OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: What Andrew Geddis Said, But Shorter and With More Swearing

227 Responses

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  • DeepRed, in reply to Erin,

    So, how are we supposed to make any kind of change?

    Once again, the Black Triangle Campaign in Britain provides a template.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4060 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Andrew Geddis,

    It's quite interesting, because one of the imaginary parts of our constitution is the requirement on government to observe the Treaty. If the government wanted to, it could revert to treating it as a "mere nullity".

    You would have thought the Maori Party might be a bit more vigilant about constitutional matters. But hey, those BMWs sure are comfy.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4361 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    That's not that odd. We're not a party to the optional protocols allowing complaints to UN bodies about a bunch of the international treaties to which we are party.

    Its odd in that it sits badly with our supposed support for human rights and international law.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1625 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed, in reply to Hebe,

    Tories can’t do numbers? How many of the swingers can they severely piss off and win in 2014?

    I was thinking more that the situation mirrors that of America - the Democrats' support core is in the big metros, while the Republicans dominate the suburbs and rural areas. And we could be headed for the same bitter divide.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4060 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Swain,

    I have a question.

    The Herald article says

    $23 million would be allocated in the Budget to pay people who cared for a disabled adult family member [but] the new policy did not extend payments to spouses of disabled adults or parents of disabled children. [...] If payments were extended to all carers and all disabled adults - not just high needs - the cost to the Government would jump to $65 million.

    I have lived outside NZ for a long time now so it's very possible that I've lost touch with these things, but isn't $65 million a very small amount as far as budgets go? Among the various billions listed in national budgets, roughly $40 million in savings seems like such a small amount for the government to be making such a high-risk move as suspending the normal law-making processes.

    Japan • Since Apr 2013 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Gareth Swain,

    It is trifling - which shows the concern is not really about the sum as much as the value they think it returns. And the 'morality'.

    I'd welcome any journo drilling in to why Ryall has fought this so hard and so long.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16279 posts Report Reply

  • Alison McCulloch,

    Oh wow. I can't keep up with all this steam-rollering. Thanks for this Keith. [Sits and stares pathetically at screen with mouth agape.]

    Since Feb 2008 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Mike O'Connell, in reply to Lilith __,

    The Council Plan was thrown out by CERA, who produced their own Plan

    And as No Right Turn blogs today, this is Not Acceptable.

    What gets built in Christchurch should be up to the people of Christchurch, not dictated by a Minister in Wellington. Sadly National still doesn't seem to understand this fundamental concept of democracy.

    Christchurch is becoming and increasingly miserable place to live. Democracy...Nope.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 83 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Gareth Swain,

    but isn’t $65 million a very small amount as far as budgets go?

    Yes but ... that calculation assumes they are able to pay minimum wage. Since professional caregivers are paid more than minimum wage then again the govt could have been challenged to force them to pay the same rate as professional care givers.

    This way they can't be challenged on any grounds or forced to pay anything.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3221 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    NZ had particularly strong input into drafting the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and possibly the last act of the Labour government was passing the Disabilities Act which ensured all our law was compliant and the Convention ratified. Since then it has become obvious that there are still many breaches and the calls for ratifying the optional protocol have increased. By the way there is widespread familiarity with the UNCRPWD in the disability sector, particularly within disabled people's organisations, and the various articles - which might surprise the government.

    I fear that the Maori Party voted for this for political expediency. I was very disappointed that Tariana, Minister for Disability Issues, did.

    Sir Bruce Slane having a good go at this issue on the RNZ Panel as I write citing Andrew Geddis and this blog here too.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2008 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    National then realised someone had labelled the vivids as highlighters

    A friend of mine's quip on Facebook. In two senses, he's absolutely right. The first is that anything that is being redacted is almost certainly something that should have been highlighted, and the second is that by redacting the entire thing they've highlighted just what they've done.

    The only way this will have an impact is if it loses them votes. And the only way I can see it will lose them sufficient votes is if the disability sector organises politically over this issue, and brings their constituency and others in and makes it an electoral liability.

    (A constitutionally fixated 'community; is exists in a minor sense, but its members are unlikely to change votes. It's not going to trouble the Government.)

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2119 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Roberts, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    As I understand it the GG is actually appointed by the queen, albeit on the PM's advice. So Key would not be able to replace him if HM refused to play ball.

    Incidently, does the legislation preventing intervention by the courts apply to the Privy Council also?

    Since May 2013 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Dave Waugh, in reply to Michael Roberts,

    Wasn't the Privy Council replaced by the Supreme court?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 83 posts Report Reply

  • Yamis, in reply to Gareth Swain,

    I have lived outside NZ for a long time now so it's very possible that I've lost touch with these things, but isn't $65 million a very small amount as far as budgets go? Among the various billions listed in national budgets, roughly $40 million in savings seems like such a small amount for the government to be making such a high-risk move as suspending the normal law-making processes.

