365 days of gratitude


Two men retired this week.

On the face of it they are very different – Peter Williams a newsreader and television frontman, Chris Finlayson a lawyer and MP.

But both are consummate professionals who leave their places of employment the poorer for their going.

Tonight I’m grateful for their contributions and examples.

Too many blind eyes – updated & updated again


Another child has joined the long list of victims of child abuse.

It is a list of shame and what is particularly shameful about this case is that other people must have known and turned blind eyes to her suffering.

She is a victim of her parents who have been charged wtth the abuse but she is also a victim of too many blind eyes.

Details made public so far suggest a failure of systems or people within CYFS.

But there must also have been people in the wider family and neighbourhood who saw something in the two years this poor child was being subject to horrific abuse but failed to get help.

Macdoctor says:

 It is not CYFS who are mostly at fault here (though I think there have been severe errors of judgement on their behalf), it is the family members that have let this little girl down. Their silence has allowed one of their own to be brutally tortured and severely psychologically scarred. The testimony of the family friend (who, at least, tried to do something about it) makes it very obvious that none of the immediate family could have been oblivious to this abuse – yet it continued for two years. . .

He calls for zero tolerance for child abuse and he is right.

Only when no-one turns a blind eye to abuse will children be safe.


Napier police are investigating the suspicious death of a five year old

Close family members were assisting police with their enquiries and police were not actively seeking anyone else in connection with her death, he said.

Another victim of too many blind eyes?


Emmerson’s cartoon in today’s Herald shows the parent test.

Social Development Minsiter Paula Bennett writes: New Zealand is letting its chidlren down.

Great minds . . .


Conspiracy theorists might see something sinister in the coincidence of  Garrick Tremain and Rod Emmerson coming up with a similar idea in today’s papers – the first in the ODT, the second in the NZ Herald.

I think it just shows that great cartoonists think alike.




By Rod Emmerson

Hand across the water



Herald cartoonist Rod Emmerson uses four words, the ODT editorial  needs more but has a similar message.

PM of NZ also has a poignant image  of the tragedy.

Talking about signatures . . .


Let’s not forget it wasn’t just one painting Helen Clark passed off as her own, she finally admitted to signing “about half a dozen” works of art she hadn’t created.

And it wasn’t just when she was Prime Minister when the demands of office might have explained why she did it, though not excused her for doing it. She admitted she’d done it from the time she was a back bencher.

That’s not a hanging offence, but it’s dishonest and a very bad look, especially for a Minister of Arts, which raises legitimate questions about her character.

Why didn’t she just say she couldn’t paint but offer to help in another way? Why not say she couldn’t paint but would be happy to pay for someone else to do a painting and donate that? Why not just do a painting knowing no one would expect a master piece?

Does it matter?

Yes, because the signature on a work of art deontes its provenance so you need to be able to trust it, and the woman who’s shown we can’t trust her on that reckons the election’s about trust.

Cartoon: Rod Emmerson

Time for a cull


When feed is getting short, sensible farmers do a bit of culling. In light of comments by Fran O, Sullivan, Colin James, John Armstrong, and Rod Emmerson’s cartoon that Cullen is leaving the paddock bare, where should an incoming Government, in whatever form that might take, start its cull?


National has said it will not increase the number of core bureaucrats. I’d go further and get rid of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Families Commission altogether.


Welfare may be the only way to assist low income families but it’s ridiculous to turn those on the upper tax rate into beneficiaries so Working for Families would be adjusted.


 Oh, and any position which has a job description in anything but the plainest of English  would go too.

But of course I’m not trying to get elected nor am I courting coalition partners.

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