Vote Yes

Written By: - Date published: 8:34 am, April 20th, 2009 - 32 comments
Categories: child discipline - Tags:

Why are the questions in citizens-initiated referenda always written by idiots? You want people to vote for your cause, right? So frame the question so people who agree with your position tick the ‘yes’ box. Simple? But they keep getting it backwards. Remember the first one?

“Should the number of professional firefighters employed full time in the New Zealand Fire Service be reduced below the number employed on 1 January 1995?”

So, if you agree with the referendum organisers that firefighter numbers shouldn’t be reduced you have to say ‘no’.

Then there’s the question for the child-beaters’ referendum:

“Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?”

‘If you agree with me, vote no on my referendum’. How dumb is that? And, oh yeah, a smack isn’t illegal as part of good parental correction now, so the question doesn’t actually ask for a law change. Guess they couldn’t just write ‘do you want it to be OK for adults to assault children with horsewhips, belts, and pipes just because they’re the kids’ parents?’

Anyway, Barnardos, Save the Children, UNICEF, Plunket, and probably some other pro-child wackos have set up a campaign to vote ‘yes’ on the referendum. I wish them luck. They’ll be helped by all those people saying to themselves ‘yep, I wanna be able to hit me boy when I gets angry, beats using me brains’ and ticking yes.

PS. You’ll get to vote yes by postal ballot in July and August this year.

32 comments on “Vote Yes”

  1. Graeme 1

    And, oh yeah, a smack isn’t illegal as part of good parental correction now, so the question doesn’t actually ask for a law change.

    You’re right that it’s a poor question (but I’m guessing you didn’t submit to have it changed?), but you’re wrong about the effect of the law.

    A smack as part of good (or bad, or any) parental correction is illegal. It is a criminal offence. If you smack your child (for any reason) you are breaking the law. If you are charged, you will not have a defence. etc. etc.

    [if a smack is inconsequential then the law says the Police must not prosecute, a consequential smack can hardly be part of good parenting]

  2. I agree that it is a poorly drafted question and the overwhelming urge most people will have is to vote “no”.

    You could justify doing this however if you do support the current law.

    Section 59 of the Crimes Act clearly states “[t]o avoid doubt, it is affirmed that the Police have the discretion not to prosecute complaints against a parent of a child or person in the place of a parent of a child in relation to an offence involving the use of force against a child, where the offence is considered to be so inconsequential that there is no public interest in proceeding with a prosecution.”

    It is hard to imagine there being any “public interest in proceeding with a prosecution” involving a “a smack as part of good parental correction”.

    So voting “No” may be consistent with agreeing with the changes made by Bradford’s bill.

    Rather than voting “Yes” and suggesting that all examples of physical discipline should be prosecuted we have the option of spoiling our vote by ticking both options. I am considering doing this.

    • Pascal's bookie 2.1

      Fair enough, but the politics of how your vote will be interpreted won’t be effected by why you vote the way you do. The percentage of ‘no’ votes will be read and spun as the percentage of people that want the law changed to explicitly allow smacking.

      • mickysavage 2.1.1

        Agreed but it feels like the right is (yet again) defining the parameters of the debate and somehow we need to break out of this and redefine the issue. God knows how, the informed part of this debate appears to bypass most of the population.

        The latest Police report on the effects of the change to section 59 (http://www.police.govt.nz/district/central/release/4606.html) suggests that there was ONE smacking event prosecuted and four prosecutions for “minor acts of physical discipline” in the 6 months to the end of 2008.

        The changes are hardly ripping families apart as has been claimed by some.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    I don’t think it’s “dumb” at all, for the smacking one anyway.

    The question is very simple and direct, and clearly states that the smack is part of “good parental correction”, whatever that means, and that it is illegal. Given the wording, you can easily interpret the question as about smacking parents/adults (“correcting” the parent), as opposed to children.

    They are hoping that people who otherwise haven’t thought very much about the whole situation will read it and say “that’s insane!” and vote no, without actually properly considering the issue.

    I think the question is perfect as-is. Asking “should a smack be legal” isn’t as rabble-rousing as asking “should a smack be illegal”, IMO. People are much angrier about their “rights” being “taken away” by “the government”.

    micky – I think I will spoil my vote by voting yes and no, thanks for the idea.

