The Jackal: June 2021

30 Jun 2021

Davis should stand down

We all know that Oranga Tamariki is a complete mess of an institution that needs to be completely overhauled. In fact most of the children who go into the custody of the Chief Executive usually end up worse off than if they were simply left with their dysfunctional families.

There is no question that intervention should only be warranted if the situation the state intends to place vulnerable children into isn’t worse than their current circumstances. However neither Oranga Tamariki nor the Minister for Children can provide adequate assurances to this effect, because a large number of children and young people are still being abused in state care.

Yesterday, Newsroom reported:

Davis demands answers over mistreatment at state care facilities

If Oranga Tamariki staff don't have the necessary skills to deal with children at care and protection facilities then they shouldn't be in the job, the Children's Minister says in response to a damning Newsroom investigation

Children's Minister Kelvin Davis has asked Oranga Tamariki to look into the "totally unacceptable" restraint of children in care and protection units, saying people should make a police complaint if they believe staff have broken the law.

So why isn't Davis making the police complaint himself?

A Newsroom investigation into the treatment of vulnerable children at the specialised facilities  – prompted by video footage provided by a concerned whistleblower – shows workers tackling one boy and twisting his arms behind his back, and putting another in a headlock before throwing him to the ground.

Specific concerns have also been raised about the lack of qualified social workers in the four care and protection residences, with Oranga Tamariki instead hiring youth workers who do not have specific vocational requirements. 

Paula Bennett once gave assurances that more was being done to properly train Child Youth and Family staff. While she was the Social Development Minister, only 30% of all full-time CYF staff were registered social workers. Now, ten years on from those assurances, and it appears that nothing has improved.

Davis, who watched Newsroom’s investigation on Tuesday morning, said the behaviour was “totally unacceptable” and he had asked Oranga Tamariki to review each of its care and protection residences to ensure there were not system-wide problems.

Why would the Minister bother with another review by Oranga Tamariki? They’ve clearly failed in their duty to safeguard children, and it’s doubtful whether the same people who were likely involved in trying to cover up these violent assaults are going to investigate themselves properly.

Officials and the independent ministerial advisory board would also be on site to get to the bottom of the matter, with Davis praising the whistleblower for bringing the behaviour to the attention of the public.

“I support anybody who raises issues around bad practice, and Oranga Tamariki needs to make sure that they have a robust system to make sure that any reports of bad practice are acted on.

“This is why I put my hand up to be the Minister for Children - to make sure that all children in New Zealand are being fairly treated and safe.”

Davis is obviously failing in that duty.

It's pretty clear that the Government doesn’t want the public to learn about the extent of abuse that still occurs in state care, so I’m not sure that I believe Davis when he says he’s on the side of the whistleblower here.

In fact Oranga Tamariki and the Government have been trying to keep things quiet with unwarranted and excessive legal proceedings against previous OT whistleblowers, which makes Davis' assurances that he wants the public to know the truth highly doubtful.

Even though Davis has washed his hands of the issue, the Minister must take some responsibility for Crown Law's unfair prosecution of Newsroom for spilling the beans about OT uplifting newborn babies, just as he must take responsibility for the latest instances of child abuse by Oranga Tamariki employees.

So here’s what the Government must do to fix Oranga Tamariki. Firstly, replace Kelvin Davis as Minister for Children. Nothing has improved and the position obviously requires fresh thinking and a new set of legs.

Furthermore, Davis’ use of a Newsletter as a prop in Parliament to pass the buck for prison riots (the newsletter was printed after the riots) isn’t an acceptable use of Parliaments time by any stretch of the imagination. This also means that Davis should go as Corrections Minister, because he's obviously incapable of taking responsibility for this portfolio as well.

Incorrectly withholding innocuous newsletters from prisoners is clearly a breach of their human rights and if Davis isn’t prepared to change the rules slightly concerning prisoners communicating with advocacy groups and organising to improve their situation, then he clearly isn’t the right man for the job.

The new Minister for Children should allow for the reviews to take place, but ultimately be working on a solution themselves.

Their first port of call should be to severely cut back Oranga Tamariki staff so that only qualified personnel who are beyond reproach are used to look after children in their care. This would mean that at least two thirds of those currently in the direct care of OT would be returned to their families. It would also mean that those without the proper qualifications weren’t being placed into situations they couldn't handle.

Reducing the number of untrained staff at Oranga Tamariki isn’t just something that must happen to ensure an end to children being abused in state care, it must happen to help reduce violent crime as well.

There is no question that Oranga Tamariki is a one-way track into a life of crime and incarceration. In fact OT is such a good tool for creating damaged and violent people that one could surmise that it was designed that way.

So if we want to reduce the amount of violent crime in New Zealand, we must ensure that any institution where young people are being sent to isn’t more dysfunctional than the families they’re being removed from…and unfortunately that isn't an assurance the Minister can currently provide in regards to Oranga Tamariki.

28 Jun 2021

Bomber hates to love National

When the Government first proposed changing our hate speech laws in 2019, some people said it was an overreaction due to the Christchurch mosque shootings. Some even argued that the changes to our weak hate speech laws would close down free speech and online debate entirely.

Now, three years on from that initial flurry of online activity, and those who oppose the legislative changes for oppositions sake are once again overreacting like crazy!

Not only do we have National and ACT MPs going for broke on Twitter at the moment like a pack of crazed lemmings, we also have Martyn Bradbury freaking out on TDB that changing the hate speech laws will somehow mean the end of civilisation itself.

On Friday, The Daily Blog reported:

And it begins – why you must fight woke free speech criminalisation! Use your voice before the Government takes it away!

Fresh from attempting to cancel a movie they haven’t seen, the emerald stormtroopers of the woke are coming for you with hate speech legislation designed to punish thought criminals and word crimes.

Well firstly, the people trying to cancel They Are Us aren’t actually the Government Bomber. In fact the ‘emerald stormtroopers of the woke’ as he puts it include many National Party MPs. So let’s get some facts straight eh!

Speaking of political boundaries, here’s Judith Collins using similar evocative language to try and drum up fears about what the proposed law changes might mean to the average New Zealander.

Today, Newstalk ZB reported:

National Leader: Proposed hate speech laws an attempt to control New Zealanders

The National Party leader told Mike Hosking it's an attempt to control New Zealanders.

"They have gone full throttle far left and woke. And the problem is is that if that they don't want to hear from the people, they don't want to hear from the people."

The Government is accepting submissions on the proposed changes here.

Collins said that these proposed laws are bizarre and unncessary, especially with the worst Covid vaccine rollout in the OECD.

So we’re basically not meant to do anything else while Covid is around? I mean this is almost as silly as Bomber thinking that people who are speaking out against free market capitalism are going to be convicted for inciting violence under the proposed law.

Today it’s Qanon, Nazis and Trump Incels being targeted, tomorrow it’s radical environmentalists and critics of free market capitalism who will be getting punished, so don’t cheer too loud.

Bomber doesn’t seem to understand what the Government’s proposed law changes actually mean. And just like National and ACT, he’s once again relying on the mainstream medias misreporting and the publics subsequent ignorance to try to win the argument.

