Hard News by Russell Brown

Read Post

Hard News: This Is Not A Complicated Issue

277 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 3 4 5 6 7 12 Newer→ Last

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    Really, is there any other way to read his stance on this ?

    Abiding respect for the Bill of Rights 1688?

    :-)

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3004 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    Funny how many people in Europe and Asia manage it as a matter of necessity.

    Well, yes, but one key is getting them while they're young. My family has a rule - I speak only English (sprinkled with what little of Te Reo I can remember) to our daughter, my wife speaks to her only in Chinese (although with her mother with us nearly full-time, she does a fair bit of code-switching between standard Putonghua and Yanqing dialect), and I know of plenty of other families with similar rules.

    Ok, sure, we have an advantage in that our family is naturally bilingual by simple virtue of its composition. It would be nice to see our government putting serious resources into promoting all three of our official languages. I note with horror the many comments on this thread on funding cuts to many educational services that were teaching NZSL. But it would also be nice to see common NZ attitudes to language and languages other than English open up and become more accepting. Most of the world does not actually speak English and NZ is dependent on international trade for it's survival. And besides, we have three official languages. And multilingualism has many benefits (ok, that's about bilingualism, but I see no reason to not assume the same holds true for speaking more than two languages).

    Still, I feel must share an article suggesting that the USA may not be as rigidly monolingual as is commonly assumed (could we extend that to ANZ, too? Quite likely, and for similar reasons) and Europeans may not quite be the legendary polyglots we admire, or indeed that multilingualism may not be as widespread as those of us from the "anglo saxon" countries commonly assume.

    In any case, multilingualism has immense benefits - including, I would argue from personal experience, for the adult learner, and I encourage anybody who asks, regardless of age or background, to study whatever other languages interest them. Age? When I graduated, one of my French classmates was 69 years old. She double-majored in French and Chinese. Age is no barrier. Just a matter of making the time and putting in the effort (though I understand if other priorities get in the way, of course - adjust that 'time and effort' to suit your own personal circumstances).

    And to come back to the original topic, the idea that our country's parliament does not already have the facilities and personnel to provide for interpretation and translation between all three of our official languages is simply offensive.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2108 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    <q>I read that years ago but must put it on my reread list.

    Well worth it!

    Given that he has always had eye problems, and several years ago had an eye removed, his books about seeing inefficiently or being blind are also worth the while of reading. A neurologist with heart, insight, and experience...

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    And to come back to the original topic, the idea that our country’s parliament does not already have the facilities and personnel to provide for interpretation and translation between all three of our official languages is simply offensive.

    O goodness, +++++!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Lipscombe, in reply to Sharon McIver,

    Absolutely! My daughter has enjoyed the services of a note-taker for two years of her university course to date. I can't believe that if she was elected a Member of Parliament she would be denied a service that our cash-strapped tertiary education system is able to offer. Oh, wait a minute -- was this something that the Student Association used to organise?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2011 • 15 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    You appear to be under the impression that the Prime Minister could not ask the Governor-General to appoint someone else as the Minister responsible for Vote: Parliamentary Service. I am intrigued from where this impression arises.

    Appearances may be deceiving you. ;-)

    What I said was “Ministers are chosen by the Prime Minister and appointed by the Governor General” – I assume you are not disputing that. Ministerial warrants are granted by the Crown, although I don’t know of an occasion where one has been refused (I am aware of a couple that have been withdrawn – Philip Field and Richard Worth come to mind – though at the request of the PM on each occasion), but the constitutional form is important. A Minister, therefore, is one appointed by the Crown.

    The Speaker is elected by the House. Practically speaking, s/he is appointed by the Government and the election is a formality; however; in constitutional matters, the formalities are important. This means that the Speaker is not appointed by the Crown and therefore not a minister by definition. Which is where my first comment had its source. The important distinction (which the Office of the Clerk will be happy to talk to you about ad nauseum) is that the PM cannot tell the Speaker what to do.

    Parliament allocates the budget. To be sure, the Budget is developed by the Government of the day and voted on in Parliament, but constitutionally it is Parliament that approves or disapproves the allocation. So we say that Parliament votes to allocate funding to agencies/programmes and we shorthand that to Vote Transport or Vote Parliamentary Services.

    My comment to Russell was that the Speaker was not a Minister of the Crown. Do you dispute that, Graeme?

    My further comment was to the effect that it may be that the convention to refer to a role that has control of a portion of the Vote as the “Responsible Minister” whether or not that individual is actually a warranted Minister of the Crown. I am happy to be corrected; I freely state that I don’t know the answer to this.

