Two polls strongly support euthanasia

Both One News and Three News have done polls on euthanasia with strong support for changing the law and allowing euthanasia.

One News/Colmar Brunton:

Should a patient should be able to request a doctor’s assistance to end their life?

  • Yes 75%
  • No 21%
  • Undecided 5%

1000 voters questioned

3 News/Reid Research

Should law be changed to allow “assisted dying” or euthanasia?

  • Yes 71%
  • No 24%
  • Unsure 5%

Patrick Gower asked John Key if the Government would heed public opinion and do something about it. Key said they wouldn’t, but if a well drafted Member’s Bill was put before parliament he said he would support it.

The chances of a Member’s Bill being drawn is low – ad at this stage there isn’t a Bill in the ballot anyway.

One News had a report with their poll result: Lecretia Seales’ widower praises Kiwis for poll showing support for doctor assisted euthanasia

Lecretia Seales’ widower Matt Vickers is welcoming a ONE News Colmar Brunton Poll which shows the majority of New Zealanders want dying patients to be able to rely on their doctor for help to end their lives.

“We’re glad to see that New Zealanders agree that it is appropriate, respectful and compassionate, and we hope that Parliament does their job and achieves legislative change that the majority of New Zealanders clearly want.”

“Through her High Court case, Lecretia hoped to raise awareness of the appropriateness of physician assisted dying legislation in some form,” he says.

The debate about euthanasia was back in the headlines last week when the results of a study of General Practitioners was released, showing some had made decisions likely to hasten the death of their terminally ill patients.

The study was published in the New Zealand Medical Journal and asked 650 GPs about the last death they’d attended.

There seems to be everything that’s needed except any political will to address euthanasia.

And Stuff reports: Doctors and nurses more involved in patients’ ‘end-of-life’ decisions – study

A University of Auckland study anonymously surveyed 650 GPs.

Sixteen reported prescribing, supplying or administering a drug with the explicit intention of bringing death about more quickly.

But in 15 of those cases, it was nurses who administered the drugs.

Researchers acknowledged the actions of the GPs would generally be understood as euthanasia, but the survey did not use that term.

In the survey, led by Auckland University senior lecturer Dr Phillipa Malpas, GPs were asked about the last death at which they were the attending doctor.

Of the 650 to respond, 359 (65.6 per cent) reported that they had made decisions, such as withdrawing treatment or alleviating pain, taking into account the probability that they may hasten death.

Some made explicit decisions about hastening death.

Of the 359, 16.2 per cent withheld treatments with the “explicit purpose of not prolonging life or hastening the end of life”.

A total of 316 doctors gave pain medication taking into account that death might come sooner, but it was not the intention. Rather, the doctor may have taken the decision to make the dying patient more comfortable in their final hours.

Preferred Prime Minister trends

Colmar Brunton have tweeted (@ColmarBruntonNZ ) ‘preferred Prime Minister’ trends for the last twenty years.

The second chart is of most immediate interest.

John Key climbed quickly to 30-ish as soon as he took over from Don Brash, and soon afterwards overtook Helen Clark, over a year out from the 2008 election. After that he climbed significantly more, but dropped off in 2011. Since then he has fluctuated, and while he’s bee lower he’s in risk of heading into the danger zone.

In the meantime since Clark resigned from leadership four successive Labour leaders have failed to impress. Andrew Little’s trend downwards will be a concern for some, but probably outweighed by concern about how yet another leadership change would look.

Amanda Bailey not taking legal action against Key

Amanda Bailey, the target of John Key’s bizarre pony tail pulling, has apparently settled confidentially with her cafe employer and does not intend taking legal action against Key.

I’m sure I saw somewhere recently that Bailey had settled and was leaving it at that, (if I find it I’ll post a link) and it was discussed in Monday’s media conference with Key:

Key said he would not comment on Amanda Bailey’s decision to drop legal action against him regarding “the ponytail incident.”

Graham McCready’s private prosecution is however still proceeding.

Scoop

McCready’s attempt to have Key prosecuted failed: Court rejects ponytail case

Mr McCready had sought permission to prosecute John Key over his conduct in repeatedly pulling the ponytail of Auckland waitress Amanda Bailey.

But Chief District Court Judge Jan-Marie Doogue has ruled there is not enough evidence to justify a trial.

Mr McCready said he would take legal advice and decide whether to review or appeal against the judgment.

He said if Ms Bailey were prepared to make a formal statement, then the charging document could be refiled.

But Bailey has refused to cooperate with McCready.