So in light of this, here are a few thoughts on the six proposals:

1. Changing the language in the incitement provisions in the Human Rights Act 1993 so that they protect more groups that are targeted by hateful speech

There is no question that more groups should be explicitly covered by the Human Rights Act 1993, particularly trans, gender diverse and intersex people. In fact anybody who argues against this worthwhile change is likely to be a bigot!

2. Replacing the existing criminal provision in the Human Rights Act 1993 with a new criminal offence in the Crimes Act 1961 that is clearer and more effective

It is also worthwhile to make a specific law that’s properly enforced. There is no question that people who are being discriminated against should have better ways to protect themselves from abuse. Anybody who argues against this change is likely ignorant about the ineffectiveness of the current laws, perhaps because they've never been discriminated against themselves.

3. Increasing the punishment for the criminal offence to better reflect its seriousness

Increasing fines and sentences is perhaps the most tricky aspect of the proposed changes. Sure, holding people found guilty of criminal incitement to account would require a punishment that is comparative to their crimes. But where exactly that threshold should be set when future events of incitement aren’t known yet is practicably impossible.

Unfortunately trying to assure the public that judges will find the right balance before the law is fully written has allowed the attention seekers a platform to say pretty much whatever they want to about it.

But despite their fear-mongering and personification that Jacinda Ardern’s hate speech laws will destroy New Zealand, it’s patently clear that an increase in penalties is justified. Obviously criminal incitement is a serious crime and therefore should receive hasher penalties, because the current deterrents are obviously not working.

4. Changing the language of the civil incitement provision to match the changes being made to the criminal provision

Proposal four is really just a technicality to reduce inconsistency between the criminal and the civil provisions.

5. Changing the civil provision so that it makes ‘incitement to discriminate’ against the law

There is no question that the law needs to be changed, but these changes must not impede anybodies right to free speech particularly when we’re talking about political or religious beliefs.

6. Adding to the grounds of discrimination in the Human Rights Act to clarify that trans, gender diverse and intersex people are protected from discrimination.

Of course the law should be clarified so that no at risk group is left out of the legislation.

Having actually read the proposals, it’s difficult to know what Bomber and the right wing are going on about? They certainly haven’t let their lack of understanding stop them though.

I read the terrorist’s manifesto and I don’t recall him referring to Trans Allies or gender identity, so why criminalising the misuse of pronouns is being mooted as a response to white supremacy terrorism is utterly beyond me!

Talk about conflating the issues. Obviously the changes are worthwhile because the current law isn’t broad enough in its scope to ensure certain at risk groups of people are covered. But Bomber is also wrong that these proposed law changes won't have the potential ability to stop terrorist attacks such as that seen in Christchurch on 15 March 2019 from occurring.

There is no question that the terrorist's sick beliefs were largely fostered and propagated online. Well the proposed law changes look to specifically deter and target this type of propaganda.

I for one would have much rather seen someone like Brenton Tarrant spend a few years in jail for inciting violence than see him kill 51 innocent people. 

In fact it’s that necessity that pretty much trumps all of Bomber’s blog so far. However what really makes his argument fall down is that he initially starts off by implying that there's nothing to warrant any law change, which he then completely contradicts:

We’ve all seen the woke public shaming and cancel culture lynchings erupt in our social media feeds, like violent 1930s street fights as various factions attempt to mutilate the other for dominance.

The bewildering venom from this schism makes feuding Drug Cartels look tame.

So hate speech isn’t serious but is worse than ‘feuding Drug Cartels’ then Bomber? I mean honestly dude, just try to be a bit more consistent with your click bait eh!

25 Jun 2021

Nash undermines our nuclear free New Zealand

When New Zealand first became nuclear free in 1984, under Labour Prime Minister David Lange, it ushered in a time where almost anything seemed achievable. Not only was our young country finally taking a stand against nuclear proliferation, which has caused untold misery around the world, we were also forging a path away from our old and new imperial masters, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

However some of that hard work and grass roots activism looks set to be undone by a small private US owned company called Rocket Lab, which has been launching satellites from New Zealand that are carrying US Military systems with the potential to help nuclear weapons acquire their targets.

Today, Newshub reported:

Minister in charge of space launches, Stuart Nash, dismisses 'confused' Greens Party's Rocket Lab fears

The minister who signs off on space launches has dismissed the Green Party's fears that Rocket Lab is launching potentially dangerous military hardware into space. 

"I think they're slightly confused about what Rocket Lab is doing," Regional Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash told Newshub after Green MP Teanau Tuiono submitted a Member's Bill to change the law governing space launches. 


I can smell the uranium on Nash’s breath from here.


But Nash told Newshub the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) deep dives into each space launch application before it goes to him for approval. Nash then ensures the launch aligns with New Zealand's interests.

"The piece of legislation that governs what can and can't go up is very strict around this. It can't be outside of New Zealand's interests and there is a very robust process that MBIE undertakes before it presents anything to me to sign-off payloads that go into space," Nash said.

How exactly is it in our best interest to help the US Military launch systems that could be used for targeting nuclear weapons strikes? Aligning ourselves in this way with the only country in the world to have ever used nuclear bombs directly against civilians isn’t just in breach of our current legislation; it could detrimentally impact on New Zealand's relationship with our other trading partners as well.

"The US Army possibly has one of the largest R&D [research and development] budgets in the world. It is incredibly well-funded. Not everything it does is related to war. But again, if anything was to go up into space that contravened the legislation that governs what we can and can't do... it just does not happen.

This is an assurance that Nash cannot actually give.

Besides, there really isn’t any confusion when it comes to New Zealand’s nuclear free legislation. It strictly prohibits any Kiwi from helping other countries proliferate nuclear weapons. The nuclear free legislation also has the intention of stopping New Zealand from manufacturing any part of a nuclear weapon, which would obviously include its targeting systems.

There is no question that a part of the manufacturing process is installing military components onto satellites and shooting them into space...and if those systems have the potential to be used to acquire targets for nukes, then this is clearly prohibited against under our current laws.

Rocket Lab, a US-owned but New Zealand-based company estimated to be worth more than US$1.2 billion, has become a leader in a niche market of small rocket services provided by private companies.

A launch in March included a prototype satellite called Gunsmoke-J, which collects targeting data for US military operations. Nash allowed the launch to proceed, despite concerns it could help with nuclear weapons targeting, which could be in breach of the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act 1987. 

"The US military satellites launched by Rocket Lab can control activity such as communications with troops, surveillance and reconnaissance, intercepting information or spying, and targeting weapons, like drones, bombs, and also nuclear weapons," says Auckland Peace Action spokesperson Eliana Darroch. 

It’s a pity that the Minister responsible is intentionally relying on an ambiguous interpretation of the legislation in order to dismiss the Greens’ valid concerns.

However it's even more unfortunate that Nash is ignoring international laws as well. Because by helping Rocket Lab and the US Military to launch these weapons satellites into space, the Government is in breach of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which states:

Article I

Each nuclear-weapon State Party to the Treaty undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices or control over such weapons or explosive devices directly, or indirectly; and not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any non-nuclear-weapon State to manufacture or otherwise acquire nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices, or control over such weapons or explosive devices.


