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“We have got a problem with Maori”

Written By: - Date published: 8:29 am, May 12th, 2009 - 86 comments
Categories: racism - Tags:

Now before you start thinking the Standard has started spruiking for the National Front I should make it clear that the title quote of this post comes from Christine Rankin in 2007. She was talking about child abuse and claiming that Maori are the problem.

Now, in a move akin to putting Garth McVicar in charge of parole, National are planning to put this celebrity racist in charge of the Families Commission.

It’s not at all surprising National are taking care of Rankin, she was tipped to announce she’d stand for the Nats before her high-profile faux pas on breakfast TV and the subsequent furore surrounding the sacking of a security guard at TVNZ who politely challenged her comments. She also put in the hard yards campaigning against the last government via the awkwardly titled “For the Sake of Our Children Trust”.

At the time Tariana Turia name checked the incident in a speech about racism. I wonder how the Maori Party feels about Rankin running the very commission charged with looking after Maori families.

Update: turns out I misremembered the quote. It was actually “We’ve got to face some issues in this country. We have got a problem with Maori”. I’ve changed the title accordingly.

My apologies to Rankin’s defenders.

86 comments on ““We have got a problem with Maori” ”

  1. Hilary 1

    Interesting move this considering the section 59 referendum coming up and her active campaigning for the right to beat children lobby.

  2. I guess they need someone willing to weather the storm after they decide to change the law, due to a referendum which isn’t even a referendum on s59.

    • Maynard J 2.1

      Na, Key said he’ll ignore the referendum if it returns a ‘no’ – full credit to him there! Maybe she’s to be the internal agitator post-referendum.

      • Ari 2.1.1

        The question is if he’ll overturn s59 on a “yes” that doesn’t even contradict it.

        • Maynard J 2.1.1.1

          I could not remember if yes meant no, or if no meant yes. I think ‘no’ is supposed to mean you think S59 should be repealed, but since the question is so poorly worded it doesn’t mean that (or anything). Key said he would ignore a ‘no’ answer.

          • Anita 2.1.1.1.1

            No means yes and vice versa.

            I think the “no” is intended to mean that the new s59 sucks and should be replaced by something else which makes parental physical discipline for the purposes of correction explicitly legal.

            It should be noted that no-one (AFAIK) wants the old s59 back.

            It bothers me that it’s completely unclear what change the proponents of the referendum actually want.

  3. Pascal's bookie 3

    That stuff piece is brutal. Talk about your shots accross the bow. I’m not surprised she was quoted elsewhere as saying she was happy in Aklnd with no real desire to move to Wngtn.

    Looks like the Cabinet ‘debate’ has been moved to the media with those in Cabinet opposed to this appointment developing a strong dose of leakocemia.

    Is Dunne in cabinet?

  4. Hilary 4

    This appointment as a Families Commissioner has now been announced. I can see the plan now. The Government hates the Families Commission because it has done some ground breaking New Zealand social policy research, and is a champion for families and their issues in whatever form they take. The FC is providing information and supporting research that challenges many on the right, including religious fundamentalists. However, the Govt has to keep it for Peter Dunne’s vote.

    But – put someone as controversial as CR there, whose campaigns so far have shown no respect for actual evidence, and whose values do not appear to match, and watch the FC implode. Job done..

  5. The Baron 5

    Hold on though Irish. Its a bit rough to call that “racist” isn’t it?

    Understood in context, the point she was making was that Maori are over-represented in child abuse statistics. I think that everyone can agree that that is true. If that is racist, then are the cervical smear advertisements that target the underparticipation of Maori women racist too?

    Recognising that fact allows you to do a better job of targeting the issues and solving them. Would you prefer that she did not recognise the different drivers for child abuse, some of which are cultural and ethnic, so that she didn’t offend anyone – regardless of how ineffective that may be (look at the current Commissioner – what the hell have they actually DONE?)

    Regardless, I would be happy to be called racist if I managed to make a measurable difference to child abuse. There are maori elements to this problem that need solutions. No, they are not the only issues – but we still need to be honest about them.

    • Lew 5.1

      Baron,

      It’s racist because it implies that race is the causative factor, rather than some other factor or combination of factors, like poverty, alienation, poor access to education, poor relationship with government agencies, etc.

