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Conscience exceptions are for people with a conscience

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 pm, July 14th, 2013 - 63 comments
Categories: families, feminism, health, religion, sexism - Tags: , , , , ,

The ability of doctors to refuse to provide proper healthcare if God says it’s bad is again in the spotlight, with a Blenheim GP refusing to prescribe the Pill to a patient because he decided she needed to have babies, and her views on the matter didn’t mean shit.

Oh wait, sorry, I mean his ~Catholic conscience~ wouldn’t ~allow~ him to ~interfere~ with ~God’s plan~.  And her views on the matter don’t mean shit.  Which, because patriarchy, is something we protect under law.

Sorry, Dr Joseph Lee, but as far as I’m concerned, you don’t have a fucking conscience.

People who think that they get a controlling vote in the reproductive choices of others don’t have a conscience.  People who think that their personal religious beliefs should be enforced on others – especially other who don’t share those beliefs – don’t have a conscience.

Medical professionals who advise teenagers to use the incredibly faulty “rhythm method” because it’s their “destiny” to get pregnant at 16 seriously do not have a conscience.  Medical professionals who also refuse to prescribe condoms, because their religious extremism means they’d rather their patients get sexually transmitted infections which, super-irony-alert, might harm their fertility?  Yeah, no conscience there either.

Medical professionals who say

The only circumstances in which he would prescribe the contraceptive pill would be if a woman wanted space between pregnancies, or had at least four children.

“I think they’ve already done their reproductive job”.

have no fucking conscience either.  It’s not your fucking job to assess whether or not a patient has ticked enough of God’s boxes to access healthcare, you fucking shithead.  You’re meant to be a fucking doctor.  Fucking act like one or get the fuck out.

Oh, and “lead GP” Dr Scott Cameron, who thinks it’s okay to just have a “pamphlet” advising that “some” of your staff won’t provide contraception, and thinks getting reception to “screen” patients is good enough to protect them from being bullied by your religious fanatic employees?  You don’t have a fucking conscience either, mate.  You’ve enabled a religious bully.  I hope you’re happy with yourself.

There is no conscience involved when a brave 23-year-old has to step forward and expose the underhanded, bullying shit going on at Wairau Community Clinic – except for hers.

Here’s the thing about “conscientious objection”:

Medical Council guidelines say personal beliefs should not affect the advice or treatment offered, and should not be expressed in a way that exploits a patient’s vulnerability or is likely to cause them distress.

You don’t think letting a doctor lecture a 16-year-old about how she must have babies because God says so is bullying?  You don’t think that the setting of a community clinic, which, when opened, was heralded as “[making] it easier for those people who struggle to access health care” means the people there are vulnerable?

A truly conscientious doctor would look at the patient in front of him and say, “I’m sorry, I personally don’t agree with contraception.  Here is the number of a doctor who can help you.”  A truly conscientious doctor would have a sign on the door saying “I am not available to prescribe contraception or refer for abortion services.  You can contact [number of a doctor who will].”

But this is never about real matters of conscience.  This is about bullying people, especially women, into making the choices which are approved by patriarchal religious bullshit, choices which will permanently affect their lives, choices which will – because we do not support teen parents well, we do not support unemployed parents well, we do not support working parents well – limit their options and constrain their potential.

Dr Joseph Lee wants to control women.  And Dr Scott Cameron, and everyone at the Wairau Community Clinic who supports him, are letting it happen.

That’s not fucking conscientious.  And it deserves no protection under NZ law.

~

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63 comments on “Conscience exceptions are for people with a conscience”

  1. One Anonymous Knucklehead 1

    Dr. Joseph Lee, oathbreaker.

  2. RedLogix 2

    Most doctors in this country will have pulled major muscle groups mass cringing at this doofus.

    • weka 2.1

      And yet most doctors will sit and do nothing. The medical fraternity (sic) is extremely conservative in the sense that it looks after its own, or looks the other way unless there is something so obvious that it can’t be ignored.

      • Populuxe1 2.1.1

        The Medical Council says best practice is to refer to a doctor without the moral conflict. That this didn’t immediately happen suggests that the doctor in question should be investigated

  3. red blooded 3

    Another angle – unwanted children tend to get pretty shitty lives. How does that sit with the good doctor’s conscience?

