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Labour Policy release – Eliminating violence against Women and Children

Written By: - Date published: 11:26 am, July 4th, 2014 - 120 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, election 2014, labour - Tags:

Labour has announced its policy on eliminating violence against women and children.  From David Cunliffe’s press release:

Labour will take decisive and far-reaching action to address violence against women and children, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe.

“On average 35 New Zealanders are killed by a member of their family every year, and one in three women experience intimate partner violence. Last year 20,000 women and children sought the help of Women’s Refuge.

“This is totally unacceptable. It has a devastating physical and emotional impact on the lives of a great many of our women and children.

“Labour will work towards its elimination. Today we are announcing a package of measures for immediate action, as well as other longer term solutions.

“We will adopt an Action Plan to Eliminate Violence Against Women and Children.

“We will provide $60 million over four years for family and sexual violence to support front-line services, primary prevention and education.

“We will reform the justice system to provide real justice to survivors while upholding the right to be presumed innocent.

“We will review prosecution guidelines and the operation of protection orders.

“As Labour Party Leader, I am determined that we address the causes and consequences of family violence.

“But this cannot be achieved in a piecemeal manner or without a unified effort across government agencies and NGOs.

“That is why our action plan will be led from within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet,’’ David Cunliffe said.

The policy bullet points are:

  • Provide leadership to eliminate violence against women and children from the Prime Minister down with the lead agency being DPMC
  • Adopt a collaborative, resourced, long-term New Zealand Action Plan to Eliminate Violence Against Women and Children in consultation with other parties and the sector
  • Provide $60 million over four years for family and sexual violence to support front line services, primary prevention, and education. This includes increased support for transitional housing
  • Reform the justice system to provide real justice to survivors while protecting the right to be presumed innocent. This includes providing specialist training
  • Review prosecution guidelines to ensure Police appropriately and consistently arrest and charge offenders, and review the operation of Protection Orders

The full policy can be read here.

120 comments on “Labour Policy release – Eliminating violence against Women and Children ”

  1. Tracey 1

    I agree wholeheartedly with their commitment to education, in schools, on sex and sexuality and relationships. I would love to see national put the elimination of domestic violence ahead of colin craig and agree to a bipartisan approach to education in this area.

  2. Rosie 2

    Just heard Heather Henare from Women’s Refuge on the radio come out in support of the policy announcement, and indeed it does sound genuinely promising. She remarked on the leadership that Labour was showing on this.

    • Tracey 2.1

      compare with this

      ” A Herald-DigiPoll survey showed 74.7 per cent of respondents believed high schools should teach more than the physical and medical aspects of sex and also emphasise respect for sexual partners.

      Following the Roast Busters scandal, Prime Minister John Key said the Government would have to tread carefully in expanding sex education in schools because some parents felt it would cut across their responsibilities and rights and others would feel that more education would keep young women safer and allow them to better understand their rights.

      It was a very delicate balance which had to be right, he said.

      Fewer than one in five people surveyed felt that shaping attitudes to sex was the sole domain of parents. ”

      Such a delicate balance in fact, he and his govt have done NOTHING?

      • freedom 2.1.1

        and the million dollar question remains:
        When is the RoastBusters Inquiry going to be completed and made public ?

        September 21 perhaps?

        http://www.3news.co.nz/Roastbusters-inquiry-near-conclusion/tabid/423/articleID/338650/Default.aspx

        “New police commissioner Mike Bush says the ‘Roastbusters’ investigation will end within the next couple of months.” – 03 April 2014

        April May June and we are now into July

      • Rosie 2.1.2

        Key is really out of his league on this subject. It’s a subject that stays locked in the “Eeew, icky, squeamish compartment of his brain. Such an attitude can never be helpful towards developing an approach to reducing and eliminating the abuse and rape of women and children, and subsequently, as you say nothing has been done

  3. tsmithfield 3

    I see he has apologised for being a man. If he feels that bad about being male, then perhaps he should assist Labour meet its desired gender balance by resigning from parliament so a woman can be appointed in his place. 🙂

    • Te Reo Putake 3.1

      You’re an apology for a man, TS. Grow up.

      What Cunliffe actually said:

      Speaking to a room of mostly women in Auckland today, Cunliffe spoke of the “bullshit, deep-seated sexism” still prevalent in New Zealand.

      “It needs to stop,” he said .

      “I don’t often say it – I’m sorry for being a man,” Cunliffe said, “because family and sexual violence is overwhelmingly perpetrated by men.”

      • tsmithfield 3.1.1

        I certainly regret that there are scumbag males who inflict violence on women and children. However, it doesn’t make me personally regret being male, as apparently it does with Cunliffe.

