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First they came for Spongebob

Written By: - Date published: 9:04 am, August 24th, 2009 - 63 comments
Categories: International, Media - Tags:

One of the most powerful conservative Christian fundamentalist groups in America is Focus on the Family. This group has an impressive organisation, income, media presence and influence (summary). They also have an agenda which has been colourfully described as follows:

Focus on the Family A christian organization based in Colorado Springs that was founded by Dr.James Dobson. … Typical of other large christian organizations based in CS (see also: New Life Church) they mouth the words of peace while teaching hate and intolerance. Dr. Dobson has been featured on various national news programs usually spreading his narrow minded views on (pick one or more) homosexuality, atheism, how satan is real, drug use, pre-marital sex, how the republicans are truly the blessed of god, how democrats are spawn of satan, pro-life, how killing abortion doctors is ok etc. etc. Focus on the family is responsible for pumping millions into republican coffers, doing slander ads against their opponents, all as a “non-profit” company …

Focus on the Family is the “Godzilla of the religious right”. They were trend setters in the practice of comparing Obama to the Nazis. They are serious people with a serious mission. They want to save the world from evil. Evil like SpongeBob SquarePants who (apparently) is going to turn our children gay. Yes, really.

That’s America right – why should we care? Well, because Focus on the Family are spreading the love, all the way across the Pacific, funding the New Zealand branch of Focus on the Family — to the tune of a million dollars over the last six years. Our branch of Focus was of course one of the main groups behind the Vote No campaign (in the “smacking” referendum), as The Herald reports:

A group behind the “Vote No” bloc in the smacking referendum received around $1m over six years from a conservative American religious group. That US organisation advocates a return to “Biblical values” and its founder says “a little bit of pain goes a long way” for children.

Focus are known to lie and distort research, presumably it was child’s play for them to frame our stupid leading referendum question (compare for example with results that asked a non leading question about s59 repeal). Why (as Tom asks) has this information the only come to light now that voting is finished? And big picture, what are we to make of American political groups buying influence in New Zealand? Looking at American politics now, is that the direction that we want to be headed?
— r0b

63 comments on “First they came for Spongebob”

  1. Tigger 1

    I love how they describe right upfront that their CEO Tim as coming from a ‘large’ family since he is one of five children – clearly family size is something very meaningful to them – argubly it’s the most important thing given how it’s placed so strategically here.

    I am one of nine children so I guess in terms of this group I’ve got even more family cred than their CEO. Suck on that, Timmy.

    P.S. I’m gay, am vehemently pro-choice and would vote Democrat if I lived in the US. But Timmy, I’m still more ‘family’ than you!

  2. Good post Rob. They should give you a position on the Standard.

    Makes one wish for the good old days of the Electoral Finance Act. Without the EFA groups like Focus on the Family will have a major and detrimental effect on the next election.

    • Swampy 2.1

      Rubbish, they are allowed as much of a view as your favourite left wing causes

      • BLiP 2.1.1

        If only that were so – because they now have access to millions via the US “parent” they won’t have any way near as much of a say in the process – they will have far, far more of a say because the richer you are the more media you can buy. Geddit?

  3. Rob A 3

    I voted yes in the referendum but I have to say that this excuse that NZers are somehow too stupid to know what the question was or were mislead by it smeels more than a little like sour grapes. Face it, the vast majority of kiwis who cared enough to vote voted no, we lost, lets get over it

    • r0b 3.1

      Rob A – passing by in haste – please read the linked article near the end of the original post “non leading question” and ponder the implications.

      • Rob A 3.1.1

        rOb, I only frisked that link first time and missed the last few paragraphs completly and found it very interesting. Sorry for my laziness.

        That said I still find it hard to change my opinion, with all the debate over the last few years I have little doubt that 99% of those who voted knew exactly what they were voting for.

        As Redlogix has pointed out, the government and society do intrude upon our homes on what is right or wrong in the raising of our children, why this has become the issue it has escapes me. But then as Grumpy as said children are still being murdered with a sadening regularity in NZ and it makes no difference how few or many laws are passed on this figure. What we really need IMO is a good look at whats going on in too many kiwi homes and why.

