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Parents Inc: it’s PEDA redux

Written By: - Date published: 9:41 am, May 26th, 2011 - 85 comments
Categories: budget 2011 - Tags: , , , ,

In last year’s budget, the Nats awarded a $4.8m contract to an unknown organisation called PEDA without tender and against official advice. The people behind PEDA were apparently tied to Bill English via his wife. The full truth still hasn’t come out. Now, the Nats are up to the same trick with Parents Inc.

Paula Bennett’s Ministry of Social Development will pay $2.4 million to Parents Inc for “parenting courses for the caregivers of vulnerable children”. This contract was untendered and previously unknown.

Who are Parents Inc? Lets check out their values from their website:

Values

  • Judeo-Christian in our motivation and ethics
  • Apolitical
  • Inclusive and welcoming
  • Not-for-profit but commercially smart

Well, any group that puts “hey, we’re Christians” number one in their values obviously has a particular barrow to push.

Bruce Pilbrow is the head of Parents Inc (and was the marketing manager for Radio Rhema). Regular readers with astounding memories may remember he came up in this blog before, when he was appointed to the Families Commission by Paula Bennett. The same minister who has just given his organisation a $2.4 million cheque without due process.

In more shades of the PEDA scandal, Pilbrow resigned from the Families Commission just two days before the Budget came out. PEDA’s head, Anthony Joseph Pereira, took office just two days after the 2010 Budget. As with Pereira and PEDA, the payment to Parents Inc looks very much like a personal payment to Pilbrow from his government mates.

So, why has the government once again handed over taxpayer money, without the due process of a tender, to a group whose head has strong ties to the minister handing over the cash? Why do they think that it is OK to give back-handers to their mates? Are they just trying to keep their allies well paid on the taxpayer dime?

85 comments on “Parents Inc: it’s PEDA redux”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    They had an interview with this guy on morning report this morning. He said that the funding had nothing to do with his previous standing or his resignation. He also said that $2.4m out of a pool of $50m was peanuts and not worth getting riled up about. He said that the minister wanted an off-the-shelf scheme that was ready to rollout immediately, and that his organisation delivered that, and that their type of programme was unique in NZ (they train locals up with a parenting ‘toolbox’, and then run courses to small groups within their communities for 6 weeks to pass it on).

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      It’s a lot of peanuts.

      • Jim Nald 1.1.1

        Folks must love National’s currency exchange.

        $2.4m = peanuts

        $100m = “chump change”

        So, are you monkey or crony?

    • Kerry 1.2

      sounds well resed acebased then doesnt it? Have you met the people in the community that will clamour to teach their version of ‘the Toolbox” to vulnerable populations? i have, you should be very afraid.

      What about one of our fantastic, evidence based, already-making-a-distance initiatives like Triple P or The Incredible Years being funded in this way and rolled out?? Psychologically based, trained trainers, good history, secular in approach, supported by the Paediatric society/sevices/departments around the country, used in various Child and Family Services?

      did Paula Bennett consult Health? No of course she didn’t, she doesn’t think she needs to.

      Well of course it doesnt come as cheap, but it is taught by people who know how to teach, and it has a scientific/cbt/psychological principles foundation and it works. There is consistency of message and quality control checks and balances

      We can’t have that! We need a Cheap Toolbox that can be taught by anyone with a barrow to push

    • Kerry 1.3

      http://www.werrycentre.org.nz/?t=412
      The Increadible Years Team out of the Werry Centre – for child and Adolescent Mental Health already changing families for the better. Evidence based, recommended by clinicians, psychologists and doctors already in NZ

      The Werry Centre are focussed on the long term sustainability of the Incredible Years evidence based parenting programmes in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Click here to view the current project plan. Join our Incredible Years mailing list to recieve advanced notice of Basic Training Workshops, Supervision and Consultation Days by contacting Nicola Peeperkoorn. If you have any queries regarding the Incredible Years in New Zealand, please contact Nicola Peeperkoorn – n.peeperkoorn@auckland.ac.nz or 09 369 7325.

      “There is a clearly identified need in both government and NGO sectors to offer effective early intervention to “at risk families” and to families of children with disruptive behaviour disorder. Children in these families are at risk of developing significant mental health disorders and/potentially offending later in life. The Incredible Years (IY) programme developed by Carolyn Webster-Stratton and her colleagues has and extensive body of evidence demonstrating its effectiveness for both parents and children for more than 25 years. In recent years, this has included data on the effectiveness for a range of ethnicities.

      All of the DHB’s across New Zealand have now had access to training and most regions are delivering the programme. The training has been across several agencies with good representation from health, education and NGO’s.

      Werry Workforce has developed a clear structure of providing Basic Training in IY programme delivery and follow up Supervision Days. An increasing number of group leaders are taking up Accreditation in Incredible Years group delivery and the newly introduced Peer Coach training. The focus for this next phase will be on continuing with this trend by supporting those working towards Accreditation and further progression towards Peer Coach training and mentorship.

