Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Capital Coast DHB problems go back to the 1990's...

Capital Coast DHB problems go back to the 1990's when the former National Party Government commercialised hospitals - the days when cash registers were used to collect patient charges. The days when National tried to Americanise our hospitals and health sevices.

The Wellington Hospital's problems can be seen as commencing during that period. Those inane policies hamstrung many hospitals such as Wellington, Christchurch and Wanganui. It is rather ironic that Wellington Hospital's neighbour, Hutt Valley Health DHB, has become an efficient hospital and health provider during that period - yet both were parners in the old Wellington Hospital Board, which National scrapped in the early 1990's.

The new Health Minister David Cunliffe is on a hiding to nothing in trying to rectify a failure. Better to sack the Board and start over again. Put in a new Chairman and Board, and bring in advisors from Hutt Valley Health on how to run a hospital and administer health services there. I would personally hate to have a life threatening health problem and be admitted to Wellington hospital - there is no guarantee that I would return alive.

The Wellington Coast DHB is a classic case of another former National Government chicken coming home to roost - the chickens are coming home in droves. And National wants to become the Government again. Yeah Right!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Nats to turn New Zealand into a John Key paradise...

Who gives a stuff about the Electoral Finance Bill really? If it stops the National Party and its right wing fellow travellers from being able to "buy" an election, that almost happened last time with the Exclusive Brethren, it will be worth it!

New Zealand can not afford to have a National Party led government: They will make the Bolger/Shipley mob seem like kindergaren teachers. They intend to punish middle New Zealand for keeping them out of power for nine years. Tories believe it's their divine right to rule. Yeah right!

They have privatisation as a main part of their policies - they are telling us that 'borrowing' will be the means to finance their legislative program - do you still believe in Santa Claus?

There is one source of finance they want to get their grubby little figers on - that is the ACC investment fund of around $6 billion dollars. They'll leave two billion for existing claims, privatise ACC itself and use the remaining four billion for their plans to turn New Zealnd into a John Key paradise, and milk the country clean!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sire's Bloggers Blog: Channel Nine Underhanded?

Sire's Bloggers Blog: Channel Nine Underhanded?

Newspaper reports - New Zealand police terrorist raids...

Welcome to The Courier-Mail.
November 14, 2007 08:30am

NEW Zealand police monitored activists talking of assassinations and blowing up power plants and communications systems before arresting them.

Court papers show that among targets discussed for assassination were main opposition National Party leader John Key and US President George W Bush, while an al-Qaeda manual on terrorist actions was among "about 10" that group members claimed to be using.

Daily newspapers in Wellington and Christchurch published the evidence today from police surveillance cited in an affidavit used in court to gain warrants to arrest the people involved.

The secret evidence was amassed from months of police surveillance of military-style training camps allegedly used to train Maori independence activists, extreme environmentalists and others on weapons use and survival in the bush.

The 16 activists were arrested on suspicion of breaching the nation's arms and anti-terror laws - but police were later prevented by the nation's top legal officer from bringing terrorism charges.

Solicitor General David Collins last week ruled against charges being laid under the Terrorism Suppression Act against 12 of those arrested in the raids.

While police had good reason to investigate the alleged weapons training activity, New Zealand's anti-terror laws were too complex to apply in this instance, he said. He was "unable to authorise the prosecutions" under the terror law.

All 16 of those arrested still face charges under the Arms Act. They have been released on police bail under strict conditions that include surrender of passports and other restrictions on their movements and activities.

New Zealand's Arms Act prohibits private ownership of military-style weapons and requires all gun owners to hold an arms licence to own and use firearms.

Reports said the training camps involved the use of military-style weapons, Molotov cocktails, napalm-based bombs and other explosives.

Police and the Solicitor General immediately condemned publication of the police affidavit.

Deputy Commissioner Rob Pope said they would investigate publication of the material, "and any other publication which could be considered to breach court suppression orders or potentially compromise criminal proceedings."

Council for Civil Liberties chairman Tony Ellis, a senior barrister, warned release of the information could prejudice the fair trials of the 16.

The capital's Dominion Post newspaper said in an editorial it "has not taken lightly the decision" to publish the material.

"We believe we are acting within the law; we also believe we are acting in the public interest," it noted on its front page.

As the papers published the police material, protesters from the small town of Ruatoki, one of the centres for police raids on suspects last month, were travelling in a convoy to Parliament in Wellington to protest the action of the armed anti-terror police.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Private businesses to support government energy policies...

The Energy Minister says lines companies are amongst businesses willing to help low income households improve heating - supporting Government energy policy in action.

The National Party opposition has no credible policies. Private businesses cannot support something that doesn't exist. John Key full of hot air!

A step towards drier and healthier homes for low and middle income families.

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority is seeking partners to deliver interest free loans to homeowners for heating solutions.

Energy Minister David Parker says he has already heard from lines companies and other businesses keen to offer their support. He says homeowners who take advantage of the funding can expect to improve their health with less asthma and fewer winter illnesses.

Mr Parker says 39,000 low-income families have already had their homes refitted with insulation and other energy efficiency measures. He says the Government is putting $23 million towards the programme over the next four years.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Just what do the Aussie election results mean for the West...

Just what do the Australian election results mean for the West? What do they mean for Bush's foreign policy initiatives? The Aussie boys will be coming home pretty soon George Junior!

The Australian left of centre Labor Party won the Federal elections by a landslide. Now all the states and the Federal government are all Labor administrations.

The new Australian Prime Minister, 50 year old Queenslander, Kevin Rudd, has stated that Australia will sign the Kyoto protocol, something George Bush opposes, and will be withdrawing Australian combat troops from Iraq.

Mr Rudd is a Mandarin speaking former diplomat. He is also only the second Queenslander to be elected as Australian prime minister. He is expected to forge even closer ties with New Zealand and other friends and allies. He assured George Bush of the centrality of the US alliance in Australia's approach to foreign policy.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Who needs Key and National now? Tax cuts are a' coming...

Who needs John Key and National now? Tax cuts are a' coming! Did you ever doubt it? I didn't; timing is everything in politics. The time for tax cuts is now!

The Prime Minister,Helen Clark, and her Finance Minister, Mike Cullen have announced it at the Labour Party conference. They have relied on treasury advice previously, and were obviously told that until now,tax cuts were not feasible.

To say it is too little too late, is a load of nonsense! And nonsense is all we have heard from the National Party and their fellow travellers on the political right.

Everybody know's; you don't have to be a brain surgeon at all, that under National only the better off will benefit from personal tax cuts.The majority of Kiwi earners would be lucky to get $10-$20 per week. This would do absolutely nothing to assist them and their families.

Under Labour families have benefitted from the Government's policies. The Tories just can't see past tax cuts - well New Zealand is going to get them - both personal and businesses.

Lets read this space, and wait for the announcements.

But what do we do with National after this? Well they are as useful as tits on a bull! John is not the key for the future of New Zealand.

The Writers Lounge

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Has the tide turned for Labour - gaining in the polls...

Has the tide turned for Labour, gaining six points in a fortnight, with National falling three points. Is the Key honeymoon now over? Has the New Zealand public realised that the recent gaffs by National is a sign of their fragility, incompetence, lack of political nous and a lack of viable policies.

The New Zealand Morgan Poll puts Labour on 39 per cent, up six points from its last poll just over a fortnight ago.

Support for National fell three points to 45.5 per cent.

The result was Labour's highest in the poll since February and National's lowest since April.

It cements a trend in several recent polls of growing support for Labour despite National still holding a clear lead.

The poll puts the Green Party down 2 per cent to 7.5 per cent support, New Zealand First remained unchanged on 3 per cent, the Maori Party down slightly on 2 per cent, United Future steady on 1.5 per cent and ACT on 0.5 per cent.

The poll of 808 voters was conducted during the first two weeks of October and has a margin of error of around 4 per cent.

The polling period followed a fortnight in which National came under fire for several aspects of its policies.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Labour Day is a meaningless holiday in New Zealand...

Today is LABOUR DAY in New Zealand, celebrated on the fourth Monday of October every year. Once it celebrated the real value of workers to New Zealand society and the economy, now its a holiday with a very shallow meaning. To most workers its just another holiday off work. Most know their work is not really valued by their employers. In this the year of 2007 they are just another number, another commodity in the market economy.

Back in the new British colony of Wellington, New Zealand, in 1840, a carpenter by the name of Samuel Parnell( an existing suburb in Auckland was named after him)refused to work more than eight hours a day. He is famous for his statement that there is 8 hours to work, 8 for recreation and 8 hours for sleep. Parnell encouraged other tradesmen in the new colony to support him; and in October of 1840 a resolution was passed in support of his proposal.

On the 28 October,1890 the 50th Anniversary of Parnell's resolution was celebrated with a parade through the streets of the colony. In 1890 the Government of the now emerging dominion legislated for a public holiday from 1900. Because some shrewd seamen were celebrating the new holiday on different dates in diferent provinces, employers sought government help to curb the practice. As a consequence the holiday was 'Mondayised' from 1910.

It is, as I stated above,now just another holiday with no real meaning. The recognised eight hour day has long gone. The Employment Contracts Act of 1991, introduced by a New Right market- obsessed National Government, changed the face of employment law and employment practices in New Zealand, probably for ever. The fact of the matter is that in New Zealand, many workers work regularly more than an eight hours a day, and often for no extra pay or overtime, especially if they are salaried workers.

Samuel Parnell would turn in his grave today. Trade unions in New Zealand are still struggling to turn back the excesses of the 1990's and are slowly building up their membership, and continue to celebrate Labour Day and what it meant.

I know other countries celebrate a Labour Day. I wonder if their employment laws allow for an eight hour day? Some how I don't believe it! Enjoy your holiday when it comes round.

The Writers Lounge

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Were the raids carried out by armed police in recent days justified?

Were raids carried out by armed police in recent days justified? From what we have been told so far, probably yes!

You would expect the victims of such raids to maintain their innocence. Tame Iti's general behaviour has long suggested he could well be involved in anti- social activities. The others involved have been closed books as far as our society has been concerned; the books are about to be opened, so to speak.

In my opinion you have to look at the thought processes of people from his area. The Tuhoe claim they are an independent nation, which is a load of unadlterated crap. There is only one nation - the New Zealand nation, and Tuhoe are part of that nation. So therefore some Tuhoe behaviour could be construed as bordering on treason against the New Zealand state. Such treason is punishable by a life sentence in prison - the death penalty existed until recently.

Some of the attitudes of many Maori in general should be considered to be of some concern too.

These Maori need to grow up and realise they live in the 21st century and not in the times of their ancestors who may well have been treated badly by the British authorities and settlers of the times. We have the Waitangi Tribunal to take care of disputed land.

Maori need to realise that they too, are descendants of immigrants,in their case from East Polynesia - they were the first human residents in New Zealand from the mid 13th century onwards. Maori are therefore not indigenous, but New Zealand's first people.

But having said all this, I expect some "real evidence" to be produced by police prosecutors at coming court hearings.I await this evidence with bated breath.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The death penalty is not an option in New Zealand - appropriate sentencing is...

The death penalty is not an option in New Zealand despite the emotional outbursts from Sensible Sentencing Trust spokesman, Garth McVicar. This is a pro-National lobby group in any case. What is needed is appropriate sentencing. In some cases a life sentence, should be just that - natural life! There are other options available: No remission for certain crimes, and no concurrent sentencing for multi - charges. Violent criminals could be given significant levels of solitary confinement.