        • Ron 3.1.1.1

          Do you really think they were voting to side with the Christian right, Rob? Because that’s what they did. When I approached No voters with the issue of Focus on the Family they were more than a little annoyed they didn’t know the connection.
          Do you really think that they knew whether the law is criminalising parents? Because the NO campaign spent a lot of time telling us that they were going to release the list of parents who had been criminalised…and the No voters I spend time with all still think that there are actually parents who have been arrested for spanking.
          Do you think they actually knew what the police figures for interventions in parent/child incidences were? Because again not one of the No voters I talked to even knew there were such figures. Almost all of them paused and talked when I pointed to the ACTUAL wording of the law and the ACTUAL statistics related to it.
          I think a huge number of people vote on issues based on what they THINK they know. I suggest that a good proportion of the No voters didn’t actually understand the issues around this debate and all they heard was “parents are being criminalised – we must stop this”.
          Yes a good proportion of them think that hitting their kids is ok – but THAT was NOT the question.
          Key’s move to “allay parents’ fears” says it all, really. No voters perceive a threat where no threat exists – unless they do what the poster boy for the No campaign did – punch their kids in the head.

  4. bobbity 4

    “That’s America right why should we care?”

    Most don’t – except for those trying to run the meme that the NZ public was duped into overwhelmingly voting No.

    Get over it and move on.

  5. outofbed 5

    If you hit sponge bob with a wooden spoon it wouldn’t hurt..
    That’s the problem… no wonder Bob he is gay!

    • Tigger 5.1

      SpongeBob isn’t gay. He has no sexuality per se – his creator has made that clear.

      The religious right want to sexualise this character – I know it’s ludricous to say that, but they do. Why Because he is exuberant and secular and popular and doesn’t conform to the typical strong and silent male stereotypes that they hold dear. So they want to call him gay in order to marginalise him.

      They did the same with Tinky Winky, the Teletubby who happened to have a handbag and was male. Again, it’s not ‘on’ for boys to want to hold a handbag according to their rules so of course TW HAD to be gay.

  6. RedLogix 6

    I have to say that this excuse that NZers are somehow too stupid to know what the question was or were mislead by it

    It was a vile misleading question. That it was ever allowed to be put forward has discredited the CIR process completely, and it’s little wonder that 44% of the electorate couldn’t bring themselves to touch it with a barge pole.

    We always knew that the vast majority of New Zealanders never wanted an ordinary, trivial ‘smack’ on the bottom to be criminally prosecuted. That was exactly the intention outined in the legislation when the S59 repeal was enacted.

    All we got was a result confirming exactly what we already had. Dumb.

    As a result of this stupid referendum Parliament is now going to be forced to try and define ‘acceptable force’ for the purposes of correcting children. That’s going to be about as savoury as the old English law that permitted the beating of your wife with a stick no thicker than your little finger.

    And we are all fooling ourselves if anyone thinks this debate is over.

    • Swampy 6.1

      The CIR process has been discredited by the failure of any government to heed even a referendum on a major issue.

      You are making up excuses about why only 56% voted. Do you also have excuses as to why even less voted in the Mt Albert by election.

      “And we are all fooling ourselves if anyone thinks this debate is over.”

      You really want it to be over, you people don’t like the idea that your party ideology is being shown up for what it is, the challenge to your beliefs that core ideology is an unconditional bottom line that is not subject to any kind of scrutiny or democratic process.

      • BLiP 6.1.1

        You’ve got it the wrong way around – it is the “No People” who won’t have their ideology challenged – they are the ones that are wetting their pants about the issue. Even Shonkey is “comfortable” with the law as it is. Get over it, diddums.

  7. outofbed 7

    should have been “no wonder spongeBob is gay!”

  8. grumpy 8

    I find it hard to distinguish the loony religous right wing dingbats of America from the loony gay/greenie left wing of NZ. Contributors like Redlogix and Tigger show as much certaintly in their own infallability as all those loony god botherers in the US trying to tell people how to live their lives.

    • RedLogix 8.1

      trying to tell people how to live their lives.

      It’s a total myth that people are free to ‘live their lives’ however they want. In real life we all accept a myriad of social conventions, rules, regulations and laws that dictate a great deal about our lives.

