbly, so I ended up smacking X on the hand. I also gave X a bit of a push into the room to get my child moving (done in the heat of the moment). X responded by more yelling and giving me an evil look. It wasn't a good morning. (This sort of thing doesn't happen very often, but it does happen.)

I usually never let my children go to school angry with me, but that morning we were in a hurry.The teacher seemed to ask questions about X’s behaviour and why X was behaving like this. The teacher seemed to ask leading questions like, how was it at home etc. X never told her what the issue was - only that they had been smacked that morning. Apparently the teacher said to X, I will see to that and then asked if there were any marks. X said no.

X is worried that they will be taken away, and it is really hard to get X to talk about it. X can also be a bit of a drama queen, and could have exaggerated to the teacher at the time (especially in X’s frame of mind.) My husband did contact the school, to inquire why we weren't called earlier by the school and that this was just not good enough. He also communicated what the Care and Protection officer had said to us. The school responded that it was new procedure and were sympathetic, but offered us no apology.

This is the first incident of this kind we have had with the school. In the second incident (over 2 months later), I invited another family around for lunch one weekend. After lunch the fathers decided to take the children for a walk to the dairy and park. After they were gone about five minutes, two of my children came back and explained to me that they were goofing around, and that Dad had sent them home.

They continued to goof around outside on the trampoline. X got hurt in the rough and tumble, came inside in a huff. When asked what the matter was by our guest, X rudely replied, I don't want to talk to you. I kindly asked X to apologise and X walked outside. I followed and asked X to come back inside and apologise. X walked to the furthest side of the tramp, so that I could not reach X and refused to come back inside. My older child who was already on the tramp tried to wrestle X to the other side. There was a lot of yelling, laughing and screaming going on by everyone, as it had turned into a bit of a game. I tried to take control of X and pull the child off the tramp, while the child was shouting and resisting. I smacked X on the backside with the palm of my hand (X was lying on their stomach), pulled X towards me and asked X to control themselves. Finally X came inside and went to the bedroom. I told X to stay there until they apologised.

Within 20mins, there were three police officers at my door and they asked me to step outside. (had arrived with lights flashing). They had received a complaint from a neighbour about an incident concerning one of my children. They then asked to question X and at the same time questioned me separately about what had happened.

It dawned on me as I was relaying the events that I might be arrested, and asked the officer if that was indeed the case. She said possibly, but needed to speak with the other officer before she could tell me.

After questioning X, and getting the details of my guest, to my relief, they decided not to arrest me this time. The officer kindly informed me that since this bill that Sue Bradford had pushed through, that the police have to respond to all complaints concerning families with children. This was new policy and they have to cross their T’s and dot their I’s.

I wanted to get a good understanding of what she was saying, so I asked the officer, if this was the second visit here and the events were the same, except this time I didn't smack the backside but simply pulled the child off the tramp, would I still be arrested? She replied yes, because I still used physical force and that under the new law no parent is allowed to use any physical force, unless you are protecting your child. The police officers were very kind, but warned me of a possible arrest if this sort of thing happened again. And they left.

These events have traumatised my children, not to mention my husband and myself.

I understand the Police and Child Youth and Family Services were doing their jobs, and I commend them for it. But come on...this is going a bit far don't you think? My children have always had a healthy respect for the police, now sadly that has been altered. I am concerned for the welfare of this country if this sort of thing keeps happening to our families. Our children need security in our system, and shouldn't be fearful of being pulled away from their families.

We have since received a letter from a Foster Care agency contracted to CYF. They had been made aware of the police visiting us and have offered us their services. Their letter informed us that a social worker would call us in the near future. This was very nice of them, only I feel we would only be wasting their time. I am grateful it was this organisation, rather than CYF.

I really am grieved about where our country is heading. We as a family have been made only too aware, that if we tick anyone off for whatever reason, whether a neighbor, a shop keeper or teacher and they call the police, it is their word against ours. Now that we are in the system, it doesn't matter whether we are guilty or not. If the police officer doesn't like us for any reason, they have the power to separate our family. This is a horrible reality!

Again I would like to stress that we are an average NZ family. We have four children – sons and daughters, both teens and younger. We are all law abiding citizens, we don't drink, smoke or do drugs. We have always encouraged our children to respect authority and after this experience, have all been very traumatized.

An assault charge is no small matter. I have been involved in children's work for the last ten years, not to mention all the community work I have done with under privileged children over the years. (the real victims of child abuse.)

If I were to receive an "assault on a child" charge, I couldn't do these things, and I haven't even mentioned paid employment. This is an awful thought.

This new law seems to me, only to be creating insecurity for families that are genuinely trying their best to raise healthy, secure children, that are good law abiding citizens, and a lot of extra work for the organisations that are already over worked and under staffed.

