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In Defense of Tony Veitch.

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 pm, May 8th, 2016 - 174 comments
Categories: crime, families, gender, patriarchy, Social issues - Tags: ,

I was asked by trp to respond to his post earlier today separately. I’ll start by re-quoting a comment from Anne:

I can vouch for the truth of that statement. That is not to degrade the ever present ‘intimate’ violence perpetrated by men against women and children. However women are just as capable of performing vicious and violent acts – often in a clandestine way – against other individuals. The victim or victims rarely get the justice and support they deserve because it doesn’t fall directly into the man rapes/sexually assaults woman category. In other words, their experiences are ‘minimised’ or in some cases not even believed. Yet the ramifications can be equally degrading and distressing.

It distresses me to see so much polarisation and ugliness in any thread of this nature. I believe that while men and women share a great deal of humanity in common, we also have complementary qualities that are important to us, not only in our intimate relationships, but to our functioning as an entire species, lending us a broader competitive advantage than any one gender might have on it’s own.

Exploiting these differences to drive a wedge between the two halves of humanity is sad, wrong and leads nowhere.

Certainly for men the gift of our greater physical strength comes the greater responsibility to use it safely. And in the world I grew up in that means never hitting a woman or child. The vast majority of men know this. And when a fellow man falls short of this ideal, I expect consequences, but I will reach out and lift him up again. I will not join in an ugly melee intent on kicking him when he’s down.

My view is that while gender clearly exacerbates and catalyses partner violence, it is not the root cause of it. Otherwise ALL perpetrators would be male. It is also prudent to avoid blame when trying to understand human behaviour; this always obscures causes. The fact that women have no monopoly on virtue; that violence is something both genders are guilty of, tells us that the root cause of this issue does not lie with men alone.

What we do know is that the need to dominate, whether physically, emotionally, sexually or economically highly predisposes an individual to violence. And when they are put into a situation where they feel out of control abuse is triggered … whether the violence takes physical, emotional, sexual or economic forms.

At this point the conversation usually narrows down to the ‘patriarchy’ and veers off into blaming men for the evils of the world. Yet the truth is that for the vast majority of men, the ‘patriarchy’ is of no advantage or privilege to them at all. Most will at some point look at their lives and find no trace of this’patriarchal dominance’ whatsoever. Most men feel nothing more than a life-long obligation to perform for the benefit of others.

[RL: Edit. I’ve realised there is a bad mistake here. I missed it when I was editing this post late last night.]
Why? Because women females always chose for their partners them most physically, sexually or economically dominant male they can select at the moment. This is basic observable biology. And in all of nature males violently compete for female attention and mating rights. Humans are driven by this instinct too, yet to a remarkable degree we have evolved societies that moderate and control it. It is when we feel threatened, stressed and “out of control” the social constraints fail, the need to dominate degenerates into jealousy or humiliation and then expresses as violence. And each gender tends to reach for the weapon closest to hand, men to their economic and physical strength, women to their emotional and sexual power.

There are two factors at work here; the underlying need to dominate and the need to feel in control. The first is pervasive and systemic, the latter is a situational trigger. Understanding both is necessary. Also we need to be honest about the all too frequent role alcohol plays in giving people the space to ‘lose control’.

In one short post I’m not going to pretend to solve this. Far better minds than mine will continue to unravel it; but what I do offer as a plea to the left is this: that while the visible symptoms of intimate partner violence are largely gender specific, the root causes are not. They run much deeper. And that while the feminist framework has been vital in defining and making the issue visible, it will become a hindrance to resolving it if we remain stuck in gender confrontation and covert forms of abuse.

You’ll notice I’ve said nothing about Tony Veitch. I think we should let him speak for himself and allow the space for catharsis as Incognito so very elegantly expressed it. While his words will not placate every judgmental urge, personally I will accept them at face value and wait to see what comes next.

174 comments on “In Defense of Tony Veitch. ”

  1. Ad 1

    I was very sorry to hear your story Red in the previous posting.
    Thankfully I have no experience of what you speak of.

    The problem of domestic violence isn’t all men against women.
    But apparently it mostly is.

    In the four years from 2009 to 2012, 76% of intimate partner violence-related deaths were perpetrated by men, 24% were perpetrated by women:


    And New Zealand ain’t pretty on domestic violence:


    And it’s consistent world wide:



    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      And where in these statistics is the historical physical victimisation of RL by a woman captured?

      The fact of the matter is that women are proving increasingly capable of committing acts of violence, including lethal domestic violence, and violence by females against females (including homicide).

      This is a trend which has been observed by police for many years.

      Bottom line here is that a woman is just as capable of attacking a man, as a man is of attacking a woman. Just the form and the objective of the attack might sometimes differ.

    • RedLogix 1.2

      Two thoughts Ad.

      I finally fessed up not because I ever felt a victim of what happened. While it took me far too long to recognise and understand what happened, I never ever felt traumatised or enraged.

      I’ve made my peace with what happened and accepted my own role in not taking responsibility earlier. And I’ve never felt the need to persecute the unfortunate person who did it and we continue to associate when needed on a perfectly civil basis. Yet she struggles with her own demons and I feel nothing but sadness and loss for her. (And the roots of this go back to another generation, and a war. It is all a cycle.)

      Yes most of the intimate DV is perpetrated by males. Given our physical strength and much higher levels of testosterone this is exactly what you would expect. The genders are not the same.

      But my point is twofold; one is that there remains the other substantial 25% of physical violence that IS committed by women. Some of it mutual, some in self defense, some they initiate. And if you widen the definition to include all forms of abuse … including emotional, verbal, sexual and economic then I’d expect the figures to pretty much even out.

    • Victoria Blake 1.3

      There is a bias inherent in using death as a proxy for violence.

  2. mpledger 2

    RL said
    “Because women always chose for their partners them most physically, sexually or economically dominant male they can select at the moment.”

    This is so not true.

    And this stereotype just plays into all the worst aspects of macho culture.

    Women choose love, kindness, humor, intelligence, shared interests … or at least the ones in my experience have.

    • RedLogix 2.1

      I agree, the story is more complex than I simplified it down to.

    • Rosie 2.2

      I found it to be an offensive statement. It was like a statement based in a palaeolithic reality, as if our social structure and order hasn’t evolved in thousands of years. As if women don’t have the intelligence to match their companion’s and need these dominant traits in men to make their lives complete.

      As if women don’t have the intelligence to choose someone based upon the traits you mention. As if we aren’t capable of finding our equal.

      The field of evolutionary psychology is a fascinating one, and I would agree that humans, in their most emotionally non evolved forms still carry traces of primal impulse and drive but I note that more often the topic is highjacked by those who wish to make excuses for male violence against women. Not that RL is doing that, but he is writing from an angle that I find troubling.

  3. Matt 3

    I can’t believe you actually used the phrase “kicking [Veitch] while he’s down”, as if doing that idiomatically (and I don’t even believe that’s what’s happening) is as bad as actually physically doing it for real in real life. What the hell.

    • RedLogix 3.1

      Actually in some ways I see the group mobbing going on here, the ganging up on Veitch as we’ve seen today as in many ways worse that the physical kicking he meted out.

      What he did in 2006 was bad, awful and he’s fully deserved all the consequences. No if’s no buts or quibbles.

      But at least Veitch has acknowledged what he did was wrong. What I see going on here, that while it does not inflict physical injury, is inflicting a social one that a lot of people here have enthusiastically joined in and feel fully justified about it. Some are clearly taking a vicarious pleasure in ensuring Veitch carries on playing whipping boy they can keep on hating regardless.

      And to my mind that’s pretty damned ugly.

      • mpledger 3.1.1

        So what do you want us to do …

        Stay silent so that the people who thinks Tony Veitch is a hero for keeping his female in her place never know other people think what Tony Veitch did was utterly appalling.

      • Jenny Kirk 3.1.2

        I didn’t see it as “group mobbing” RL.
        I saw it as a genuine contempt for what appeared to be an attempt by Veitch for public sympathy – it just didn’t ring true to me. So I don’t believe he has changed or has real remorse.

        But I do agree with you that women can be the perpetrator of abuse as well – I’ve seen this happen myself . And its just as worrying, and uncomfortable to witness and to try to understand how you can help someone to deal with it.

        You said : “There are two factors at work here; the underlying need to dominate and the need to feel in control. The first is pervasive and systemic, the latter is a situational trigger.” and then a bit later on you commented on your own personal situation ” (And the roots of this go back to another generation, and a war. It is all a cycle.)”

        And I think all of that is what I’ve been observing over the years – a generational cycle – maybe starting with what people experienced in really tough times like the Big Depression and WW2 and their reactions to that and how this has affected their relationships, and the future generations they are responsible for. So the need to be dominant takes precedence for that person and its effects go on and on thru the next generations. Unless you can see it happening and can talk it through (difficult with such a person) then it just keeps repeating itself – because others don’t know what to do. We don’t have “relationship” lessons at school or elsewhere really …. we just learn thru trial and error, and it sometimes takes a lifetime.

        • RedLogix

          Agreed, and very fair comment. I accept everyone is going to make their own calls on whether they think Veitch is genuine or not. Maybe Veitch will make a complete mug of me and turn out to be every bit as duplicitous as so many people here want him to be.

          But in the wider scheme I’d prefer to show some trust and benefit of the doubt until I’m proven wrong.

          We don’t have “relationship” lessons at school or elsewhere really …. we just learn thru trial and error, and it sometimes takes a lifetime.

          Exactly. I’m a slow learner and when I look back at my astounding ignorance in my teens and twenties I can only cringe in dismay.

      • miravox 3.1.3

        Do you think Mr Veitch asked his victim if he could rehash his conviction in the press and throw her into the spotlight again so she can be vilified all over again?

        If he didn’t ask for permission, how does that pan out in your story of genuine catharsis, self-awareness and remorse – nevermind the lack of personal apology to her?

      • AR 3.1.4

        Normally I would take the time to write a lengthy, considered response to an article like this. But I’ve just spent the last hour reading the comments and getting more and more upset.

        So instead my comment is simply to say that, as a victim of intimate-partner violence for more than three years, this thread has been awful to read and I no longer feel that The Standard is a safe place to come as a woman. Super devastated.

        • r0b

          Very sorry AR. For what it is worth, the author of this post has shared your experience.

          Tony Veitch: I’m the Real Victim Here.

          • weka

            I’m not sure that that makes much different r0b. I mean, I appreciate Red sharing his personal experiences. It doesn’t change the politics of what he has done, nor the sheer offensiveness of his arguments. Nor the amount of hurt he is contributing.

            edit, To make that clear, in the comment you link to Red also says this,

            This uni-dimensional obsession that all men are evil and all women are angels (who never do any wrong and are always the victims) has led the issue down a cul-de-sac for decades.

            As others have pointed out, there is almost no real political space where women or feminists say that all men are evil and all women are angels. Nothing even close. It’s a strawman entirely of Red’s own making and he uses it to perpetuate damaging and misogynisitc memes. I can guarantee you that I have spent far far more time in feminist circles than he has and what he describes above is a complete misrepresentation of what is going on politically. That’s just the start. I chose not to engage with any of his arguments because I’ve seen them before and those conversations go nowhere. They are in no way acceptable because he is also a survivor of DV.

  4. Fustercluck 4

    “Because women always chose for their partners them most physically, sexually or economically dominant male they can select at the moment.”

    This is manifestly untrue, simplistic and smacks of victim blaming.

    Nope. Not acceptable at all.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      It generally matches what I see of relationship interactions between men and women although I would agree that exceptions or variations are not uncommon.

      We all know of relationships where there is a stronger personality matched against a weaker and more compliant personality. And its not that unusual to find that the alpha personality belongs to the woman and the beta personality belongs to the man.

      As for “economic dominance”, wanting a partner with a steady job is a major concern for many people – male and female. But females tend to prefer that the man earns a bit more than they do, while males tend to feel uncomfortable and insecure if the female earns significantly more than they do.

      Again, these are generalisations and exceptions are not uncommon.

    • RedLogix 4.2

      I agree the premise is oversimplified, and intentionally so. But it doesn’t really change my underlying point, males evolved to be competitive and dominant because this advertised they had the best genes. This is the general pattern in evolutionary biology and it remains plainly observable in humans. As CV has already noted.

      But for humans with our extremely dependent babies, wild risk-taking males are a bad bet as long-term partners and child-raisers. So this complicates the story a lot.

  5. Gangnam Style 5

    From the victims dad, http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/79754791/i-wish-my-daughter-was-not-forever-connected-to-tony-veitch

    “If this “apology” showed genuine remorse, it would have been given privately to our daughter. She has never received one. So who gains from this public “apology”? And actually is it an apology at all? Tony, to atone for your actions, you must stand in the complete truth. This was no one-off, as you still attempt to mislead the New Zealand public to believe. The other charges were never presented to the court, but they remain evidence of your systematic abusive pattern. In those files lies a very inconvenient truth for you.”

    & it turns out Veitch is to present some new web show or some such for the Herald, so you know, fuck Tony Veitch & fuck the Herald.

  6. One Anonymous Bloke 6

    women always chose for their partners them[sic] most physically, sexually or economically dominant male they can select at the moment.

    Did you mean “…choose…can…”, or “…chose…could…”

    Either way it’s the most dreadful rubbish, and certainly no mere ‘simplification’.

    Steve Dunne’s response says it all.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      See above, I agree it is a simplification, but for the purpose of the argument the underlying truth holds. The point is that the human need for dominance did not arise in a vacuum, and cannot be properly understood unless you ask why?

      Unless you want to argue for the null case?

      • Sabine 6.1.1

        so are you saying that Man always choose the most humble, sexually attractive and most submissive women, so that they – men – can dominate unhindered?

        • RedLogix

          Generally it is women who do the ‘selecting’ and men who do the ‘committing’. Another generalisation but a defendable one.

          And keep in mind we are talking about instinct here; these are not conscious, logical choices. And of all human endeavours, mating remains the one most subject to it. For both genders.

          In 808 words there are going to be shortcuts and shortcomings in my premises; but the argument does stand as a whole. That human behaviour does not arise in a vacuum and understanding the whole context is vital.

          • Sabine

            i would agree with you that at some stage it was very important that women choose a man who was a. able bodied, and b. strong enough to provide, considering that for many women working outside the house and home farm/business was not an option or if they did due to lack of husband / provider they would live in abject poverty.
            Again, these rules were not women made but rather are men made, read the bible all those things about women / children being the property of man and chattel and so forth, and yes, the bible pretty much was the precedent for our current laws. And not forget that the last straws of Matriachy were burned on the stakes between 1400 – 1700.

            Consider as well that literally until about 40 years ago, a pregnant women out of wedlock was literally shamed into a. giving birth in secret and giving up the child, or leave town to go elsewhere and make a living any which way they could.
            Now this is not feminist nonsense, this is documented history.

            However in our times, and again i am only speaking of me and my experiences, i don’t think I or those of my friends went for the bloke that had a. the most money – considering that in some / many cases we out earned our previous/current partners, b. handsome – beauty is in the eye of beholder, c. strong – again this is a definition best left to those that look for strong.
            We usually go for something like, sexual compatibility, funny, likes the same stuff, shared interests, shared outlook of the future etc etc.

            I think we should not blame evolution for what is essentially a man made society. And yes, it is still very much a man made society, heck men were afraid of giving the vote to women only a hundred odd years ago, women could not get a bank account/cheque account without the signature of their husbands until well into the 1970’s, and could not manage to survive on their own as a widow or single mother which is why eventually the DPB and the Widowers benefits were instated in NZ. Nor could they rent a flat or buy a car without dear hubby on their side. I am sure some of our female posters are old enough to speak of the good old times that were the 40/50/60/70’s in NZ and how easy it was being a women without a man on her side 🙂

            There was a reason why women had to look for a provider. It was due to them not being able and being permitted to provide without a husband for themselves and their children whithout being labelled a loose women, a harlot, or a hussy. It had nothing to do with evolution.

  7. …when a fellow man falls short of this ideal, I expect consequences, but I will reach out and lift him up again. I will not join in an ugly melee intent on kicking him when he’s down.

    I wouldn’t either, if the guy displayed even the slightest self-awareness of having done something wrong. However, say for example he were instead to pay his victim to pretend she fell down the stairs, frame any apology or statement he made about it to emphasise how much he had suffered, regain his position as a well-paid media figure appealing to a demographic not noted for its staunch opposition to using violence, and make the occasional joke about someone getting a fist in the face, I’d be willing to buy a ticket to join an ugly melee intent on kicking him when he’s (actually anything but) down.

    • b waghorn 7.1

      “I’d be willing to buy a ticket to join an ugly melee intent on kicking him when he’s (actually anything but) down.”

      That’s the way ,because as we all know violence solves every thing.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        And ironically the same person talks about having “even the slightest self-awareness”. Like he is so wise themselves they can calmly pass judgement on the life of another person from a few hundred words in an MSM rag.

      • Psycho Milt 7.1.2

        Metaphor tends to escape the simple-minded. For the record, neither RedLogix (unless I’ve wildly misread his post) nor I was referring to literally kicking people. Along similar lines, when I’m tempted to refer to other commenters as “thick as two short planks” I’m not expressing the view that they are literally 5cm thick.