      Parents are required by law to feed, clothe and house their children safely. They have to send them to school, to take them to the doctor or hospital if they need it. Kids under 14 have to be supervised at all times, fences have to be built around pools, they have to wear correct seat belts in a car, they should be protected from second-hand smoke, they are not allowed to drink alcohol, or take drugs, you have to protect them from any contact with adult sexuality… and so on. The wider community ALREADY dictates a great deal about how parents bring up their children.

      It is now well-known that hitting children (and that can range anywhere from the now proverbial ‘loving smack’, to sustained abuse) harms a developing child’s brain, in ways that are as every bit as damaging as all the other things we are required to protect them from. So the excuse that I am interfering in the way you choose to live your life does not wash.

      So yes I am certian that I am right, and I’m not apologising for it, and I don’t care if you don’t like the message.

      • bobbity 8.1.1

        “It is now well-known that hitting children (and that can range anywhere from the now proverbial ‘loving smack’, to sustained abuse) harms a developing child’s brain, in ways that are as every bit as damaging as all the other things we are required to protect them from.”

        It is well known that all members of NZ political parties were given a smack on the bum when misbehaving as children – this is irrefutable proof that smacking does indeed harm the developing child’s brain.

      • Swampy 8.1.2

        Where is any such thing “well known”? In New Zealand? In Fergusson’s well known and creditable longitudinal study, no such thing or anything like it is “well known”.

        You can believe as you wish, but you have reached a dangerous point in New Zealand where an ideology must be considered unchallengeable and unaccountable.

        • BLiP 8.1.2.1

          Its all over You Tube, Swampy, or is that not well known enough for you. But, yeah, it is disgusting how the “No People” won’t have their ideology challenged. Disgusting and dangerous, as you say.

  9. Ianmac 9

    Note that “Focus on the Family” came to light in the Herald on Sunday as 16th on the contents page and today I can find no sign of the report at all. I think that the backing of any political group should be transparent especially when as manipulative as this.

    • RedLogix 10.1

      Interesting article Gooner, and one that I missed reading at the time, but I fail to see where you get ‘pathetic’ from?

      Where for instance were the large one page ads in the Herald from the ‘mainstream’ Churches supporting a ‘Yes’ vote? None that I saw. I can’t speak for any other Church other than the one I attend, but there were no thundering sermons either.

      What I did get was an invite about 18 months ago, to a Saturday morning “Men’s Breakfast” event where a speaker from a fundamentalist group spoke at length abou the Divine right, indeed duty, of parents to “beat the fear of God” into their children. I kid you not. I fairly struggled to avoid spewing the baked beans and hash browns…. but not a word of protest from the several hundred white middle class men present. There was no doubt in my mind that the Christain churches were used as a trojan horse network to raise a lot of funds and lot of legwork to get the result these arseholes wanted.

      I’ve never been back and I’m still pretty pissed off by it.

    • r0b 10.2

      This is not a post about Christianity Gooner, please don’t make any assumptions about my beliefs in that respect. It’s a post about a very specific kind of political “christianity” that is very powerful in America. You are correct that traditional churches in NZ came out for the Yes vote, and this is also noted in The Herald piece linked in the original post.

      Sorry – got to go…

      • Swampy 10.2.1

        The so called “leaders” (in most cases just figurehead people with no power over membership) made statements based on their own views.

        This kind of Christianity is powerful in America for the simple reason that religious faith has a lot more relevance to everyday life there. For example just about every US president for decades, maybe just about all of them, has claimed an adherence of some sort to religious faith.

        There was no “trojan horse”, people have made up their own minds on the issue.

    • Swampy 10.3

      It’s an interesting point you raise there Gooner (although I am sure not the one you meant to say). The leaders of mainstream churches can say what they like. but the fact is that with the possible exception of the Catholics, what the leaders say is irrelevant to what their members choose to believe and how they vote.

      The Catholic church is probably the only one of those mentioned that has any chance of controlling what is spoken from the pulpit, in many of those so called “mainstream” churches the leadership would have expressed views completely at odds with what is quoted in the newspaper.

  10. Clarke 11

    My four year old knows that it’s wrong to hit people. It’s a pity that James Dobson isn’t as smart as a four year old.

