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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  • Roger Lacey, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Can we copy this to send it to our local MPs?

    Sure, be my guest.
    If our back bench MPs are aware that they are under scrutiny by their electorate, they might actually start to read legislation before they vote on it and may ask their leaders why the buggery bollocks they are not allowed to read all the information relating to it?

    Whatakataka Bay Surf Club… • Since Apr 2008 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    Which NGO's are you talking about? Volunteer numbers are down, funding is short and dealing with government is a tool to gain primary objectives for most NGOs, not their reason for existence.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2202 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to nzlemming,

    Disability NGOs seem far less effective than their brethren in other fields in achieving meaningful change. That's based on a close-up view over a decade. Unimpressive. People deserve better.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Brian Rudman offers a concise and accurate account of the family carers case, and contrasts our govt's visionless and nasty response with what's happening over the Tasman.

    Funded by all taxpayers through the Medicare health insurance scheme, DisabilityCare, when in full operation, will provide "long-term, high-quality support for around 410,000 people who have a permanent disability that significantly affects their communication, mobility, self-care or self-management".

    It offers a lifetime approach, with funding that is long-term and sustainable, giving both the disabled and their carers "peace of mind". It will allow people to "choose how they get support and have control over when, where and how they receive it. For some, there may be potential to manage their own funding". The disabled will be supported "to live a meaningful life in their community to their full potential".

    The explanatory documentation highlights "a core aim ... is to better support families in their caring role and to ensure that role is nurtured".

    It sounds like the sort of leadership New Zealand once displayed in its social laboratory years, nay a century ago. What would the great Liberal and Labour social pioneers think of the cripple-bashing that occurred last week?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Sacha,

    contrasts our govt’s visionless and nasty response with what’s happening over the Tasman.

    When Australia is ahead of us on any social policy, something is wrong with what we're doing. Once upon a time that was an article of faith.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3925 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    Disability NGOs seem far less effective than their brethren in other fields in achieving meaningful change.

    They can only get change that politicians have been willing to grant them, no matter how well they lobby. Disability NGOs suffer from the handicap (excuse the anachronistic pun) that their constituency is least capable of supplying the background energy and financing that successful campaigns require. Many of us are home-bound, even bed-bound, and struggle to maintain the necessities of life. Political activism is a luxury we can't afford the effort for, and so are reliant on the good conscience of the majority. This government, and others before it, have capitalised on this, eroding the conscience by reducing the capability of the majority to respond, betting that churches and charities will be there to pick up the pieces.

    But even the last resorts are becoming ineffective, as society becomes more insular and self-oriented. My wife fell over on The Terrace yesterday. Not one person offered to help her up or even asked if she was okay. That, to her, was more shocking than the fall.

    I don't blame the volunteer organisations who have been trying to maintain altruism in the face of market economics for 30-40 years, especially with the dwindling resources available to them. I don't think that's altogether fair, just because they're not doing what you think they should.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2202 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to nzlemming,

    They can only get change that politicians have been willing to grant them

    Getting change involves more than meek begging.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to nzlemming,

    their constituency is least capable of supplying the background energy and financing that successful campaigns require

    Totally agree - which is why it's even more important that change leadership be smart. It isn't.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Sacha,

    Q. How many psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb?
    A. One. But the lightbulb has to really want to change.

    It doesn't matter how smart the leadership is if the politicians refuse to engage. In each electorate, we're a tiny minority and an invisible one because of factors mentioned above. If they wanted to be compassionate or -dare I say it- human, politicians wouldn't need to be lobbied. But they don't. They have many competing interests and, as I said, there'll always be the Sallies and suchlike, so they worry more about their employment issues, and their housing issues and whatever's on the front page of the ComPost or Harald, and we will get ignored.

    Now, smart leadership would be to mobilise (again, bad pun) our community to vote strategically, but none of the pricks are giving us realistic policies to vote in favour of.

    Change leadership happens withing an enterprise. Anything else can only be a catalyst.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2202 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to nzlemming,

    In defence of disability NGOs, many have been forming themselves into 'peak bodies' in the last few years in an effort to make themselves collectively more effective. Several disabled people's organisations make up the Convention Coalition which has government funding to undertake research to monitor the UN Convention. A large nuber of health and disability organisations make up Carers NZ which has managed to get a Carer's Strategy out of government, and has a variety of ways of communication with its large constituency including a radio programme and free glossy magazine full of interesting caring stuff. Providers have joined up to form the NZ Disability Support Network which provides conferences and seminars. The Ministry of Health also has an MoH-NGO relationship which has free seminar every so often. However, the last one recently was more of a PR exercise for the Ministry than an open dialogue and groups appeared wary of criticising because of the delicate power relationship at the moment.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2131 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to nzlemming,

    Change leadership happens withing an enterprise

    Successful social change movements would disagree.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    In defence of disability NGOs, many have been forming themselves into 'peak bodies' in the last few years in an effort to make themselves collectively more effective.

    True, that is an example of acting smarter.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, 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, ...

