2018 Child Poverty Monitor

When becoming Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that dealing with child poverty would be a priority for her and her Government.  However there are no easy or quick fixes – yet at least.

 

Click here for the Child Poverty Monitor: 2018 Technical Report

Poll suggests more progressive cannabis law reform wanted

People hoped that a new Government, especially one with Greens and Labour dominant, would properly address dysfunctional cannabis related laws. The Misuse of Drugs (Medicinal Cannabis) Amendment Bill is set to be passed this week, probably on Tuesday, but the lack of scope that has made it through the parliamentary system is underwhelming. Many will be disappointed.

A poll suggests that a majority of New Zealanders want more from Parliament – more like moves in a number of other countries, like Canada and United States who are far more progressive.

NZ Herald: Kiwis support medicinal cannabis for many conditions: Poll

A majority of New Zealanders say medicinal cannabis should be allowed to treat chronic pain, sleep disorders and other conditions, according to a new poll.

The Horizon Research poll, which was commissioned by fledgling medicinal cannabis producer Helius Therapeutics, comes just before a bill is expected to pass that will allow the use of medicinal cannabis for people who need palliative relief.

The poll, which canvassed the views of 2105 adults, showed support for medicinal cannabis to be allowed for a range of conditions.

Should be used for:

  • Chronic pain 68%
  • Cancer 58%
  • Epilepsy 52%
  • Multiple sclerosis 50%
  • Anxiety 49%
  • Arthritis 48%

I expect that those percentages would be much higher for those suffering from chronic pain, cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, anxiety or arthritis.

I wonder how these approval ratings would compare for the use of morphine?

The Government bill requires regulations for a medicinal cannabis scheme to be made no later than a year after the law comes into effect. There will be further consultation on those.

Other findings from the poll:

  • 75% agreed that medicinal cannabis should be treated the same as any other medicine
  • 59% agreed that doctors and nurse practitioners should be able to issue “medicinal cannabis cards” so patients could access cannabis products from pharmacists without prescription

More on that last result from Medical Cannabis Awareness NZ:

Recently Helius has commisioned a Horizons poll outlining attitudes around Medical Cannabis.  With the final reading of the Medical Cannabis bill likely to be early this coming week, it outlines strong support across the political spectrum for significantly more reform than what was offered in the Govt Cannabis Bill.

“A key critique of the govt bill is that it shows no shape or intent outlining the nature of the ‘scheme’. Public support as polled shows strong support for a Card based access scheme similar to what is in place in many US States, and as proposed in Dr. Shane Reti’s private member’s bill” says MCANZ Coordinator Shane Le Brun.

The Headline result shows that support for a card scheme is at 59%, with those opposed only at 18%

“Such results should be taken seriously by the team at the Ministry of Health who will be in charge of creating the scheme. Its a timely poll in that the next phase will be reliant on these unelected officials to balance the demands of the public, along with political expediency and the nature of managing the public health risks and benefits such a scheme may entail”.

“The preference of the public is to destigmatize Medical Cannabis, which aligns with our charities views. Essentially we would be satisfied if ‘Balanced’ Cannabis products were treated with the same caution as lighter Opioids and Benzodiazepines such as Codeine and Diazepam, which are prescribed quite freely”

“Unfortunately the wording of the question suggests following the traditional medical development model, which is where cannabis-based medicines hit a snag, its commercial suicide to do large-scale phase 3 trials for Medical Cannabis products, where the compositions etc are not able to be protected by patents”
This leads into our main issue with Medical Cannabis gaining legitimacy, the paucity of Phase 3 RCTs”

It is the hope of MCANZ, that with the successful passage of the bill, that the Minister and the Ministry waste no time in getting the regulatory consultation underway, and use such polls in their initial planning.

After initially indicating they would take urgent action over medical cannabis availability. It has taken a year to get a watered down bill over the line.

It could take up to another year to put it into effect.

 

Put “words into action and truly support women”

A thread on Twitter begins:

That’s quite a confrontational and alienating start. What follows is some advice to men, with some questionable comments added (I note that advice to women from men on this issue is unlikely to go down well):

In light of all the not all men idiots still breathing and talking shit, here’s a few ways that you can truly put your idiotic words into action and truly support women who are fearing for their lives right now.

Walk women to their cars and wait for them to drive off before leaving. Same applies to if you’re dropping them home. Wait until they are safely inside. If somebody is inside their car you will see and be able to help.

Wait with women for their taxis/ubers/transport home. Say hello and introduce yourself to the driver, note the number plate, and thank the driver for getting your friend home safely. Tell your friend to message you as soon as they are safely home.

If possible, drop your friends home in your uber/taxi/car. If money is an issue for them and they’re taking public transport, pay for them to get home.

