National-Green government?

There has been a lot of suggestions that National and Greens should at least consider a governing arrangement.

This would provide an alternative to NZ First calling all the shots, but it won’t happen because too many Greens supporters would rather not do anything about the climate, the rivers or inequality rather than try to achieve something with National. So they are left hoping for to pick up crumbs from a Labour-NZ First arrangement, or get nothing.

Talk of Greens working with National seems to have touched a few raw nerves, because their is a lot of defensiveness and angst expressed when it comes up.

This hastn’t stoped it being talked about.

Stuff Editorial: Grand opportunity for Greens to grow

…would the Greens be happy to remain hidden in the dense, verdant bush of the foothills or should they instead push on to the rarefied air of the government benches?

There are reasons why they might not: political militancy operates like muscle memory within the party and green and blue do not appear to mix as well as green and red.

But there are also good reasons why National and the Greens getting together makes sense – for both parties.

The latter only just survived this election, but their brand was damaged, not helped by their continual denial of Turei’s role in their near-downfall.

They have three years to rebuild. Those three years might be spent in relative obscurity on the opposition benches waiting for the tide to turn red in 2020. Or they could be three years on the front foot, implementing an agenda that has so far been kept at a safe political distance by others.

A Green Party with the environment portfolio and a few runs on the board might not only survive but thrive ahead of the next election, picking up the people who deserted them in the previous cycle, and potentially others who have toyed with support in the past but ultimately been turned off by their lack of pragmatism and inability to compromise.

Lance Wiggs:  John – the real issue here is results, not dance partners

John Hart has written a series of tweets about why a Blue Green coalition wold not work.

That saddens me. It’s the politics of can’t, or lack of hope. A smart party would be working all sides of a deal to find the bet path forward for their policies.

Eric Crampton (Offsetting Behaviour): For a teal coalition

So. All of Left-Twitter figures that anyone wanting a blue-green coalition are either shills for National who want to destroy the Greens, because coalition would destroy the Greens, or useful idiots for those shills.

Count me as one of the idiots then, because some of the objections just aren’t making sense to me – or if they are right, they perhaps don’t work in the way that’s being suggested.

Received Wisdom from Twitter-Left is that if James Shaw were to bring a substantive environmental policy offer to his party’s members for approval, the act of doing so would destroy the Greens by bringing to the fore an internal schism between the Greens’ social and economic left, and the Greens’ environmentalists.

Count me as one of the honest idiots in this mess. It’s all wheels within wheels, and the whole thing has a bit of a tar-baby feel to it: “No, National, please don’t make us a very sound policy offer with lots of environmental concessions in it. That’s the last thing we’d want! It would destroy us if you did it. Please don’t do it!” And where Shaw has spent the last few years developing an immunity to Iocane powder, who knows what level anybody’s playing this game at.

If an offer to the Greens skews things against a coalition with Winston, that makes things more complicated – though I don’t know why he should be the only one able to play both sides. Leaving that to one side, I still think National should offer a sincere strong environmental policy bundle to the Greens.

And for what it’s worth, this is not the first time such a coalition has here been proposed:

And here’s an old TVHE post arguing for the same thing.

It’s an idea that has long been suggested, and devoutly ruled out by the Greens who are too afraid of failing to try something with National.

They would rather have a 100% of bugger all rather than trying for 10-15% of Government.

A petition has been started: Show your support for the idea of a National/Green govt.

That current has 3,752 supporters (one of whom is me).

Water petition

Petition have been frequently used to promote or oppose various issues, and many seem to have been organised by the same activist group or groups.

But this one is coming from a different angle – like most of the others it’s unlikely to make much if any difference, but it’s an interesting shift in target for a politicallu motivated petition.


 

We don’t support your water tax because:

  1. You can’t tell us what the impact of the tax will be on food producers, jobs, communities & food prices
  2. You are only taxing some users of water – you need to treat all commercial users the same
  3. Our least swimmable rivers will receive minimal funding
  4. You don’t know how much of the tax will actually go to rivers
  5. You don’t have a plan showing how you will spend the tax or how it will help rivers
  6. The tax will divide communities – when we all need to work together to make our rivers ‘swimmable’
This petition will be delivered to:

  • New Zealand Labour Party
    Jacinda Ardern – Labour Party Leader

https://www.change.org/p/jacinda-ardern-labour-party-leader-labour-we-don-t-support-your-water-tax

Hosking should moderate election debates

I’m not a fan of Mike Hosking. I rarely watch or listen to him or read his opinion pieces.

He has been named as moderator for the 1 News Debates and some on the left are trying to kick up a storm and get him kicked off the debates. For this reason, trying to demand who shouldn’t be involved, I think Hosking should remain as moderator.

In any case he did a good job of moderating debates last election. The opposition to him moderating is just another example of social media pettiness.

Jacinda Ardern has said she doesn’t care who the moderator will be, she will be focussed on her opponent, Bill English. As she should be.

1 News:  TVNZ’s election leaders debate dates and coverage team for September’s vote revealed

Newstalk ZB and Seven Sharp host Mike Hosking will be the moderator for the three televised leaders debates while Breakfast host Jack Tame will lead the Young Voters Debate.

