Q & A – homeless people, sex offenders and Wellington mayoralty

Today on Q & A:

Where should the Corrections Department house sex offenders?

This week, a Lower Hutt community won its fight to have a sex offender moved from their neighbourhood.

Meanwhile, one south Auckland community has been fighting for the removal of a high risk sex offender from their neighbourhood but to no avail. We go back to Mangere and talk to a young solo-mother of three who fears for her children’s safety as the sex offender lives over her backyard fence.

Jessica Mutch interviews Corrections Minister Judith Collins on the best way to rehabilitate sex offenders and keep communities safe?

This was an informative interview detailing the intent and current practice of Community Protection orders.

Homeless people:

Plus Katie Bradford visits the small tourist town of Taupo with a big city problem – a growing number of homeless people. She finds a community rallying around to help out. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford joins us live to discuss the issues.

Twyford says that the Government should declare a state of emergency as there is a social housing crisis.

National politics in Wellington mayoralty:

Whena Owen looks at the contest to be Wellington’s mayor – and why central government politicians have got involved too.

 

Blended culture

A good example of how blended cultures have become in the modern world – a pizza business run by an Indian immigrant in Otago.

ODT: Working night and day on pizza chain

Energetic young Dunedin businessman Savi Arora continues to expand his pizza enterprise…

Pizza Bella was born last year when he opened in George St, after buying a failed pizza business having spied a potential business opportunity.

He later bought another pizza shop in Alexandra, rebranding it also as Pizza Bella, and recently opened in Gordon Rd, Mosgiel.

Mr Arora only spoke limited English when he arrived in New Zealand from India as a teenager to study business management.

Now happily settled in Dunedin, he has adopted a new slogan for Pizza Bella — Born in Otago — a reflection of how Otago people had supported him, he said.

It’s not uncommon for ethnic styled restaurants and food outlets to be owned and managed and staffed by people of various backgrounds.

Flat breads covered with stuff date back a long time. Bread covered with oils, herbs and cheese were eaten in ancient Greece.

Modern pizza is thought to have evolved out of dishes in Naples a few hundred years ago. Italians took these recipes to the US where they gradually became popular, especially with the avalanche of fast food outlets and franchises.

I first encountered pizza in the seventies in Auckland at Pizza Hut – on my first visit I ordered a steak, something I was more familiar with.

Now you can get pizza with a wide variety of ethnic style toppings. Including Indian.

Dunedin is known for it’s Scottish heritage (although in reality that’s only a small part of the ethnic mix here). I haven’t seen any haggis pizza here yet, but it’s been done – in London.

Fancy a slice of haggis pizza?

A London eatery is offering the bizarre fusion food “haggis pizza” to mark Burns Night

No wonder super blenders have become popular, where you chuck a bunch of stuff in and blend it beyond recognition.

When the threat is exaggerated beyond reason

From Time These 5 Facts Show Things in the U.S. Aren’t as Bad as They Seem

The United States is doomed. Americans have never been at greater risk of terrorist attack.

Based on history that’s debatable. There’s  as much risk in US from lightning strikes.

Killers either claimed by or who claim allegiance to ISIS have certainly added to the death toll from gun violence in the U.S. Fourteen people were murdered in San Bernardino, California last fall, and 49 more died during the assault on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Those 63 murders are 63 too many.

But if you’re a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil, you’re as likely to be killed by a lightning strike than a terrorist attack.

With the horrible exceptions of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, carried out by domestic terrorists, and the attacks of September 11, 2001, there haven’t been more than 50 terrorist deaths in any year since 1970.

What about American tourists in Europe? Even after the recent terror attacks in Paris, Nice, Brussels and elsewhere, terrorist attacks killed more Europeans in the 1970s and 80s than they do today.

Defense against terrorism demands constant vigilance. Fighting ISIS requires both military action and state-of-the-art law enforcement.

But voters aren’t well served when the threat is exaggerated beyond reason.

The threat of terrorism to New Zealand and New Zealanders is even less. Much less. Based on history it is close to zero.

Terrorists aim to instil fear in populations, but their threats usually far exceed their capabilities.

We aren’t well served when the threat is exaggerated beyond reason.

“Clinton hides, Trump slides, the republic subsides”

A common view of the US presidential contest is that it is a question of who is the worst candidate rather than who is the best.

‘The Plain Dealer’ Kevin O’Brien leans towards the worst views.

Clinton hides, Trump slides, the republic subsides

This may go down in history as the presidential election that made everyone angry. That, at least, would offer some hope that Americans’ taste in presidential candidates might be redeemable.

For now, though, all is bleak. The crook keeps proving more unabashedly crooked and the flake just keeps getting flakier.

On Clinton:

There’s no new lesson to learn from plumbing the depths of Hillary Clinton’s corruption or marveling at the heights of her mendacity. She’s as dirty as the day is long, and has been since the day she wriggled out of the Arkansas mud to become a public figure. This we knew.

All we’re getting now are more accurate readings of how low she has gone.

Don’t get your hopes up. As it always does, with a Democrat-friendly news media and a national attention span well short of a gnat’s, the Clinton strategy will work.

Deny. Dissemble. Delay. Dismiss.

But Trump is chump.

Last week, I wrote that if Donald Trump would just focus on immigration policy, his nose-diving campaign might recover.

He took the advice — only coincidentally, of course. And, as is his custom when good sense rears its long-forgotten head, he took it in the wrong direction.

That “deportation force” Trump talked about for months? Naw.

He now says immigration laws are fine the way they are, and he’ll just keep doing what Bush and Obama have done.

The best summation I saw came from Forbes.com contributor Josh Jordan on Twitter: “Aren’t all of you Trump supporters so happy that you threw away the White House on a guy that has no convictions? Great job.”

O’Brien may have a bit more extreme views than most but many tend towards this bleak outlook.

Perhaps whichever one ends up not losing will turn out to be a great president and they will unite Congress and the Senate to achieve some marvellous things for the United States of America and for the World.

Or the dollar democracy will continue to devalue.

 

More prejudices than burkini ban

New Zealand born Lamia Iman claims that we are fooling ourselves if we think New Zealand is a tolerant society.

To an extent at least she is right. There has been intolerance and prejudice expressed (and set in law in some cases) against Chinese, Irish, German,English, Dutch, Japanese, Pacific Island, Asian, Chinese, South African, Somalian, Maori etc throughout our history of occupation.

RNZ: Balking at burkini bans misses nearer prejudices

In response to recent terrorist attacks on French soil, several towns have banned the burkini – swimwear often worn by Muslim women and people avoiding the sun.

This week, New Zealand responded by putting a burkini on the runway at New Zealand Fashion Week.

We Kiwis may pat ourselves on the back for our small act of defiance and its representation of our tolerant society but we would only be fooling ourselves.

Islamophobia is on the rise in the Western world and Muslims and ethnic minorities who “look Muslim” are feeling the brunt of it. New Zealand is certainly not immune.

There are genuine concerns in New Zealand about the potential risks from Islamic radicals, but we have to take care not to over-react to something that hasn’t happened, and we should take care not to ostracise many people in New Zealand for the actions of some on the other side of the world.

Islamophobia is a confronting term that doesn’t encourage better understanding, it isd more likely to entrench opposing views.

We have blamed Chinese immigrants for the housing crisis, barred a woman from applying for a job because she wore a hijab, defaced the billboard of a Sikh candidate running for City Council with “ISIS”, and have barely increased our refugee quota in response to a massive crisis in Syria.

Do we really deserve that pat on the back?

In general yes I think New Zealand deserves some credit but we are far removed from the heat of the problems in the Middle east and Europe, and there have been notable signs of intolerance.

New Zealand actually has a party in Parliament called New Zealand First.

One of its MPs Richard Prosser suggested back in 2013, well before Brexit or Donald Trump’s presidential bid, that Muslim men should not be welcome to travel on Western airlines.

He eventually had to apologise, conceding most Muslims were not terrorists, but then suggested most terrorists were Muslims – despite FBI figures showing non-Muslims make up 94 percent of terrorist attacks in the US.