However McCready is still pursuing his crusade through the Human Rights Tribunal: Key wants ponytail-pulling complaint dismissed

Prime Minister John Key’s lawyer has filed for the dismissal of a complaint to the Human Rights Tribunal over the ponytail-pulling incident.

Serial private litigant Graham McCready laid the complaint, asserting Mr Key had breached the Human Rights Act.

“Mr Key’s lawyer filed a statement that Mr McCready didn’t have a standing to take this case because he is not an affected party,” a spokesman for the prime minister told NZ Newswire

So the issue is over for Bailey, at least as far as legal action is concerned, but McCready persists.

Philip Lyth versus Key, Slater and Farrar

I see Philip Lyth on Twitter quite often, he seems to be a prolific tweeter. He describes himself there as “Husband, politics junkie, psephologist. Standing Orders.”

Last night he retweeted to a John Key tweet and responded:

Philip Lyth retweeted John Key
Wow John. You lead the party which includes David Farrar & Cameron Slater who dogwhistle Muslims at every chance?

That’s a silly shot at Key, he can’t be held responsible for what all party members do – and I don’t think Slater is even a member of the National Party.

On the accusation Lyth made – it’s certainly easy to get the impression that Slater is a Muslim dogwhistler although his wife ‘Spanish Bride seems to have been doing more anti-Muslim posts lately.

But I’ve been a close observer of Kiwiblog for years and I don’t recall much if any Muslim dog-whsitling from David Farrar (DPF). A quick search shows that DPF doesn’t post very often about Muslim topics.

His last post was in March: Why are so many Australian muslims radicalised?

Stuff reports:

A nightclub bouncer who reportedly became a terror group leader. A man who tweeted a photo of his young son clutching a severed head. A teenager who is believed to have turned suicide bomber, and others suspected of attempting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State movement. All of them, Australian.

The London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence reports that between 100 and 250 Australians have joined Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria. Given Australia’s vast distance from the region and its population of just 24 million, it is a remarkable number. The center estimates that about 100 fighters came from the United States, which has more than 13 times as many people as Australia.

That’s a huge number.

Experts disagree about why the Islamic State group has been so effective recruiting in Australia, which is widely regarded as a multicultural success story, with an economy in an enviable 24th year of continuous growth.

Possible explanations include that some Australian Muslims are poorly integrated with the rest of the country, and that Islamic State recruiters have given Australia particular attention. In addition, the Australian government failed to keep tabs on some citizens who had been radicalized, and moderate Muslims have been put off by some of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s comments about their community.

It’s pathetic to even suggest that Tony Abbott is the reason. I’m not Abbott’s biggest fan, but the hatred and bias from many sections of the Australian media towards him is appalling.

I think the first explanation is the strongest. For well over a decade there has been a significant radical element who have not integrated. Many senior Muslim clerics in Australia have said appalling things, and use incendiary speech. We’re very fortunate that in NZ we’ve never had this problem. That doesn’t mean that there are not some extreme radicals – just that the senior leadership in NZ is not radical, and in fact very well focused on integration.

That seems like realistic comment and not dog whistling.

Sure the comments at Kiwiblog are often thick with anti-Muslim sentiment, as was the case on this post, starting with:

Odakyu-sen

Duuuh!

Don’t allow people into your country who despise your culture and don’t want to integrate.

wreck1080

Just ban muslims from coming to NZ.

The ones already here will eventually outbreed us all anyway so lets delay the inevitable .

It is too bad we cannot eject the more troublesome ones already here — or can we?

David Garrett:

DPF: How on earth can you say we are very fortunate not have this problem here ? How do you know what is being preached in the several mosques around the country? The little that does leak out is far from reassuring…just yesterday there was a report of some radical being trespassed from the mosque in Avondale, and that person going to the head sharing’s house and telling him “Jihad will start here”…

All that can safely be said is we have seen little outward manifestations of Islamic radicalism here…so far. I’m afraid it’s just a matter of time.

But I think it’s unfair to blame DPF for dog whistling, this is more a result of his very liberal moderation and the fact that a number of extreme right leaning commenters have made Kiwiblog their pulpit.

Muslim bashing occurs on Kiwiblog far more frequently than DPF posts anything related to Islam. There’s virtually a daily dose from Manolo, like yesterday where he posted the first comment on General Debate:

Manolo (16,656 comments) says: 

The daily dose of Islamic love and peace: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/at-least-28-dead-in-suspected-isis-suicide-attack-on-turkish-border-town-live-10401885.html

Manolo started calling me the Mullah of Dunedin a while ago because I didn’t agree with his extreme views.