The leaders debates between National Party’s Bill English and Labour’s Jacinda Ardern will take place on August 31 and September 20 at 7pm.

A multi-party debate on September 8 will bring together the potential coalition partners of the major parties, while the young voters debate will take place on September 14.

Action Station have started yet another lame petition:  Replace Mike Hosking as Election Debate Presenter

Please replace Mike Hosking as the host for the upcoming election debates on August 31, September 14 and September 20. Hosking is well known for his aggressively right wing views in his segments as a political commentator. As such, Hosking cannot be trusted to present each candidate fairly in a moderated debate.

Section 4(1)(d) of the Broadcasting Act 1989 requires broadcasters to maintain standards consistent with the principle that when controversial issues of public importance are discussed, reasonable efforts are made, or reasonable opportunities are given, to present significant points of view either in the same programme or in other programmes within the period of current interest.

I’m not aware of any evidence or record that should rule Hosking out.

Why is this important?

It is vital that the nationally broadcasted election debates offer an unbiased opportunity for candidates representing their political parties to debate on policies. Mike Hosking’s socially irresponsible style of presenting has led to public campaigns for his removal, notably his comments on Andrew Judd in 2016. Hosking is an inappropriate choice to present the election debates in a fair, unbiased manner.

It’s important that activist groups do not get to dictate who should moderate debates.

This petition is ridiculous. It will probably get a similar number of signatures (actually clicks online) that all the other organised Action Station petitions get.

Parliamentary report on medically assisted dying

In June 2015 a petition was presented to Parliament from then MP Hon Maryan Street and 8,974 others requesting:

That the House of Representatives investigate fully public attitudes towards the
introduction of legislation which would permit medically-assisted dying in the event of a terminal illness or an irreversible condition which makes life unbearable.

Parliament’s Health Committee has just released their report on this. It looks in detail into many aspects of assisted dying and euthanasia.

This is a separate process to the Private Members’ Bill of David Seymour that was drawn from the ballot earlier this year, which hasn’t had it’s First Reading in Parliament yet (unlikely before the election).


Report on the petition of Hon Maryan Street presented

During its consideration of the petition, more than 21,000 individuals and organisations submitted their views to the committee. Over 108 hours, 944 people took the opportunity to share their opinions.

The petition requests that the House of Representatives investigate fully public attitudes towards the introduction of legislation which would permit medically-assisted dying in the event of a terminal illness or an irreversible condition that makes life unbearable.

Recommendation:

The Health Committee has considered Petition 2014/18 of Hon Maryan Street and 8,974
others and recommends that the House take note of its report.

This report gives us the opportunity to summarise, for the benefit of the House and the
public, what we heard and considered during our review of more than 21,000 submissions from the petitio extremely contentious. We therefore encourage everyone with an interest in the subject to read the report in full, and to draw their own conclusions based on the evidence presented in it.

Background

The petitioner, Hon Maryan Street, was a member of Parliament between 2005 and 2014.
While a member, she sought to introduce the End of Life Options Bill as a member’s bill.
The purpose of this bill was to provide individuals with a choice about how they end their life and allow them to receive assistance from a medical practitioner to die under certain circumstances. The petition originated with the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of New Zealand (VES) before being adopted formally by Hon Maryan Street. Since leaving
Parliament, Ms Street has become the President of VES.

There have been two first reading debates in Parliament on similar bills. Both were
unsuccessful. In 1995, members voted 61 to 29 against Michael Laws’ Death with Dignity
Bill. In 2003, members voted 60 to 58 against Peter Brown’s Death with Dignity Bill.
The petitioner’s bill was formally removed from the members’ bill ballot in December
2014.

Full report here

Conclusion

We thank the petitioner for bringing this petition before the committee and encouraging us to ascertain the views of New Zealanders on ending one’s life in this country. We appreciate that people come from a range of backgrounds and that this is a subject on which people hold strong views. We believe that the written submission and oral hearing process has provided a platform for people to share these views and discuss the issues with us. This report gives us an opportunity to summarise what we heard for the benefit of the House and the public.

Eighty percent of submitters were opposed to a change in legislation that would allow assisted dying and euthanasia. Submitters primarily argued that the public would be endangered. They cited concern for vulnerable people, such as the elderly and the disabled, those with mental illnesses, and those susceptible to coercion. Others argued that life has an innate value and that introducing assisted dying and euthanasia would explicitly undermine that idea. To do so would suggest that some lives are worth more than others. There were also concerns that, once introduced, eligibility for assisted dying would rapidly expand well beyond what was first intended.

Supporters of assisted dying feared their loss of dignity, independence, and physical and mental capacity. Submitters also spoke about the fear of pain and of having to watch loved ones suffer from a painful death. Supporters stressed their personal autonomy and that they should have the choice as to when to end their life.

Many submitters discussed their experiences of palliative care. We commend the service
given by palliative care providers and hospices. However, we were concerned to hear that there is a lack of awareness about the role of palliative care, that access to it is unequal, and that there are concerns about the sustainability of the workforce. We urge the Government to consider ways in which it can better communicate the excellent services that palliative carers provide, address the unequal access, consider how palliative care is funded, and address the workforce shortages.

The relationship between assisted dying and suicide was a common concern for submitters. