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It’s not ok

Written By: - Date published: 12:13 pm, July 9th, 2008 - 53 comments
Categories: john key, news - Tags:

Is it a sign of a successful campaign regarding family violence – that “it’s not ok” – which sees broadcaster Tony Veitch taking time away from his television and radio shows in the wake of revelations that he allegedly assaulted his former partner? It certainly seems to have generated quite a bit of discussion amongst my friends – some observing that the days of sweeping domestic violence under the carpet (along with its effects of family and society) are long gone. And if we think this is a good thing, don’t we expect the agents of the this evolution to be supported?

Should we be concerned that Mr Key has raised questions over the future of the Families Commission, who are one of the main sponsors of the anti-Family violence campaign?

KiwiParent Election questionnaire – Families Commission: What value do you place on the role of the Families Commission in New Zealand? What is your party’s intentions towards the Families Commission, do you intend to keep it, disband it, or change its current form?

National believes that the Families Commission should focus on supporting everyday parents. We are not convinced that all of their current work, including advertising campaigns worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, are necessarily of practical help to mums and dads.

For myself as a parent, kept pretty busy looking after my brood, I don’t have a lot of time to think about policy but I’m glad the Families Commission is there to look out for kids. So Mr Key – what are your plans?

53 comments on “It’s not ok”

  1. dave 1

    I’m glad the Families Commission is there to look out for kids.
    If only it was, then I`ll be glad too… The Families Commission does NOT look out for kids and thats not OK either.

  2. sean 2

    “For myself as a parent, kept pretty busy looking after my brood, I don?t have a lot of time to think about policy but I?m glad the Families Commission is there to look out for kids. So Mr Key – what are your plans?”

    How exactly are they looking after kids? Advertisements on TV are as effective at preventing abuse as microchipping a dog is at preventing dog attacks. How much advertising would it take to have prevented the Kahui’s being murdered?

    Kids are still being abused and murdered – we’re lucky if a week goes by without an article on a new abuse case or the failing of CYFS yet again.

    Increasing an advertising budget won’t do sweet FA.

  3. LabourMustBeLiquidated 3

    Have to admire the way you can turn any subject into a pretext to attack John Key.

    [lprent: It sort of comes up. Obviously you don’t read our notes on your comments., but I’ll point you to http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=2009#comment-47433 ]

  4. T-rex 4

    I think the campaign is excellent, but Veitch paid his $100k silence money a year ago, so it’s probably not attributable to it.

    However, it’s certainly nice to see him getting dragged over the coals.

    Tony you cowardly f*ck. I thought you were a nice guy. I gave you the benefit of the doubt when I first heard. I thought “maybe she shoved him, he shoved her, and his shove caused a fall down some stairs inadvertently”. But no, turns out you kicked her repeatedly while on the ground and fractured 4 vertibrae. So, you can go to hell.

    Captcha: Offenses hurts – yes, yes they do. So does being kicked repeatedly in the back. Yet clearly some people are slow at picking up on these little pearls of wisdom.

    Well done Families commission. I approve.

  5. T-rex 5

    Half of behaviour is about perception of appropriate behaviour. Change the perception of what’s ok, and eventually you change the behaviour.

    Do you realise that “I hit her because I love her” is actually used sincerely by some people?

  6. mike 6

    Gee, for a few seconds into this post I thought it was quite refreshing that it wasn’t another attempted Key smear. Too much to ask I guess.

    The Families Commission was a sop to UF for its support and is a total waste of tax dollars. Eg – thousands of dollars on a project to “define the family unit” give me a break

  7. T-rex 7

    Mike, it’s not a “smear” to ask a candidate what their position on an issue is. Don’t be a gumby.

    Thousands of dollars to “define the family unit” sounds like a waste of effort to me, but every organisation has wasted effort, you need to get over it, it’s the only way to have time well spent.

  8. Wasn’t the Families Commission a United Future initiative from 2002? I had a look at their web site, wondering what they do…..and found they had actually done quite a bit. I was surprised.