      In light of the significant uptake of IY Basic Training by Maori and Pacific group leaders, resources will be provided to support a pool of highly skilled and Accredited cultural leaders to ensure appropriate Supervision for Maori and Pacific facilitators. Cultural input will continue, following up on previous Hui and Fono recommendations. Further resources will be developed for both Māori and Pacific Island groups. We envisage further development of cultural Supervision, resources such as translated programme materials, research to assess implications for Māori and Pacific families. A comprehensive survey exploring uptake and effectiveness of the Project’s training will be required to demonstrate the effectiveness of training and outcomes for families.

    • Ed 1.4

      He made a point of talking about having worked hard to develop a relationship with Ministers. It wasn’t clear which ones, but I guess one is enough. It did occur to me that Bennett may not have been too happy at the confirmation that with National relationships trump tendering . . .

  2. Peter Martin 2

    Wee interview on Radio National with Pilbrow. All else aside, he states that he resigned in October 2010 and was asked to stay on until June 1 this year. He stated that this is readily checked with an OIA request.
    The lack of tendering for the tax payers dollars is an affront.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2489955/ex-families-commissioner-says-contract-followed-due-process.asx

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    interesting that LAB already decided to target the Families Commission as something that needed serious reform. Ahead of the game there LAB.

  4. toad 4

    Not sure about some of the Board members, but there seem to be a good number of fundies among them.

    And their major corporate sponsor is government bailout recipient AMI Insurance.

  5. Chris 5

    Whenever someone says they have ‘Judeo-Christian ethics’, I always wonder which Jewish ethics they follow. Tikkun olam? The importance of critical thinking? Benevolent works and avoidance of fraud? Or is it just a fancy way of saying the usual evangelical preoccupation with sex and control?

    • Jim Nald 5.1

      Time to give up on the kind of Judeo-Christian ethics that is fixated on sex and obsessed with war.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        And fixated on domination over the environment and divine rule over others.

    • Pascal's bookie 5.2

      It often looks like to me as if ‘Judeo-Christian’ ethics are just a rejection of all that pagan greco-roman muck.

      ‘Civic virtues’ pfffft.

      • Jim Nald 5.2.1

        Hmm, I don’t know … with the Greco-Roman muck, there was diversified portfolio of divinity that offered choices to be matched with the sorrows and joys of earthly sentience.

        The monotheistic tradition exercises complete monopoly and makes people totally beholden to the ups and downs of the soulmarket being played by the divine dictator.

        • Pascal's bookie 5.2.1.1

          Oh I agree completely Jim.

          The lack of competition in the heavily regulated godspace has lead to appalling delivery times with my
          imprecatory prayers. Still waiting in fact.

          And don’t get me started on the courtesy call we were promised ‘before this generation passes’.

          2000 fucking years more like.

          • Jim Nald 5.2.1.1.1

            h e h e 🙂

          • Deborah Kean 5.2.1.1.2

            Sigh…. I knew there’d be some quality Christian-bashing going on, yet I came and looked anyway. My bad! If your issue is with the whole non-tender thing, that’s fine, but if it’s just that the people involved are Christians, that’s not fine, that’s bigotry. It’s the same as if, when my sons were small, and I was looking for a baby-sitter, I had made a point of refusing to hire an atheist. (That didn’t happen of course. In fact, I had no money, being a beneficiary, but the only people who offered any help whatsoever, were Christians. Funny that!) Please, men, enough with the bigotry! Aside from anything else, it’s not a good look – one of the cliches of the left in fact…

            • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.2.1

              I don’t have a problem with christians being involved. I do have a problem with them shouting it from the roof tops as it usually means that they’re a bunch authoritarians that want to shove their religion down everybody else’s throat.

              (That didn’t happen of course. In fact, I had no money, being a beneficiary, but the only people who offered any help whatsoever, were Christians. Funny that!)

              Not really. If your social circles contain mostly/only christians then there would be almost no chance of an atheist even getting a chance to offer.

              • Deborah Kean

                DtB, sadly, you have jumped to an unwarranted conclusion.

                Not really. If your social circles contain mostly/only christians then there would be almost no chance of an atheist even getting a chance to offer.

                My social circle has never contained mostly or only Christians. (I was raised in an atheist family, and half of the family still are atheist. So are at least 3/4 of my friends. None of them offered even 5 minutes of their time but the Christians offered all sorts of practical help).

                • Jim Nald

                  Before you accuse others of Christian-bashing, please carefully read the opening comments at 5 and 5.1 and critically think.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Yes, sorry for that.

                  And I still think you’re over generalising atheists and so showing your own bigotry.

                • Deborah, I fully understand your concern over ‘knee jerk’ comments about Christians but these weren’t them.

                  The thread began in much the spirit of an age-old criticism of some who call themselves Jews and Christians – that they are unreflective or uncontemplative about what they claim inspires their lives. Paul was constantly upbraiding communities of Christians on just this point. And, of course, Jesus’ famous tirade against ‘hypocrites’ was directed not at non-believers but at the most eminent and prominent members of the Jewish faith.

                  I remember Ian Grant from those TV programmes way back (one of the later ones was called ‘The Herd’?). His heart seemed to be in the ‘right place’ and he was smart enough to mute the christian message. Nevertheless, the programmes were full of some pretty naive values and middle-class cliches about parents, teenagers and their interactions (not unlike the kind of self-styled anti-PC, populist ‘plain speaking’ dressed up as psychology that Nigel Latta specialises in – though with a far softer delivery).

