Sexuality, statistics, and blog ignorance and intolerance

Sexuality is talked a lot more these days. This is generally a good thing, although not when it’s like this:

Juana Atkins (SB) at Whale Oil:  Human Rights Commission Goes ‘Full Retard’

The Human Rights Commission have created a ridiculous engagement survey that lists various mental disorders as genders for participants to choose from. Instead of being asked if the participant is male or female they list no less than TEN options to choose from.

So what are the ten choices that the ‘woke’ Human Rights Commission have included as made up genders to choose from?

  • Male
  • Female
  • Transgender
  • Takatapui
  • Genderfluid
  • Non-binary
  • Agender
  • Don’t know
  • Prefer not to say
  • Self-describe

Six of the gender options in the survey are completely made up. One option is that the person doesn’t know what gender they are and the other is that they would prefer not to say. There is zero scientific or biological basis to the six other options. They are lies and falsehoods created to make those who suffer from a mental disorder feel that their delusion is real.

Read my lips. There are only two genders, male and female.

This is both arrogant and ignorant, unless Atkins is deliberately stirring up intolerance.

Oxford dictionary:


1  Either of the two sexes (male and female), especially when considered with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones. The term is also used more broadly to denote a range of identities that do not correspond to established ideas of male and female.

1.1 Members of a particular gender considered as a group

1.2 The fact or condition of belonging to or identifying with a particular gender.

Wikipedia: Gender

Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between, masculinity and femininity. Depending on the context, these characteristics may include biological sex (i.e., the state of being male, female, or an intersex variation), sex-based social structures (i.e., gender roles), or gender identity.

Most cultures use a gender binary, having two genders (boys/men and girls/women);[4] those who exist outside these groups fall under the umbrella term non-binary or genderqueer.

Historically, many if not most societies have recognized only two distinct, broad classes of gender roles, a binary of masculine and feminine, largely corresponding to the biological sexes of male and female.

However, some societies have historically acknowledged and even honored people who fulfill a gender role that exists more in the middle of the continuum between the feminine and masculine polarity. For example, the Hawaiian māhū, who occupy “a place in the middle” between male and female, or the Ojibwe ikwekaazo, “men who choose to function as women”, or ininiikaazo, “women who function as men”.

The hijras of India and Pakistan are often cited as third gender. Another example may be the muxe found in the state of Oaxaca, in southern Mexico. The Bugis people of Sulawesi, Indonesia have a tradition that incorporates all the features above.

In addition to these traditionally recognized third genders, many cultures now recognize, to differing degrees, various non-binary gender identities. People who are non-binary (or genderqueer) have gender identities that are not exclusively masculine or feminine. They may identify as having an overlap of gender identities, having two or more genders, having no gender, having a fluctuating gender identity, or being third gender or other-gendered.

Recognition of non-binary genders is still somewhat new to mainstream Western culture, and non-binary people may face increased risk of assault, harassment, and discrimination.

In her post Atkins promoted harassment and discrimination, and both were evident in the comments on her post. The first comment:

I think a lot of people are getting very tired of a small minority inflicting this time wasting insanity on the majority and would like an “F Off” option.

That appears to breach WO commenting rules, but they apply them selectively.

The HRC Community Engagement stated:

The purpose of the Human Rights Commission (HRC) is to promote and protect human rights of all people in Aotearoa New Zealand. We work for a free, fair, safe and just New Zealand, where diversity is valued, and human dignity and rights are respected.

That should include the right to choose individuals to choose what gender they identify with, and to not be subject to the imposition of rigid binary gender options, or to be ridiculed, abused and demeaned by those who are intolerant of differences.

People who feel their gender doesn’t fit within a rigid male/female construct are in a small minority, but they face difficulties due to discrimination and worse from the majority.

Statistics NZ: New sexual identity wellbeing data reflects diversity of New Zealanders

For the first time, wellbeing data for people of different sexual identities has been collected as part of the 2018 General Social Survey (GSS), Stats NZ said today.

This information is an important step towards better reflecting the diversity across New Zealand in official statistics.

A person’s sexual identity is how they think of their own sexuality and which terms they identify with.

  • 96.5% identifying as heterosexual or straight
  • 1.9% identifying as bisexual
  • 1.1% identifying as gay/lesbian
  • 0.5% identified as other identities (includes terms such as takatāpui, asexual, pansexual, others)

3.5% seems a small number, but that equates to about 168,000 people in New Zealand.

And it looks like it could increase as strict as oppressive legal and social pressures continue to change.