      • Wonderpup 3.1.2

        I saw this, and my first reaction was “oh shit, all the deeply insecure men who cover their sheer terror of the real world with bluff machismo are going to enjoin in an orgy of testosterone fuelled boof-headedness”. These are the guys who think they deserve a biscuit for not smacking their wife, if they don’t.

        And sure enough… I saw the Herald comments.

        Good on Cunliffe. This is brave, and necessary. Good on the policy team. It was great he did the announcement, and didn’t take the easy way out of letting a woman deliver the policy. Its going to take real men with balls of steel to support him on this one though, as the creeps and the jerks spasm rage themselves at a perceived attack on their status.

        • Te Reo Putake 3.1.2.1

          Yep, and it’s not like he’s the first person to say this kind of thing. If we go back a mere 35 years we get this from Frank Zappa:

          Hey, you know something people?
          I’m not black
          But there’s a whole lots a times
          I wish I could say I’m not white

          • Tracey 3.1.2.1.1

            and more recently macklemore

            Same Love

            f I was gay, I would think hip-hop hates me
            Have you read the YouTube comments lately?
            “Man, that’s gay” gets dropped on the daily
            We become so numb to what we’re saying
            A culture founded from oppression
            Yet we don’t have acceptance for ’em
            Call each other faggots behind the keys of a message board
            A word rooted in hate, yet our genre still ignores it
            Gay is synonymous with the lesser
            It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion
            Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
            The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins
            It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference!

            Live on and be yourself
            When I was at church they taught me something else
            If you preach hate at the service those words aren’t anointed
            That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned
            When everyone else is more comfortable remaining voiceless
            Rather than fighting for humans that have had their rights stolen
            I might not be the same, but that’s not important
            No freedom ’til we’re equal, damn right I support it

        • Rosie 3.1.2.2

          +1 Wonderpup.

        • Tracey 3.1.2.3

          when i saw it i thought of two people… John tamihere and damien o’connor.

        • Hamish 3.1.2.4

          Yeah it’s great that we’re enlightened individuals that get the gist of what Cunliffe said but it was politically a completely stupid thing to say.
          It was so obvious how it would be spun.

  4. dimebag russell 4

    sorry smithfeld. you are an actual apology for a man.
    stop whining.

  5. Bill 5

    It’s hardly controversial to suggest that poverty, as well as other pressures associated with having to rip other people off or face ‘going under’, are significant factors contributing to violent behaviour. Yet Labour is talking about ‘eliminating’ categories of violence. I mean, really?!

    Bottom line is that inequity, frustration and various forms of psychological and physical violence are inevitable in a world where we reward one another in relation to how well we rip one another off.

    But maybe I missed a policy announcement by Labour where they stated were market abolitionists and where they said they would develop mechanisms of production and distribution that didn’t routinely inflict damage on people and their psyches.

    Either that, or this is just more ‘eyes wide shut’ hypocritical liberal, hand-wringing nonsense.

    • Wonderpup 5.1

      If you’re waiting for the revolution to come and then solve everything, then even Lenin thought you were a doof. This is about doing practical things now. One of those things is reduce inequality, and another is abolish poverty. Aspirational goals, but ain’t that what it’s all about?

      If you want to sit on your left-communist higher ground, help youself.

    • Rosie 5.2

      Bill, what about wealthy men who abuse women? Is it inevitable that they also abuse women, or less so because they don’t experience the pressure and frustration of poverty?

      What about the men like my friend’s husband, who is on approx $250K per year who attempted to strangle her when she was pregnant with their second child because she refused his demands for sex, and then hit her hard when she refused his demands another time?

      When women call 111for help, it’s not only the poor streets the cops turn up to

    • Bill 5.3

      @ wonderpup. Did I say it was somehow a bad thing to ameliorate the consequences of violence that play out in a violent culture? Nope. Labour stuck its head in the clouds, not me.

      @ Rosie. I didn’t say that poverty was the cause of violence. I said it was down to multiple pressures associated with the market (and no, important and immediate as that is, that’s not the be all and end all either.)

      • Rosie 5.3.1

        Hi Bill. “multiple pressures associated with the market”.

        Well, ok. I have to say I don’t fully understand this. I did an intro to sociology paper about 10 years ago and got taught the basics of Marx, Engels and Smith, but I remain ignorant of the relationship or association between market theories and domestic violence. I’m not saying there isn’t one, it’s just not something I know about

        I have a more solid education in psychology so would look at human relationships and societal influences (and maybe your theory fits into this category) to begin thinking about the causes. Incidentally I know what that guys problem is, the one I mention above. The root of his behavoiur is in no way connected with his place in our capitalist world, if that is what you are getting at.

        And coming from the psycho – social view, I don’t believe Labour have their head stuck in the clouds. I think they have their feet firmly on the ground

        • Bill 5.3.1.1

          Not sure why Marx, Engels, Smith or anyone else is being invoked here. Anyone who reflects at all seriously and for more than a moment can discern that our economy encourages, rewards and condones all manner and levels of violence. It’s not as though our economy has a benign impact on us and can only sometimes be said to have gone awry when used as justification for war or such like. Ripping people off or subjugating people in job environments are forms of violence. And in our rush to ‘earn a crust’ or spin a profit, we are constantly opening ourselves and others to all sorts of direct and indirect brutalisation and trauma. Is it any wonder then, that violence festers and become expressed off the back of that every day and pervasive reality?

          Remedial or ameliorative action can and is taken. But for as long as long as we allow the underlying economic reality to persist, we’re going to have to keep driving fleets of ambulances along the bottom of the cliffs.

          And it’s an apparent failure to recognise that obvious fact that has me calling bullshit on Labour’s claim to eliminate violence. That isn’t and can’t be their intention.

  6. gobsmacked 6

    The Stuff comments on this are really scary. Misogyny rules, it seems.

    The question for Labour is: were the headlines intended? If so, then it’s arguable that by pushing this issue into the public debate, Cunliffe has achieved something valuable. It’s no longer a dry policy document that nobody reads, it’s the dominant talking point of the day. (Watch the 6pm news tonight).

    However, if “I’m sorry for being a man” was not the intended headline, then it’s another communications failure by Labour. Because anybody with any grasp of reality would see that line and immediately know that was the hook.

    The worst outcome is for Cunliffe to provoke the debate (which he has), and then row back from it (or for his MPs to do so). And this is Labour’s fundamental problem. Be bold, or be cautious – but don’t be bold and then sorry.

    • Wonderpup 6.1

      https://xkcd.com/1385/ I forgot this. Then I remembered it, and shut the stuff tab down. Reading that stuff makes me feel angry in an entirely unproductive fashion.

      • politikiwi 6.1.1

        Stuff are clickwhores. All they care about is the number of ads they can serve, not about the messages they send or the headlines they write. As far as they’re concerned controversy drives clicks, so the more controversy the better – even if it means completely misrepresenting the facts in order to blow a single statement out of proportion, as is the case here.

        I recently removed that page from my favourites. (inb4 some geek demands I change my hosts file if I’m serious about avoiding it…).

        I’m not sorry for being a man, though. And personally I’d rather eliminate all violence, not just categories of it, but I guess it’s OK for men to take a beating from time to time. No big deal.

        PS: xkcd nails it every time.

    • Anne 6.2

      Well, he hasn’t rowed back from it and I think it was intended. In fact I’m sure it was intended. And he ended up near the top of TV3 6pm news and they gave it full coverage including the very good reaction from the audience. It appears that TV1 sided with the misogynists but who cares … at least they reported it which is an achievement in itself.

  7. freedom 7

    The rest of the quote is more telling as to what Cunliffe actually was saying
    and needs to be heeded by men everywhere
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11287736
    “”So the first message to the men out there is: wake up, stand up and man up and stop this bullshit!””

    • gobsmacked 7.1

      Yes, and if he wanted that to be the headline that would be great.

      By saying the line “sorry for being a man” he guaranteed that would be the headline instead. Whether that’s what he wanted, I have no idea – but it was entirely predictable, and he must have predicted (therefore intended) it to be so.

      • freedom 7.1.1

        now both lines are out there
        and being an individual with your own brain
        it is up to you now which you choose to give prominence to

        • gobsmacked 7.1.1.1

          And using that brain, we can easily work out which one will get prominence in the media. To repeat: Entirely predictable.

          As I said earlier, that’s fine if Cunliffe wants to stir things up, provoke a response. What’s not fine is being surprised when it happens. What’s even less fine is complaining about it.

          • freedom 7.1.1.1.1

            Who is complaining? I am merely pointing out some options his comments have opened up for men (and women) everywhere.

            Now, if it comes up in conversation you can turn to the person and say ‘he also said….’
            Just because ‘the media say….’ does not mean that is the end of the discussion.
            In fact it should only ever be the beginning of one.

            • gobsmacked 7.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s certainly true. However, Cunliffe’s purpose in making a speech is to reach the people. Obviously that is not usually done by people reading the whole speech – few have the time or inclination.

              So headlines (soundbites, quotes, whatever we want to call them) matter. Cunliffe chose this one. The other one (you mentioned above) was better. As a result of his choice of words (nobody else’s), I doubt that he will now get the response that this very serious issue deserves, but I hope I’m wrong.