                  My main concerns about organisations like this boil down to T.S. Eliot’s famous comment “The last temptation is the greatest; to do a good deed for the wrong reason.” (or words to that effect). Such outfits are often not well-based in the research on the topic they deign to ‘teach’ others about – or, at best, they are highly selective about that research in a way that supports ‘other’ assumption and ‘knowledge’ they have (or think they have).

              • Blue

                “I do have a problem with them shouting it from the roof tops as it usually means that they’re a bunch authoritarians that want to shove their religion down everybody else’s throat.” Really? how are they any different to your hysterical ranting ramming the long dead socialist policies of the left (your own wee religion) down everyones throats? Fundamentalist zealots aren’t always obsessively christian are they bastard? They can also occupy the lunatic left fringe where you like to dwell.

    • The “Judeo” part means they like the stuff in the Old Testament that tells you which people are an abomination unto the Lord, it doesn’t mean they like anything Jewish.

      • True P.Milt . The pogroms and the Nazis proved that. Lets also remember the Good Friday bashing of Jews in Poland and Russia by good Christians.

  6. JS 6

    There are several groups which could provide a trainer-based toolbox of parenting. If it was tendered they would have had a chance. I thought government departments had to tender for any contract over about $20,000.

    How useful would a Christian fundamentalist parenting programme be for our diverse multi-cultural, multi-ethnic society?
    For example, how do they incorporate the Treaty of Waitangi principles into the programme?

  7. Tigger 7

    Parents Inc has the stink of homophobia about it – starting at the top with Ian Grant. http://gaynz.com/blog/redqueen/archives/351 But, of course, National only wants the pink vote, it doesn’t give a stuff about ensuring equality.

    • Jim Nald 7.1

      “And why is Chris Finlayson still the only lesbian or gay man anywhere in their caucus?”

      “or”? Oh ok, he does sometimes look and sound like a lesbian having an awful day.

      But is he really the only homosexual in their caucus? Really?

      • Tigger 7.1.1

        Yes, if ‘homosexual’ is defined as ‘having openly declared his homosexual orientation’.

      • Carol 7.1.2

        Oh ok, he does sometimes look and sound like a lesbian having an awful day.

        Oh, please, on my worst days I don’t look or sound anything like Chris Finlayson.

        • Jim Nald 7.1.2.1

          Apologies.
          Yes, Chris Finlayson would give an awfully bad name to lesbians.
          That would be most unfair and very wrong.
          My apologies. I retract.

          • Carol 7.1.2.1.1

            Apology accepted. On a good or bad day, I doubt anyone would msistake me for a Tory Lawyer (although I’m sure they are a diverse looking bunch too). Also, I know many lesbians (even on their worst days) with more charisma & personality than me or Finalyson.

  8. Tom Gould 8

    At the local Countdown, $2.4m would buy 366 tonnes of peanuts. That would feed a lot of monkeys for a long time.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      It would feed a few special monkeys for a long time, while they made the rest of the monkeys starve.

  9. prism 9

    The Families Commission expenditure on full page feel-good advertisements about how wonderful parents are and the broad range of abilities they (should) have each week in the TV Guide for some months didn’t impress me.
    And there is already an underfunded, underplayed outfiet called Family Start which I think that Bill English himself got established. Some information about its useful social work from 2005 –
    Min of Soc Development Budget 2005
    But on looking at Google under Family Start programme I see –
    From kiwiblog in 2009
    16 Nov 2009 … Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has called for an evaluationof the former Labour Government’s flagship Family Start programme,
    and
    16 Nov 2009 … New Zealand’s Family Start home visiting programme is under review after it was found the American version failed to reduce child abuse.
    and
    24 Mar 2011 … A fresh look for Family Start programme. Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is announcing significant changes to New Zealand’s … It appears that Paul Bennett is making the focus of the social work preventing child abuse.
    This seems a negative aim, though worthy in itself, and I hope that other capacity building and happiness-making programmes won’t have been foregone. (Happy people can manage their lives without abuse occurring.)

    General information – What is Family Start?
    The Family Start programme was established in 1998 as part of a wider strategy to strengthen families
    It provides intensive, home-based support services for families with high needs, to ensure that their children have the best possible start in life
    The Aim of Family Start
    Improve health, education and social outcomes for children
    Improve parents’ parenting capability and practice
    Improve children’s and parents’ personal and family circumstances
    How is Family Start Funded?
    Family Start is funded and managed by the Ministries of Health, Education and Social Development
    The programme is delivered by contracted service providers
    3-year agreement: reviewed after 2 years

    It seems to be doing what government would want to see under this new contract. It seems that it is an ‘orphan’ child and I hope doesn’t get abandoned in favour of the latest new idea providing jobs for their boys and girls from the NACTs.

    • ron 9.1

      Bennefit’s and her government’s attack on Family Start was a pre-cursor to moving money to their pet organisations including Whanau Ora.

      Turia had a go at Family Start in Nelson last year for “reporting child abuse”. She was “appalled” she said, that that’s what Family Start did when they discovered it in families..

      What they’re doing is slowly removing funding from long standing, successful organisations and redistriburting it to their pet projects which – as you can see – include various fundy agencies. Part of this is because many of those long standing organisations have made well founded criticisms of Tory policy.

      Another example is the demise of the Te Rito networks – Turia pulled the funding just recently to move into “front line serviuces” i.e – ambulances instead of fences but actually – Whanau Ora projects.

      Meanwhile Maori organisations are now out in the community touting for partners for new networks with exactly the same intentions. In Nelson one Maori organisation which has hardly ever shown its face at the local regular networking meetings (despite having 40 staff) now has “funding to develop networks” and is approaching the existing networks wanting them to become part of THEIR initiative. In other words they won’t get their Whanau Ora money unless they can demonstrate they have the networks and so they’re suddenly very interested in taking over the current organisational structures that have been happily operating for years.

      Similiar thing happened with LSV. Govt decided LSV would solve our “youth problems” and when LSV realised they wouldn’t get the outcomes they needed unless they provided post-bootcamp support they were all over the community seftor looking for partnerships. Not porioviding financial support, mind you, but wanting to “partner” with them to support the kids when they graduated.

  10. randal 10

    they just another gang of so called christians who have an answer for everything except why they dont really do anything.

  11. Craig 11

    Thanks for the citation, Tigger. Very timely too, considering I’ve just done a forthcoming Gaynz.Com column on David Cameron’s “Big Society” and some of the disturbing consequences of social service outsourcing and privatisation under that empty spin and rhetoric. It also sounds one hell of a lot like the Wisconsin Works welfare privatisation, which has been strongly criticised for outsourcing social services from that US state government without due regard for adequate regulation and monitoring.

    And thank you for the information about PEDA. Were you aware of Dr Mary English’s past as an anti-abortion activist? According to National Library of New Zealand archival sources, she was newsletter editor for Doctors for Life and served as President of Women for Life/the Family Education Network, a now defunct anti-feminist group. Does PEDA have a website, so I can follow this story up?

    • Tigger 11.1

      Craig, someone told me Bronagh Key is Catholic also which would be pulling her husband that way also.

  12. Craig 12

    And Carol: Of course no self-respecting lesbian would be caught dead within the National caucus, or indeed anywhere near it. However, I’m aftraid that sadly, the UK Tories do have a lesbian MP of their own, Margot James.

    • logie97 12.1

      Don’t know how far back you can remember Craig, but National had just such a wonderful woman MP – Marilyn Waring – she being a victim of that waste of space – Muldoon.

      • Carol 12.1.1

        Yes, I was going to mention Waring. And there certainly are right wing lesbians – not ones I usually have much to do with, tho.

        PS: and I also know and am friends with, one or two left wing Christian lesbians.

  13. Shona 13

    Most of their “toolbox of ideas” has been ripped off from Playcentre and the Postive Parenting course developed in Nz nearly 3 decades ago.Playcentre would use $2.4mil far more effectively than Parents Inc ever could . Playcentre is about empowerment. Parents Inc is about control .

    • ianmac 13.1

      Yes Shona. My memory of Playcentre was very positive because of the parent child community it created as opposed to dropping the kids off to be cared for by others.
      Does Playcentre get any Government funding now?

      • Herodotus 13.1.1

        I am amazed at the anti christian sentiment expressed in posts of late. Surprised as many of the strong fundamentist christian areas are also strong labour/left leaning areas e.g. PIC areas both Wellywood and Jafaland, Mt Roskil, Mt Albert and West Auckland.
        “Well, any group that puts “hey, we’re Christians” number one in their values obviously has a particular barrow to push” Well for some of us this is not obvious. So Eddie can you spell this out to us.

        • Pascal's bookie 13.1.1.1

          Speaking only for myself, fundies have a pretty clear agenda, and it’s not about freedom. They opposed equal rights for people who don’t have sex they approve of, they oppose reproductive freedom, they are in favour of corporal punishment (both in the home and at school), they ally themselves with all sorts of other stuff I don’t like.

          When someone says that first up they about Christian values, that’s the brand they are signing on to. If it’s not what they are about, then they should speak up a bit more in defence of the people who the fundies would like to keep down.

          • Herodotus 13.1.1.1.1

            “When someone says that first up they about Christian values, that’s the brand they are signing on to.” No that is you transfering your impressions and assign them to anyone who makes this statement. Should someone say that they follow a particular belief then we tend to guage their actions on our basis on how they should act. Many who remain “undefined” we have no basis to test what is said/done what their values are based on. How do we know if a leader has a nihilistic appraoch to life so then we can guage value to life and the conditions we live in
            The sallys, Churches who run foodbanks, assist those with drug dependancies, improve conds overseas etc Do you apply the same connatations to them.
            Like Deb Kean (5.2.1.1.2) the issue has been clouded by a cheap shot in the oponion piece. If it is a perceived lack of due process then hang on that issue, but no the author had to add on somethingthat was unrequired.
            Many may not like the Judeo-Christian slant that our society palces but if there is not a common basis for law, community expectations, how we deal with those in need etc, then on what basis do we apply to hold the fabric in our society ?? Or should we pike and choose from many a bit from Zoroastrian, Wickerism, nihilism,Shi’ite, roman Catholism.

            • Pascal's bookie 13.1.1.1.1.1

              No that is you transfering your impressions and assign them to anyone who makes this statement.

              The impressions I’m ‘transferring’ are the impressions I have from other groups that make a big song and dance about their ‘Judeo-Christian values’.