    • QoT 3.1

      Not “whatever that means”, Lanthanide. The concept of “good parental correction” is at the heart of the question, and if we’re just going to say, “Oh well, given a hypothetical situation where smack = good, sure, it shouldn’t be illegal!”

      What if the question was “Should beating kids into unconsciousness for giggles, as part of rational childrearing, be a criminal offence?”? I mean, you’ve immediately set a situation where beating kids into unconsciousness is assumed to be part of rational childrearing – so it must be good.

      Government funds shouldn’t be spent finding answers to unproven hypotheticals.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        I was pointing out that “good parental correction” can be interpreted in any way that reader wishes it to, making it useless as a referendum question because it is too subjective.

        Edit: I’ve just re-read my original post, and I think it need to make my point clearer. The question is of course complete rubbish and hence my thought about intentionally spoiling my vote in protest. I do think that the question serves the intent of those who organized the referendum very well – it will likely generate more outraged ‘no’ votes than if they had presented the same question in a much more fair and balanced form. The original post by Eddie is acting like the people who chose the questions are idiots – on the contrary, I think they are quite calculating.

  4. Hey I can see that some people might like the spoil vote option since the referendum question is so misleading but a strong YES vote is the best way to make a stand for positive parenting, the law, and for the protection of children.

    The referendum question is misleading because a smack is NOT part of good parental corrrection and the use of the word “good” suggests that it can’t possibly be bad / criminal.

    The question and the petition supporting the referendum were devised long before the final shape of the law was confirmed by Parliament and long before the impact of the law was known.

    As it happens, the Police are administering the law so that “good” parents are not being criminalised. Only people using high levels of force and who have prior convictions for family violence are being pursued by the Police … and so they should be!

    Parents need to know the law supports the best possible outcomes for children, parents and families. A YES vote is the way to go!

    Deborah

    • r0b 4.1

      Hear hear Deborah! It’s great to see Barnardos and other child focused organisations taking such a strong stand on this. With all these organisations saying vote Yes what else needs to be said! Keep up the great work…

      • Tigger 4.1.1

        I started donating to Barnardos after they made their stand. I figured if they were standing up for Kiwi kids the least I could do is stand up for them.

  5. Bill 5

    Under pain of sounding remarkably thick, are non votes taken into account in the tally?

    I ask because if a relatively small number of voters respond, the law could be changed on the weight of a minority of voters.

    So, does the law change if (say) over 50% of eligible voters vote for it or merely if 50% of the votes cast vote for it?

    • Graeme 5.1

      Bill – the law doesn’t change even if everyone in the Country votes for it to. It is a non-binding inidicative referendum.

      The results will be announced as the number of votes cast for “yes”, and the number of votes cast for “no” (and, probably, the number of informal votes).

      At binding referenda in New Zealand, a measure passes if more people vote for it than against it.

    • Ari 5.2

      Generally no-votes and non-voters are disregarded from reporting.

  6. Rich 6

    I’m inclined to abstain, since I object to both the entire concept of government (as opposed to constitutional change) by referendum and to the way its implemented.

    Not being beaten up by adults is a fundamental human right of children. I don’t care if 99% of NZers disagree, I don’t think the law should be changed.

  7. Rich 7

    Also, does anyone want to sign a petition calling for “deep tax cuts, increased public spending and no more government borrowing as part of a sensible economic policy”?

  8. Rex Widerstrom 8

    Part of the problem with referenda in New Zealand is that the wording must be approved by the Clerk’s Office. They spend much of their day telling backbenchers that their hopeful questions to Ministers are in fact imprecise drivel and to go away and re-word it or else it won’t get added to the Order Paper.

    They’re very good at their job (alas they have no control over the imprecise drivel that often forms the basis of every subsequent supplementary).

    But the wording of a Question for Oral Answer and the wording of a referendum are two very different things. A Parliamentary Question needs to be as short and precise as possible – a referendum question can afford to be a more “relaxed” in its structure in order to be more explanatory (for instance the smacking referendum could have outlined the present situation, as described by Graeme above, then asked simply “Do you agree with this, or would you prefer a return to the previous situation, where smacking was legal but harsher punishments remained illegal?”*).