  9. T-Rex “he beats me because he loves me” is an old Russian saying.

  10. dave 10

    I had a look at their web site, wondering what they do ..and found they had actually done quite a bit. I was surprised.
    Well Steve, why don’t you surprise us all and tell me what you found, and how that helps families.

  11. Steve. The funny thing about the Families Commission is that UnitedFuture wanted it as a reaciotnary institution that was meant to uphold the nuclear family as the superior type of household. Problem is a) they had to employ experts on families to run the Commission and they tend to be clever and pragmatic, not conservative reactionaries b) they couldn’t legally promote the nuclear family above others because it would be a violation of human rights… so we’ve actually ended up with quite a thoughtful, innovative commission doing some good work for families on a shoe-string budget.

  12. dave. why don’t you look it up yourself rather than expecting things to be handed to you on a plate, bludger.

  13. dave 13

    Oh hardy har har Steve, I actually asked what Steve found, not what I found, you egg. I’m not responsible for what Steve finds, but I did look it up, thanks so much for asking. Nothing there that helps our family or any other family – all wastage.

  14. Dancer 14

    I have to admit when the Commission was first proposed I was something of a skeptic. But I’ve been quite impressed by some of their advocacy (I like the extended paid parental leave idea too – and the parenting – the best days work you’ve ever done posters). Won’t be everyone’s cup of tea I understand – but don’t knock it if it makes parents lives easier I say – it’s tough enough already!

  15. Ben R 15

    “Is it a sign of a successful campaign regarding family violence – that “it’s not ok’ – which sees broadcaster Tony Veitch taking time away from his television and radio shows in the wake of revelations that he allegedly assaulted his former partner?”

    Only if you’ve been living under a rock for the last 50 years (in fact probably longer).

    Putting your partner in a wheelchair & then paying for their silence (as alleged) would be considered beneath contempt in any modern society.

    Attributing this to the Families Commission is mistaking correlation with causation.

    Do you honestly think that is why people are outraged about these allegations?

  16. Speaking as someone who was asked to be involved in the “It’s Not Okay” campaign, I’ve been impressed by it. The commission had the relevant agencies all on the same page, and also secured funding for the expected increase in caseload for the likes of Women’s Refuge.

    The brand was cohesive too. I haven’t seen the actual survey results, but earlier this year the campaign reportedly had 89% public recognition, and 20% of respondents said they had taken some action as a result of the campaign. That’s quite extraordinary. There’s also some reason to believe the campaign drove the recent increase in the reporting of family violence.

    I even had a person from the commission come up to me at Wellington Airport, give me his card and tell me to get in touch if and when I had plans for advocacy for families (like ours) affected by autism, which I’d been writing about at the time. I thought that was admirably proactive.

    So, short version: please don’t screw it up.

  17. Do you honestly think that is why people are outraged about these allegations?

    To be fair, not everyone’s outraged. A couple of the Kiwiblog regulars reckon she might have deserved it …

    But seriously, yes, I think that campaign may have helped focus minds around this case. Apart from anything else, it’s conincidentally back on TV, and TVNZ could hardly have gone to Veitch from a a break in which that ad played.

  18. T-rex 18

    lol!

    Probably. GEttin’ lippy and all. What’s a guy ta do?

    Christ, his dinner might even have been a little cooler than he liked!

    Further evidence, for the skeptics above, as to precisely why the “it’s not ok” campaign is money well spent.

  19. You’re telling me T-rex – if I serve Billy his dinner cold I get what for! Just the other night I made him gazpacho – big mistake. I don’t think I need to tell you what a man with his temper is capable of…

    There’re days I wish I’d stayed with redbaiter…

  20. Ruth 20

    The sheer social, emotional, and economical cost of family violence is huge. This campaign has helped focus some minds – and that is a good thing. The money is well spent.

    As an example, the cost to the taxpayer of ONE road fatality is on average 1 million dollars, the cost of sending ONE person on a driving education course is $2000.

