Going backwards

Written By: - Date published: 8:49 pm, May 12th, 2009 - 45 comments
Categories: Social issues - Tags:

I don’t know about you guys but when Family First says something is great I get worried.

So when those reactionaries say NACT has strengthened the Families Commission with its new appointments it’s worth having a second look at what’s going on.

The Families Commission is Peter Dunne’s baby he wanted it to protect the ‘family’ by which he meant some kind of mythical 1950s style family (no gays or divorcees please). Didn’t turn out like that in practice because it employed good, qualified people, not bigots. Surprisingly, the Families Commission has become a voice for sensible, well thought out, liberal policies alongside the Children’s Commissioner, the Human Rights Commission, and the Race Relations Conciliator.

That was never going to last. NACT has appointed Bruce Pilbrow from the evangelical Parents Inc and Christine Rankin, the woman Jenny Shipley chose to bring in her infamous Code of Social Responsibility. Even Peter Dunne thinks these two are too reactionary.

It’s clear that the plan is to shut down the Families Commission as a progressive, science-based voice and, in the process pay off National’s religious extremist backers. Actually, probably the latter is the aim, the second a nice side-effect; National doesn’t care much about the Families Commission but the evangelicals do.

OK, so losing the Families Commission isn’t the end of the world but it’s a start. Next target: Joris De Bres.

45 comments on “Going backwards”

  1. gingercrush 1

    Surprisingly, the Families Commission has become a voice for sensible, well thought out, liberal policies alongside the Children’s Commissioner, the Human Rights Commission, and the Race Relations Conciliator.

    Provide evidence of what these people have produced that are well thought out liberal policies.

  2. Zetetic 2

    “Provide evidence of what these people have produced that are well thought out liberal policies..”

    Not with that attitude.

    Stop being such a lazy, bossy little prick and get informed.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      “Even Peter Dunne thinks these two are too reactionary.”

      Sorry, but this is factually incorrect.

      I listened to an interview on Morning Report this morning, May 13th, between Peter Dunne and Pilbrow, and Peter Dunne said that he thought Pilbrow would make an excellent commissioner and will do the job very well, unlike Rankin whom he thinks is too divisive and will turn the commission into a side-show (with the media running off to get her opinion any time some conflict or story emerges from the commission).

      I guess it would be too much to expect the original post to be updated though – that is one thing I find really bad about The Standard, that bald factual errors can be posted, and reported in the comments, but never fixed. It doesn’t really portray you guys in the best light.

      • bilbo 2.1.1

        Thanks Lathanide I must admit I found it hard to believe that Dunne would say anything negative about Pilbrow……. for some reason the posters here and some of the commenters have decided to vilify him for some bizarre reason.

      • lprent 2.1.2

        The posts are opinion. Corrections are what the comments are for. It is completely up to the poster if they want to change their opinion.

        Why would I change something that I have little knowledge about. Unlike Christine Rankin whom I do and I think the poster was too kind.

        • bilbo

          “The posts are opinion.”

          “…. Even Peter Dunne thinks these two are too reactionary.”

          How is that comment by the poster an opinion ?

        • Lanthanide

          As per Bilbo, what I am talking about here is a ‘fact’, not an ‘opinion’.

          You’re allowed to have opinions about facts, and they don’t necessarily need to be changed, but the facts themselves should be accurately reported and when an error is notified, they should be corrected. That is what any respected newspaper or television journalist would do (or at least aspire to do). Given this is a digital blog, correcting factual errors is in fact very easy and you really don’t have any excuse not to do so.

          Further, not everyone has time to read all of the comments posted to a particular story – I know I often do not read all comments. So here’s a typical use case: person comes along, reads a story that has a factual error in it, and reads the first few comments, but does not know that an error has been reported in comment #43, which is never updated into the main article, so the person goes away with factually incorrect information in their head and is none-the-wiser. Frankly you a doing your site, and your readers, a great disservice – do you want the readers of your blog to end up with people parroting incorrect and uninformed information as if it were fact, like readers of kiwiblog and other right-wing blogs do?