Muslims make up 0% of terrorist attacks in New Zealand – ironically considering the burkina issue in France at present the most publicised terrorist attack here was done by the French government.

The party’s leader Winston Peters has since called for immigrants to be interviewed “to check their attitude” if they come from countries who “treat their women like cattle”, while ACT’s David Seymour has called for refugees to have to literally sign up to “Kiwi values”.

Both might be talking around race and religion to escape accusations of bigotry, but there is no doubt they refer to Muslims.

To an extent at least they are referring to Muslims, or at least addressing concerns of people who target Muslims.

The primary effect of the burkini ban in France is not reduced terrorism or liberation of women – it is removal of Muslim women from public spaces.

That’s an important point. Some in France claim that the burkini is a sign of the oppression of women with no proof that the women wearing them feel oppressed, but banning the wearing of (targeted) traditional clothing in public may well deter some women from appearing in public. As does public mass blaming.

This might not be successful as it gets tested in the courts but if it were, it would only further marginalize the Muslim community, which can only lead to more radicalization.

It may lead to more radicalisation, but it is at least likely to marginalise Muslim women and children.

Islamic clothing is wrapped in cultural, national, religious, and gendered connotations and the effect is marginalization of women but also Muslims in general, especially non-white Muslims.

It doesn’t matter that nuns can go to the beach or that people can still wear wet suits. What matters is the racial association with Muslims devalues all who don’t fall into the narrow white definition of a “liberated woman”.

A different angle to this is that in New Zealand there have been claims that females wearing too few clothes puts them at risk of sexual assaults so they should dress more safely. Damned if they clad, damned if they don’t.

North and South magazine in its June issue covered refugees and Muslims in New Zealand, but the cover had a menacing photo subtly equating the niqab to something sinister and dangerous with the headline “Radical Islam”.

Nobody has a problem with a white woman in Wellington covering up from head to toe on a cold July morning as the wind and rain comes in from all directions.

There were many heavily clad people at the rugby test in Wellington last night, many wearing highly visible symbols of their culture.

But a Muslim woman is somehow seen as a threat to society by virtue of her modest clothing choices.

 

Social chat – Sunday

A post for social chat. You can still chat socially on other posts if it happens in relation to other discussions but if you simply want a bit of social chat start here.

The usual guidelines apply as to respecting others, behaviour and avoiding legal exposure. An emphasis on ‘social’, not ‘anti-social’.

Media watch – Sunday

28 August 2016

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

As usual avoid anything that could cause any legal issues such as potential defamation or breaching suppression orders. Also remember that keeping things civil, legal and factual is more effective and harder to argue against or discredit.

Sometimes other blogs get irate if their material is highlighted elsewhere but the Internet is specifically designed to share and repeat information and anyone who comments or puts anything into a public forum should be aware that it could be republished elsewhere (but attribution is essential).

Open Forum – Sunday

27 August 2016

Facebook: NZ politics/media+

This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isn’t spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is for you to raise topics that interest you. 

If providing opinions on or summaries of other information also provide a link to that information. Bloggers are welcome to summarise and link to their posts.

Comments worth more exposure may be repeated as posts.

Your NZ is a mostly political and social issues blog but not limited to that, and views from anywhere on the political spectrum are welcome. Some ground rules:

  • If possible support arguments, news, points or opinions with links to sources and facts.
  • Please don’t post anything illegal, potentially defamatory or abusive.
  • Debate hard if you like but respect people’s right to have varying views and to not be personally be attacked.
  • Don’t say to a stranger online anything you wouldn’t say to their face.

Moderation will be minimal if these guidelines are followed. Should they ever be necessary any moderator edits, deletes or bans will be clearly and openly advised unless obviously malicious from anyone breaching site protocols, or spam.

The Nation – male suicide, housing and US politics

On The Nation this morning…

Auckland housing again:

Has the Government done enough to tackle Auckland’s housing crisis? Newshub’s political editor Patrick Gower asks Housing Minister Nick Smith.

Same old.