Article III

Each State Party to this Convention undertakes not to transfer to any recipient whatsoever, directly or indirectly, and not in any way to assist, encourage, or induce any State, group of States or international organisations to manufacture or otherwise acquire any of the agents, toxins, weapons, equipment or means of delivery specified in Article I of the Convention.

This means that the USA isn’t allowed to get New Zealand to manufacture any system that might help any state, including itself, to control a nuclear weapon, either directly or indirectly. There really isn’t any grey area here and Nash is being disingenuous to say that there is.

Perhaps the Minister needs to be reminded of the similarities between this situation and the United States' neither confirm nor deny stance prior to our nuclear free legislation becoming law, which meant the Labour Government at the time had to effectively put an end to all US warships and submarines from visiting our shores.

Labour should show some consistency when it comes to nuclear issues by similarly banning these weapons targeting systems from being launched in New Zealand's supposed nuclear free skies.

There is no question that Nash should employ the same restrictions because New Zealand simply cannot rely on any assurances from a private company or the US Military when it comes to their weapons targeting systems. In fact it’s much more likely that some of these satellites are specifically designed to help the United States' Military acquire targets for its nuclear arsenal all around the world.

Nash thumbing his nose at our legislation and relying on the assurances of people with vested interests including one to undermine our nuclear free legislation is highly foolish, but especially so when you consider that China, and not the US, is currently our largest trading partner.

It should be clear to the Government that inaction over Rocket Lab's US Military contracts could potentially damage our future trade negotiations with other countries. But despite consecutive NZ Government's appearing to not care what most of our trading partners think, I'm sure that NZ helping the US to improve on its weapons targeting capabilities will be problematic when it comes time to sit down around the negotiating table.

Whether Stuart Nash considers these partnerships as important, or respects our nuclear free legislation, or David Lange's legacy for that matter, is yet to be seen. But if his actions to date are anything to go by, it appears that he really doesn't give a damn!

24 Jun 2021

Todd Muller gets crushed

What a complete catastrophe for the National Party. Not only did the public learn on Wednesday about Harete Hipango’s alleged dishonesty, the source of that information is none other than National MP and once Party leader, Todd Muller.

Talk about a bad case of friendly fire gone wrong.

Their current leader Judith Collins hasn't handled things very well either, and is lucky that people are somewhat distracted by the Covid-19 outbreak in Wellington at the moment. National is also lucky to have most of the mainstream media on their side, because if Harete Hipango was a Labour MP she would be hounded out of Parliament.

Yesterday, Newshub reported:

National MP Todd Muller resigned after leaking against Harete Hipango to journalist

Newshub can reveal National MP Todd Muller stood down after admitting to badmouthing his colleague Harete Hipango to a journalist - and being quoted. 

The former National leader announced on Wednesday he would be retiring at the 2023 election after apologising for his actions to his caucus. 

Muller has decided he'll move on from Parliament - but not just yet. National leader Judith Collins said he's "committed to be the MP and he wants to finish his term".

That’s because National would likely lose a by-election in the Bay of Plenty at the moment. So woeful are their numbers that Collins obviously doesn’t want to risk even more headlines about their lack of support. However this compromise could also be a bad decision, being that Muller may just work against Collins’ cabal over the next couple of years.

His leader is neither enthused nor amused about the news.

"It's not up to me, is it?" she said, when asked if she'd prefer Muller to go before the election. 

Newshub has been told the National caucus met on Tuesday night, and despite Collins being tight lipped about what was discussed, a source told Newshub the meeting was called to call out Muller for leaking.

There’s no question that Crusher demanded Muller’s resignation for leaking against Harete Hipango. The claim that the once National Party leader is leaving for family and health reasons holds about as much water as his claim that he wasn’t vying for the top position in 2020.

What this displays isn’t just how dishonest and cut throat National is, it shows that Collins has a much lower standard of accountability than one of her predecessors, John Key. When former National MP Claudette Hauiti was caught misusing her Parliamentary Services Card, she was unceremoniously made to resign.

You would think that the similarities between Hauiti and Hipango’s indiscretions should mean they’re treated the same. After all, it’s all taxpayer money they’re misusing. But instead of ensuring Parliament isn’t brought into disrepute again, National's morally bankrupt leader has fired the whistle-blower instead.

So what is Collins’ excuse for her MPs abuse of the Parliamentary Expense Account? She reckons it’s just a coding error of all things. Of course this is bullshit! Hipango would have known that using the Parliamentary Expense Account to purchase things like TV’s and couches for her own house was against the rules. Otherwise we must surmise that she’s a complete moron! 

A story emerged about her colleagues calling her a liability and not a team player. 

On Wednesday another story emerged about a National MP alleged to have inappropriately spent taxpayer money on furniture and a TV. Collins says it was all a coding error and outed Hipango as the furniture MP.

"Harete Hipango has asked me to state that she is the person that is the subject of that story," Collins told reporters. 

Newshub put the leaking allegations to Muller. He said he wasn't accused of "leaking" and did not "leak" but that he had made an anonymous comment about Hipango to a journalist that was subsequently quoted, and on Tuesday he admitted to this and apologised to both the leader and the caucus at the meeting.

It's a tumultuous end, much like Muller's tumultuous 53-day reign as leader.

It’s like the blue “team” is disintegrating right before our eyes. Not only do we have another National Party MP exploiting her position of power to line her own nest, we also learn that Judith Collins has an even lower standard of accountability than any previous National Party leader ever.

If this kind of infighting continues, there won't be much of National left for right-wingers to vote for in 2023.

23 Jun 2021

Harete Hipango should resign

Well that was short lived. Less than two week’s into the job and National's new MP, Harete Hipango, has been accused of misusing taxpayer money.

According to a National Party staff member the anti-abortionist used her Parliamentary expense account to purchase numerous furnishings for her own house, which is a gross breach of the rules that under normal circumstances would lead to a resignation.

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

National MP who faced allegations of inappropriate spending revealed as Harete Hipango

The NZ Herald reported on Monday morning that a National Party MP was facing allegations of inappropriate spending of taxpayer money, which both the National Party, Parliamentary Service, and the MP themselves were refusing to comment on.

Sources inside the National Party have told the Chronicle that a staff member of the MP flagged a concern in the last term of Parliament, alleging items of furniture were bought out of the MP's taxpayer funds but did not appear in the office.

The allegations surround a purchase of some furniture, including a new television, which allegedly were delivered and kept in Hipango's own home.

It is also understood the cost of a sofa the MP bought for the office at Parliament was also questioned, and the MP was told to return it.

Hipango was approached on multiple occasions over previous days about the allegations but has gone to ground, not answering questions on the matter.

I bet she has. You’ve got to wonder why the current leader of the National Party, Judith Collins, would allow Hipango to become an MP in the first place? Collins' mistake means we now have a new scandal to confirm that the blue “team” is untrustworthy and in complete disarray.

Hipango, who is best known for incorrectly accusing the Prime Minister of backing full-term abortions, was recently made an MP after National Party old boy Nick Smith retired under dubious circumstances.

At the time, many commentators speculated that Collins might have lied to Smith about an impending publication concerning an argument he had with another National Party staff member, in order to get him to resign. If that’s the case, then allowing Hipango to take his place knowing that she too had serious accusations of impropriety lodged against her is a political misstep of gargantuan proportions. 