              • freedom

                gobsmacked I will ask you to consider this…

                Now that you know both quotes exist, every single time this topic is raised and you mention the apology without mentioning the ‘other bit’ you are buying into the very paradigm that the MSM headline wants you to.

                Only you can change that paradigm, by owning the message you choose to share

                • Ant

                  Yeah I think this might be good, they say explaining is losing but this is the type of stand you want to be explaining right?

                • karol

                  Both quotes were shown on 3 News tonight. And I thought he was shown in a positive light sayng it.

                  The Cunliffe apology followed the story on Maggie Barry saying she was violated by Rolf Harris- and another NZ woman journo had contacted her and reported being violated by Harris in NZ.

                  The report stated Cunliffe’s apology went down well with the Rape Crisis women he was speaking to. And the severity of domestic violence in NZ was reinforced by the report.

                  In that context, Key’s slurred dismissal of Cunliffe’s apology as “silly”,just looked pathetic, insensitive and diminishing of the impact of domestic violence.

                  The reporter was a woman journalist. Women are journalists, too, and many won’t like the extent of violence against, and sexual abuse of women and children.

                  • Jilly Bee

                    ++++++Karol – I too was impressed with TV3’s reporting of both quotes, particularly of David Cunliffe’s address to the Rape Crisis forum. All photos I have seen today of his address have had Peter Dunne and Paula Bennett looking decidedly uncomfortable. And ditto to John Key’s response – pathetic.

                    • Ant

                      Yep, it certainly dragged out all the neanderthals, but kia kaha David, a brave stance to take and what we expect from people who want to lead the country.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      ‘Neanderthals’.

                      Nope; pretending their behaviour is somehow un-human misses the whole point of the argument.

  8. James 8

    Like any reasonable, sane, normal person – I cannot stand domestic violence, or any person that causes it. I would (and have) always taken a stand against it – even if it was someone that was close to me.

    However the “Im sorry Im a man” stuff is stupid.

    Im a man, and Im all good with that.

    Just because someone else commits a domestic violence crime – does not reflect on me just because I have dangly bits.

    Personally – I think “blokes” that do this kind of thing are not men. It is them that should be apologising.

    Still its a headline that makes Cunliffe look like a wet blanket. Despite what he said in the rest of his speech – in the 10 seconds that most people skim the article – its the “im so sorry Im a man” that they will be remembering. Hardly a vision of “leadership” for the country.

    So – as a Nat supporter – Way to go Cunliffe.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      Labour have made it plain that their election campaign relies on speaking to people directly, because no matter what they say the media will spin negatively.

      I note you take no personal responsibility for rape culture. The next time some chief inspector looks into the camera and tells you men need to take a good look at themselves, remember you heard it here first.

      • James 8.1.1

        You are correct. I take no personal responsibility for rape culture.

        Nor do I believe I should.

        I do not believe rape or violence towards women is acceptable in any form, nor do I believe there is any excuse for it.

        Not all men need to take a good look at themselves in this regard – because for decent human beings would never condone it.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1.1

          No. Not “condone” – trivialise, blame the victims and deny the evidence. Sexual violence is endemic in New Zealand because this society is a shit role model for our youngsters. Parker Hales etc.

          Your holier-than-thou attitude is a huge part of the problem. There is no such thing as society? Look to our sons and daughters and ask how that’s working out for them.

        • McFlock 8.1.1.2

          What you try hard to forget is that rapists cannot exist without our support, without people dismissing suspicion.

          Nobody has ever told a joke in your presence that was a bit dodgy? Nobody’s ever passed off an intimate touch as just a bit of play, don’t make a big deal of it? A female friend or friend’s gf never been a bit jumpy for no obvious reason?

          If there’s anything Harris and Saville have shown us, we all need to take a good look at ourselves.

          • miravox 8.1.1.2.1
            • 1 OAB and McF

            Most men I know, if standing in front of a group of women who spend every day dealing with the results of domestic violence and sexual abuse, would in that moment feel very sorry for belonging to the group that has inflicted that sort of violence on people.

            That’s expressing empathy. That’s all. It’s a sad group of people who don’t understand that.

          • Tiger Mountain 8.1.1.2.2

            Agree OAB and McFlock

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.2.3

            What you try hard to forget is that rapists cannot exist without our support, without people dismissing suspicion.

            Nobody has ever told a joke in your presence that was a bit dodgy? Nobody’s ever passed off an intimate touch as just a bit of play, don’t make a big deal of it?

            Yes every male is a Schrodinger’s Rapist; as you say they must not have our support and usually these men deserve a cloud of suspicion – you note importantly that these suspicions cannot be dismissed. Also, it’s good that you mentioned the telling of slightly dodgy sexist jokes and the close association that has with being a rapist and with raping women.