              That particular phrase comes from the US evangelical/moral majority/fundamentalist school. It is a political phrase. One of the reasons they added the ‘Judeo’ was to try and get around the problem of their advocating for explicitly ‘christian’ values. They mostly just used to call them ‘protestant’ values. The US constitution is pretty clear that you can’t legislate on that basis, so they added the ‘Judeo’ to try and make it work on the basis that if it was two distinct religions then neither was being legislated for.

              So when someone self identifies with that school, then I don’t think it is unfair to take them at their word. They are choosing that label so that people will know what they are about. And that is all I am doing.

              If the phrase has connotations that they don’t like, then they should either learn the history of the language they are using so that they don’t choose inappropriate language for themselves, or they should try and reclaim the phrase and shed those connotations by actually confronting the people who also use that phrase and bring those connotations to it.

              But instead, the only response I ever get is that is my fault for assuming that people who choose a label might share the beliefs and viewpoints of the people who invented and also use that label.

              Let me know when all these Christians who we have nothing to be concerned about actually start loudly and publicly confronting and condemning the ones that we should be concerned about. Until they do, I’m going to keep assuming that they aren’t concerned about them at all because they share the same basic political views.

          • Herodotus 13.1.1.1.2

            PB please for my understanding define fundies?
            This again has become a term with strong negative connatations. Yet when I have ever asked anyone to define, they struggle or the term has been defined so narrowly that they are describing a particular individual in mind (e.g. Tamaki ), and as such destroys their definition I the way thatthey were using it.

            • Pascal's bookie 13.1.1.1.2.1

              You introduced the term to this discussion, so it might be more appropriate for you to define it, but for myself, I’d say someone was a fundie if they believed in the literal truth of the bible, strictly speaking there are a few other criteria but they are covered by that one.

              The other thing they share is a reactionary rejection of modernism.

            • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1.1.2.2

              Wikipedia is your friend. So it Google and other good search engines.

        • Deborah Kean 13.1.1.2

          It’s what they do, Herodotus and it makes me seriously off-piste! Some of the assertions above would take a long time to refute and annoy me greatly.
          Disclaimer – I have met Ian Grant (back in the 1990s) and quarrelled with him, because I had jumped to the same kind of conclusions about him that everyone here has. Also because not being neuro-typical, I often don’t get humour… I am very sad about all the Christian-bashing here, although the reason/motive is pretty obvious. 🙁

          • logie97 13.1.1.2.1

            Sadly your arguments just confirm the self righteousness of the fundy movement – the sort of people who drove many good people away from the fellowship. Try growing some extra layers of skin – after all you raised the issue of Christian bashing anyway.

            • Herodotus 13.1.1.2.1.1

              Try growing some extra layers of skin – after all you raised the issue of Christian bashing anyway.
              Nice to see that yo display common curtisy towards others. Now I know why you are so anti. Would you apply the same statement to a bi or homosexual to grow added layers. I imagine not and I would (I hope) not be so bigoted towards other groups. Funny how bigotry is not seen when applied to some groups !! 😉
              And no I did not raise the issue. I only made an observation towards earlier posts attitudes, which I think are way off the target, esp as many Christians live within strong Lab areas.
              And PB thanks for the definition “I’d say someone was a fundie if they believed in the literal truth of the bible,..” I think you would find a small sub section who fall into your definition. Outside a few in the sthn states of USA and the 244,000 of later day saints. Not to sure what happens to 244,001 Will have to talk to rev Joseph Smith over that one !!
              So then you are applying this term to be all encompasing to Christians, when your own definition applies to a sub group, and we don’t know if it applies to this group.

              • Pascal's bookie

                So then you are applying this term to be all encompasing to Christians,

                Where did I do that?

              • Pascal's bookie

                And a few other points, and I hate to sound patronising but I do find these discussions frustrating because many Christians are quite ignorant about aspects of the church that they don’t belong to.

                Latter day saints are not fundamentalist Christians. Fundies don’t consider them to be Christian at all, precisely because LDS follow the book of Mormon rather than the bible.

                You did bring up fundamentalism, not me (comment 13.1.1). I was talking about the type of christian that uses the phrase ‘Judeo-Christian’. That is a phrase that is spreading into the wider church, but it comes from US evangelicalism and is rooted in the same puritanical US style of Christianity that fundamentalism sprang from in the early twentieth century.

                That branch of the church, unsurprisingly enough, is very focussed on evangelism.

                They are sophisticated users of language and they spend hundreds of millions of dollars spreading their literature and ideas around the world. Which would be why they are the fastest growing denomination. When I see organisations using their language, I assume that’s where they are coming from. I do not assume that they oppose the people whose language they are using.

                In response, I am often told that no no, they are insignificant. Which doesn’t seem to account for the fact that their churches are growing and Christians are starting to use their language more and more.

                When it comes right down to it, what has me worried is that when I have a go at right wing illiberal fundies, other christians claim I am attacking ‘all christians’. That’s not me projecting a oneness onto Christianity, it’s Christians claiming that to attack one is to attack all.

                Why don’t the right wing fundies get called out more by other Christians? Why don’t other Christians join in on calling these people out instead of acting as if it is them that is being attacked?