We as parents need to be encouraged and supported by the government, not undermined and stripped of all authority.

Yours sincerely

Friday, October 26, 2007

Parliament's prayer

For those who dont read Whaleoil

“Almighty God, humbly acknowledging our need for Thy guidance in all things, and laying aside all private and personal interests, we beseech Thee to grant that we may conduct the affairs of this House and of our country to the glory of Thy holy name, the maintenance of true religion and justice, the honour of the Queen, and the public welfare, peace, and tranquillity of New Zealand, except for you Steve, Ron and Winston, and especially you Trevor - just do what the the bloody hell you want, as long as you don’t embarrass Helen, and even then you may be okay if she hasn’t much wriggle room - through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mallard to be reshuffled

Duck shooting season starts next week.

UPDATE Trevor Mallard is taking time out. But not with Sharon. Next week is recess anyway, but it is interesting as to where he is taking time out: Taupo. Taupo, of course is a lovely place to take time out in, for various reasons - a lake, good cafes... but it is an especially lovely place for Mallard as his partner, rower Brenda Lawson lives there.

Then from undressing for Brenda, it will be time to be stripped by Helen Clark - of some of his portfolios when he returns to Parliament. Meanwhile Cullen is raping our wallets and a raft of mid range MPs are prostituting themselves for Ministerial positions. It's all a bit immoral really, but it is what is expected from Labour.

After recess the MPs can ask "how's Brenda", instead of "how's Sharon". And Phil Goff can just sit quietly and wait for eventual promotion.

from recrecreation to sport...

Mallard is really living up to his portfolio as Minister of Sport and Recreation. First he recreates with Sharon, then has a boxing match with Tau Henare in Parliament. What next?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

See, I was right

The Herald has apologised over this. This confirms that the source of the Herald's story was more likely to be the site I linked to yesterday, not any goss within parliament.

If that is the case, why wasn't this published in August/September when many of us knew about it? The answer is because it was as unverified as when the HoS published it. That is why I havenever blogged about it until this weekend.

This site is Big News, not Big Rumours.
Hat Tip Catcus Kate

Monday, October 22, 2007

Green MP wants 35 hour working week

Sue Bradford wants a 35 hour working week. Lets see, if a one income family with two kids was working 40 hour week on $15 per hour, they`d get a $75.00 a week pay cut - $3,900 per year. They would not get any increase in working for Families payments due to a drop in income either. If that same family worked the same hours at $20 an hour, they'd get just $1,196 extra for a $5,200 drop in income due to the shorter working week.

So how do you think they`d survive? Work longer hours, of course. In a second lower paid job, more likely.

speaking of affairs, how's Sharon?

Well, the Herald on Sunday has printed this ( HT Whaleoil) so I may as well blog about it. I used to know Sharon pretty well, as well as her mum. I worked with them both prior to Sharon being in the Silver Ferns. I thought she had better taste. And Burridge is her maiden name This is her married name.

Actually what if the Herald is wrong. I think it is wrong.She has got better taste and deserves an apology from the Herald on Sunday. Perhaps this, not parliament grapevines, is the HoS source which has been online for nearly two months.

Time to try another Sport, or get her name right.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Radiohead's latest album

I`ve been listening to Radioheads latest album In Rainbow. You can't buy it in the shops until 2008. You have to download it, or have a discbox sent to you once ordered - but it's worth it.

In Rainbow. In my computer. OK.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Smarmy's off to Palmy

Steve Maharey is quitting Cabinet because he has finally accepted a job that pays more than an opposition MP - the Massey University Vice Chancellor. However, before the election he will be doing a Shane Jones and double dipping as he will move to the back-bench rather than force a by-election which Labour may end up losing.
UPDATE It appears that Maharey wil lbe leaving Parliament before taking up his role. He will take up his role six months before the election - meaning Palmerston North will have no MP for six months unless National force a by-election ( which it can do) and local Massey students won't be able to lobby their MP against fee rises because he will be their vice chancellor.

That is because a by-election can't be held six months out from an election wiothout 75 per cent support from parliament.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

NZ - jailer to the world

NZ First MP Ron Mark is disappointed that more than 550 people in our prisons are immigrants. He should be more concerned that half are Maori, and the one in seven Maori that are not in prison are living in Australia.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

well done, Gordon Copeland

There. I`ve said what no other blogger has said before. Well done, Gordon Copeland. He has finally announced that he has walked away from the new non-existant Christian party. Now he can get on with his Future NZ party without the meddling hands of the Destiny rabblerousers. Maybe the new party`s national council will disband as well.

UPDATEActually the new Christian party has been announced as the Family Party which is essentially Destiny Party in drag. Richard Lewis is the leader, former United Future MP Paul Adams is deputy, and Taito Philip Field is not part of it. The Party has the same strategy as Christian Heritage - targeting one electorate and seeing if enough people vote for a candidate because it knows it won`t make the 5 percent threshold.