    It's sod all in the scheme of things. The wage bill at the school I teach at alone is over $10 million annually and then you throw in all the other running costs and the $65 million is only equivalent to about 4 large secondary schools. I'd try finding a remote control like in the movie "Click" to fast forward to the next election but god knows what we'd miss that they fucked up in the next 18 months.

    Since Nov 2006 • 862 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    "Vivids as highlighters"

    I think that an onion article, from back when it was funny, has been doing the rounds in the past few weeks, and it did feel a bit like life imitating satire when the news of this came out.
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/cia-realizes-its-been-using-black-highlighters-all,1848/

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 841 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Michael Roberts,

    "Appointed on advice of PM" means "appointed by PM". The Queen is no more likely to refuse such advice than the PM's pen is to jump out of his hand and stab him in the neck.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4361 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    No Governor General refused assent in 300 years /
    Hardly!
    "In the period during which Britain had such powers (1854-1947) it blocked important legislation on a number of occasions. The power of royal assent was used to prevent thirteen pieces of legislation from 1856 to 1910."

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/AboutParl/HowPWorks/FactSheets/5/b/8/00PlibFactsheetRefusalAssent1-Refusal-of-assent-a-hidden-element-of.htm

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 204 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Erm. Sort of --- see Whitlam.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1263 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Swain,

    Thanks to Sacha, Bart, and Yamis.

    Thought so.

    Japan • Since Apr 2013 • 28 posts Report Reply

  • Susannah Shepherd, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    Does anyone know why the redacted parts couldn’t be got by an OIA request?

    You can try, but they will likely withhold it as legal advice. That withholding ground is one of the stronger ones, and it would take an exceptionally strong public interest, or an implicit waiver of advice by Ministers discussing its contents (difficult if they don’t give speeches on the bill) to winkle it out of them.

    I wouldn't give up just yet, without applying under the OIA:
    * Never assume that anything redacted for proactive release by government, of any stripe, has been redacted in full compliance with the OIA. I don't know if any special rules apply to material going to Parliament, but for other proactive releases, they can release what they like and punt on interest disappearing before the OIAs get processed.
    * It would be a very odd RIS that consisted entirely of legal advice (especially on something like the carer legislation). The cost-benefit aspects should be releasable, even if any discussion on the Bill of Rights aspects (which usually goes in the Cabinet papers, not the RIS) is not.
    * If an OIA response withholds a suspiciously large amount of material on the basis of legal privilege, test with the Ombudsman. It's an area in which departments compiling OIA responses tend to be quite risk-averse, to avoid accidentally waiving legal privilege.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2008 • 57 posts Report Reply

  • Roger Lacey,

    If I was presented something to put my name to that had huge amounts it blanked out but was still legally binding, I'd ask some pretty pointed questions about it. Why on earth did MPs vote for legislation that they couldn't read? It leads me to wonder if most MPs actually read the legislation they are passing or are they just told which way to vote by their masters? It's really really scary.

    Whatakataka Bay Surf Club… • Since Apr 2008 • 110 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Don't know what to make of this move. Presumably this kind of action sets precedent for Labour to also do similar things. Isn't it the kind of thing they save up for a last term?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Roger Lacey,

    If I was presented something to put my name to that had huge amounts it blanked out but was still legally binding, I'd ask some pretty pointed questions about it.

    Word, I just wrote pretty much that, then deleted it because I wasn't sure at all on your second speculation. Maybe they really are that lazy, or obedient, or both.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew Geddis, in reply to Gareth Swain,

    Gareth,

    Yes. It is pretty small beer.

    You may well think that the Government is motivated more by petty resentment at being forced into doing anything by the Courts than actual concrete concerns with the policy, but I couldn't possibly comment.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2007 • 113 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Gareth Swain,

    I have lived outside NZ for a long time now so it's very possible that I've lost touch with these things, but isn't $65 million a very small amount as far as budgets go? Among the various billions listed in national budgets, roughly $40 million in savings seems like such a small amount for the government to be making such a high-risk move as suspending the normal law-making processes.

    Its not trifling, but its not exactly large either.

    Conceptually, I rank government policy costs like this:
    $1 million: pocket change
    $10 million: piddly
    $100 million: your basic, bog-standard policy
    $500 million: big
    $1 billion: Huge (Kiwisaver, etc)

    Also, when governments plead "poverty", what they are almost always saying is "we don't give a shit". Its not really about unaffordability; it is about priorities : about whether to trim some other policy, or just spend some more money (whether by raising taxes, borrowing, or when you have a Labour government, running a slightly smaller surplus). In the case of so many policies national is rejecting ATM - food in schools, extended paid parental leave, or non-discriminatory home-care for the disabled - the costs are not unaffordable. Its just that these things rank behind irrigation subsidies to farmers and low taxes on the rich in National's queue. They are therefore deeply illustrative of the difference between National's elite values, and those of the vast majority of New Zealanders.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1625 posts Report Reply

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