    • JK 3.1

      they don’t care about the actual LIVES of the baby and mother, its just important to them that the babies are born. And it doesn’t matter to them if they’re born into poverty or not. Nor does it matter to them if the mother dies in the course of childbirth. But of course, they WOULD like the babies to be brought up catholic ! This is a re-play of what used to happen in the 1960s, 1970s ……. sick.

  4. Rajiv 4

    QOT,

    Despite our recent differences of opinion, I completely agree with you on this one.

    It is outrageous, unprofessional and depraved of this “Doctor” to refuse any kind of contraceptives (including condoms) to people who depend on his professional services. Recommending “rhythm method” is adding insult to injury!

    Not that you’re interested or care, but I would like to add that there is nothing “Biblical” and “moral” about Catholic Church’s official position on contraceptives. Rather, it is a political matter for the Church and this is how they exert their power. Apparently, “pro-life” slogan has an emotional (and political) appeal and they exploit it to maximum.

    As another commenter said, unwanted children suffer horrors of neglectful upbringing and abuse. In countries like the Philippines Catholic ban on contraceptives has led to catastrophic population increase that cannot be sustained or fed properly.

    It is immoral to force women–and men– to produce children as if they are animals in a Catholic pen. But thankfully, such deranged and unprofessional Catholics as Dr. Lee are in minority.

    Most enlightened Catholics do not agree with the Church’s official position and openly defy it. I say Amen to that.

    • QoT 4.1

      I would like to add that there is nothing “Biblical” and “moral” about Catholic Church’s official position on contraceptives.

      Gee, Rajiv, please continue to tell me something that I, as a longtime prochoicer and lapsed/cultural Catholic, do not know anything at all about.

      • Rajiv 4.1.1

        Ms. Thorny,

        Okay, you’re a smart person and already know all of this. Fine.

        The term “lapsed Catholic” means that once you were a practicing Catholic. So maybe, as a kid you got to play with those rosary beads. I envy you at least in that.

    • mikesh 4.2

      “Not that you’re interested or care, but I would like to add that there is nothing “Biblical” and “moral” about Catholic Church’s official position on contraceptives.”

      I would think that the only method of birth control practiced in “biblical” times would have been infanticide, which I believe was widely used, not so much to get reluctant parents off the hook, but to control population growth (eg Exodus chap. 1.) However Abraham, in refraining from sacrificing his son Isaac, according to the well known account in Genesis, seems to have initiated an anti-infanticide tradition within Judaism which presumably passed into christianity, and which eventually evolved into the church’s current pro-life attitudes.

      • QoT 4.2.1

        mikesh, you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contraception#History
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_abortion#Prehistory_to_5th_century
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judaism_and_abortion

        Please refrain from spouting uninformed bullshit in my comments in future.

      • Rajiv 4.2.2

        @Mikesh

        Child and human sacrifice–in order to bring about better times, better crop etc.– has been practised randomly in many historical cultures, especially non-Judeo-Christian ones. As per those cultures, the ritual killing of an odd baby or child is not considered immoral or evil, but perfectly normal for the great good of the community.

        The Old Testament mentions how the earliest Jews distinguished themselves from the contemporary child-sacrificing pagan religions and cultures.

        As for contraception, my guess is that in pre-contraception times a common method of contraception would be to align sexual activity with female’s menstrual cycle or “the rhythm method” Catholic Dr. Lee recommends to his patients.

        Another method would be coitus interreptus, that is, right before his orgasm the male pulls out and ejaculates outside (this method is widely used in many porno movies, as you would know). Interestingly, in the Bible we read that Onan did exactly that because he did not want to make babies.

        I’m sure somewhere some Pro-Procreation Catholics burn Onan’s effigies every Sunday after the Holy Mass. Maybe Dr. Lee comes from that secret Catholic cult. You never know.

  5. Visubversaviper 5

    That doctor should be registered as an agent of a foreign power. And a dickhead!

  6. emergency mike 6

    This is a quality rant, albeit on an admittedly easy target.

    “Teen pregnancy might be a girl’s “destiny”, he said, and it was certainly not as bad as same- sex marriage.”

    Laughed out loud.

    • QoT 6.1

      As many have pointed out on Twitter, surely same sex marriage can’t be that bad, as it’s almost always going to be far more effective than the rhythm method.

