Problems with releasing sex offenders

Releasing recidivist sex offenders when they have completed sentences is a very difficult thing to deal with. Understandably no one wants them living anywhere near them.

Corrections Minister Judith Collins was interviewed about this on Q & A this morning.

One News: Courts need to do more about keeping sex offenders from the public

Corrections Minister Judith Collins says public protection orders should be used more by the courts to keep sex offenders away from potential victims in the community.

Mrs Collins told Q+A that in cases such as one publicised today, where a young mother of three spoke out about her struggle with a sex offender living behind her house in Mangere, Corrections tried to get a Public Protection Order for him.

But, the High Court felt he did not meet the criteria.

So he has to be released, and he has to be housed somewhere.

“He does have 24-hour, seven-day-a-week monitors and minders with him,” Ms Collins said.

“But unfortunately, he has served his sentence… he’s on the most intensive form of monitoring that Corrections can get, and they’ve been turned down for a public protection order.”

She also said the government was building a community inside the prison grounds at Christchurch Men’s Prison to house people who had completed their sentences, but were deemed too risky to be living back in the community.

“But… the courts have to allow that to happen, allow us to have these people placed there.

“So Corrections doesn’t just decide where people are; they’re actually directed by the courts and the parole board.”

Full interview: Where to put sex offenders (14:03)

Panel: Where to put sex offenders – Panel (10:17)

State of emergency on homelessness?

Following up on his call for a state of emergency on homelessness on Q & A this morning Labour spokesperson on housing Phil Twyford has followed up with a media release:

Labour calls for state of emergency on homelessness

Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s homelessness crisis.

“There are 42,000 people homeless and living in severe housing stress while the National Government behaves like a possum in the headlights. It is time to declare a state of emergency and treat this crisis with the urgency it deserves.

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.
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  • Debate hard if you like but respect people’s right to have varying views and to not be personally be attacked.
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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.

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