But this isn’t due to DPF dog whistling, it is due to the principle of free speech exercised at Kiwiblog.

John Drinnan had responded to Lyth’s tweet:

John Drinnan retweeted Philip Lyth

“wogs” is the term du jour.

That’s correct for Whale Oil, try a search their on ‘wog’ and there’s ample evidence.

But Drinnan is not correct regarding Farrar, his last ‘Wog’ post was in 2013 – Wogistan – that was comment on Richard Proctor’s bizarre comments. And that’s it from Kiwiblog.

So I challenged Lyth on his accusation.

Philip Lyth ‏@philiplyth 11h11 hours ago

Philip Lyth retweeted Pete George

Where’s your evidence Pete George is not a troll?

That’s a lame way of avoiding responsibility for a serious accusation against Farrar and directed at Key and National by association.

It looks like Lyth is the dog whistler here.

Philip – if you can make a case that Farrar is a Muslim dog whistler I’ll post it. Otherwise I think a retraction is in order.

Key on Labour’s Chinese attack and property buying

John Key is back from holiday and one of the first things media asked him about was Labour’s attack on Chinese property speculators. Key suggested Labour was “desperate”, “knew it was misleading” and “it’s very different from the Labour Party I always knew”. That sounds like a well researched response, they are common views.

Stuff reported: Auckland housing data using surnames a ‘desperate’ measure – John Key

Auckland housing data using Chinese-sounding surnames released by the Labour Party was “desperate” and out of character for the Opposition, says the Prime Minister.

“It’s desperate in my view, they know the information is wrong and they know the information is misleading and they can claim whatever they want…it’s very different from the Labour Party I always knew,” John Key said

On Radio NZ: PM dismisses Labour’s housing claims

Prime Minister John Key says most of those with Chinese-sounding names investing in the Auckland housing market will be people with a genuine connection to New Zealand.

He doubted the figures were an accurate reflection of the level of Chinese interest in New Zealand housing.

“Not that many people get up in the morning who live in Guangzhou, and say randomly ‘I’m going to buy a house in Auckland’, with no connection to the country at all.

“There’ll be some, some people on that list will definitely be, in my view, as mere speculation, will have no connection to New Zealand but not very many.”

On Labour’s use of data to blame Chinese:

“They will know that people on that list, the vast bulk of them, who have Chinese surnames will be the residents or citizens, many of whom Labour will have welcomed to this country.”

See Who’s buying Auckland property?

And Key on what may help and what isn’t helping elsewhere:

The Government was compiling information on non-resident investment in the housing market, he said.

“I have always said, if the data shows that there’s a real problem and we need to consider further steps then the Government will consider those further steps.”

He said Australia’s move to stop foreigners buying anything other than new properties had not been effective in curbing rapid house price rises.

Audio: Listen to John Key on Morning Report ( 5 min 43 sec )

And then from later in the day Stuff reported in John Key tells Kiwis to look on the bright side for dairy exports and economy:

Meanwhile, Key indicated he was not concerned about the potential flood of cash from mainland China – despite Labour highlighting the level of Chinese buying in the Auckland property market.

He said capital investment from China was much lower than from Australia, the United States or the United Kingdom.

“China hasn’t been a massive investor here, so rather than be worried in some instances we’d welcome that.”

Anthony Robins’ mistruth about Key lying

Grant Robertson’s breach of privilege complaint against John Key has quickly descended into inaccurate counter claims about inaccurate claims.

Anthony Robins descends into farce in his post Key descends into farce. He accuses Key of lying:

So Key has been caught out in another lie to Parliament, how does he respond?

A spokesman for Key said he stood by his statement.

But Robins appears to be caught up in some mistruthing himself.

What the IRD said was:

it would lead to “lower numbers of KiwiSaver members (particularly among the self-employed and children)”.

I haven’t seen any evidence of Inland Revenue saying anything directly on this, and no evidence of them saying anything to Key.

Robins quotes what was stated in a Treasury report (who consulted Inland Revenue). It is not a quote from Inland Revenue.

Hide: “Never been a successful privilege claim of misleading the House”

Rodney Hide, in response to a post on Grant Robertson’s breach of privilege complaint against John Key, says:

To the best of my knowledge in the history of the Westminster system there has never been a successful privilege claim of misleading the House in any commonwealth jurisdiction.

The test is not whether an answer is untrue but whether is it knowingly untrue.

So a Minister can be mistaken or confused and say next to anything. And they do.

