Jacinda Ardern versus Kim Hill

Kim Hill has just given Jacinda Ardern a grilling on Morning Report, on the Middle East deployment reversal, on ‘Labour-led’, and on Winston Peters humiliating her and Labour.

Winston Peters on Morning Report

An interesting interview on Morning Report. Kim Hill is a rarity amongst interviewers, she gave at least as good as she got.

Yes, he did hear correctly.

The interview:

RNZ, te reo Māori and Brash

Ki te tangata?

An increased use of te reo Māori on Radio NZ has been a talking point for some time.

It doesn’t bother me, but I think it is overdone at times.

But it has bothered Don Brash. Late last month:

There was a response by Emma Espiner at Newsroom: The threat of Te Reo

It’s become a running joke among friends and family that my husband, vampire-like, feeds on and grows stronger with each criticism of his use of Te Reo in his role as co-presenter of RNZ’s Morning Report. What’s less of a joke is the sustained attempts by some, who agree with Brash, who are fighting against the use of Te Reo and against Guyon and RNZ in the form of BSA complaints and letters to RNZ’s managers, CEO and Board.

I dislike the ‘old white men’ argument where one simply says those three words and the offending viewpoint is rejected because of its provenance without any further need for debate.

It’s good to see her saying this.

What’s interesting to me as a Māori woman, is the way that my Pākēhā husband has been able to champion Te Reo into the mainstream in a way that it would be impossible for me to do, were I in his position. As a Pākēhā man with a powerful role in the New Zealand media he has a position of extraordinary privilege from which to challenge the status quo. He has strong support in this endeavour among the leadership of RNZ, most importantly from other noted Pākeha man, CEO Paul Thompson.

Over at TVNZ Jack Tame is cutting a similarly admirable path on the flagship Breakfast show.

The complaints about Te Reo being used in mainstream media give me great heart looking to the future. This positive response might surprise some, but I believe we can view these people (and they’re always the same people) as the rearguard of progress.

As society shifts, they will continue to yap at our heels and protest, but the trend for Aotearoa is against bland mono-culturalism and fearful mono-lingualism.

A decade ago it was Māori Television. Today, it’s using Te Reo on Morning Report and Breakfast TV and putting macrons in newspapers.

In ten years time these things will be completely normal and there will be another battle, which the rearguard will again resist and lose.

There is definitely a trend. In the main I am fine with this. But not so Brash – and Kim Hill wasn’t fine with Brash over it.

She interviewed him on 2 December, if ‘it can be called an ‘interview’: Don Brash – Ragging on Te Reo

He has weighed into the debate about the use of Te Reo in the past few weeks, saying he’s “utterly sick” of the use of the language by RNZ reporters and presenters.

I haven’t listened to that, but I saw a lot of comment about it. It is still being talked about.

Karl du Fresne: Don Brash didn’t stand a chance against Kim Hill

The first was to think he could criticise a high-profile Radio New Zealand presenter on Facebook and get away with it. The second and much bigger mistake was to accept an invitation to explain himself on Kim Hill’s Saturday morning radio show.

Inevitably, Brash was savaged. It was as close as RNZ will ever get to blood sport as entertainment.

Brash described Espiner’s flaunting of his fluency in te reo as “virtue signalling” – in other words, displaying one’s superior moral values.

For this offence against the spirit of biculturalism, the former National and ACT leader was summoned for a discipline session with Radio NZ’s resident dominatrix.

The result was entirely predictable. Hill was acerbic and sneering from the outset.

She didn’t bother to conceal her contempt for Brash and neither did she bother to maintain any pretence that this was a routine interview, conducted for the purpose of eliciting information or expanding public understanding of the issue.

It was a demolition job, pure and simple – utu, if you prefer – and I doubt that it was ever intended to be anything else. Its purpose was to expose Brash as a political and cultural dinosaur and to punish him for criticising Hill’s colleague.

Perhaps, but it could have been more than that. Hill may have also thought that Brash was a political and cultural dinosaur.

Then du Fresne gets to the crux of his complaint.

Here’s where we get down to the real issue. RNZ is a public institution.  It belongs to us.

The public who fund the organisation are entitled to criticise it. But can we now expect that anyone who has the temerity to do so will be subjected to a mauling by RNZ’s in-house attack dog? Or is this treatment reserved for despised white conservative males such as Brash, to make an example of them and deter others from similar foolishness?

Either way, Hill’s dismemberment of Brash was a brazen abuse of the state broadcaster’s power and showed contemptuous disregard for RNZ’s charter obligation to be impartial and balanced.

I presume Brash was given some sort of right of reply in the interview. I don’t know if he was given a decent chance to defend himself.