However, being that Collins appears to have gone out of her way to ensure Hipango’s ascendancy, it’s doubtful whether any request for a resignation, let alone an apology, will be made or forthcoming for Hipango’s apparent misuse of taxpayer funds.

Whatever happens, I'm sure that the Taxpayers' Union will as usual remain completely silent about any misspending by right wing politicians. After all, the rules apparently weren't written for them.

Carmel Sepuloni must fix ACC

You may have noticed that the Accident Compensation Corporation, or ACC for short, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately. Not only has newish research shown that the claims process discriminates against woman, Māori and Pasifika people, ACC apparently also penalises Kiwis depending on how and when their injuries occur.

It’s another huge mess that the Labour Government, and more specifically ACC Minister Carmel Sepuloni, needs to remedy without delay.

On Monday, RNZ reported:

ACC biased against women, Māori and Pasifika - agency's own analysis shows

Women are less likely to make ACC claims, more likely to be declined when they do, and they receive far less compensation than men, the figures show.

Over the past five years it has become even harder for women - especially Māori and Pasifika women - to get an ACC claim accepted.

The decline rate for women has increased from 2.2 to 2.6 percent. In comparison, the decline rate for men only increased from 1.9 to 2.1 percent.

If women did get cover and were entitled to weekly compensation payments, they got a little over half the rate of men.

Despite women, who make up just over half the population, accessing health care more often than men, men filed 4 percent more claims than women.

The inequities are laid out in a series of briefings, obtained by RNZ under the Official Information Act, from ACC to its Minister Carmel Sepuloni, after the corporation analysed claims data between June 2015 and July 2020.

At least the current Minister is interested enough in ACC’s problems to get a briefing on such matters, which is more than can be said for Michael Woodhouse. The former National Party Minister for ACC would often just ignore the media when they asked questions about ACC. He also made it even more difficult for Kiwis to receive the cover they required.

However what we need to see now isn't more finger wagging, it's some action to clean up ACC.

The scheme's definition of "injury" favoured the types of injuries suffered by men, the ACC briefing said, but women and minorities were also more likely to face bias from health professionals who filed claims on their behalf.

The types of injuries women were more likely to experience in the workplace were less likely to be covered.

This included a lack of cover for cumulative stressors present in 'caring professions' dominated by women such as nursing and teaching, the paper said.

In effect ACC is bigoted against nurses and teachers. It would therefore be highly prudent of the Government to remove these sexist penalties, especially if they want to encourage more people to take up teaching and nursing.

Otago University law lecturer Dawn Duncan, who highlighted these inequities in a study published last year, said the ACC legislation needed overhauling to reflect "a more principle-based system that deals with more complex health problem."

But simply updating some of the cover tests that determine whether a claim is approved would also reduce inequities, she said.

"Those cover have become narrower and some of them are quite out of date. Some of them reflect medical thinking that's now 50 years old."

There you go Minister...there’s already one easy way to reduce the inequalities Dawn Duncan has been kind enough to highlight. No need for a lengthy investigation into what to do, which ACC would likely stuff up anyway. Just rewrite the cover tests so that all injured people are covered.

It’s unlikely that anything will change anytime soon though. The Labour led Government is far too concerned with optics, especially when it comes to sensitive topics such as the ACC. This is a pity because unfortunately the ACC’s inequitable treatment of certain claimants doesn’t end there.

Yesterday, RNZ reported:

ACC law biased against those disabled before injury, agency's analysis reveals

In its fourth briefing paper on how ACC treats "priority populations" to its Minister Carmel Sepuloni, ACC said people left disabled by injury are treated far better and paid more compensation by ACC than those who are born disabled or become so through illness.

"Rehabilitation provided by ACC (which comprises treatment, social rehabilitation and vocational rehabilitation) is available to ACC claimants on an entitlement basis, unlike Ministry of Health-funded services for disabled people, which are rationed," the paper said.

It also found injured disabled people who needed help because of that injury had to juggle the ACC and welfare systems at the same time, which often treated them very differently.

It would also mean that these vulnerable people wouldn’t necessarily receive the treatment they require, which is pretty ridiculous considering the huge profits ACC makes each year.

Disability Strategist Sacha Dylan said such inconsistencies had been highlighted by the disability sector for "many years".

"That loss of potential earnings subsidy is interesting, because it's young people who haven't actually had a job. It's ACC's way of trying to say, well, if they did have a job, how would we assess the potential earnings? And of course, it's like 80 percent of the minimum wage, which is a lot higher than the benefits that disabled people can get paid through."

It was also "fundamentally wrong" to have two systems treating disabled people in different ways, because of the way they became disabled, Dylan said.


In other words its own research shows that ACC is racist, sexist, ageist as well as discriminatory against people who are injured at birth. This doesn’t just mean the scheme is unfit for purpose, it means that there are numerous Kiwis out there who aren’t able to reach their full potential because the Government’s out-dated policy and ACC’s discriminatory procedures are holding them back.

So what's the Minister going to do about it?

Carmel Sepuloni, who is also Minister for Social Development and Disabilities Issues, did not think a radical overhaul of the scheme was needed, but some changes were likely.

"What we want to do is make sure it works for all New Zealanders. Some of the statistics that came back that the media have now seen, that I've commissioned, shows that actually there are some differences with regards to how groups benefit from the system. So I don't know if that requires an overhaul, or let's just get in there, make some changes."

What those changes are remain to be seen, but Sepuloni said she had requested policy advice on including birth injuries in the ACC scheme. She had also asked officials for more information about the inequalities facing women, Māori, Pasifika and disabled people.

If the Government is serious about helping the disabled, which could also reduce the number of suicides in New Zealand each year, then they must ensure that anybody and everybody who gets injured, but especially people with long-term disabilities, receive the financial assistance and health treatments they require. Because without proper assistance many people’s lives are being unnecessarily made even more difficult than they should be.

What we don’t need however is another round of research into what the problems are. We already know what needs to be done…so get on with it and fix ACC already.

22 Jun 2021

Penk wants to be Prime Minister

Unless you’re a bit of a policy wonk you probably haven’t heard of a guy called Chris Penk. He’s a former Navy officer who is now one of the new old boys in the beleaguered National Party.

Penk, who likes nothing more than to antagonise lefties all day on Twitter and has written a book all about how bad New Zealand's Covid-19 response has been, was interviewed recently on Newshub Nation's the Pitch.

It was an awkward and uninspiring performance that I watched so you don’t have to.

On Saturday, Newshub reported:

Welcome back to Pitch, where Newshub Nation gives an MP just 5 minutes to sell you on their ideas.

He's a former lawyer, submariner and now Chris Penk is National's spokesperson for Courts and Defence. And he isn't ruling out a run at the top job - one day.

Finn Hogan started by asking him how he'd clear the backlog as Courts Minister.


Penk obviously blew the interview. Not only was the National Party MP nervous as hell, he also got some pretty basic things wrong! To begin with Penk claimed that the Dispute Tribunal couldn’t sort out bad debts, which is entirely incorrect.

