Disabled doesn’t mean stupid

December 11, 2011

Mojo Mathers’ entry to parliament should be something to celebrate.

Her profound deafness will make her a very strong advocate for people with disabilities and inspire other people.

Sadly not everyone shares this view. Dave at Big News has been looking at the Facebook page of Conservative Party campaign manager Kevin Campbell and found this:

Campbell questioned whether new Green MP Mojo Mathers, who is the world’s fifth profoundly deaf MP, should even be an MP as she didn’t have all her “faculties” – and only people who have all their faculties should be MPs. In other words, because she is deaf, she is unsuitable as an MP. Mathers became an MP after special votes were counted and I think she is perfectly suitable to be an effective MP.
I was one of many who pulled him up on this. Just after I did this, my comment was deleted, I was defriended, and Campbell changed his profile picture. He has now taken the post and all its 30 -odd comments down after he reiterated that there was nothing wrong with what he said, adding that because Mathers was also a Green MP she, by definition can’t be effective.

Having a physical disability doesn’t affect your intellectual ability, though Campbell shows that not having a disability doesn’t stop you being ignorant.

I don’t share Mathers’ political views. It is certainly easier to make progress in government than opposition but being a Green MP by definition make her ineffective.

Being deaf will present challenges but it won’t stop Mathers being effective and it could make her even more so in some areas.


Have Maori seats passed their use-by date?

April 7, 2011

Otago used to have special seats for gold miners. When the gold ran out the need for the seats declined and the seats were disestablished.

Maori seats were set up to give votes to Maori men when the right to vote in New Zealand depended on land ownership. When universal franchise was introduced these seats should have gone but they didn’t.

The most recent official view that there was no longer any need for Maori seats was the Royal Commission on MMP but its advice wasn’t taken.

Disestablishing the seats was National Party policy before the last election but it was set aside as one of the conditions agreed to in coalition negotiations with the Maori Party.

That party has good reasons for wanting the seats to continue even though Tariana Turia said in a discussion on Agenda in 2008:

I think what our people are starting to realise though is that when they voted Maori people into Labour they never got a Maori voice, they got a Labour voice and that was the difference, and they’ve only begun to realise it since the Maori Party came into parliament, because it is the first time that they have heard significant Maori issues raised on a daily basis.

The seats by themselves didn’t give Maori a voice. They have also often given them inferior representation, sometimes because of the MP and always because of their size.

Most of the seats are far too big to service properly. Te Tai Tonga covers 161,443 square kilometres - the whole of the South Island, Stewart Island and part of Wellington. Te Tai Hauauru is 35, 825 square kilometres in area, Ikaroa-Rawhiti covers 30,952 square kilometres and Waiariki 19,212 square kilometres.

But Maori representation isn’t confined to special seats, the majority of Maori MPs in parliament now aren’t there because of the Maori electorates.

Big News lists the 23 who now sit in the house and Kiwiblog notes:

So that is 23/122 MPs are of Maori descent, representing 18.9% of Parliament. Now this means that Maori are over-represented in Parliament, relative to their population proportion. Now I don’t think this is at all a bad thing. My belief is that Parliament should be diverse and broadly representative of NZ, but we shouldn’t have quotas trying to match the makeup of Parliament to the exact population.

But what it does show is how well MMP has worked for Maori representation. We now have seven Maori MPs in Maori seats, three Maori MPs in general seats (all National) and 13 Maori List MPs.

It also reflects my view that one could do as the Royal Commission recommended, and abolish the Maori seats (in exchange for no 5% threshold on the list for Maori parties). Even without the Maori seats, there would be at least 16 MPs of Maori descent in Parliament (and probably more).

Isn’t it interesting that National, the party so often derided for being the party for middle-aged Pakeha men is the only one to have Maori in general seats, one of whom is a woman and all of whom are young?

Whether it is MMP by itself or whether there would have been an increase in the number of Maori MPs under another electoral system because of changing times and attitudes, is a moot point.

But the numbers show we no longer need special Maori seats and who better to argue that than Botany’s new MP Jami-Lee Ross who said in his maiden speech last night:

Mr Speaker, as a new Member of Parliament, I join the ranks of members, past and present, proud to call themselves Maori.  But whilst I am an individual of Maori descent, I do consider myself a New Zealander first and foremost. I have Ngati Porou blood running through my veins, but I can assure the House that I am a New Zealander who believes strongly in one standard of citizenship.

Te Tiriti o Waitangi is an exceptionally important document in New Zealand. It has a very simple and succinct text, but one that must be read in its entirety. We often hear of the principles of kawanatanga as expressed in Article 1, and of tino rangatiratanga in Article 2. Sadly the often forgotten part of the Treaty is Article 3.