I wonder what their definition of "family" is. Also will they use THAT Sister Sledge song as the Party theme song. Will they launch the party at a reopened Family club?

Turn off the TV. Forget Facebook. Just give your kids some time

I don't watch TV (much). I do, however, have a Facebook site. For those who have kids, this article in the Observer is worth reading, and mentions two reports out last week.

The first says that our children are reaching primary school barely able to write their own names or string a coherent sentence together. The second, a study conducted by Professor Robin Alexander at the head of a group of Cambridge researchers, reveals that primary schools have been engulfed by 'a wave of antisocial behaviour, materialism and the cult of celebrity'

There is evidence to suggest that this generation of parents who were brought up on videos and instant visual gratification are not going through cooing routines. There are fewer nursery rhymes, less song, storytelling and reading. All this is taken over by TV, which leaves parents free to think about themselves and to work late.

I`ve probably spent more time with my kids this year than any other. Thats because I work and study from home. We have lots of books in the house, and yes, I do study late but the kids are in bed anyway.....

hat tip Kester who is a parent, blogger, and facebook friend. He may even watch TV sometimes....

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Clark arrested for burglary of John Key's house

Details here. National Party spokesman Kevin Taylor said Key would not comment on the arrest as the matter was before the courts.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I feel sorry for Kahui

I feel sorry for all the victims of Roger Kahui's offending. But I also feel sorry for Kahui after he was sentenced to preventative detention for rape. He is related to Chris Kahui who is facing charges over his twins. LIke Chris Kahui he has probably never had a real job in his life.

I feel sorry for him because he was born.

The minute he was conceived he was in trouble. He was taken off his parents when he was 7 after suffering physical and emotional abuse, he lived on the streets at the age of 9. He joined a gang in his teens and was in jail at age 21. The only reason that he has just 130 convictions is that he's spent half his life behind bars - and he`s only in his 30s. In fact he has been sentenced to more than 100 years in jail, but the sentences have been served concurrently.

A Kahui family member said "yes, you piece of shit" when the preventive detention sentence was read out in court. Perhaps the same could be said of his parents.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Politically Incorrect Story

In these dark days of rugby despair, does anyone remember 1997?

In 1997 the All Black captain was Sean Fitzpatrick, the team was pretty much the same for every match, and it had names like Christian, Zinzan, Josh and Jonah in it.

In 1997 the All Blacks were undefeated. That's right, undefeated. They played the Aussies, the Springboks, the English, the Welsh, the Irish and a few more and never lost a match.

Then something changed in New Zealand.

On the 6th of December 1997 Jenny Shipley ousted Jim Bolger and became our first woman Prime Minister.

The next day the All Blacks managed a lucky draw with England.

The next year the previously undefeated All Blacks lost every Tri Nations match. That's right, every match.

New Zealand has had a woman Prime Minister ever since.

And ever since, when it counted, the rugby has been pretty much downhill as well.

Now some people might think there was some connection between the feminisation of our society and the decline in our rugby.

I couldn' t possibly comment on that.

All I know for sure is Fitzy never cried.

He never had to.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

rugby fallout from bad to worse

Paddy O`Brien is a Kiwi referee and is the referees manager for the Rugby World Cup. So I assume he knows the rules of the game. Of NZ/France ref Wayne Barnes, he says, "He has our complete backing. We will not defend wrong decisions and Wayne did miss a forward pass, as did his two touch judges. But his missed forward pass did not cost the All Blacks that game."

You may recall yesterday I noted that IRB instructs the linesman - otherwise known as touch judges - that they are not allowed to intervene when they spot a forward pass.

Some sports journalist should ask O`Brien how on earth touch judges can "miss" a forward pass when they are not allowed to intervene when do spot one, even if the ref doesnt spot it.

No, the Human Rights Commission were not censored

Yesterday in Parliament National MP Chris FInlayson asked why the Human Rights Commission did not appear before the select committee hearing the Electoral Finance Bill. David Farrar noticed this and asked on his blog Was the Human Rights Commission censored? with the implication that it was.

The HRC submission notes that they did not request to appear before the committee. So no, they were not censured. However an approach was made to appear before the committee but the people who would have appeared before the committee were out of the country at the time the committee was sitting and could not therefore appear. The HRC told me today that it would like to provide an oral submission but they will wait for
the committee to get hold of them rather than being proactive.

Select committee decisions as to who is to appear are not for public knowledge until the decisions are made. Submitters can ask to appear before the committee at a later date, even if they have not stated they wanted to on their written submission - and the committee can agree to this. Alternatively the select comittee can approach submitters and ask them to appear. It often happens.

