Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: New Zealand's most racist law

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  • Ian Dalziel,

    Now the MSM follows up on Mr Edgeler's lead....
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/75620521/politicians-back-calls-to-repeal-1960s-law-with-maorionly-crimes

    Prime Minister John Key has previously described parts of the law as "a bit racist".

    aah well, by Joycean standards that's 'pretty legal' then?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7630 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    http://www.waateanews.com/waateanews/x_story_id/MTI2ODU=/Opinion/New-Maori-Land-legislation-another-means-of-telling-Maori-what-to-do-with-their-land

    I don't know the ins and outs of this to comment, really - mostly posted for the excellent photo of a (not very) 'relaxed and comfortable' John Key mid-hongi - is he holding his breath?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7630 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    Pacific homecare.pdf

    But it’s worse than a ridiculous law. It’s a racist law.

    It has no place in New Zealand. It should never have been the law. And it certainly shouldn’t be law now.

    Like the subject of this righteous rant from Keith Ng back in 2013.

    Within a month of that crappy piece of legislation being passed (like the proverbial through a goose) a Disability Support Provider with a contract with the DHB and the Miserly of Health published this on their website.

    It’s hard to tell who is sporting the biggest grin, Pacific Homecare client Raea Utia as he lies watching his wife fold the blankets on his bed, or wife and Support Worker Taitua Utia as she stands looking at her beloved husband.

    She became a Support Worker soon after approaching the organisation, and cares solely for Raea.

    This is despite the fact that MOH policy has always specifically excluded partners and spouses being paid as carers.

    I know that this policy was routinely circumvented through various mechanisms (that we could have exploited, but refused to compromise ourselves) and I also know that this has been successfully kept well under the radar of any kind of public scrutiny.

    The couples I know who accepted these clandestine arrangements have been too much in fear of some sort of legal action from the Misery to come forward...

    Apart from the couple written about the the newsletter from Pacific Homecare.

    Did the policy not apply to them in particular (for whatever reason) or clients of Pacific Homecare?

    If this is an exception to the policy made on 'cultural' grounds', is this '"racist"?

    Could I make a complaint to the HRC of racial discrimination because I was not allowed to be paid as my partner's carer and this woman was?

    It is a very messy and confusing world.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1318 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald,

    Attachment

    The link that Keith Ng posted back in 2013 to the Regulatory impact statement that accompanied the NZPHDAct(2) appears to have broken.

    But..here it is…I hope…

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1318 posts Report Reply

  • peteremcc, in reply to simon g,

    I agree with you on National.

    ACT tried to push them to do so in 2008-2011, but didn't have enough influence, as they went to the Maori Party for their 5 votes whenever ACT demanded too much.

    Of course, none of the ACT MPs pushing for equality under the law got re-elected, after being broadly described as racists by folks like you.

    I'm don't think you can attack ACT for being racist for wanting equality, and then complain when ACT didn't successfully force National to change the laws so they're equal.

    Wellington • Since Aug 2009 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • peteremcc, in reply to B Jones,

    First, in 10 seconds I found Garrett commenting critically on an old Kiwiblog article about this precise issue:

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2011/08/still_on_the_books.html#comment-862873

    Second, Muriel Newman was the deputy leader of ACT during the foreshore and seabed debate, when ACT DID vociferously argue against the legislation on the basis of the protection of private property rights:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0405/S00122.htm

    Wellington • Since Aug 2009 • 8 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to peteremcc,

    Second, Muriel Newman was the deputy leader of ACT during the foreshore and seabed debate, when ACT DID vociferously argue against the legislation on the basis of the protection of private property rights:

    Well, that's one way of looking at it, but here's Richard Prebble saying:

    "Labour could say the foreshore, like the Queen's Chain, belongs to us all and no claim will be considered. ...

    And here's Stephen Franks saying:

    "I will be asking the ACT caucus, on Tuesday, for confirmation that we would vote with the Government if it brought in a package along the following lines:

    · The law should confirm that foreshore and seabed are the Crown's, or held on grant from the Crown.

    · That there is no future customary right in foreshore and seabeds.

    ACT was all over the place on the proper response to Ngati Apa.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3195 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to B Jones,

    the idea of doing this by private member’s bill raises a few questions for me about where the Crown is in all of this and what its responsibility to Maori is in terms of the Treaty

    Steven Joyce is now suggesting that this law might be updated without needing to wait for a private member’s bill.

    Depending on logistics, of course. DPF must've gotten the polls in.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1119 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    Could I make a complaint to the HRC of racial discrimination because I was not allowed to be paid as my partner’s carer and this woman was?

    You could complain to the HRC but I'm guessing the couple you cite were one of those who slipped through under the radar, rather than there being different rules for Pacific people. The HRC would contact the MoH and say "please explain", and the MoH would say "gosh, you're right, that shouldn't have happened, we've stopped it". The outcome would not be that other people would suddenly start to be eligible to be paid to care for family, it would be that the Taituas' arrangement would be stopped and they'd be left as miserable as everyone else. I don't think I'd call that a win.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 578 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    The outcome would not be that other people would suddenly start to be eligible to be paid to care for family, it would be that the Taituas’ arrangement would be stopped and they’d be left as miserable as everyone else.

    During the 'negotiations' with MOH and before 'Atkinson' went to the HRRT (and subsequently the High Court and Appeal Court) the conversation you describe in your first paragraph did happen.

    BUT...the outcome was completely different.

    Those 'arrangements' were allowed to continue, and continue to the present day.

    (The Appeal Court for 'Spencer' was told this)

    (Although I understand that they will finally be terminated at the end of March this year)

    So...the couples like the Taituas are not as miserable as those of us who were not allowed such an arrangement or were not willing to compromise ourselves by entering into a 'backdoor' deal.

    My point about the Tiatuas is that theirs is the only publicised arrangement. I have seen no other public record of any other couple being allowed to have such a deal.
    I personally know of other couples who have enjoyed the same facility...but none will go public.

    My partner and I spend much of our time in rather isolated parts of the country. In conversations with local Maori we have frequently been told that Maori providers (like obviously Pasifica providers) routinely facilitate such arrangements. Openly.

    It is well known and accepted that Maori and Pacifica providers are allowed to set their own rules.

    I don’t think I’d call that a win.

    Me neither...but as someone personally affected by this discrimination I would be more inclined towards sympathy for those who have enjoyed this facility and lost it if they had showed just a tiny little bit of solidarity with the Atkinson plaintiffs and those of us denied justice after the PHDAct(2). Not one single public expression of support...even anonymously...from these people. Not one.

    In Rosemary Dreamland there is a real sense of community and solidarity and a solid culture that all are equal. There is public outrage when disparity and discrimination are exposed, and no one accepts what others' have been denied.

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1318 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Paul,

    (2017) Was this act eventually amended or repealed?

    Taranaki • Since Dec 2011 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Angela Hart,

    Which act- the NZ Health and Disability Amendment Act 2013? http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2013/0022/latest/whole.html
    Nah, still in force

    Christchurch • Since Apr 2014 • 613 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Angela Hart,

    (2017) Was this act eventually amended or repealed?

    No. I remain hopeful an MP will pick up the bill I drafted to amend it, but nothing yet.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3195 posts Report Reply

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