Please read the news story below:

The government has added its voice to an international campaign to outlaw the death penalty worldwide

New Zealand is joining an international effort to have the death penalty abolished worldwide.

Helen Clark has made the announcement while speaking to Amnesty International representatives at Parliament.

A total of 83 people were executed for murder and one for treason between 1842 and 1961, before the death penalty for murder was abolished in New Zealand. The last execution in this country was in 1957, when Walter Bolton was hanged at Mount Eden prison for killing his wife Beatrice. He had slowly poisoned her by putting arsenic in her tea over a period of a year.

Capital punishment was available as a possible sentence until it was finally removed in 1989.

Helen Clark says the Government is working with other countries to put a resolution to the United Nations to abolish what she calls the ultimate form of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. But the Sensible Sentencing Trust believes the move shows Helen Clark does not want to be re-elected as Prime Minister next year.

Trust spokesman Garth McVicar says while there are no calls yet to re-introduce the death penalty in New Zealand, this is simply another example of putting offenders' rights before those of victims. Mr McVicar says he is shocked because the Trust deals with victims who have had loved ones murdered, and there is no worse form of treatment than that.

He observes that two countries New Zealand is working at achieving free trade deals with - the United States and China - carry out the largest number of executions each year.

Petes Life and World Events

Monday, September 17, 2007

A Christian Fundamentalist Party is born with a Key blessing...

A Christian Fundamentalist Party is born with a Key blessing...

A Christian Fundamentalist political party is to be formed with the blessing of John Key and the National Party, because National has no obvious coalition partner other than Act NZ. At least it will be out in the open now. No more sneaky behind the scenes intrigue ridden controversial pseudo religious claptrap - this could backfire on the National Party badly. Most New Zealanders are basicly decent people even if some are badly informed on political matters, especially if they believe that National and Christian fundamntalists will make New Zealand a better place to live and bring up families. This coalition of so-called Christian fundamentalists and an unholy National Party will carry out the devils work in Spades! What sort of future will National have with Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki's Blackshirts? Even now there appears to be dispute amongst the Christian alliance; what will be the relationship with the Tories?

Read the following press story:

'Destiny New Zealand will no longer be a political party.'

Destiny Church leader Brian Tamaki announced the party will be de-registered from Tuesday, making way for a new Christian political party.

"The reality is if we, New Zealand's Christian community and those who care about family values are to have a genuine voice in parliament, we will be far more effective together than we are apart," Tamaki said as he made the announcement.

Tamaki won't be drawn on whether he will stand in next year's parliamentary elections.

He says he will be on the party's National Advisory Committee but standing for a seat in parliament could be an option.

He says if he decides to stand it will have to be considered by the committee.

Tamaki says more details on the new party will be released in a few weeks.

Meanwhile, National leader John Key says he will talk to the newly formed party if it means being able to form a coalition government.

Destiny New Zealand leader Richard Lewis will co-lead the new party, along with independent MP Gordon Copeland.

They are hoping to put forward a unified Christian option for voters at next year's election, but say they will only be a part of a National-led government.

Key says under MMP, the new party will have to get above the 5% threshold.

He says it is a big achievement to reach that mark, but if they do they will talk to them like they would talk to any party if they were able to form a government.

Source: ONE News/Newstalk ZB

And now wait for history to record its inevitable downfall!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

What's John Key's memory like I wonder?

What's John Key's memory like I wonder? Not the best I would suggest. Memory's are made of this, goes an old song.

Back in 2002 John Key was saying the DPB was, for the want of a better word, breeding for business - bit of an inane comment I would also suggest. But, however, this was disputed by his colleague Katherine Rich, who by contrast said most people who were on the DPB were pretty motivated people who have the same dreams and aspirations as anybody else. Benefit bashing was a most unsatisfactory practice that didn't achieve any positive outcomes at all. Katherine Rich resigned from her shadow cabinet post in protest, disillusioned with people such as Don Brash and John Key.

National's polling has been described as "push polling" during which supposed independent telephone pollsters ask questions containing damaging allegations about government politicians to turn voters off a particular candidate ie " Would you support a particular candidate if you knew something(derogatory)about that person", something that may actually not have happened at all - but too late after the election to disprove.

This sort of polling is obviously at the forefront of Key's publicity tactics. This form of polling was used by Don Brash, John Key and the National Party before the last elections. An election that National actually lost, but not according to the National Party? The people of New Zealand elected the Labour- led Government for a three year term.

The National Party has been white- anting this Government from Day One. I would suggest they pull their collective heads in and create policy that would make New Zealand a better place for all its people with a change of government in twelve months time - not the elite of New Zealand society on $250,000 plus per year and able to send their offspring to some elite private school. But that is the Key way ahead of New Zealand with a millionaire potential prime minister.

John Key was part of the decision making that led to Mark Textor and others from Australia who made many visits to this country, including one in late November of 2004, and many more up to September of 2005. A number of telephone calls and written reports were also made and sent to the National Party here.In one of the reports the National Party was urged to raise finance for two election campaigns - the second election was meant to take place when the Labour coalition government broke down, and other parties wouldn't have the finance available to campaign successfully a second time against the National Party. Slim hopes for the dreamers in dreamland. Labour would always be able to raise sufficient funds for an unexpected election. National should always remember that!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Votes not polls will decide the next government

Votes not polls will decide the next government!

I really get a buzz out of the reactions of rabid rightwing National Party supporters whenever National has one of their extended periods of popularity as they have enjoyed in recent times. A lead of just on 15%, get real! Labour is still enjoying its successful election night percentage. National has just cannibalised most of the third party potential vote.

This is now an MMP political scenario - no party, including the Labour Party will ever enjoy such a percentage in the real vote. It is simply a protest poll result that will not change the present Government one iota. The only poll that matters is the one on election day. And that is nearly 15 months away!

That is not to say that Labour has not taken any cognicance of the situation. They will be fully aware of the potential public reaction to such results over an extended period. Labour's job is to govern the country to the best of their ability; that's exactly what has been happening. National should be opposing the government - that's their role. What is different is that there has been a distinct lack of real opposition to government policies and the Governmet for most of the last eight years. The media just can't handle the situation; they and the Government aren't used to it.

John Key thinks he's the one in charge, but there are no role models in the National Party anymore to show him. Bill English can't, and Don Brash as useless as he was is not around anymore. So John Key performs as though he knows what alternatives there are to the Labour led administration. The simple fact of the matter is that National doesn't really have any alternative policies that haven't already been discredited.

There are tax reductions and tax reductions, which would not kick in until a second term of an imaginery National Government in any case. Didn't you know that?

They also claim that the total privatisation of state assets will not begin until the second term - things like Kiwi Bank, NZ Post, Air New Zealand, all of the state housing stock, hospitals, schools and whatever else is left; according to National the state has no business being in business. Yeah right! Just what would they do? Attack beneficiaries, workers and National superannuants like the last time, but with a greater vengeance! Do you really want a pack of political shysters like National?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

John Key - the shadow Minister of leaky homes...

Let discuss the story below. How much of it is fact or speculation? Why does criticism have to be a smear campaign when conducted by Labour? Labour should condemn the National Party for allowing leaky homes to develop when building standards were allowed to fall during te 1990's. John Key is the Shadow Minister of leaky homes!

Labour will not say if its slide in the polls is behind a series of attacks on John Key.

The National Party leader has this week faced questions about his living arrangements and business links. Mr Key says the smear campaign is fuelled by Labour's desperation at being 20 points behind National. Labour Cabinet Minister Pete Hodgson says it is not desperation, adding that he does not comment on polls.

Mr Key today revealed he was questioned by the Serious Fraud Office over the multimillion dollar collapse of Equiticorp back in the 1980s. He says he made the admission in an attempt to forestall a fresh attack on his credibility. Mr Key says he had nothing to do with the scandal as he had left his position as a foreign exchange dealer at Elders Merchant Finance before the deal, involving Equiticorp's sale of New Zealand Steel, was conceived. He believes the information he passed on may have helped result in the prosecutions of those involved.

It followed attempts in Parliament yesterday to link Mr Key and a firm he is a director of, to another company which is allegedly attempting to go into liquidation to avoid leaky building costs. The National Party leader said his firm is not facing any claims, though a shareholder is, via a separate company he has no connection to. Mr Key says he has nothing to hide and has no problem discussing anything about what he does.

A Political commentator says attacking politicians for their business interests rarely works with the public. National Business Review political columnist Ben Thomas says that sort of mud slinging is fine during an election campaign. He says when the public has a couple of weeks to analyse things, as they do now, personal attacks tend to look bad for the accuser, not the accused. Mr Thomas says it does not look like Labour is leading up to a bigger scandal, and it appears to have played its trump card way too early.

Mr Thomas says there is a similar example from the Labour benches. He says it was not that long ago that David Parker was being hauled over the coals for very small technicalities in his business dealings. Mr Parker had to resign as Attorney General as a result, but Ben Thomas says the scandal did not do him too much harm. Mr Thomas says there is a high likelihood the tactic will backfire for Labour.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

There are lies, more lies and National Party lies - ask John Key...

Lies, more lies and National Party lies - ask John Key...

While Johny Key basks in the glory of ascending popularity polls in the National Party's continuing honeymoon period, the Labour-led Government continues in its eighth year of surprisingly competent government. The economy has had its ups and downs lately, but mostly because of external reasons. The previously high Kiwi dollar has fallen sharply in the last week or so. There could be all sorts of ramifications because of the changes. Unemployment continues to fall despite further losses of companies overseas.

As far as polls go, everybody knows the only poll that counts is the one on election day, and Don Brash really thought he was going to be prime minister in a National Government last time. He was really brought down to earth with a bang, and I suspect that when the time comes somewhere in November,2008, there will be a similar result. I don't think New Zealand or the New Zealand public have totally forgiven the National Party for their excesses during the 1990's that severely damaged our society in general.

John Key for all his smiling and smirking hasn't achieved anything in a political sense yet, other than becoming leader of the opposition. He has to serve his apprenticeship first. His smiling deputy, Bill English, has also failed to achieve anything in opposition as well. Leadership of the Opposition may actually be a poisoned chalice for National Party leaders in this early part of the 21st century.

Apart from their obsessive tax cut policy they don't have anything else to offer other than regurgitated and failed New Right policies of the 1990's. Privatisation, welfare cuts, anti- worker attacks, commercialisation of health sevices, including public hospitals, privatisation of education, further sales of state housing, further reductions in the armed forces and police, continuing corruption, and so forth! Nothing for the average New Zealander that I can see? Sorry John, no place at the inn for you!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Southland surgeon exploits elderly woman - a scenario under a future National Govt.

This is a possible scenario under a future Key government - exploitation and corruption of our health services.Would you be stupid enough to let it happen?

14 August 2007
A Southland surgeon has been ordered to pay back money he charged an elderly woman for postoperative care following publicly-funded cataract surgery.

Health and Disability Commissioner Ron Paterson has found the unnamed surgeon exploited the patient and failed to comply with ethical standards. He says the surgeon should have made clear the patient was entitled to completely free treatment

As well as refunding her money, Mr Paterson has recommended the surgeon apologise to the woman. He also wants the National Ethics Committee to advice the Minister of Health of issues raised by the current mix of public and private treatment options available for elective surgery.

Johny Howard's last days - John Key next year?

IS John Howard dog tucker? A forerunner of things to come - John Key next year?

CANBERRA - John Howard could become the first sitting prime minister to lose his seat for almost 80 years according to a new poll yesterday.

A Galaxy Poll conducted for the Sunday Telegraph points to Howard facing a humiliating defeat in his own seat of Bennelong at the hands of glamour Labor candidate Maxine McKew.

The poll shows Liberal voters continuing to desert the Prime Minister's cause in droves.

If he was beaten by former TV journalist McKew, Howard would be the first sitting prime minister to lose his seat since Stanley Melbourne Bruce in 1929.

The Sunday Telegraph/SBS Insight Galaxy Poll was conducted on the evenings of August 8 and 9, based on a sample of 800 voters. It found 47 per cent of those surveyed intended to give their first preference vote to McKew while 44 per cent intended to vote for Howard.

Support for McKew is now 19 points higher than the vote achieved by the ALP candidate at the last federal election.

The newspaper said the fact Howard had been unable to claw back McKew's lead - despite Budget tax cuts and family benefits coming on stream and initiatives such as the intervention in indigenous child abuse in the Northern Territory - would reinforce perceptions that voters were no longer listening to the Prime Minister.

Read the full story

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Hone Harawira needs to clean up his own doorstep first

There's an old saying that charity begins at home. Hone needs to clean up around his own doorstep before telling the neighbours about theirs!

Labour MP Shane Jones says Hone Harawira playing dangerous stunt by criticising Australia when there's abuse in Maori community.

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira is being told it is inappropriate to criticise the Australian Government for abusing Aborigines when there is an abuse crisis within Maoridom.

The Tai Tokerau MP left an official justice and electoral committee visit to Victoria and headed to the Northern Territory. He was last seen in Alice Springs taking a stand against the Howard Government's Aboriginal policies.

Labour MP Shane Jones says Mr Harawira is playing a dangerous stunt. He says Parliament has firm rules about how taxpayer funds should be used when MPs are overseas. Speaker Margaret Wilson has said she is aware of Mr Harawira's actions and is addressing the matter.

The select committee party was meeting with groups as part of a study of election finance law and victims' rights.

Mr Harawira caused controversy last month by calling Australian Prime Minister John Howard a "racist bastard" for sending police and troops into aboriginal communities as part of an intervention plan to stop child abuse.

Monday, August 6, 2007

HAMILTON - Police investigating the discovery of one of the country's largest P labs have released rare video footage taken inside the house, as a warning to communities about the dangers of methamphetamine.

The clandestine methamphetamine laboratory - one of the five biggest such labs uncovered to date - was raided by police on Thursday at Newcastle Rd in Dinsdale, Hamilton.

Police finished decommissioning the lab last night, after an extensive four-day operation to remove the chemicals found.

The clean-up was hampered by the discovery of a small quantity of explosives and a pipebomb.

Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Whitehead screened a six-minute segment, of a 45 minute video, this morning to media in Hamilton, taken by police wearing full protective gear as they walked through the home.

He said the release of the footage was an attempt to dispel conceptions that P-labs were "nice clinical lab-like environments".

Footage showed several rooms in the cluttered house covered in equipment and containers with chemicals and paraphernalia, which police believe had been accumulated over three years.

Fixtures and fittings in the house could be seen to be corroded from the chemicals and fumes.

Read the full story:

Police discovery of largest P lab

Sunday, July 29, 2007

John Key has no credibility - our troops would have been sent by National

John Key can rubbish the following claims as much as he want's - it was National Party policy to send troops to Iraq, and will be in the future to anywhere else the US gets invoved in. Key has no credbility any more than the National Party.

Party leader John Key is rubbishing claims by an outspoken visiting politician that a National government would be likely to send NZ troops into war zones like Iraq.

British MP George Galloway is on a whirlwind tour to promote religious tolerance and he warns that National would adopt the war strategy of Britain and Australia.

Expelled from the British Labour Party in 2003 for opposing the Iraq invasion, Galloway was suspended from parliament just this month because of another row over Iraq.

Now he is in New Zealand and warns that the country could tread a dangerous path if it votes for a National government at the next election. He says following Australia's war strategy could make NZ a target for extremism.

"That would be a danger in itself because they are more likely to take New Zealand in the Australian trajectory and trust me you don't want to go there," he says.

But party leader John Key says there is no way National would be taking the country in that direction.

"George is talking absolute rubbish...we've made it quite clear we won't be going to Iraq, we wouldn't have sent troops to Iraq. National did support the Coalition of the Willing's right to send troops but that's because we are of the view that every country is entitled to take its own actions, but we certainly won't be going," says Key.

But the current government is also copping its share of criticism with Galloway questioning the secrecy surrounding the role of NZ's troops in some hot spots.

"There's some lack of clarity about New Zealand's role in the war in Afghanistan...just how many people you have, just what they're doing there appears to be a little clouded for a free country like this," he says.

And Galloway says Christian groups preaching an anti-Islam stance risk souring attitudes toward Muslims.

"They only number 45,000, they've never done anything wrong. Why let someone stir up division and hatred in your country."

Galloway says New Zealand is one of the most united countries he has seen and we should work to keep it that way.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Harawira cooking with gas now - latest criticisms right on...

Harawira cooking with gas now - latest criticisms right on the mark...

MP Hone Harawira last night pleaded for moves to fix impoverished housing in Northland, contrasting Government inaction with the "middle-class shock" over leaky homes. The Maori Party also said the criticism he received after calling Australian Prime Minister John Howard a "racist bastard" last week might have been right. "Maybe I should have been firing my bullets closer to home". It might, he said, respond to the desperate needs in those homes where there was no bathroom, where a long-drop toilet hid behind a shabby wooden floor, where the wind whistled through paper-thin walls and ill-fitting windows and doors, where there was no heating or hot water cylinder, and where the only tap that worked was a cold one. Of course the Government needed to move heaven and hell to look like they were doing something – ANYTHING to appease home owners burnt by the incompetence of a greedy housing boom that didn’t bother to question building practices, however people in poverty living in sub standard housing has no one bothering to lift a finger. Point well made Mr Harawira.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Foreshore and seabed repeal bid fails as it should...

Foreshore and Seabed repeal to fail as it should:

The Maori Party says it's disappointed National will not support its bid to repeal seabed and foreshore law; all New Zealanders should be pleased it has failed.

The Maori Party is frustrated it will not have the support of National for its bid to repeal the seabed and foreshore law.

National has reconfirmed its opposition to any repeal of the law, meaning a private member's bill drafted by the Maori Party will fail.

Co-leader Tariana Turia says the Maori Party is incredibly disappointed with the position National has taken, given it was a chance to open the issue to discussion with all New Zealanders. She is disappointed National has not had the courage to provide leadership on the matter.

Mrs Turia says they Maori Party had fully expected National to support the repeal bill because its central issue was property rights, due process and access to justice. She says National has gone around the country talking about one law for all, equal access to justice, yet on this particular issue is prepared to treat Maori differently to other New Zealanders.

Maori have never owned the foreshore and seabed anyway. Quite frankly how can anybody own land belw the high watermark anyway.

This is a good subject for another post in the future.

Monday, July 9, 2007

NZ airports test for explosives - NZ Herald story...

Good story below - compliments of the NZ Herald:

NZ airports to test flyers for explosives
Page 1 of 2 View as a single page 5:00AM Monday July 09, 2007
By David Eames
NZ Herald

New security measures are planned for New Zealand airports. Photo / Kenny Rodger
Is this a sensible move or an over-reaction?
Send us your views

Read your views

Passengers at New Zealand airports will be tested for explosives, and security officers are set to be given new sweeping search and seizure powers. "Trace detection" testing will see passengers routinely taken at random and tested for traces of explosives on their carry-on bags, and documents.

The measure - initially planned only for US-bound flights - is expected to be in place for all international passengers by August 1.

And it is understood Air New Zealand has also investigated fitting its fleet of 747-200 and 767-300 aircraft with security camera systems that would allow the flight crew to monitor passengers.

Aviation Security Service general manager Mark Everitt yesterday told the Herald trace detection testing - already employed overseas - would involve "continuous random testing" and would not delay flight departure times.

About 10 million people are expected to go through some type of security screening at New Zealand's airports this financial year, and it was important the testing required "minimal intervention ... because that's why we like living in New Zealand", he said.

AdvertisementThe test will be able to identify the exact type of explosive.

Mr Everitt said he was satisfied the innovations were sufficient to meet "the current safety threat", which had not changed in the past week, despite the failed terrorist attacks in London and at Glasgow Airport and links to doctors in Australia.

A tender process has been run, and the cost of the service - which Mr Everitt described as commercially sensitive - would be covered by existing national and domestic levies.

The move is the latest in a series of security features implemented in the past 18 months to fulfil New Zealand's international security obligations.

Other measures include the routine screening of all hold baggage from January 1 last year and the compulsory plastic bagging of liquid aerosols and gels from March 31 this year.

There has also been an increase in the number of explosives sniffer dogs on duty in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch since their introduction about 10 years ago, Mr Everitt said.

"The dog's nose will tell us there's an explosive, the baggage detection will tell us there's a bomb, and the trace detection will tell us what type of explosive."

And airport staff could be in for as tough a time as passengers under legislation due for a second reading in Parliament.

Changes to aviation security laws could see the background screening and searching of airport employees, security staff given the power to order the removal of outer garments during passenger searches, and a requirement airlines not carry anyone refusing to be searched.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My Kiwi Riverman weblog team...

My Kiwi Riverman weblog team:

Why not visit and read some interesting posts. You are invited!

Kiwi Riverman: http://kiwiriverman.blogspot.com General posts

Pete's Kiwi Forum: http:// peteskiwiforum.blogspot.com NZ politics

Down by the Huttriver: http://peter-petterson.blogspot.com NZ local politics

Huttriver 8: http://huttriver8.blogspot.com Kiwiana

See you some time?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Government is to be lauded for its proposal to ban unhealthy food in school tuck shops

The Government is to be lauded for its proposal to ban unhealthy food in school tuck shops - a joint initiative from Health and Education ministries.

New Zealand like most other western countries is facing an obesity epidemic in the future. Initiatives are needed for all New Zealanders' health, adult as well as children. Education of the nation's eating habits is a vital necessity - take away food has become part of regular diets instead of being considered as just a quick meal for families at certain times. Parents have become ignorant or just downright lazy!

Some children are so used to KFC or Mcdonalds they don't even know what real food tastes like. Controls on school tuck shops is a good beginning. Compulsory physical education that used to be part of the school curriculum should be reintroduced. School sports is another area which should be encouraged. A couple of generations ago all New Zealand children were involved in some sporting activity at some level or another. Perhaps teachers can be encouraged back to coaching sports teams outside of school hours by paying them well.

There is no doubt that the shameful profit orientated attitude of the National Government in the 1990's affected what schools sold in their tuck shops. They didn't really care what the standard of food was being sold, fatty meat pies and sugary cream buns etc. The kids liked them but it didn't do much for their health, considering the lack of exercise older school children have had in recent decades. Even younger children who once were on the go all the time are now getting obese and preferring to sit behind computers and TV's playing computer games.

There is now a chance, as long as parents and the rest of society support the Government's health and education initiatives; but I suspect that the rampant right wing obsession during the last year or so of inanely attacking every government policy and initiative regardless will make it difficult to succeed. Our kids could die under a National Party administration which is still obsessed with profits and the accumalation of wealth. We can avoid that by re-electing a Labour Government next year. Lets start by supporting the government now!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Key wants, smells, tastes power- he's dangerous...

Key wants,smells,tastes power - he's dangerous...

These polls are just what they are- polls. But they have to be a "wake up" call for Labour. Key is in a honeymoon period. This guy is not stupid like Brash. He's serious and extremely dangerous - he wants, smells, tastes and is after power!

He does not oppose Labour's policies, such as Kiwisaver, anti-nuclear, environmental in general, in privatisation - not in their first term. But let me tell you that they intend to bring in Employment law that will make the ECA seem like kindergarten rules - employees will be like servants during the first six months of new employment. Any gains that unions have made in the last three terms will be stymied by new law.

Expert: Polls no honeymoon period
Massey University political marketing expert says move towards National and its leader John Key cannot be written off as honeymoon period

28 May 2007
A political marketing expert says Labour has good reason to be worried about its sharp slip in the polls.

In Saturday's Herald-DigiPoll 50.9 percent of decided voters support National. Last night's One News/Colmar-Brunton survey gave National 56 percent support and Labour 31 percent.

National leader John Key says the polls show New Zealanders are tired of Labour's direction. But he says polls are ultimately a snap shot of a horse race that has not finished and there is plenty of work to do yet. Mr Key says there is no room for complacency or arrogance.

Prime Minister Helen Clark says it is simply mid-term blues, which Labour has had before, and as recently as when Don Brash was appointed National leader. She says Mr Key is in a honeymoon period and she is not depressed about the polls.

Massey University political marketing expert Dr Claire Robinson says the move towards National and its leader John Key cannot be written off as his honeymoon period. She says new research has shown the earlier people make up their minds, the better news it is for National.

"We can predict that National support will rise if voters make their decision early. We can also see that minor party support tends to decline, the sooner voters make up their mind."

Dr Robinson says the shift in voter thinking is significant because once people have put in the effort to decide who they will vote for, they do not tend to think about it much again until the election campaign. She says when the election campaign comes along they take another look at their choice.

"As long as National stays doing things right, there will not be much need for people to reflect on their decision and change their mind. But National still has an opportunity to go belly-up like it did in 2005."

Dr Robinson says Labour still has an opportunity to drag itself up in the election campaign, but it will have to come up with something new.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Electors not pollsters decide the future of governments...

John Key and the National Party are soaring to great heights in the latest opinion polls, it has been claimed. Is that right? Just where are they soaring to? Electors not pollsters decide the future of governments in parliamentary democracies.

Electors have rejected the National party in the last three elections. So what went wrong there? Was it purely because of the leaders the National Party had at the time? Bill English and Don Brash? Granted that John Key is light years from Don Brash as a leader; but Brash brought National very close in the last election result, after Bill English, the new Finance spokesman in the current Key shadow government, was mutilated in the elections previously.

Before you all get carried away and get yourselves measured for blue suits next year, let me remind you that it is actually all about perceptions, and...policies.

The Labour led Government is in the process of governing New Zealand in the best possible manner according to its philosophies, not tryng to get itself elected after three terms in opposition.

Apart from all its rejected New Right policies, all National has going is obsessive tax reductions. Labour has been building and creating an economy and a fair society - and it will continue building on that in the future. Forget all the trite comments about social engineering from right wing critics - just what the hell is social engineering anyway? Social evolution has been occurring for ever and occurs throughout western societies. There are reasons for social change and evolution will never be halted by Christian fundamentalist factions who believe social minorities have no human rights at all. As they say, politics has no place in religion, and vice versa!

Until later! Enjoy the honeymoon, Johnboy.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The 2007 Budget - the aftermath - the political comments...

The 2007 budget - the aftermath the political comments...

Michael Cullen and John Key:

Key: it is a money-go round budget
Michael Cullen is defending compulsory employer KiwiSaver contributions; Nats leader says Dr Cullen has failed as Finance Minister

17 May 2007
The Finance Minister is defending his decision to introduce compulsory employer contributions to the KiwiSaver scheme.

Under the budget Michael Cullen has unveiled this afternoon, employees will get a tax credit of up to $20 a week. There will also be compulsory matching employer contributions from April next year.

Dr Cullen says the rate of employer contributions will increase by one percent each year until they reach four percent. He denies employers will feel resentful, saying the costs to them are quite small and many were moving to thinking about providing employer contributions anyway.

National leader John Key is labelling it the "money go round budget", pointing out that while business is getting a billion dollars in tax cuts it is losing another two billion elsewhere. He says instead of a tax cut, Aucklanders are getting a tax increase in the form of a petrol tax to pay for rail electrification. He says it is also clear workers will not get a pay increase for years, because of the compulsory employer contributions to KiwiSaver. Mr Key says he has received advice that 50 percent of workers will not take the KiwiSaver scheme up, because they cannot afford to.

Big business is also unimpressed. Business Roundtable executive director Roger Kerr says while a reduction in corporate tax from 33 to 30 percent is welcomed, it is not going to stop Kiwis heading across the Tasman for better wages. He says the tax reduction is a baby step.

Mr Kerr says there is nothing in the budget to contribute to productivity. With a growth rate of 2.5 percent predicted over the next four years compared with Australia's four percent, Mr Kerr says the income gap between the two countries is set to widen.

The National leader says Dr Cullen has failed as Finance Minister. Mr Key shouted across Parliament that he now no longer cares who presents next year's budget for the Government.

"I do not not know whether it will be Michael Cullen show reads Budget 2008 and I do not care. Because I know who will read Budget 2009 and it is going to be Bill English. And is going to be a lot better budget than that."

His criticism has been dismissed by Prime Minister Helen Clark, who labelled Mr Key a lightweight and said his budget response speech "makes a bird bath look deep".

Monday, May 14, 2007

Employment figures at record low since Labour has been in office...

The Govt. is ecstatic about its employment record - figures have dropped to 26,000 down from 161,000 at its peak.

Assoc. Employment Minister Ruth Dyson claims a generation of New Zealanders who have no knowledge of unemployment. This has to be a positive thing. It means there may not be any inclination for the unemployed to seek a benefit rather than toughing it out finding a job.

The Government claims it has nipped unemployment in the bud. It must build on that. Work and Income should return to having job bulletins in its offices for unemployed people to casually inspect. In fact employment should be returned to a Labour Department responsibility. Income should then be returned to a new Income Support responsibility. The Work and Income Department should be split and disbanded. It is a National Party created social monstrosity designed to subject unfortunate New Zealanders to its authoritarian style of welfare management.

Associate Employment Minister Ruth Dyson says New Zealand is nearing a point of having a generation who will not know about unemployment. She says since Labour has been in office, the number of people on the unemployment benefit has dropped from 161,000 to just over 26,000.That is certainly great news for the country.

She says the cycle of unemployment has finally been broken with those fresh out of school, heading into proper training, apprenticeships and jobs, instead of onto the dole. The Government's new apprenticeship scheme is certainly successful.

Ms Dyson says despite an aging population, the total number of beneficiaries has dropped 35 percent in the last seven years.

The Government needs to discover why so many other people are on sickness or invalid benefits. They need to encourage employers to take on physically and intellectually handicapped people who are capable of working into their workforces on minimum wages at least.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Labour doesn't govern by popularity polls - John Key honeymoon will soon be over...

National has announced it has dropped its opposition to the Kyoto protocol and will cut climate change emissions by 50% by 2050. Well I hope it keeps its word. Apart from the fact it probably won't be in government much of that period now that we have a well established MMP electoral system, many of us won't be alive in 2050. Rhetoric, John, rhetoric! With countries like Australia and the US who didn't support the Kyoto protocol initially, now having to support policies to cut climate change emissions.

So National finally has a leader who has overtaken an overworked Labour prime minister, Helen Clark, in the polls. She should have been struggling for quite a while now, considering the flack the government has taken on a variety of fronts.The only real poll comes on election day, and this government, led by New Zealand's best prime minister in decades,doesn't govern by popularity polls.

Just how many times will Key and National get away with their backflipping on the Kyoto protocol, Kiwisaver, income- related State Housing rents, and most likely, student loans. The Government has to deal with the anti-smacking debate, interest rates, the high dollar and now, with tax cuts because Australia has done so in its election budget. I have confidence in Michael Cullen's econonomic management and his reasons why a small tax cut will do little to help Kiwi workers. The Working for Family policy is working its way through the economy now and will help most families more than some small tax cuts. I say small because that is all National has given in the past and would be able to give in the future if NZ voters were stupid enough to vote them into power.

The National Party cannot position itself in the middle of the political spectrum in New Zealand politics because it is still a strongly right wing party. John Key simply does not have a credible vehicle to drive to electoral victory. Look at the people he is surrounded by - all previously badly defeated New Right economic, social and industrial relations apologists. All I can say to John Key is to make the most of his little political honeymoon because future polls will be questioning his credibility. It will take the pressure off Helen Clark a little, and let her concentrate on working for the New Zealand people, not the little gnomes and gnomelets who have prospered since market economics became established in Newe Zealand.
National has announced it has dropped its opposition to the Kyoto protocol and will cut climate change emissions by 50% by 2050. Well I hope it keeps its word. Apart from the fact it probably won't be in government much of that period now that we have a well established MMP electoral system, many of us won't be alive in 2050. Rhetoric, John, rhetoric! With countries like Australia and the US who didn't support the Kyoto protocol initially, now having to support policies to cut climate change emissions.

So National finally has a leader who has overtaken an overworked Labour prime minister, Helen Clark, in the polls. She should have been struggling for quite a while now, considering the flack the government has taken on a variety of fronts.The only real poll comes on election day, and this government, led by New Zealand's best prime minister in decades,doesn't govern by popularity polls.

Just how many times will Key and National get away with their backflipping on the Kyoto protocol, Kiwisaver, income- related State Housing rents, and most likely, student loans. The Government has to deal with the anti-smacking debate, interest rates, the high dollar and now, with tax cuts because Australia has done so in its election budget. I have confidence in Michael Cullen's econonomic management and his reasons why a small tax cut will do little to help Kiwi workers. The Working for Family policy is working its way through the economy now and will help most families more than some small tax cuts. I say small because that is all National has given in the past and would be able to give in the future if NZ voters were stupid enough to vote them into power.

The National Party cannot position itself in the middle of the political spectrum in New Zealand politics because it is still a strongly right wing party. John Key simply does not have a credible vehicle to drive to electoral victory. Look at the people he is surrounded by - all previously badly defeated New Right economic, social and industrial relations apologists. All I can say to John Key is to make the most of his little political honeymoon because future polls will be questioning his credibility. It will take the pressure off Helen Clark a little, and let her concentrate on working for the New Zealand people, not the little gnomes and gnomelets who have prospered since market economics became established in Newe Zealand.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Bob Jones just a crass, bigotted, biased, foolish old pensioner...

Bob Jones is a crass, bigotted, foolish old pensioner...

I don't accept the legitimacy of knighthoods for people like Bob Jones,Roger Brierley or Roger Douglas. - they only received their titles for making money and their service to capitalism and the market - not New Zealand society or the average Kiwi in the street. As a consequence their titles shouldn't be used.

Bob Jones is just a crass, bigotted, biased , foolish old pensioner who has never made a positive contribution to New Zealand society, except when he lives overseas. Just a wheeler, dealer devotee to the god of mammon and the free market.

I remember the reports years ago of him assaulting a traffic cop because he didn't appreciate being given a ticket by an idiotic traffic cop. Yeah right! And on state television we watched the aftermath of Bob Jones assaulting a television reporter because he interfered with Bob Jones'privacy. Jones hit him in the face and gave him a bloody nose.

The man was obviously out of control like some interbred pitbull, protected by his millions, which he will use to try and intimidate anybody that he, Jones, thinks is threatening him.