The Kawharu translation of the Maori version of Article 3 reads:

For this agreed arrangement therefore concerning the Government of the Queen, the Queen of England will protect all the ordinary people of New Zealand and will give them the same rights and duties of citizenship as the people of England.

I am not convinced that we have reached the point in New Zealand where we calmly and honestly, talk about the relationship between Maori and non-Maori in the context of Article 3. My strong belief in one standard of citizenship means that I believe in fair, full, and final settlements of treaty grievances, with a strong emphasis on the word final. Believing in one standard of citizenship means that I will treat every single one of my constituents equally, regardless of the colour of their skin.

It also means that I do not subscribe to the view that I, or any New Zealander of Maori descent, requires special seats to be elected to Parliament, to Councils, or any other body in this country. It is my hope that the people of New Zealand will be the given the opportunity, in the near future, to examine the role of Maori seats in Parliament by way of referendum. I am a New Zealander of Maori decent, and proudly so. But I hope to challenge the status quo in my time here. I will be criticised along the way, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying that all New Zealander’s should be treated equally. He iwi tahi tatou – we are all one people.

One people does not mean we don’t have differences but nor does it mean we need special seats to ensure fair, proper and effective representation for everyone.


Another Clark for Labour

September 25, 2010

Selwyn College warden David Clark has been selected as Labour’s candidate for Dunedin North.

He has previously worked as a Treasury analyst and as an adviser to Labour list MP David Parker, also of Dunedin.

 Big News points out that four of the candidates who contested the seat at the last election will be in parliament after the recess:  Pete Hodgson (Labour), Michael Woodhouse (National), Metiria Turei (Greens) and Hilary Calvert (Act).

Clark has been seleted because Hodgson is retiring, Dunedin North is bright red so the new candidate’s chances of becoming the next MP are high.

 Given Act’s performance, Calvert’s seat in parliament is more precarious.


Some members more equal than others

September 24, 2010

Labour is selecting its Dunedin North candidate this weekend.

Three people have been nominated to replace retiring MP Pete Hodgson, who has held the seat for four terms, are  New Zealand Nurses Organisation national adviser Glenda Alexander. current electorate committee chair and warden of Selwyn College, David Clark ; and former electorate chair Simon Wilson.

Taking part in the selection process will be three Labour Party council representatives appointed by head office, including a Dunedin-based representative; two Labour Electorate Committee representatives, selected on the day; one panel member elected by members attending; and the “popular vote” from members, which will count as one vote.

That gives six panel members and a vote from the floor.

In some selections, Labour’s head office officials have stacked the panel to ensure their preferred candidate is selected.

However, it is unlikely the head office appointees will go against the wishes of Dunedin North members.

The last time that happened, Labour lost the seat to National candidate Richard Walls, in 1975.

What’s the difference between Labour Party members in Dunedin North and those in Mana where unions out-voted members?

Big News has the story of that selection  which is confirmed by this comment from Alex in the North  at Kiwiblog.

If all Labour members are equal, those in Dunedin North must be more equal than their comrades in Mana.

UPDATE: Kiwiblog has more on this.


Did you see the one about . . .

September 18, 2010

An email from Matt McCarten - Whale Oil received a thank you from Matt.

It’s not all doom and gloom despite the earthquake and SCF collapse - Beranrd Hickey finds 10 reasons to be cheerful.

Proof: Wellington council wardens are ticketing against council policy – Big News cuaght them at it.

Science explained Something Should Go Here Maybe Later, who’s made a welcome return to blogging, illustrates the differences between biologists.

Milestone for Beattie’s Book Blog – post 10,000 in a little under four years 1311 visitors for the day by lunchtime on the day the post was written.


Parata selected for Mana

September 9, 2010

National list MP Hekia Parata has been selected to contest the seat of Mana in the forthcoming by-election.

This is a safe Labour seat and no-one is pretending otherwise, but Hekia says she’s ready to run a strong campaign for National.

“I have a sound record of bringing energy, action, and voice to the interests of everyone who lives and works here. I want the best for Mana’s people and its businesses.” . . .

“I come from a family which understands the importance of education. Now, as a mother, I am focused on ensuring that my daughters have good health, an excellent education, and a set of values that will guide them well as proud New Zealand citizens of the world. 

“I want the same opportunities for all the people of Mana.” . . .

It’s a little early for a quote of the campaign but Big News is a contender with this:

Labour’s candidate has been selected too, but they haven’t announced it yet, because the official selection -process hasn’t been completed, and nominations don’t close until tomorrow.

He’s referring to the news that:

  Fran Mould has resigned as Deputy Political Editor for TVNZ , according to well placed sources.

The reason is an agreement in principle that she will replace Kris Faafoi as Chief Press Secretary to Phil Goff, when Faafoi becomes the Mana MP.

