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Open mike 29/11/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 29th, 2020 - 100 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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100 comments on “Open mike 29/11/2020 ”

  1. Adrian Thornton 1

    Aaron Maté: Why Even Under Biden Russiagate Will NEVER Die

    Of course this extends to New Zealand main stream media lead by RNZ, who have taken to parroting any old shit that comes their way with gusto….never ever once correcting or following up with new updates which spoil their narrative ( propaganda).

    Just witness the shameful silence from all NZ media on the public destruction of Assange to really understand exactly how deeply embedded and complete manufacturing consent has entrenched itself into our media…..not even RNZ's Media Watch will even mention this one, so who's left to keep citizens informed?… .

    Fake news and/or withheld news ( both as dangerous as each other) is real alright, but it originates from MSM just as much as it does from social and fringe media…but then I guess at the end of the day, everyone has their own ideology they are pushing, RNZ just as much as the next guy…still it’s sad to see it being so blatant.

    • weston 1.1

      Dead right adrian RNZ news is Pathetic and nine times out of ten sourced either from CNN or BBC which kinda explaines why no news about Assange !!.I think they do have reporters but perhaps no computers ?Personally i hate their whole business model with a few exceptions theyre supposed to be free to air but the station is run like any standard commercial one with every second accounted for WTF ??.Aarron Mate is a god send to cynical bastards like me and id reccomend anyone not familier with his work to check out his interview with his old man whos pretty cool in his own right also as a starter.

  2. Forget now 2

    A public notice in today's Herald gives notice that a citizen-initiated referendum has been proposed asking: "Should New Zealand decriminalise the possession of cannabis for personal use?"

    The proposal, lodged by Wellington Central Young Greens activist Mathew Bouma, is open for comments on the proposed wording until February 1.


    • Chris T 2.1

      Confess I haven't actually read the link you posted, as I don't really care either way, wold probably vote yes to that.


      This is what the original referendum should have been imo. Would have breezed through. And then they could have opened up a bit after.

      One of those cases of trying for too much, too soon for the public at the election and getting your arse kicked.

      • KJT 2.1.1

        Should have been a range of options, to be ranked STV, style.

        And Labour should have front footed the reasons and evidence behind the options.

        Instead of leaving the hard work to the Greens.

        Leaving media propagandists to explain it, , as the remaining journalists in NZ media can be counted on one hand, was a failure of commitment.

    • Jester 2.2

      I don't really care either way as I'm not in to cannabis myself. We had the vote, and > 50% said "No" so IMO, we accept democracy and move on, even though it was close and it didn't have the outcome we wanted / expected.

      • weka 2.2.1

        it's a different question.

        • Chris T

          Indeed. The one that should have been asked in the first case.

          • Sabine


          • halfcrown


          • weka

            Do you know the reasons why the other option was chosen? There are compelling reasons.

            • Chris T

              Presumably they thought it would pass.

              Which I would have thought would have been the starting point.

              • solkta

                You don't think that creating good law should be the starting point for Members of Parliament?

                • Chris T

                  Yes I do. Which is what happened with right to die, with well thought out law coming out of it, which was passed, depending on the referendum.

                  But in this case we are talking about a non binding referendum question and not a law.

                  • solkta

                    The Greens pushed to do it that way. Instead we had a draft bill. But that is really beside the point.

                    • Graeme

                      But a draft bill doesn't mean much at all as it can change significantly going through the parliamentary process.

                      Seymour had the right process, take the proposal through Parliament, have it submitted on debated so it gets well publicised, and then take it to referendum if parliament hasn't got the fortitude to pass it outright.

                      It would have been interesting to see the outcome if both proposals had gone through the same process, either way. I suspect that Seymour's initial bill would have failed had it been put to referendum before it went through parliament too.

              • weka

                afaik the rationale for legalisation rather than decriminalisation for personal possession was because legalisation allowed for legal control over production, access to cannabis for disabled and unwell people who couldn't otherwise access it, way better health care and health promotion, and would drop the conviction rate for Māori who are over represented in charges due to systemic racism (lives destroyed).

                There really is a big difference between legalisation and decriminalisation.

                The yes and undecided vote was strong enough to warrant going for the full thing. It was always going to require education. I completely agree that covid has been a factor, negatively impacting on the Yes campaign's ability to do that educating.

    • mac1 2.3

      The article says "He (Bouma) has not yet discussed the proposed referendum with Green Party drug reform spokesperson Chloe Swarbrick or any other MP."

      I wonder if Swarbrick will tell him, "OK, Bouma!"

  3. NOEL 3

    The decriminalisation option was presented to Cabinet along with the chosen option.

    It was immediately discounted on the ground there would remain an illicit supply.