By age group:

  • 18-24: 0.8% gay/lesbian, 5.4% bisexual (total 6.4%)
  • 24-44: 1.5% gay/lesbian, 2.6% bisexual (total 4.1%)
  • 45-64: 1.2% gay/lesbian, 0.9% bisexual (total 2.1%)
  • 65+: 0.6% gay/lesbian, 0.1% bisexual (total 0.7%)

The higher total numbers in the 18-24 age group are probably due to different factors, including reducing social pressures on being ‘different’, and greater experimentation as young adults.

Most of those identifying as bisexual when young seem to decide on heterosexual  as they get older.

It is likely these numbers are also affected by different life risks and expectancies.

Higher levels of discrimination are not surprising, but it’s not as high as I thought it would be.

Discriminated against in the last year:

  • 39% of bisexual people
  • 34% of gay/lesbian people
  • 16% of of people identifying as straight or heterosexual

Heterosexual people feeling discriminated against may seem odd, but comments at WO give some indication as to why this may be:

By giving groups additional rights they in fact create other groups with fewer rights. Gay people, black people, women all get special privileges and whenever a new group self identifies they get additional rights. Human rights are individual, and apply to everyone.

They aren’t given ‘additional rights’, they are given rights that the majority have enjoyed.

What about pale, stale and male rights, perhaps we should not be compelled to die on the battlefield protecting everyone else rights?

I doubt that AWB has risked their life on a battlefield protecting anyone’s rights, let alone minority rights.

Other findings:

  • Bisexual people less satisfied with life
  • One-third of bisexual people report poor mental wellbeing
  • Gay/lesbian and bisexual people find it harder to express their identity
  • Gay/lesbian people the most socially connected with friends and less lonely

David Farrar posted on it at Kiwiblog: Stats Sexuality data – he stated facts and little else, but comments were heavily leaning towards intolerance and abuse, as well as claiming to be victims.

‘the deity formerly known as nigel6888’:

So we are turning over all of society for precisely nobody’s benefit

Good oh!

These weirdos can’t even manage 1% but we let them drive social policy. Remarkable!


And all this PC BS for such small numbers. Why? All in the name of inclusiveness as espoused by our PM perhaps?
What a joke! Don’t forget, some of our laws are written around such garbage, not to mention the dreaded ‘hate speech’.


Yeah. It isn’t cool to be known as straight, white, or male anymore.

So, I suspect a lot of young people would answer any way to avoid those options.

93.6% of young people surveyed didn’t avoid the straight option. I think it’s more likely that non-binary gender options are under-represented.


So why are we wasting so much money on homosexuals and other associated weirdos putting things into place to placate them?

Comments at Kiwiblog seem to have moved further towards a small minority of recently disaffected and increasingly grumpy people, mostly males. They are far from representative of the general population, but intolerance of differences in sexuality is still rife in some pockets of society.

Fortunately there’s a lot more understanding and tolerance of differences in sexuality generally these days, especially in Parliament, in the Public Service and in law.

Consenting adults should be free to choose their sexuality free from discrimination and abuse.

Personally I have always felt straight or heterosexual, but I’m happy to let others choose for themselves what their sexuality or gender is to them.

NZ Public Service diversity – gender and ethnicity

The State Services Commission Public Service Workforce Data 2018:

This information release offers a snapshot of trends in the Public Service workforce. It uses employee payroll data from all 32 Public Service departments.

This document is a useful tool for shining a light on trends and areas that need to improve and informing public debate about important issues such as the representation of women, the number of women in senior leadership and chief executive roles, progress on gender pay, ethnic pay and health and safety in the workplace. It is organised around five main areas of the Public Service: workforce, diversity, career, workplace, inclusion, remuneration and workplace.

This year’s information release shows the Public Service has made significant progress towards increased representation of women in senior management and chief executive roles.

More women are represented in the top three tiers of leadership, now occupying 44% of chief executive positions, up 22% from five years ago (2013).

It also shows progress in other priority areas including closing the gender pay gap, gender equity for chief executives, pay equity and diversity. For the first time, information is presented on the Rainbow community and workplace injuries. The Public Service is becoming more diverse, with increased representation of Pacific and Asian ethnicities in the workforce.

60.9% women overall and 48.8% women in senior management is interesting.

The ethnic mix varies a lot across department. Melissa Carl-R (@HoneyBeegeek) tweeted

I am shocked that the NZ government’s Social Investment Agency employs only pakeha staff, and that the Ministry of Culture and Heritage is one of the most Pakeha organisations we have (only beaten by SIA and DPMC).

Ministry of Culture and Heritage is 9.9% Māori  which doesn’t seem too bad.

The overall mix doesn’t look bad either, nut ‘New Zealander’ is not represented at all!