    In my view the Clerk’s only role should be to check whether the wording is obscene or otherwise unacceptable, doesn’t incite people to a criminal act, and doesn’t call for something that’s actually impossible (e.g. “Should the government sack John Key?”).

    * I’m not suggesting this as an ideal alternative wording, as I haven’t even had my first coffee yet. But hopefully you get the idea…

    • Maynard J 8.1

      Explanatory: guiding? Difficult to remain neutral.

      Maybe the Clerks should add ‘idiotic’ to obscene and impossible.

      Is anyone else annoyed with the waste of money this referendum is?

      BTW what’s wrong with the question ‘do you think s59 should be repealed’?

      • Graeme 8.1.1

        Nothing, as a question, but it doesn’t give you a very good indication as to what the public thinks about the issue.

        The two options would be “yes – I support the repeal of section 59, which would mean smacking is illegal” and “no – section 59 should stay, which would mean smacking is illegal”.

        Family First and others are *not* pushing for the status quo ante.

        Section 59 used to allow parents to get away with beating their kids. Now the law bans all corporal punishment, including light smacking.

        Family first wants a middle ground – where light smacking is legal, but violent abusers don’t have something they can use as a defence in court.

        They don’t want the law as it was, and they don’t want the law as it is. They want something else – something that has never been the law in New Zealand. They want a law that allows a smack, but nothing more, thus, they have drafted a question around that.

        • Rex Widerstrom 8.1.1.1

          That’s another weakness. There’s no reason at all a referendum can’t put more than a yes/no choice to people – except that the legislation prevents it.

          A set of options ranging from a return to the previous situation, the status quo, and a number (though a reasonably small number) of other options is quite feasible. After all, we’re not restricted to choosing between the myriad and complex policies of just two parties on polling day.

          And the fact is, most of life’s questions aren’t black/white, yes/no.

          A conspiracy theorist might say the enacting legislation was deliberately drafted in such a way as to ensure most referenda became a frustrating morass and a pointless exercise, thus enabling politicians to eventually declare them a waste of time… as if emasculating them by making them non-binding wasn’t sabotage enough.

        • Maynard J 8.1.1.2

          I see your point, Graeme. I was trying to give a question that at least meant something useful – and I think I disagree with your view of their intent. FF & their nutty co didn’t mind the original s59 in the slightest, and fought hammer, tongs, tooth and nail to keep it – maybe they want a middle ground now but I haven’t seen evidence of that. Have not been looking though.

          If you have time for a quick question:
          In your view is this simply a failure of those groups to understand how law works? Doesn’t the Crimes Act (or whatever the law is that makes it illegal to punch or tackle someone) make boxing and rugby illegal, or is there an exception loaded?

          If there is an one, does that exception cover every instance where someone might have a legitimate reason for physical contact with someone that could be interpreted as an assault or similar under said Act?

          Rex: also understood. Not sure about the conspiracy – a decent operator (i.e. one with the ability to be conspirational) would not have let the issu become so whopping in the first place.

          Not sure multi-choice referenda could be anything but misleading either. If they gave a few options, it is still leading people into choosing one pre-determined option, and 100% of people who chose any option might have preferred some unstated option. It’s a tricky one 🙂

          • Graeme 8.1.1.2.1

            Doesn’t the Crimes Act (or whatever the law is that makes it illegal to punch or tackle someone) make boxing and rugby illegal, or is there an exception loaded?

            If there is an one, does that exception cover every instance where someone might have a legitimate reason for physical contact with someone that could be interpreted as an assault or similar under said Act?

            There are common law defences of consent and implied consent to assault charges.

            FF & their nutty co didn’t mind the original s59 in the slightest, and fought hammer, tongs, tooth and nail to keep it

            Certainly some were happy with the current law, but Chester Borrow’s amendment was the popular compromise. If you go back and look, I’m confident you’ll find the Family First were fighting “hammer, tongs, tooth and nail” against a law banning smacking – not in favour of the then status quo.