    The chosen option made it a choice option with a guaranteed legal supply rather than an addiction reduction health issue that had been the previous focus of the Greens and Drug Foundation.

    Too late now.

    • Chris T 3.1

      As I say.

      The actual one asked was obviously too much.

      If cabinet "immediately discounted" the decriminalise option, they might want to have a rethink about priorities.

      • solkta 3.1.1

        Yes you've said that three times now so you can stop bleating. If it hadn't been for covid disrupting campaigning the thing probably would have passed.

        • Chris T

          a) I don't have to stop "bleating" about anything, especially when it is so obvious.

          b) Blaming Covid for a dumb question is a cop out.

          [When you repeat your own words often enough and start to be believe them it’s called ‘smoking your own dope’ and when you demonstrate that repeatedly in your comments it’s called ‘bleating’. None of your bleats addresses the points made by NOEL @ 3 and solkta @ 3.1.1. and it is just another of your reading fails here, which is becoming an issue. This is your warning – Incognito]

          • Sabine



          • solkta

            Given how close the result was it wasn't obvious at all. What is obvious is your bleating.

            • Chris T

              I think you are confusing not being obvious to you personally, while everyone else who was actually looking at polls before the actual question was published noticed it wouldn't win, if they went full legal.

              [Really? What does the term “full legal” actually mean in this context? Sounds like a red herring to me. And what polls are you referring to? For your convenience: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_New_Zealand_cannabis_referendum#Polling. Should they have pulled the referendum when ‘the polls’ showed that it was “so obvious” that “it wouldn’t win”? Sounds like a thing Trump would do/say: stop the counting, I’ve won! Your comments are becoming more and more like tedious trolling – Incognito]

              • solkta

                Polls were all over the place. "Full legal" would be available to all ages next to broccoli in the supermarket. There were many models to choose from. Decriminalisation can also mean any number of things. Until the question was formulated it could not be asked.

                • Sacha

                  available to all ages next to broccoli in the supermarket

                  Which is nowhere close to what was proposed.

              • Incognito

                See my Moderation note @ 12:03 PM.

          • Incognito

            See my Moderation note @ 10:28 AM.

            • Chris T

              Forgive me for having a personal opinion on the daily open mike thread.

              You have a history of being pretty much the only mod on here with a personal thing against my opinions, even on open mike, which I thought was a bit more open.

              As you are the only one that seems to feel the need to give me warnings or bin me for a few comments you disagree with.

              All good. It is your prerogative.

              I apologise if anything I have said about weed offended you, while adding, I have not been offensive to anyone, said bad words, or even tried to be argumentative, besides saying my point of view. on what is supposed to be the open mike section.

              If it helps I wont post anything to do with the topic after this.


              • Incognito

                Briefly, it is not personal, it is not about disagreeing with you, it is not about me being offended by you, and it is not about weed. All red herrings. If you cannot or won’t back your opinions with evidence and robust argument, for example and particularly when you assert “especially when it is so obvious”, you’re straying in moderation territory. You’ve been around here long enough to know how it works and your ‘response’ frankly is pathetic.

                Other commenters disagree with you and you refuse to engage with them in good faith. Instead, you bleat.

                You have not addressed even one point I made in my Moderation note just as you don’t address issues raised by other commenters unless it suits you. Maybe it is a reading/comprehension problem maybe it is that you don’t want to but these are hallmarks of a wannabe-troll.

                You’re wasting Moderator time now and apologising for things that don’t matter is meaningless and irrelevant and even though it possibly shows that your intentions are not those of a wannabbe-troll, the impact is the same 🙁

                If it helps I wont post anything to do with the topic after this.

                I hope the answer to your question is self-evident.

        • alwyn

          " If it hadn't been for covid disrupting campaigning the thing probably would have passed."

          Can I use your logic to have the General Election re-run in a few months?

          After all " If it hadn't been for covid disrupting campaigning" the National Party would probably have got more than 50% of the seats.

          Makes just as much sense as your proposal doesn't it?

          • solkta

            If National + Act had had scored 49% of the vote then yes that statement would be sensible too.

          • Incognito


          • Shanreagh

            Agree Alwyn. I am not sure what Covid had/s to do with the poll on Cannabis. Are we going to blame Covid on all sorts of unrelated issues?

            The issue is a dead duck now.

            The Govt has far more important issues to deal with than what is basically a lifestyle/leisure choice. You know things such as poverty, housing, energy costs undoing vestiges of neoliberalism such as employment contracts.

            Policing has for many years(since the mid 80s to my knowledge) not concentrated on possession per se. It becomes an issue for Police when put together with issues such as burglary, growing for supply etc.

            As long as medicinal cannabis is allowed to be grown, marketed and used more than is currently the case (price & supply) then I am happy to leave another vote for leisure activities for another day.