      • emergency mike 6.1.1

        Good point. My wife and I are using contraception as we do not wish to have a baby at this time. But we didn’t consider same sex marriage as an alternative.

  7. Rosetinted 7

    Thus sort of thing has happened in country districts where there has been no choice for the woman. A case of a bigoted, ;fine, noble, principled’ practitioner, who imposes his/her culture on her.

  8. mikesh 8

    He’s not really “putting her health at risk” by refusing her the pill. It’s sexual activity that puts her health at risk; but then that’s her choice. The doctor I think is entitled to refuse on concientious grounds. The woman can either abstain from sex or find another doctor.

    Mind you, I think he is being a bit of an idiot refusing the necessary prescription in this day and age.

    • weka 8.1

      “He’s not really “putting her health at risk” by refusing her the pill”

      True. He’s putting her health at risk by refusing to prescribe contraception, pushing his own personal beliefs on her, and not being upfront about his unwilingness to provide normal health care and referring to her to another practitioner who can give her adequate health care. Did you read the actual post?

      • Rosetinted 8.1.1

        mikesh
        It’s sexual activity that puts her health at risk; but then that’s her choice.

        You’re really amusing but stupid coming up with this. Being sexual is built into us, it’s why you and I exist – because our parents acted on these strong impulses. It is part of our bodies, our chemistry, and sometimes we push it aside, but there are side-effects of this. One is to be found in the warped aspect of the Catholic church and it’s bias against females, but the acceptance of enjoying a release of sexual emotion and feeling with boys under the priests care.

        There is something that psychologists call sublimation, and there is also displacement. If one can be so wrapped up in a particular interest or obssession or project, it can dominate the mind to the extent that sexual impulses remain absent or disregarded. There is also something called loss of libido. These are interesting because they are exceptions to the rule.

        • mikesh 8.1.1.1

          I agree that we are hardwired for sex, but that is not a rebuttal of my argument ie that it is the sex itself that causes any problems, not the withholding of a prescription. All I am saying is that the doctor is entitled to act in accordance with his conscience, even if his conscience is giving him a bum steer.

      • mikesh 8.1.2

        Yes. I read the original post and I agree he shouldn’t be lecturing her on sexual morality. I also think that if his concience wouldn’t allow him to prescribe contraception he should have referred her to another doctor. I was merely pointing out, in the interests of clear thinking, that refusing contraception does not in itself cause damage. Presumably any damage that eventuates results from the sex act itself.

        • wtl 8.1.2.1

          By that logic if my mechanic refused to fix my car brakes and instead told me to ‘drive slowly’, then it would be purely the driving that caused me to crash, not the dodgy mechanic*. You might be able to argue that from a purely causative point of view but it is so stupid it is ridiculous.

          *Edit: Not to mention that it wouldn’t have been totally wrong for me to take the mechanic’s word for it and decide that it would be safe if I drove slowly. After all, he is an expert, right?

          • mikesh 8.1.2.1.1

            This is really an inapropriate analogy. The situation would be analogous only if you knew that the brakes hadn’t been fixed. But in that case you could hardly blame the mechanic for any prang that you might have.

            • wtl 8.1.2.1.1.1

              No it is very appropriate. You seem to have a problem reading. So let me spell it out for you:

              You need your car’s brakes fixed. You go to your mechanic. He refuses to fix your brakes (maybe it is against God’s will to “defy gravity”?) and instead tells you to drive slowly (analogous to the proposing an ineffective “rhythm method”). You follow his advice (he is a mechanic after all, he knows best, right?). You crash into another car because you are unable to stop in time due to the problem with your brakes (driving slowly to stop a crash is unreliable, and so is the rhythm method to stop pregnancy). By your logic, the fault is now entirely due to driving and nothing to do with the mechanic.

              As I said, technically you could argue that the immediate event leading up to the crash was the driving. But we humans are smart enough to evaluate all the circumstances leading up to the crash, and can easily see that the mechanic did, in fact, contribute to the crash by refusing to fix your brakes.

              • mikesh

                I doubt whether any court of of law would force the mechanic to reimburse for the damage caused by the crash.

                • felix

                  Ah, I see what you mean now.