Overall ethnic mix in New Zealand (2013 census):

  • European 74.0%
  • Māori  14.9%
  • Asian 11.8%
  • Pacific 7.4%


Is any male criticism of a female Prime Minister sexist?

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has had some very challenging weeks since returning from maternity leave. Problems with ministers (Clare Curran and Meka Whaitiri) and power struggles with Winston Peters, plus a number of changes of policy position by Labour, have justified a lot of criticism.

Questions have inevitably been asked about how well Ardern is juggling her responsibilities as Prime Minister and as a new mother.

How much are criticims sexist?

Andrea Vance (Stuff): The PM’s made mistakes, but they’ve got nothing to do with gender

Online that is headlined: Sexist business as usual at Parliament

While female MPs were sipping orange juice at a celebratory Parliament breakfast, and their male colleagues were pinning white camellia to their suit lapels, it was sexist business as usual in the corridors of power.

Jacinda Ardern was distracted. She had too many papers crossing her desk. She was weak for not firing Clare Curran.

Don’t think this is sexist?

When Simon Bridges accuses Ardern of being distracted dealing with Winston Peters, his underlying message is: baby brain. It carries the scent of paternalistic condescension.

Bridges might not even be conscious of it. But the words we choose infer things beyond what we intend.

Do they infer “things beyond what we intend” or do others perceive things that were not intended?

No commentator ever suggested John Key had too much paperwork to deal with, even when he was struck down with one of his “brain fades”.

He was not described as weak for letting foreign minister Murray McCully get away with using a private email account – and he got hacked.

Key was described as weak. For example:

  • The Standard (2009): A weak leader
    John Key is a weak leader. Currently popular (he’s such a “nice guy” you know) – but weak. Like a school teacher who has lost the respect of their pupils, Key has lost control over his MPs. And like naughty kids, Key’s MPs are starting to run wild.
    …So the rot is well and truly set in. At no level is Key holding his Ministers and MPs to account. They are now openly defying his will. John Key is a weak leader.
  • New Zealand Labour Party (2015): John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.


Bridges has a baby daughter. Has anyone ever questioned if it affects his ability to lead his party? So, don’t suggest it about Ardern.

As far as I’m aware Bridges doesn’t take his baby (nor his son and other daughter or partner) to Parliament, into caucus meetings, on trips to the United Nations.

Having babies and having children affects most people, including how they do their jobs. These days All Blacks take time out from their jobs when they have babies. This impacts on their work.

No-one is “playing the woman card” here. And no-one is suggesting criticising Ardern is off-limits. She’s made plenty of mistakes – but they are nothing to do with her gender.

It is Vance who is bringing gender into it.

By all means, critique all politicians’ competencies. Tone, mannerisms or bad behaviour are all worth noting, regardless of gender. But do it without mentioning their clothing, hair, or reproductive status.

Politicians must stop referring to loaded and emotional characteristics: moody, weak, whiny, hysterical, bitchy, bossy, control freak. No more prima donna, drama queen, mean girl.

Even communal language that appears positive: “being supportive”, and “showing warmth” puts women in a box, even if they don’t fit the stereotype.

This isn’t PC gone mad.

So every politician, party and journalist should examine their words before going public to make sure there is no possibility that someone else could perceive some sort of gender connotation?

That sounds PC gone mad to me.

Yes, male politicians are also insulted and ridiculed. People are horribly cruel about Simon Bridges’ diction.

But the key difference is male MPs’ masculinity is rarely correlated with incompetence.

No matter how subtle and nuanced the discrimination is, it all combines to de-legitimise a woman’s authority, and to depersonalise them.

Is calling Winston Peters paternalistic de-legitimising him?

So, to make Suffrage 125 really count for something, its time to play the ball, not the woman.

That would be radical – politics 101 is playing the man or the woman.

Meanwhile, a female journalist plays the baby. Heather du Plessis-Allan – Jacinda Ardern outshines Helen Clark and John Key

The Prime Minister jetted off to New York last night. US TV interviews, meeting world leaders, a speech at the UN General Assembly. It’s a packed schedule ahead of her. But, busy as it will be, baby and all, it’s probably a welcome relief to get out of New Zealand.

Ardern has captured the zeitgeist of our time. A young, progressive leader. With a baby. Down-to-earth enough to buy her maternity wear from Kmart. Cool enough to DJ in her free time.


More on ‘ NZ’s failure on sexual misconduct’

I have already commented on a Spinoff ‘Opinion’ by Catriona MacLennan – see Sexual misconduct issue hampered by generalised attacks. I think that sexual misconduct and sexual crimes are complex issues that require a concerted joint gender effort, and generalised blaming is unhelpful.