            • solkta

              There was a national road trip campaign that was cancelled at time of the first lockdown that never went ahead. Effective campaigning on a complex issue requires complex discussions with voters, and these happen best face to face. Right wing groups opposed however just needed to break out all the old slogans and misinformation. Groups in favour had less money and the types of campaigning available suited those who had money.

              • alwyn

                "There was a national road trip campaign that was cancelled".

                So? After all there was a National Party campaign launch that had to be cancelled because the Labour Government brought in a second lock-down that started just before the date of the launch.

                The Labour Party had already had their launch when the lock-down was put in place.

            • Incognito

              Policing has for many years(since the mid 80s to my knowledge) not concentrated on possession per se. It becomes an issue for Police when put together with issues such as burglary, growing for supply etc.

              Your knowledge needs refreshing.



              • Chris T

                Those are actually quite interesting stats.

                • Incognito

                  Everybody who voted in the Referendum should have informed himself or herself about what they were voting on. There is/was plenty of good data and information out there for those who looked for it. There is/was also plenty of mis- and dis-information out there for those who wanted it, for whatever reason or agenda.

              • Shanreagh

                I cannot open many of these files. In any case I have obviously not explained myself. I am talking about an earlier stage than the decision to charge with an offence. Unless you have tables on the use of Police discretion then the tables will not show the concept I am talking about.

                I am not saying there were no charges of possession. I am saying police often exercise a discretion on whether or not to charge and one of these involves possession of small amounts of cannabis for own use where this is the only thing the person could be charged with. If this were not the case then the Police could be knocking on the doors of many households on Saturday night to check dinner party guests or hosts.

                Possession charges coming to Police notice often go hand in hand with other charges as disorderly conduct (ie smart alec comments, unruly gatherings etc) or driving offences. They might find that a search of a vehicle after someone has come to their attention with unruly conduct/possession of a stash on cannabis on their person that in fact they have cannabis for supply, holding instruments of burglary. So the suspicion of possession is not followed up but the more serious crimes are. Or possession is bundled up along with the more serious crimes.

                So it also falls into the category usually of a ‘public’ crime and the usual stereotypes about policing people who spend large amounts of time in public as opposed to the dinner party example above.

                In high number crime scenes ie where there is rioting or other militancy that could go either way violently it would be lacking in nous/discretion for Police to suddenly wade in to arrest people for possession, even though it may be evident that this is happening.

                There is a police term called 'cuffing' that describes this to an extent. Though perhaps better described as 'potential' crimes than as 'reported' crimes as this happens after the crimes are committed but before someone is charged.

                Cuffing: The under-recording of reported crimes, the term being derived from the magician’s art of making objects disappear up the sleeve or cuff (Young 1991) (wiki)

                Police often will work against giving a discretion as in the much vaunted broken windows campaigns.

                'The broken windows theory (wiki) is a criminological theory that states that visible signs of crime, anti-social behaviour, and civil disorder create an urban environment that encourages further crime and disorder, including serious crimes.'

                So in cases where people committing minor street crime might have been given a warning or a caution or nothing are followed up with the full weight of the law behind them.

                I have academic quals in the field and have no reason to doubt the research/knowledge about the use of Police discretion generally, to go for the most serious crime/s in preference to more minor ones.

                • Chris T

                  There is one sheet which shows imprisonment just for the charge of possession without and with other charges, which is interesting how much the former is going down.

                  Imprisonment just on possession of weed and no other crimes

                  2010 – 176

                  2020 – 16

                  Added it to their other charges

                  2010 – 717

                  2020 – 457

                  Think it is safe to say the cops are using discretion unless you have other violent charges to go with it

                  • Shanreagh

                    Thanks for these figures. Not sure why I could not open them. Doesn't have to be violent charges though…just more serious in the scheme of things.

                • Incognito

                  I have academic quals in the field and have no reason to doubt the research/knowledge about the use of Police discretion generally, to go for the most serious crime/s in preference to more minor ones.

                  Excellent, that makes you the most qualified of us to provide those “tables on the use of Police discretion” that you asked for in the first paragraph of your comment.

                  What Police concentrate on and how they use discretion are not quite the same thing, are they? As someone with academic qualifications you’d know to avoid ambiguity, don’t you?

                  Unfortunately, it becomes rather pointless to discuss this further with you, as you cannot seem to open a basic webpage of the Ministry of Justice nor an Excel file with very useful data!?

                  Perhaps you can elaborate on the broken window theory in the context of the disproportional charging and convicting of Māori and Pacific Peoples? There wouldn’t be systematic and institutional bias here, do you think? It was one of the arguments in favour of the failed Referendum, IIRC.