  8. Puckish Rogue 8

    Hey RL for what its worth, you’re decent, straight up guy and sharing your story is a brave move.


  9. mpledger 9

    It seems extremely strange for the NZ Herald to publish such things on/around Mother’s Day. It seems so completely clueless or were they made to bring it forward in order to divert from other news.

  10. Tiger Mountain 10


    do yourself a favour RedLogix, uncouple your concerns from Mr Veitch, Kristin’s dad makes some cogent points in the stuff piece that are enough for me to be confident that Tony Veitch has a long way to go in sorting his head out

    p.s. I am all in favour of second chances and redemption, and even supported Mr Hooten in a couple of comments when he talked about his problems with the sauce, but people deserve to be called when they lie by omission as Veitch has done and grandstand with a mothers day release

  11. RedLogix 11

    I’m very pleased to read something from Kristen’s side of the story. Clearly there remains considerable healing to be done.

  12. Bill 12

    So maybe I’ll settle for just saying this – people are a bit fucked up and many people do shit to others.

    I wouldn’t slate that back to ‘human nature’ as you appear to do in a post that makes far too many grand, and in my view, wrong headed generalisations around supposed ‘instinct’ and the ‘natural’ behaviours or motivations that produces.

    People are people and unfortunately, we have built, or have allowed the building and setting in place of social environments that are fairly toxic. Those environments feed on one another and reinforce one another. They also speak to aspects of our psychological make up and reinforce, discourage or even initiate or give rise to traits and behaviours – none of which are immutable and all of which must always seek expression by interacting with other environmental factors.

    We live in an environment (in environments) that allow, condone and even reward violences. We can either sanction those who are violent in unacceptable ways, or we can look to our environments (social, political, economic), accept that they’re a bit fucked up, and use our general behaviours over time (at a population level) as a bell weather to tell us we have achieved a healthy reconfiguration of our living spaces or not.

    edit – On Tony Veitch. What he did was fucking ugly. And from reading his own words, Tony Veitch is still fucking ugly.

    • RedLogix 12.1

      people are a bit fucked up and many people do shit to others.

      Yet the remarkable, and often overlooked fact is that the vast majority of people are fundamentally good almost all of the time. Yet it is in the nature of destruction that one brief instant can undo the constructive work of a lifetime or more. The scales are very unevenly weighted.

      Otherwise yes, understanding the roots causes here requires we set aside blame, put down vengefulness and take a hard look ourselves. My argument is that like all human behaviour violence is an intersection between instinct, experience and social constraints.

      And I totally agree that given how economically violent our world has become, it’s rather surprising how most people don’t react.

      • Bill 12.1.1

        …it’s rather surprising how most people don’t react.

        From verbal argument to physical and psychological assault … to self medicating, addicted, compulsive or self loathing coping mechanisms…depression, wrecklessness, control freakery…There’s a list of common destructive reactions as long as my arm Red.

  13. Danyl Mclauchlan 13

    Yet the truth is that for the vast majority of men, the ‘patriarchy’ is of no advantage or privilege to them at all

    I’m glad we’ve settled that. Now if we can all agree that wealth confers no advantage or privilege over poverty, the whole of the left can just pack up and go home.

    • RedLogix 13.1

      The vast majority of ordinary men are not wealthy at all, and spend their lives in service of their family whom they love and treasure deeply.

      • TTD 13.1.1


      • Danyl Mclauchlan 13.1.2

        The vast majority of ordinary men are not wealthy at all, and spend their lives in service of their family whom they love and treasure deeply.

        Many men have poor eyesight and rely on scent to find the nectar they depend on as their primary food source.

        • RedLogix

          Often what you may see as my power and privilege, I may perceive as my duty or responsibility. It complicates these discussions a lot.

        • Colonial Viper

          While the Queen sits in the hive all day while all the goodies are brought home to her by the male drones.

  14. Rebecca 14

    I would seriously ask all those at the Standard to consider removing this post and apologising, particularly given the public comment from the victim’s family today (but also because of pretty much all of the content, being addressed by commenters above). It really does damage the credibility of this site. Publishing this was a mistake, and it should be rectified.

    • Jenny Kirk 14.1

      I think this has been a worthwhile discussion, Rebecca. Some people have become upset by it, but generally speaking those who are genuinely concerned about the domestic violence in our society – and there is heaps of it going on all the time – adult to child, child to child, adult to adult – need to be allowed to voice their opinions, listen to others and come to some personal conclusions. This is a major issue in our society and we cannot keep ignoring it.

    • RedLogix 14.2

      As noted at the beginning I only put this post up because another author asked me to.

    • weka 14.3

      I would seriously ask all those at the Standard to consider removing this post and apologising, particularly given the public comment from the victim’s family today (but also because of pretty much all of the content, being addressed by commenters above). It really does damage the credibility of this site. Publishing this was a mistake, and it should be rectified.

      Thanks Rebecca, that’s pretty much how I feel as well.

      One of the problems here is that The Standard is run by a loose collective of people with no editorial control by any of them. I guess technically one of the other authors could remove this post, or delete the contents and replace them with an apology (which would leave the comments in place). But afaik none of them would consider they have the authority to do so. I also doubt that they would support the view that removing it is more important than allowing the conversation to run.

      Which brings up a second problem. Most of the authors i.e. the people who have login access, are men. That’s the dominant culture here and while some of those men are supportive of feminism and work against misogyny, there is still an underlying culture that I would name as prioritising men’s values over women’s. This is why the largest left wing blog in NZ has no regular feminist authors, and in fact doesn’t have any at all at the moment writing about women-focussed issues.

      This has been discussed at times, how to encourage feminists to write here, but feminists know damn well why they don’t and until the men who are largely controlling the site are willing to listen to us, and to share power, the situation won’t change.

      From my perspective, removing this post would be the lowest kind of committment to being an inclusive site instead of yet another left wing space that men deem to allow others into when it suits. It does present them with quite a major dilemma, because the whole ethos of the site is built around robust debate and allowing people to say what they will so long as others can counter it. But in this case, the public interest is easily on the side of sacrificing that principle in favour of gender equity.

      I am heartened and grateful that a number of men have rebutted the content of the post, because too often this has been left up to women here and most of us have had enough (those that are even still here). This includes left wing men coming from offsite. Thank-you for doing the right thing and sharing the load. I also think that some of those comments are more likely to be heard by the author as opposed to if feminists were to address the content. In other words, the problems with this post, the content and its existence on The Standard are an issue that men need to deal with.

      • RedLogix 14.3.1

        . In other words, the problems with this post, the content and its existence on The Standard are an issue that men need to deal with.

        And yet when I explore WHY it is that so many men remain on the sidelines, why it is that decades of campaigning has seen little change, why so many men remain silent or covertly hostile on this topic … you demand I shut up.


        • One Anonymous Bloke


          Concocting self-serving narratives is not exploration.

          • RedLogix

            You are at your weakest when you revert to sneering, shaming and controlling comments like that.

            It is clear you disagree; try adding to the conversation rather than diminishing it. That is what The Standard is for.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              As Weka put it, several people have already rebutted your narrative. Your excuse that you’re “exploring” doesn’t stand up. Perhaps if you engage with what they’re saying rather than accusing them of trying to censor you, I won’t need to comment again.

        • weka

          I haven’t told you to shut up. I’m saying that The Standard shouldn’t be publishing MRA-like viewpoints because it has a responsibility as a left wing blog. You can say and believe what you like Red.

          • BM

            Dangerous stuff telling authors what to write.

            Don’t be surprised if you cop a ban.

            [RL: No she won’t.]

      • Rebecca 14.3.2

        Thanks Weka, appreciate your comments. I guess I still feel, especially in light of the comments from Steve Dunne today, that ahead of the respect for internal Standards processes I am concerned that Veitch apologists take heart from the existence of things like this post, and that whether we like it or not, some people will take the fact of this post being up as some kind of left endorsement for Veitch and his most recent comments, I think it would be much better for the world if it was just not there.

        • weka

          I completely agree Rebecca.

          • Rosie

            Thank you for the discussion Rebecca and weka. As mentioned further up the thread, in response to mpledger at 2.2, (and others) I feel quite troubled by the content of this post.

            • weka

              Thanks Rosie, I’d missed that. I’m trying really hard to not get into that aspect because I find the underlying beliefs disturbing, unsupported by fact and basically to be the same arguments used by people who hate women. It’s unsupportable to have such in a post on Ts. I don’t want to argue against them under this post because imo they have no legitimacy in left wing debate.

              • Rosie

                “I’m trying really hard to not get into that aspect because I find the underlying beliefs disturbing, unsupported by fact and basically to be the same arguments used by people who hate women.”