      So, tell me: what are the `Māori elements’ of child abuse? Is it the warrior gene? The idea that Māori gan’t hold their liquor? Or what?

      L

      • grumpy 5.1.1

        All of the above.

        It was the refusal to accept the obvious which led to Cindy Kiro losing her job.

        The purpose of the job is to reduce family violence, not turn a blind eye for idealogical reasons.

      • The Baron 5.1.2

        Lew,

        I don’t think it does imply that race is a causative factor – and I don’t think that Rankin does either. I think that you and Irish are reading that into it to back up this accusation of racism.

        To me, she is sayingthat there is a correlation – not causation. Completely different, and completely accurate. Maori and child abuse is more strongly correlated (not causative) than other races and child abuse. That isn’t racist – that’s fact. Now you can start looking at the causes of that correlation, which could well be the factors that you list.

        Stumbling down the correlation = causation path is the sort of error that any junior policy analyst can pick up. Its a shame that Irish makes it here.

        I’m happy to judge her by her results. Right now, she won’t have to do much to do better than the current Commissioners.

        • Lew 5.1.2.1

          Baron,

          I don’t think it does imply that race is a causative factor – and I don’t think that Rankin does either.

          With respect, when the word `Māori’ is used as an adjective, that suggests that some characteristic endemic to Māori is the one at fault. It’s a different statement to state a fact that Māori are overrepresented or more at risk or whatever – that doesn’t imply that some innate quality of theirs is the reason behind the elevated risk.

          Incidentally, in my view Rankin’s actual statement below – “We have got a problem with Māori” – is almost as bad, because it establishes society as distinct from Māori by the use of `we’, treating Māori as objects of policy change, not as subjects of it or agents of it. That’s a great way to set yourself up to fail.

          L

  6. The other thing that is relevant, and why cabinet may be divided over it, is that she will walk all over Paula Bennett. Shes a lame duck first time minister really without a clue whats going on, she doesn’t really stand a chance against the iron fist of Rankine.

  7. Rachelr 7

    Child abuse is a Maori problem, but not exclusively. When you can isolate out a demographic or ethnic group as having greater issue comparative to others – then that should be heralded as a positive, not racism. That means we can concentrate our efforts on understanding the symptoms for one area of our society.

  8. dave 8

    I should make it clear that the title quote of this post comes from Christine Rankin in 2007

    Except Christine Rankin didn’t say that “quote”. Your post is inaccurate. So you should make it clear that the title quote of the post does NOT come from Christine Rankin.

  9. gobsmacked 9

    Rankin? Rankin?

    Sometimes governments do things that look stupid, but are really a brilliant Cunning Plan, too clever for the likes of us to understand.

    And sometimes governments do things that look stupid – and just are.

    Sure looks like the latter to me. But what do I know?

    (Rankin??)

  10. Bill 10

    First think that springs to mind when contemplating Rankin and The Families Commission is some kind of awkward Orwellian double-speak to do with commission and de-commission.

    Wonder if she’ll follow her WINZ precedent and turn an institution that is meant to benefit the people under it’s umbrella to one that polices and victimises them?

    My god! Just heard on Nat Radio that the other candidate is from Parents Inc! Wasn’t there a post some time ago surrounding this privately funded Christian outfit picking up the reigns for parts of state provision…or was that about it’s Australian counterpart?

    Incremental implementation of welfare privatisation part 1?

    • bilbo 10.1

      Bill

      I don’t know what you’re on about, the information on Parents Inc is here

      http://www.parentsinc.org.nz/cms/

      They’re a good bunch of people and have been offering good advice to parents and kids for quite a while now, I would have thought that these are the type of people most people would want associated with the families commission.

      • gobsmacked 10.1.1

        Bruce Pilbrow is on various social network sites.

        He loves God. His favourite book is “The Bible”. Etc.

        Sounds ideal for a private religious organisation. Which is where he should remain.

      • Bill 10.1.2

        bilbo, see DeepRed’s comment below which touches on obvious misgivings about having Christian based orgs having their fingers in pies of social provision.