            There lies a slippery slope to rape and becoming a rapist, and men need to be aware that is how it can all start.

            • NZ Femme 8.1.1.2.3.1

              That’s an interesting leap you’ve made there CV. It’s not one that I made when reading McFlock’s comment.

              I understood McFlock to be referring to the “social license to operate” that we afford the unknown abusers amongst us when we laugh off dodgy jokes (eg Rolf Harris used to joke about having sex with 13 year olds), or allow casual sexism to go unchallenged. This obviously doesn’t mean that every person telling dodgy jokes or indulging in casual sexism is an abuser or on a slippery slope to becoming one – but it does mean than the abusers amongst us take our silence as an endorsement.

              For more on social license to operate:

              http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/meet-the-predators/

              and

              http://yesmeansyesblog.wordpress.com/2009/11/24/predator-redux/

      • poem 8.1.2

        +1

  9. tsmithfield 9

    I know I was taking the piss earlier in this thread. However, I do get what Cunliffe was trying to say.

    At the risk of being a “concern troll”, I think Cunliffe’s problem is that he doesn’t seem to have the instinct for what sound-bite will grab the news media. His “apology” for being a man is grabbing all the attention at the moment rather than Labour’s domestic violence policy which should be the highlight. For instance, Danny Watson included as one of his three prize questions today: “Which politician apologised for being a man today?”

    John Key is thrashing Cunliffe at the moment in the sound-bite wars. He seems to be able to articulate his position very concisely in a way that fits into the allowable time for a brief sound-bite on the news.

    • mickysavage 9.1

      So we should be ruled by the person with the best sound bite?

      And besides I understood what David was saying and I thought it was appropriate. I also expect righties to get up in arms and jump up and down every time he says anything provocative but I then struggle at why the media then interprets this as another Cunliffe mistake.

      • tsmithfield 9.1.1

        I agree that the media often isn’t particularly deep, and often tries to cater for the lowest common denominator. Also, they love to focus on the sensational, even if it is taken out of context.

        However, I think politicians need to realise that the nature of the media is a given, and they need to adapt to that reality. Key is doing this much better than Cunlife IMO

      • Karen 9.1.2

        +1 Micky

    • One Anonymous Bloke 9.2

      I think the problem is that when Labour make a serious point the media does it’s best to trivialise it, and when they can’t find anything to criticise they invent bullshit over eleven year old letters etc. anyway.

      This explains why Labour’s strategy is to connect directly with people. As you say, Cunliffe is prepared to address hard issues rather than carefully crafted talking points and transparent spin.

      I know it’s off topic but does anyone know if John Kerry has given us our foreign policy settings for next week?

    • McFlock 9.3

      Bullshit. Key gets all the time he needs to waffle and the reporters choose the best line.

      No matter what a Labour leader will say, the worst portion will be shown. So Cunliffe gave them something to laugh about, and maybe a few people will read more about it and make up their own minds.

      Frankly, my impression is that labour is entering the mode of “fucked by msm whatever we say, so we might as well speak from the heart”. The door-knocking policy also indicates that (and, as a side note, old-school campaigning sure helped Winston back above 5%. He got no help from media or polls at all).

      • Tiger Mountain 9.3.1

        If anything will change the media pre ordained result of this election it is the under the radar stuff, women voters and new voters and young voters; not big mouth male bloggers. Of course no insecure tory would be alpha bloke is going to come out and support Cunliffe. Heh.

        Winston did get there with hall meetings. Some of us here do not just rattle on we check things like polling booth results. NZ First did very well to come back from ShonKeys attack.

  10. Welly1 10

    Long time Labour only voter and supporter……honestly hearing DC (as yes I listened to his speech – did not read it) say “sorry for being a man” made me choke on my lunch. I take offence to that comment and I am really struggling to get behind David. It also sounded like really bad acting – not from the heart…..confused Labour supporter looking around now ….

  11. Ant 11

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11287736

    Mr Key questioned whether the Labour leader was sincere about the statement.

    “Is he going to go down to the local rugby club and get up and say ‘I’m sorry for being a man’? I don’t think so.”

    Cunliffe should totally accept this challenge! I’m sure other white ribbon campaigners like Rueben Wiki will come with him.

  12. mike 12

    I’m a man & Cunliffe doesnt apologise on my behalf. He must have something to hide in relationship to violence. What an insulting weasel that is the end of any remaining credibilty he may have had. Most men myself included have never offered any violence against women and Cunliffe’s comments insult all men.

    • miravox 12.1

      Can you point to the bit where he apologised on your behalf? It seemed like a personal reflection to me.

      • felix 12.1.1

        Interesting, isn’t it.

        Seems to me that mike is the one claiming to speak for all men.