                Are you referring to what I mentioned about the field of evolutionary psychology? (Or biology to use RL’s terms)

                If so, I find that it’s a weak place to stand on any discussion on human behaviour at it’s most harmless but dangerous at it’s worst, such as when referenced by that pro rape group return of the kings or whatever they call themselves.
                Fwiw,I got the impression that psychology tutors I had were a bit dismissive of the field. Faddish.

                • weka

                  Not your comments, but the MRA-like stuff (I’d be happy to have the conversation with you at another time and place). Yes it has its proponents in some areas of science and social science (don’t know how much damage is being done there), but I’m more focussed on the damage that gets done in the political sphere when men can make such arguments on the left. The left still being a place where women can be assaulted by left wing men and that not be dealt with because of the culture. So yeah, dangerous in many ways.

                  • Rosie

                    Ok. Thanks for the clarification.

                    I’m out of time. Probably shouldn’t have gotten into commenting when I’m rushing and tired – but this post had an upsetting and off putting effect for many reasons partly because of this “The left still being a place where women can be assaulted by left wing men and that not be dealt with because of the culture.” (don’t start me on all CV’s patronising anti women, put down women snipes either, it’s all just part of the bigger picture)

                    There is so much to say but others have had the time to put it more succinctly than I can at the moment.

                    Big ups to the two male bloggers who took the time to comment on this post. It’s uplifting to read. And to the supportive Men of The Standard. Your solidarity is hugely appreciated.

        • adam

          Thanks Weka and Rebecca.

          I was getting sick reading this post till I read your comments.

          The only thing this post shows is that there is still a very long way to go to for men to address their attitudes towards women.

          Patriarch is still firmly in place, and being left wing does not mean you are automatically lest sexist and/or not a misogynist.

          “One cannot be too extreme in dealing with social ills; the extreme thing is generally the true thing.” — Emma Goldman

          “Revolution is the festival of the oppressed.” — Germaine Greer

          • weka

            Heh, hadn’t seen that Greer quote before.

          • Colonial Viper

            The only thing this post shows is that there is still a very long way to go to for men to address their attitudes towards women.

            That may be, but women only have limited valid contributions to that discussion, exactly like men have only limited valid contributions to the attitudes that women should hold.

        • Bob

          “especially in light of the comments from Steve Dunne today”
          Rebecca, I completely understand your position, but Steve Dunne’s position contridicts Tony Veitch’s. Your position in fact back’s up the point that the male is always the perpetrator and should not have their side of the story heard.
          I think it takes immense strength for someone like RL to come out and tell his story, especially in a world where he would rightly be vilified if he were to retaliate, and yet people like yourself don’t even want him to tell his story (which may or may not be similar to that of Tony Veitch’s).
          What you are asking, is for all male victims of spousal abuse to stay quiet, don’t retaliate and ‘man up’, that is just plain wrong.

      • miravox 14.3.3

        Thanks for the succinct explanation weka.

        And extra thanks for this bit:

        I am heartened and grateful that a number of men have rebutted the content of the post, because too often this has been left up to women here and most of us have had enough (those that are even still here). This includes left wing men coming from offsite. Thank-you for doing the right thing and sharing the load.

      • Victoria Blake 14.3.4

        I don’t see that we should be concerned by the alleged lack of feminist input to this site.

        The left remained electorally saleable as long as it was humanist. A feminist critique added to that, but to excess it became devisive (indeed literally chauvenistic) and so not a vote winner.

    • Magisterium 14.4

      [lprent: You were banned here. Added another week. ]

  15. Sirenia 15

    This post reinforces the patriarchy and rape culture. It demeans The Standard as an inclusive forum for the left.

    • Mrs Brillo 15.1

      I agree with you, Sirenia. This made sorry reading.

      Veitch attacked his partner not once, but several times over the course of three years. More than once it involved knocking or throwing her down then kicking her.

      If you’ve done wrong, the moral thing to do is own your actions, make amends to those who suffered from your actions, then do some serious work to get your messed-up head or personality straightened out.

      Veitch appears to have done his damnedest to avoid all three. Aided and abetted by people who should be ashamed of themselves.

      And the dearth of women posting on this forum might tell us all something about how seriously to take its assumption of “inclusivity”. Women apparently do not see it as a safe place, and postings like RL’s are part of the reason.

  16. This is a poor bit of writing with some terrible biological essentialism as both argument and defence.

    You’re spot on about performative gender, but that’s indicative of an embedded issue of masculinity, and feminine and other gender identities position as lesser than masculinity. It’s not something inherent. It can change, it can be changed.

    As for men being harmed by patriarchy, you’re damn right. The way which masculine identity is used to check those transgressing imagined gender boundaries and behaviour hurts men, the expectation to ‘be a man’ and ‘man up’ hurts men – and yet those men still all benefit from patriarchy.

    And that ‘ugly melee intent on kicking him when he’s down’ is either the worst case of not thinking about the words you use to discuss an issue or the most delicately subtle dark comedy I have ever seen.

    There’s room for a discussion on partner violence, because some women are violent and abusive to men. But overwhelmingly majority of it is traffic in the opposite direction, that’s why the body count for domestic abuse is higher for women than for men.

    But the argument made here doesn’t even get anywhere near that issue. Instead it chucks some intellectually barren arguments together, nearly gets to the point about performativity but then veers off into biology and essentialism – which has traditionally been an environment for some really, really awful stuff from the left and right.

    • RedLogix 16.1

      Of course the argument is simplified; but an intelligent reader should be capable of filling in the gaps. It’s a topic which has filled libraries, attacking me for what I left out in 808 words is cheap and lazy. Try adding something rather than taking away.

      And are you claiming that biology has nothing to do with it? That will come as a surprise to a lot of people.

        • RedLogix

          I’m short on time now but I’ll reply briefly here. And apologies for not reading all of your post. However in one excerpt you write:

          A ‘hideous relationship’. Yes, it was hideous. Because Veitch kicked Dunne-Powell repeatedly while she was on the floor. Then first refused and then eventually took her to hospital. Then he went off to work. She was temporarily put in a wheelchair by the attack and has spent time since working with domestic violence groups. And she’s the victim.

          Which is all true. Nowhere have I or anyone else attempted to minimise or divert from this.

          But also note how you have carefully erased the other reality going on here; that prior to this attack it was clearly a ‘toxic relationship’. Something both of them were caught up in and neither had the tools to either fix or end.

          By pretending that all women are always perfect angels who are never abusive in their own way, we obscure the fact this was likely a mutually dysfunctional relationship of one form or another. Of course none of that justifies or excuses Veitch’s attack in the slightest, but how much better for both of them if they had both been able to recognise and understand what was going on and either seek help or end it long before she finished up in hospital.

          How much better if they had both understood that what was happening was NOT normal, that what they were both experiencing as a “hideous relationship” was a huge red-flag that something was badly wrong. For both of them.

          Just constraining the narrative to Veitch’s actions alone, obscures the context and prevents us from understanding the causes.

          • John Palethorpe

            So I read all of your post, comment on it and you take me to task for not reading the parts that you didn’t write.

            You don’t read all of my post and then take me to task for something I left out, which happens to be the precise argument Veitch used to excuse what he did.

            I’m terribly sorry that I don’t view his perception of why what he did wasn’t that bad as worthy of serious discussion.

            You’ve done an awful lot of defensive work, based around the writing being incomplete. Perhaps you should expand it, really put the time and effort your argument obviously needs, so that we don’t find you so confronting or, y’know, wrong.

          • McFlock

            KDP was in a toxic relationship and didn’t leave it before she ended up with a broken back.
            TV was in a toxic relationship and didn’t leave it before he broke his partner’s back.

            The first was not picking that something would be done to her.
            The second was something that he chose to do, even if he was under stress, tired, whatever. Even if it was an automatic impulse, his decision to not call an ambulance showed that he still had more consideration for his career (even when tired and stressed) than he did for his partner.

            There’s your context.

            • arkie

              Boom. Exactly.

            • Psycho Milt

              Even if it was an automatic impulse, his desicion to not call an ambulance showed that he still had more consideration for his career (even when tired and stressed) than he did for his partner.

              Yeah. He keeps talking about “lashing out” in “frustration” to the media, but his behaviour following the attack talks pretty eloquently about cold-blooded deliberation.

    • Alicia G 16.2

      And right on cue, here’s Man Booker Prize winner John Palethorpe come to critique the writing of someone with a differing opinion.

      The lack of oxygen in your Twitter bubble today must be asphyxiating.