When you see any women looking uncomfortable in a situation with a man, step in. Introduce yourself and say “hi, I’m xyz, is this man bothering you?” and follow up with “are you sure?” if she says no uncomfortably. Alert a staff member if you are in a bar.

If you ever see a woman being harassed by a man in any situation, also step in. introduce yourself, and say “would you like me to wait with you until he is gone?” and also call the police. If it looks like a couple’s fight, make sure the woman is aware there are witnesses & help.

This sort of thing can be tricky to deal with. Sometimes women don’t want others interfering. It risks escalating the situation for the women. It could also put the man who intervenes at risk. I know this from experience.

If a woman is visibly intoxicated leaving a bar with a man, tell security to check on them and also ask if she’s okay. if the man is defensive and aggressive and won’t let her speak, chances are he doesn’t know her, and is planning to assault her. Do not let them leave together.

If you see a male friend who won’t leave a woman alone, go over and say “sorry I’ll let him stop bothering you now” then take him away and explain that she is not interested and he needs to learn to take no for an answer, because women know what they want & don’t need convincing.

I’ve done that, and also done a number of other things that have been suggested.

If your male friends are discussing women in a degrading manner, or describing sexual situations where it is definitely murky as to whether or not she was coerced or consented willingly, ask “did she agree to that?” or “don’t speak about women like that”.

It’s tragic work christmas party season now, and it is very important to make sure the women of your office feel safe. If they look uncomfortable, save them. Don’t let any men abuse their power to assault women. Don’t let men grope women and justify it with ‘banter’.

Generally I agree – but male employees can also be in power imbalance situations with concerns about their careers.

At parties where drinks are flowing and people might not be pouring their own, watch who is pouring them and if they’re putting anything in them. Drink spiking is very common in Auckland and it is very easily done as well. If unsure, tip it over accidentally.

That could potentially raise ire and provoke violence.

Do not touch any women without their permission. Do not approach women from behind if they’re outside and alone. Do not yell at women. Do not chase them. Do not berate them. DO RESPECT THEM.

The presence of another male is intimidating to predators because a: they know that you will not be as easily physically overpowered as a woman, and b: there is now a witness to their indecency. Use your presence to protect women – stand between them with 111 on your dial screen.

Do not centre yourselves in conversations about violence against women. Accept that your part of humanity is responsible for the majority of violence on women. If you have not perpetrated violence you should not feel guilty. If you feel guilty, deliver yourself to the authorities.

Actually it can be pretty difficult.

All men being held responsible for the actions of some is contentious

Men need to realise you are a part of the global system of oppression which is violently killing women every day and work to better yourself and your peers to create a world where women do not fear your existence. Pretty easy to do if you aren’t a piece of shit.

I can understand people being angry, but being angry at all men is unlikely to help the situation.

They are worthwhile causes.

Many men do put words into action, and have been for a long time. Obviously more can and should be done to confront and reduce societal violence. I think that is best done cooperatively and positively.

I’m sure many women don’t like being lectured about keeping themselves safe. Most women (and men) are already aware of prudence and caution required in different situations.

I understand anger and emotion in situations like this, but lecturing and blaming and shaming all men is, i think, more of a problem than a solution.

Q+A: Phil Twyford “not my job to know” why KiwiBuild CEO not working

Phil Twyford was interviewed on Q+A last night. Oddly Twyford said he couldn’t comment on reports that the KiwiBuild chief executive Stephen Barclay left the job last month – see KiwiBuild problems building up more than houses – saying “I can’t comment on anything to do with an individual public servant, that would be completely inappropriate” but did concede that Barclay is not working at KiwiBuild: ” I know that he’s not at work, um but it’s literally not my job to know”

Corin Dann: I wonder if you can clarify and clear up this business with the CEO of KiwiBuild, Stephen Barclay – reports over the weekend that he has left the job. Has he left the job?

Phil Twyford: I can’t comment on anything to do with an individual public servant, that would be completely inappropriate.

Corin Dann: Where the minister of a two billion dollar investment here for the public, I would have thought that’s in the public interest for you to comment on that isn’t it?

Phil Twyford: So I don’t hire the public servants, I don’t manage them, I just get their advice.

Corin Dann: Do you know why he’s left the job..?

Phil Twyford: No, and I haven’t been advised on that, and it would be really inappropriate for me to comment…

Corin Dann: You don’t know why the CEO of KiwiBuild has not  been in the job since November.

Phil Twyford: Mmm. I know that he’s not at work, um but it’s literally not my job to know, and there are other people who deal with that, and they are, and I’m focussing on trying to get houses built.

Corin Dann: Has he actually resigned?

Phil Twyford: Corin, I can’t comment on this…It’s a matter relating to an individual public servant, and I simply cannot comment on it.