Another analysis of the MacLennan’s assertions from ‘NaCLedPeanuts’ at Reddit: NZ’s failure on sexual misconduct is much, much bigger than any one case:

It is difficult to put this down to anything other than them not considering sexual harassment to be important.

That’s not quite true. Sexual harassment and sexual violence is a serious issue that a lot of companies, institutions and organisations would rather not deal with when it pops up out of fear that it could spiral out of control and result in a huge amount of damage to that company, institution and organisation. It’s in the interests for sexual harassment and assault allegations to be swept under the carpet rather than aired in public, where the latter will often make uneducated, kneejerk reactions or engage in unscrupulous speculation about who did what.

We’re only at the cusp of these allegations so far, so I’d expect more damaging stuff to come forth in the future.

Sexual harassment – like rape, domestic violence, the gender pay gap and other issues – is pigeon-holed as a “women’s issue”. This means that women are regarded as being responsible for solving it.

Again, not true. The overwhelming evidence with regards to the beliefs and actions of feminists and women elsewhere within both the developed and developing worlds is that yes, it is a “women’s issue”, but that means that women are the victims, not that it’s their responsibility for them to solve it. The rhetoric (for the want of a better word) is that women are the victims, men are the perpetrators and that it’s up to men to solve these issues, or in the case of the popular rape culture theories, for apparently enlightened feminists to “teach men not to rape”.

This of course allows no room for nuanced discussions or action to address this issue.

Men are the perpetrators, but calling sexual harassment a “women’s issue” gives men a get-out-of-jail-free card.

There’s a couple of problems with this. Firstly, “men are the perpetrators” is very, to use a word favoured by the millennial left, problematic. It is problematic because it assumes that only men are perpetrators and only women are victims, something which is obviously not true. Sexual harassment and sexual violence can and does happen to anyone regardless of race, sex and sexual orientation but Western societies collectively struggle to get past the dichotomy which puts men and women as oppressors and victims respectively. This, again, leaves no room for nuanced discussions or actions that consider all victims.

Secondly it doesn’t give men a jail-free-card because, as we’re seeing with #MeToo in the United States and the wholesale embrace of misandry by Western feminism as a whole, men collectively as a “class” are essentially being blamed or held responsible for all the ills of society. As we have already seen, men elsewhere who have been accused have been suffering serious consequences despite the lack of evidence supporting a lot of these allegations. New Zealand generally has issues with recognising sexual harassment and sexual violence as a serious problem as a whole, but to suggest that this is a women’s only problem or that it’s regarded as a problem that only women are willing to solve is disingenuous.

Not a single male lawyer has spoken out about sexual harassment in the legal profession. They have – gutlessly –sat by and left it to women to speak;

Men’s opinions and voices regarding women’s issues, or at least social issues where women are perceived to be the primary victims, are a subject of discussion in of themselves. There’s no real agreement on whether or not men’s opinions or voices are welcome in these circumstances. In addition, reluctance can be assumed to exist because the opinions may be perceived as insincere, that they themselves may be implicated or accused, or simply that there’s enough moral outrage and that their opinion is simply moot.

It seems that it is only when journalists do stories about sexual harassment that employers are forced to deal with it properly;

Because of the damage that could come to employers, who usually had nothing to do with it, that could seriously affect their ability to do business. If your company has an employee commit a sexual crime against another employee, it’s in your interest to resolve that issue as quickly and as quietly as possible. Because you cannot control the damage if it goes public.

As a result of the latest stories, there will be reviews and new procedures.

Indeed. And we’ll likely see a mirroring of those procedures as implemented in places like the United States. South Korea, where #MeToo also has arrived, has seen an explosion of interest in the rule United States Vice President Mike Pence has regarding attending functions or dining alone with women, which he refuses to do. They’re applying it to business environments and that means not interacting or doing anything alone unsupervised with women.

That is because the root cause of sexual harassment is power.

Wait for it…

In our society, it is middle-class, Pākehā males who hold power.

Here it comes…

In their heart of hearts, they view women as inferior.

DING DING DING! Somehow I knew we couldn’t get through this article without someone blaming this phenomena on white males. For someone who earlier was arguing that all these social ills were women’s responsibility she seems to be more than happy blame every single white man in New Zealand for this issue.

But it doesn’t surprise me that we have this kind of idiotic social commentary being published by the likes of the Spinoff. After all misandry is en vogue at the moment. Maybe that’s why all the lawyers aren’t speaking out when they’re being blamed for everything that’s been happening?

Until we not only tackle but actually solve the power imbalance, Pākehā males will continue to believe that women’s bodies are theirs for the taking – whether it is in the workplace or elsewhere.