  21. Ben R 21

    “But seriously, yes, I think that campaign may have helped focus minds around this case. Apart from anything else, it’s conincidentally back on TV, and TVNZ could hardly have gone to Veitch from a a break in which that ad played.”

    I’m glad to read the campaign is well recognised and may be leading to more people coming forward to report domestic violence. I agree with the main point of this thread that the Families Commission is a worthwhile institution to have.

    But I think it’s a long bow to draw between the campaign & Veitch being taken off air. Clint Brown was off air almost immediately after he was assaulted (after he’d allegedly made some abusive comments to a female taxi driver). Advertisers are extremely sensitive to the shows they’re associated with & the allegations against Veitch are shocking. There was also general outrage when an certain rugby player was given name suppression after assaulting his pregnant wife. That was well before the Family Commission campaign.

    I don’t know if it’s something the Families Commission can look at, but something that surprises me is reports of people drinking during pregnancy.

  22. AndrewE 22

    I think the campaign was a good idea myself. Societal change is actually very hard to achieve and this is something that Labour has been pretty good at in my opinion.

    A few examples that I quite like are that homosexuality has been normalised (a good thing imho), racism is frowned upon etc. I’m not quite convinced about prostitution and am quite frankly disgusted by the lack of prosecutions of the men who use underage prostitutes (but thats another story).

    To get back to the thread I think the advertising campaign reinforces the idea that violence is unacceptable. I just wish there were more serious consequences (and I’m not talking jail) for antisocial behaviour.

    Good on Peter Dunne. For once he did something right.

  23. AndrewE 23

    I don’t know if it’s something the Families Commission can look at, but something that surprises me is reports of people drinking during pregnancy.

    I would argue that they should address the issue of drinking in general.

    I have no idea about the stats but I’d be willing to bet that a significant proportion of domestic assaults happen under the influence of alcohol.

  24. “Good on Peter Dunne. For once he did something right.” – well, he accidently did something right. Kind of like getting a girl pregnant on a one night stand and the kid grows up to be an Astronaut/Doctor/Aid worker who invents cold fusion…

  25. mike 25

    “(I like the extended paid parental leave idea too – and the parenting – the best days work you’ve ever done posters). Won’t be everyone’s cup of tea I understand”

    Dancer – I have 3 pre-schoolers so I know where you are coming from but the Families Commission does nothing to take the load off.

    How about scrap the waste of tax payers money FC and put the millions into making 20hrs free actually “free”

  26. dave 26

    Interesting that the Families Commission has NOTHING in its work programme to address child abuse…

  27. T-rex 27

    Steve – HA! Beautifully put.

  28. AndrewE 28

    dave – do you really think that the Families Commission should address every single hazard facing families?

    FFS – we need to take some personal responsibility for our society.

  29. Daveski 29

    Desperate.

    Everything is skewed to somehow discredit John Key.

    Funny that I read an NZH story about Labour’s obvious strategy to discredit “slippery” JK and gave other specific examples to support it.

    Conclusion:
    1. There is an uncanny similarity between Labour strategy and the Standard’s themes
    2. Labour’s strategy is the theme of the Standard

    While you’re at it … how dumb is this post if you’re trying to dig up dirt? Which politician was embarassed by his actions AFTER being part of the original ad.

    I’m not the first to mention it, but Labour/Standardistas which be on much firmer ground if they continued to push policies and achievements rather than continue with these desperate dirt tactics. Then again, I’d be delighted to see you continue to push these tactics which will simply ensure Labour’s defeat.

    [lprent: The more I hear that particular line from the right, the more I think it is the right approach for Key. It is obviously causing some pain somewhere if we’re getting such a consistent line for so long. Of course it always has our best interests at heart.
    4 months to the election – sounds like someone is worried about stamina?]

  30. Ben R 30

    “I just wish there were more serious consequences (and I’m not talking jail) for antisocial behaviour.”

    What are you suggesting then?

    “I would argue that they should address the issue of drinking in general.