      • Zetetic 2.1.3

        Yeah, you found a minor error. What do you want? A gold star?

        Pilbrow is still a homophobic reactionary who shouldn’t be on the Families Commission and Rankin is opposed by Dunne.

        How about engaging with the topic of the post rather than trying to distract form it.

  3. gingercrush 3

    So you can’t actually produce any evidence of anything that is well thought out and liberal. Well done. What a brilliant author for the Standard you shall be.

  4. SPC 4

    It looks like National are determined to destroy what little credibility Peter Dunne had left. With the ACT party likely to lose support with their big Auckland government mistake iit looks like Key will complete Brash’s work and thus National will become the one surviving party on the right.

  5. Zetetic 5

    Next I’ll do a post on Labour and gingercrush will challenge me to prove any such party exists.

    If you’re too lazy to be informed just think about why liberal groups are opposed to Pilbrow and Rankin while Family First is happy.

  6. gingercrush 6

    I think you’re missing the point. I am saying there isn’t any well-thought out liberal policies by these agencies and are asking you to provide evidence of such things. You likely can’t produce anything because you actually haven’t read a damn thing that those commissions produce.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      ginger, seeing you have obviously read everything produced by the Families Commission, (in order to arrive at your stated opinion that there is no well-thought out liberal policies produced), you’ll be giving us a well thought out critique of the one linked to by KITNO below then. Seeing you have already read that report, and determined it’s flaws, it shouldn’t take long.

      I think Zeletic shows great promise as a poster and I look forward to many more posts. I don’t think there is any shame about not taking any crap from the cheap seats either (which is all your comment was really, and you know it). It’s a robust forum.

      (BTW gc, You need to learn the difference between ‘won’t’ and ‘can’t’.)

      • gingercrush 6.1.1

        I don’t think its hard for Zetitic/Zeletic to show evidence of policy produced by any four of those institutions that are well-thought out and liberal. When someone makes a rather big claim, one expects evidence of such. That person has not been able to produce that. It was an easy request and instead what I got back was me being, “lazy, bossy little prick”. No one expects a whole slew of works. But just one policy would have sufficed.

        He/her says to be informed, just think about why liberals are opposed while Family First is in favour of this. Well that doesn’t actually explain much nor would it make anyone more informed. Since all responses are basically to the effect: Rankin is right-wing and not liberal and believes NZ has gone PC-mad and she opposed section 59. That isn’t informative in anyway nor does it point to any well thought-out liberal policies.

        Lastly, I don’t have to provide you with a well thought out critique. I can just point you to conservative/right wing groups that are in agreement that the Families Commission hasn’t made any well thought out liberal policies. Two can play at the game. After all that is what we’re qualifying as evidence now days.

        • gingercrush

          Oh and I know the difference between “can’t” and “won’t”. This author can’t produce evidence of well thought out liberal policies. I “won’t” produce a well thought out critique of what KINTO linked to. Besides that, my english skills are crap and thus they wouldn’t be “well thought out” anyway.

        • Pascal's bookie

          But the poster didn’t make a big claim at all ginger. You however have claimed that “there isn’t any well-thought out liberal policies by these agencies”. That’s a huge claim.

          Stop backtracking, and offer some evidence of your claim. What is wrong with the link Kitno provides? Quoting conservatives won’t help you either. You need to show that it is not well though out, or that it is illiberal.

  7. Here’s one Ginger, that I’ve personally had a bit of a look at:


    There is quite a bit of stuff there, most of which I haven’t had reason to read over though.

    I think what you really mean is you want smacking legalized and are going to advocate for any changes to the public service that may help you to defeat the will of the public.

  8. My word Annette King ripped her apart in question time:

    Hon Annette King: Is Christine Rankin a suitable appointee in light of the culture of extravagance and sideshows she created when last employed in public service, including the $1 million spent on a new logo for, and the rebranding of, her department; the $80,000 spent on roadshows; the $25,000 spent on self-promotion videos in which she appeared alongside Martin Luther King and Ghandi; the $250,000 spent on advertising to overcome her bad publicity; not to forget the $165,0000 spent on charter planes to take her staff to a luxury resort for a meeting?