        As he also points out, the post I was referring to was about Mission Australia. I believe, from memory that I commented at the time that rather than Mission Australia being funded by government to run aspects of social provision that it would be Parents Inc.

        Good conservative Christians do not make for good people. Not in my book anyway. But then, I don’t go for what’s in their book. And that makes me bad.

        • bilbo 10.1.2.1

          Most Sallies could be termed ‘good conservative christians’ how do they not “make for good people ?

          GS are you suggesting people who have a religious faith of one type or another are not fit for public office ?

          • Bill 10.1.2.1.1

            Okay. Should have read, good conservative Christians do not necessarily make for good people.

            BTW. I really do not like the influence the sallies have…not to say there are not good people who are sallies.

            Anyway. Nat Radio just said Rankin is appointed. Which is dire but ends any talk on Family Inc and overt religious influencing of state services….I think.

  11. Whacky Lefty 11

    Hilary, quite right. A perfect move to not only destroy the FC but also discredit Dunne.

  12. DeepRed 12

    “My god! Just heard on Nat Radio that the other candidate is from Parents Inc! Wasn’t there a post some time ago surrounding this privately funded Christian outfit picking up the reigns for parts of state provision or was that about it’s Australian counterpart?”
    That case was Mission Australia.

    Expect to see abstinence programmes back on the agenda, among other half-baked faith-based initiatives.

  13. Tigger 13

    Odd to see McCoskrie lauding Rankin. I would have thought the four times married Rankin was a bad fit with Families First?

    Clearly National intend to hand over the FC’s duties to private, religious based organsations. Then why not just do that. Why do they even want Dunne’s vote?

    • Ari 13.1

      Oh no Tigger, the amount of divorces someone has had is completely irrelevant if you support beating kids as a form of “parenting”.

  14. bilbo 14

    Oh dear the thread has descended into a rather bigoted attack on Christians for some odd reason – sad really.

  15. Bill 15

    Any religious morality being promulgated on sectors of society through welfare or other services is not good.

    NZ is supposedly secular. The reality is that Christian values/ morality permeate and dominate most spheres of society to one degree or another. Sometimes the dynamic is subtle to the point of being unnoticed and taken as unquestioningly normal. That’s the society we live in. Whatever.

    But to elevate an org that adheres rather rigidly to conservative Christian values through appointment of it’s head to something like the Families Commission should be ringing warning bells all over the show.

    Perhaps an indication of where their influence would take the Families Commission can be garnered from small details in their website such as the one under ‘Hot Tips’ for Marriage and Relationships. there’s a section on ‘the heart and sole of a man and a woman’. What’s missing? Yup. Everything else.

    Which perhaps reasonably suggests that Family Inc see man + woman as the only legitimate relationship. And if you were to extrapolate from that across the range of issues and matters pertinent to families…..

  16. gobsmacked 16

    Bilbo

    Two unelected fundamentalist Christians driving social policy. Do you really think they will base decisions on evidence, on analysis, rather than faith (which, by definition, is “right”)?

    If religion is brought into policy, then it is brought into politics. It’s Maxim/Brash 2005 all over again.

  17. dave 17

    wonder why there is a wee attack on Christians?Christine Rankin is actually Buddhist. Shall we attack Buddhists now?

    • gobsmacked 17.1

      My bad. She’s not a right-wing Christian. Just a right-wing nutjob.

    • Bill 17.2

      So does she think that family issues are all down to karma? That would bode well!

      edit. “We’ve got a problem with Maori” as opposed to “I’ve got a problem with religious institutions”. But then, I’m not in a position of power and authority.

      • don 17.2.1

        >So does she think that family issues are all down to karma? That would bode well!

        Buddhism, like most beliefs, can be used to justify any action. Could be abusive parents are a punishment for the bad deeds of a former life …

  18. dave 18

    Bill, something like that. Now that you know Rankin is Buddhist lets see you launch an attack on Buddhists. Or are you just biased against Christians.

    • Bill 18.1

      It’s not bias. Institutionalised religion is fairy tales for so-called grown ups. Don’t care which sect or tradition you choose.

      They, or their adherents should not be afforded avenues such as the Families Commission to promulgate their moral code beyond their own congregation.

  19. Macro 19

    I’m biased against those who advocate child beating having any role in policy formations that affect children.