That’s what happens when you think democracy means of the party, by the party for the party.


Did you see the one about . . .

September 6, 2010

Real life social networks - Big News on the difference between virtual and real lives.

The wokman’s creed- Half-Pie woks.

Matt McCarten’s diatribe is drivel - Lindsay Mitchell on the difference between individualism and collectivism.

(Apropos of the target of this, I am sorry to learn that Matt has cancer.)

Octarine - Born On State Highway One on arty colours.

Mattock Matters - Robert Guyton has a new garden implement.

Knee-jerk legislation ‘should be slightly harder to introduce’ concede hysterical campaigners - Newsbiscuit hopes for rising standards to lower the kneejerks.

Myths about green jobs - Kiwiblog shows all that’s green isn’t as good as it’s painted.


What’s up with RSS feeds?

May 30, 2010

Using Bloglines or something similar is the easiest way to keep up with several blogs and other websites which update regularly without having to check them individually.

But I’ve noticed recently that Bloglines doesn’t work for some blogs, eg Kiwiblog and Macdoctor, although they update regularly in my side bar.

Then there are others like Beattie’s Book Blog which just shows array  in the side bar but updates normally with Bloglines.

Is it something I’m doing – or not doing – or is it a universal problem?

While on the subject of RSS feeds, some blogs display only an introductory paragraph.

I suspect it’s to draw more visitors to their blog because you have to visit it to read the whole post. But unless I’ve got lots of time to spare or the intro is really, really fascinating I usually pass right on to the next blog and forget about them.


Did you see the one about . . .

February 17, 2010

Lessons in healthcare from Edinburgh Zoo - Theodore Dalrymple at Pyjamas Media (hat tip: Skeptical Doctor).

Looking at Ohariu {5} Vote Splitting - one of a series of posts at BK Drinkwater which show why Peter Dunne should retire gracefully before the next election. Links to the previous posts in the series are at the bottom of the post.

Getting people off benefits - Big News asks: “”how many people come off benefits because they go to prison?”.

Youth rates and Youth Rates Revisited Offsetting Behaviour shows why youth rates cost young people jobs. Kiwiblog has related posts A 10 year high in unemployment  and  Youth rates and youth unemployment.

On Travelling With A Toddler - Bernard Darnton at Not PC serves as a warning to others.

Another Labour Party Bureaucracy and Be happy – that’s an order and Staff Morale - a selection from the series of visual humour at Something Should Go Here.

The Wage Gap - Gooner shows the sorry stas at No Minister.

The Courts must be hellish busy - Lindsay Mitchell has the sorry stats on recidivism.

An interesting course - Kiwblog on law studies at Auckland.

How Not To Run A country - Anti-Dismal on the internet in Iran.

Reflections on media, name suppression etc - Inquiring Mind asks why we should take it any more.

Lactose Intolerant - Macdoctor on homeopathy.

Technology dystopia or utopia - The Visible Hand on technology and labour.


Fran O’Sullivan on blogging on YouTube

October 2, 2009

Fran O’Sullivan spoke on the accidental empire of political blogging at a breakfast organised by Rural Women NZ earlier this week.

Part of that address is now on YouTube:

Roarprawn posted on the breakfast, so did Big News and Kiwiblog  who also discussed Fran’s suggestion that NZ On Air should become NZ On Media. That in turn led to a post from Bill Ralston.

UPDATE:

Not PC  reckons this is an example of life imitating satire; and  Liberty Scott thinks NZ On Air should be abolished


Putting us in our place

June 9, 2009

Scrubone has posted his first draft putting us in our place on the political spectrum.

Of the eight bloggers categorised one is authoritorian left, two are authoritorian right and the rest are liberal right.

Contrast that with No Right Turn’s graphing the NZ blogosphere in 2003 – one left and one right authoritarian; 13 liberal right one liberal centre and 26 authoritarian   liberal left.

I recognise only a handful of those 2003 blogs, one of those is Big News who was liberal left then and is now authoritarian left.


Political compass

June 7, 2009

 The one thing which stands out when I do multi choice tests like the political compass is that I don’t like black and white answers because my response to many of the questions is but/providing/if. . .

That said, I’ve done two versions of the political compass and come out in a similar position as a right moderate social libertarian.

This one is the political spectrum quiz:

 dairy 10001

This is the political compass (which I found ages ago through Monkeywithtypewriter)

pol-compass

I’m left of Freidman and right of Ghandi on the economic spectrum but on a similar level to both on the social one.

I’m also a bit further right and more liberal than Halfdone at Something should go here and Lucia Maria at NZ Conservative and well to the right and more liberal than Dave at Big News .

P.S. – Halfdone is interested in compiling a chart of where bloggers sit on the compass.