The Shadow Attorney General (of all things) then confirmed that National would maintain the status quo when it comes to New Zealand’s drug laws. Colour me surprised! But what was even lazier thinking was when Penk promoted policy that has already been implemented. In fact Penk’s pitch was almost word for word what the current National Drug Policy states as the goals to minimise harm from alcohol and drug use.

Penk then went onto claim that the New Zealand Defence Force currently didn’t have much of a social license to carry out its work. So what is his big plan to fix this hypothetical problem? Make the average New Zealander “understand” the debt they owe to the Defence Force. Just make them understand Penk.

It was such an awkward display that I almost felt sorry for the guy.

Penk’s inability to promote any new ideas and apparent lack of knowledge when it comes to all things legal isn’t the only problems standing in his way. The would be Prime Minister obviously doesn’t have the support required to roll Judith Collins, let alone enough charisma to attract any support back to the National Party.

So what was their biggest mistake leading up to National's monumental electoral defeat in 2020? The blue “team” apparently talked too much about themselves. Penk then left the interview to tweet more pictures of himself holding a spade and with his big blue ute.

Unless the National Party wants to spend eternity floundering on the opposition benches, their MPs will need to do a lot better than that.

More needs to be done about the slumlords

It always amazes me to see the illogical arguments made by real estate industry insiders when they’re complaining about any type of housing sector regulation. They simply don't seem to care if their arguments make any sense or whether their unbound greed is worsening an already terrible housing crisis that appears to have no end in sight.

When Healthy Homes Standards were first announced for instance a large number of slumlords were so incensed with the Government’s plan to make rental houses healthier that they threatened to leave their properties empty instead of fixing them up. 

Nearly four years on from the Healthy Homes Guarantee Act passing into law, plus a number of other housing policy initiatives, and that odious threat has now unfortunately become reality for many struggling New Zealanders. 

Yesterday, the NZ Herald (Paywalled) reported:

Landlords selling up in the Bay of Plenty sparking fears of future slums

Some landlords are selling up after the introduction of new regulations and property managers warn the emergence of developers in the marketplace could open the door to future slums.

No exact figures were available but data from Tenancy Services shows in the Bay of Plenty active bond numbers had dropped by 177 in one year.

Meanwhile, Trade Me statistics revealed demand for rental properties across the region had consistently outweighed supply.

Core Logic said the market share for mortgaged investors in both Tauranga and Rotorua had held but acknowledged some landlords would have no choice but to sell if they could not cover their higher tax bills.

Why am I not surprised that most Bay of Plenty slumlords who emptied their rental properties haven't got any mortgages to pay, which just goes to show what selfish pricks they really are. It also makes the argument that many landlords are getting out of the market because of low returns highly questionable. Owning a rental without a mortgage is incredibly lucrative and something most Kiwis can only dream of.

One landlord, who had investment properties for 23 years, said she would be selling off most of her portfolio after calculated returns of .7 per cent due to ''ridiculous'' government regulations and increased costs.

Well cry me a river. Perhaps if this landlord had maintained her numerous properties properly she wouldn’t now be having such large overheads? But instead of using some of the returns she received over 23 long years of largely untaxed income, this slumlord is likely to just throw families out onto the street to fend for themselves.

So bereft of any conscience that they simply don’t care if their fellow Kiwis stay warm and dry during winter, many slumlords would rather not receive rent from people they often view as inferior just to try and teach the Labour led Government a lesson. In effect they’re willing to make people homeless because in some cases the slumlords' balance sheets won't look so rosy if they adhere to the Government's regulations.

It's a huge middle finger to the once egalitarian country we used to enjoy. In fact nothing says fuck you poor person more than an empty house that makes more capital gains each year than most DINK's yearly earnings combined. But if that wasn’t bad enough, the landlords are now trying to blame developers and not just renters for the large amount of dilapidated rental houses that remain empty in New Zealand.

Tauranga Rentals owner Dan Lusby said he was aware of private developers who had built apartments with no decks or outside areas that had become magnets for gangs and other trouble.

In his view, these developers were ''all about the money'' and they had ''little empathy for tenants''.

''They will sell to one investor'' and he feared this could set a precedent and lead to slum blocks.


In my opinion this is a damn good reason for the Government to get even tougher on slumlords. An empty house levy should be implemented to try to ensure realtors and slumlords don’t continue to chuck tenants out onto the street. It could also go some way in persuading former landlords to actually sell their properties to first homebuyers instead of just leaving them to rack and ruin.

After all, the only thing slumlords really care about is money. Their cold dead hearts and unfettered arrogance means that they will never accept any responsibility for our dilapidated housing stock or the some 200,000 empty houses that are going to waste across Aotearoa. Instead, they will search for anyone but themselves to blame while continuing to denigrate and evict some of the most vulnerable people in our so-called society.

Rotorua Property Investors Association president Debbie Van Den Broek said some landlords were disillusioned.

''It has just become too difficult, too unpleasant, and not worth the effort. Especially for beginners.''

Surely Den Broek isn’t claiming that there’s no profit to be made from rental properties? What on earth does she think is largely driving the housing crisis? It’s the continued reinvestment of rental profits into more property by speculators that is essentially closing renters and first homebuyers out of the market.

She said renters most at risk of any fallout would be families and people with pets.


So renters aren't allowed pets or children now?


Van Den Broek acknowledged it was great to see first-home buyers on the property ladder but not everyone had a deposit.

In her view, only the Government had the ability to not make a profit on providing rental accommodation ''as they have their own personal bottomless 'Give a Little Page' being the taxpayer''.

Top landlord for 2009 - Debbie Van Den Broek
Where the hell does Den Broek think most of the money that goes into landlords' bank accounts comes from? The bottomless pit of cash she describes, i.e. the public purse, is exactly where most realtors' wealth originates, particularly in lower socio economic areas where the disparity between rents and incomes is extreme.

What this all shows is that the landed gentry will do and say anything to try and safeguard the lifestyles they've become accustomed to at the expense of the poor. If they have to evict numerous tenants and leave houses empty to ensure a short supply of rentals, thus pushing up prices, then that’s exactly what they'll do.

This underhanded tactic also provides the opposition with ammunition to throw at the Government. It's a double-edged sword however that will likely mean everybody loses out eventually, but especially in the short term for the many thousands of renters and people looking for their first home who are fast losing any hope of ever having a secure, healthy and safe place to call their own.

21 Jun 2021

Winston's last throw of the dice

You’ve got to wonder if Winston Peters will ever retire. I mean what keeps the old rogue going? Perhaps Peters has been reinvigorated by the Government’s decision to follow through on various policy NZ First had previously put the kibosh on...or maybe he thinks there's still a chance of becoming PM. Whatever his reasons, it appears that Peters doesn’t want his political career ever to end.

There are a number of problems Peters must overcome first however, one being that his party is sitting on just a percentage point in latest polling. This lack of support should be considered a death sentence for any political party, but especially one with a leader who’s so long in the tooth. In my opinion this means that Winston will never again influence policy decisions in New Zealand.

Yesterday, Stuff reported:

Winston Peters attacks Labour, 'cancel culture', and te reo usage in comeback speech

NZ First leader used his first speech since losing power to attack the Government now operating without him on a laundry list of culture war issues.