    I have no idea about the stats but I’d be willing to bet that a significant proportion of domestic assaults happen under the influence of alcohol.”

    I suspect you’re right about that & probably a lot of assaults generally. I think ALAC have already been running that “it’s not the drinking, it’s how we’re drinking campaign” for a while?

    A study in 2006 on awareness of the damage drinking during pregnancy does is pretty alarming. Particularly when you consider they might be ruining some kids life before they’ve even started (even the US has warning labels on alcoholic beverages – something I think they’re looking at doing here):

    “A University of Otago survey reveals New Zealand women are not getting the message that no alcohol should be consumed during pregnancy. More than half the women surveyed believed some alcohol was safe to drink while pregnant…

    “Alcohol is known to be one of the main causes of brain damage in the unborn baby. And unfortunately the damage can be done before the woman knows she is pregnant. Any woman who is planning a pregnancy or pregnant should stop alcohol altogether as the new national guidelines from the Ministry of Health make clear.”

    http://www.otago.ac.nz/news/news/2006/13-07-06_press_release.html

  31. dave 31

    Dave – do you really think that the Families Commission should address every single hazard facing families?
    Well since we are on the subject of family violence, why don’t we set up a Family Violence Death Review Committee so we can better understand why deaths resulting in family violence occur after they have happened, no need for a coroners report the FVDRC can do it instead – d`you lefties think that would be a good idea, or is that just a bit silly…

  32. AndrewE 32

    It’s a little silly indeed.

    Hmm…am I a lefty? I thought I was a righty. Nevermind.

  33. dave 33

    Andrew (and others) why wouldnt a Family Violence Death Review Committee help, we could find out all the causes of people dying in family violence situations and write up a report and get it commissioned by the Families Commission.

  34. AndrewE 34

    why deaths resulting in family violence occur

    I suspect you meant “why deaths as a result of family violence occur”?

    It would be useful to find out if there are common patterns and then action them. I suspect that we already know what some of the common patterns are – alcohol abuse etc.

  35. dave 35

    I suspect you meant “why deaths as a result of family violence occur’
    No, I meant why deaths resulting from family violence occur.

    That will exclude a person who commits suicide as a result of being caught smacking his kids – and therefore not being incorporated in the reporting of the Family Violence Death Review Committee.

  36. It’s okay andrew – I’ve got you marked down in my ledger as a rightie, albeit a sensible one that should really have been a leftie were it not for some terrible quirk of fate…

    Y’know – it’s never too late to change…

  37. AndrewE 37

    Sod: Does that mean come the revolution I’m the last up against the wall? 😉

    Dave: Aah, I didn’t think of that. Why not? It would be interesting to know if any such cases exist.

  38. Ben R 38

    Apology/admission now made I see.

  39. Tane 39

    That will exclude a person who commits suicide as a result of being caught smacking his kids

    Eh?

  40. Sod: Does that mean come the revolution I’m the last up against the wall?

    Bro – come the revolution I suspect it’ll be me up against the wall pretty early on…

  41. Graeme 41

    Well since we are on the subject of family violence, why don’t we set up a Family Violence Death Review Committee so we can better understand why deaths resulting in family violence occur after they have happened, no need for a coroners report the FVDRC can do it instead – d`you lefties think that would be a good idea, or is that just a bit silly

    It’s a little silly indeed.

    Nice try Dave – but at least you got one bite.

  42. fraser 42

    “I read an NZH story” – well obviously that makes it true then 🙂

    ps: i mean that from a “nzh is generally sub par” angle, not a “nzh is a tool of the vast right wing conspiracy” angle

  43. Scribe 43

    Apology/admission now made I see.

    Interesting question (to which I have no answer): How did Tony Veitch cover the Sitiveni Sivivatu wife-beating incident? Hmmmmmmm.

  44. Draco TB 44

    FFS – we need to take some personal responsibility for our society.

    Some people need to be informed of their responsibilities. This is why the ‘It’s not OK’ campaign is working. People previously didn’t think that a child being abused was their responsibility but now that they’re aware that it is they’re doing something about it.