And how do you tackle and resolve this “power imbalance”? Give women more power! It’s almost like Ghandi was right about “an eye for an eye will make the whole world blind”.


Spotlight on gender pay gap

More attention is being given to the gender pay gap in New Zealand since the change of Government.

Stuff: Broadcasters silent on pay equity, as Stats NZ plan to measure gender gap

The Government has ordered Statistics NZ to begin measuring the country’s gender pay gap.

Levelling out salaries in the public sector is something the new Government has committed to.

Recently media companies across the world have female co-hosts quitting due to the gender pay gap – citing that doing the same job and not getting the same pay was not right.

Quitting doesn’t fix the problem.

On November 14 last year TVNZ’s Hilary Barry tweeted “Dear Women of NZ, I’ve got some bad news for you. From today until the end of the year you’re working for free.”

Barry is rumoured to be fronting Seven Sharp, which has always had a formula of one male and one female presenter. TVNZ would not comment if there would be any discrepancy in wages for the incoming hosts.

MediaWorks also refused to say whether The Project hosts Jesse Mulligan, Kanoa Lloyd and Josh Thomson, were paid equally. The show returns to screens on Monday.

The article did not say whether Fairfax was asked whether there is a gender pay gap in their media operations.

Mark Greer, owns Hawke’s Bay business services company Bizdom​.

Greer questioned if the Government would even be able to tackle the topic, because it was one that was a lot more convoluted than a simple tweak to legislation.

“I would be concerned if the Government started saying I had to have certain percentage of females and males. I just don’t know if the Government can do anything about [decreasing the gender wage gap].”

The Government can ensure that there is pay equity in the public service. They can also encourage and pressure private companies in to doing likewise – having good statistics will help with this.

The Labour-Green confidence and supply agreement includes:

12. . Eliminate the gender pay gap within the core public sector with substantial progress within this Parliamentary term, and work to ensure the wider public sector and private sector is on a similar pathway.

“Substantial progress within this Parliamentary term” and “ensure the wider public sector and private sector is on a similar pathway” is vague and indicates no confidence in rapid change.


But new Statistics Minister James Shaw believed there was an onus on his department to gather the data, so the Government could fix it.

It was too early to know exactly how it was going to be measured, Shaw said in a written statement.

That statement from Shaw appears to have been to the Sunday Star Times, I can’t find it anywhere online.

Utopia – you are standing in it! has posted:

Not sure to what to make of this because extensive data is already collected.

From this link:

Summary and recommendation

We consider that median hourly earnings from the New Zealand Income Survey (NZIS) is the best measure for calculating the gender pay gap.

We recommend this measure for three reasons.

  • Hourly earnings measure pay for a fixed quantity of work.
  • The median is a better measure of ‘typical’ pay than the average (mean).
  • NZIS collects individuals’ income from paid jobs, which allows us to build a picture of how pay is distributed across the population.

Using the NZIS measure, we find that in the June 2015 quarter the gender pay gap was 11.8 percent. This means that a typical male earned about 12 percent more for an hour’s work than a typical female.

The gender pay gap has generally been decreasing since 1998, and has fluctuated in the last few years.

What does the gender pay gap look like in New Zealand?

In the June 2015 quarter, median hourly pay for males was $24.07 and for females it was $21.23. The gender pay gap was 11.8 percent. This means that a typical female earned about 12 percent less for an hour’s work than a typical male.

Graph, Gender pay gap, calculated using median hourly earnings, June quarter 1998 to 2015.

It was trending down at the end of last century but didn’t change much during the Clark government years.

Was it the Global Financial Crisis that closed the pay gap slightly from 2008? That looks likely because it is trending up again.

Does this reflect an entrenched pay disparity, or is it because females are still far more likely to interrupt their careers to raise families? Or females don’t put such a priority on high earning jobs? It’s probably a complex mix of all of this.

Sometimes it can be pure business economics. All Blacks earn substantially more than their female counterparts the Black Ferns, so male players will be able to be paid substantially more.

In other fields it can be more complicated. Do male TV presenters attract better ratings and more advertising revenue than female presenters? Is this because they are given better opportunities, better shows, better time slots? It will be difficult to determine these things simply through statistics.

Aged care workers have recently had large pay increases to address a court ruling that there was real disparity. This should also apply to mental health workers and others, but comparing different types of jobs can be difficult, and there’s a risk if creating a snowball effect – if one industry succeeds in proving greater worth then others will want to catch up or keep ahead. It can be complicated and continually evolving.

Better statistics help understand the situation and trends (or lack of trends), but I think it is also important to look at more than this to get a real picture of the size and scope of the problem.