                • Deborah Kean

                  Why don’t the right wing fundies get called out more by other Christians? Why don’t other Christians join in on calling these people out instead of acting as if it is them that is being attacked?

                  What makes you think we don’t? (Witness my arguments with Andrew Stevenson the other day, because I thought he was a fundamentalist) Your repeated argument reminds me of the American right wingers who attack all Muslims, and say they’ll stop doing that when they see the moderate Muslims criticising “Islamofascists”. They don’t see that, because they make sure they won’t see it!)

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Perhaps you can point me to where the national evangelical groups came out against Brian Tamaki when he was marching his black shirted goons through the streets? Or where the Catholic or Anglican or Presbyterian leadership have put a stake in the ground and called these people out. And if you are thinking that it’s too hard to get coverage, then your wrong. It’s easy. Nothing sells papers like conflict, and Tamaki is a seller as well. A statement from church bigwigs that Brian Tamaki is a non christian false prophet would get covered plenty. A statement that Family First is not reflective of the Catholic church’s positions and that the bishop thinks McCroskie should better inform his conscience through liason with his PP would again, get coverage.

                    Once again you are blaming me for not differentiating on a thread where you have jumped in and assumed that people are attacking all christians when it is clear from the context that they were attacking fundies.

                    What am I actually supposed to think about that?

              • logie97

                @Herodotus – sensitive tonight.

                Deborah Kean 5.2.1.1.2
                26 May 2011 at 5:14 pm said
                “Sigh…. I knew there’d be some quality Christian-bashing.”
                So, suggest you read the thread…

                Incidentally people who feel the need to tell you up front that they are Christian usually have one agenda only and often something that they are not particularly proud of before being “born again.” It’s all part of their “witness”.

                And before the “Christian” hijacking of this post, the issue was about due process. Presumably you are perfectly happy with the Petulant Bean’s handling of the whole issue. Genuine Christians would be thinking of how the government’s behaviour stacks up against The 10 commandments.

                • Deborah Kean

                  And before the “Christian” hijacking of this post, the issue was about due process. Presumably you are perfectly happy with the Petulant Bean’s handling of the whole issue. Genuine Christians would be thinking of how the government’s behaviour stacks up against The 10 commandments.

                  Obviously you didn’t bother reading more than the first 5 words of any of my comments, or you would have seen me discussing the due process part of the issue. When the angry-atheists derailed the discussion I called them on it, but you didn’t want to see that, so you didn’t see it. BTW, Petulant Bean as a name for the woman, is something I first came up with from an anagram game site – a bit of credit, even a LOL would have been nice! It bothers me that you have taken to using it, without even acknowledging my posting of it weeks back…

    • Rodel 13.2

      Shona….. I couln’t agree more.Playcentres have had the answers to parenting issues for eons.

      This has got to be the scandal of the decade. What are the qualifications of the creators of this stupid ‘toolbox’ rubbish? These goons pinch ideas from real professionals, kit it up into a package, put into a trendy looking wooden box and fool the politicians that they have something special.
      I’ve seen it happen so many times and the public servants who have to hand out cash for this rubbish are too intimidated to stand up and say’ this is crap!’

      Paula is so enchanted with this bullshit that I really, really have questions about her intellect ( and her explanation on TV as to why!). Her integrity is another matter.

      There are so many better qualified people in New Zealand who should have had the opportunity to offer their services. Since the days of a certain leader called Lex Grey in the 1960’s , Play centres have been doing it for years, in NZ, and with Maori and with Aborigines in Australia but our politicians are so ignorant of the expertise which already exists in this country and too keen to shell out our money to wankers who’ve ‘ built up relationships’ with ministers.

      Dear God what next? Christine Rankin getting a few million to solidify marriage relationships?

    • Rodel 13.3

      Shona….. I couln’t agree more.Playcentres have had the answers to parenting issues for eons.

      This has got to be the scandal of the decade. What are the qualifications of the creators of this stupid ‘toolbox’ rubbish? These goons pinch ideas from real professionals, kit it up into a package, put into a trendy looking wooden box and fool the politicians that they have something special.
      I’ve seen it happen so many times and the public servants who have to hand out cash for this rubbish are too intimidated to stand up and say’ this is crap!’

      Paula is so enchanted with this bullshit that I really, really have questions about her intellect ( and her explanation on TV as to why!). Her integrity is another matter.

      There are so many better qualified people in New Zealand who should have had the opportunity to offer their services. Since the days of a certain leader called Lex Grey in the 1960′s , Play centres have been doing it for years, in NZ, and with Maori and with Aborigines in Australia but our politicians are so ignorant of the expertise which already exists in this country and too keen to shell out our money to wankers who’ve ‘ built up relationships’ with ministers.

      Dear God what next? Christine Rankin getting a few million to solidify marriage relationships?

  14. randal 14

    render unto ceasar all thos e things that are ceasars. sorry, thats just last weeks news. us new model xtians just do what we please now.

  15. Craig 15

    Yeesh. Will Annette or someone be filing an Official Information Act request so we can learn more about the evaluative policies and procedures needed to certify that the Tool Box was an appropriate programme for children at risk? Whatever happened to transparency and accountability in this context…?!!