  11. Just to provide a bit of balance, would you be able to post some background information on the “source” for the backgounder on Focus on the Family? The language used suggests that it might just be someone with a vested interest to discredit FOTF. Balance is good eh ;-)

    • grumpy 12.1

      Ah! You mean the “old Tapu Misa” trick of inventing a scenario so that you can comment on it?

      The Loony Left telling us how to raise our kids and the Loony Religious Right do the same. Why can’t they just stick to their own kids and not interfere with other families?? Oh – thats right. most of them are “gay” and don’t have any.

    • lprent 12.2

      Ummm I2 – can’t you read? There seem to be links galore in the post, in particular the NZ Herald article referring to the NZ connection with this particular group of sanctimonious pious wankers (we only jerk-off in accordance with gods law) who wish to impose their own version of a Daddy state. Go and read that for the source.

  12. RedLogix 13

    Why can’t they just stick to their own kids and not interfere with other families??

    You are perfectly free to ‘raise your children’ however you like. By all means teach them how to behave, set them an example of good manners and decency, educate them, feed and clothe them well, expand their minds, play with them and have fun, set them on a path of their own through life…. but if you are harming your children, I’m going to interfere.

    • bobbity 13.1

      Interfere where it’s warranted – or are you of the Bradford camp that a smack on the bum is child abuse ?

      • Stacktwo 13.1.1

        That’s not what the Bradford camp are saying, Bobbity, that’s what McCroskie et al have told you the Bradford camp are saying. Sue Bradford has spoken today accepting the Cabinet’s rather mild intention to continue monitoring the status quo.

        • Swampy 13.1.1.1

          No, we know what the Bradford camp are saying – that any kind of force against a child is wrong, because the United Nations decreed that it was. The United Nations set up a convention on the Rights of the Child that decreed that all physical force against a child for correction is bad. New Zealand then signed this convention without asking the people of the land whether they agreed with it or not, and because the United Nations is always right and the sole authority of moral virtue in the world today, Sue Bradford and her fellow travellers on the political left set out to make sure that the UN convention would be implemented in New Zealand at all costs.

          Now, this kind of thing, which is ideology, is made out to be so sacrosanct, so much an article of faith for the Left, that it overrides all democratic principles in countries in which it must be implemented.

          So while we have got a contradiction of the views on the Auckland supercity, where democracy is being supposedly undermined, and on this view, where it is undermined but the left says democracy shouldn’t apply, we have also got the same contradiction when people trot out the bogeyman of supposed American influence or funding, while ignoring that a foreign power, the United Nations, is behind this campaign to change the child discipline laws.

    • grumpy 13.2

      I think we all agree with that RedLogix, but it’s the definition of “harm” that causes the problem.

      To the God Botherers it’s not raising them as good little nutjobs and to the Loony Left it’s not raising them to be gay street tagging little tree huggers.

    • grumpy 13.3

      You would have more credibility if we could see evidence of you “interfering” in the cases of all those poor little kids (mainly brown) getting bashed to death weekly by their so-called families.

    • RedLogix 13.4

      but it’s the definition of “harm’ that causes the problem.

      Ok so now we have gotten to the actual issue. There is plenty of good evidence that even normal spanking or smacking is not only ineffective, it is probably counterproductive. Try here for a start. There is a LOT of other resource about.

      Once upon a time we thought plonking children on the back seat of the car and trusting to gravity was ok. Turns out is was not. Nowadays we buckle them into the appropriate seats, but it took a law change to do it.

      Once upon a time we thought sending children into coal mines was ok… a law change fixed that.

      Once upon a time incest and child/adult sexual contact was pretty commonplace, modern laws have clarified that none of it is ok.

      Once upon a time no-one thought twice about smoking in the car with a child; not so cool anymore.

      What the hell is SO hard about all of this? Why is it that so many people are wedded to the idea that they HAVE to hit their children in order to get them to behave, when all the evidence is that it does not work and that there are MUCH better alternatives available.

      If one tiny fraction of all the energy and effort that had gone into asserting that parents have the legal right to hit their children in the name of ‘good parenting’… had gone into actually promoting genuine, non-violent good parenting in the wider community… there would be a whole lot more credibility on the “No” side of the debate as well.

      • bobbity 13.4.1

        Can you please stop with the Strawmen or we’ll have no more feed for the farm animals.