See also Alison Mau: It’s time to come clean on how big the pay gap really is

The Government’s push to collect data on the gender pay gap might just be the first meaningful step to solve an intractable problem.

Like the five stages of grief, the worldwide discussion on the issue looks to be moving past denial and into anger; although academics and the more savvy business leaders have known for some time that the gap is there and should be nixed (because that makes good business sense) it has taken a series of resignations by high profile media women to bring it sharply into focus for everyone. This is unfortunate and unfair – why should it be the injustices done in ivory towers that get all the ink – but true.

Starting with big businesses makes sense as they’re the ones who employ the bulk of New Zealanders, and can carry out the work without too much cost or disruption. Maybe now’s the time, then. Coupled with whatever Statistics New Zealand comes up with after Minister James Shaw’s directive, we could start seeing a real difference.

Information is power, and right now, what we don’t know is most certainly hurting us.

Better statistics will help, but a comprehensive understanding will need more than that.


‘Girl’ and ”lady’ ban?

Teachers should not refer to pupils as “girls” or “ladies” because it means they are “constantly reminded of their gender”, the Government’s former mental health tsar has said.

Natasha Devon told headteachers of the country’s leading girls’ schools that they should be using gender-neutral language when they address their students, and added that the same applied for boys.

Speaking at the Girls’ School Association’s annual conference in Manchester, she said that she would “never walk into a room in an-all girls’ school and say girls or ladies” because it was “patronising”.

I agree with Judith Collins on this.

Metiria versus Pākehā men #2

Another view that a few Pākehā men may not entirely agree with (and probably some non- whites and non-men).

Miriam Aoke (Vice): Metiria Turei and How the NZ Media Ignores Its Own Prejudice

For the past few weeks, New Zealand has dwelt on Metiria Turei (Ngāti Kahungunu) and her admission of benefit fraud. Many were quick to label the move divisive, a ploy for votes, and condemned Turei for what they saw as a lack of remorse.

Turei was persecuted by media agents with no concern for her hauora or that of her whānau.

For Māori, mainstream media is mired in colonial framing, misrepresentation and exclusion—yet mainstream media continues to insist its coverage is non-partisan. Metiria Turei conceded the scrutiny on her whānau was unbearable, and she resigned as Green Party co-leader last Wednesday.

The voices of Pākehā men were once again triumphant in drowning out the Māori worldview.

Aoake may have a reasonable point but she has expressed it unreasonably.

It is ridiculous to assert that all the ‘drowning out’ was by Pākehā men.

Media treatment of Māori and Māori issues is deeply prejudiced.

Research conducted by Māori academics between 2006 and 2007 analysed close to 2000 stories across ONE news, 3News and Prime. In total, only 1.8 percent of stories referenced Māori. Of that 1.8 percent, 56 percent were concerned with child abuse.

That’s ten years ago and may or may not be out of date, but it raises an important point. But having started by slamming ‘Pākehā men’ she will have turned off a substantial potential readership before she got to detail her case.

Representations of Māori, and our stories, remain under the control of Pākehā-owned television, radio, and print media.

That is absurd. Ownership of media is varied. Some media is probably dominated by Pākehā men, but where is the evidence? I’m sure there must be some. I have concerns about how some media is run.

Some media is Maori controlled. I watched a couple of very interesting programmes on Maori television last night, that is a very good channel.

There is nothing stopping Māori people setting up and owning and running media.

Journalism is informed by Western pedagogies, which emphasise the need for objectivity, but the definition has shifted over time. Journalists recognised bias as inherent, and resolved to develop the practice to test information and prune any cultural or personal bias. Objectivity, in a modern context, translates as free from bias.

Purging journalism of an unmoderated bias to which it freely confesses is impossible.

Purging media of anything, including of ‘Pākehā men’, is impossible – and it would be abhorrent to try. I’m fairly sure most people including most Maori would have serious concerns about targeted purges of media.

In 2005, Aotearoa was visited by UN Special Rapporteur Rodolfo Stavenhagen—he was responsible for assessing the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Māori. The report, published in 2006, was damning. His findings suggested there was a systemic attitude of racism towards Māori within the media.

I think things have changed in the past decade, but systemic attitudes of racism are no doubt still a problem.  Aoake is promoting a sexist racist attack of her own, it just happens to be not against Māori.

He found that potential Māori ownership of resources is portrayed as a threat to non-Māori and that a recurring theme is Māori as incompetent managers or as fiscally irresponsible.

I don’t understand this. If Maori want to own media then they should choose to do that.