It appears the HRC want to appear but the committee is yet to decide whether they wantto hear them. Suffice to say that a government body stating clearly what the government doesn't want them to hear is not exactly going to be proactive. And a committee that doesnt agree with what that government body wants to tell them won't exactly bend over backwards to hear their views.

Chris Finlayson asks a question in Parliament todays as to how many people were asked to give an oral submission on September 17
I gave mine on that day. So did a few other people I know.

Single Core Benefit not going to happen anytime soon

Despite pulling all the Work and Income Case Managers throughout the country from their jobs to do several days training on the single core benefit, a benefit that will merge all the main benefits into one, the Government has not made any decisions on whether they are even going to have one, despite saying in 2005 it would save $70m a year.

What's worse, is that Minister Steve Maharey has already spend $100m on something that Cabinet has made no implementation decision on.

What a waste.

World champion team?

The Silver Ferns are playing for the world championship next month and are feeling the pressure after the All Black loss and other losses such as the Americas Cup.

Lets see if Helen Clark adds to the pressure by deciding to turn up. She has turned up to our final round of other sporting tournaments - all of which we lost. Maybe John Key should attend instead.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Agreement the ref cost the AB's

There is a long-standing tradition that you don't criticise referees. Yet there seems to be agreement among referees, the IRB and commentators that referee Wayne Barnes cost the All Blacks the chance of progressing into the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup - and possibly Graham Henry his coaching career with the ABs. I disagree and would point the finger at the IRB more so for appointing him to the game in the first place.

Barnes said just prior to the NZ/France game, “My aim for every game is to come off the pitch and have everyone not to mention me!"

Thats got to be the quote of the tournament.

Barnes, who refereed the match between the World Cup favourites and the Five Nations Champions, refereed his first test this year. Prior to the game, I don't think has ever refereed a test involving top ranked teams, one a southern hemisphere team. There was talk as to whether he was up to the job. IRB bosses now don't think Barnes is up to the job as they have annnounced that he will take no more part in the World Cup after being a favourite to referee the final..

When sport is about politics and money just as much - if not more so - than winning games, we should be using technology to overturn major indescretions that lead to points being scored that would not have been scored had the indescretion been noticed. We have the technology. We didn`t use it. The IRB is just as much to blame as the referee. This World Cup will be remembered for two things: the winner and Wayne Barnes. His career could well be over and that is not the way it should be.

The IRB has to take a serious look at itself as to how it runs future Rugby World Cups. For example, there's something wrong when the IRB instructs the linesman that they are not allowed to intervene when they spot someone offside, a forward pass or crooked lineout.

Also, in light of Barnes' inexperence, imagine if they picked nominees for the Rugby Board Player of the Year award - nominating Ritchie McCaw - with a bunch of guys with a handful of test caps.

update If you thought that Barnes pre match comment was bad, read this

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Money is the winner on the day

I suppose we should look on the bright side, at least we won all our other games, France didn't - and we do hold the Parliamentary World Cup.

11 questions on the Rugby World Cup

Why is there a lack of southern hemisphere referees in the business end of the tournament?

Why did the NZ v Scotland game cost $400 a seat - and were more expensive than most quarterfinal seats?

Are France and England 'bogey" teams for NZ and Australia respectively?

Why did they decide on jersey colours less then a week before big games after the IRB approved the initial jerseys?

Is it fair to blame the ref when it wasn't him that scored fewer points?(Actually, he did score fewer points...).

Is this week a good time for Helen Clark to to call an early election?

Why are game reviews on the website of the Internatonal Rugby Board the only ones not to mention vital referee indiscretions?

Why is just about every media release from the Rugby World Cup Limited over the past two months about money and not rugby?

Why get rid of a good coach as a result of what many people see as a referee indescretion? Particularly when the Rubgy Union say he did everything right.

Why was the huge rugby ball at in Paris officially opened to the public by Helen Clark just before we crashed out of the cup?

And why did Miss Clark attend the game at all, given that most important sporting games of all codes that Clark attends we end up losing? Like Graeme Henry, her contract expires next year too. Imagine if she had have attended the Parliamentary World Cup!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Taito Philip Field to face corruption charges

And about time, too. The judgement is here

cronyism at its worst

DPF alerts everyone to the fact that Val Sim has been appointed to the Law Commission by Mark Burton. You`ve never heard of her but you know what she has done.

She made the decision that Burton's Electoral Finance Bill does not breach the Bill of Rights. Nearly every other lawyer disagreed.

This is pretty disgraceful. Helen Clark wants to refer the bill to the Law Commission to fix it up. Geoffrey Palmer, who is on the Commission, didn't want to be an advisor to the Government on the bill - so what the Government has done is made sure there is someone on the Commission that will tell the Government what it wants to hear so they can trumpet that “advice" in Parliament.

Who better than the person who provided the Crown Law opinion in the first place.