  45. Lew 45

    Scribe: Veitch is not among those who commented on the matter at all, neither on his Breakfast Sport show nor on One News. At least not between 12 April 2007 when Sivivatu’s name suppression was lisfted and 1 May 2007.

    Others did; Veitch didn’t. Generally speaking, sports coverage doesn’t focus on matters of player conduct except inasmuch as it might affect their selection or a team’s chances, so this is not surprising for the Radio Sport side of things. In One News copverage the issue was treated as news, not as sport, so Veitch wasn’t involved there.

    L

  46. John 46

    “Interesting question (to which I have no answer): How did Tony Veitch cover the Sitiveni Sivivatu wife-beating incident? Hmmmmmmm”

    Like an experienced professional I guess

  47. Scribe 47

    Thanks for that, Lew. I’m sure he’s glad he didn’t now.

  48. dave 48

    People previously didn’t think that a child being abused was their responsibility but now that they’re aware that it is they’re doing something about it.
    Yes, its nice that someone beats up their wife with the awareness knowledge that it is their responsibility…
    but when is the awareness going to change behaviour before someone is killed and the perpretrator reported to the Family Violence Death Review Committee…

  49. darryl p 49

    Personally I think the “It’s not OK” campaign is money well spent as well and I am a rightie.

    However, before I could make up my mind about keeping the Families Commission or dropping it I’d want to know how much the Families Commissions budget is. If it’s excessive and the output is minimal then I would suggest that the money would be better spent by distributing it to agencies that are set up to look after those areas already – for example the Womens Refuge. Most advertising agencies look after clients like the Womens Refuge on a pro-bono basis but if the Womens refuge had more money to spend on media placement then you could argue they would get a better result for less money.

    Rather then making this a political football, I’d rather see a discussion based around “could the families commission money be better spent elsewhere to get a better result”

    However if the Families Commission is not a huge drain on the taxpayer and the results it achieves are good then I agree with Russell Brown, let it be.

    There’s certainly other government agencies that should feel the chop before the Families Commission. Youth Affairs has always been a joke and I think Youth Affairs money is much better spent by giving it to the charity organisations already set up to look after youth problems.

    I disagree with Dancer about the “best days work you’ve ever done” campaign though. People that love their families don’t need to be told that and people that don’t care about their families wouldn’t give a toss. That money could have definitely been better spent elsewhere – even if it was only used to build four new houses for low income families.

  50. Dean 50

    “lprent: The more I hear that particular line from the right, the more I think it is the right approach for Key. It is obviously causing some pain somewhere if we’re getting such a consistent line for so long. Of course it always has our best interests at heart.
    4 months to the election – sounds like someone is worried about stamina?”

    If a good mate of yours bought a new jumper and thought he looked great in it, but everyone else thought he looked like a fashion reject, would you have the heart to tell him? Yeah, it’s kind of like that.

    I can’t speak for everyone, but I thought this site was far more interesting when people actually debated policy instead of post after post after post of someoneones wearing that same horrible jumper.

    We’re embarassed for you, lprent.

    [lprent: Good to have your vote on continuing to look at C/T. We always value your opinion.
    The policy vacuum from the Nats reduces the writers ability to discuss it. We’ve been through everyone else.]

  51. Oliver 51

    It shouldn’t be hard to save the best bits of the family commission and cull the useless bits that simply produce fluffy reports to gather dust or replecate the work done by other departments.

  52. To me, “everyday parents” sounds suspiciously like “mainstream New Zealanders;” remember them?

  53. ross david 53

    “Should we be concerned that Mr Key has raised questions over the future of the Families Commission?”

    I am sure the Families Commission can defend itself. I am sure it can give specific details of the economic and social benefits from the government’s $28m investment during the commission’s first four years, just like the government will, in due course, be able to tell us what it expects the rate of return to be on its investment in KiwiRail. Once the Families Commission has given John Key and the wider public all the necesssary information, I have no doubt that its future will be secure under a National Government.

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