    • Swampy 8.1

      And National side stepped it totally. As they should. It is all rhetoric and I would like to see all of it substantiated, which I doubt will happen.

      [lprent: Damn-it Swampy. That is way too many comments (I lost count at 30) and with no dialogue. You obviously didn’t heed my warnings last time you came on. Banning you for a week for bulk trolling. This is a site for dialogue, not seeing how many comments you can make in an hour. ]

  9. serpico 9

    Family breakdown costs this country billions a year. Give her a chance to repair the damage done by Labour puppets. Fatherlessness is backwards stinking thinking from radical feminists in government. Peter Dunne is a wasted space and the full moon has cranked silly Ms King into a period of insanity again.What’s new,yawn,yawn.

  10. Lew 10

    I think D4J is back amongst us, folks.


    • Quoth the Raven 10.1

      But we don’t get the surrealist poetry anymore the kind that makes Ducasse seem perfectly sane.

  11. jarbury 11

    I thought D4J disappeared on Thursday and lived in Na…..

    OK I’ll stop.

  12. Pascal's bookie 12

    Zeletic, I pretty much agree about this being red meat for the ‘anti PC gone mad’ types in all their various colours.

    Could also be a nice big distraction with Rankin being a controversy magnet, sucking all the media oxygen away from more substantive issues. Whenever anything related to the commission or it’s work comes up, Rankin will be providing a soundbite.

    Given National doesn’t really give a toss about said commission and it’s work, why should they care if it’s controversial and/or stupid? ergo install a loud mouthed lightening rod. If one can be found that keeps the social cons happy, then that shuts them up and hopefully they won’t be wanting any, you know, policy changes.

    Not giving SocCon’s policy changes has been the key to keeping them motivated as a voting block for decades. With the s59 and abortion court cases on the agenda (neither of which the govt will give to the conservatives), and civil unions off it, they need something to keep them from going up river.

  13. bobo 13

    Rankin is just a leggy media diversion as NACT rush through the supercity under urgency. Id be interested to know more about the head of watercare Mr Ford meetings with Hide, and have there been any companies formed recently that will bid for future outsourcing of council services. Time our media did some digging.

    • Tigger 13.1

      Good point bobo, let’s keep our eyes on the ball and not on the sideshow…

  14. greenfly 14

    Not with that attitude.

    Stop being such a lazy, bossy little prick and get informed.

    Zeletic – perfectly phrased and a direct hit. I’ve waited a long time to read such a response as that to the kind of question and questioner you quashed there.

  15. keith 15

    I can’t believe that reptile rankin is back! arrrrGGGGHHH!!!!

  16. bilbo 16

    “It’s clear that the plan is to shut down the Families Commission as a progressive, science-based voice and, in the process pay off National’s religious extremist backers.”

    Are you accusing Christine Rankin and Bruce Pilbrow of being religious extremists now ?

    • Kevin Welsh 16.1

      Bilbo, please tell me you are not that stupid. How on earth do you make a jump from Christine Rankin being appointed to head an organisation, to portraying her as a religious extremist?

      Hell, she may be for all I know, but the point here is she is just a face for an organisation. If they appointed a religious extremist, then the whole method behind their madness would be pretty fucking obvious, don’t you think?

      • bilbo 16.1.1

        So which of the organisations that she fronts are you accusing of being religious extremists ?

        • Maynard J

          This is asstupid as your comments yesterday. No one has said she fronts extremist organisations. Please learn some basic comprehension, you are making errors that a 12 year old would be able to spot..

          • bilbo

            Maynard ……

            “It’s clear that the plan is to shut down the Families Commission as a progressive, science-based voice and, in the process pay off National’s religious extremist backers. ”

            “NACT has appointed Bruce Pilbrow from the evangelical Parents Inc”

            FFS I don’t know how many times I have to say it Parents Inc is not evangelical and is very welcoming -Bruce is already on the NZ Parents Council who work closely with the Families commission what is the problem you’ve got with him them ?