What does ths mean for the Bill of Rights?

Well, Crown Law “acknowledges that the issues are finely balanced”, but concludes that “the regulation of the electoral system ultimately depends upon political judgments and is an area in which a wide margin of appreciation is afforded to Parliament.” In other words the Bill of Rights Act is to be interpreted how Labour wants it to be interpreted and Parliament should back any such interpretation up.

So will the Law Commission now formally agree to this opinion?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

ASA decision: Hell Pizza is socially reponsible

In July a number of people complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) because of a magazine delivered with ordered Hell pizzas. The Hell-o magazine containing adult content was also at Hell stores and a lot of people complained because of a campaign by lobby group Family First, some on dubious grounds such as the magazine was delivered in letterboxes (it wasnt, and neither did Family First say so). But, apparently, nobody complained that the content of the magazine used sexual appeal to draw attention to an unrelated product, which is a breach of advertising standards, so the ASA didn`t comment on that either.

The complaints were not upheld. The magazine was deemed not to have breached the code of advertising to children - in fact the code was deemed not to have applied as the magazine was not advertised to children even though children may see the magazine. Fair enough. It was deemed not to have breached the code of ethics as it was not deemed under Rule 5 of the code to have caused "serious or widespread offence taking into account the content, medium and product". Now if the magazine was delivered to letterboxes Rule 5 would have been breached.

It was also deemed, under Basic Principle 4 of the code to have been prepared with a 'due sense of social responsibility to consumers and society'. Although kids can view the magazine if left on the coffee table or while collecting pizzas at the door for parents, the ASA considered the delivery of a glossy mag such as Hell-o was socially responsible because their parents had a choce to engage with the advertising and promotion by buying the pizzas. In other words, the ASA thinks that if you want to order pizza and if you dont like the advertising that comes with it, don't buy the pizza and tell Hell to go to hell. If the recipient refused to pay due to associated promotion, all hell would break loose, so to speak and it would be Hell Pizza who would be doing the complaining.

I assume, then that if anyone delivered magazines containing anything with R-rated material - such as sex aids, videos, or gay escort services or material - with ordered unrelated product such as Amway goods, tupperware or pizzas, the ASA would think it is permissible under the code because recipients had a choice whether their kids would be exposed to it by ordering it in the first place, and such material would not cause serious or widespread offence purely because the material is being restricted to customers.

it's my taonga and I`ll cry if I want to

One woman wants her Tongan husband recognised as a taonga under the treaty because he hasn't got a work permit or residency and is about to be deported. They got married just before his work permit ran out in November last year.

So she has made a claim under the Waitangi Tribunal in an attempt to sort our his immigration problems. The application is on the basis that spouses within the "sanctity of marriage" are taonga, and therefore Maori are guaranteed "the right to retain their taonga" under article two of the treaty which protects assets.

As far as I'm concened she can damn well retain her taonga in Tonga.

So husbands are assets now? Lets hope the Waitangi Tribunal doesnt think so. The guys shouldn't even be in the country. He was granted a limited-purposes visa nine months after his work permit ran out - provided he left the country after surgery for a rugby injury had been done. He should go - and his wife of less than a year should go with him and not clutter up the medical system or the Waitangi Tribunal with her personal problems.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Madeleine Setchell has a new job

Madeleine Setchell wasn`t allowed to work at the Ministry for the Environment because the Minister didn't like the fact that she went home to her partner, National staffer Kevin Taylor, every night. So it's good that she has recently started a job here as a communications manager. I assume Michael Cullen, the Minister of the particular sector, is fine with the appointment.

Advertising standards authority decision on Hell Pizza

The ASA has delivered its decision on the Hell Pizza pamphlet delivered with pizzas a while back. I`ve read it but can't blog it as it is embargoed until tomorrow afternoon. Come back then, or let me know if I should break the embargo just for the "hell" of it.

In the meantime, have a read of inside the beltway the recently started blog from the Dominion Post Parliamentary Press Gallery.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Minor parties starting to get support in polls

Sounds like I was right when I said the next poll would see the minor parties starting to poll. I think the Greens will poll higher than their high of 7.2 percent before the election if they get their act together and should National roll out more contentious policies. Freedom of expression - ala the Electoral Finance Bill - is important to many people. But it is not as important as their wallet. They would be more likely to vote against higher student fees( update National has just announced that they`ll increase fees)and higher doctors visits and will either go back to Labour or onto the Greens. At the moment, National supporters don't know what they are dealing with but what many do know is that they don't want to go back to a world of benefit cuts and the Employment Contracts Act.

If there is uncertainty or disagreement about National's policies, National will slip in the polls more than Labour increases and that's exactly what has happened this time.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

requesting official information

In the past couple of months I have sent off two OIA requests to a certain government department.

The first one was not answered within 20 working days and so it went to the Ombudsman. I eventually got a response after 20 days but it wasnt sufficiently answered - i asked them to re-answer two questions and a week later they did - which begs the question, why didn't they do it earlier.

Now my second request, due today, from the same organisation didnt arrive , despite a written reminder last week that it was to be due today (Wednesday). It is now late. I got a call from that organisation today at 4:30pm on my home ansaphone (not my cellphone when I would be more likely to answer it) with a message stating that there is a delay and I`ll get it as soon as possible. I have no idea why there is a delay because the organisation's representative didnt bother to explain that on the message, and I have no idea when as soon as possible is. It is now with the Ombudsman because that phone message breached S15(a)4 of the OIA.

Why do government departments have such a blatant disregard for the OIA and is there anything other than complaining to the Ombudsman that we can do about it?

Have a guess which organisation it is. It wouldn't be hard.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

National will hit us in the pocket

Well, after hinting sales of state assets last week, National wants to ensure that GP's visits will be more expensive if it becomes Government

Looks like the minor parties are going to start making their presence felt in the polls soon.

Nasty poofs's story on a Bill English's 14-year-old son's Bebo site that has nasty comments about gays and emos is as abhorrent as the actual site itself. Perhaps worse. There's nothing wrong about highlighting homophobia, but doing so using a site just because it belongs to the son of an MP is disgustingly nasty and should not be tolerated by anyone, gay or straight.

I read through the Bebo site on Monday. It appears that has taken a copy of the site for its records as since it was passworded, they have added some quotes that are on the site. However, supporters of the article such as writer David Herkt claims the story is about English's reponse to's questions on the site Herkt is a bit of a stange guy. He doesn't think that the article was all that bad but he thinks using the word "poof" on the radio is "mildly offensive" so I have used it here to mildly offend him.

Herkt thinks the real story was the fact that Bill English's staff wouldn't respond to GayNZ.coms questions and attack the Bebo site's contents.Since when has Parliamentary staff been responsible for commenting on a website of the son of their boss?

Two of English's sons have Bebo sites; both of them are now passworded because one was used purely to slur his MP dad.

If those at condone this sort of behaviour, thats simply an appalling state of affairs. The story is a disservice to the good work the website has done over the years.

Government doing nothing to stop violence in schools

Teachers are complaiging that there is too much violence in schools. The media is reporting the complaints of child attacks on teachers in lower decile schools. Teachers are so fed up that they say they need rules telling them how far they can go when restraining aggressive pupils, to avoid leaving themselves open to accusations of assault.

But if you have a look at Government strategies for curbing antisocial behaviour you`ll see why things are getting worse. This inter-agency report recently published by the MSD, Health, Justice and Education ministries is a plan to improve conduct in those kids with a serious behavioural disorder, many of them in decile 1 schools. (Hat tip Lindsay Mitchell)

The report says is the people studied in the Christchurch Health and Development study, 13% of children raised in the highest 5% of high risk family situations reached adolescence with no obvious disorders or behaviours, learning or psyche.In other words, 13% of kids with serious behavioural difficulties turn out okay!

Well, that's alright then.

And it is just as well they turn out okay because the others will never be assisted with Government intervention if you look how these Ministries are looking to minimise adverse behaviour at schools. They see a pathway as modifying teachers behaviour, non-violence programmes, and frequent praise and rewards. Not surprisingly, for those 12 and over, the effects of this intervention is "not demonstrated" and for those aged 12 and under, improvements were "not shown"

This obviously means that this strategy does not work, which is why the policy will have no formal and meaningful evaluation. Could it not be working because the kids were not asked or encouraged to modify their behaviour in a way they could relate to? Yet it is the strategy up to 2012, which would be more relevant in addressing naughty behaviour in Sunday School children.

Oh, and while we`re on the subject of silly research, the media release of the latest Christchurch Health and Development study notes that single parenthood is not a risk factor for a child's development - it's how that family functions, and they dont function so well due to lower socio-economic status - and probably being on the dpb. I thought the way a family functions was a consequence of its form. The university is proud that they got their report published in some hot-shot US psychiatry journal. Yet if these sole parents had a live in partner, that won't change the fact that some kids had kids when they were kids, it won`t change the fact that they have lower education levels, and it won't change the fact that many of them are Maori. But it would provide more options for positive change, and they won't be on a benefit for the next 10 years.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

process versus outcomes

This is a bit sad, though not unexpexcted. A new school cirriculum will focus on the process of learning, rather than content. Apparently its all part of the "outcome-based approach" of skills, rather than knowledge, except the outcome is how well you know the process not whether you know the answer. That's a bit like going on your OE, not knowing where London is but as long as you know how to catch a flight there then that's OK - you have your outcome.