He always publicly insulted or put down those he disagreed with personally, or politically, or those lesser mortals that this Naenae College educated, punch drunk, third rated boxer considered. Such an example was his election campaign to bring about the downfall of the Robert Muldoon( another undeserved knighthood)National Government, not because he really supported the Labour Party.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Tariana Turia, Maori Party co-leader is condemned for her inane comments that...

Tariana Turia,Maori Party co-leader is condemned for her inane comments that the Mongrel Mob and Black Power gangs were not criminal. How bloody stupid! Gangs are there for one reason only - for criminal purposes and when somebody joins a gang they become criminals by association. They can join a youth club if they want to feel wanted!

Turia is always making a fool of herself because of her continual 'foot in mouth' comments. She has now been branded as an apologist for the gangs. Her comments were made after the fatal drive-by shooting in Wanganui which resulted in the death of a young child in her family home. The war of words since has brought strong rebukes across the political divide.

Police Association president Greg O'Connor furiously criticised her when she compared gangs with the police; although criminologist Greg Newbold said not everybody joining a gang embarked on a criminal career. Really? Most gang prospects have to prove themselves to earn their gang patches. What by helping old ladies across the street? Don't be bloody naive and stupid.

I support the Prime Minister Helen Clark's comments that while Mrs Turia was trying to defuse the situation, her comments were way out of line.I quote the PM." The gangs are criminal organisations. That's what distinguishes them from other, normal,legal organisations. Gangs cause a tremendous amount of misery in the community and I don't think its appropriate for anybody to be making excuses for them." Here, here!

She also said that it was an appalling analogy to compare gangs with police. Mr O'connor also said it was totally unacceptable, silly and irresponsible for somebody purporting to represent the interests of Maori, to ignore the fact that the biggest victims of Maori gangs are other Maori.

Maori Affairs Minister,Parekura Horomia said gangs practised criminal activity and must be "exited' from Maori culture. National MP, Chester Borrows, who is planning a bill to ban gang patches in Wanganui City, also condemned Mrs Turia's inane comments.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

No reason to vote for National, Labour is managing NZ well...

There is no reason to vote for National, Labour is managing NZ well, despite all the anti-government rhetoric! National doesn't have any leadership - apart from boys wanting to do a man's job: Batman and Robin! Boy wonders, Johnny and Billy? Yeah right!

National doesn't have any new policies other than regurgitated New Right failed policies rejected by New Zealanders in 1999 and ever since. But lets get serious and comment on the Key rhetoric, the Clayton's policies when you have none!

I don't know what Key meant in his published address in today's Dominion Post newspaper in relation to relitigating history. We have had some great things in the past that we have to remember and, obviously, some we would wish to forget. We somtimes have to look back to go forward and not make those same mistakes: electing Muldoon 1975-84; Bolger and Shipley 1990-99. These were watershed years in relation to future economic policies.Borrow and hope with Muldoon, and the 'Mother of all Budgets' with Bolger and Richardson.

In some respects John Key is right, the future is centred around the economy, education and the environment - but he left out health which is just as important and of course, employment. Global warming will be an important subject for the Labour led Government during the next ten or so years, and the Leader of the Opposition, John Key, will be able to make important contributions in that area, considering the amount of hot wind that emanates from the National caucus.

Helen Clark has not lost her mojo, John Key.You haven't been around long enough to have one. Her popularity continues to rise. She is halfway through her third term; that in itself is quite an achievement.She has had many difficut problems to overcome which she has dealt with in a professional manner, despite all the rhetoric of the rightwing opposition and its fellow travellers who are widespread and varied.

Labour hasn't lost the pulse of the New Zealand people. Labour is continuing to deal with the various problems that exist to help lift New Zealanders up the ladder; the labels are as irrelevant as the National Party is to New Zealand and New Zealanders.The Government's Working for Families policy will help New Zealand families, as will the tax policy in the budget to assist NZ businesses.

I see absolutely no reason why there should be a change of government; there is no real alternative in any case. National? Yeah right! As they alway said, Labour governs and National rules!

Many of the problems of yesteryear have not been dealt with - there is still no real industrial democracy, especially in the private sector; Labour should have totally scrapped the fascist Employment Contracts Act and gone back to the original industrial legislation, not amend it with the present insipid Employment Relations Act. New Zealand workers still have battles to fight and win; such as regaining double time overtime rates as of right!

There are still challenges ahead; there are the forces of the unholy rightwing alliance to overcome - the New Right economic policies of the National and Act parties and the social policies espoused by the various fundamentalist Christian sects which are as dangerous as those of its Islamic counterparts.

Until next time!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Could the answer be a rewrite of Section 59? Any need for new legislation?

Labour sticks to its guns - John Key looking for some traction. Just what exactly is National's position on the anti-smacking bill. What is it's bottom line? Is it just a case of Key sitting on the fence - hardly statesmanship material. Could the answer be just a rewrite of Section 59? Any need for new legislation?

Labour sticks to its guns on smacking:

A proposal from John Key for all party talks on the smacking issue has met with a cool response from Labour
18 April 2007 Labour remains convinced Sue Bradford's bill aimed at preventing violence against children is the best option on the table.It, along with the Greens, has been challenged by National Leader John Key to a round table discussion to find a solution to the contention over the repeal of section 59 of the Crimes Act.Cabinet Minister David Benson-Pope describes National's suggestion as confusing and vague, but says it does appear John Key's position now mirrors that of the Government. He says it is time Mr Key got off the fence, showed leadership, and sent some real messages to New Zealanders about his party's attitude to violence.He says it is up to John Key to provide a better idea than that reached by the Select Committee which has worked on the Bradford bill. And he has taken the unusual step of commenting on a live criminal case to prove his point.A Timaru woman, previously acquitted for using a horsewhip to discipline her son, is back before the Courts again. Her case has been consistently cited by supporters of the Bradford bill. This time she and her husband are charged with assaulting her second eldest son.David Benson-Pope says the case highlights the connection between violence against young people and family violence.For his part, the National leader is stopping short of saying his party would repeal the law if it wins the 2008 election. However he says they would pay close attention to a referendum, if the Bill's opponents manage to muster the numbers for one.But Mr Key says it is difficult to commit to being completely bound by a referendum, as they do not know what support partners might bring them into Government, and what their views on the issue might be.United Future has chimed in as well, describing the olive branch being offered by National as commonsense. Leader Peter Dunne says the move might just provide a way through what has become a bitter and polarised debate.He says he would be keen to be involved in the process but believes it should be restricted to political parties only, with no involvement from lobby groups.

Monday, April 16, 2007

A National leopard can't change its blue spots - it is the same...

It would be very, very easy just to slag off the National Party for pure political and ideological reasons, but I have come to detest that party and what it represents - not what it stands for, because I don't think it actually knows anymore.

Three terms under that little gnome of New Zealand politics, Robert David Muldoon, a nasty vindictive little man in anybody's language, just about destroyed New Zealand's economy - he knew it all, nobody could tell him anything. He was the closest thing NZ had to a dictator. But he did, surprisingly, have a soft spot for our senior citizens, and used it politically at times. 1975- 84.

Three terms under National with Jim Bolger and Jenny Shipley nearly destroyed New Zealand, socially; could there have ever been a more fascist piece of legislation than the Employment Contracts Act ( Sid Holland's Emergency Regulations during the 1951 Waterside Lockout may have been, but were temporary) which was designed to emasculate and hamstring the trade union movement to such a degree it hasn't recovered yet in the private sector; to reduce real wages and conditions; and to create flexibility for the employing class with thousands of full time jobs being lost in months, being replaced with temporary and part time jobs; mature workers in general suffered more than most under that legislation and have never fully recovered despite the propoganda to the contary . The words "union or unionist" didn't appear once in the ECA, being replaced by some obscure American terminology as "bargaining agent". In fact it was an American type of legislation written by lawyers with no experience in the industrial sector; it became known as employment law. There is more that could be said, and will be said at a later time.The outcome of this legislation has outlived those who created it - the present Employment Relations Act created by the Labour led Governmnt only really amended the ECA It should have thrown that legislaton along with the National Governmet into the garbage can of history and started again. 1990-99.

John Key and the National Party would have us believe that they have become some centralist party which genuinely cares for the NZ underclass and the less well off in our society? Yeah right! Pigs might fly too. National would be a wolf in sheeps clothing!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Exclusive Brethren could be as dangerous as Islamic fundamentalists...

The Exclusive Brethren sect could be as dangerous as Islamic fundamentalists - they are all tarred with the same arrogant and ignorant disrespect for democratic government. The E.B's could be described as traitors to New Zealand law and order, and the democratically elected government. The SIS should closely watch them all and inform the government of the day what is happening out there!

Despite claiming to be non-political and never voting at elections at any level in New Zealand, it is obvious that this sect, supporters of the NZ National Party and right wing politics here, intend to repeat their covert activities again the duly elected government of New Zealand - except they are now not so covert.

Angry criticism from the EB sect about Labour's proposed electoral reform has apparently prompted an equally stinging attack from the Government.

The seven men from the fundamentalist religious sect - not even a religion to speak of, which claims to be non-political, who ran an anti-government and Greens Party campaign at the last election, say the plan to restrict third party advertising is designed to defraud democratic rights, something ridiculed by the Government and any right thinking New Zealanders. Such claims are a load of unadulterated crap, to say the least!

Justice Minister, Mark Burton, said the proposal is to inject some transparency into the electoral process, and rightly so ! The Exclusive Brethren have no credibility and their claims should be treated with the proverbial grain of sand. Their involvement is not wanted in the New Zealand political scene or process. They are political pariahs in New Zealand.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Sucking up to the Chinese Government - that's National Party behaviour

Sucking up to the Chinese Government - that's National Party behaviour! They suck up to all foreigners like fawning little plonkers! Don't follow suit, Labour!

The mayors of the various Auckland cities were invited to attend a stage show by a visiting troupe of US based Chinese dancers, the"Divine Performing Arts".

It was reported in the media that the Chinese Consulate had rang the mayors and "asked" them not to attend. Why?

The troupe allegedly included Falun Gong practitioners; an organisation banned in China because it opposes the Communist Party, and rightly so; something the West used to ban as well. Times have changed. So much for the freedom of the Press in China, the Dalai Lama, democracy, Tibet independence. But we have freedom of the Press and democracy in this country of our's. Who the bloody hell do the Chinese think they are in influencing our local politicians to fall in behind their beliefs. Remember the New Zealand based Chinese journalist pushed out by police in the Behive; there was mention of Falun Gong there too!

Perhaps the real reason was the troupe included effeminate looking dancers which wasn't a good look for China with prancing men all over the place? Better to say they were Falun gong practitioners. LOL

I hope the Clark Government has a bit of intestinal fortitude and tells the Chinese we won't put up with just anything to get a Free Trade agreement. In any case it is FAIR TRADE that is required around the world, not free trade.

Monday, April 2, 2007

The PM tells it like it is. Rickards rise through the police force was as a bully boy! He doesn't deserve a job as a bottle washer in the police canteen. All of NZ, apart from the rightwingers who support the National Party, want to see the back of this disgrace to the NZ Police Force. He should resign forthwith!

PM says Rickard's rise was due to police culture
Helen Clark says Clint Rickards had steady rise through police until he ran into the obstacle of her. And then he went no where fast!