                  You mean you don’t know what an analogy is.

                • rosy

                  I doubt whether any court of of law would force the mechanic to reimburse for the damage caused by the crash”

                  There may be criminal charges if the driver wasn’t referred to some other mechanic who could fix the problem that was known to exist when it was known that it might cause a crash.

            • rosy 8.1.2.1.1.2

              You might be right if the doctor didn’t advise the rhythm method of contraception, which he does. IMO it’s a rather apt analogy.

              Lee also does not prescribe condoms, and encourages patients as young as 16 to use the rhythm method.

              And so the girl and her partner use the rhythm method, which is even less successful than usual for younger women whose menstrual patterns are not fully established. But the do this, because like the mechanic, the doctor is the expert, right?

        • Rosetinted 8.1.2.2

          mikesh
          The point that if a prescription is required and this GP is acting as a gatekeeper rather than a medical advisor about the suitability of the medication for the patient (whether it might incline her to heart problems etc.) means that the GP is acting as an agent who decisions could result in damage, which would have been avoided.

          ‘Clear thinking’ saying that avoidance of personal actions will likely avoid any effects would seem right. But living requires activity and participation and some risk. One would end up otherwise like Charles Dickens character, Miss Havisham, isolated in retreat from the rude world.

          When you go to a GP it inevitably is about something that has happened in life that caused damage. This happens while you are living life and people have to cope with various aspects of their body and its life. The wise person tries to manage these. Sexual expression has to be managed as well. But the argument of not having sex when of a reasonable age, as the only method of managing the problems that it can bring, is simplistic.

        • QoT 8.1.2.3

          One word: rape.

    • NZ Femme 8.2

      Just so you know Mikesh, if that homophobic fuckwit of a doctor refused “me” contraception, he would be putting my health at risk. Oral contraception is used to help prevent recurring ovarian cysts in some of us. And for the record, it also reduces the risk of ovarian cancer.

      • mikesh 8.2.1

        OK. But doesn’t seem to have been the case in this situation.

        • NZ Femme 8.2.1.1

          I realise that, but the doc made it clear, “…The only circumstances in which he would prescribe the contraceptive pill would be if a woman wanted space between pregnancies, or had at least four children…” I think that’s pretty cut and dry.

  9. expatriot 9

    It’s funny that all the other drugs and procedures he prescribes as part of his job are (I assumed) part of God’s plan but contraceptives most definitely are not.

    Someone so in tune with the will of God is wasted in the medical profession.

  10. Rajiv 10

    Sorry, I’m not trying to Spam the comment section, but I really wanted to Re–post my comment left on Kiwiblog’s post ( http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/07/gps_duty_is_to_their_patients.html )

    **

    There are certain issues where it would be stupid to side exclusively with “Left” or “Right”. I also find it amusing that so many “right wing” people read The Standard’s posts. I didn’t even know that it existed until a week ago. In the end, what matters is not huddling together in a political ghetto, but listening to a diversity of opinions and exercise one’s common sense.

    In my opinion that sanctimonious “Doctor’s” action was so horrendously stupid and unprofessional that it merits condemnation from all sides.

    If he believes in this anti-contraceptive thing to a degree that he would endanger his patient’s life and liberty then I suggest he should quit the medical profession and join Catholic priesthood (As a good Catholic, He must know the Church is crying out to fill vacant Priest positions).

    On the other NARROW end of the spectrum there are geniuses like Lucia Maria. I am sure Virgin Mary came into her vision lately and asked her to post that comment. But I will exercise my right to disagree and strongly object to her half-baked cuckoo theories.

    [lprent: Don’t worry about it too much. The mods will happily warn or even ban you when they think that you are doing things that are edging outside the policy.

    But it pays to just leave the brackets off links as it confuses the auto-linker. Corrected it. ]

    • felix 10.1

      Yeah cos if there’s one thing the priesthood needs it’s another patriarchal megalomaniac.

    • Rajiv 10.2

      How delightful to hear from someone who can post comments in BOLD. That’s cool.

      I think I should be fine, as long as the “mods” don’t apply the man-ban.

      Cheers.

      [QoT: Rajiv, especially given our interactions on TDB where you routinely derail, accuse me of lying, and generally act like an asshat, be on notice: on TS, *I* get direct moderating power. And that means you shouldn’t make assumptions about “being fine”, especially if you’re going to immediately insinuate that you’re being victimised because of your penis.]

