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!