But Labour was not alone: Also on Peters’ hit list at his party’s annual general meeting was the media, the Greens, National, the Māori Party, cyclists, “cancel culture,” and the increased usage of te reo in public life – particularly the phrase "Aotearoa”.

“Who signed up to this plan to change New Zealand’s name? Who was asked. When were you asked?” Peters said.

He took particular issue with the fact the Climate Change Commission used the word “Aotearoa” over 1300 times in a recent report but “New Zealand” just 161 times.

As if attacking the Government over things National and ACT have already had a decent crack at is going to work. The main problem however for NZ First's hopes of re-election isn't just their competition, it's their failure to properly address the issue of $700,000 worth of secret bribes their NZ First Foundation received, a scandal that the party was embroiled in right through the last election. A high court trial is set down for midway through 2022.

It certainly appeared that while in Government NZ First was advocating for and on behalf of various vested interests because of the kickbacks their NZ First Foundation had received. It was also clear that NZ First lost considerable support from older right-wing voters who didn’t like seeing a party they previously thought was honest being dragged through the courts and humiliated in the media.

In fact Peters hasn’t attempted to address their valid concerns in the least, presumably because he has no excuses. It therefore doesn’t matter what issues Peters grasps at because his continued bravado in the face of overwhelming evidence of wrongdoing should ensure NZ First remains on the outskirts of our political system, perhaps forever.

Peters attacked the Government over mental health, the decision to buy the land at Ihumatao, upping the Bright Line Test, remove referendas on Māori wards, the vaccine rollout, the feebate, the He Puapua report, KiwiBuild, and the stalled light rail project in Auckland.

He called the feebate “breathtaking economic illiteracy” and said the light rail project faced “insurmountable hurdles”.

Peters said the Government was “enabling a wave of rights-based activism in-and-outside of Government.”

“Everything in 2021 is now rights-based – or indigenous-rights based – demanding co-governance, or the climate strikers demanding the right to be taught more of their obsession in the curriculum.”

Another problem for NZ First is their reliance on a one-man band. Obviously the enigmatic Shane Jones doesn’t have the respect required to claw back any votes once Peters retires. Neither do any of the other NZ First candidates have the standing needed to rally much if any support. Without any succession plan the NZ First Party's days are clearly numbered.

So that leaves NZ First’s last throw of the dice totally in the hands of Winston Peters, who appears to just be going through the motions. Sure, his ability to attract the attention of some bored journalists and charm elderly predominantly white voters has played a large role in his party’s success, but the main reason NZ First managed to get back into Parliament in the past was a sequence of blunders by his opponents, usually just prior to a general election.

Those missteps, the most notable being the teapot tape scandal, often provided Peters with a much-needed platform that he likely wouldn't have had otherwise. Just two weeks before the 2011 general election for instance Peters knew exactly what to say after National Party leader John Key was caught discussing the death of NZ First supporters, which obviously rallied the troops behind Peters like nothing else could.

However that type of priceless exposure won’t happen prior to the 2023 election, mainly because Jacinda Ardern is first and foremost too much of a nice person to follow in Key’s nasty footsteps. She’s also a very skilled and experienced politician who along with the Labour Party has been relatively successfully at navigating any topics Peters might use against the Government to gain the publics attention.

It’s not like Peters has any knew ideas to offer either, just the same old rhetoric we’ve all heard a thousand times before. Complaining about Māori place names for example isn’t exactly newsworthy or going to attract new supporters, especially when there are such a large number of right wing politicians already courting the racist vote. Likewise, the other issues Peters raised in his keynote speech have already been well canvassed by either National or ACT whose similar arguments haven't been very convincing if the polls are anything to go by.

So my advice to Winston Peters is to quietly retire, because the respect and influence NZ First is searching for has disappeared like a puff of smoke in the wind.

19 Jun 2021

Leaked cabinet papers won’t help ACT

It was somewhat amusing to see the Act Party completely misread the room this week when they leaked a Labour Party document concerning our oceans and fisheries. It outlined the Government's intention to discuss several marine policies at cabinet, the most controversial being the installation of 300 cameras on commercial fishing vessels to ensure skippers report bycatch properly.

During the last Government the policy to keep an eye on commercial fishers was halted by NZ First, who had secretly been taking bribes (through a proxy foundation) from fishing industry heavyweight, Talley’s, and its managing director Peter Talley.

However now that Winston Peters has been voted out the Government can get on with doing what’s right, namely making policy to protect our marine environment. It's no small task, but even with the Act Party trying to suck all the oxygen from the room, David Parker has been doing well to promote the initiatives, which will undoubtedly gain not just widespread public support in New Zealand, but international support as well.

Today, RNZ reported:

Fishing vessel cameras aim to curb catch dumping

Minister for Oceans and Fisheries David Parker said cameras would be installed on 300 vessels to ensure the unwanted bycatch was not thrown overboard instead.

Parker told Nine to Noon skippers would have no excuse not to follow the new rules once the cameras were in place.

"It's primarily about getting better outcomes with less discarding, but it also will have a benefit to encourage all fishers if they do accidentally catch a sea bird or a dolphin to report that, because it will be captured on the video footage and there will be no doubt about it," he said.

The rollout follows the installation of cameras on 20 vessels fishing in Māui dolphin habitats in 2019.

Greenpeace Aotearoa welcomed the move but wanted to see cameras on all commercial fishing vessels to ensure rules were followed.

Of course it’s not just environmental groups who’re for the most part welcoming these changes. A majority of voters also want an end to illegal fishing practices that are detrimental to not just our marine environment, but New Zealand’s clean and green image as well. Despite this obvious support, the Act Party still went ahead with their ignorant press release anyway.

On Thursday, Scoop reported:

ACT Announces Government’s Agenda For Fishing Policy

“The ACT Party can today release the Government’s agenda when it comes to fishing policy,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

ACT has been leaked a document from Oceans and Fisheries Minister David Parker which outlines the papers he is about to take to Cabinet.

“Parker plans to take seven papers to Cabinet which outline a range of initiatives, from new marine reserves and mandatory monitoring of boats in New Zealand waters with cameras.

“The Minister seems to have consulted Labour MPs before consulting with the industry.

The Act Party has completely ignored the bad example set by NZ First by similarly appearing to conspire with the fishing industry in order to undermine these worthwhile initiatives. As if the warning of Winston Peters’ downfall wasn’t enough…the Act Party seems to not understand that politicians who cuddle up to fishing industry cowboys are punished at the polls.

There is no question that NZ First lost not just their ministerial portfolios but also their position in Parliament precisely because they got into bed with vested interests. But despite this fact, David Seymour has decided to advocate for a continuance of environmentally damaging and unsustainable fishing practices, which are obviously not in New Zealand or the world's best interest.

Opposing these initiatives at the behest of fishing industry cowboys isn't just environmentally foolish, it’s politically stupid as well.

The Labour led Government putting an end to bycatch dumping and ensuring that our seafood products can be better marketed overseas is why would Seymour undermine his own country and the Act Party’s chances for re-election by going into bat for an industry that must change?