          • Maynard J 8.1.1.2.2

            There are common law defences of consent and implied consent to assault charges.

            So there are defences when you’re playing some code, but it is still illegal. Just like all smacking was always illegal, but now there’s no defence because you were only hitting your sprog.

            FF, I’m equally confdent, were against the repeal of Section 59. Smacking was already illegal, so techincally, at a stretch, you could argue they were against removing the defence for an otherwise illegal action, but that was far from their comments at the time and thereafter. If that was truly their position, they were pants at articulating it.

  9. Irascible 9

    Unfortunately this referendum is loaded. Whichever way you vote it gives ammunition to the fringe dwellers that support NACT.
    YES = NO to the act that repealed section 59 in the minds of the framers of the referendum.
    NO = agreement with their proposition that the Act repealing section 59 should be repealed and the situation that existed before the legislation be reintroduced,
    It is a feature of this present Government that agreement to such a nonsensical proposition was signed into.
    The referendum result, as the proposition is framed, will not benefit the children or preserve any remains of political sanity in New Zealand.

  10. Ianmac 10

    Brian Edwards covered the question very well on his blog
    http://brianedwardsmedia.co.nz/2009/04/to-smack-or-not-to-smack/
    I wondered too what would happen if I crossed off both choices? To vote yes would be to agree with the “good” parenting part.
    Thinking back to that referendum about stronger penalties becoming entangled with research about the cause of violence and looking after victims gave a 90% (?) response so justifying longer sentences (like this one 🙂 )
    Actually it gives referenda a bad name!

  11. jarbury 11

    The stronger penalties referendum was a classic, in that it became impossible to choose no, as yes covered everything from harsher sentences to a greater focus on rehabilitation (isn’t that the opposite?).

    Obviously the “no” vote here is going to get 80% or more. For the reasons outlined by Deborah above I feel compelled to vote yes, but I do feel odd voting ‘against’ something that is says it is ‘for’ good parenting. The government should say that the referendum actually has little to do with changing the s59 law. Perhaps we will see some sort of amendment, although I think the law is OK as it stands. I hope we don’t get to a point where we’re saying “it’s OK to bash your kid this hard, but not that hard.”

    • I agree with Jarbury and Lanmac

      I see that Lanmac (Ianmac?) suggested in Brian Edwards’ blog that the third option of spoiling your vote was possible.

      I think it should be considered. The pro cannabis movement used to use it with prohibition votes. The number of spoilt votes will be recorded and publicised on the results website and should be reported by any media outlet doing its job.

      Oh, I see what the problem is …

    • Graeme 11.2

      I did not support a change in the criminal justice system to introduce hard labour, so I voted no on the “law and order” referendum. Not hard =)

  12. wren 12

    Guys, don’t get so worked up about the semantics of ‘will I be voting against good parenting?’. You have a choice, vote with the child beaters or against them. Everything else is just a distraction and won’t matter a damn at the end of the day.

    • Maynard J 12.1

      Or you could take the view that the referendum is asking a question regarding an act that is impossible, and to vote against can be of no consequence to conscience. Just replace ‘smack’ with ‘good bloody thrashing’ in your mind if you need to.

  13. toad 13

    Eddie, it is a good argument for the amendment of the CIR Act – so that there has to be some independent determination to eliminate bias in the referendum question.

    Both the current one re the right of parents to whack theor kids, and the firefighters one, were extraordinarily biased in their wording. And the sentencing one deliberatly confused two sepate issues in its wording,

    The CIR law is an ass – we need to reform or repeal it. That might be something we could get the vast majority of Parliament to agree to do – let’s ask them.

  14. jarbury 14

    Start a referendum on the issue toad…. LOL

  15. Awful left-liberal parent 15

    If there was no Yes Vote campaign, I would be spoiling my ballot to make the point that I support the law as it now stands.

    With the emergence of the Yes Vote campaign, I’ll be voting Yes and hoping that every good-hearted person in this string who is considering a spoilt ballot will do the samee thing.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 hour ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 hours ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 hours ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    21 hours ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    1 day ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 day ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    2 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    2 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    3 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    6 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    7 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    7 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.