Ghost of Budget’s past

May 14, 2009

Oh, no – not again, TVNZ reports that:

Finance Minsiter Michael Cullen will deliver the 2009 Budget on May 28.

Hat Tip: Big News


Music Month Catch-Up

May 11, 2009

The National Party conference took precedence over my daily links to the other blogs which are doing daily posts to mark NZ Music Month.

To catch up on the weekend’s selection:

Rob took us to Higher Trails  by John Hanlon and introduced The Mockers’ vidoe for Trendy Lefties

Inquiring Mind had So True  from Black Seeds, gave a bonus post with Poi E from the Patea Maori Club and went classical with Rondino by Douglas Lilburn.

Keeping Stock went Violent with Stellar then continued his Christian Music Sundays with In Wonder  from Magnify.

Apropos of NZ Music Month, Big News posts one of his favourite songs and videos and Not PC posts his top 10 favourite albums.


Shops may open despite risk of being shopped

April 9, 2009

Wanaka shops aren’t confirming whether or not they’ll defy Easter trading laws  and open tomorrow and Sunday.

But if past actions are any indication they will and people will take the opportunity offered for retail therapy.

The law enables all shops  just over the hill in Queenstown to open because it’s deemed to be a toruist resort, but not those in Wanaka.

Even sillier is that it allows one business in Wanaka to open because it sells to tourists but the one next door can not open legally even though it sells much the same thing.

Then of course because the law prohibits some businesses from opening, Labour Department staff have to work on the holiday to fine shop owners for working.

Whether they target Wanaka as they have in the past, and whether they shop after shopping the shops  for opening to shoppers will remain to be seen.

Kiwiblog has his annual rant on Easter Trading and Big News posts on the issue too.


Tumeke! rankings for October

November 22, 2008

In response to a comment on the Tumeke! blogosphere rankings Tim Selwyn admits he counts the number of posts and comments manually.

That’s a huge task so it’s no wonder it takes two or three weeks for him to do it.

The results of his work show one new entrant in the top 20 – New Zeal moves up 7 to 16 which puts Homepaddock back one to 17.

Kiwiblog retained its first placing and was also first for the average number of comments.

Homepaddock was third for the number of posts – a place I don’t expect to maintain because I’ve been writing fewer posts since the election.

The biggest gain in the top 20 was No Minister which went up 6 places to 4th.

Among my other regular reads Roarprawn gained 2 to 11; Dimpost  dropped 1 to 13; Inquiring Mind  was steady on 15; Poneke  went down 1 to 18 but was 5th for the highest average number of comments (and second in that category for blogs done by individuals rather than a number of contributers.) If I was judging the quality of comments, Ponke would rate highly – he manages to attract mainly intelligent and often witty comments with few which confuse personal invective and debate.

Keeping Stock dropped just 1 to 19 in spite of a decline in the number of posts while cruising for a couple of weeks; and the Visibile Hand in Economics also dropped 1 to 20.

 The Hand Mirror was steady on 22, NZ Conservative was up 1 to 23 and also did well with the average number of comments, due in part to their popular Friday night free for all; Big News leapt 16 to 26;  Anti Dismal gained 8 places to 29 and Something Should Go here gained a couple to 34.

In a Strange Land was down 3 to 52; Monkeywith typewriter gained 1 to 56; exexpat dropped 6 to  59;  goNZo Freakpower  gained 9 places to 87, Cicero made a first appearance at 65 and Macdoctor debuted at 71.

I couldn’t find John Ansell on the list, I’m not sure if that’s because I didn’t look properly or his blog is too new to register.


Plant enters blogosphere

October 25, 2008

Inquiring Mind has been running his eye across the blogs of John Key and Helen Clark each day and isn’t very impressed.

Perhaps he’ll be happier with the offerings from Dennis Plant, leader of the Future New Zealand Party and MP for Wakatipu.

You can find out more about the party on its website including its other MP  and  wheelchair policy.

Hat Tip: Big News


EFA leads to target

October 7, 2008

Big News  reports that women dressed in black went to the home of Family First director Bob McCoskrie at the weekend, stuck about 1000 knives in his lawn and taped an intimidating note on his door.

It’s presumed they traced him because his home address is on Family First’s authorisation statements as required by the Electoral Finance Act.

It should be enough for the Electoral Commission to be satisfied that those who register with it are bona fide, there is absolutely no need for anyone else to know where they live.


Ron Mark standing in Rimutaka?

August 27, 2008

Ruminations on whether or not New Zealand First remains in parliament have generally focussed on Peters winning Tauranga or the party gaining 5% of the vote.

But Big News says that Ron Mark is standing in Rimutaka.

If he is, could he win and keep the party in parliament regardless of what happens to Peters?

Hat Tip: Big News.


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