        • miravox 12.1.1.1

          Yes. I noticed Fisi is claiming to speak for all women too.

          I thought it interesting to know why Mike and Fisi claim to speak for others this way. Then I realised I thought and it all clicked into place.

  13. freedom 13

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2602097/christchurch%27s-only-rape-crisis-callout-service-to-close

    speaking of men who do need to apologize

    What the fuck is the point of King Gerry having CERA’s war powers if he can’t cut a cheque for a measly thirty grand to keep a rape crisis centre open in Christchurch?

    • freedom 13.1

      So the first message to the men out there is: wake up, stand up and man up and stop this bullshit!

      The mood in the House when the imminent closure of the Rape Crisis Centre was raised, gave me a suspicion that National might just do the right thing and step up with the money so they could bask in the positive press considering a Malaysian diplomat is soon standing in the dock on rape charges.

      Yet again though, they defeat the most base of expectations,

      MP’s are about to have their annual accommodation allowance increased to 40 grand.

      A fortnight ago, over a hundred grand would have been spent in one weekend jet-setting troughers on the security seat jaunt to Queenstown.

      And the final spit into the broken face of these victims has to be the five million dollars that was recently given to the America’s Cup campaign, to tide them over you understand . . .

  14. fisiani 14

    The only memory that most will have of this speech will be of The Cunliffe trying to resonate with women by apologising for being a man. this is cringeworthy on so many levels. Almostas nutty as Mallard cunning stunt to go on tv. showing where he wants moa to roam.

    • McFlock 14.1

      Well, when you’re in opposition you can’t get headlines by allowing alleged sex attackers leave the country.

  15. Gareth 15

    I’m sorry for being a man.

    I don’t regret being a man, but I’m apologising for all the times I’ve had it much easier than most others in society. Being a white straight male is playing the Game of Life on the easiest difficulty level. I have to consciously check my male privilege to try to understand what women go through every day.

    I’m apologising because I get to walk down a dark street at night without worrying, because I get to go out on the town without worrying, because I live every moment of my life without needing to worry about the threats that all women live with EVERY day.

    I apologise because it’s not enough for me to be one of those guys who “would never do that”. That doesn’t help a woman being approached by a man when she’s alone. It doesn’t even help if that man is me. She still has to be afraid.

    And lastly I’m apologising because if I speak up, then maybe that will make the world a little bit better for my daughter when she grows up. Maybe she won’t have to be as afraid as women are today. Looking around the Internet, I have to say I’m more worried than hopeful.

    • BM 15.1

      I’m apologising because I get to walk down a dark street at night without worrying, because I get to go out on the town without worrying.

      You’re either built like “The Mountain” or have no concept of self preservation.

      • McFlock 15.1.1

        6 years of john key’s brighter future not cutting it for you, then?

        • BM 15.1.1.1

          Only a total fuckwit or some one completely off their face would walk down a dark street/alley at night especially in the middle of town.

          You’re just asking to get the shit kicked out of you.

          • mickysavage 15.1.1.1.1

            Come on Bm. People should be free to walk down streets even at night. Only a right winger who thinks that people should not have this right would say it should not happen. They probably also approve of multinational corporates ripping off ordinary people on the basis that market forces are at work. You should support the ordinary person for a change.

            • BM 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Of course you should, but it’s not the case and it won’t be like that any time soon.

              Short of rounding every single crim, the crims family and sticking in some fenced off area in NZ it will never happen.

              If can accept that, life becomes a hell of a lot less dangerous because you become aware of dangerous situations and take steps so you’re not putting yourself in danger.

              • mickysavage

                Wow your world view is very dark. What about dealing with those crims and their families and their kids and removing the causes that drive them to crime? Putting up barbed wire enclaves in our cities is not going to do it.

          • miravox 15.1.1.1.2

            That says an immense amount about New Zealand’s brighter future. You’re making Cunliffe’s point for him, BM.

            • BM 15.1.1.1.2.1

              Bullshit, it’s been like that since civilization began.

              It’s like the wild, the antelope gets out on it’s own and separated and it’s predator food.

              The key is to not put yourself in the situation where you become the food.

              • mickysavage

                Gee … some of us want civilisation to mean that we can all safely walk down streets at night. BM wants a more primitive reality to continue.

                No wonder he thinks market forces are best.

              • McFlock

                Bullshit, it’s been like that since civilization began.

                It’s like the wild, the antelope gets out on it’s own and separated and it’s predator food.

                The key is to not put yourself in the situation where you become the food.

                and that, ladies and gentlemen, is the tory perspective.
                Predatory and terrified at the same time.

                Hey, BM, you do realise that “solitary, rich, nasty, brutish, and short” is just as bad as “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”?