Smith says he can’t force private landowners to build.

Smith says the best way to fight land banking is to create a competitive market … cites Chch as an example.

Last year Smith wrote to four developers to ask them to contact the Council with a time frame for development.

Smith sticks by his previous comments that he wants a house price to income multiple of 4.

MBIE figures show it’ll be 2030 before Auckland’s housing shortfall will be met.

Male suicide (‘the silent epidemic’):

Last year 428 New Zealand men took their own lives. Three times more men die by suicide than women, leading some experts to call male suicide a silent epidemic

This week The Nation investigates what causes men to take this step and what can be done to prevent it.

takes a look at a new prevention programme.

NOTE: If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs immediate help, call Lifeline on 0800 543 354 or the Suicide Prevention Helpline on 0508 828 865

And US politics:

And Paddy also talks Trump with Philip Rucker, a Washington Post political correspondent.

says the Trump campaign is “flailing”.

Māori political play looks credible

Māori political interests are becoming clearer and look like they are aiming for real gains – and it doesn’t look favourable for the Labour Party, who appears to be losing it’s connection with yet another pew from it’s once broad church.

Maiki Sherman has an in depth and fascinating analysis of Māori political manoeuvrings at Newshub – Opinion: Māori politics now a Game of Thrones.

In short, the Kīngitanga movement appears to be teaming up with the Māori Party, and they are working towards an alliance with Hone Harawira and the Mana Party.

The person at the centre of this is Tuku Morgan, ex NZ First MP and now a closer adviser to Kīngi Tuheitia and president of the Māori Party.

If this works it could put a strong bloc of Māori in a strong political position, competing with NZ First for holding possible balance of power after next year’s election.

And it will either sideline Labour from power, or it have a powerful influence over a Labour led coalition.

National could be the main benefactors – apart from Māori.

As next year’s election looms closer, the power plays have begun.

And right at the centre of it is the King himself – Kīngi Tuheitia, the Māori Monarch. His movement, the Kīngitanga, is reasserting its relevance.

The King’s annual address is the only time he speaks publicly.

Over the years, his speeches have included the personal criticisms faced by the King and the overwhelming need to reaffirm the relevance of the King Movement.

Of equal importance, and intrinsically tied to the two points just mentioned, are the ever-increasing political themes seen in the King’s yearly speech.

Māori water rights, Kōhanga Reo, a Treaty of Waitangi claim to greater Auckland, and the question of sovereignty.

All of these issues have been part of an attempt to assert the power of the Kīngitanga.  

However, the King Movement does not command the same power it once had with the Government of the time.

The movement itself, as noted by the King in his annual addresses, has had to work on rebuilding its support amongst the Māori people.    

A king with fractured support from his own tribes is a king whose power is also fractured, leaving cracks for any government to divide and conquer.

Securing major concessions such as shared sovereignty then would be an uphill battle.

And so, politically at least, a strategy is needed to strengthen the King’s hand in the realm of Parliament.

Cue the King’s speech of 2016 that attacked Labour.

It was claimed the King went off script this year. But this is not the case.

Labour leader Andrew Little was set up – he was sitting front and centre moments before the King’s address was delivered.

The King said he would not be voting for Labour again and criticised the leader for his unwillingness to work with the Māori Party.

He then went on to back the Māori Party, with a nod also to Hone Harawira’s Mana Movement.  

The King’s Hand – Tukoroirangi Morgan

Tukoroirangi Morgan has been the King’s Hand – the King’s closest adviser – for many years.

And Morgan now has another job – he was recently appointed President of the Māori Party.

He is expected to be a game-changer for the Māori Party. The latest developments with the Kīngitanga support is a clear sign of this.

Morgan’s strategy and game plan will be well thought out.

The first move was to extend an olive branch to the Mana Movement. Breakfast with Hone Harawira.

And the backing of both the Māori Party and Mana Movement by the King in his annual address was anything but a coincidence.  

The Marriage of Convenience – Mana Party

A Maori Party-Mana alliance is the ultimate marriage of convenience in the Seven Kingdoms.