In his recommendations, he advocated for the establishment of an independent commission to monitor media performance and intervene with remedial action when necessary.

Intervention and remedial action would be very tricky, and potentially dangerous.

He also pleaded with political figures and media outlets to refrain from using language that may incite racial intolerance. The glaring scrutiny which prompted the resignation of Metiria Turei is evidence that mainstream media has made little to no progress.

“The voices of Pākehā men were once again triumphant in drowning out the Māori worldview” looks like language that may incite racial intolerance.

I don’t see how racism can be defeated by promoting a different slant of racism.

Aoake quotes Patrick Gower and Barry Soper as examples of the male Pākehā  problem in media. This is very selective. I saw many articles written by females, and by Maori.

I presume Aoake knows that Gower and Soper have no Māori genes. It’s not uncommon to make inaccurate assumptions – when Green MP David Clendon withdrew from the Green list he was slammed by some for being a ‘white male’. Looks can be deceiving – Clendon no doubt has some non-Māori genes, but he is also tangata whenua.

The need to demonise the poor and impoverished, to distract from the issue of a broken safety net, to stifle a Māori voice is indicative of an experience shrouded in privilege. The approach is necessarily punitive by design. It is an offensive which, when successful, exacerbates the division of wealth and equality, the “us versus them” rhetoric. Both for Turei and Māori women, navigating post-colonial Aotearoa is exhausting and arduous.

We prune and trim, yanking the weed out by the root on our hands and knees. We sow seeds to harvest and bloom when the time is right. We scrub the blood and dirt from the beds of our fingernails. We sleep heavily, satisfied that our labour will make an impact. In the morning, we wake to find the weeds overgrown, the soil infertile, and the flowers wilted. Yet still, we persist. We rise every morning, repeat the mahi, and reclaim our whenua.

It’s good to see Māori women who strongly promote what they believe in.

But when they make mistakes, as Turei did, they must not be immune from examination and criticism, even if they are Māori and female and left wing.

Entrenched problems need to be vigorously fought against. There are entrenched problems in media and in politics.

But in combating them a criticism free pass should not be given to someone simply because they may be a minority. As a white middle class male I’m a minority, but that shouldn’t give me any special immunity from criticism or examination.

Pākehā men who are politicians get investigated and criticised by media more than anyone – because there are more of them than any other minority.

There may well be bias and different races and different genders may be treated differently. By all means try to measure and monitor bias and try to address it.

But it’s racist, sexist and counter productive to protect Turei from criticism based on her gender and genes, while slamming and trying to exclude all Pākehā men.

Many Pākehā men would (and do) support promotion of better media and better politics. Isolating and ostracising them as a group won’t help.

Metiria versus Pākehā men #1

While Metiria Turei has largely dropped out of the media spotlight there has been some ongoing commentary on her rise and fall over the last month. Two articles claim that she has been done over by white middle/upper class males.

Newshub:  Metiria Turei’s demise due to ‘race, gender and class’ – academic

For the last three weeks, the actions of former Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei have polarised our country.

Māori academic Dr Leonie Pihama described the coverage as “a clear attack that is grounded in the fundamental right-wing ideologies of race, gender and class”.

There were certainly attacks on Turei and her actions and attitudes to benefits and solutions to poverty.

But she started a highly political and contentious ‘mission’ and media had a duty to examine the whole story, not just the bits Turei wanted to promote to try to grow votes for the Green Party.

Some media coverage may have been over the top, but that’s not unusual in politics. Bill English has been hammered by media for months over the Todd Barclay issue, and he’s right wing-ish, white, male and relatively well off.

Polls showed that many people who leaned left were not comfortable with Turei’s actions and continued acceptance of law breaking.

Three quarters of people polled, including about half of Green voters and about two thirds of Labour voters answered yes to ‘Was it wrong for Metiria Turei to get a bigger benefit?’ – see Newshub poll: Most Kiwis say Metiria Turei was wrong to lie to WINZ

There was clearly:

  • left wing disapproval
  • clearly many of those who disapproved must have been female (at least half)
  • many must have been lower to middle class,
  • there must have been some non-whites who disapproved (as there was whites who approved).

It is fine for Pihama to question whether there has been some bias in reporting the Turei issue. There is always bias in media.

It is also fine to suggest that some ‘attacks’ were based on ideologies, race, age and class. Inevitably they would have been.

But stating that the coverage was “a clear attack that is grounded in the fundamental right-wing ideologies of race, gender and class” is not something one should expect from someone presenting themselves as an academic.

There was more. Discussion on this at Reddit:

She said a lot more than that:

“What we have is a clear attack that is grounded in the fundamental right wing ideologies of race, gender and class that serve the interests of domination and which reproduce systems of inequality and disparities. Metiria Turei embodies all of those things that white supremacy seeks to destroy.