              • miravox

                You need to get out of NZ more, BM. Plenty of other places are not like that, including the city I live in.

                • BM

                  Lucky for you.

                  What country is that?

                  • miravox

                    Austria. Governed by a grand coalition of ‘national’ and ‘labour’ and runs a far more left-wing agenda than NZ. It took awhile to get my head around that.

                • McFlock

                  don’t tell him the country – he’ll go there and bring down the property values.
                  Although NZ’s quality of life would improve.

                  • miravox

                    Ooops, too late. At least he won’t be buying a property. Rent controls mean thats not the way to make lots of dosh here.

                    • McFlock

                      That explains it then – it’s a commun1st hellhole…

                    • miravox

                      I know! It’s so bad that we only accepted an extension to the work contract because we have Stockholm syndrome…

          • the pigman 15.1.1.1.3

            Agree that BM is making the point for us. I live in a country with minimal wealth inequality in a city of 13.35 million and I could walk down any street in the city (or indeed pass out in a gutter in any of those streets) without fear of someone taking my wallet, let alone kicking the shit out of me.

            Why is it not like this in NZ? You should be asking yourself that question.

          • McFlock 15.1.1.1.4

            I walk down a dark street once a week.

            Not a problem.

          • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1.1.5

            You’re just asking to get the shit kicked out of you.

            No I wouldn’t be and, more importantly, I shouldn’t expect to be either. The fact that you think this is normal shows disconnected from reality you are. Probably watching too many violent movies and think that the violence committed in them is normal.

            • marty mars 15.1.1.1.5.1

              Yep I think the movie angle is probably true. Funny how greedy people think everyone else is greedy and shitkickers think everyone else shitkicks.

  16. fisiani 16

    trying to defend the indefensible. Pathetic limp wristed response by partisan hacks who refuse to call it another fuckup and move on. Come on make it a contest.

  17. I’m just going to leave these here. A serious take on Cunliffe’s announcement – by a man, so you have to take it seriously:
    http://grahamcameron.wordpress.com/2014/07/04/im-sorry-for-being-a-man-sorry-boys-it-is-all-men/

    And this is for all the Not All Men comments above:
    http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/not-all-men-are-like-that

    • Gosman 17.1

      Do you seriously think that blog post is going to persuade anyone to change their mind over this topic? It uses the fact that the Black Ferns get less coverage than the All Blacks as an example of inherent sexism in NZ Society. Perhaps it might be because the All Blacks are better at playing the game than the Black Ferns and woman’s Rugby Union is smaller sport both in NZ and around the world. I don’t see the men’s equivalent of the Silver ferns getting anywhere the sort of coverage as they do either but that is not reflective of sexism as far as i am aware.

  18. Gosman 18

    The problem for Cunliffe is this has not just annoyed sexist males. I have seen a number of posts from liberal minded Facebook friends making comment about how it is not fair to lump all men together. Perhaps they are a small insignificant minority however it so show that not all women will see his comments as a good thing.

  19. Jimmie 19

    Plenty of lefties over the years have frothed at the mouth when folks have lumped all of a group in together when a few of that group have behaved badly. (Example the view that all Maori are criminal, or all Asians are bad drivers)

    What is the technical term? – propagating negative stereotypes…….bigots get screamed from the same progressives.

    However when one of their own makes an outrageous stereotypical statement where he basically accuses 50% of NZ of being women and children beaters and apologizes for being part of that group somehow this isn’t Cunliffe being bigoted against men?

    I mean – seriously. Why couldn’t Cunliffe have said that its not right for a minority of men (and some women) to be violent towards their partners? Or its not right for men (or women) to get on the piss and beat up their partners or kids? Be a lot more accurate.

    I mean, one of my old staff was given two black eyes from his wife and had the windows of his house smashed by her 2 months ago after she got drunk and lashed out at him. And it had happened many times before and he had no one he could talk to about it…….what does he feel about Mr Cunliffe’s statement about now? (And he’s the nicest, meekest guy you could come across)

      • McFlock 19.1.1

        powerful piece

        • Gosman 19.1.1.1

          It’s a rubbish piece. Please tell me why he brought the Black Ferns in as an example of inherent sexism of society? I could equally point to how Valerie Adams is our most celebrated Olympic athlete at the moment and say there is sexism against men.

          • freedom 19.1.1.1.1

            Go on then. Show us the champion male Athletic star you think is being prejudiced against.

            The Silver Ferns for example, are Netball’s equivalent of the All Blacks and it is also a game played by more kiwis than those playing Rugby. I personally prefer watching a Rugby Test over a Netball Test but that does not alter the fact the Silver Ferns are regularly in the top annals of their professional sport, yet receive a sliver of the blanket coverage gorged on by the All Blacks and Rugby in general. But you know this already. So what are you really wanting to say Gosman?