        If one tiny fraction of all the energy and effort that had gone into demonising parents who upon occasion have to resort to a smack on the bum for their kids had gone into actually preventing the real causes and perpetrators of child abuse there would be a whole lot more credibility on the “Yes’ side of the debate as well.

        See two can play that game.

        For a more eloquent riposte see below.

        http://www.macdoctor.co.nz/2009/08/21/inconclusive/

      • Ruth 13.4.2

        If one tiny fraction of all the energy and effort that had gone into asserting that parents have the legal right to hit their children in the name of ‘good parenting’ had gone into actually promoting genuine, non-violent good parenting in the wider community there would be a whole lot more credibility on the “No’ side of the debate as well.

        Bravo!

        The No side has no credibility in the freedom/no govt intervention stakes either. They are the first group to go crying to govt to ban/criminalise things they don’t like eg prostitution.

        • Swampy 13.4.2.1

          Prostitution is a very strange cause for a government to want to promote as a public good in any country. It was criminalised for the same reason that sales of alcohol to minors is criminalised. It was Tim Barnett’s private hobby horse the same way as the Section 59 law is Sue Bradford’s. Labour took up both causes as part of their sacrosanct ideology, not to be challenged at any cost.

          • BLiP 13.4.2.1.1

            The public good, in this case, was providing the same legal protection that any other worker is automatically entitled to. Perhaps when men can control their sexual desires there will no longer be a market for prostitutes.

      • RedLogix 13.4.3

        If one tiny fraction of all the energy and effort that had gone into demonising parents who upon occasion have to resort to a smack on the bum for their kids had gone into actually preventing the real causes and perpetrators of child abuse there would be a whole lot more credibility on the “Yes’ side of the debate as well.

        False equivalence. There is, however much you want to minimise it, a clear progression of behaviour from ‘the odd smack on the bum’ to real abuse. The spectrum of abuse can start with something trivial, but from smacking to a beating, and all in between, is essentially the hitting of a child.

        Most parents won’t go all the way to real abuse, but some will. Many of us will do 52k in a 50k zone with little thought that it is wrong, or expectation that we will be criminalised, but the law still exists for a purpose.

        By contrast, NOT hitting children is NEVER physical violence.

        • bobbity 13.4.3.1

          “There is, however much you want to minimise it, a clear progression of behaviour from ‘the odd smack on the bum’ to real abuse. ”

          Effectively you are arguing that all parents are incapable of raising children without resorting to beating the crap out of them – this is a complete and utter falsehood, in much the same way as arguing that all children will respond to the same methods of “coercion” – I have three and they’re all quite different.

          I don’t know about you but I tend to agree with these comments.

          “Most parents know this difference. They know that a smack is a last resort. It is part of parental control while you can reason with a teenager, or ban a 10-year-old from the Playstation, often you cannot reason with a toddler if they are about to touch an open flame or run on to a busy street, a logical discussion of the issue is not the way to go. A quick smack of the wrist or backside may be just the thing needed to prevent harm, danger, or in other cases, disrespect and rebellion. Of course the great majority of parents know all this.

          Child abuse is always wrong. And it is worth looking at the evidence of what bans on smacking actually achieve.Invariably when the anti-smackers come out with their agenda, the nation of Sweden is brought up. This is because Sweden was the first nation to ban smacking, back in 1979. Part of the reason for the ban was that it was hoped that it would reduce child abuse. OK, so what does the evidence tell us? What can we learn from the Swedish experiment? In 1996 an important study into child abuse in Sweden was published. It found, among other things, that Swedish data indicated a 489% increase in child abuse statistics from 1981 through 1994, as well as a 672% increase in assaults by minors against minors.

          The study concluded with these words: “We need better research to understand the complexities involved in parental discipline, including its relationship to child abuse. We need to discriminate effective from counterproductive forms of discipline responses, including the role of different forms of corporal punishment in increasing or decreasing the risk of child abuse. We also need better evaluations of policies designed to change parental discipline, given that the effects of the Swedish anti-spanking law seem to have had exactly the opposite effect of its intention, at least in the short term.”

          A 2005 study came to similar conclusions. It finished with these words: “there is no objective evidence that the overall situation has improved for children in countries that have adopted smacking bans”.