      • Rajiv 10.2.1

        Hi Qot

        I do not believe in personally abusing anyone (unless they do it first.). However, I reserve the right to disagree with people’s political and personal beliefs. And I often do. On the other hand I respect their right to disagree with me.

        Thanks for your advice. And I hope you won’t feel that I’m victimizing you just because you have a vagina. That’s not my game.

        Live long and prosper.

  11. Winston Smith 11

    This sounds like something out of Father Ted

  12. If god gave Dr. Joseph Lee those ears to bear, then Dr. Joseph Lee will see to it that low income teens get unwanted babies to bear.

  13. red blooded 13

    Interesting (if incensing) to her some “pro-life” addle-brain wittering on about abstinence as being the best choice for women who don’t want to have children, on Morning Report. Guess the gender of this expert on female sexual choices?

    On the plus side, I think the level of scorn and indignation aroused by this little man (Dr Lee) is a good barometer of a shift in social attitudes in recent decades. He is out of touch with all but the single-issue extremists on this one. I agree with a previous commenter that this is not a matter of Left or Right, it’s a remnant of a slowly withering patriarchy. Or at least that’s the “glass half full” view.

  14. Augustus 14

    I wonder about the scientific (medical) credentials of anyone who also professes to believe in invisible friends in the sky. It just doesn’t mix. Meaning to say I wouldn’t trust Dr Lee with my big toe.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Spiritual health is a crucial part of human well being. Maori know this and the UN knows this. Prayer has been shown to lead to better health outcomes. Please catch up.

      • Populuxe1 14.1.1

        But Tariana Turia’s reasons for wanting to ‘protect’ young Maori women from Family Planning seem to be for completely different reasons…

      • Augustus 14.1.2

        Only if you believe it does…, I don’t think it would work if it’s forced down your throat.

        • weka 14.1.2.1

          You’re letting your prejudices get in the way there Augustus. Pot, kettle, black.

          • Colonial Viper 14.1.2.1.1

            Augustus seems to believe that the effects of religious and spiritual life on peoples wellbeing is down to the placebo effect, or perhaps some kind of self imposed psychological delusion.

            • weka 14.1.2.1.1.1

              I bet they also believe that they themselves don’t have any irrational beliefs 😉

            • Psycho Milt 14.1.2.1.1.2

              Augustus seems to believe that the effects of religious and spiritual life on peoples wellbeing is down to the placebo effect, or perhaps some kind of self imposed psychological delusion.

              Is there some reason not to believe that? A plausible one with some evidence to support it, I mean.

              • weka

                Yes. Go read some psychoneurology then read from the overlaps between neuroscience and spirituality (yes, real scientists do actually think about these things and do science on them). It’s fine to not believe in god, and it’s fine to think that people who believe in god are mistaken about what is really going on (even though there is no way to prove who is right). But denigrating it as invisible friends, placebo effect, delusion is being a dog in the manger.

                • Augustus

                  I hadn’t noticed these comments, so to spare you the guessing and the betting, I think CV summed it up in a nutshell for me (14.1.2.1.1).
                  Yes, I have read about the effect of prayer on spiritual wellbeing (just then on google) and it wasn’t difficult to find rebuttals there either. “Placebo” sums up the workings quite appropriately I find.

                  I’ve also heard that “no way to prove who’s right” argument somewhere before, but lets not go there. You use reason, logic and probabilities in other contexts I notice.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Religion and spirituality is an important component of human wellbeing. Don’t moan just because its not in your textbooks.

  15. Sable 15

    I’d be inclined to change GP’s.

    • QoT 15.1

      This is not an option for everyone, Sable. If you bother to read the post and click the helpful links provided, you’ll see there’s something of a shortage in the clinic’s area, which means for a lot of people the options are (a) see a shitbag religious extremist or (b) get no primary healthcare at all.

  16. Treetop 16

    I suppose there is a charge for the consult when the prescription is refused, I’d feel scammed.

  17. Roy 17

    Why did this doctor go into general medical practice? He must have known, before he chose that career path, that he would be asked to provide contraception. If he was really acting on conscience rather than wanting to behave as a religious bully, he would have chosen another form of medical practice.