                  • solkta

                    I couldn't open the spreadsheets in Open Office. I assume this is because they are XL documents and Microsoft deliberately make these only openable in the recent versions of their program. It really fucks me off when Crown agencies supply stuff in file formats that are not universal. They could simply save them as a CSV file to be universal.

                    • Incognito

                      My bad, I assumed, wrongly, it seems, that most people with a device can open these files.

                      The Excel file is a *.xlsx file.

                      There are ways to open such files without having Microsoft Office installed but I agree that another file format would make things easier. One size does not fit all.

                    • McFlock

                      csv files don't have the functionality of .xlsx files. In particular, I think multiple tabs might be an issue.

                      Open office should be able to import .xlsx files, simply because like it or not excel is still ubiquitous and having an amazing programme that nobody else can talk to is useless. It might be more complex than simply trying to open them though.

                      At home, I use Libreoffice (which was basically open office but there were some corporate/IP shenanigans so many of the open source crowd upped stakes and made a new program).

                  • Shanreagh

                    What Police concentrate on and how they use discretion are not quite the same thing, are they?

                    Yes they are different. I was using the broken windows campaign as an example where a previous discretion by Police had changed to enforcement.

                    Excellent, that makes you the most qualified of us to provide those “tables on the use of Police discretion” that you asked for in the first paragraph of your comment.

                    You can get an idea of police use of discretion by looking at the figure that Chris T provided. These show an exercise of Police discretion in single offences relating to possession of cannabis. I am not sure you would ever get tables on police discretion, rating as it does up with intuition and 'feelings' about a situation. (My comment was a bit tongue in cheek) And I am certain that a person who has had the police discretion in their favour (say on close orange/red light offence) is not going to say 'pick me, pick me and record all about me.' Warnings that are given and noted are a step up.

                    Perhaps you can elaborate on the broken window theory in the context of the disproportional charging and convicting of Māori and Pacific Peoples? There wouldn’t be systematic and institutional bias here, do you think? It was one of the arguments in favour of the failed Referendum, IIRC.

                    Well the broken windows theory is not so much relevant. This is to illustrate that concentrating on lesser offences rather than using a discretion not to charge, may stop more serious offences occurring later.

                    The concept that is relevant to the disproportionate charging of Maori and Pacific Peoples is the concept of public offences.

                    Offences committed by people in public are much easier to police than offences committed in private. People who by circumstance are forced to live their lives in the public eye are more likely to be seen, charged etc with offences. Public order/disorder offences such as fighting, urinating in public. drinking in public, frequenting public places for partying etc, right down to the wholesale littering by the visiting Gypsy family that raised hackles.

                    People who have access to large emptyish houses or sections in which to party, including to commit cannabis offences, are much less likely to come to the attention of the Police than people who have no places to meet as young people so they meet in parks etc.

                    These public activities, particularly those where people are unruly are more likely to result in attention from the Police. If there are multiple other offences taking place then the Police may overlook (use discretion) single possession of cannabis offences but then equally include them on a charge sheet if there are multiple other offences being committed.

                    There were concerns from time to time about the Police lack of focus on white collar crime and on domestic violence (not traditionally public offences) – behind closed doors. Both took public campaigns before they were concentrated on and before the discretion that Police sometimes exercised not to charge the people involved in domestic violence offences were dispensed with. Police now charge even though in older times if the people showed a level of contrition they were not.

                    Apart from the concept of public or private offences, the whole question of Maori/Pacific peoples offending is similar to why the

                    health stats

                    education stats

                    employment/unemployment stats

                    for these of our citizens also of concern.

                    Public offences also spill over into offences against uninvolved others such as unprovoked assaults against passersby, damage to the property of others.

                    I am not convinced that a successful Cannabis referendum result and follow-up per se would have lessened the offences that people are charged with, bearing in mind that possession is picked up and added or used as a gateway to investigate other more serious offences.

                    Public order/disorder offences without cannabis would still catch people. Carrying more than enough for personal use would still trigger investigations into possible more serious crimes. Public order/disorder offences are public, are seen and there are economic, health, education reasons why people are living their social lives in public.

          • KJT

            "If it hadn't been for voters seeing National's, and Labours, true colours during covid, without the usual right wing PR spin/lies, National would have won".

            Fixed it for you.

            National lost many of their normal votes because Conservatives like to feel safe. National promising to open the borders to thousands of students, cheap workers and tourists, with private isolation, made them feel, rightly, unsafe!

            • alwyn

              "Fixed it for you."? What on earth do you mean. You changed it to say something else but you didn't "fix" anything.

          • McFlock

            We'll have another election in a few years.

            When is cannabis law reform schduled for popular review again? Oh, it's not? Might as well do it whenever people want, then.