    And, actually, because the Speaker is in charge of the House and technically owns the property associated with it, I don’t believe the Prime Minister could allocate responsibility for Vote Parliamentary Services to another Minister, because nobody but the Speaker has the authority to spend it.

    According to my reading of the Parliamentary Services Act 2000, the Speaker may direct how these funds are disbursed; the PSC may advise him/her, but it is his decision. Convention may be different, but that, as I read it, is what the law says. If you have different information, I’m happy to hear it.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2106 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    I note however, that the article quotes someone pointing out that the Government has promised that disabled people will be able top perform public function “with the use of assistive and new technologies where appropriate.”

    As the story indicates in the sentence you paraphrase ….

    The Government signed up to a United Nations disabilities convention. It says disabled people have the right to hold office and perform all public functions at all levels of government, with the use of assistive and new technologies where appropriate.

    Specifically, the New Zealand government ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2008.

    That committed the New Zealand government to:

    Protecting the right of persons with disabilities to vote by secret ballot in elections and public referendums without intimidation, and to stand for elections, to effectively hold office and perform all public functions at all levels of government, facilitating the use of assistive and new technologies where appropriate;

    It commits the government to “facilitating the use” of such technologies, not merely providing the technologies. And the use is plainly contingent on labour, which the government, via the Speaker, currently does seem to be regarding as an optional extra.

    And given that is not in dispute, the decision of the journalist to include it in the story leads me to the concern I already expressed: how can I be sure that any other factual claim about which I don’t have knowledge is accurate and will assist me in any way in understanding the situation?

    You’ve completely lost me. The paraphrase in the report is reasonable. The commitments in the UN Declaration are explicit and relevant and I cannot see how the simple act of noting those commitments has you so “concerned”.

    You’re going to a lot of bother to justify refusing to read a news story because you didn’t fancy the headline.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18888 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    No I didn't spring to the defense of any such thing. What I said was national's silence looked bad. Someone not far from here once gave me verbal spanking for putting words in his mouth he didn't say, perhaps you should listen to him too.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3392 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to nzlemming,

    Hey check the logs I made no cheap shot someone else did an I agreed with Craig that it was a cheap shot.

    I also said Natslooked bad for saying nowt.

    Facts straight!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3392 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Fair enough, my bad.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2106 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    No I didn’t spring to the defense of any such thing.

    No you didn’t, and apologies for the lack of clarity on my part. I didn’t think you quite understood what I was saying in the first instance, but didn't really help matters by not getting a firm grasp on the right end of your stick. This is getting more confusing that a Steven Moffat Doctor Who script, and you don’t even get the thrill of Alex Kingston shooting a poor defenseless hat.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11995 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Bell, in reply to Lew Stoddart,

    I imagine the easiest way of providing live captioning would be to have an "interpreter" repeat the words of the speaker(s) with about a second's delay into a voice-recognition engine tuned to his/her voice.

    I try to do it this way when transcribing audio-recordings of interviews and conferences; I can hardly keep up a "flow" for more than a minute or two at a time; but then I'm not a professional in the field. If simultaneous interpreters at the UN can hear one language and deliver another in real-time, why can't this be applied to generating text?

    I put this to a "public communications" person at Parliament, who could only think of two snags (off the top of her head; I'm sure there are more) - synchronising speech and text with the camera image; not focussing on the wrong person (Teletext handles this by transcribing speakers in a rapid dialogue in different colours); and speakers' use of "specialist terms", which the transcriber might not render correctly (but which hearing members of the public are expected to understand instantly!)

    Having a real-time transcription of a speech involving specialist language might actually assist even those of us who like to think we have perfect hearing. An aid to disabled people is often an aid to all; it's called Universal Design.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Bell, in reply to Mark Rickerby,

    Was it purely cost-cutting? The "public communications" person I refer to in another post gave me the impression one motive was to get Hansard out more quickly (now down to 2.5 hours, she said).

    Surely Parliament still won't deny MPs the opportunity to "correct" the first draft. So where is the cost saving?

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 6 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Grevers,

    I was rather startled by the number of commenters on Stuff who thought that the Green Party was Mathers' employer.

    New Plymouth • Since Jul 2011 • 131 posts Report Reply

  • merc, in reply to Richard Grevers,

    Indeed, corporatism of parliament complete ;-)

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    You’re going to a lot of bother to justify refusing to read a news story because you didn’t fancy the headline.

    I did read the story.

    Mostly, this matter annoys me because almost all the coverage of it everywhere has been wrong. People who want to understand what has happened have had to piece together little bits of news stories here and there and ignore large screeds of the rest.