Corin Dann: Do you have confidence in him?

Phil Twyford: Corin, I can’t comment on this. It’s a matter that relates to an individual public servant.

And it went on, with Twyford repeating his ‘individual public servant’ and ‘inappropriate to comment’ lines. This seems remarkable that Twyford won’t say if the CEO of KiwiBuild has resigned or is working or not.

Twyford must know something about it, but is resolutely refusing to comment on it.

He did comment on the appointment of Barclay – “Great to have someone of Stephen’s calibre leading the Kiwibuild team.”

 

Murder, men, shame and blame

The murder of young tourist Grace Millane is terrible, and very sad for her family in particular. Horrendous crimes like murder can impact on many people.

There have been appropriate reactions online, like:

I think that most people would agree with that as some have.

There have also been a noticeable number of different reactions. Like calling on the Government to deal with mental health issues, even going as far as implying blame on the current and past Governments. I think that’s unfair.

Apparently there has been some blaming of the murder victim for her own death – I haven’t seen this but have seen this: “Fuck all of you who are blaming Grace for her own death.” Aand:

I’ve had to go on a blocking spree cos I’ve had so many people tweet me to say she should have been more careful. Women and men alike. It’s as if we’ve regressed a couple of hundred years.

It’s sad that there has been victim blaming. Angry responses to that are understandable, but some go into women versus men territory.

When you argue that women shouldn’t travel alone for fear of violence, you’re arguing that women don’t have the same right to life as men because in effect there are some instances and spaces where women should expect their lives are rendered precarious and meaningless.

Also prevalent is the implication and blaming of all men for murders, and violence generally. There have been many variations to this, including attacks on men for questioning the ‘all men’ blaming. people who have suggested anything like ‘not all men are to blame for the crimes of some’.

And some responses combine things and generalise, like:

Ironically, many of the “What did she expect; she should have been more careful” people are exactly the same ones shouting “ “ the rest of the time.

Men are also effectively blaming all men, or at least all men who say things they disagree with.

To all the guys responding to women’s pain, despair and outrage right now with , please go fuck yourselves. You are part of the problem. We are part of the problem unless we actively confront toxic masculinity and the culture of violence against women.

This troubles me. I don’t feel any responsibility for this crime. I think that ‘all men’ type attacks are likely to be counter-productive, alienating many men who oppose violence, who speak up against violence, who act against violence.

I don’t see how I have any responsibility for a murder in Auckland. Are all Aucklanders responsible in some way? Are all New Zealanders responsible for the safety of tourists?

It’s very sad to hear of the murder of a young tourist, but I also find it sad to see all the blaming and shaming of men generally. I don’t think that will do anything to make tourists or women safer.

Media watch – Monday

10 December 2018

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.

General chat

“Is there any way we could have a thread for the more lightweight stuff like music and general chat?”

Do it here. Please no personal attacks or bickering. Anything abusive, provocative or inflammatory may be deleted.

Open Forum – Monday

10 December 2018

Forum

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.Comments from other forums can be repeated here, cut and paste is fine.

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.

FIRST TIME COMMENTERS: Due to abuse by a few, first comments under any ID will park in moderation until released (as soon as possible but it can sometimes take a while).

Sometimes comments will go into moderation or spam automatically due to mistyped ID, too many links (>4), or trigger text or other at risk criteria.

World view – Monday

Sunday GMT

WorldWatch2

For posting on events, news, opinions and anything of interest from around the world.

The way forward to The Future – the big picture

They are trying an ongoing discussion on suggestions on the way forward to The Future at The Standard. Robert Guyton elaborated in Open Mike:

Plans for a post titled, “How to get there” and intended as a platform for TS readers and commenters to display their ideas and aspirations for improving the chances for each and every one of us (humanity that is) to “get there” have been floated over the past couple of weeks and today might be, by the grace of the TS authors and tech people, the moment for it to surface, glistening and quivering, into the light of day. Fingers crossed.

The title has changed but here it is The Future Is …:

This post is intended to be a place for discussion of the way forward.

The idea comes from an exchange on Open Mike a few weeks ago. TS regular Robert Guyton suggested we have a dedicated thread where “the way forward can be discussed, within parameters such as doable suggestions, successful examples, contributions from readers who support the concept of the thread, new takes on the future etc.”

So, an Open Mike for ideas, solutions and the discussion of the possible. The Big Picture, rather than a snapshot of the day’s goings on. Topics rather than topical.

You might want to talk about gene editing or free public transport.

Maybe the future is solar? Maybe it’s female? Maybe the future is merely a philosophical concept that’s had it’s day?

It would be worth getting a wider range of views than are likely at The Standard. We all hope to get what is now ‘the future’ – the best way forward is a collaborative but keenly contested approach across the political spectrum (and outside it).