  4. Anker 4


    finally an insight into the work of OT and how complex it is. So sick of everyone barking about the agency as if they are the problem rather than the appalling rates of child abuse that’s happening.

    it really pisses me off to hear the media beat up about what’s going on. I have no idea about their ceo and how competent she is or otherwise. What I can say about the many social workers I have met who work there is they are passionate about the children, compassionate towards the families, some of whom are perpetrators and committed to their jobs. Do they always get things right? Hell no! This article illustrates the complexities of what they are dealing with, the knife edge of the judgment calls they have to make. They also run the risks of being targeted by dysfunctional family members on online forums, including receiving death threats.

    maybe Maori would do better running the agency, but there is no evidence to support this. Sometimes people think there are really simple answers to very serious complex issues.

    I realise many will disagree with my perspective and want to blame the problems on racism or a non NZder ceo of OT.

    anyway rant over for today


    • weka 4.1

      Reading through, here are the questions that come up for me:

      1. why was there not a social worker in those visits who speaks Samoan given at least one of the parents is Samoan and speaks Samoan at home as does the child?

      (that btw Anker is institutional racism. If the situation was in Samoa, that problem wouldn’t exist. Can you see how the dominant culture is failing this child, family and community from a non-Pākehā culture?)

      • weka 4.1.1

        what is the background here? Why is there no emergency foster care set up *before the first visit? I'm also raising my eyebrows that the medical people didn't pick up the extent of the bruising, but it's not clear if the other bruising happened after the A & E visit. These are systemic issues. I don't blame Oranga Tamariki here particularly, I do hold successive govts to account, as well as the NZ public who vote in govts that run these systems so badly and that insist on putting money ahead of child welfare. Again, systemic racism.

        • joe90

          Why is there no emergency foster care set up *before the first visit?


          Do you have any idea about just how fucking resource stretched these organisations are?

          Or the hoops folk are required to jump through to be even considered for any caring role?

          Or how many would-be carers are manifestly unfit to be even left alone with a child?

          Or how many children are re-traumatised by their foster care experiences?


      • weka 4.1.2

        The family that take the kids in, an aunty, are offered financial support via OT and WINZ. I don't know what OT are like in that regard, but WINZ is often a nightmare, logistically and culturally (WINZ culture). They're the last organisation I would suggest a stressed family should have to engage with.

        The father will be visited by the police, probably charged and convicted. Will he lose his job? Go to prison? There needs to be a holding to account of him and the mother, as well as prevention and roads to redemption, but this is truly ambulance at the bottom of the cliff stuff with the potential to damage many lives long term. If we had culturally appropriate systems, then I do believe that we would have far better ways of dealing with situations like. Not perfect, but better, because Māori and Pacifika place people at the centre of the ways they organise their societies.

        It's also obvious here about the interconnected nature of the issues, and ambulances at the bottom of the cliff may or may not be doing their best but they're just not equipped to deal with whole systems in a good way.

        I don't actually care about the blaming so much as I care that our critiques make us look long and hard at what kind of society we want. Mostly I see Pākehā relatively ok with the state of things and that makes me incredibly sad.

        • Treetop

          This child could have ended up dead. He was hit (assaulted in anger).

          There are consequences for having a child removed and the abuser could blame the child for the loss of a home, income or a criminal conviction. A child is never to blame for this. This is why children may never be returned to live with the abuser/s.

          OT has clearly not been working for Maori for the last 70 years. 3 generations of being marginalised by a government agency.

          The Royal Commission into the Abuse in Care is going to show the damage done to children due to organisational failure.

        • Descendant Of Smith

          "Not perfect, but better, because Māori and Pacifika place people at the centre of the ways they organise their societies."

          This gets said as if it is a truism. I'd suggest there is as much variety in the raising of children in both Maori and Pacifika communities as there is in European.

          The tolerance and normalisation of violence (and other forms of abuse) is just part of that. Greed. violence, abuse, depravity are all traits that all humans share. Genetically we are all pretty much the same and all have the potential to behave in the same ways (accepting that there are genetic traits that increase propensity).

          Every culture has/had it's notion of just violence – Maori and Pacifika included. The real question is whether non-violence is part of the desired modern culture. In those traditional ways, lore vs law, like in any culture there was both good and bad. Those aspects of traditional culture that were violent – do we accept them or reject them or are we simply pretending that they never existed?

          Capitalism (and by virtue of capitalism colonialism) has deliberately and consciously broken down traditional structures and thought patterns and identity, has caused economic deprivation and hardship and loss of land.

          This story reflects some of that – the expectation and normalisation of violence, the need to be tough and hard to be a real man, the expectation that as a matai he should be allowed to do whatever he wants, that because he belonged to a church it couldn't possibly be him doing this.