          The truth is, most parents love their children and do right by their children. They are not violent nor abusive, and they know that smacks have a place in parental control and discipline.The next time the Government wants to spend our tax dollars on programs to deter child abuse, they should do so more wisely. For example, they should be targeting the at-risk groups. The evidence is quite clear, for example, that child abuse is much more likely to take place in broken homes, and in non-biological two-parent family homes. Thus step-parents, live-ins, de facto’s and boyfriends, for example, are much more likely to commit child abuse than a biological mother or father. Substance abuse – be it alcohol or illicit drug use – is also a leading factor in child abuse. If we want to get serious about child abuse, we should be targeting those situations which are most likely to produce abuse, instead of seeking to make the majority of parents feel guilty for using smacking as part of parental control and discipline.If we criminalise smacking, we will simply manage to turn millions of parents into criminals over night. ”

          And these comments in the Herald.

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/child-abuse/news/article.cfm?c_id=146&objectid=10587529

          You’re welcome to your view but you need to accept that those with an opposite view are not child beaters and hate child abuse just as much as you do – sadly the real abusers don’t give a crap about referenda or indeed whether they are allowed or disallowed to smack.

          • Draco T Bastard 13.4.3.1.1

            It found, among other things, that Swedish data indicated a 489% increase in child abuse statistics from 1981 through 1994, as well as a 672% increase in assaults by minors against minors.

            I was going to ask for a link but you’re just spouting BS again. From here:

            The claim that child abuse has increased in Sweden is primarily based on misinterpretation of assault report statistics. It is the case that reporting of child physical assault has increased in Sweden since the 1970s as it has in every nation that has raised awareness of the issue of child abuse. Reporting rates are by no means equivalent to rates of actual abuse. They are sharp reflections of/strongly tied to shifts in public awareness.

            For example, in the early 1960s, it was estimated that about 300 children were being maltreated in the U.S. By 1990, the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect had officially recorded 2.4 million reported cases. By 1993, they had recorded almost 3 million cases. It is highly unlikely that actual child maltreatment increased by a factor of 10,000 in that period. It is also highly unlikely that only 300 children were maltreated in the U.S. in the early 1960s.

          • RedLogix 13.4.3.1.2

            Effectively you are arguing that all parents are incapable of raising children without resorting to beating the crap out of them

            No I am not. You are just putting words into my mouth. I’ve never suggested, nor do I recall ANYONE suggesting, (but I may be wrong), that parents should be prosecuted for the ordinary, commonplace kind of smack on the bottom. We have always said that the normal way to deal with this kind of thing is exactly the same as how the police deal with most trivial and inconsequential offenses, and that it to simply use their discretion to ignore them.

            What I am saying however is that violence is a continuum, from the trivial and transitory smack, all the way to the horrors you link to. The point is that I’ve never seen anyone honestly tell me at exactly WHAT point along that continuum does the acceptable smack become the unacceptable beating.

            Nor is it sensible to say that we have a problem with SOME parents using dreadful violence, while at the same time refusing to accept that ALL parents have a responsibility to stop hitting their children.

            • bobbity 13.4.3.1.2.1

              “You are just putting words into my mouth. I’ve never suggested, nor do I recall ANYONE suggesting, (but I may be wrong), that parents should be prosecuted for the ordinary, commonplace kind of smack on the bottom. We have always said that the normal way to deal with this kind of thing is exactly the same as how the police deal with most trivial and inconsequential offenses, and that it to simply use their discretion to ignore them.”

              Ummmmmmm so why did you say

              “You are perfectly free to ‘raise your children’ however you like. By all means teach them how to behave, set them an example of good manners and decency, educate them, feed and clothe them well, expand their minds, play with them and have fun, set them on a path of their own through life . but if you are harming your children, I’m going to interfere.”

              ‘It is now well-known that hitting children (and that can range anywhere from the now proverbial ‘loving smack’, to sustained abuse) harms a developing child’s brain, in ways that are as every bit as damaging as all the other things we are required to protect them from. So the excuse that I am interfering in the way you choose to live your life does not wash.

              So yes I am certain that I am right, and I’m not apologising for it, and I don’t care if you don’t like the message.”

              Anyways this discussion is going nowhere lets agree that we both hate child abuse and despise the abusers and that we choose to disagree on the ways to halt it in NZ.