  17. SueB 17

    A piece that the author acknowledges is over simplified has what value in sparking valid debate?
    It begins by quoting a piece about violence by women and then beyond bemoaning the public backlash to Veitch’s latest attempt at self promotion. the entire piece seems to be based on the premise that women are not doing enough to stop male violence.
    The author then deflects criticism of the publishing of this thinly veiled attack on victims by claiming he only put the post up because someone else asked him to.
    It would appear in RedLogix’s world responsibility always rests with others. Underlying all Veitch’s public pleas has been the same “logic”.

    • RedLogix 17.1

      Ah no. I’m always surprised at what people read into things. Try focussing on what I actually write than what you think I have. It will help a lot.

      For instance:

      the entire piece seems to be based on the premise that women are not doing enough to stop male violence.

      Actually after three decades or more of women fighting in this issue that is plainly not true, it is men who largely remain on the sidelines. But why?

      Most men do not want to hurt their partners or family. Most perpetrators (not all I accept) are genuinely appalled and sorry in the immediate aftermath. Yet like addicts they keep falling back into the cycle.

      And as a man I’m tired of reading the same shameful stats over and over. So where is the barrier to change here? Why is it so hard to get men to act? I’m trying to explore that question as a man. Sorry if you find that confronting.

      • SueB 17.1.1

        Hardly confronting, condescending definitely, lacking in anything more than a self important diatribe with zero substance.

        “Most men do not want to hurt their partners or family. Most perpetrators (not all I accept) are genuinely appalled and sorry in the immediate aftermath. Yet like addicts they keep falling back into the cycle”

        Most men are violent to family even though they do not want to be and are appalled by their actions? So now it is an impulse control issue? Another over simplification that intelligent readers must fill in the glaringly huge gaps as you cannot/will not?

        Do you see this lack of personal responsibility as perhaps a reason why your “logic” is actually symbolic of the reasoning many (Veitch is a good example) use to attempt to apportion a degree of blame to the recipient of violence?

        • RedLogix

          Funny how when it comes to issues which are important to women, it is all about the patriarchy and how the system disadvantages them.

          Yet when it comes to domestic violence it is ALL about men and ONLY men taking personal responsibility.

          Of course if you want to remain stuck in the blame game I cannot think of anything constructive to add.

          In fact I’ve run out of time at the moment and need to end my responses here.

          • Sabine

            now that is just a foolish comment.

            many here have agreed with you that women are able to be just as violent as men.
            it is however statistically proven that most of the violence meted out is by men against women and children.

            Now this might be due to men not speaking up, or maybe it is due to man not ending up in hospitals or morgues in the same number as women do.

            But then it isPatriachy who tells boys not to cry, it is Patriachy who tells boys to suck it up and be manly about it, and it is also Patriachy who tells the little girl that was hit by a little boy that the ‘boy must like you if he hits you” and that the little boy just simply does not know how to show his love, so hitting is what he did.

            Patriarchy harms men as women, and frankly that has been pointed out by feminists for what seems to be ever. But never let facts get in your way.

            It is a fact that Tony Veitch has yet to state unequivocally that he harmed and injured his partner, HE DID IT, not the frustration he may have felt that day because his dinner was served less then the appropriate temperature, or what ever other reason he wants to make up for. He was lucky he did not permanently cause her to live in a wheelchair, HE was lucky he did not accidentally kill her, He was lucky that she has kept quiet ever since. Until and unless he admits to himself that he fucked up he will only ever write half excuses for what he did. And chances are that he will fuck up again.

            Nothing that she did should have caused him physically harm her until he broke her back, nothing you did should have given reason to your abuser to do what she did to you, and nothing that I wore as an eleven year old should have caused my rape by my abuser. They are the ones at fault. Full stop here. They took the decision to hurt the other because they could. Not because they were forced too, or because society or evolution or biology or stuff .

            Don’t find excuses for Tony Veitch, he is quite capable of finding them himself. Because as of today, he still has not accepted the fact that he was a very lucky man. She did not end up permanently disabled or dead, and that is why he got away, that and lot’s of money and being a prominent NZ’ler. And according to her father, he never even found the courage to say ” i am sorry to have caused to pain, injury and lifelong issues of anxiety, stress and what nots’. That is not a man who is searching for truth, this is a man who is looking for public validation, and obviously he will get it. Patriarchy is alive and well in NZ, and he is part of it.

          • SueB

            Funny how you create a fictional narrative and ignore any point raised about your actual words isn’t it?

            It would be very interesting to see you add something constructive in response to what is said rather than this dismissive deflection.

            Violence is never excusable, not when the perpetrator is male, female or a celebrity. Most people certainly blame the offender, most expect solutions to come about by discussing how we stop offenders being violent as opposed to oft used and never successful claim that the victim must alter their behavior to suit the offender.

            I find you, as an individual, one of the most defensive and condescending examples of pseudo intellectual I have read in a long time. It has nothing to do with your gender, just your words.

            • Colonial Viper

              Violence is never excusable?

              Give me a break. What parallel universe do you live in. Even in law, violence between individuals is sometimes excusable. And governments often find violence highly excusable.

              Get off your moralistic high horse and get back to the real world.

              And your talk about pseudo-intellectuals is so ironic it is laughable.

              • SueB

                What a seriously stupid pile of nonsense.

                Violence is excusable because in some undisclosed laws you claim it is? And of course the old chestnut “Government does it” makes domestic violence totally palatable doesn’t it?

                If more people got a few morals then fewer would suffer violence that people like you attempt to excuse. The real world for far too many is not comfortably sitting behind a screen thumping your chest and trying to act tough, it is simply surviving. Perhaps it is you who needs to see how that reality works for actual victims.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Pffft. The world is full of victims and full of people who consider themselves victims. It has been since antiquity.

                  But your comment that violence is never excusable is demonstrably false both in law and in the day to day actions of governments and their authorities.

                  As for “trying to act tough.” LOL to you on your moralistic high horse.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            “Yet when it comes to domestic violence it is ALL about men and ONLY men taking personal responsibility.”

            Read one way…that statement/accusation is so close to “she asked for it” that you may well be swimming in lava.

            Read the way I’m hoping you mean it…’is that women reject the idea that women are capable of violence towards men’…not true, and please cite where on this, or the other TV thread, that that has been stated.

            Poor use of CAPITALS too…kinda makes me think that you ACTUALLY BELIEVE WHAT YOU ARE SAYING.

            Which is a bit of a worry.

  18. trendy leftie 18

    This reminds me of the “Labour does it too” argument that National run, only now it is “women do it too”.

  19. arkie 19

    This feels like a gendered variant of “Labour did it too”

  20. maui 20

    This post is getting hard to look at it to be honest. Mysoginistic writings from someone who doesn’t think they’re mysoginistic on an often progressive blog. Cringeworthy.

  21. http://tewharewhero.blogspot.co.nz/2015/10/an-open-letter-to-tony-veitch.html

    The above was my response to Veitch’s previous public ‘mea-culpa-but-not-really’. And I remain of the same opinion.

  22. McFlock 22

    The thing that perplexes me a bit is how this is a defense of Tony Veitch.

    In TRP’s initial post about Veitch’s latest failed attempt to persuade people he’s learned to control himself, as far as I could see in the post and the discussion it was all about Veitch still failing to fully take responsibility for his actions. Nobody was discussing whether only men were abusers or whatever until RL put it into the debate.

    And what if there were systemic issues at play when TV decided to beat his partner? It’s not like he was stealing to feed his kids, or had never encountered the idea that there was another way of having a relationship. We can learn from him and any others about how to do a campaign to stop privileged people treating their partners/family as property, but that doesn’t mean he’s not responsible for his actions. He should have known better.

    As for why intimate partner violence is still happening, I reckon we’re still at the stage where we have to acknowledge the extent of the problem (not just poor or brown people) and who does it (anyone). You have to know the extent of a problem before you can solve it.

    • weka 22.1

      “Nobody was discussing whether only men were abusers or whatever until RL put it into the debate.”

      That’s right. The context here is RL’s MRA-like views. The idea that only men abuse is in his head, not anyone elses. His arguments on this topic (not just in the past few days) are full of these strawmen, which makes it tedious to address, because before you can even get to the issue of TV you have to pull out all the underlying misogyny, name it and deal with that first.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 22.2

      You have to know the extent of a problem before you can solve it.

      Usually you only find out the extent of a problem once you start trying to solve it. Meanwhile, Women’s Refuge can give you a pretty good idea, and every time they do, who’s listening?

  23. Sarah Martin 23

    This post is disturbingly and dangerously ignorant. Your very misinformed opinion that “women always chose for their partners them [sic] most physically, sexually or economically dominant male they can select at the moment” is tantamount to saying that a woman “asks for it” when that physically dominant partner asserts his dominance and breaks her back. Victim-blaming perpetuates and justifies violence and is unacceptable in any forum.

