Saturday, May 21, 2022

So many elephants in the room they are becoming unremarkable

In the NZ Herald this morning ex Labour leader sort of congratulates Grant Robertson on his budget spending. Or rather, damns with faint praise really. He writes,

Housing ... not just the supply but also the quality of existing stock — continues to be the elephant in the room to addressing the growing inequity in our society.

Housing is an issue. It is some people's major issue. But...

Set me to thinking. What is mine?

It's twofold. It's stubborn and ignorant repetition of past policies that have never worked. 

And simultaneously charting dangerous territory with the assertions that democracy can't work for minorities (with flavour of the day, Maori). To that end frantically throwing out bedrock democratic principles.

Democracy doesn't work for minorities. I know. I am in one. The 5-10 percent that genuinely crave small government, free markets and personal responsibility. It doesn't follow I advocate for an overthrow of 'one person, one vote'. It means my minority has to persuade the majority their way.

But back to the point of my post. 

What is your elephant in the room?

Prove my point. There are so many elephants in the room that they are now unremarkable.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Budget baloney

Unbelievable bullshit.

The great spin machine has it that for too long mothers on the DPB - called Sole Parent Support since 2013 - have been robbed, yes robbed, of their rightful child support payments made by the non-custodial father. Jacinda says mothers have been "denied money that is rightfully theirs."

Reality check. The state has generously paid a livable statutory entitlement to any sole parent - regardless of the reason for their single state - since 1973. If the non-custodial parent was paying child support (known as 'maintenance' at that time) the state kept it to offset the cost of the benefit to the taxpayer.

Today's announcement puts an end to that.

Some sole parents are in for a pay rise. 

Not because the father is going to pay more. But because the taxpayer is.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Female prison population shrinks nearly twice as fast as male


Between March 2017 and March 2022 the female prison population decreased by 39.3 percent whereas the male prison population shrank by just 22.4 percent.

A win for the ever-aggrieved feminists?

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

New Zealand today: Where facts are described as "nonsense"

 RNZ reports:

Shane Reti: Life expectancy for Māori was 30 years in the 1840s but today it is around 73.4 years.

Willie Jackson: Shane is talking nonsense.

There have been enormous health (and other) gains for Māori over the past 100 or so years. I gathered them together in one document here.

Progress is being made but constant polemic-driven politicking and redundant reforms will not hasten it.

If Andrew Little's goal is to reduce bureaucracy to improve efficiency, why develop two separate health authorities? He too is flying in the face of reality.

Ultimately, the personal decisions individuals make about their own health will have the greatest impact on their longevity.

That should be the message to Māori and every other person of every other ethnicity.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Behind the headline

An RNZ headline reads:

High rate of suicide in pregnant and post-natal women

"Suicide is the leading cause of death during pregnancy and the postnatal period, and Māori women are three times more likely to die this way, a new report has found."

That's an alarming fact and one that somewhat surprised me.

Any suicide is a terrible tragedy but perhaps even more so when it involves an unborn child.

After a moment's reflection, my analytical mind immediately wants to know, how many?

The report is from the Helen Clark Foundation and while the assertion is made and referred to several times in the paper, no statistics are provided. The claim is referenced though and takes us to this source - the maternal section of Perinatal Mortality Review report.

In the thirteen years that span 2006 to 2018 there were 30 suicides or two annually on average.

There were 809,831 maternities in the same period. Maternal suicides are in fact very rare.

But rarity doesn't make for headlines.

Furthermore, there were 27 in the period 2006 to 2016, leaving three in 2017/ 2018.

Maternal suicides are reducing.

For context 65 young people under twenty took their lives in the year to June 2020.

Update: On TV One the maternal suicide number has grown to 10 every year. 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Labour actually achieves something

The data for the following chart comes from StatsNZ. 

Looks like New Zealand is becoming a safer place. Fewer crimes are being committed - of every type - that warrant imprisonment.

There has been a 39.3% decrease in sentenced prisoners since 2016 from 8,958 to 5,433 total offences.

'Unlawful entry with intent/burglary, break and enter' has seen a 44.5 percent decrease. Wow.

What a great result by the Labour government.

Mr Sharma will be delighted.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

On Māori inter-marriage and future implications

The rates of partnering between Māori and non-Māori are high and always have been. 


 “Intermarriage with non-Maori contributed to the rapid growth of the Maori population in the post-war period. As at 2003, almost one-quarter of Maori children were born to non-Maori mothers, (Statistics New Zealand 2005).” 

In 2013 fewer than half of Māori men had a Māori partner:


The corresponding figure for Māori females is 52 percent.

Furthermore, trend-wise:

“There has been a small but important decline in the proportion of partnered Māori who have a Māori partner. In 2001, 53% of partnered Māori men had a Māori partner. In 2013 this declined to 48%. For Māori women the decline was from 52% to 47%.”

These realities pose vital questions:

1/ Is there a pervasive appetite for separatism among people who have long been attracted to those outside their own race and culture?

2/ With institutions and services increasingly split along racial lines, where will individuals of mixed ethnicity fall? This is particularly pertinent in the case of Oranga Tamariki which is pursuing a policy of keeping ‘Maori’ children with ‘Maori’ relatives as a priority. When all aspects of the child’s well-being are considered, this may be the best course of action; equally, it might not.

John Tamihere famously said New Zealand’s future, “… is being decided in our bedrooms, not our boardrooms.” He also identifies as Māori more strongly than any other ethnicity, as is his right.

Since making that proclamation as Māori Affairs Minister in 2004, Tamihere has become a strong advocate for separate systems. As Māori Party president he appears more radical in his views than when a Labour MP.

Is he now in danger of forcing those of mixed ethnicity – even children – to make difficult, possibly unbearable decisions to meet the demands for tino rangitiratanga – ‘by Māori, for Māori?’

At the risk of sounding overly dramatic the phrase ‘Let no man put asunder’ might be a reminder to those who want to divide New Zealand that ultimately, individuals make their own life choices, and those choices are sacrosanct.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

"What women want from Labour, National"

I strongly object to writers who refer to groups of people and profess to speak for them. It happens all the time with Maori, and now Paula Bennett presumes on behalf of women. 

But once a politician always a politician so it's hardly surprising. 

Political parties run 'focus groups' to find out who to woo and what to say. They put their political pinkies in the wind and blow with it. And blow is a good word.

This piece is a lot of 'blow'.

'We' this, 'we' that. Heavy on stereotypical female roles. A shout out to the sisterhood? A signal about how to behave if you want to belong? 

Identity politics, to be blunt about it. 

BUT Bennett knows more about women than I do. She has lost none of her political smarts. Her cloaked advice is for National (not Labour): "You must capture our heads and our hearts." Currently common corporate parlance.

I must have been mistaken when I thought identity politics was the domain of the left.

It squeezes out the individual who doesn't identify with any group - who gets a shiver down their spine when told WHAT THEY THINK AND WANT. Exactly what Bennett has done.

This whole device (former minister speaks for her gender to her former party) leaves me cold.

Then again, my cynicism regarding politicians has never been as deep as it is right now. 

The manipulative game they play, and which voters willingly participate in, is ruinous.