Imagine if policy analysts made policy like this, changing the goalposts on outcomes to make them more woolly - focusing on the process and let the outcomes work out for themselves. Oh, that's right they do. Equal Employment Opportunities is the process they use to achieve equity in the workplace. They call it procedural equalty because it his to do with process. Substantive equality is to do with equity. Education appears to be going the same way. No need to learn how to get from A to B by reading a map - as long as you know the process of asking someone who can tell you then you`ll get where you want to go.

Mary Chamberlain, overseeing the project for the Education Ministry, says "If (students) don't know how to initiate a conversation or ask for help, that's not OK".

Next thing they`ll be offering BAs in "asking for help" and analysing the Beatle's song "Help" as the content for a first year assignment. We`ll really need help then...

Will National have the most friends in 2008?

Well, it's about one year out from the election and it is time to do another post on MMP. Just Left and No Right Turn have done posts on MMP which are worth reading, and although Carter gets more comments on his blog than I do on mine, I get more than No Right Turn (for reasons which are obvious), and get enough readers who read both their blogs to do a post - even though they don't comment much here. So this post is in light of Government formation.

Some people know that we don't vote for a Government in this country, we vote for a Parliament and certain members of Parliament and their staff decide who the Government is to be once we have decided the composition of Parliament. Some say that MMP is undemocratic as we don't directly have a say on who forms the Government. Some say it is the party with the most votes who is the Government - that is blatantly false. Never has been, even under FPP.

Under FPP it was the party with the most seats that got hold of power, but that party didn't necessarily have the most votes - as happened in 1978 and also in 1981 when National got fewer votes than Labour but had an 11 seat majority. Some believe that with MMP, the party with the most seats have an automatic right to form the Government. That's incorrect as well. You don't have to be the party with the most seats or the most votes under MMP to be the main party in a colation Government.

But MMP is a lot more democratic that a system where a party gets 20 percent of the votes and just two MPs - as what happend in 1978 - or when National gets in power despite 65 percent of the population voting for other parties - as happened in 1993. Had 1993 been an MMP election the Alliance would have got 23 seats (a handful of seats fewer than National got in 2002), and NZ First would have got 10 seats instead of two.

It is usually the party with the most friends in Parliament who collectively have more seats than everyone else who form a MMP Government - and these friends - ie all MP's of that party - not only don't have to be in Government, they don't even have to be on the same side of the left/right political divide. Therefore opinion polls are not about which party those polled thinks will "win the election", they are about which party will have the most friends in Parliament with the most seats after the election to form a government.

One Green commentator on Carter's blog stated that he voted Greens because he wanted them to have representation in Government. He appeared to forget that Greens currently have two government spokekpeople - for NZ Made and Energy Eficiency, but under FPP wouldn`t even be in Parliament. But if greenies vote Green to get Government representation, will they be happy to have a representative in Buy NZ Made under a National Government, possibly with a deal that they abstain on confidence and supply?

It's not beyond possibility, is it?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Richard Lewis expresses disappointment

(so will Taito Philp Field when he finds out)
Updated Friday.

Richard Lewis "former leader" of Destiny Party (can`t see how he can be a "former leader" if he hasn`t resigned, been fired, or the party hasn`t deregistered) has said that Destiny is yet to be deregistered. He explained that they wanted to be upfront with the media - but didn't explain why they weren't upfront with Copeland, why they didn't name the advisory board,(perhaps because there are at least TWO Destiny church members on the all male committee and none representing the Salvation Army or Catholic churches...),why they didn't name Copeland as a co-leader, nor why Tamaki decided half an hour before the media conference to reveal the leadership details against the wishes of his fellow advisory board members.

Lewis said he was surprised at Copeland's decision to resign from the co-leadership. He had no choice but to resign. Perhaps others are disappointed too. Perhaps the wider church community - wihich the National Advisory Council purports to represent - will be disappointed when they realise that the only two "outed" members of the council are Destiny church members - so I`m told - including Taito Philip Field's representative Ian Anderson, which makes the group appear skewed toward Destiny.

Anderson released his Destiny-crafted media statement on behalf of Taito Philip Field without TPFs authorisation or consent. His parliamentary office, who have no knowlege of any Field-sanctioned authorisation of Anderson - are pretty unhappy with that. Anderson claims to be the Pacific representative on the council. Tamaki wants him there because he wants to target Mangere and secure Field's seat for the party in 2008 - but they don't want Field officially on board as leader because of his pending criminal case.

The council was touted to represent the wider christian community and made up of church leaders - but is skewed toward Destiny and against Future New Zealand. Now that Destiny didnt get their man as the leader they want to get its representative's man as the leader without that prospective leader's authorisation of their modus operandi. So much for openness and honesty - and claiming to want the advisory board secret when some later out themselves to the media when they dont get their own way.