    There is breathtaking absence of intellectual rigour or logic in your argument. You begin by saying that violence is a non-gendered issue, because women are violent too (and yet, indisputably, violence is overwhelmingly committed by men) and then go on to say that male violence is an inescapable male condition: “And in all of nature males violently compete for female attention and mating rights. As a women and a mother of sons I find this outdated gender reductionism completely unacceptable.

    As to whether not all men benefit from the patriarchy – of course there are multiple social, economic and political structures that oppress men as much as women – however men of all classes, ethnicities and religions do benefit to some degree from the unequal gender power relations that still pervade much of our lives.

    You’re right that there are many and complex root causes of violence, and they merit discussion and further investigation. However, you miss the opportunity to to this and instead seem to justify male violence on the basis that “women do it to” and “men can’t help it and women chose it that way”. Your excuses that you were over-simplying the issue are cowardly and meaningless. I think you said it just as you think it, and you should be prepared to defend your [indefensible] position or apologise and rescind. If you do have something more insightful and enlightening to say you should have said it.

    Note to the editors of the Standard (are there any??): personally I don’t think there’s a place for such misinformed, mysogonist and conservative pieces on a progressive blog. Its not just the opinions I disagree with (which I’m happy to do) but also the lack of rigour in the writing and the argument. This is not quality contribution to debate on domestic violence and I think your reputation is much damaged for publishing such rubbish.

    [r0b (an editor) – It is well known that this blog is a loose collective and the authors don’t always agree. I’m not a fan of this post either, but pointing out its problems is what the comments are for, as you have just done.]

    [RL: You put this statement is quote marks However, you miss the opportunity to to this and instead seem to justify male violence on the basis that “women do it to” and “men can’t help it and women chose it that way” as if they are a direct quote from my OP. They are not. What you are doing is projecting something you have imagined I said. This never makes for clear communication or a constructive conversation.

    However I’m open to suggestion as to how you think my argument should have been constructed better. Given that gender is plainly not the root cause of dv, given that all the experts do talk about the need to dominate and control, and that you do agree that the are deep and complex causes which merit discussion … then your reply would have been a good moment to at least indicate what you have in mind. Attacking me as a ‘coward’ doesn’t feel like your best effort. ]

    • Sarah Martin 23.1

      I don’t expect (or even want) everyone to agree, but I do think there should be some minimum standards as to the quality of posts. You know, so we don’t waste our time arguing, for instance, on whether the earth is flat or whether men beat women because its just the way they’re made.

      • McFlock 23.1.1

        The only thing that stops me agreeing with you is the idea that this blog is a discussion site for everyone across the left: sadly, apologising for sexual and intimate partner violence is still a thing within portions of the left.

        It paints a picture “warts and all”, and shows us where we all can improve. Maybe one day we can discuss Veitch or others without it going off the rails, even if opposing point of view posts are felt to be needed.

        • weka

          I’d agree with that McFlock, except that The Standard no longer has any feminist authors willing to post on gender (or anything feminist). There is a reason for that and this post is part of it.

    • weka 23.2

      [r0b (an editor) – It is well known that this blog is a loose collective and the authors don’t always agree. I’m not a fan of this post either, but pointing out its problems is what the comments are for, as you have just done.]

      Out of curiosity, is there a line beyond which you or any of the other authors would be unwilling to go? A post promoting Holocaust denial? A post supporting legalising rape? A guest post by Matthew Hooton?

      Because if there is a line, then what we have here is yet again The Standard not being a safe place for women. It’s not about disagreeing, it’s about whether an organisation is promoting gendered violence culture in multiple ways.

      In which case, let’s no longer pretend that The Standard group has any real commitment to improving gender rights via this platform.

      • r0b 23.2.1

        Yes I think there is a line – circumstances where we would take down a post (it has happened once).

        We have had strong female authors (now gone), we still have some (not very active). But yes we clearly have a problem retaining active women.

        Would like to discuss this further but am gone for several hours.

        • weka

          I’m going to hazard a guess that the greater majority of feminist authors on ts to date would say that this piece should not have been published. If the standard had women moderators that reflected the number of feminists on social media, I think this would be playing out differently. As it is, the line of acceptability is being decided by men who quite possibly don’t understand what women are really saying about this or why they are saying it. There’s no shame in that not knowing, but it’s not ok to keep pretending either.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            “I’m going to hazard a guess that the greater majority of feminist authors on ts to date would say that this piece should not have been published”

            I’m not an author, nor even a regular TS commentor and certainly (after having been well and truly put in my place on more than one occasion) do not feel like one of the ‘club’.

            Yet, since I my unfortunate kneejerk “enabler” comment triggered by RL’s ““I find this post unnecessary and distasteful. All it does is rip open wounds and ill-feelings, pushes buttons and perpetuates the wrongs on all sides.” comment kind of led to him writing this post, I’m going to risk another opinion.

            Please don’t ban posts like this on The Standard.

            Knowledge is power.

            And now we all know.

            One thing I would suggest is that once the ‘edit/cancel/delete time has expired, commentors (even moderators) should not be able to remove comments.

            This makes further comments about that deleted comment look a bit weird.

            Yours, Damn Stupid.

            • weka

              Hi Rosemary, do you have any ideas on how Ts could be made safe for feminist authors?

              • Rosemary McDonald

                Hi weka.

                I guess, no, I know, that the single biggest problem is that people are not actually reading what they are commenting about.

                Not really, really reading. And understanding exactly what the other person means.

                And then often take an antagonist position

                And we end up with a smelly, blinding, little shit storm.

                “…safe for feminist authors?”

                I don’t think any author/commentor is ‘safe’ in that environment.

                We should show respect for others by listening to what they say.

                My twopennyworth….

                and I appreciate being asked 😉

                • weka

                  Thanks Rosemary. I’ve gone and read your comments in the other thread (I didn’t read a lot of that the other day because I know Red’s views and didn’t want to expose myself to them again). I’ve also commented to Lynn in support of your use of the label ‘enabler’.

                  I guess, no, I know, that the single biggest problem is that people are not actually reading what they are commenting about.

                  Not really, really reading. And understanding exactly what the other person means.

                  And then often take an antagonist position

                  And we end up with a smelly, blinding, little shit storm.

                  Yes. As much as I love a good argument (and I do) the very big down side is exactly as you describe. Pretty much all the conversations I’ve been in on ts like this one are like that.

                  “…safe for feminist authors?”

                  I don’t think any author/commentor is ‘safe’ in that environment.

                  We should show respect for others by listening to what they say.

                  True, and yet in general men are much more comfortable here than women. There are people who will be relatively well off even in this environment and there will be people that just have to stay away and many in between. There was a woman on twitter yesterday talking about how the Veitch thing had brought up all the trauma again and how that affects her on the day. Until women like her can speak up, be listened to, and heard, there is no safety and no progress.

                  Those women cannot come into a space like this easily and those that do often get argued with in ways that seem ok to the men but are actually not safe. And there is not a good understanding here of what that safety means. I know when I’ve raised issues of safety in the past I’ve met denial and even ridicule. So yes I agree that the culture is not engendering safety in general, but it is also downright unsafe for some in a far worse way.

                  It’s even worse for authors. They get verbally abused and threatened.

                  My twopennyworth….

                  and I appreciate being asked

                  Always appreciate your perspectives.

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    Thanks weka.

                    I reread “The Women’s Room” a while back.

                    Nothing much has changed, eh?

                    Ditto for child victims.

              • Sabine

                you can’t make anything safer Weka, and you should know this by now.

                However, it should also mean that we need not shut up. In fact, we need these discussions, we need even the trivial put downs and abuses that are often hurled at us, sometimes even in Caps, so that those that won’t believe us, have a chance to believe their eyes.

                But make an online forum safer?
                Safer from whom? Men who feel they are hard done by women? Men who feel that they have lost privilege? Men that want to blame women for their own short comings? That is never going to happen.

                it’s sad, but it should never shut us down, and I don’t consider my self a feminist writer, i just consider myself a female commentator.

                • weka

                  There are feminist authors who no longer write here. Some of that is a safety issue. There are other women who won’t write here. Some of that is a safety issue. Of course it is possible to make places safer. I’ve been in places that are safe, and places that aren’t. Many women have. You don’t have to see it that way, but please don’t try and define the reality of other women.

                  I’m willing to talk about safety on ts, but not in the face of people saying it’s impossible and never going to happen before they even understand what I mean.

                  • Sabine

                    I actually did not say that. Please don’t always dismiss what i said.

                    Fact is that we can’t make things safer. WE can take precautions, we can not walk down the dark alley way, we can have procedures in place like call a friend half way through a first date etc etc etc. And you would be so much better in talking about this than I as your english is light years better then mine.