          These aspects aren't that uncommon across all cultures in NZ, while also not common. Most families don't inflict this abuse on children regardless of culture.

          Institutions, foster care, intervention – these things often failed anyone who was put in them. I had enough family through them to know that.

        • Incognito

          Mostly I see Pākehā relatively ok with the state of things and that makes me incredibly sad.

          Mostly, because Pākehā see this as a non-Pākehā problem, which is not surprising.


          Unfortunately, the penny doesn’t drop far enough [apologies for the bad pun] to realise and accept that contextual problems such as these need comprehensive contextual approaches to try improve matters.

      • anker 4.1.3

        Ok. Well maybe a Samoan speaking social worker, but that may be ill advised given the community networks in the Samoan community. Leave the s/w open to bias or pressure and back lash from the community. You are surely not suggesting all social worker speak Samoan? I am unclear what difference speaking to this father in Samoan would have made. He was violently abusing his son with a blunt instrument and lying about it, claiming it was racism from the s/w. I don't see that speaking Samoan was going to change that. Afterall this man is a criminal. Of the worse sort. Beating children. Sorry whatever you plight, no excuses. So many others face racism in NZ and are good parents and don't beat their kids or the wives for that matter. I guess you are not thinking that if the social workers had of spoken Samoan this guy would have fessed up and apologized.

        My understanding is violence towards children was culturally sanctioned in Samoan families. I am not sure if that is changing.

        I don't agree that the dominant culture is failing this child at all. School picked it up, so have done so sooner, but they got there, first dr missed it, likely working 12 hour shift in ED with dozens more patients to see, not good, but initially child was seen and assessed. Social workers, Pakeha by the looks made some very tough decisions, organised family conference, which shows good cultural inclusion. No I don't see that this is about the dominant culture failing this child. There were some mis steps which need looking into i.e first dr, first teacher, but other than that, the services did their job.

        I hope the guy is getting some sort of treatment. He could have taken responsibility and got some for himself when he started beating his kids but he didn't. Unfortunately treatment for these offenders doesn't help everyone.

        The on thing we do agree on is that it is very sad for the kids. I would say its disastrous for these kids.

        • RedLogix

          Yup. We have a very close friend here in Australia who is a veteran in the social work arena. Very tough business for all concerned.

          And the media should tread a lot more carefully on this. Beaten kids don't care much for adult ideologues.

          • anker

            Agree Red Logix.

          • Ad

            Someone with some qualifications could do a post on the topic:

            "Will The Ardern Era Make New Zealand Less Racist?"

            Thankfully I don’t have those qualifications.

            • Incognito

              On the current trajectory, my unqualified opinion is “Yes” 🙁

              Edit: aaarggghhh!! How could I get that wrong, FFS? I meant “No”.

            • Stuart Munro

              For the duration of Covid perhaps.

              The racist hiring policies of big Hort & big Ag are for the moment being postponed.

              Folk with 20+ years of experience don’t end up mowing lawns if the game is being played straight.

        • Treetop

          I would say it is disastrous for these kids.

          It is due to the limited life experience that children have and the power which adults have over them; and not just the caregivers.

          I would like to see more research done on children who are now adults who were removed from their parent/s.

          Also research done on the parent/s who had children removed.

          First person accounts are very important in understanding how to cause the least harm.

          • anker

            Brigid I didn't see the story. What was the basis for these children being removed from their parents? Am keen to know.

            Accept people will disagree with my point of view vehemently as is their right to do.

            I don't think it is a cop out to say I don't expect them to always get things right. The reality is they are dealing with very emotional extreme situations and all the time they are having to make their best judgements, knowing if it goes wrong, their head is on the block.

            • Brigid

              It was an article at Newsroom but "These stories have been temporarily removed after the High Court granted an interim injunction restraining Newsroom from publishing them."


              The children, all of Maori decent were put with an English foster couple over two years ago. There was no family available to take them. The arrangement was termed a 'forever home'. Oranga Tamariki, in their wisdom decided to up lift the kids after two years because they claimed the foster parents weren't culturally inappropriate or some such. All 3 were under 6, one had been with the foster parents since birth.

              • Anne

                That was an awful story. To uplift children at a moment's notice when they had bonded to their "forever" family. By all means introduce them to their birth family so they know where they come from, but to do it like that shows what a bunch of little Hitlers run the outfit.

                Then to put on their jackboots and kick the journos in the teeth for telling the story… the sooner they get their marching orders the better.

                This is about welfare and stability for little ones who had never known love and care before. It matters not the colour of their skins nor that of their loving care-givers.

        • weka

          Unless you believe this was the first time the child was beaten (I don't) then obviously society *has failed this child, family and community. It failed to prevent the abuse. Abuse doesn't happen in a vacuum, and treating it as solely the responsibility of the abuser is why we end up with ambulance systems instead of ones that build wellbeing.