If you care about our marine environment, please sign the Greenpeace petition to call on the NZ Government to commit to implementing cameras on the whole commercial fishing fleet before the end of their term in 2023.

18 Jun 2021

PM’s critics should stick to the facts

There’s been a lot of grumbling lately amongst the right wing and certain mainstream media pundits who are looking to either score cheap political points or attract readers by attacking the Prime Minister.

Of course some of the criticism is justified. After all no Government is perfect and there are always going to be issues that need the attention of the public and eagle-eyed journalist’s alike to try and remedy.

However much of the recent criticism directed towards Jacinda Ardern is more often than not unjustified. That’s especially been the case with the Covid-19 recovery and vaccine rollout that, despite a large amount of propaganda, are both actually doing quite well.

Today, Stuff reported:

Covid-19 vaccinations: This is not the front of the queue

OPINION: It is becoming harder and harder for the Government to credibly say that the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out is going according to plan.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admitted on Thursday that the “wide roll-out” in July wouldn’t actually include the entire 16+ population, as the Government had forecast when it first created this plan earlier this year.

Cooke is right; the Covid-19 vaccine rollout isn’t going according to plan…because it’s going better than planned. With around 5 million people in New Zealand and 1.2 million of them under the age of 16, there’s approximately 4 million adults who should be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of the year. But don't tell that to the people over at stuff.

Instead, because we still have only around a tenth of the vaccines needed in the country, it will be staggered by age, with those aged 60 or over able to get the vaccine from July 28. That’s just five years younger than the current age cutoff.

The Ministry of Health has a plan to administer just over 8 million doses and with at least a million doses in stock or administered already, that means we have received over 14% of the total doses we require to ensure all adults above the age of 16 are fully vaccinated.

Sure, you might think that a few percentage points don’t really matter. However without bending the statistical truth no complaint that the Government is somehow failing to protect the population from Covid-19 is achievable. The spurious claim that Jacinda Ardern has somehow failed in the fight against Covid-19 is made even more redundant now that New Zealand has had 111 days without any community transmission.

Perhaps Cooke doesn't also realise that the graphic attached to his article, which shows the number of people who have received either their first Pfizer dose (52% effectiveness) or are now fully vaccinated (95% effectiveness) is ahead of schedule.

In fact if the number of vaccinations continues to increase at the same rate (which is unlikely because of supply constraints) we will be 28% ahead of the Ministry of Health’s projections by the time 4 million doses have been administered.

That similarly puts into context National Party MP Christopher Bishop’s latest fear mongering about New Zealand being unable to administer enough doses per day to ensure every adult Kiwi is fully vaccinated before mid November, as per the MoH plan.

It’s also worth pointing out that only a thousand health professionals are currently administering Covid-19 vaccines in New Zealand. Another 7000 vaccinators have been trained and are waiting in the wings to ensure New Zealand achieves an excellent level of immunisation.

This shows that if New Zealand needed to we could administer around twice the amount of vaccines per day as the highest rate stipulated in the Covid-19 vaccination plan.

Of course the schedule to vaccinate every adult New Zealander is dependent on supply. Being that the Ministry of Health already has orders for more than enough vaccines, any delay would hardly be the Prime Minister or the Government’s fault. After all, the distribution of the safest and most effective Covid-19 vaccine in the world is solely in the hands of its maker, Pfizer.

17 Jun 2021

Patrick Gower - Hero of the week

If you’ve ever been affected by the P epidemic in New Zealand, and it’s my bet that in some way you have, the documentary by Patrick Gower that aired on TV3 last Tuesday night was a must watch program.

Not only did this excellent show delve into the underbelly of local dealers and gangs who import and distribute the insidious drug into New Zealand, it highlighted the way in which P, also known as pure, ice or meth, is brought into the country by international cartels that are making a killing.

Gower, who also did a pretty good job of investigating New Zealand’s marijuana scene prior to the cannabis referendum, put himself in some very dubious situations to get the P story...and what a story it is. From the elation of border enforcement officers uncovering concealed meth imports to Mexican cartels boasting about New Zealand being such a good market, the Patrick Gower on P doco was an in-depth and well-balanced piece of broadcasting that every Kiwi adult should watch.

However there was one part in particular that means Gower wins a Hero Award, his advocating for a health based approach. The often-contentious reporter made a very good argument for why the system should give P addicts a chance to get clean, including an inspirational story about Jessie who had beaten, with some help, her P addiction.

On Tuesday, Stuff reported:

Patrick Gower delivers heartbreaking and shocking stories in important meth doco

REVIEW: Journalist Patrick Gower admitted it would be viewers’ Netflix-fuelled fascination with the criminal underworld which would get people tuning in for his latest documentary.

And his access behind bars in New Zealand, and in video calls to Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel, certainly delivers parallels to the likes of Narcos or Ozark. But the real story uncovered in Patrick Gower: On P is from Jessie, a young mum in Moerewa, who is three years clean.

Jessie clearly loves her kids, and her whānau. They love her, too. But despite all that, she was dangerously addicted to meth for a long time – sometimes ticking up a bill of about $2500 each day, she says.

It’s hard to imagine the true hold of P but she describes the problem with clarity, power and a level head rarely brought to discussions about drugs and gangs. 

Gower also reported on a pilot program in Whangārei called Te Ara Oranga whereby the Police, instead of charging people, allow addicts to be referred to medical professionals with the expertise to help them kick the habit.

With an estimated 140,000 regular P users in New Zealand this isn’t just a good way for the Government to save money, but the only way to address what has become a somewhat insurmountable drug epidemic that the justice system simply cannot deal with by itself.

Extending this pilot across all of New Zealand so that addicts can get the medical assistance they require is something that must happen if we’re ever to address the harm that P does to our communities. 

The only real question is whether the Government is brave enough to do what is right?

16 Jun 2021

Juliet Moses - Arsehole of the Week

It’s no surprise that Juliet Moses was the antagonist who caused people to walk out from the Anti-Terrorism Hui yesterday.

Having crossed paths with the deluded fanatic before, there is no doubt that Moses knew exactly what she was going to do before she got up on stage.

After all, the spokesperson for the NZ Jewish Council and self-proclaimed Zionist is an old hand at making people angry, especially amongst New Zealand’s Muslim and LGBT communities.

The outspoken extremist's history of provocation and disinformation in well-known, so you’ve really got to wonder why anybody would allow her to speak at a hui organised to counter terrorism in the first place?

The event organisers should have been aware that Moses, who often propagates falsehoods on behalf of the Israeli regime, would once again try to grind her old broken axe. Her bias should have been even more evident to organisers being that she had recently been gleefully blaming Palestinians for the escalation and continued bombing of woman and children in Gaza.

Yesterday, Stuff reported:

Walkout at counter-terrorism hui in protest over 'insensitive' speech

New Zealand's anti-terrorism hui has been marked by a mass walkout from members of the Muslim community.

The country's first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism in Ōtautahi involved experts discussing the evolution of terrorism risk in New Zealand, online extremism, the role of media, and the consequences of hate.

The country's first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism in Ōtautahi involved experts discussing the evolution of terrorism risk in New Zealand, online extremism, the role of media, and the consequences of hate.