                    We can ban noxious posters, we can ban bullying and the likes, but for everyone we ban or dismiss a few others will raise their ugly heads.

                    So in response to your question i gave you a heartfelt response. That despite the fact that ‘we’ cant make it safer ‘we’ nevertheless can not give up.

                    I am a women as much as you are Weka, i know a lot about making myself safer, and i speak from that experience. ‘We’ can’t make “it” safer, we can only prepare ourself better. And sometimes that means leaving a place to never return, not writing a post, not commenting, not participating. But that did not make anything safer for those that stayed behind.

                    • weka

                      Ok, so you believe it’s not possible to make the standard safer. If other women believe it is possible will you stand in their way? Will you support them?

            • miravox

              Hi Rosemary, I was pretty appalled to read what you’ve been through and then to see you knocked back.

              Please, don’t stop talking, I for one, very much appreciate your perspective.

          • Colonial Viper

            No problem with your position weka as long as the male authors on ts also get input on which pieces the feminist authors should not publish or should retract after publishing.

            • weka

              Depends on what you mean by input. But note that I haven’t said that feminists should have veto power on posts written by men so if you think that is what I am suggesting it’s all on you that you still don’t get it.

              And, I’m not the one making it an us vs them thing here.

              • Colonial Viper

                I simply mean input – a discussion – and to confirm, I did not take your comment to suggest “veto power on posts.”

                • weka

                  Ok, well I don’t really understand then because of course everyone should have input. That’s assuming there was some kind of gender equity in the first place.

          • r0b

            Weka – I would love to see TS become a better space for women / feminist authors and commenters – become a better community. But I don’t know how to do it.

            One of my problems is that I can’t trust my own judgements on these matters – I have often been told that as a male my opinions and judgements on matters relating to women / feminist issues have no validity. OK fair enough, but now I’m not sure how to proceed.

            Genuinely open to all suggestions.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

              I have often been told that as a male my opinions and judgements on matters relating to women / feminist issues have no validity. OK fair enough…

              Do you accept this?

              • r0b

                Ever the stirrer GF! I don’t want discussion to get distracted from looking for constructive suggestions, so later perhaps.

            • te reo putake

              I’ve got a suggestion. Go through the authors/mods roster and remove all authors and moderators who are right wing, or who are misogynist, or who are bigots. Apologise publicly for having tolerated their bullshit, ask nicely if there are any women who would like to post and commit to moderating their work firmly so women know that they are now, and in the future, going to be respected here.

              I’m no sook, but there are times I’m ashamed to be associated with the Standard.

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                Ooh, a purge! Lovely.

                • If you don’t shit, you die. And the Standard badly needs a laxative.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Well just keep going mate your ongoing diarrhoea will prove really functional in that case.

                    I’ve got a suggestion. Go through the authors/mods roster and remove all authors and moderators who are right wing, or who are misogynist, or who are bigots.

                    I will follow your comment up in the authors/mods column.

            • weka

              Thanks r0b.

              Weka – I would love to see TS become a better space for women / feminist authors and commenters – become a better community. But I don’t know how to do it.

              I think in the first instance it’s about listening to what potential feminist writers want and being willing to act on that.

              One of my problems is that I can’t trust my own judgements on these matters – I have often been told that as a male my opinions and judgements on matters relating to women / feminist issues have no validity. OK fair enough, but now I’m not sure how to proceed.

              Myself I don’t see it as your (or men’s) opintions and judgements not being valid. It’s that there is a time and a place, and too often in political spheres women have either been told to take a back seat, or have been lectured on what they need. Or have been ignored. So we need some time and space where we get to predominate. If you want women here you have to let women have a significant say in how that will happen.

              • r0b

                I think in the first instance it’s about listening to what potential feminist writers want and being willing to act on that.

                Sign me up.

                If you want women here you have to let women have a significant say in how that will happen.

                I don’t believe that I am stopping them (or indeed that it is my place to “let” women do anything!).

                I will ask Lprent if it is possible to set up a post where comment is restricted to specified users…

                • McFlock

                  I will ask Lprent if it is possible to set up a post where comment is restricted to specified users…

                  Thinking on my own behaviour, there’re some topics that I’m aware I lose perspective on, and therefore probably some that I’m not aware of it. But I also like to think that I make reasonably sensible comments on other topics.

                  Just to get really complex, maybe putting some commenters on moderation for posts that have tags that indicate their (for want of a better word) triggers? Just the ones where people less invested in the topic might go “oh, not him again, another thread on cyclists derailed”, or whatever.

                  • swordfish

                    “But I also like to think that I make reasonably sensible comments on other topics.”

                    Jesus !, that’s a bit of a sweeping statement, McFlock. Let’s not be too hasty here.

                • lprent

                  I suspect that the only realistic way is to allow commenters to have logins again. Otherwise the CPU cost of the checking could be be pretty horrendous.

                  The idea would be to tag groups of users and then put tags into the allowed list for a post. The obvious tag is the author name and let the authors maintain their own lists by letting people apply to enter them. That also have puts the burden of maintaining the lists on to those who want them.

                  It should be pretty easy. We should make the limitations to commenting quite overt. However I suspect that the posts operated that way will quickly deteriorate into rather boring ghettos with low readerships.

                  • weka

                    I made the suggestion in the other thread of having a separate area for women authors to login into, where they can talk in private. Allow some regular women commenters in there too probably. Then let us figure some things out. Is that possible technically?

                    I’m not sure what r0b meant, if it was about having general conversation threads, or if he also meant a space where women coudl talk about how to improve things here for women.

                    • r0b

                      Sorry – I phrased poorly – I meant what weka suggests here – a one off post / space that is invitation only.

                • weka

                  “I don’t believe that I am stopping them (or indeed that it is my place to “let” women do anything!).”

                  See this is the problem. If you (in the plural, as in the mods) choose to moderate in a way that creates an unsafe space for women, that’s you both stopping and not allowing women here. It’s the same issue as every other strutural sexism. I don’t mean that you personally are being sexist, I’m saying that the system that you have power in that I don’t is geared towards men and against women and you (all, men authors) have some control over that that the women don’t. Even the few women authors that have had similar login privileges to you have the odds stacked against them. So I’m suggesting, asking that you (ts male authors) step up and proactively do something to change the situation.

                  • r0b

                    I think you should become an author.

                    As above, I have been told that I don’t have the judgement required to create a safe space for women, which makes it difficult for me to try without feeling hypocritical. Quite apart from the time requirement – I can’t put in more time, leaving would be my only option.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      I thought telling “us” how to run the site led to a ban:

                      Abusing the sysop or post writers on their own site – including telling us how to run our site or what we should write. This is viewed as self-evident stupidity, and should be added as a category to the Darwin Awards.

                      Seems to be a lot of that happening on this thread.

                    • weka

                      Thank-you r0b. I think I should work my way up to being an author, get a few more guest posts under my belt. If I were to become an author I wouldn’t write from an overtly feminist perspective the way things are here at the moment. That’s ok, there are plenty of other things for me to write about.

                      As above, I have been told that I don’t have the judgement required to create a safe space for women, which makes it difficult for me to try without feeling hypocritical.

                      Right. So where you have women saying they know what needs to happen, just support that and do the things they are asking. You don’t have to lead on this, but as one of the people who keeps the site going you do have power here.

                      Quite apart from the time requirement – I can’t put in more time, leaving would be my only option.

                      I’m not sure that it would require that much more time from everyone, I think the biggest obstacle here is attitudinal. I also think that there are a huge amount of posts going up at the moment and that an amount of that time could instead be spent on making changes to the site. Trade off some of the posts for the meta work. (although I can see why the current affairs of this time are so post-worthy).

                      btw, I hope you don’t retire, but I do get the huge amount of work you are doing (and micky and lynn). It would be a real loss if you stopped completely, and I’m esp appreciative of the way you have kept CC in the forefront of things. I hope that if new writers come on board that frees you up to write what is really important to you rather than feeling like you have to be producing every day. But I also understand if it’s been too much and you need a break.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      weka, you have my full support for a move up to being an author ASAP.

                      The quality of your writing and ideas is already right up there; the only thing is coming to full grips with the insertion of media and hyperlinks, tags etc. into your posts so that they can go up without needing editing and proofing effort from lprent etc.

                      But you only get good by doing it so I reckon you should ask for full author rights as soon as you feel comfortable with it.