    And isn't that exactly what we have? I mean, you have a constitutional law expert saying: "While the stakes may be small in the immediate case, this is about as big a deal as it gets in terms of our constitution."

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Parks, in reply to Ana Simkiss,

    You are right that the constitution is unwritten, but to overturn the principle of parliamentary sovereignty would violate the most fundamental principle of that constitution.

    Hmm, it’s a tricky one. I feel I can’t quite get my expression of my point on this right, possibly because I have no technical legal expertise at all, but I do think there’s something fundamentally wrong (in a legal theory/constitutional sense) with the Government’s actions here.

    As I understand it, under our (albeit unwritten) constitution, parliament has a fairly clearly defined role, and the courts/judiciary have a fairly clearly defined and quite separate role, and both are fundamental.

    Put crudely: parliament makes the laws, and the courts interpret it from there, especially in terms of whether those laws are applied correctly in an individual instance. They’re two sides of the same coin and it doesn’t make sense to talk of “parliamentary sovereignty” as the most fundamental principle of that constitution. If parliament itself undermines the very constitutional conventions that give the parliament its validity (and therefore its sovereignty) then it can hardly cry foul if another player in the constitutional arrangement stands its ground, so to speak.

    Put another way, a court overturning Parliament-made law for violating the constitution would itself be violating the contstitution.

    Well, yes, but then aren’t you acknowledging that by definition the constitution is already broken, thanks to parliament?

    (prepares for Edgeler schooling on constitutional law)

    One must always be prepared for this.

    Wellington • Since May 2007 • 1156 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    The DomPost apparently thinks it is OK to feature disability hate speech on its letters page today. The writer not only denigrates a named person, but is using that same argument against disabled people that is often used by racists - that one about Maori (in this case disabled people) wanting to be equal but apparently demanding 'special' treatment. Able-ism like racism (and sexism and homophobia), is often just below the surface and doesn't need much encouragement to flourish.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2131 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    Hate certainlly gets around.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1209 posts Report Reply

  • "chris", in reply to Hilary Stace,

    They’re no longer even trying to feign a semblance of impartiality.

    Perhaps it was apathy, perhaps it was the pretty colours and slick presentation, most likely it was willful ignorance, honestly I’ve no idea why I didn’t reach this point sooner, but I’m boycotting Fairfax henceforth.

    location, location, locat… • Since Dec 2010 • 250 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    The wonderful Jackson Wood has helpfully obtained a partial copy of a document which explains some of the Government's thinking.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2136 posts Report Reply

  • TristanEgarr,

    Can anyone tell me how common/uncommon the practice of redacting info from an RIS for MPs is? Have there been RISs containing material redacted when published online/for the general public, but not when distributed to MPs? And if the practice is not entirely uncommon, has it been affected by changes to Regulatory Impact Analysis requirements in 2009? I have been reading the RIA handbook to try to understand how this works, but all it seems to tell me is "8.1 Withholding sensitive or confidential information: Deletions can be made consistent with the provisions of the Official Information Act 1982" (p.28).
    .

    Wellington • Since May 2013 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to TristanEgarr,

    I'm interested to know why it isn't a breach of privilege to expect members to vote on material that has been shared with some but not all of them. I guess that it isn't a breach if the majority (and the partisan Speaker) say it isn't.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4484 posts Report Reply

  • hotfrog, in reply to Sacha,

    The problem with 'voting for good people' is the that election machine tends to screen them out along the way.

    Expecting 'top-down' solutions belongs to the past. Corporate ambition has such a grip on our educational, judicial and legislative mechanisms that the only change for any public benefit has to be grassroots driven.

    New Zealand • Since May 2013 • 1 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to hotfrog,

    Coordination is no longer only either top-down or bottom-up, but is essential for change - and for making sure political parties have good candidates to vote for. Otherwise us grassroots all ending up wanting the same rain but not knowing how to get it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Roberts, in reply to Idiot Savant,

    "Constitutional Guillotine. Which means a law removing any purported right of the head of state’s stooge to refuse to assent to legislation (and/or replacing such head of stage and stooge with a president, but that’s strictly speaking unnecessary)."

    I don't think there is such a law. AFIK there exixts a constitutional convention that the HoS signs into law bills passed by parliament. I would think though that such a convention could be ignored under the right circumstances. The fact is we don't really know what would happen if that were to occur since situations are usually different.

    Since May 2013 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to hotfrog,

    Round-Up© Bill passed under urgency...

    ...the only change for any public benefit
    has to be grassroots driven.

    Did I dream I heard Nick Smith say they'll be
    spraying nationwide with DDT again soon?

    Plateau's Republic starts here...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 5092 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    More power-grabbing by National. This time they're taking away Auckland Council's power to set regional transport policy, instead requiring Auckland Transport to be "consistent with" the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. Following any of the Council's plans is subordinated to the GPSoLT.

    Needless to say the current GPSoLT (the GPS concept was Labour's creation, but each government produces its own) is heavy on the Roads of Dubious Significance and very light on anything else; including maintenance of local roads, never mind that dirty public transport thing.

    The pit from whence crawl… • Since Mar 2007 • 3925 posts Report Reply

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