The seed was already sown following the meeting between Tukoroirangi Morgan and Hone Harawira.

A formal merger is highly unlikely. But a marriage of convenience is very much on the cards. A deal is almost certain to be struck in the Seven Kingdoms.

The King’s endorsement of Mana though has served more reasons than one. It would be a hard sell to say the Kīngitanga was backing an independent Māori voice without acknowledging Mana.

The Political Pawn – Māori Party

The real power-play here is the King’s endorsement of the Māori Party and setting up its alliance with Mana.

In order to strengthen the Kīngitanga’s political relevancy, they need to secure more concessions from the Government.

The King and his office are well and truly  aware of the benefits of sitting at the Government table.

Unlike other political parties, the Māori Party is not tied to the greater party needs and wants. Māori aspirations come first.

And so the King is taking over the Māori Party –  a movement capable of doing the Kīngitanga’s bidding at the Government table. And sitting across from John Key will be none other than Tukoroirangi Morgan.

The Māori Party has been hijacked by the Kīngitanga – they just don’t know it yet.

Perhaps they are willing parties to this power play – they will have been well aware of the significance of appointing Morgan as their party president.

The Princess – Nanaia Mahuta

So, where does Nanaia Mahuta sit in all of this? The Hauraki-Waikato MP has been the political princess of the Kīngitanga for two decades.

Questions have been swirling for a while about whether Mahuta will contest the next election. While she has confirmed she intends to stand, inside sources reveal that is not the case. The King’s attack on Labour all but confirm this. It is no longer a question of if, but simply when Mahuta will step down.

The King’s criticism and its inferred message for voters to ditch Labour now makes it far too awkward for Mahuta to stand at the next election. Hauraki-Waikato are block voters. They have backed Mahuta over the years, much of it based on loyalty.

And loyalty should not be underestimated when it comes to Māori politics. When Labour announced its reshuffle in December 2015, Mahuta was demoted down the list. This caused outrage among Hauraki-Waikato constituents and the Kīngitanga. The King’s spokesman Tuku Morgan came out firing saying Little would regret it and the snub would come back to bite the party in the backside. The Kīngitanga has delivered on that promise.      

Labour has now been outcast by the Māori King, and therefore, the Hauraki-Waikato electorate.

Expect the Māori Party to win this seat at next year’s election.

The Outcast – Andrew Little

Labour has now been outcast by the Māori King, and therefore, the Hauraki-Waikato electorate.

However, with at least another year out from the election, expect further moves to take place in the interim.

As the old saying goes, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Labour have tended to use their Māori support rather than deliver what it has wanted. No are we seeing some utu?

The Gatekeeper – John Key

According to a media advisor in the King’s office, John Key and Kīngi Tuheitia have had at least three meetings in the past six months.

A stronger Māori Party could also be another saviour for National in that it may not have to rely on the Kingmaker – Winston Peters.

The Māori King could save Key from Winston the Kingmaker.

Yet, as they say – a year is a long time in politics. Anything could happen.

But one thing is certain – the Māori politics Game of Thrones is well and truly underway.

Yes, a lot could happen in the next year.

But what Sherman illustrates here is credible, and it looks like a well thought through plan. That could succeed.

The biggest unknown is who will lead the next Government, National or Labour. This plan appears to favour National. But above all it could put the Māori Party, the Māori King and the Mana movement into a very powerful position – and there may be little the rest of us can do about it.

What would provide a strong Māori bloc in Parliament with the most benefits?

A Labour led coalition, where Labour is keen to make up for nine years out of power, the Green Party is keen to launch their long planned ideals, possible NZ First are also in the mix, with the Māori Party making up the numbers?

Or the Māori Party building on their relationship with National, possibly providing National with a path back to power without needing to rely on Winston Peters, and holding on their own a decisive vote?

Where would Mana fit in if Harawira wins his seat back? He has vowed never to team up with National. But he could still team up with the Māori Party, who apart for Confidence and Supply have voted against the Government more than for it.

The next year in politics could be much more interesting than the same old ‘Winston holds the balance of power’.

Fascinating.

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