The walkout happened today during a panel addressing the causes of terrorism after a comment from NZ Jewish Council spokesperson Juliet Moses about the Israel-Palestine conflict sparked a commotion.

"Hezbollah and Hamas, their military wings are proscribed terror organisations in New Zealand but we saw a rally in support of Hezbollah on Queen St in 2018."

Her remarks caused a strong response from members of the Muslim community including victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks, as people shouted: "Free Palestine."

Her remarks were also entirely incorrect! The march she is referring to had nothing to do with Hezbollah, which clearly shows that Moses is a deceitful propagandist that nobody should ever believe.

Yesterday, Scoop reported:

Juliet Moses Attack On Palestine Solidarity Protestors At The Christchurch Counter-terrorism Conference Was Wrong

Press Release: Palestine Solidarity Network Aotearoa

The New Zealand Jewish Council spokesperson Juliet Moses should never have been invited to speak at a counter-terrorism conference in the wake of the terror attack against New Zealand Muslims on 15 March 2019.

As a mouthpiece for the Israeli Embassy, Moses uses every opportunity to make false smears of anti-semitism against the Palestine solidarity movement and anyone who calls for sanctions against Israeli to make it comply with international law. She did this today with her opportunistic attack on Palestinian solidarity protests at the counter-terrorism conference.

Today, Newshub reported:

Alternative Jewish Voices 'horrified' by NZ Jewish Council's 'Hezbollah' comment at anti-terrorism hui

An alternative New Zealand Jewish group says it's "horrified" by comments made about the Israel-Palestine conflict at NZ's first annual hui to combat terrorism.

Muslim community members walked out of the inaugural hui in Christchurch on Tuesday, after NZ Jewish Council spokesperson Juliet Moses said leaders needed to be consistent in censuring terrorism.

"We need to hear leaders condemn all support for terrorism and all terrorism equally whatever the source, target and circumstances, and even when it is not politically expedient to do so," she said in a speech.

"We are, additionally, horrified to hear Jewish Council spokesperson Juliet Moses double down on her claim that she was expressing the sentiment of our national Jewish community," the organisation said in a statement.

It was "wrong" to use the hui for such statements, it said.

"We feel for those who have been hurt but we are heartened to hear that the hui will continue with its mission.

"Such statements are wrong, period; and it was additionally wrong to bring those politics into the anti-terrorism venue in particular."

Gamal Fouda, the Imam of the Al Noor Mosque targeted in the 2019 Christchurch attacks, said on Facebook the comments stereotyped "New Zealand Muslims of supporting terrorism".

This isn’t Juliet Moses’ first rodeo either. Through trial and error she knows exactly what to say to illicit a reaction from the victims of terrorism. However her campaign to cause conflict in New Zealand didn't end there. Despicably Moses immediately became moderate once her hurtful diatribe had been successful, which is an old tactic used by manipulative arseholes to try and gain the high ground.

That’s essentially why Juliet Moses wins an Arsehole of the Week Award. She intentionally insulted people in the audience to try and stop the hui from working towards what it set out to achieve, peace. Let’s hope that she isn’t provided with an opportunity to express such hateful lies again.

15 Jun 2021

David Seymour caught telling lies

Act Party Leader David Seymour
It really bothers me when the NZ Herald reports the claims of certain right wing politicians as the truth without any fact checking. Not only do they encourage dishonest politicians to continue to lie, they also degrade the standard of reporting we get in New Zealand.

Of course I’m not just talking about the shockingly bad reporting from the NZ Herald when they rushed to print Simon Bridges’ claims that he witnessed a gang fight at Tauranga hospital.

Last month the Herald also reported as fact Act Party leader David Seymour’s claims that a Whangārei primary school was forcing its students to make speeches that acknowledged their white privilege.

On 16 May, the NZ Herald reported:

Tackling racism in Aotearoa: Should white privilege be taught in schools?

A student at a Whangārei primary school had to stand up in front of their classroom and say what they had done to acknowledge their white privilege.

Act Party leader David Seymour says this is just one example he's heard from concerned parents about what he calls "racialised education".

Seymour said discussions around race and inequality were important, but he was concerned topics such as "white privilege" at a primary school level would in itself be "divisive".

"What are teachers supposed to say to a 'white' child who may have no money or food at home, be abused, face a learning challenge, or any other challenge? How is it that their colour makes them privileged regardless of their individual circumstances?"


Of course Seymour has made this story up to pull at the heartstrings of his racist Act Party supporters. There was no primary school student who had to denounce his or her white privilege in front of the whole class. Just like Simon Bridges' now infamous gang fight, it is a figment of a right wing politician’s imagination…or in other words a lie to try and gain people’s attention.

But worse than that, Seymour has used this lie to attack programs that are in fact working to address racism and inequity in New Zealand. This is because the Act Party doesn’t actually believe discrimination against Maori exists. In fact the Act Party believes that trying to address racial discrimination in Aotearoa is racism in itself. But what else do you expect from a political party that accepts donations from white supremacists?

Despite the Act Party’s campaign of disinformation the Ministry of Education is clearly on the right track with Te Hurihanganui. We should expect this programme to be extended into other schools to ensure historical injustices are rightfully taught to children and adults alike.

14 Jun 2021

National wants to convert farms into pine forests

It really hasn’t been a good time on the opposition benches lately. Not only have we had the various National Party scandals to ensure a decline in their public support, they’ve also entirely misread the room when it comes to the Climate Change Commission’s final report and the Government’s Clean Car Policy.

There is now a somewhat robust pathway to slash emissions so that New Zealand can become carbon neutral by 2050. Of course the right wing don’t like it, mainly because most of them are climate change deniers.

Everybody else on the other hand knows that New Zealand needs to start pulling its weight when it comes to climate change mitigation. While the opposition flails about with arguments that often make no logical or scientific sense, the Government is getting on with it.

The right wing’s attempt to score political points over climate change, by essentially advocating for a do nothing approach, looks even more ludicrous in the wake of recent flooding. Many farmers will understand that these huge consecutive storms are linked to climate change and with their industry dependent on a sustainable future, will hopefully realise that supporting the Government to reduce emissions is the way to go. This would also seem to put farmers at odds with the National Party. 

National is claiming that the ETS, which has been made largely ineffectual by numerous amendments, can get us to net zero by 2050 all by itself. The thing they aren’t telling people, including farmers who are purported to be core supporters, is that around 400,000 hectares of farmland would need to be converted into pine forests for their ETS only plan to work.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the planting of trees to mitigate the effects of climate change, but this is something that the National Party campaigned against in the lead up to the last election. The other issue here is that New Zealand doesn’t need more pine forests than we can ever hope to utilise, especially when we haven’t even got our wilding pines under control.

The Climate Change Commission's report stated that the ETS wouldn’t deliver a desirable low emissions future even if it was increased to $50. The ‘unconstrained removals’ scenario would come close to meeting net zero by 2050 but mean a very small reduction in gross long-lived GHG emissions.

This would also encourage more exotic forests than NZ could ever hope to process or sell overseas.

So if the National Party’s submission to the Climate Change Commission is to be believed, I wonder if Judith Collins has informed her farming friends that National wants to take over their farms with pine forests?