            Disclaimer – I have nothing to do with Bruce or Parents Inc but am fascinated why some people feel the need to subject them to thinly veiled smears.

          • Maynard J

            You did not prove your earlier assertion bilbo, that Christine Rankin was accused of being a religous extremist, or that she was from an religious extremist organsation.

            Changing the topic to Bruce will not hide that fact.

            If you are too stupid to read between the lines I am not going to bother to help you. Was it you yesterday who didn’t believe they were a christian organisation at all? de ja vu – different thread, same dim assertions.

  17. serpico 17

    Talking about religion I believe the loss of manhood and fatherhood to liberal and secularistic legislations to invent “the new pc man’ has been destructive to the traditional kiwi family unit. Who is d4j? Is he another undercover cop?

  18. Hilary 18

    The Families Commission has commissioned research which provides information on aspects of New Zealand families and social policy for which we did not previously have local research evidence eg grandparents, or family experience of disability. Their (blue skies funding grants has led to a large range of reports which can be found on their website. I refer to them frequently.

  19. samiam 19

    Gosh the National Party lines on the Rankin appointment must have been delayed getting to Farrar today. He hasnt managed to update his blog about anything at all, despite normally having something to say at 6am everyday.
    Poor DPF, being in govt and having to defend shit like this just isnt the same as the good ol days.

    I wonder if he got a bollocking from Key for leaking the John Allen MFAT appointment:
    “Prime Minister John Key said yesterday he was unhappy Mr Allen’s name was in the public domain before he was officially appointed, “and I have made my unhappiness known”.
    He did not believe it was a leak from the Cabinet or from the ministry. “I do have a sense of where it came from and I am grumpy about it.”

    Ahem – Brag Fail

  20. exbrethren 20

    Also nothing from DPF rebutting the “Melissa Lee is ethically challenged” story on Campbell Live. Are the Nats unable to deal with more than one fire at a time?

  21. Bill 21

    Given that Rankin and Pilbrow view the family unit in, shall we kindly say, a traditional way, ie heterosexual couple plus kids, can we expect some noise designed to ‘protect’ that particular family set-up?

    Under fear of giving some loopy-loops some ideas,I’m thinking of something along the lines of the retrograde and stupid move in England and Wales that basically abolished sole custody.

    Apart from leading to a flooding of the Scottish courts by English divorcees seeking custody of their children, it acted as a wonderful incentive for women to preserve the rotted family situation they found themselves in. (If they left with the children, fathers could still call the shots on where they lived; what schools the children attended and so on.)

    Okay. At the moment we are talking two people from seven. But appointments are for three years. Anyone know when the tenure of the other five appointees is up?

  22. appleboy 22

    Rankin was on Close Up earlier in the week – saying that she was not well paid for the job, that she got only $500 a day..and that with an expected 100 days a year work, she’d ‘only’ be getting around $50K. Just what sort of person thinks $500 a day is not much? or that $50K a year for 3 months work is not much? is this unbelievabvly out of touch person who we want looking after kiwis familiies’ interests? The avearge worker gets less than that ..for a years work…and also, does she really think we are that ignorant that we don’t know that she has other roles and incomes apart from that paltry $50K…

    • Swampy 22.1

      What a strange idea you have, you think that the great unwashed masses are all going to be rabbiting against Rankin because of that? It’s only Jim Anderton that can make political mileage like that these days and he really is a spent force.

  23. Swampy 23

    The Families Commission is really just another bureacracy whitewash agency Labour hijacked from their time in office. Dunne comes with this policy, which basically came from the conservative Christian element at the time. Labour implements it and seizes the opportunity to stack it with supporters of their own policies so it is really just a political platform, neutralising Dunne in a typical way of the larger coalition partner.

    Why Dunne still defends it I don’t know, someone should tell him the political tide ran out at the 2005 election, he is never going to get his party back to where it was with the number of seats they won in 2002 by treating the Families Commission like he owns it. The Commission really is irrelevant, at least under a Labour government.

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