3 April 2007 The Prime Minister claims a police culture of "looking after their own" was the only reason Clint Rickards rose to be Auckland's top cop.The Commission of Inquiry into Police Conduct released today identifies a culture of police turning a blind eye to misdemeanours involving officers.Helen Clark says that is why Clint Rickards had a steady rise through the police until he put his name forward to be a Deputy Commissioner."He then ran into the obstacle of me and the Minister of Police, who on becoming aware of the nature of the allegations (against Mr Rickards) and the fact that they were still circulating, declined to consider forwarding his name to the Governor General for a warrant."Miss Clark says there was clearly a better person for the job.Mr Rickards wants to return to his job as Auckland's district commander after being cleared of historical indecent assault and rape charges.His lawyer John Haig says he is appalled at today's comments from the Prime Minister. Mr Haigh says her statement about his client is wrong and has no validity whatsoever.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Opponents march against the anti-smacking bill...

Opponents march against the bill - Key and National do not gain any traction - too scared to make waves! Government is being consistent even if they are out of kilter with public opinion.!

Hundreds march against anti-smacking bill
Email this storyPrint this story Updated 3:40PM Wednesday March 28, 2007
Anti-smacking bill protesters march into Parliament. Photo / Mark Mitchell
The Smacking Debate
Public opinion says 'no', but Clark and Cullen say 'yes'
Both sides of the smacking argument
Your views on the smacking debate
Hundreds of people, many with children, marched through central Wellington and Christchurch today in protest at Green MP Sue Bradford's anti-smacking bill.
An estimated 2000 protestors braved a wet, wintry lunchtime in Christchurch to march from Victoria to Cathedral Square.
In Wellington, placard-carrying demonstrators marched from Civic Square at midday, headed for Parliament where MPs were due to continue debating the bill this afternoon.
Before the march started there were verbal clashes between pro and anti supporters of the bill but police quickly stepped in to defuse any trouble.
One observer estimated that the anti-smacking bill protesters numbered more than 500.
Prime Minister Helen Clark earlier confirmed Labour was discussing with other political parties the possibility of introducing Sue Bradford's private member's bill as a Government bill.
That would see the bill go to a vote within days rather than weeks. The move follows Labour's decision to withdraw a bid to have the bill heard under urgency.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Anti-smacking bill comes under attack from the public...

Anti-smacking bill comes under under attack from the public!

The New Zealand Government has apparently backed down a little by not forcing Parliament into urgency to debate the anti-smacking bill as a public backlash mounts againts the proposed legislation.Leaders of the minor parties were contacted by the leader of the House of Representatives that the Government was withdrawing its request for urgency, which would have forced Parliament to sit until the legislation was passed.The decision was made because of opposition to the bill and research which shows that an overwhelming number of New Zealanders oppose the Greens bill outlawing physical punishment, which opponents say would open the floodgates to prosecutions for smacking children.The bid for urgency was causing too much angst among the various minor parties which the Government was having discussions with.There are calls to make it a real conscience vote, not forcing MPs to vote on party lines, on both sides of the political divide.Opinion polls claim that about 80% oppose the bill which could be unforceable. It is also claimed the proposed legislation was not necessary - as police cannot get successful prosecutions under existing laws because case precedents have been developed so parents who assault their children with things such as riding crops can get off scot free, there are suggestions to amend existing laws.The bill returns to Parliament tomorrow for further debate. The result of the bill does not appear cut and dried as it did just days ago.

The National Party opposition is not really gaining much traction because the bill is under immense public pressure at present.

Friday, March 23, 2007

State school funding - confusion!

State school funding - confusion!

Section 3 of the Education Act 1989 states that "every person who is not a foreign student is entitled to free education at any state school".

The Education Minister, Steve Maharey, stated that the Government provides schools with the necessary funds to deliver a safe curriculum as well as a safe environment for students and to meet the educating goals.

Parental donations are required only to fund extras such as school magazines and dances. It should be pointed out to schools that there is no legal provision for " school fees".

Since the Labour led Government took office in 1999 state funding increased from $3.8 billion dollars to $5.6 billion dollars.

Donations are legally voluntary. The Education ministry regularly reminds schools that they cannot make attendance conditional on the payment of schools.; although principals are adamant schools could not function without fees.

Schools will not be allowed to set compulsory fees - as significant number of parents are poor schools will not be forcing parents to pay these fees if they cannot afford them. No pressure should be put on parents to pay them on the drip-feed method, either. If parents are put in this position they should complain directly to the Education ministry.

Fees allegedly only make up 9% of schools income. Why then is so much pressure placed on parents? Schools do not appear to regularly run the cake stalls and fairs as they used to traditionally. Yet schools claim they need fees to assist all facets of running schools.

What has gone wrong? Are schools wasting funding on unnecessary expenditure. Sports and other activities are financed by special seperate activity fees, which are accepted by parents as being necessary in most cases.

One thing that simply amazes and confuses me a little, is that stated owned and funded secondary schools are permitted to set their own curriculum ie NCEA etc.

Don't expect any support from the National Party - they are totally politically motivated and only interested in finding ways to criticise Government policies, not looking for positive alternatives here!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Anti-smacking bill to become law in a month...

Anti-smacking bill to become law in a month...

The anti-smacking bill which has created controversial debate in New Zealand, should be passed into law within a month after it received support from the minority Maori Party's four MPs.Opinion polls and talk back shows appear not to support the bill. Opponents have claimed it will take away parents rights to discipline their children. Proponents say it is necessary but will still give enough for parents to protect their children from themselves.A mother rang up a talk back show crying because she can only control her seriously ADHD affected son by giving him a smack; timeout doesn't work and he trashes the room when he is there on his own. Many children like this boy just don't understand what is said to them!Filebusting by an independent MP has only delayed the inevitable it seems - he introduced 5o amendments that had to be debated and voted on. This bill is to become law!Police chiefs are in the process of setting guidelines on how they will handle complaints about parents smacking children - the parents will have to be charged with assault if police accept there are charges to answer.
PM's change of heart creates some adverse comment. John Key's comments typically insipid.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Police image taking big hit - Rickards should resign, has no future in force.

Police image is taking a big hit from not guilty police sex trial. Clint Rickards has no future in the force - he should resign to stop further deterioation in the image of the police with the NZ public.

Police let marchers go on
Wellington police say they will take a "low key stance" to march taking place- officers called rapists and station hit by graffiti
8 March 2007 Wellington police say they are aware of today's march to protest the outcome of the police sex trial, but they will be "taking a low key stance" towards it unless it gets out of hand.Officers already report being called rapists while going about their duties and Wellington's central police station has been targeted with graffiti .A protest march will pass both the police station and the District Court . Organisers of the march say they are angry at the outcome of the trial and what they claim is an unjust justice system. A similar march is being staged in Auckland this evening.Meanwhile, Green MP Sue Bradford is calling on the police to make a public apology for what she calls a culture of violence and abuse of young women which she says ran almost unchecked in some provincial towns in the 1980s.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

False representation by National as usual - DPEP Bill

False representation by National as usual - DPEP Bill. Proves Key is wolf in sheep's clothing!

A group representing people with disabilities is applauding proposed legislation to give disabled workers the minimum wage.The Disabled Person's Employment Promotion Bill will also see disabled workers given formal employment agreements. CCS National Development Manager, Peter Wilson, says the bill is crucial to change some people's views of adequate treatment for such workers.However National MP Paul Hutchinson is being accused of trying to slow the bill through an amendment to ensure no worker is disadvantaged. Carol Beaumont from the Council of Trade Unions says that seems to be a last minute attempt to deny those with disabilities equal rights. She says good work is going on to resolve concerns surrounding the legislation. © 2007 NZCity, NewsTalkZB>> More Business News

If National can cut costs for their friends in the private sector, they will do anything. This smacks of John Keyism. That man cannot be trusted!

Monday, February 26, 2007

National Party want to update their foreign policy...

John Key has announced that he and the National party want to update their foreign policy. Yeah right!

The National Party has done a huge u-turn on foreign policy. Six years ago they condemned the Labour Government for scrapping the RNZAF combat wing which Labour had done for economic reasons more than anything else; the RNZAF has had a long and proud record in combat reaching back to WW2 and the Battle of Britain, for example.

Suddenly they have had a brainwave, they now accept Labour's reasoning behind the decision to scrap the combat wing - New Zealand cannot afford the $200 million annually needed to run a combat wing! What marvellous insight, John Key. Bravo for John. Yeah right!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Cyfswatchnz for your information!