          "I don't see that speaking Samoan was going to change that."

          Well for a start, the social worker would have been able to understand the threats being made to the child in her presence. In terms of the abuse dynamics explained in the article, that is huge for the wellbeing of the child.

          "Well maybe a Samoan speaking social worker, but that may be ill advised given the community networks in the Samoan community. Leave the s/w open to bias or pressure and back lash from the community."

          Are you suggesting that Samoan social workers are more susceptible to bias? Because I haven't seen you suggest that Pākehā social workers shouldn't have Pākehā clients.

          There is a such a wide gap between the framing you are using, and the framing that is available via cultural approaches that all I can say is that I think you are missing a *very large part of the picture. Until you understand those issues and dynamcis I can see why you would end up with the position you have currently.

          It's not even my area but I can see the many, many things that failed before the first visit to the doctor, and I can see why they failed. Until you are able to recognise those things, or even acknowledge that you don't know what they are (no shame there, many don't) the conversation will remain centred on the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, which means that the kids have already been pushed off. I'm saying we can stand at the top of the cliff and start walking away from it. We can keep the ambulances in place of course, and in time we will need less of them there.

          • weka

            also wanted to add, that in the context of Māori and stories of 'uplifting' children and OT, those are very different stories than the one you presented here. So let's also acknowledge that OT deal with a range of situations, some of which they get right, some they get wrong, and lots in between.

          • anker

            Weka, I don't believe that this was the first time the child was beaten and the article indicated that.

            I may be missing a part of the picture. I am speaking more up close and personal, although I cannot reveal how (except to say I have never worked for OT).

            I also have a very close circumstance where a Maori baby was removed and adopted by a very close friend of mine. The abuse this child suffered was horrific unthinkable. This little girl is now an adult and at least had the benefit of a loving kind family. We were told to understand that whanau had no interest in this child and it seemed very much the case when over the years big efforts were made to connect the girl to the family.

            I also know from the Dunedin study that violence in adults is due to a combo of genes and environment.

            What are the many things that failed before the first visit to the Dr?

            I must say that I am writing this with quite a bit of emotion as I see OT getting trashed and trashed over and over again and having known a number of their social workers well it makes me cross. The best people who really care about the children are compassionate towards the caregivers and try very hard to do their best. I hate seeing the pile on that is going on now.

            I have to say I put the father in the article in the same category as the guy who killed Grace Millane, Talleys who exploit their workers so badly (although he is a psychopath I am sure).

            Yes of course racism and homelessness are major social stresses that add to people being violent. My understanding certainly from the literature of violence towards female partners is that there is situational violence (joblessness, financial stress etc that lead to violence) and then characterlogical violence, ie. people with narcissistic, anti social etc personality disorders. And then of course there is the role of alcohol and drugs. These are complex issues. My heart goes out to the children, but the perpertraters, not so much.

    • Brigid 4.2

      "Do they always get things right? Hell no! "

      The cop out that's always trotted out.

      The lastest article by Melanie Read shows that abuse of the children was NOT the reason they were removed from the couple, though OT did manufacture a story that convinced the court to allow for the kids to be removed.

      I disagree with your take vehemently.

      • Treetop 4.2.1

        Where is the Reed article found.

        Family violence is also linked to the housing crisis. Some partners would leave with the children if they had some where to go other than a refuge. Maybe the way refuges are run need to change. People need their privacy and shared services are not ideal. Units like in a motel with a support worker and security.

        I also feel that legal aid needs to be made available so a person does not need to battle with an agency/service on their own when it comes to family violence and the removal of children.

      • anker 4.2.2

        Brigid I didn't see the story. What was the basis for these children being removed from their parents? Am keen to know.

        Accept people will disagree with my point of view vehemently as is their right to do.

        I don't think it is a cop out to say I don't expect them to always get things right. The reality is they are dealing with very emotional extreme situations and all the time they are having to make their best judgements, knowing if it goes wrong, their head is on the block.

  5. RedLogix 5

    A more thoughtful read from the Australian perspective than usual:

    Little New Zealand — perhaps the only place in the world that has suffered isolation and the tyranny of distance more than Australia — has repeatedly jumped out of its comfort zone and changed direction harder, faster and for longer than Australia has done in the past half-century.

    Long before Australians noticed Ardern, its leaders were deregulating the economy more radically, cutting tax rates further, standing their ground for a more independent foreign policy against the United States and against the French over their nuclear testing in the Pacific.

    The way New Zealanders run their politics is different too.

    • NOEL 5.1

      Nothing on the SCV inequality. No surprise there.