    • Jared 19.1

      She doesn’t advocate Child Abuse, she abhores the act. Her position is that parents shouldn’t fear prosecution for correcting a childs misbehaviour. There is a distinct difference between a correction and a beating/

  20. Job for Rankin rankles…

  21. dave 21

    That’s nice, Macro. But I didn’t ask you.

  22. ak 22

    Brighter Future anyone?

    Weather turning nasty for poor wee Sunny:

    North of $50/week vote-bribe welched on…

    Jobs summit a farcical fizzer…

    Cabinet minister in the curry…

    Economy headed down the lav…

    Super-city time-bomb ticking…

    Polish not working on turd budget…

    Rolling maul collapsed in dazed heap…

    And now detested quadrabride tit-flashing harridan in jobs-for-boys scandal.

    Brrrrrrr. Stoke up that fire lads.

  23. insider 23

    One of the outgoing commissioners is a practising Catholic. THe pope is fairly right wing and conservative. Why was that commissioner not a problem?

    • Ari 23.1

      Some Catholics actually care about the welfare of children, Insider. I’m not gonna get into classifying “types” of Catholics, because I think that’s just as disgusting as typifying Maori, but the worry is not faith, it’s the beliefs about the world that people excuse with their faith.

      • bilbo 23.1.1

        Some catholics care about the welfare of children …. WTF are you trying to say Ari.

        • Ari 23.1.1.1

          I’m trying to say that no organisation can be so inherently evil as to automatically corrupt all of its members to its most extreme views, even when the philosophy behind that organisation is actively harmful.

          The philosophy behind the catholic church has elements of male-centred heirarchy and the abusiveness associated therewith, authoritarianism, sexual repression, normativeness and the hatred associated therewith including homobigotry and transphobia and colonialism and general exclusiveness. Each one of these things are harmful on their own, yet somehow there are many church members who don’t believe in these things and who remain dedicated catholics while still not buying in.

          As an organisation I dislike the catholic church, but many of its members and sub-organisations are great.

    • Bill 23.2

      A practising catholic is not necessarily a conservative Christian.

      Bruce Pilbrow would appear to be a conservative Christian. (Conclusion drawn from a peruse of parents inc)

      Christine Rankin’s WINZ department harassed beneficiaries during her tenure and ,apparently she believes in karma.

      The Families Commission conducts research and produces study results.

      That requires an analytical bent.

      Conservative Christians view society through a religious lens. Analysis does not figure. ( On a similar vein, a belief in karma closes the door to analytical understanding.)

      The structures we live within are contrivances. Those contrivances have consequences, both intended and unintended.

      To offer possible solutions to detrimental effects of structures we have developed requires a recognition of the effects of those structures and the ability to analyse, extrapolate and suggest improvements or changes to those structures or suggest ways in which dynamics flowing from those structures might be altered.

      Any belief that suggests god, non-adherence to the ‘correct’ moral code or that ‘the universe’ is the reason for societal problems is utterly irresponsible, completely misses the point and will tend towards developing a culture that washes it’s hands of responsibility and does nothing effective in relation to the things above or that winds up blaming the victim….will seek to alter behaviour of individuals as though they exist in a vacuum instead of altering the behaviour of the structures the individual is subject to.

      • bilbo 23.2.1

        “Bruce Pilbrow would appear to be a conservative Christian. (Conclusion drawn from a peruse of parents inc)”

        http://www.parentsinc.org.nz/cms/

        Can you tell me where you derive from a quick look at their website that they are ‘conservative christians’ ?

        I think you may have them mixed up with someone else ?

        • Bill 23.2.1.1

          Seriously bilbo?

          Read the last sentence fragment of my previous comment and bear it in mind as you click through parentsinc.

          Right on the front ‘page’ you’ll find this little doozy.

          “Great families build great communities which in turn build a great country to live in!

          On the right you will find a solution for you! “

          • bilbo 23.2.1.1.1

            “Great families build great communities which in turn build a great country to live in!”

            I may be a bit of an old fuddy duddy but I tend to agree with that comment.

            Perhaps you need to be more explicit about why you dislike parents inc, I’ve only heard good things about them.