    Having been busy the last few days, I haven't posted a great deal on the story, and your link to a story that could very easily mislead people into thinking that the Speaker was denying funding for technology, because you know, it said he was being staunch about technology funding, was the one where I decided to launch off. It wasn't really just about this story.

    Ideally, I'd have chosen a story that implied that Mathers was being asked to fund anything, but at least that (worse) initial deception doesn't seem to have been repeated lately.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3004 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Steve Bell,

    So where is the cost saving?

    Physical copies, I think. I believe there is one fewer printed version of Hansard as a result of the changes.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3004 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    Given your comments about this Leighton Smith creature, Russell, I'm glad that 'it' is restricted to Auckland, thankfully. If I were disability rights organisations, I'd target advertisers on his programme segment until the idiot in question makes a public apology for his latest idiotic outburst.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 370 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    speaking of the cost of access...
    Nice to see that Trevor Mallard has a profitable sideline in the ticket scalping business!
    While I don't know if the Homegrown Festival has applied for "Major Event" status as defined under the 2007 Act (that Mallard helped push through - for the RWC), Mallard comes across as a profiteer when telling one TradeMe bidder, who offered $500 for the 4 $95 tickets, 'I will let the auction run. And I think your price is cheeky.'
    I just hope he wasn't doing it from his work computer, during work hours...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 4959 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I just hope he wasn’t doing it from his work computer, during work hours…

    Parliamentary email, apparently. So it may not matter.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3004 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Graeme Edgeler,

    Having been busy the last few days, I haven’t posted a great deal on the story, and your link to a story that could very easily mislead people into thinking that the Speaker was denying funding for technology, because you know, it said he was being staunch about technology funding, was the one where I decided to launch off. It wasn’t really just about this story.

    Well, no, because the story's correct in what it says. It repeatedly refers to funding for "note-takers" (the only mention of equipment is verbatim from Mathers' maiden speech) and I think the UN convention is directly relevant. 'Speaker staunch on deaf MP’s technology funding' is the headline written by some busy web-editor.

    I get annoyed about inaccuracy in media too. I wrote about it at quite some length last week. But this seems an odd one to jump on -- let alone to scold me for linking to.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18888 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    Here's a quite popular recent blog of mine on the issues involved...

    http://www.gaynz.com/blogs/redqueen/?p=503

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 370 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey,

    On the other hand what the have the Greens been doing about getting a proper set up for their member, I don't think it should come out of the monies they get from Government Services but surely they might have pushed for their new member to be able to participate before now

    Based on my experience as elected representative, albeit as a minor lowly tin god, I can tell you that as an ER, you are subject to bureaucrats who will tell you that they will supply you with what you need. Which is probably what happened here.

    The Greens are not at fault here as they would have been told, relax, we are sorting it out. In general, any ER tends to get given the tools needed to do the job. If the ER is your stock standard straight white bloke then the tools are pretty standard. Any deviation from that stock standard ER, then those to give out the tools tend to get a bit frustrated, and the rules/system needs changing. Cue Lockwood spouting nonsense...

    because (yes) I think the real teachable moment here is what unthinking ableist privilege looks like and how little forethought could have avoided it. Since the Parliamentary Services Commission’s entire reason for existence is to “advise the Speaker about the services to be provided to the House of Representatives and to members of Parliament” I think they can all be fairly asked why Mathers was failed so badly.

    Quite. The silver lining in all this is the fact that any other differently-abled person that is elected to Parliament won't have to face the same problems as Mojo Mathers here.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Christopher Dempsey,

    The silver lining in all this is the fact that any other differently-abled person that is elected to Parliament won’t have to face the same problems as Mojo Mathers here.

    It's nice to see such charming optimism in an ER. Seriously, I admire the ability to avoid becoming a tired old cynic.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3392 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Nice to see that Trevor Mallard has a profitable sideline in the ticket scalping business!

    Um, yes, and I’d be inclined to put it in the beat-up/trivia basket if Mr. Mallard hadn’t been part of a Government that took a less laissez-faire view of the practice.

    Also, someone needs to tell Trevor that “breech of privacy” doesn’t mean what he thinks it does. Seriously, Trev – STFU.

    It’s nice to see such charming optimism in an ER. Seriously, I admire the ability to avoid becoming a tired old cynic.

    To be fair, Parliament managed to get its head around the idea that PWVs (people with vaginas) weren’t going to block the drains and bring the country down with their feeble, hysterical lady-brains. The progress hasn’t been as fast, or even, as many of us would like but a baby step forward is better than a kick in the crotch. :) I'm cautiously optimistic some folks have learned something and will be more careful about mindlessly acting out on their ableist privilege.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11995 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 3 4 5 6 7 12 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.