Cindy wants a Social Worker in every home.February 23rd, 2007 by cyfswatchnz
Children’s Commissioner details future vision
Thursday, 26 October 2006, 4:47 pmPress Release: Commissioner For Children
26 October 2006Children’s Commissioner details future vision for New Zealand Children
Speaking at Barnardos New Zealand’s Annual General Meeting today, Children’s Commissioner, Dr Cindy Kiro, outlined her vision for New Zealand children and a proposal to archive this through the introduction of a systematic approach to monitoring child development and supporting families.
“My vision is that every child in New Zealand is safe, nurtured, educated, healthy, and has hope for the future,” said Dr Kiro.
“While we are moving in the right direction with more resources being dedicated to improving the lives and outlook for our children, more needs to be done.”
“Ensuring that children are safe and nurtured, have the resources to develop to their full potential, and have their views considered in matters that affect them, is a fundamental responsibility of governments and communities. It also makes good sense, as it will lead to a better future for all of us. Investments in childhood are most likely to bring good returns to society as a whole. The best results occur when we intervene early in the child’s life before problems become endemic, and also when the likelihood of success is greater.”
“My proposal is Te Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki: Weaving Pathways to Wellbeing which is a 10-year long-term vision for the wellbeing of children in New Zealand. It calls for the establishment of an integrated framework for children and their families. This would provide a systematic approach to monitoring the development of every child and young person in New Zealand through co-ordinated planned assessment at key life stages and supporting families to make sure children have the opportunity to reach their full potential. The assessments would take into account the whole child: their physical, social, educational, emotional, and psychological development.”
“This adopts a life cycle approach, recognising that as children grow there are some key transition times where there is an opportunity to ensure that they have the skills and resources to manage the transition well. Assessment would be at these key life stages. These would include: early childhood focusing on attachment between infant and caregivers and on physical growth and development; primary and secondary school entry focusing on general health, personal identity, school engagement and social wellbeing; and moving to tertiary education or employment and training opportunities and the transition associated with this.”
“The framework would build on current universal health, education and social development services provided to all children and young people in New Zealand and co-ordination between these agencies. Individual plans, owned by the child and held by the family, will be developed in partnership with children and families and each child would have a named primary professional responsible for ensuring the child and family have access to services and advice as needed.”
“The anonymous aggregated data information gathered will also be very useful for educators, health service providers, community planners and child protection services so that they can prepare and plan appropriately for current and future needs.”
“We need to show now that we are serious about building a better future for our children by taking action. Te Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki: Weaving Pathways to Wellbeing is a framework on which to build that future. We need to plan and implement this in a systematic way to ensure that no child falls between the cracks. We need to ensure that the services we currently have can work together in a better way. We need to make this investment in resources, structures and systems and in people. We owe it to our children and to our communities.”
Barnardos New Zealand Chief Executive, Murray Edridge, has welcomed the launch of the Children’s Commissioner’s framework. “Dr Kiro has shown real courage and vision in proposing a long term initiative directed at offering every child the best possible start in life.”
“This is totally consistent with Barnardos own vision which talks about valuing childhood and ensuring that each child’s hope and potential are nurtured.”
“Te Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki will require an enormous commitment of engagement and resources by the government and community, but what better investment can there be than offering all our children the opportunity to be the best that they can be. This is an investment in the future of New Zealand.”
Mr Edridge called on those of all political persuasions, government agencies, community and corporate sector organisations, and members of the public to support this initiative.
“We need to stop children falling through the gaps. This framework has the potential to start dealing credibly with the real issues facing New Zealand’s children and their families and I hope others will work with us to make it happen.”
For more information see attached and http://www.occ.org.nz
TE ARA TUKUTUKU NGA WHANAUNGATANGA O NGA TAMARIKI: WEAVING PATHWAYS TO WELLBEING – AN INTEGRATED FRAMEWORK FOR CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIESOverviewTe Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki provides a systematic approach to monitoring development of every child and young person in New Zealand, and supporting families to make sure children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.
The vision underpinning Te Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki is that every child in New Zealand is safe, nurtured, educated, healthy, and has hope for the future.
In practical terms the framework aims to ensure that families are supported within their communities to help children thrive in each of the four domains of physical, emotional, cognitive and social development.
Assessments at key transition or change points will lead to development of individual plans to guide progress through universal services, and to access any additional services that are required.RationaleEnsuring that children are safe and nurtured, have the resources to develop to their full potential, and have their views considered in matters that affect them, is a fundamental responsibility of governments and communities.
An ageing population structure, with increasing economic dependency and caregiver ratios, means that the future productivity of every child and young person is important.Investments in childhood are most likely to bring good returns to society as a whole. Economic modelling shows that the optimum return to investment in human capital occurs in the first years of life. Estimates of the benefit to cost ratio of early childhood intervention for disadvantaged children in the United States are as high 17:1 as by age 40 (i.e. US$17 net benefit to society for every dollar spent.)
Te Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga tamariki will provide accurate information, which is essential to plan well for individual children and families.
The framework will also mean that educators, health service providers, community planners and child protection services have access to anonymous aggregated data so that they can prepare and plan appropriately for current and future needs.Values for successTe Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki will apply to every child, and will mean that physical, emotional, cognitive and social wellbeing is assessed in a consistent way.
The framework will be child-centred, family focused and strengths-based.Details of the framework will need to be developed and implemented with the support and in partnership with children and their families.
The framework allows for early identification of additional needs, which may be met within universal services, and early intervention in the life of a problem where necessary.Planned assessment across domains and sectorsTe Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki adopts a life cycle approach, recognising that as children grow and develop there are some key transition times where it will be wise to have an opportunity to ensure that they have the skills and resources to manage the transition well.
Planned assessment at key life stages, including early childhood, primary and secondary school entry, and moving to tertiary education or employment and training opportunities, is a key component of the framework.
The assessment will take into account the whole child; their physical, social, educational, emotional, and psychological development. Within these domains different factors will be more important depending on the age of the child.
In the early years there is would be a focus on attachment between infant and caregivers, and on physical growth and development. School engagement is important between age five and nine, and at entry to secondary school a review of general health, personal identity and social wellbeing are key issues. The final assessment would focus on preparedness for transition from compulsory education to further education, training or employment.Responsive servicesTe Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki builds on current universal health, education and social development services provided to all children and young people in Aotearoa New Zealand.
The framework expects that individual plans, owned by the child and held by the family, will be developed in partnership with children and families, using strengths-based approaches in a community development paradigm.
For most children their needs will be met within universal education and health services. Each child would have a named primary professional responsible for ensuring the child and family have access to services and advice as needed.
Where additional needs requiring additional social, educational or health services are identified, either through universal service delivery or through planned assessment, a referral will be made. The primary professional will generally remain with the universal service provider, who has responsibility to liaise with the specialist.
Where multiple needs are identified the support provided to the child and their family will be integrated through a lead professional, who has responsibility to collate information and co-ordinate service delivery. A common record will include entries from all practitioners involved, and will continue to be owned by the child and held by the family.Where statutory interventions or specialist intervention are required the integrated service delivery will continue, co-ordinated by a practitioner with statutory or professional responsibility to take the lead professional role.
A key strength of an integrated approach is the potential for all professionals to be working to the same frame of reference. This is, of course, in stark contrast to the silo effect often observed between, and even within, agencies who may be engaged with families but do not co-ordinate their work.
For the framework to function effectively, those involved with a child or family will need to have access to information that helps them to make better decisions. A sound information base is essential if we are going to make sure that every child is safe and protected, enjoys the resources to take an active role in society, and understands and enjoys their human rights.
The clear benefits of sharing integrated information are that each and every social service provider has a clear picture of the child’s experiences, strengths and needs, and can more effectively promote that child’s rights, best interests and welfare.Sharing of information will require trust, shared ownership and commitment, with careful attention to privacy considerations and concerns.ImplementationTe Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki is a 10-year long-term vision for the wellbeing of children in New Zealand.
The framework builds on existing services, supports and capacity. It can be rolled out incrementally, possibly beginning with areas that have high perceived need, or at specific ages, and eventually reaching all children and young people.
Co-located services for children and families are most likely to be accessible, and to foster the community development approach that is a key value of Te Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki.
Workforce development will be an important area of investment in the implementation of Te Ara Tukutuku Nga Whanaungatanga o Nga Tamariki. This workforce development will include additional capacity in terms of assessment, data management, and service co-ordination. The principal investment will need to be in developing the capacity of the existing workforce to implement a whole child approach, use a common assessment framework, and deliver integrated services.
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And Kiwiblogs David Farrar wants to turn us in to the police.February 23rd, 2007 by cyfswatchnz
TVNZ interview on 23/2/07 with http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/ blogger David Farrar.
Posted in CYFSWATCH Media No Comments »
And then after deleting their blog, Google invite CYFSWATCH back to re-post the blog on Google!!February 23rd, 2007 by cyfswatchnz