        • Maynard J 23.2.1.2

          or, bilbo, there is this comment:

          “Judeo-Christian in our motivation and ethics”

          • bilbo 23.2.1.2.1

            UM How is that conservative christian ?

            I’m sure you note that they also say

            Apolitical
            Inclusive and welcoming
            Not-for-profit but commercially smart

          • Maynard J 23.2.1.2.2

            bilbo, you are not worth talking to if you will not accept something unless it is spelled out for you in bright neon letters.

            But if you still do not believe me, go to the websites of some organisations that are well known for their conservative christian views, and see if they have it in a big bold font on their web sites. Try Family First. They will not. After discovering this, you will be forced to come to the unpleasant conclusion that sometimes you must work things out for yourself and make inferences on sometimes limited information that is available.

            Of note is that Family First have: an emphasis on the Judeo-Christian values. Hmm. I wonder if “Judeo-Christian values” is almost a code for “Conservative Christian”? This seems like a valid inference to make even though the website does not specifically say “Family First is a conservative christian organisation”.

          • bilbo 23.2.1.2.3

            So would being inclusive and welcoming blended families, single parent familes etc fit your description of conservative christian ?

            As an aside what is it you have against conservative christians/christians in general.

          • Maynard J 23.2.1.2.4

            They can say whatever they want on their sites, bilbo. You are still trying to deny the conservative christian link there so I am going to stop bashing my head against the brick wall that guards the ramparts of your brain from unwelcome information.

            It is their actions I will judge.

            As for your aside, stuff it up your up your bigoted backside! What did I say against christians? Have you stopped beating your wife yet?

            I have nothing against christians in general, nor conservative christians in general. I have something against moralising, preaching people who try to inflict their beliefs on others en masse, especially when those beliefs are faith based, non-secular, overly restrictive and not in society’s best interests.

            A tiny minority of conservative christians fit into that category, and I have something against them. To the rest of the conservative christians – God bless.

            One more thing – where do they “welcome blended and single-parent families”? That was not in their values, as you are trying to imply. They do say they are inclusive and welcoming, so I would love to see their reaction to a few gay couples with children.

          • bilbo 23.2.1.2.5

            “They do say they are inclusive and welcoming, so I would love to see their reaction to a few gay couples with children.”

            I’m sure they wouldn’t have a problem offering advice to gay couples with children.

            The info on blended families is on their website you just need to look…… what’s with the wife beating comment ?

          • Maynard J 23.2.1.2.6

            The wife beating comment is the stock phrase used in New Zealand, and other western societies, I suspect, to point out that a leading question has been asked. You asked what I have against a group of people but I had made no comments to indicate I had anything against them. in reply, I asked if you had stopped beating your wife, because you, equally had made no comments that indicated you beat your wife.

            Your confustion at being asked why you beat your wife would be equal to mine at being asked what I have against christians/conservative christians.

            Both questions contained a logical fallacy. Mine was deliberate.

            “I’m sure they wouldn’t have a problem offering advice to gay couples with children.”

            Perhaps you are right. Whether they would welcome and include that family is another thing altogether.

            Well this has been fun, bilbo.

        • Matty Smith 23.2.1.3

          Less obvious, but it’s also worth noting that Pilbrow is the marketing manager for the rather kooky ‘Radio Rhema’, which is most definitely a conservative Christian station.

  24. The Voice of Reason 24

    “If you’re doing business with a religious son of a bitch, get it in writing. His word isn’t worth shit, not with the good Lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal.”

    William S Burroughs – Words of Advice to Young People.

  25. Evidence-Based Practice 25

    Peter Dunne is apparently furious at the appointment of Christine Rankin. Proves the point that she is there to destabilise, take over and ultimately destroy the Families Commission in it’s current form.

    Also seems there were some fireworks in Cabinet over this which will also be destabilising.

  26. Pat 26

    Peter Dunne is not proof of anything, except of how an MMP system can be prostituted by a political swinger.