            • Nelson Muntz

              Here you go:


              You can thank me later when your vagina has closed up and your balls have grown back. 🙂

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                You have to make it here once before you can “return”, but cowering twice won’t look very kingly 😆

    • The New Student 23.3

      Sarah Martin is quite possibly the best thing I’ve read all week. Fair call too re: quality check. Though a bit tough to swallow, I actually find posts like these to be quite enlightening. Opens my eyes that’s for sure o_0

      [RL: Given that Sarah Martin makes false misquotes from the OP and then constructs a personal attack on me from them, without actually addressing a word I said, your academic standards are not really good enough.]

  24. LudditeJourno 24

    Y’all made me blog, Mr RedLogix, so thanks for that, because this is a horror fest.

  25. dreadwomyn 25

    When I clicked on the article early this morning I had expected to read a satire from a progressive source. Instead I am faced with re-living nearly every victim blaming statement that was hurled at me when I escaped with my children.

    My takeaway from this article is that I was biologically predetermined to choose my abuser. All those years he screamed at me that it was my fault just came speeding back, guess the same applies to my rape.

    This article has derailed me, derailed the work of the counsellors, friends and family who have supported me over the years. It undermines the work of ‘its not ok’ & the white ribbon campaign and offers nothing at all to those who seek solutions to the appalling cultures of violence & rape that exist in Aotearoa.

    I had begun to hope we were making progess toward reducing and eradicating violence and rape, sadly this article proves not much has changed.

    • weka 25.1

      Yes, and that’s the worst of it for me, that the many, many women survivors voices are negated including the huge amount of work they have done to redress inequity that they are not responsible for.

      I think the lack of visibility of Kristen Dunne-Powell in Veitch’s story is a reflection of how invisible the rights of women are to be protected from this kind of cultural sanctioning of violence.

    • seeker 25.2

      Dear dreadwomyn

      I too was horrified by it, the title of the post was enough. I am surprised at Redlogix.
      I am sorry it has caused so much pain.

      • miravox 25.2.1


        Except for the “surprised by RedLogix” bit. We’ve been here before, which is why I’m reluctant to get involved in his discussions.

        • weka

          +1. For me it’s pointless to engage (been there, done that), although I am glad for the many people who have come here and called Red out on what he has written.

          • Colonial Viper

            And likewise I back Red’s right to express his perspective, his life experience and to defend it against people who don’t appreciate it.

  26. Draco T Bastard 26

    Tony Veitch is astounding

    This week’s most disturbing, cutting realness blog came from the Dad of Tony’s former partner Kristen. Steve the Dad isn’t taking any shit. He calls out Veitch on the fact Tony never apologized to Kristen, and is simply using the media to reconstruct his rep. What is an apology in public without one in person? What is an apology from a guy who has a long history of problematic behaviour but continues to diminish and downplay his actions?

  27. Stephen 27

    I am not prepared to accept at face value someone who claims they lost their temper in a one-off when in fact they have spent literally years abusing their partner: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/2427247/Tony-Veitch-police-file-released

    This article is a train-wreck for a progressive site: sketchy evo-bio arguments, placing blame on innate drives, countering a problem where men predominate with “but women do it too.” I would have expected to read it on some cranky men’s rights activist site, not The Standard.

    Domestic violence rates vary from society to society; even in NZ, most men manage to get through life without hitting their partners. Locating the blame in biology is the worst kind of gender essentialist cop-out.

    • Colonial Viper 27.1

      Sorry mate are you saying that no biological or evolutionary reason exists for men to be more physically aggressive and violent than women?

      Of course biology would be just one factor amongst many others but how are you so sure about this?

      Secondly, what on earth does “gender essentialist” mean?

      • Rosemary McDonald 27.1.1

        “Sorry mate(s)”…doing the male bonding thing…



        • Lucy

          That was unfair click on link and saw John Key – no need to listen to two creeps. Think that RL’s post continues the line that if we complain about the bro culture we are feminazi’s and we need to understand that 1) men can be victims of violence perpetrated by women and 2) that women sort of pick men who will beat the crap out of them. 2 appears to be the nub of RL’s post. I resent being told that if a man beats me I secretly want him to because of some genetic preconditioning! If a man beats a woman it’s because he is a sick fuck!

          • RedLogix

            Truly I have read your comment above and shake my head with amazement Lucy.

            I was the one who wrote that post and I know exactly what I was saying, and it absolutely bears zero relation to the conclusions you have drawn. I don’t mean this as a put down, and I hope you read it as an impassioned plea to go back and have another look.

            And this time please, please don’t project onto it all your worst fears about me.

    • RedLogix 27.2

      countering a problem where men predominate with “but women do it too.

      That was not the argument. The argument is simple; if dv was caused by gender alone then logically ALL perpetrators would be male. But they are not.

      So while gender clearly exacerbates the issue (ie male are the predominate offenders), it cannot be the root cause.

  28. Richard@Down South 28

    As an adult male, I find abuse of women appalling

    My mother left my dad when I was 4 1/2 years old due to him being abusive towards her, and myself…

    However, I do think ANY abuse is unacceptable… and that includes female on male, female on female, etc etc (or whatever someone wants to identify themselves as)

    I must say I found the attempted public apology this topic is about, to be just ‘marketing’

    • lprent 28.1

      I must say I found the attempted public apology this topic is about, to be just ‘marketing’

      So did I. My thought was that Veitch was job-hunting and his PR company thought that his public image could be a bit of a problem.

      I thought that the victim’s father’s post was spot on.

      • b waghorn 28.1.1

        Yep after going and reading her fathers post I’ve changed my view from seeing vietch as a guy whos taken his medicine to agreeing that he thinks he’s the victim, the fact he hasn’t personally apologized is proof.

  29. Richardrawshark 29

    In respect to Male assault female domestic Redlogix I find your words

    “Certainly for men the gift of our greater physical strength comes the greater responsibility to use it safely”

    your missing it, I think, we are basically the same homo-sapiens that appeared in Africa genetically, over the years humanity became more civilized, we started wearing cloths, we progress, it’s more civilized now, we don’t settle our issues with a duel at dawn and we don’t hit people in 2016.

    It still happens, is it genetics, are these people depressed and lashing out, are they thugs, I bet each case is different and some will be down right mean. All sexes do domestic violence, most violence alone is probably male-male, domestic, well.

    As for your suggestion

    “Why? Because women females always chose for their partners them most physically, sexually or economically dominant male they can select at the moment. This is basic observable biology. And in all of nature males violently compete for female attention and mating rights”

    I would suggest otherwise, A woman will choose a partner for many factors, genetics , there’s also a chemical reaction pheromones that play a part, oh far more goes into it than picking the sexiest dominant male in the room.and your answer is way off the science behind human mating. Wouldn’t be many 6 stone weaklings walking about would there? I suppose.

    I do also think this is a poorly worded opinion piece, but I respect your point of view and hope my reply helps change your belief a little.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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  • Five things we know about COVID-19, and five we don’t
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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  • The price of Green co-operation just went up
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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  • Swimming with whales: you must know the risks and when it’s best to keep your distance
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  • Driving Out The Money-Changers Of Reactionary Christianity.
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  • Could academic streaming in New Zealand schools be on the way out? The evidence suggests it should b...
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
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  • A Time To Begin Again.
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  • Labour’s tax trauma victims and how they might help the Greens
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    PunditBy Tim Watkin
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  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – Labour gives up on tax transformation
    Will the rich get richer under Labour’s latest tax policy? Based on the analysis in reaction to yesterday’s announcement, the answer would seem to be yes. The consensus from commentators is that inequality and severe economic problems will remain unchanged or even be made worse by Labour’s new policy. Although ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
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  • Labour on energy: Business as usual
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
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  • Climate Change: Overshoot
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    2 weeks ago

  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
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  • Government backing Māori landowners
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
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    4 days ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
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  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
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  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
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  • More resources for kiwi conservation
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  • Improving access to affordable electricity
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  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
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  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
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  • Advancing clean energy technology
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  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
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  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
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  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
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  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
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  • PGF funding for Jobs for Nature programme
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  • Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability
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  • Timaru’s Theatre Royal to be upgraded and new heritage facility built
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    7 days ago
  • District Court judge appointed
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  • Approval given to Commercial Film and Video Production Proposal
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  • Supporting a thriving wānanga sector to benefit Māori learners
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  • Jobs for Nature boosts efforts to restore Kaimai-Mamaku
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  • New Zealand first in the world to require climate risk reporting
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  • Economic data highlights impact of Auckland moving out of Level 3
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  • PM statement on Cabinet COVID-19 Alert Level review
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  • Join the one in a million reo Māori moment
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  • Education initiatives add to momentum of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2020
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  • The Toloa Tertiary Scholarships for 2021 aims to increase Pacific participation in STEM
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  • Financial support for timber industry
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  • New Zealand to host Bledisloe Cup in October and ready to attract other international sporting event...
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  • Hundreds more regional apprenticeships
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