  18. Rodel 18

    Just listened to the ‘right to life’s Kenn Orr? interviewed on the topic by a smart woman interviewer. RNZ Monday morning.
    Never heard him before. She, without much effort completely demolished him…..something like ‘God doesn’t want us to have sex for recreation….God’s plan is for sex to make women pregnant…’.
    Can’t believe such people still exist in this country and in this century with such 13th century beliefs.Maybe 12h century??
    He was nearly as obtuse as Fox News reporters.
    Well done RNZ

  19. millsy 19

    If Ms Pont wants to bonk her man without worrying about a little bundle of joy popping up 9 months later, then she should be able to. Plain and simple. A woman should be able to choose when she wants to have children, without god bothering pricks like this doctor getting in the way. For too long we have seen the likes of McCroskie, Orr, Lee, McVicar, Lucia Maria, Craig, etc petition the government to curtail our social, sexual and reproductive freedoms in the name of their 2000 year old fairy story.

    Next they will be stoning her for sleeping with her partner outside of marriage, or having a threesome, or dressing sexy, or experimenting with other women.

    Conservatives bitch and moan about muslims, yet they seem to be wanting to set up an Iran-style theocracy right here.

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    8 hours ago
  • Income inequality is one of the defining issues of our time
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    Closing the GapBy Ben Smith
    9 hours ago
  • Dying For Latvia?
    Preparing For War: Nato forces in the former Soviet republic of Latvia as part of the 2014 "Silver Arrow" military exercises in the Baltic states. Such naked demonstrations of Nato's extended reach - right up to the borders of the… ...
    9 hours ago
  • How much do you really know about turtles?
    I’m Willie and I’m an oceans campaigner here at Greenpeace.Over the years I’ve had the privilege of watching turtles from the bow of Greenpeace ships, and many of my colleagues have encountered these peaceful ocean wanderers far out at sea… ...
    10 hours ago
  • How much do you know about whales?
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    10 hours ago
  • Are noisy oceans to blame for beached whales?
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    12 hours ago
  • Sylvia Park growth plans
    Sylvia Park is already Auckland’s largest shopping centre, but it’s likely to get even bigger in the next few years. Kiwi Property, who own the centre, have plans to expand the retail offering, as well as adding office buildings. In… ...
    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    12 hours ago
  • PrintNZ Forum Speakers Enlighten Delegates
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    16 hours ago
  • Nick Smith: There is NO crisis
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    My ThinksBy boonman
    23 hours ago
  • Tracking the 2°C Limit – April 2016
    April is starting to come down off the shockingly high anomalies of the first couple of months of this year. GISS is clocking in a still strong warm anomaly of 1.11°C. This is by far the hottest April in the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    1 day ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
    Last week NewsHub revealed leaked MPI reports which showed that MPI had been turning a blind eye to widespread criminal behaviour in the fishing industry. Today was the first day of Parliament since those revelations, and given their seriousness, it… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
    Last week NewsHub revealed leaked MPI reports which showed that MPI had been turning a blind eye to widespread criminal behaviour in the fishing industry. Today was the first day of Parliament since those revelations, and given their seriousness, it… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Punakaiki Fund invests in Populate
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    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    1 day ago
  • A piece of gratis media advice for Hilary Clinton
      Here’s some free media advice for Hilary Clinton now just trailing Donald Trump in the polls: Stop smiling and waving to “people you recognise” in the crowd. It’s insulting to everyone else, looks (and may well be) dishonest… ...
    1 day ago
  • A piece of gratis media advice for Hilary Clinton
      Here’s some free media advice for Hilary Clinton now just trailing Donald Trump in the polls: Stop smiling and waving to “people you recognise” in the crowd. It’s insulting to everyone else, looks (and may well be) dishonest… ...
    1 day ago
  • The Nuit Debout revolt in France: let the gems sparkle. . .
    by Denis Godard The movement of occupation of squares in France is [over] two weeks old. [1] Its evolution is difficult to predict, because it is open to many unforeseen events, even though its roots are deep. At this point… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Open Government: Unilateral
    Back in April, State Services Minister Paula Bennett announced in an answer to a Parlaimentary written question that we were consulting the Open Government Secretariat about an extension to the deadline for submitting our action plan:While New Zealand's second Open… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Open Government: Unilateral
    Back in April, State Services Minister Paula Bennett announced in an answer to a Parlaimentary written question that we were consulting the Open Government Secretariat about an extension to the deadline for submitting our action plan:While New Zealand's second Open… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • Free the Wicklow 2
    Protests around the imprisonment of these two activists are taking place around Ireland and also in Britain.  Anyone fancy organising something at the Irish embassy in Wellington  There is also an Irish consulate in Auckland. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • DIY Touring The World: New Zealand