  27. I understand Rankin is a follower of Sōka Gakkai.

    According to Wikipedia, Sōka Gakkai or “Value-Creation Society” is a Japanese religious movement descended from Nichiren Buddhism. It was formed in 1930 and is closely associated with the New Komeito, an influential Japanese political party.Prominent Sōka Gakkai International members include journalist Mariane Pearl, Grammy Award winners Herbie Hancock and Tina Turner; and actors Orlando Bloom, Patrick Duffy, John Astin, Vinessa Shaw. The basic practice of SGI members is based on faith, practice, and study.

    [The ‘faith’ part of that is a significant divergence from what I know as Buddhism, which recommends observation and analysis before belief.]

    Sōka Gakkai’s official charter reads:

    Purposes and Principles

    1. SGI shall contribute to peace, culture and education for the happiness and welfare of all humanity based on Buddhist respect for the sanctity of life.
    2. SGI, based on the ideal of world citizenship, shall safeguard fundamental human rights and not discriminate against any individual on any grounds.
    3. SGI shall respect and protect the freedom of religion and religious expression.
    4. SGI shall promote an understanding of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism through grass-roots exchange, thereby contributing to individual happiness.
    5. SGI shall, through its constituent organizations, encourage its members to contribute toward the prosperity of their respective societies as good citizens.
    6. SGI shall respect the independence and autonomy of its constituent organizations in accordance with the conditions prevailing in each country.
    7. SGI shall, based on the Buddhist spirit of tolerance, respect other religions, engage in dialogue and work together with them toward the resolution of fundamental issues concerning humanity.
    8. SGI shall respect cultural diversity and promote cultural exchange, thereby creating an international society of mutual understanding and harmony.
    9. SGI shall promote, based on the Buddhist ideal of symbiosis, the protection of nature and the environment.
    10. SGI shall contribute to the promotion of education, in pursuit of truth as well as the development of scholarship, to enable all people to cultivate their individual character and enjoy fulfilling and happy lives.

    Copied and Pasted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soka_Gakkai

  28. Bill 29

    FFS bilbo! Are they Christian? Does their site read like the fucking Readers Digest?

    I’ll give them this, there’s a hoot a minute game waiting to be developed from their ‘ask a question’ feature. http://www.theparentingplace.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=16&Itemid=35

    I mean, what do you think parentsinc have to say on marriage/relationships and sex? Several big, big topics embedded in there, right? Well, here you go. Full and unabridged….and rather strange parents inc advice.

    “It’s easy to take family members for granted and forget how important greetings and warm welcomes are. One of the easiest ways to begin breaking down tension is to re-establish communication with a kind greeting.

    Your friendly welcome to your children can break down those emotional walls and open the door for deeper communication.

    So try it – start the day with a warm greeting and a look that says “I am really pleased to see you.”
    And remember to say “Goodnight, I love you” whatever age your children are.”

    edit. And after all that, your comment has disappeared. Oh well. I’m off to parents inc for outrageous and hilarious advice. bye.

    • bilbo 29.1

      Bill sounds like you need the advice of a psychiatrist if you take offence at those kind of comments from Parents Inc.

      I see you now have moved on from calling them conservative christians and take issue with Parents Inc being/having some christian philosophical bent …… why is that ?

      • Pascal's bookie 29.1.1

        He didn’t say he was taking offence bilbo. The “Judeo-Christian” language is almost exlcusively used by conservative christians. It really is a give away.

        In passing:Why did you change your handle troll? Old one get all tainted with lying and plagiarism and such?

        • bilbo 29.1.1.1

          Don’t know what you’re on about calling me a troll or fell the need to enter into the discussion Bill and I are having?

          You may not have seen Bill’s earlier comments IMO these display a somewhat bigoted perspective which is rather odd considering the nature of the original post.

          “My god! Just heard on Nat Radio that the other candidate is from Parents Inc! Wasn’t there a post some time ago surrounding this privately funded Christian outfit picking up the reigns for parts of state provision or was that about it’s Australian counterpart?

          Incremental implementation of welfare privatisation part 1?”

          “Good conservative Christians do not make for good people. Not in my book anyway. But then, I don’t go for what’s in their book. And that makes me bad.”

          • Bill 29.1.1.1.1

            ok bilbo. Last comment on this.

            PB posted what I was suspecting vis a vis the troll comment.

            Bigoted? I don’t care if you, or anyone, is Christian, Hindi, believes in fairies and wizards or is in any other way religiously inclined. It’s none of my business.

