Thursday, September 09, 2021

Judge rules against Oranga Tamariki actions

A Family Court judge ruling on the high profile case involving a Maori child removed from a Pakeha couple who'd been her stable caregivers for three years, has found in their favour.

Very briefly, because you can read the details here, I make one observation.

This is the money quote:

“Until such time as Parliament gives statutory effect that the views of an iwi are the start and end points, the determination must be by reference to the holistic factors in the statutes, which include the taking into account of such important cultural perspectives as part of the matrix of considerations,” [ Judge Peter Callinicos] said.

There's the steer to Maori separatists within parliament.

If you are unhappy with my decision, change the law. 

Wednesday, September 08, 2021

'Expert' invokes myth

This is Dr Rodney Jones backing New Zealand's Covid elimination strategy:

"When we did elimination we were the first country to pursue elimination. And, you know, in the '30s we were the first to create a welfare state. I think ... we have to be the ones to do this. I don't think there's any examples we can actually look at ... this is very specific to us."

We weren't the first to create a welfare state, and circumstances here - The Great Depression - certainly weren't very specific to NZ.

Even if it was factual I am struggling with relevance of this claim.

The United States led NZ.

The Social Security Act was signed into law by President Roosevelt on August 14, 1935. In addition to several provisions for general welfare, the new Act created a social insurance program designed to pay retired workers age 65 or older a continuing income after included unemployment insurance, old-age assistance, aid to dependent children and grants to the states to provide various forms of medical care.

New Zealand borrowed from their thinking. They stole the term 'benefits' to replace 'pensions' which had become demeaning and stigmatising. The 'aid to dependent children' applied regardless of the parent's marital status so in effect ushered in single parent assistance LONG before NZ.

Germany was well ahead adding an unemployment benefit to old-age and disability pensions in 1927.


[Modern social insurance arose in the 1880s in the German Reich.] It quickly became a model for other countries, including Switzerland. 

NZ's system wasn't especially different. It wasn't funded through taxation. It was funded by employees who each compulsarily made dedicated contributions recorded in their social security book. A very elderly neighbour, aware of my interest, once paid a visit to show me his.

Our claim to be the first to give women the vote is also accompanied by numerous riders.

"...a number of other territories enfranchised women before 1893..." 

NZ puffs its chest out over world-leading myths. In the scheme of things it doesn't really matter. It's a rather endearing small-country trait.

But when myths are used as reasons why we should pursue a particular strategy, especially one of such moment, it's hard to let it pass without comment.

Monday, September 06, 2021

Low Maori vaccination rates

John Tamihere on low Maori vaccination rates:

"When 30 per cent of our people are on the dole, earning under $28,000 a year, and another 30 per cent earning less than $50,000, working their guts out while supporting families - there are bigger things on their mind than getting vaccinated."

1/ "On the dole" and "earning" do not belong in the same sentence.

2/  Whatever JT means by "on the dole" those people, more than most,  have the time to prioritise free vaccinations.

3/  I have some sympathy with the 30 percent who are low income earners, often working more than one job, or long hours. Vaccination centres need to be open when their targets are available. But many will also be 'essential workers' with employers facilitating and prioritising vaccinations.

Yet again we see a Maori leader adopting a defeatist, apologist attitude. 'It's too hard. Accessibility is racially restricted. It's not our fault.'

If he wants more Maori to be vaccinated he should stop dishing out bogus reasons why they aren't.

Perhaps the 'soft bigotry of low expectations' is a form of self-inflicted racism?

Dropping like flies at Magic Talk

They're dropping like flies at Magic Talk.

Leah Panapa opened what had been Peter William's show this morning with the news that he'd retired - just like that. There Friday - gone Monday. The media are describing it as something about to happen. It's happened. Without a whisper of warning.

I've listened to Williams fairly regularly since he started out in early 2019. He was getting slicker and more energetic in my view. He didn't sound jaded, tired or unenthusiastic. So I am naturally skeptical about the reason given for his sudden disappearance from the airwaves.

And one could hardly be forgiven for being slightly suspicious when his departure has quickly followed Duncan Garner (August), Tony Amos (July), Sean Plunket (February) and part-timer John Banks (January).

Williams steadfastedly rejected man-made climate change and interviewed qualified experts like Willie Soon. He gave airtime to lock down questioners like epidemiologist Simon Thornley. He talked with doctors who have questions about the covid vaccine. He gave airtime to The Taxpayer's Union and Bob McCoskrie from Family First. He didn't leave listeners in any doubt about his political preference and it wasn't National. He appeared to me to be socially conservative and economically liberal. He was no friend of the government.

I repeat, if anything, he was getting more focussed and outspoken. He certainly didn't sound like a man who'd grown bored or disinterested in his work (or maybe he'd simply given himself licence to be more candid knowing he was going to shortly pull the plug?)

Phil Gifford also recently departed NewstalkZB as afternoon co-host. I'm clueless as to whether so many departures are mere coincidence or otherwise. But the optimist in me hangs onto the prospect of a new broadcasting enterprise emerging. One prepared to rigorously engage in political and philosophical debate; and to take a chance on there being enough support to attract crucial advertisers. 

I'd be tuned in like a shot.

Update: I was reminded by a comment on Kiwiblog that Chris Lynch, NewstalkZB Christchurch host was another recent 'casualty' in May this year. So there is a workforce of at least half a dozen highly experienced broadcasters on the loose...