[February 22, 2007]
Google Shuts Down CYFSWatch Blog
By Raju Shanbhag
TMCnet Contributing Editor
The Internet search giant Google (News - Alert) has finally bowed to pressure from New Zealand authorities and shut down the CYFSWatch blog, which was hosted on Google’s free blogging platform, blogger.com.
Google took this action after the blog posted some death threats to a New Zealand MP. The New Zealand authorities complained to Google repeatedly, which led to the action.
But interestingly, Google still preserves the pages of CYFSWatch blog in its cached search result pages - and one can still view at least the home page of the blog. The blog speaks about New Zealand’s government-run Child Youth and Family (CYF) service, which can remove children from homes for care and protection. The blog had been encouraging people who had to deal with social workers from this program to post personal information about these workers. In January, the Ministry of Social Development, which runs the agency, expressed concern for the safety of its staff and complained to Google. Consequently, Google censored many of the offensive pages but allowed the blog to continue running.
Things took an ugly turn yesterday as New Zealand’s so-called “anti-smacking” bill was ready to go before the Parliament for approval. The bill makes it a crime for parents to hit their children. The blog was critical in particular of MP Sue Bradford, who introduced the bill, calling her a “worthy candidate for NZ’s first political assassination.” Another entry called for her home address to be published on the site. Although Google has shut down the blog, it can still be accessed via another free blogging platform.
CYFSwatch, whose authors have always remained anonymous, issued a statement today saying Google’s action was “a breathtaking display of socialist censorship.”
Meanwhile, the threatened MP, Sue Bradford, said she was happy about Google’s action as it will provide some relief to all the Child, Youth and Family social workers who have been intimidated and threaten by the website. Although the action wouldn’t lift the threat on her life, she says she is not intimidated.
An anonymous posting gave a graphical description of how the writer would like to attack Bradford. The blog also threatened to publish her address if she didn’t pull the proposed bill.
According to Google spokeswoman Victoria Grand, Google had to shut down the CYFSWatch blog because it had a “repeat violation issue.” In its terms of service, Google reserves the right to shut down a blog if it repeatedly violates the rules and regulations set forth by the company. Grand said Google will definitely let the bloggers of CYFSWatch post to a new blog, provided they do not violate the site rules again.
Google’s terms of service prohibit the posting of content that is “unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortuous, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable.”
New Zealand’s parliament will shortly hear the bill’s “second reading” and it is reportedly likely to pass that stage – one of several approvals needed before it can be passed into law.
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How it happened (and should never have happened).February 23rd, 2007 by cyfswatchnz
Google shuts down Cyfswatch website
By Simon Collins
The now pulled Cyfswatch site
Google has shut down the controversial Cyfswatch website because of threats posted on the blog site yesterday against Green MP Sue Bradford.
Google spokeswoman Victoria Grand said the US-based giant had previously censored postings that breached its terms of service but had now closed the site permanently because of “repeat violations”.
She said Google investigated the site when the New Zealand Ministry of Social Development first complained about it last month, and again after the ministry lodged a new complaint about the postings threatening Ms Bradford yesterday.
Cyfswatch said yesterday that it had details of Ms Bradford’s home address and would post them unless she withdrew her “anti-smacking” bill. The bill, removing a defence for parents against assault charges if they used reasonable force to “correct” their children, passed its second reading in Parliament by 70 votes to 51 last night.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Social Development said the ministry would not comment on the site’s shutdown.
Cyfswatch, whose authors have always remained anonymous, issued a statement today saying Google’s action was “a breathtaking display of socialist censorship”.
It said a mirror site was now available.
Google’s terms of service prohibit the posting of content that is “unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libellous, invasive of another’s privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable”.
Posted in CYFSWATCH Media No Comments »
What the police say (aka “The reason Google now look really stupid”)February 23rd, 2007 by cyfswatchnz
Police say website comments not illegal
By MAGGIE TAIT - NZPA Thursday, 22 February 2007
A website that carried a posting by someone who said they wanted to beat up Green Party MP Sue Bradford has been closed.
It was unclear if it the closure of the Cyfswatch website was permanent.
Meanwhile, police have told NZPA that the comments made on the site did not break any laws.
Police diplomatic protection squad Sergeant Ron Lek told NZPA that the posting was written in such a way it skirted breaking the law.
The posting raised the prospect of assassinating the MP, who has a member’s bill before Parliament to remove the right of parents to smack children to correct them.
The legislation takes away the defence of reasonable force against assault of a child under Section 59 of the Crimes Act.
The author says they would like to punch Ms Bradford and break her nose and gave a graphic account about other injuries that would be inflicted.
“We’ve had legal advice to say basically no criminal offence has been committed as yet,” Mr Lek said.
“But we’re obviously concerned as far as the implications in the blog goes.”
Mr Lek said it was not legal to make threats.
“But the way it was worded it was not a direct threat as such. It’s couched in a way it - possibly cleverly or by pure luck - that the person doesn’t commit an offence.”
Mr Lek said police would try find out who was behind the posting.
When asked if security for Ms Bradford had been increased Mr Lek said the DPS do not comment on individual security matters.
Ms Bradford yesterday told reporters she was alarmed at the posting which “details a graphic physical assault on me and asks people to send in my home address”.
“I’ve referred it to the police here at Parliament and I’m quite concerned about my physical safety at this time.”
The website also said it would publish Ms Bradford’s residential address if it was supplied.
The anonymous posting suggests Ms Bradford should be killed.
“Bradford is a worthy candidate for NZ’s first political assassination – I only wish I had the resources to do it.”
The website was set up to criticise Child, Youth and Family Services (CYF) and caused controversy with a “name-and-shame” blog which provided personal information about individual social workers.
Google ordered it to remove some posts that were not compliant with its terms of service.
Ms Bradford said she hoped her address was not in the public domain and she would consider getting protection.
“I’ve asked my secretary to go straight to the Parliamentary police to let them know that I am worried now. I wasn’t before,” she said.
“There have been occasional threats in the past but the fact they are trying to track down my address at the same time as describing a graphic and quite horrible assault on me is distressing at this time in the Parliamentary debate.”
She said the incident reflected the campaign some of her opponents had whipped up around the debate.
“Some of the parents who want to defend the parents right to hit their kids seem quite fanatical and I think this threat against me is the latest manifestation.”
Ms Bradford’s bill passed its second reading last night, to move one step closer to becoming law.
Ms Bradford said she hoped the site had been closed permanently. She had been contacted by other people abused on the site.
“They’re saying to me ‘now you understand how bad it is’,” she told NZPA.
“If that website could be closed down, that would be fantastic. It isn’t just about me.”
Ms Bradford said she was not getting special security at this stage.
“I’m hoping that the emotions that have been aroused will calm down as they realise that the democratic processes of this country need to take place and threatening to kill people is really anathema to democracy.”
Internet commentator David Farrar said he expected that Google, that own the blog host blogspot.com had decided to delete the site.
He said there was no question the latest posts would have breached its terms of service agreement.
It was possible the site’s authors may try get another host.
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What the media say……..February 23rd, 2007 by cyfswatchnz
Website still threatening Bradford
By COLIN ESPINER - The Press Friday, 23 February 2007The authors of a website containing threats against the life of Green MP Sue Bradford say they will publish her home address unless she withdraws her anti-smacking legislation currently before Parliament.
Internet giant Google yesterday pulled the plug on the CYFS Watch website, which for several months has hosted abusive comments about social workers and MPs.
But within hours the site was back on another hosted domain.
CYFS Watch, whose authors will not be identified, issued a statement saying Google’s action was “a breathtaking display of socialist censorship”.
The website said it had details of Bradford’s home address and would post them unless she withdrew her “anti-smacking” bill.
The bill, removing a defence for parents against assault charges if they used reasonable force to discipline their children, passed its second reading in Parliament by 70 votes to 51 on Wednesday night.
Bradford said she had expected further retaliation and would not be withdrawing her bill.
Google removed virtually all the website’s archives around 9am yesterday, leaving only posts relating to missing children. Google spokeswoman Victoria Grand said the United States-based company had previously censored postings that breached its terms of service but had now closed the site permanently because of “repeat violations”.
An anonymous posting opposed to Bradford’s anti-smacking bill said the writer wanted to punch Bradford in the face so hard it broke her nose and jaw, and invited other readers to consider assassinating the MP.
Matters reached a head Wednesday night when more postings referred to the manufacture of a sawn-off weapon and the collection of arms that could be used against Bradford and other MPs who were attempting to overturn section 59 of the Crimes Act.
Yesterday the Watching CYFS website contained several postings vigorously defending its right to publish threats against Bradford and others. However, the previous death threats against Bradford had been removed.
One posting, written by Kiwi1960, complained that Bradford had been “one of us” before she became an MP. “She was a protestor, and an advocate of the Unemployed Workers Union. What she wants to deny us is what she did nearly every week while she was unemployed.
“She knows how the game is played, she knows very well that she didn’t need to feel afraid, but she went on TV saying her life is now in danger, well, that’s one way to get the public behind an unpopular bill she is promoting, like I said, she knows how the game is played.”
Police said yesterday they wanted to speak to the person who posted the comments about Bradford to see what his or her intentions were.
However it appeared the remarks were written in such a way that they skirted breaking the law.
Bradford remained hopeful that her address would not be published. but she would not be threatened.
Posted in CYFSWATCH Media No Comments »
CYFSWATCH Response? Waste of bloody time.February 23rd, 2007 by cyfswatchnz
Unless we missed it, and New Zealand is now a country that has binding referendum, CYFSWATCH believes that this idea is vacuous, feel-good window dressing.
Larry Baldock had his chance in Parliament with United Future - he (and they) blew it by “sleeping with the enemy”.
Now, they are both irrelevant.
Petition offers voice against Bradford billNZ Herald 5:00AM Friday February 23, 2007By Simon Collins
Sheryl Savill says she is ‘defending the way I’ll be raising my children’.New Zealand voters may get the final say on Green MP Sue Bradford’s controversial “anti-smacking” bill if an estimated 303,000 of them sign petitions launched yesterday to force two referendums on the issue.
Howick mother-of-two Sheryl Savill and former United Future MP Larry Baldock seek signatures to hold the two citizen-initiated referendums asking:
* Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?
* Should the Government give urgent priority to understanding and addressing the wider causes of family breakdown, family violence and child abuse in New Zealand?
The Government will have to hold the referendums if the petitions are signed by at least 10 per cent of those on the electoral rolls within a year of the proposals being gazetted.
Clerk of the House David McGee approved the proposals’ wording on Wednesday and expects to advertise them in the Gazette next Wednesday, giving the proponents until February 28 next year to get their signatures.
There were 2,893,017 people on the electoral rolls on January 31 and a further 137,180 people who were believed to be eligible but not enrolled. This means the organisers need the signatures of about 303,000 enrolled electors.
Mr Baldock said he hoped to get as many signatures as possible before the final vote in Parliament on Ms Bradford’s bill, which would remove a defence against assault charges where parents used reasonable force to “correct” their children. The bill passed its second reading in Parliament by 70 votes to 51 on Wednesday.
“We expect the bill is going to carry on until at least May, so we have 2 months to collect the 300,000 signatures,” he said.
He said the first referendum in Mrs Savill’s name, restoring a right to smack as a “correction”, would be dropped if Ms Bradford’s bill was defeated. But the indications yesterday were that the bill would pass narrowly.
Mrs Savill, 37, whose children are 8 and 10, administers a parent education programme called “How to drug-proof your kids” for Focus on the Family, the local branch of a United States-based Christian organisation. Her husband, Philip Savill, is a community constable in Howick.
“I’m a concerned mum. This is defending the way that I’ll be raising my children,” she said.
“I have on occasion used smacking. It’s not the only thing we do, we use a whole variety of things from time-out to withdrawal of privileges. I think it’s something parents should have the choice about.”
She said child abuse was caused by drugs and alcohol, family break-up, poverty and stress - not smacking.
That was why she worked on helping parents keep their children off alcohol and drugs.
“I want to be able to help parents to stop their children going down that track,” she said.
Mr Baldock said the second petition, in his name, showed that the initiative supported constructive alternatives to deal with child abuse, such as television advertising, pre-marriage education on resolving conflict without violence, and more funding for church and community agencies to provide “super-nanny-style” support to parents.
He and fellow MP Gordon Copeland failed in their last attempt to get a citizen-initiated referendum, to repeal the Prostitution Reform Act, in 2004. They gathered more than 200,000 signatures but it was not enough.
This time they are backed by Focus on the Family, Family First, For the Sake of our Children Trust, the Sensible Sentencing Trust and the Vision Network of evangelical churches.
Posted in CYFSWATCH Commentary No Comments »
The CYFSWATCH “blackmail” smear.February 22nd, 2007 by cyfswatchnz
It appears that CYFSWATCH have been erroneously painted by the media as an organisation that is “blackmailing” Sue Bradford, by stating that we intend to publish the address details we have of Sue Bradford, unless she withdraws the anti-smacking bill.
What the media label “blackmail” we call the manifestation of the logical consequence of an intended and undemocratic aggressive action against New Zealand parents and their children.
Sue Bradford says that she refuses to be intimidated by CYFSWATCH - good for her.
Neither will CYFSWATCH be intimidated by Sue Bradford in her attempts to “force” us off the Internet, so, in order to minimise the perception that CYFSWATCH is “blackmailing” Sue Bradford, we have decided to publish the multiple addresses that have been sent to us relating to Sue Bradford, BEFORE the third reading of the anti-smacking bill.
This way, no-one can say that we are metaphorically “holding a gun” to the head of Sue Bradford over this issue.
Watch this space.
Posted in CYFSWATCH Commentary 4 Comments »
Newstalk ZB Interview Questions-and CYFSWATCH answers.February 22nd, 2007 by cyfswatchnz
Rachel Morton (Journalist - Newstalk ZB) 22/1/07What’s prompted you to start this website?
CYFSWATCH was prompted to start this website, as going through what you term “appropriate channels” is a waste of time, as the system set up to call CYFS Social Workers to account is self perpetuating in favour of the CYFS Social Worker, as opposed to their victims (families). For example, if I am a disgruntled parent who is unhappy with a CYFS intervention, my first point of contact is the CYFS Social Worker, then the CYFS Social Workers Supervisor, then the CYFS Branch Manager, then the office of the Children’s Commissioner, then the Ombudsman, and finally, the Minister in charge of the Department. Each step results in systemic rationalisation (and thus approval) of the previous step. When you consider that children have repeatedly died in CYFS care, and that no-one has ever been held to account (except the esoteric “system”), then it is quite clear that going through the appropriate channels is not useful, and that it ultimately costs the lives of the very people CYFS claim they are trying to assist.
Are you aware that you could be charged with defamation for these types of comments?
Defamation is covered within the Law of Tort, and CYFSWATCH believe that you are more specifically referring to Libel. Lawyers charge around $200-$300 per hour for working on such cases, which precedent would suggest are mightly hard to prove. First of all, CYFS would have to decide as to how much they wanted to sue CYFSWATCH for: if under $200,000, they would need to file proceedings in the District Court, and if they wish to sue CYFSWATCH for over $200,000 they would need to issue proceedings in the High Court. However, since 1992, applicants may not nominate an amount of claim if the source of the alleged libel is media based. CYFSWATCH would argue that a blogsite is “media based”. The Court would nominate what they considered to be appropriate damages, should an application for damages be successful. The main defence here lies in the arguement in posts being of “truth and honest opinion” and thus not defamatory. Alternatively, CYFSWATCH could argue qualified priviledge, or we could even argue that a person named on the site has no good character at all, and thus their reputation cannot be defamed. Whatever the issue, CYFSWATCH feels reasonably confident in defending any Statement of Claim should one arise.
Do you feel you’re going too far by asking for photos, personal addresses and car registrations?
CYFS run a system called CYRIS which has a plethora of intensely personal information about 1000’s of families, much of the information of which CYFSWATCH would suggest is way over the top in terms of “what they need to know”. CYFS record every phone call, email, and meeting, without the informed consent of the various parties present. Is that going too far? Besides, if the CYFS Manangent team are so confident that their Social Workers are beyond reproach, then they will have no problem whatsoever in the activities of CYFSWATCH. In the words of Labour Party President Mike Williams, CYFSWATCH believes that sunlight is indeed the best disinfectant. The purpose of calling for as much contact information as possible is to ensure transparency and accountability, two features remarkably absent from the Department of Child, Youth, and Family.
Posted in CYFSWATCH Media No Comments »
Newstalk ZB discovers CYFSWATCH-so does CYFS.February 22nd, 2007 by cyfswatchnz
Newstalk ZB WebsiteWebsite names CYF worker22/01/2007 13:01:31
Child Youth and Family has condemned a new website which is highly critical of the agency’s workers.
The anonymous blog site says it will publish details of staff including home addresses, vehicle registration numbers and photos. So far only one staff member has been named on the site. The site promises to publish uncensored stories which will ‘name and shame’ CYF workers.
A disgruntled parent describes the worker’s physical appearance in unflattering terms and accuses her of erratic and bizarre behaviour when working with families. The department says it is powerless to shut down the site, but it is obviously a concern.
Child Youth and Family general manager of operations Lorraine Williams says social workers deal with danger, violence and anger on a daily basis and continue to turn up to work with the belief they are making a difference in the lives of young people.
She says CYF has been criticised on Internet sites in the past but this is the first time staff members have been named.Ms Williams says the department cannot promise it will always get it right but staff will continue to work hard for children in what is a tough and stressful environment.
Posted in CYFSWATCH Media No Comments »
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