            But if religious beliefs are going to permeate the likes of the Families Commission and influence their operations, then it is very much my business.

            Religious belief has no place in institutions that inform public policy.

            I thought one of my previous comments set out a reasoning for that in a pretty simple to understand and straight forward way.

            You either didn’t read it or found the reasoning too hard to understand .

            Whatever.

  29. Adrian 30

    3 divorces and another one around the corner,move to Families Commission. Is somebody taking the piss?

  30. Rex Widerstrom 31

    There’s still enough voters around with clear memories of WINZ in the 90s to know exactly what Rankin is without needing to debate statements which may-or-may-not be racist (but probably are).

    She’s a person in the Shipley mould. I’ll never forget the then-Minister of Social Welfare dismissing, live on air, my suggestion that city Housing NZ flat-dwellers be given shared allotments on which to grow vegetables, as is done in the UK (and for all I know, elsewhere). No use, she said, they’re too dumb, too lazy or both. Not a moment’s reflection that such an opinion might be impolitic, let alone incorrect… such certainty, born of ingrained contempt.

    Rankin could only have risen well beyond the level of her marginal competence during such times by virtue of sharing such views, and she made clear during her tenure at WINZ that she did. Or worse, that she didn’t but was willing to stand on the backs of the poor to reach the brass ring.

    I don’t care what she’s done since. Her performance then was more than enough to convince me that she’s unsuited to any position which gives her any influence over the lives and fates of others.

    • ak 31.1

      Hear hear Rex: the culture this creature inspired in WINZ and the harm and misery thus inflicted on the most vulnerable was vast and not forgotten – even after a decade of attempts to excise her evil fingerprints from the system.

      This is a massive mistake from NACT (so watch the media bury it with haste) – and nothing more than a blatant pay-off to a vile, despised, talentless tory shriek.

  31. serpico 32

    Will the new Commissioner listen to fathers?
    Remember that sub species Labour?

    • Anita 32.1

      A very quick check says that at least two of the current families commissioners are fathers. It could be more, splashing ones family all over the internet is not compulsory.

  32. Jared 33

    This has to be the dirtiest and lowest the Standard has dropped to in quite some time, degrading the appointment by invoking stereoptypical assumptions of “religious” views. Judge her for her actions, not her personal beliefs.

    • Bill 33.1

      Jared, I think the argument is that, the appointment degrades the position. Degrading the appointment?

      And there is no more any “invoking stereoptypical (sic) assumptions of “religious’ views.” than there is invoking stereotypical assumptions of political views.

      We are talking of particular religious beliefs as we would particular political views. Nothing wrong with reasonable inference is there?

      BTW Rankin’s little closing spat on Close Up claiming that a culture exists whereby families of heterosexual couples have been ghettoised and are somehow unmentionable is, I reckon, a nice sickening pointer of things to come.

      Family Values meets Families Commission.

      • Jared 33.1.1

        If its ok to criticise religion does the standard condone racism? Where do you draw the line?

        • Lew 33.1.1.1

          Jared, don’t try the false equivocation line. It’s one thing to criticise some religions on their stated beliefs and endorsed actions and quite another to ascribe innate characteristics to an ethnic group and then criticise members of that group on those grounds. Commenters have made their grounds for distrusting conservative christians, viz, that they tend to enforce their beliefs upon others and generally interfere in what ought to be mostly secular government (although NZ isn’t, as some people have claimed, a secular state, no party currently in government has a mandate for a religious agenda, having not campaigned on it).

          L

      • Tigger 33.1.2

        So she’s bashing the gays now? Hell woman, we gave you those fashions you’re so fond of – don’t start tossing crap our way or there’ll be no more earrings for you!

        • Tigger 33.1.2.1

          Just viewed the interview. She closes by bashing anyone who is trying to raise a family that doesn’t consist of ‘Mum AND Dad’. So I guess solo parents are on her hit list along with gay parents.

    • Lew 33.2

      Jared, the OP does judge Rankin on her actions. It’s only certain fools among the commentariat who’ve made poor assumptions about her religious beliefs.

      L

  33. And so National’s purge of the public service begins, replacing brains with bombshells.

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