              DTB – I’ll quite happily accept that much of the increase in reporting is due to increased awareness both in the USA and Sweden, that being the case there is also no evidence to suggest that the very low rate of child abuse in Sweden has become any lower.

        • Kevin Welsh 13.4.3.2

          RL you are absolutely right.

          I would bet anything that the first “good parental correction” that the likes of James Whakaruru, Lillybing, Nia Glassie et al received, was “a light smack on the bum”.

          And NO, for you wingnuts out there, this does not mean I am lumping all parents in together on this.

  13. Mach1 14

    Word of the day IV2, Reification

    Reification (also known as hypostatisation, concretism, or the fallacy of misplaced concreteness) is a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) is treated as if it were a concrete, real event, or physical entity.

  14. oscar 15

    We have got rid of most other forms of corporal punishment in our society so why do so many want to use it on their own children?

    So is it because they want to be dragged back into the middle ages or can’t be bothered to take the time to find a non violent way to bring up their children. Are so insecure that they need to dominate those that are weakest.

    The results of the referendum would be less distasteful if the information and the question itself was more honest in its intention. The main Stream Media did not do a very good job of giving a balanced view.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      The MSM didn’t do what it should have done in regards to the question. Hired a linguist and had it ripped to shreds and then put it on prime time TV and the front page of every newspaper.

    • Swampy 15.2

      We have got rid of corporal punishment in schools because the United Nations, the oracle of all wisdom in the world, said so. Let us not forget, this whole campaign against smacking children comes about because the United Nations wants New Zealand to ban it.

      There has now been a huge increase in physical violence against staff and other pupils from pupils in schools, because the school lacks means to physically restrain children from the use of force against other children.

  15. Focus on the family doesn’t represent the right in the states, they are a very loud and vocal group who are on the extreme, if anyone believes that your average Conservative person in the USA or here in New Zealand wants Spongebob banned, then you are out of your living tree.

    • RedLogix 16.1

      Yeah, so how do you feel about the amount of money they’ve sent to NZ then?

      Extremists don’t go round backing larger more moderate groups with large amounts of money. They back people of like mind.

      Non-Christians take one look at outfits like Dobson’s crew of nutjobs and are either cynically dismissive of the sheer stupidity of these people, and/or appalled at the vile underlying evil of their real agenda.

      Me, I’m just embarrassed for the insanity preached in the name of the loving God I’ve always had respect for. It’s nothing new, it’s happened before and will keep on happening in the future; but it doesn’t make me any less pissed off about it.

      • Swampy 16.1.1

        So money was sent by FOTF to New Zealand. Big deal, there is plenty of money flowing into NZ to support every group under the sun.

        If you wanted to, you could quote the Wikipedia article on FOTF, except that it doesn’t support the claims you published in your original post at the top of this thread. I have never heard of urbandictionary, but everyone has heard of Wikipedia, and its processes are well known. What do we know about UD, does it have any kind of credibilility or processes of same?

  16. Irascible 17

    The US interference in NZ politics goes back some way…. remember the Hanna Barbera (Republican) funding of the NAT campaign in the 1975 election campaign. This will not be the first time the right wing conservatives on the US interfere in the South Pacific.

  17. Swampy 18

    If you’re on the losing end of an argument, you can always trot out some sort of bogeyman like Americans, or Fundamentalists, or anyone else you can think of.

    The Left like to make out they champion the cause of minorities – except of course when those minorities are moral, or religious, or American.

    “Why has this information the only come to light now that voting is finished?” Simple – it’s irrelevant, a pathetic smear from the people who know they have lost the moral argument over the referendum and now are resorting to a whole range of dirt digging, most of which is not going to change people’s views.

    It is, I think, reprehensible of you to quote, as if it was fact, an uncorroborated opinion from the urbandictionary site, this does nothing at all for your credibility, neither does the fact that you have selectively quoted only the part of that particular page that is the most extremist and inflammatory views against the organisation concerned.

    • BLiP 18.1

      C’mon, mate – face it – Focus on the Family is largely made up of dads who want to spank their daughters: how moral is that?

      • Swampy 18.1.1

        Is that a crude sexual smear? Is it like the Craig Young sexual innuendos against Christians that he has endlessly published on Gaynz and the like?

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  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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