    New Zealand has a small population, few places to play and not much money for touring bands - but you can’t beat the beautiful landscapes, hidden gem venues and fantastic audiences. Music impresario Ian Jorgensen has been touring bands… ...
    1 day ago
  • We are all socialists now
    A mass government house-building programme is a favourite policy of the left for solving the Auckland housing crisis. Use cheap government capital, build affordable, energy-efficient homes, mass produce them to get efficiencies of scale, and get people back into owning… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • We are all socialists now
    A mass government house-building programme is a favourite policy of the left for solving the Auckland housing crisis. Use cheap government capital, build affordable, energy-efficient homes, mass produce them to get efficiencies of scale, and get people back into owning… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Protected: Tributes to Dame Margaret Sparrow
    This post is password protected. You must visit the website and enter the password to continue reading.Filed under: Uncategorized ...
    ALRANZBy ALRANZ
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
    There’s a 2009 sci-fi novel by China Miéville called The City and the City. The action takes place in two separate cities which overlap each other geographically, but the denizens of each city is compelled to ‘Unsee’ things they see happening in… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
    There’s a 2009 sci-fi novel by China Miéville called The City and the City. The action takes place in two separate cities which overlap each other geographically, but the denizens of each city is compelled to ‘Unsee’ things they see happening in… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • Breaking free from fossil fuels – the risk we take is not taking action
    Last week, #BreakFree2016 wrapped up across the globe. Greenpeace joined with many inspiring organisations in a global wave of peaceful actions that lasted for 12 days and took place across six continents to target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects.In places… ...
    1 day ago
  • More odious debt
    The media over the last few days has been full of stories about WINZ and odious debt. But the worst one is this:A woman with eight children living in emergency housing is facing a debt to Work and Income of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • More odious debt
    The media over the last few days has been full of stories about WINZ and odious debt. But the worst one is this:A woman with eight children living in emergency housing is facing a debt to Work and Income of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
    We are increasingly concerned that Auckland is in the middle of very poor process where by far the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project is being forced along and at ill-considered speed without anything like the level of public participation nor detailed… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 day ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
    We are increasingly concerned that Auckland is in the middle of very poor process where by far the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project is being forced along and at ill-considered speed without anything like the level of public participation nor detailed… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 day ago
  • Tinder and 3nder are officially at war
    Your right to swipe for threesomes is under threat.    Some clean-cut millennials enjoying the 3nder afterglow. 1232RF Those for whom three is the magic sex-number should know that one's right to swipe one's way into a six-limb circus is… ...
    1 day ago
  • Weekly Listening: Die Antwoord, Joey Purp, King Kapisi and more
    A showcase of some of the best new music releases from the past week.   Joey Purp - GIRLS @ Feat. Chance The Rapper This track might be the catchiest three minutes and 32 seconds to hit your ears… ...
    1 day ago
  • Some big news, for me
    Two pieces of news that are kind of a big deal, for me. Firstly, I’m ditching my landline! I’m not a student and I’m not in a low income band, so make of that what you will. Secondly, after 10… ...
    GrumpollieBy Andrew
    1 day ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    frogblogBy Denise Roche
    1 day ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    1 day ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    1 day ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    1 day ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    1 day ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
    Whistleblowers are a ‘check’ on government, corporate or organisational secrecy and malfeasance. I recently read Tim Shipman’s preview of the Chilcot report into the origins of the Tony Blair-led UK engagement in the US’s invasion of Iraq, which looked at… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Spend and Tax
    As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of the far right, and battle bots
    In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a… ...
    2 days ago

  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    2 hours ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 hours ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 hours ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    5 hours ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    6 hours ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    1 day ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 day ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    3 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    5 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
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