“It seems that everywhere I turn there is a upsurge of white supremacy expressed as white privilege.”

A comment in response at Reddit:

What it says is actually the truth. Metiria Turei does embody all that white supremacists (aka Trump supporter type) because she is:

  • Brown coloured (aka not white)
  • A woman
  • Activist for the poor
  • Environment activist
  • Socialist
  • Secularist

The only reason she was hounded by the media is because she failed to anticipate that they would dig for, and find, more dirt on her. Lying about having a flatmate (although it was actually fine for her to have a boarder), and voting in a different electorate to your actual residence (John Key did the same thing while he was an MP) was no big deal.

What actually hurt her was the fact that the residence she put down was actually the baby daddy’s address, so the possible implication was that she she lied about living with him which meant she was never entitled to the benefit in the first place. Despite her years of political experience and the fact she was a co-leader if the Green Party, she failed to anticipate the media uncovering it all and connecting the dots.

But Pihama seems to think that it was unfair for media to join the dots. It was clear there was more to Turei’s story than she was willing to divulge.

It sounds like Pihama is biased based on her political  ideologies, race and gender (I won’t try to judge her class).



Who has the better skill set to run the country?

More from the Newshub/Reid Research polling:

Who has the better skill set to run the country?

English: “My skills have been tried and tested – that’s for sure. But the big opportunity ahead is to build on what we’ve achieved”.

Ardern:: “I would expect the Prime Minister to have some home ground advantage.”

Obviously English is a lot more experienced at running the country, all incumbents are, but sooner or later voters prefer a change.

Is Jacinda Ardern old enough to be Prime Minister?

  • Yes 79%
  • No 17%
  • Don’t know 4%

Silly question. Of the 17% who voted ‘No’ many of them may just not like Ardern. Ardern has been an MP for 9 years and has prior political experience to that.

Is Bill English too old to be Prime Minister? Is Winston Peters too old to try to be Prime Minister? Just as irrelevant.

Of the 44.4% who supported National:

  • Female 46%
  • Male 54%

That’s a fairly even split, leaning slightly toward male support.

Ardern has strong support from women. Of the 33.1% who supported Labour:

  • Female 63%
  • Male 37%

Labour support ‘when Andrew little was leader’:

  • Female 55%
  • Male 45%

This suggests that the initial surge of support for Labour is from female voters. This isn’t really surprising.

What Newshub don’t reveal is the gender split for other parties. The total remaining:

  • Total 22.5%
  • Female 13.8%
  • Male 8.7%

NZ First + Greens totalled 17.5% with 5% supporting other parties.

I thought that women tended to favour the Greens, if so this suggests that either NZ First support heavily leans male, or the other party support is almost all male.

From: Newshub poll: Women key driver behind Jacinda Ardern’s surge


From: Newshub’s poll data bank

Increasing the number of women MPs

There has been discussion recently on gender quotes for MPs.

A survey has shown that most women don’t want legal quotas, and 45% of women think that either nothing needs to be done or we don’t need more female MPs.

From The Nation – Lisa Owen interviews Jackie Blue, Jan Logie, and Rachel Petero

Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner Jackie Blue has called on all political leaders to commit to a 50% quota of women in cabinet

She’s also called for New Zealand to follow Australia and the UK and require all larger companies (employing more than 250 people) to publish details of their gender pay gap, with fines for those who don’t comply.


It some ways it would be good if MPs represented the electorate in approximately proportionate numbers – but that is if there are sufficient numbers of female candidates who are about as good as male candidates.

And it depends on what voters want.

A survey after the 2014 election showed that:

  • 5.2% of women want legal MP quotas
  • 11.6% of women want parties to voluntarily increase the number of women MPs
  • 28.6% of women want more women encouraged to participate in politics
  • 32.1% of women think that nothing needs to be done, numbers will increase naturally
  • 12.9% of women think that there is no need to increase the number of female MPs.

Danyl at Dim-Post: Gender quotas again

  • On the other hand, political gender quotas are really not very popular with either men or women. The NZES asked about them after the last election.


And regardless of what number of females candidates stand it comes down to what voters choose – and about half of voters are women.

There’s a lot of comments on this at Dim-Post, and Kiwiblog has a new post on this: Women don’t want quotas

I think that two related things are necessary to even the gender balance – encourage more women to get involved in politics and stand as candidates, and substantially improve the nature of our politics and the behaviour of parties and MPs.

I’m not surprised it is difficult to attract more women to the dirty muckraking attack style politics that is currently prevalent.