            • Gosman 19.1.1.1.1.1

              Two points.

              One the Silver Ferns get much better coverage than many sports which are male dominated. They probably get better coverage than the men’s basketball team for example.

              Second the media responds to demand as much as creates it. The reason why media companies pay billions for many men’s sports is because people want to watch them over other sports. You might think that is unfair but that is reality.

              • felix

                “They probably get better coverage than the men’s basketball team for example.”

                See Gos, the Silver Ferns are at the top of their sport and have been for a long time. They’re the best in the world on a fairly regular basis, and always among the top couple of teams. They have repeatedly beaten all of their competitors, again and again.

                And you see it as fitting to compare that level of excellence with the Tall Blacks, whose record comes nowhere near that, because they’re men.

                Do you have any idea how offensive that is?

                And as for the media responding to the demand, you’re right. We live in a very sexist culture.

                Like I said, time to stop digging.

  20. Jrobin 20

    If you can’t see the connection between sexism and men getting away with violence then you need to have a more nuanced understanding of power and control Gosman. Good on David Cunliffe for taking on the issue. His comment was specific and controversial, he has got everyone talking. Reporting of sports is just one minor example of who is in control of messages. You can also see this in the way sportswomen are expected to dress. eg beach volleyball. Cunliffe is probably right, the general attitudes of society do support and enable abuse of power by powerful people. Many, though not all these people, are men. Allowing the Malaysan diplomat to escape trial in NZ , until media alerted us, is just one example of the way male networks dismiss the seriousness of sexual assault and support the perpetrators. How else would Saville and Harris have got away with their sleaziness? Many other men must have been aware of their behaviour and sanctioned it by ignoring it. David Cunliffe is siding with the less powerful and in this neoliberal world that is seen by some as losing, being weak. I don’t agree, he has shown real courage.
    Insisting on Competition in every aspect of life is nothing short of stupidity and the stupid are feeling threatened. Key’s response shows him to be part of the problem. Of course he is, he abuses power constantly, eg asset sales, surveillance, ignoring climate change, funnelling money into elite education, tax cuts to the wealthy.
    An honest appraisal of power relations in New Zealand is long overdue. Well done David.

  21. Rosie 21

    How disappointing and frustrating that the media take something good and turn it to crap.

    A worthy and good policy announcement has been sidelined in the media’s attempts to continue with their anti Cunliffe campaign, by ridiculing a small sentence taken out of context from the fuller statement.

    Also typical of our resident RWNJ’s to totally misunderstand the message. A special mention has to go out to The Men Of The Standard for not only being sensitive and intelligent enough to fully get what Cunliffe means when he apologises for being a man, but for attempting to educate those RWNJ’s who are so far behind.

    The way I see it, Cunliffe is showing true humility when he apologises. To be at that point he would have to have sound knowledge of the suffering of victims of violence and rape. He would have to have an understanding. And…..as someone who has been raped, his words meant a huge amount to me, as I’m sure they do to many women. A person who is committed to taking genuine and meaningful steps towards reducing and eliminating violence against women and children is someone I want to see running the country.

    All power to the Labour Party for a coalition win on 20th September. With such a win we can start seriously addressing NZ’s shameful level of crime against women and children.

    • karol 21.1

      Well said, Rosie. And thanks for publicly explaining how it sits with you as a survivor.

      I had to turn the Nation off in anger this morning: when Bryce Edwards and Willie Jackson started in on justifying their uncritical, implied, and unexamined support of male power, in defining whose voices are important around this issue.

      PS: Thanks also for the supportive TS men. I’m gong to leave the guys to debate the issues around their perspectives on the other thread.

      • Rosie 21.1.1

        Thank you karol, for your wise, research and statistically based posts about the subject of violence (of all types) against women.

        Mickey’s article, “We men do need to own the violence problem” was excellent, but like you I’m going to leave the floor to the mainly male audience there today. There are some comments I would like to respond to but I find it kind of exhausting talking about such a topic. I’m physically unwell at the moment and just don’t have the reserves of strength to face it.

        I did feel it was important to give the perspective of a survivor though. What DC has said means so much to me and gives me hope. People, men, need to know this announcement is positive and not negative for women who have been raped, beaten, and psychologically harmed and over powered in many aspects of their daily lives. It’s positive for us all, including men.

        If “our lads” of TS hadn’t been so supportive and understanding of this policy announcement and of a woman’s right to safety, I wouldn’t have had the courage to speak from my perspective as a survivor. Their contribution is positive, welcomed and is, I hope, influential. They have my gratitude for that.

        Kia Ora.

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