Now that everyone has done their media releases perhaps they can move on to something else - like climate change.

Paul Adams is sad

NB this post has been condensed this afternoon.

The news that Gordon Copeland has withdrawn from the new Christian Party has saddened Paul Adams who appears to have been on the advisory council or had a role in its formation. Adams was an anti-gay United Future MP. The very fact that Adams is sad means that Copeland has done the right thing in leaving the leadership of this new party.

Interesting that Adams thinks transparency in politics is “sadly lacking” when he, as a key player, appears to condone the lack of transparency in the past few days.
Future NZ has issued a media release stating the party was on hold at the request of the new party`s Advisory Council, of which only one person has been publicly named – Brian Tamaki. If Copeland and his Future NZ co-leader Larry Baldock go ahead with the registration of a party under the National Advisory Council, it will be in their best interests not to include such a heavy Destiny presence.

And a member of the National Advisory Council has issued a release which is a straight out grumpy release criticising Future NZ. One council member criticising others in public. Sour grapes. But did you know that the media release was released and written by a Destiny PR person? Yeah, Without The Capital Letters As Well.

I`ve just had a chat to Gordon Copeland. He`s pretty angry with Tamaki and Lewis and disappointed with some advisory council members. He is currently staying right away from all the hoo-hah, but will remain in touch with the advisory group which will re-rorganise a new party without Lewis or Tamaki as leaders - although Destiny may be on the the advisory board, meaning Lewis has no role because that role will go to Tamaki as he is the bishop.

What this group needs is some good PR this time to prevent Tamaki having any role in calling the shots as he was doing on Tuesday when he hijacked the media conference to massage his own ego. It was Tamaki who decided half an hour before the media conference to name one co-leader of the new party. I wouildnt be surprised if Tamiki had a role in the advisory council menbers release either.

Gone by launchtime

It was always clear that Gordon Copeland was not happy being co-leader with Richard Lewis in this new Christian party. Today he has confirmed that he will not be co-leader with Richard Lewis. Good. It Is Finished.

This leaves several options given that Destiny is now deregistered if Tamaki is to be believed:

Destiny re-registers as Destiny Party and everyone in the Electoral Commission has a good laugh.

Destiny goes off on its own without Copeland and Lewis is the leader under Destiny Party Mk2.

Copeland is leader of a new party or co-leader with someone else and Lewis takes another role.

Future New Zealand, Copeland's party registers with the Electoral Commission.

Two and four combined seem likely.

Whatever, this was Tamaki's ego that undid this, and Copeland has not spoken to Tamaki since the media conference. But remember, this party doesnt exist yet, and Destiny was not authorised to announce anything about co-leadership at the media conference. In terms of Future New Zeland that will continue to be registered as they have no official ties with Destiny.

Copeland should formally announce that he is not going to be involved in a party where Brian Tamaki has any role and get out now, even if Lewis steps down as co-leader because Tamaki is on the advisory board and his ego means that he will demand a role somewhere. Copeland will get more support from the media and the Christian and political communities if he takes this stance than if he continues to liaise with Tamaki and Lewis as the trust has already gone.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

If I was Copeland I`d leave Destiny now

After reading this report regarding the Destiny church party stuff-up it confirmed most things I have suspected. This is worth reading too for a laugh.

Gordon Copeland is a good MP who has been sucked into an arrangement by a bunch of ego-tripping idiots who couldn't arrange a pissup in a brewery, let alone a conference to communicate basic information to the media. Destiny didn't even bother to let Copeland know of details of a media conference that involved the announcement of a party where Copeland is co-leader. And because they didn't tell Copeland that they were going to announce Lewis as leader they decided not to announce Copeland as leader either.

Any other party would have arranged a media conference with the two co-leaders and advised people the truth about the group that set it up.When TV3 News rang around today they found no senior clergymen or representatives have signed up at all except Tamaki.So already the party is has too much Destiny inolvement, whish would lessen appeal.

Copeland met his co-leader Richard Lewis for two hours today and later said Lewis had "profusely apologised" for his "error of judgement" in not telling the MP about the announcement, despite giving an undertaking he would do so.

If I was Gordon Copeland, I`d start the process and leave the Destiny lot now and concentrate on Future New Zealand. Actually, I think he will. Then Destiny can go ahead and name their party Destiny's Child for all I care. Feedback I am getting is that many church and Christian leaders don't like what is going on. They would like one unified Christian vehicle as long as it is not dominated by Destiny. Destiny just dont get along with other denominations unless it is on their own terms - and when it is on their own terms they invariably stuff it up.

My original post on yesterday's developments is here

and a MAJOR UPDATE to hand, Copeland - well Future New Zealand - is cutting off all discussions involving Lewis/Tamaki. I have been told something will be on Morning Report tomorrow.