This is nothing new, of course. The quaint notion that RNZ exists for all New Zealanders was quietly jettisoned years ago. Without any mandate, the state broadcaster has refashioned itself as a platform for the promotion of favoured causes.

I often listen to Morning Report, it looks at a wide range of topical issues in far more depth than most other media, and generally seems reasonably fair and balanced.

Interviewers do sometimes push their guests hard – but this is essential, in politics in particular. It is a sign of a healthy democracy.

But Brash has a perfectly valid point. Whatever the benefits of learning te reo, it is not the function of the state broadcaster to engage in social engineering projects for our collective betterment – for example, by implying we should all emulate RNZ reporters and start referring to Auckland as Tāmaki Makaurau and Christchurch as Ōtautahi.

Social engineering? That seems over the top. RNZ is not making me use te reo Māori, and I generally don’t. Also, I learn something from their use if it. That’s a good thing.

There’s quite a bit on RNZ I don’t want to listen to. If so I turn it off (increasingly frequently when John Campbell gushes over the top in another crusade).

RNZ does many things very well and my quality of life would be greatly diminished without it, but no one will ever die wondering about the political leanings of many of its presenters and producers.

RNZ is often referred to as ‘Red Radio’.

Some of the RNZ presenters have fairly obvious political leanings, to varying degrees. That’s normal in any media. I can make no judgement of their producers, I don’t listen to them.

But te reo Māori is cultural, not political, so du Fresne seems to be confused.

Brash criticised Guyon Espiner in particular, someone who seems more balanced and non-politically leaning than most journalists in politics.

Du Fresne’s article has morphed from a grizzle about the use of te reo Māori, to a grizzle about Kim Hill doing a tough interview on the poor Don Brash, to a grizzle about some radio presenters appearing to favour one side of the political spectrum.

I could go to The Daily Blog or The Standard and find plenty of claims that media is far too right wing. This is just lame ad hominum from them, and that is what du Fresne resorted to in trying to conclude his argument against the use of te reo Māori on RNZ.

Perhaps that should be ad hominum/ad feminum (Latin seems to be a sexist language).

Or should it be ki te tangata? What about ki te wahine? (Māori seems to be a sexist language)

But at least du Fresne is talking about it. RNZ successfully getting a point across. You will inevitably annoy some people when you try and make cultural progress.

Inquiry on state care abuse?

There has been a lot said recently about Anne Tolley’s refusal to consider an inquiry into state care abuse, despite one being recommended by  Judge Carolyn Henwood  after chairing a Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS) panel on the historic abuses.

Like many others I’m puzzled why Tolley won’t address this via an inquiry.

Deborah Hill-Come writes Memo to Anne Tolley – it’s time to stop talking and start listening

Note to Minister of Social Development Anne Tolley: Try stopping being a politician for a minute, and just listen.

. “If you listen to me …” Tolley kept saying to Kim Hill on Morning Report, but actually Minister sometimes it’s not your place to talk, it’s your place to shut up. You attest the victims don’t want an independent inquiry. However Judge Henwood, who chaired the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS) panel that heard from more than 1100 people who were abused in state care, came to a different conclusion.

She recommended an independent inquiry. The government ignored this recommendation, seemingly for reasons to do with fiscal and legal risk. “It’s very disappointing for our participants. I feel offended on their behalf,” Judge Henwood said, bravely. Survivors had nowhere to go and no further support.

One of the most pertinent points:

It is insulting for someone who suffered at the hands of the state to be expected to go to the very same agency which allegedly traumatised them to lay a complaint.

Tolley says the historic claims unit is a separate part of MSD, but it is still an agency within ministry. This is hardly independent.

Child victims of abuse and inadequate state care often grow up unwilling to trust state agencies. Understandably.

Kim Hill: “You are not setting up an independent body and I’m interested to know why not?” Anne Tolley: “Because we are three-quarters of the way through settling those claims. Why would we stop that process?” Answer: Because the 1100 victims who spoke to the CLAS said that is what they want.

If the current process is fundamentally flawed due to not being done through an independent agency then rearranging the current process may be essential if it is serious about repairing as much damage as possible.

Tolley said “Some of the claimants have different sorts of care. In some cases they have received very good care.”

Kim Hill: “You mean when they weren’t being raped or abused, Ms Tolley?”

Tolley: “Part of their care was extremely good.”

Kim Hill: “You want them to focus on the good times?”

That exchange is troubling. If Tolley tries to downplay abuse because  some care of some of the victims was ok then I really wonder whether she is the right person to be in charge of this Ministry and this issue.

Tolley on state care abuse claims

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There has been a lot of reaction to an RNZ/Kim Hill  interview this morning of Anne Tolley on the handling of claims of abuse of children while in state care.

I haven’t had a chance to listen to it all. here is the initial interview (links to audio):

The Minister for Social Development Anne Tolley says the system has worked for claimants with most of the recommendations of Judge Henwood being implemented. She says the feedback she has had has been positive and there is no need for an independent inquiry. She says the claimants have suffered enough.

Anne Tolley defends government’s handling of abuse claims

RNZ followed up with details in Tolley rules out apology for child abuse in state care

Social Development Minister Anne Tolley will make no universal apology for the abuse of children in state care saying there is no evidence it was systemic.

There would be no independent inquiry either, she told Morning Report’s Kim Hill, arguing it would only retraumatise victims.

A judge who headed a panel hearing from more than 1000 people abused as children in state care is furious at the government’s response.

Judge Carolyn Henwood was the chair of the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS) panel that heard from more than 1100 people who were abused in state care between the 1950s and 1980s, predominantly under the Department of Social Welfare.

More than 100,000 children were taken from their families and put into state institutions during that period.

CLAS wound up in June last year. Judge Henwood said survivors had nowhere to go and no further support.

Judge Henwood made seven recommendations, including that an independent inquiry be set up to discover the extent of the abuse, to monitor the Ministry’s care of children and to investigate complaints. She said the government ignored this and other recommendations.

The ministry is handling the complaints, rather than an independent body.

“It’s very disappointing for our participants. I feel offended on their behalf,” Judge Henwood said.

Tolley was questioned about it in Parliament:

Transcript:


Confidential Listening and Assistance Service—Recommendation to Create Independent Body to Resolve Complaints about State Care

12. JAN LOGIE (Green) to the Minister for Social Development: Why will she not implement a crucial recommendation of the confidential listening service that an independent body is needed to resolve historic and current complaints of abuse and neglect in State care?

Hon ANNE TOLLEY (Minister for Social Development): The Ministry of Social Development’s historic claims resolution team is impartial and operates independently of Child, Youth and Family. It is important to note that the Ministry of Social Development did not exist in the 1950s and 1960s, when most of this abuse occurred. The recommendations from the final report of the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service have informed the work on the overhaul of Child, Youth and Family, and this Cabinet has agreed that the new Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Oranga Tamariki will consider an independent complaints service that will ensure robust monitoring and accountability. But I do note that we have made good progress in resolving these historic claims. Last year I introduced a fast-track process that gives claimants an option to have their claims resolved faster while still receiving an apology and, if they want, a financial settlement. Around 900 payments have been made to date, totalling more than $17 million.

Jan Logie: Will the Minister admit it is possible that some people who were abused in State care may not trust the State to properly investigate their claims of abuse?

Hon ANNE TOLLEY: That is always possible. However, the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service, which was set up under the previous Labour Government and was in place for 7 years, heard from 1,100 people who came forward with their stories and not only had the opportunity to tell their stories and have them taken seriously but received various types of assistance. It is interesting that only half of those went on to make a claim, which indicates that the member is right—some people do not want to go further with the claims process.

Jan Logie: Will the Minister admit it is possible that some people who were told they could have an apology only if they gave up any legal claim against the State might feel that the process did not have their best interests at heart?

Hon ANNE TOLLEY: That is a hypothetical question. What I do know is that in the claims process, which, as I said, has paid out compensation and given an apology both from the chief executive and, in any case where it is requested, from me as Minister, we do everything we can to ensure that, and the fast-track process means it is only fact-checked. There is no investigation. We only make sure that the person was in the place that they said, at the time that they said—we make that process as simple as possible. I have heard from complainants that what they want is recognition that they were abused—which we all find appalling—and they want the State to take responsibility for that, and they want an apology. In some cases, they want some form of financial compensation. But we all know in this House that no money can ever, ever make up for the abuse and the trauma that those people have suffered.

Jan Logie: Why does she think Judge Henwood said there is not a shred of empathy or remorse in the Minister’s response to this report? [Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: Order!

Hon ANNE TOLLEY: There is a constitutional process whereby the judiciary respects this Parliament and Parliament respects the judiciary. I am not going to step over that.

Jan Logie: Considering the Minister’s apparent lack of empathy or remorse, how can we trust her to truly keep the best interests of children at the heart of the Child, Youth and Family reforms?

Hon ANNE TOLLEY: I have always been of the opinion that you judge a person by their actions, not their words. I think the legislation that I have brought to this House, and will bring to this House, will show that I am determined that the new system will keep children at the heart of it and that their voices will be heard. It is disappointing that the Green Party and the Labour Party do not support children having the right to have a say about their futures in the legislation that is before the House at the moment.

Tom Scott on and off Radio NZ

Tom Scott (the musician one, not the cartoonist one) featured on Radio NZ’s Playing Favourites with Kim Hill this morning. Discussion started on Scott and his music but moved on to talk about his infamous song that featured in the election campaign. See PM death threat in hip hop song.

ain’t doin’ nothin’ so I’m gonna kill the prime minister I been tryin’ to get a job but they got none so I instead I got a sawnoff shotgun and ‘pop’

And…

That’s why I’m going to kill the Prime Minister. I’m going to kill the Prime Minister, because we are down and suffering and the motherfucker ain’t doing nothing. Going to kill the Prime Minister.

There was more controversy over references to Key’s daughter in the lyrics.

One of these days I’m going to fuck your daughter. This poor boy going to make his seed, going to wake up in your girl – well hello Miss Key.

This came up in the discussions. Scott didn’t like Hill’s line of questioning. He dropped an f-bomb and soon afterwards walked out.

TomScott

Transcript (excluding the general music stuff).

Hill: You also got yourself into a spot of bother. We’ll talk about that. Scott: Oh yep. What bother? I’m not bothered. Hill: No. No you don’t look bothered, but plenty of other people were quite bothered.

The next song was discussed and played, then discussed again.

Hill: Let us talk about the bother. The song that @Peace brought out. About you know, getting rid of the Prime Minister. And more importantly and more offensively targeting his daughter, the song… Scott: No, more importantly should be I’m trying to kill this man. Why, why are we not addressing the murder in this song? Hill: Well because everybody thinks that that’s full of nonsense but… Scott: That’s nonsense but the other part’s not… Hill: Well pulling family into the public eye… Scott: But I’m talking about murdering this man. Hill: Well you can stress that factor if you like… Scott: …so you should get me, should get me…you should call the police right now ’cause I’m obviously a murderer and a rapist… Hill: Ah I see what you’re meaning, where you’re going… Scott: You you can’t pick and choose what lyric you want to take out of someone’s song. I mean… Hill: What? Scott: Obviously, obviously I might regret what I said, I probably should have said I was going to rape his son. Hill: What do you mean obviously you might regret what you said, do you or do you not regret what you said… Scott: …I I don’t regret what I said actually. Screw that. Hill: Ok. Lot’s of people disssssss, dissed you for it. Scott: I I don’t like the man one bit. I mean I’m sure his daughter’s a lovely person but… Hill: Well yeah, so why bring her into it? Scott: Just ’cause that will piss him off more. Hill: Have you got any kids? Scott: No. And if someone said they were gonna – I never said I was going to rape her, I just said that one day I was going to come home with her. Hill: I don’t care what you said, you shouldn’t have talked about her at all is the feeling. Scott: Yeah well I did. Hill: Yeah I know. You won’t do it again though will you? Scott: I don’t know, I don’t like John key one bit… Hill: Yeah so you say, but you know you can’t go round threatening to kill people even songs… Scott: But I can, cause I did that. Hill: Come on. Did you vote? Scott: Yes. I tried my best to get everyone in my fanbase, in my demographic to vote and it didn’t work, and I think the system’s, it doesn’t cater for people that are getting the disadvantages of it… Hill: One of the justifications you said, um, about the song was that it was written with a purpose of getting young people to enrol, which most people … Scott: Yeah and it made more noise than any song I’ve ever made so… Hill: Yeah but it was hardly an endorsement of the democratic process Tom… Scott: But I wasn’t talking to your generation Kim. Hill: Oh. Scott: So your generation are always going to be offended by that. Hill: I’m too old to understand… Scott: Well you’re already voting. Hill: I don’t think that anybody who heard that song would think “oh, I must go and vote now”. Scott: Well they at least understood that maybe this man that is running their country isn’t liked by a lot of people. I think a lot of kids grow up when their parents are like, you know, this is a great man, he’s helping us, we own a business, um you know he’s the , the economy’s booming because of this man, and you know a lot of these things might be true. But these kids have no idea that this guy is the enemy to the working class. Hill: Oh hang on… Scott: So I just want, yeah a lot of my fanbase are wealthy middle class upper class kids who you know dream of  being the ‘have not, but they don’t understand the politics behind that kind of, um, being the ‘have not’, they don’t understand that this guy is making life hard for some people. Hill: Are you portraying yourself as a have not? Scott: Well growing up I was definitely a have not, I have a lot more, ah to be thankful now but i grew up in a working class neighbourhood where we needed people like Helen Clark and we needed people like David Lange, you know and the down my street that I grew on are still poor, and now they’ve got kids and now I go to the dairy and now the dairy owner’s son is running the place and nothing’s changed, it’s the same working class neighbourhood. People are still struggling. Hill: Well if it’s still poor Tom then David Lange and Helen Clark didn’t make much difference either, did they. Scott: Well I don’t think they did. I don’t think, I mean I’m quite disillusioned with it all after that election to be honest. It was really heartbreaking for me ’cause I really put a lot of effort in. I mean that was one song that ah old boy Whale Rider or whatever his name was chose to pick up and you know make a big fuss about, because that was going to make the left look like a bunch of morons, and you know I never chose to release that song, it’s not like it was some kind of song I was going to be proud of, I just hate when people pick it apart when, you know, you should be focussed on the part about me saying I’m going to murder this man if you’re going to be focused on anything. Hill: And it was um pointed out that it’s all very well to talk about have nots but you did quite well out of New Zealand On Air… Scott: What do you mean? Hill: Well New Zealand On Air granted @Peace something like thirty thousand quid, ah dollars, and so you can hardly, oh well you feel free to bite the hand that fed you in some peculiar way didn’t you? Scott: Well what does that, I don’t understand. Hill: Well if you get money from New Zealand On Air can you simultaneously use that money to say that nobody’s helping us and John Key is leading us to hell in a hand basket because he’s mean and nasty? Scott: That that money goes straight to making a music video, it doesn’t go to paying the rent, it doesn’t go towards anything like that, it goes to making a creative piece of work and what we made out of that was a video for a song called Matter which ah shows the funeral of an average bum who never meant anything, and I thought we depicted that in a good way, and spent the taxpayers money well. But um, I mean I’m not asking for taxpayers money to go around and blow it on things that aren’t important, you know, I mean this this, every musician gets grants from the Government. Hill: Whoa. Some might say not. Scott: And it’s not like John Key set up New Zealand On Air. Hill: Poor John Key. Scott: He’s probably doing everything he can to get rid of it. Hill: I, well, I’m not sure whether you could say that, and I’m inviting John Key to respond to that calumnious accusation… Scott: I just really worry about how misled the population are by this dude. And I know he runs this, I know the reason I’m sitting in this room is because the Government are paying for it. But this is not a good leader. I’m no better. Don’t get me wrong, I’m just a musician but… Hill: How are politics in Australia? Scott: Worse. Hill: Yeah I would have thought they might be a spot worse… Scott: And that’s why we need to make action now I think. And look I honestly don’t, I honestly don’t claim to be some kinda leader or some kinda politician… Hill: No no no no but what kind of action do you think is… Scott: I just came to play music. Hill: I know. But music that immediately got yourself into political hot water, and it’s not the first time, so you know you need to take the heat. Scott: No no I came onto this show to play music, look I was told I was just here to play three songs, I didn’t know I was coming to get executed on public TV, on public radio… Hill: Oh. Do you feel like I’m executing you? Scott: I don’t know, I just think it’s a bit of a played out issue bringing that song back up when that was like months ago and look, who lost in this, who who really lost? The guy I voted for didn’t even get anywhere near close getting in. Hill: Now we’re not talking about that… Scott: So at the end of the day you don’t have to worry about Tom Scott, ’cause him and the working class got fucked. Hill: Well I don’t think you can say that on National Radio Tom. So let’s edit you out… Scott: Well it’s nothing less than that. Hill: Let us edit you out, try to persuade people to forget you said the f word, and play your next track which is Free Life – There’s Something Better, which should make you feel better. Um what’s Free Life, I don’t know them? Scott: I don’t know. Some group. Hill: Some group. Also from the seventies? Scott: Uh-hmm. Hill: Let’s have a listen.

The song played.

Hill: That’s Free Life, There’s Something Better, from the 1979 single from an album Free Life, that was one of Tom Scott’s picks. Ah Tom, having become perturbed at the question line about his song threatening to kill John Key, has ah bailed on the rest of the Playing Favourites, good on you Tom. Um leaving with the f-bomb which is always a nice touch.

Audio. Listen to Kill The Prime Minister

EDIT: Joel has asked me to take down a photo, I’ve no reason to doubt his claim that he took it so fair enough. It can be found on Google images and this is the source at The Orange Press on a post TOM SCOTT – DANCING BY MYSELF MIXTAPE that says:

Tom Scott from Home Brew and @Peace is a pretty interesting character, full of dichotomies and contradictions. An man of impressive intellect, who seems to court controversy at virtually any opportunity…

Scott does court controversy, deliberately with his promotiion of Kill The Prime Minister. “Impressive intellect” is debatable.