  16. Craig 16

    One certainly *hopes* that there *were* evaluative policies, processes and procedures involved in the award of this contract…

  17. Draco T Bastard 17

    I/S over on NRT has managed to nail it again

    As for Pilbrow, he said the no-tender process was due to the time he had spent (while a public servant) “building relationships with different ministers”. Which is exactly what the tender process is supposed to protect us against.

  18. JaJ 18

    Gross, Judeo-Christian. Sounds like a waste of government money.

    Interestingly it also has received funding from the Manukau District Council. I assume this was whilst Len Brown was mayor.

  19. Terry 19

    I have made extensive comment on Yahoo!Xtra and do not much feel like doing it all again. Just to offer the reminder that Bennet’s friends Ian and Mary Grant founded this outfit. Google praises them to the skies – it is terribly hard to find one thing to criticise. This pair is united in sanctity and sainthood. I did discover, nevertheless, that the Grants and co came down heavily on the Labour Government which refused to give their organisation hand-outs. The reason? Because members of the Labour fraternity “were anti-Christian”.
    Whenever I see the Grants on TV I feel somewhat nauseated such is their aura of holiness and piety. They and followers are clearly fundamentalist Christian, (have they actually met a real Jew?), politically conservative. They would nicely suit the prosperous middle-classes, real “goody-goodies”, who never have naughty moments. All is joy, rapture, fixed smiles, sinister beliefs (if the truth be known). Here we have the “holiness club” for “nice girls and boys”. This organisation would never pose the slightest problem for the Tories. (One wonders, by the way, what do they really think of Jewish people?)
    Thank God I say for the “down-and-outs”, people who may be rough and tough and dirty (even swearing!)
    Life is not the oil painting of the Grants & co, life is regularly cruel, unjust, hurtful, hateful, while the “nice people” are comparatively vain, conceited (up themselves), “holier than thou”, and very interested in making money. Give me the shits of life any day to such empty creeps.
    I had better restrain myself. In conclusion, let me say (confess?) that I am a committed Christian (of another variety I hope!) and make the best of a life that is so largely sheer hell, sprinkled with occasional brighter moments.

    • Deborah Kean 19.1

      Good grief Terry, you’re unbelievable! What a hate-fest! I’ve met the Grants, they are nothing at all like what you seem to think. They are realistic people, they know ‘down-and-outs’ and sweary people, (as do I) and take them in their stride. You know little or nothing about fundamentalists if you think they’re anti-Semitic! Whether they know any actual Jews I don’t know, but I think it’s very likely that they do – the church where I met them in the 1990s had at least one Jewish speaker that I remember.
      I am an Anglo-Catholic. On another (American) site, I am getting it in the neck because I am not fundamentalist although I used to be. But I feel it incumbent on me to speak out against bigotry. There I am called a Catholic though I am not one, here I am called a fundie though I am not one. I speak out against all forms of bigotry (against leftists, immigrants etc, when necessary) So now, I am speaking out against bigoted assumptions made about the Grants. I do not agree with all that they say or do.
      It’s true that members of the Labour party etc are anti-Christian. So what? Provided it has no effect on peoples’ lives, and by and large it doesn’t, it’s not a big deal – but it’s fruitless to pretend it’s otherwise.

      • lprent 19.1.1

        It’s true that members of the Labour party etc are anti-Christian. So what? Provided it has no effect on peoples’ lives, and by and large it doesn’t, it’s not a big deal – but it’s fruitless to pretend it’s otherwise.

        And there are probably more who are Christian. Speaking as someone who finds the whole idea of faith faintly ridiculous (of either the Christian or anti-Christian varieties or other varieties), I really don’t give a damn what peoples faith is. What I’m interested in is results – ie if the person is useful and worth knowing.

        I’ve never noticed many differences between religions, faiths, or lack of faiths. I figure if someone is an arsehole they will be regardless. If they they happen to be christian arseholes the you can frequently tell because they usually profess high standards whilst practicing abhorrent behaviors (for the highest of motivations or course..). If they happen to be atheist arseholes then they do the same thing. There are a few examples of both in my extended families

        The converse is also true. You can usually tell Christians I’d like to know because they just live their life as an example rather than preaching for everyone else. From what I have heard of the Grants they are the latter type.

      • The Voice of Reason 19.1.2

        I’ve never met anyone in the Labour party who professed to be anti-christian, Deb. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone at all who claimed to be specifically anti-christian. I’ve met a lot of atheists along the way who deny the god fantasies of all religions though.

        • Jim Nald 19.1.2.1

          The Christian religion today has, in some quarters, being hijacked by RWNJs.

          Christ Himself would be quite appalled with how His message of social justice and progress is being twisted against the poor, the powerless, the sick and vulnerable for whom He had dedicated His Life.

          • Tigger 19.1.2.1.1

            Deb – Ian Grant tried to stop gays getting rights. Can you show me local gay groups campaigning to remove rights for those who choose to follow a religion?

  20. Descendant Of Smith 20

    Oooh I can’t wait for this:

    http://www.theparentingplace.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=68&Itemid=70

    At $67-00 a pop and not allowing for economies of scale and $90-00 discounts for couples will be looking forward to getting my copy soon.

    2.4 mill divided by $67-00 – 35,820 copies must mean I get one. I’ve watched the preview and am pleased I can now throw out my Wiggles DVD’s.

    I’m so pleased to be white and middle class and a perfect target for this – though I do note towards the end an appearance by Michael Jones – serendipitous for sure given the PEDA angle..

    Personally I find the approach quite pollyannish and nauseating but for some there may be some value.

    It seems more aimed at those (Christian) parents having some difficulty rather than quite dysfunctional families and it would be useful to know if there has been any formal evaluation of this and whether it has any degree of success.

    Anyway the webinars are free at the moment so we can all judge for ourselves.

  21. Descendant Of Smith 21

    I knew the Pilbrow name rang a bell and have had to hunt a bit to find what it was he said previously that irritated me:

    His comment on a school saying that 5 year olds were no longer able to be seen naked in front of other kids and adults when getting changed:

    Bruce Pilbrow, chief executive of New Zealand’s largest parenting organisation, Parents Inc, said he had encountered a similar situation with his own children, in the 12-13 age bracket, when going swimming – which left him “mortified”.
    He did not view it as an issue of political correctness – rather schools needing to do their duty to keep the kids safe.
    “Because we are such a multi-cultural country, we don’t know what different people’s religious stands or other stands are in relation to their children.
    “It might be offensive to some people to have their children strip off in front of other kids.”
    The other issue was “unsavoury characters” that could be lurking about.
    “On the beach when you are with mum and dad, and that sort of thing going on, that’s different.”

    Mortified at seeing a 5 year old naked – for goodness sake. Cast out ye own lustful thoughts you pillock – stop assuming the rest of us have them – you do us a disservice and that’s the issue I have with these religious goons – their belief that the rest of us are dysfunctional perverts.

    And if you are wondering if there are stronger connections to National Party than just the Michael Jones stint in the videos here is an extract from an interview with him:

    The Koru “So what compelled you to go to Parent Inc”

    A good friend of mine, Greg Sheehan, who is now a National Party GM was working there.

    Nuff said.

  22. pohutukawakid 22

    Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s but make sure God gets the cash!

  23. Craig 23

    Okay, let’s clarify something here. Although I’m a hardcore gay rights activist, I actually do have a lot of time for those Christians who do work to combat the destructive efforts of the New Right on New Zealand’s social and economic policies. *They’re* not the ones who are the problems- it’s the militant fundamentalist troublemakers who want to sabotage teaching of evolution, sex educaton, recriminalise sex work, interfere with access to contraception and abortion, oppose LGBT equality, freedom of expression and speech, and think they have some godgiven ‘right’ to hit and abuse small children. And, I’m afraid, looking at Family First and the Maxim Institute these days, attacking the very basis of social democracy through encouraging the sort of radical welfare privatisation from central government to questionable conservative religious groups that the Parents Inc case may foreshadow…

    • Deborah Kean 23.1

      *They’re* not the ones who are the problems- it’s the militant fundamentalist troublemakers who want to sabotage teaching of evolution, sex educaton, recriminalise sex work, interfere with access to contraception and abortion, oppose LGBT equality, freedom of expression and speech, and think they have some godgiven ‘right’ to hit and abuse small children. And, I’m afraid, looking at Family First and the Maxim Institute these days, attacking the very basis of social democracy through encouraging the sort of radical welfare privatisation from central government to questionable conservative religious groups that the Parents Inc case may foreshadow…

      You have mixed in a lot of different positions here Craig. It might surprise you to know that not all Christians would accept all of the things you’ve lumped in together. As I have said, I am an Anglo-catholic ex-fundamentalist, yet I would happily re-criminalise “sex work” because it’s exploitative. No one in New Zealand wants to interfere with the teaching of evolution.

  24. Bill 24

    Why weren’t tangata whenua consulted!?

  25. Craig 25

    Deborah, I suspect we probably differ on this. I view myself as a realist- sex work exists, it happens, and sometimes women and men resort to it because they have to feed their families. In the case of young transgender/fa’afafine/whakawahine women, it is because of employment, education and related discrimination as well as abuse, homelessness et al which sees them unable to undertake anything other than street sex work.

    It is therefore imperative that women and men who undertake sex work do so in safe and legal working conditions. And, in the case of the transgender community, that they have other life options available to them, which is why I think adding gender identity to the Human Rights Act is long overdue. Recriminalising sex work would not help these young women in itself.

    Again, though, I do acknowledge that there are good, compassionate Christians who work actively against New Right economic initiatives. With them, I have no issue whatever, except why they don’t put their foot down hard on this worrying new trend of active support for radical welfare privatisation within Family First and the Maxim Institute.

  26. Craig 26

    I’d probably describe myself as anti-fundamentalist, but certainly not anti-Christian. That doesn’t mean that I don’t have some major problems with Catholicism over its attitudes toward condoms, homosexuality, safe sex and abortion, although I have also met Catholics who are inspirational when it comes to peace, Third World solidarity work and social justice activism (although I’ve also met liberal Protestants and Catholics who have the same problem with conservative Catholics…).

  27. Rodel 27

    What’s all this christian /jewish/ catholic/ funamentalist bullshit?
    It’s just a case of Paula handing 2.4 million of our money to her friends without due diligence or due process. Don’t get sidetracked.
    Play centre people and others have had the answers for years regardless of religious or atheistic leanings.

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