      • RedLogix 5.1.1

        As a SCV444 myself, if I can look past that to the points the article does make, then maybe you could too.

        • NOEL

          OK but for a "chief political correspondent" she may have identified the obvious political differences.

          No two Houses and no States to complicate matters.

    • Ad 5.2

      Cheers Red that was good.

      I'm used to framing us pretty negatively and with reason, but it's still good to see us observed from Australia with more patience than usual.

      • RedLogix 5.2.1

        Yes, my partner brought it to my attention. She found the video on the Christchurch boys haka especially moving. Even made her a little homesick she said wink

      • RedLogix 5.2.2

        I'm used to framing us pretty negatively and with reason,

        That reminds me of a story from my teenage years. Dad worked for a company headquartered in Melbourne and made a trip over once for a big meeting. (This was back when that kind of business travel was rare.)

        Anyhow he gets back home and at dinner that evening Mum asked him about the trip and mostly it went quite well he said, "but those bloody Australians, they treat us New Zealanders like we, … we treat the Cook Islanders!"

  6. Patricia Bremner 6

    Australia has worse social problems in every area imo.
    Their racism is awful. I like Australia but Aussies ??? Compared to the Right Wing in Australia, ours is mannerly lol.
    Mind you neither set of ‘pollies’ stoop to throwing entrails along with insults.
    Any situation involving high emotion is difficult. There are no absolutes.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Their racism is awful.

      Really? Australians are less inclined to be polite for it’s own sake, which kiwis can find a bit jarring, but on the whole I find the differences in race relations have more to do with intractable historic causes than any innate kiwi moral superiority.

      • Sacha 6.1.1

        intractable historic causes

        What are you thinking of (I'm figuring it must be more than the English colonialism our nations share)?

  7. RedBaronCV 7

    Opinion piece on the wage subsidy and outcomes. Apart from wondering how Ryman healthcare qualified (I wouldn't have thought their sales would be down) a number of high profile paybacks have been made but there must be others who haven't bothered and who have had rebound sales trading etc so that the lockdown period was in the long run barely a blip.

    The article suggests a one off levy – and this is money that the state has to repay – so perhaps Grant Robertson now needs to put some rules around his "high trust" model with the end of the 2021 financial year in sight. Perhaps some year on year sales and wages comparisons to determine who has actually suffered and needs the money and who has not. And maybe a subsidy threshold so under that mark only fraudulent claims are persued?


    • Graeme 7.1

      I've got no issue with Ryman claiming the subsidy. On 23/3/20 they would have been shitting, if covid had gone though their business like it was going through some age care in Europe and US they would have had a lot of customers gone and maybe a lot of facilities shut down, both would knock their cashflow.

      Edmunds makes the point that the wage subsidy was to save jobs, but really it was to remove the financial imperative to go to work so the lockdown could be effective. So more about saving lives than jobs, at which it was very effective.

      As for the businesses, and a few individuals I know of, that have in hindsight not needed the subsidy I think the court of public opinion will bring them to their senses. Briscoes paid it back pretty quickly once they saw where opinion was headed. I expect Ryman to follow. The pressure of public opinion will be much more effective than any moves Government may make.

      • RedBaronCV 7.1.1

        I still don't see that Ryman would have had sufficient sales downturn. AFAIK they are elderly long term residential care so unless they had a massive death rate (not happened) and were unable to refill the spaces vacant then the only other loss would be some delayed sales on brand new builds. But the cost of the sales delay for them is some interest on a temporarily lowered cash flow. Yes they could have had the high death outcome of overseas but they didn't and indeed NZ has not had the usual end of winter death spike among the elderly so customer life generally has been extended. Yes I know it was sensible to take it and see how things panned out. But have they had the upside and it doesn't look like the funds are coming back.

        • Sacha

          Ryman trousered $14.2 million in wage subsidies and kept it despite paying out $44m in dividends from 'underlying profit'. Here are the people who thought that was OK: https://www.rymanhealthcare.co.nz/about-us/investors/governance

          Comparison with other local operators:


          • Summerset got $8.63m in wage subsidies and paid $13.68m in half-year dividends.
          • Oceania Healthcare got $1.8m for about 250 staff out of 2800.
          • Arvida applied for $400k for about 60 workers who could not work from home, out of its 2600 staff.
          • Metlifecare recently repaid all $6.8m in wage subsidies once directed by their Swedish owners.
          • Bupa did not apply for the wage subsidy.
          • RedBaronCV

            The selfish from Ryman and Sommerset actually doesn't look too far behind. Guess it is probably time to identify any pension fund and ACC super fund type investors and get them to exert a bit of pressure. A nice hack at the upper level wages should generate enough for repayment. Time to buy a few shares and pass some motions at the AGM

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