That’s as I understand it. It’s the complaint itself that is the counter hit not its success as a breach of privilege.

Robertson’s Breach of privilege complaint against Key has obvious flaws in it so so Key may easily be able to claim what he said was not “knowingly untrue” – Robertson doesn’t come close to proving the contrary.

Perhaps he didn’t bother trying and doesn’t care. Key’s rhetoric in Parliament looked like a stunt, and Robertson’s breach of privilege complaint looks little more than a “counter hit” stunt.

More confusion between Treasury and Inland Revenue

In his Breach of Privilege complaint to be laid against PM Grant Robertson has claimed Key has misled Parliament, saying “Inland Revenue told John Key” and “Inland Revenue actually said” – but there’s no evidence of what Inland Revenue told Key despite confusion connections being made by Robertson and The Standard.

Robertson’s press release linked to a Treasury report:

RobertsonBreachofPrivilege

As I show in Breach of privilege complaint against Key this doesn’t show any specific Inland Revenue statement, it just says that Treasury consulted with IRD for their report.

However Greg Presland at The Standard quotes in Another #Keyfib about Kiwisaver:

Yesterday’s Treasury dump of papers included the advice from the IRD to the Government about Kiwisaver.  The IRD paper included this advice on the likely effects to Kiwisaver providers:

Lower numbers of KiwiSaver members (particularly among the self-employed and children) and therefore lower revenues from fees and/or a greater number of dormant accounts (if affected individuals stop contributing)”.

Can anyone reconcile these statements?  I have tried to but I cannot stretch the language sufficiently.

That’s word for word the same as from the Treasury statement, but Presland links to an Inland Revenue publication. That’s a virtual replication of the Treasury Impact Statement but can give the impression it’s a statement from IRD.

I say “virtual replication” but it’s not identical. I haven’t checked right through but the first paragraphs differ:

Treasury version:

1. This regulatory impact statement has been prepared by the Treasury in close consultation with Inland Revenue.

IRD version:

1. This regulatory impact statement has been prepared by the Treasury in consultation with Inland Revenue.

But regardless of how close the consultation was there is no clear statement directly from Inland Revenue.

Roberston has claimed:

“Budget documents released yesterday show the Inland Revenue told John Key the exact opposite of what he told Parliament.“Inland Revenue actually said the impact of scrapping the kickstart on KiwiSaver providers would be a ‘lower numbers of KiwiSaver members (particularly among the self-employed and children)’.

The Treasury statement does not show what Inland Revenue told Key, nor does it show that they actually said anything at all to him.

Breach of privilege complaint against Key

Grant Robertson has made a formal breach of privilege complaint against John Key for allegedly misleading the house a week after the budget in May.

It appears that both Robertson and Key may have made mistakes.

Breach of Privilege complaint to be laid against PM

The Labour Party will today lodge a breach of privilege complaint against the Prime Minister for misleading Parliament over advice he received about scrapping the KiwiSaver kickstart.

Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says John Key misled the House on May 26 during the following  exchange:

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Mr Speaker took the Chair at 2 p.m.

Prayers.

Questions to Ministers

Prime Minister—Statements

1. METIRIA TUREI (Co-Leader—Green) to the Prime Minister : Does he stand by all his statements?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): Yes.

Metiria Turei : Does he stand by his reported statement that no one had been disadvantaged by the move to scrap the $1,000 KiwiSaver kick-start payment?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : The member might want to table the source for that because I cannot recall it.

Metiria Turei : Has the Prime Minister seen that New Zealand ranks 22nd out of 24 countries in the OECD for savings, and will his removal of the $1,000 KiwiSaver kick-start contribution make this poor savings record better or worse?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : Firstly, savings records have improved under this Government. Secondly, there are multiple ways of measuring those things. And, thirdly, the removal of the $1,000 kick-start contribution will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver.

Metiria Turei : What evidence does the Prime Minister have that the sign-up rates for KiwiSaver will not be affected?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : That is the formal advice from the Inland Revenue Department, and it is supported by the view that the people who are joining KiwiSaver are essentially doing so because it is now well organised within the workplace. Some of the big scheme providers are extremely well organised. We have got about 15,000 to 20,000 people joining in a month. I would be very, very surprised if it changes at all as a result of this.

“Budget documents released yesterday show the Inland Revenue told John Key the exact opposite of what he told Parliament.“Inland Revenue actually said the impact of scrapping the kickstart on KiwiSaver providers would be a ‘lower numbers of KiwiSaver members (particularly among the self-employed and children)’.

“Instead of reflecting this advice, the Prime Minister simply made a blanket statement claiming the IRD backed his position.

“The Prime Minister has a fundamental requirement to tell the truth to Parliament. Blatantly misrepresenting advice he receives brings the integrity of Parliament into question.

“John Key must lead by example by having the highest standards of integrity. If he can’t be trusted to be truthful in Parliament, how can the public have confidence in any of his statements or those of his ministers?”

The Regulatory Impact Statement was “prepared by the Treasury in close consultation with Inland Revenue”.

KiwisaverRegulatoryImpactStatement

The section on impacts:

KiwisaverRegulatoryImpacts

(44. a.) is what Robertson is referring to. He claims: “Inland Revenue actually said the impact of scrapping the kickstart on KiwiSaver providers would be a ‘lower numbers of KiwiSaver members (particularly among the self-employed and children)’.

I can’t see anything that shows what “Inland Revenue actually said”, just that the statement was prepared “in close consultation” with Inland Revenue.

The Regulatory Impact Statement was signed by James Beard (Manager, Financial markets) from The Treasury.

It looks to me that Key could legitimately respond that this doesn’t prove Robertson’s claim against him.

Key claimed “That is the formal advice from the Inland Revenue Department” – Robertson doesn’t appear to have proved that wrong.

I would be surprised if Inland Revenue formally advised Key that “the sign-up rates for KiwiSaver will not be affected”.

I think both Robertson (now) and Key (in Parliament) have made loose claims.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see Key ‘clarify’ by saying that he meant that the sign up rate of the ‘target population’ wouldn’t be affected – that’s employees who are automatically enrolled and who have to de-enrol if they don’t want to be in KiwiSaver.

The self employed and children seen as ‘leakage’ enrolments outside the ‘target population’.

Overall Treasury

They recommended removing the Kickstart to achieve “significant fiscal savings” from a “costly and poorly targeted savings scheme”…

KiwisaverRegulatoryExecSummary

…but also said it would “marginally (at best)” improve the target effectiveness:

KiwisaverRegulatoryTargeteffectiveness

See the related post More confusion between Treasury and Inland Revenue.

Ensuring every house is warm, dry and safe

Andrew Little just tweeted:

I’m sending a letter to John Key asking him to ensure that every rental is warm, dry and safe.

Add your name here: http://go.labour.org.nz/healthy-homes

I couldn’t resist replying:

@AndrewLittleMP Do you want @JohnKeyNZ to personally ensure every rental is warm dry and safe, or should an army of checker uppers be used?

Most of my house is cold right now. The lounge has been heated for a while, and I’ve just switched on heating in the bedroom to warm it up. I turn a heater on in the bathroom when I have a shower, then turn it off again.

If we don’t dehumidify or ventilate then any room in our house gets damp, and if we aren’t vigilant we can get mould.

But I don’t want heat and humidity checkers coming around threatening to arrest us if we aren’t warm or dry enough.

Ok, we don’t have a rental property, we sort of own it. But we often have a young child staying (and don’t heat their bedroom through the night).

How the hell can John Key “personally ensure every rental is warm dry and safe”?

Here is Little’s letter:

Open Letter to John Key:

Dear Prime Minister John Key,

We are writing to you to seek your cooperation in ensuring that New Zealanders who rent have warm, healthy homes.

We know that, like all New Zealanders, you will have been deeply upset by the coroner’s finding that a state house was so cold, damp, and unhealthy that it contributed to the death of two year old Emma-Lita Bourne.

That should never happen in New Zealand and is a matter that is beyond party politics. It goes to the core of who we are as a society.

Your party has said that it wants to fix the issue of cold, damp rentals, and we believe that commitment is genuine. Now we want you to work constructively with us; to take the next step and ensure every rental property has insulation and effective heating.

We welcome news that the Government is working on some standards for rentals but we are concerned that they will not be strong enough. We need to ensure that all rental houses will be warm, dry, and safe for the families that live in them.

When Parliament next sits, Labour will be seeking leave to re-introduce the Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill that will set standards for insulation and heating in rental properties. We want to work with you to find a way that National can support this Bill and help ensure that every Kiwi house is a safe and healthy home.

Yours,

Andrew Little, Leader of the Opposition
and 786 other New Zealanders.

Go sign it if you like:http://go.labour.org.nz/healthy-homes

But note that there are no specifics about how warm, dry and safe houses can be ensured.

Perhaps you can let Little know how it could be ensured. A heater for every room, a humidifier for every house, and a $500 per month power credit for every household?

Little has been captured by the banal bullshit brigade.

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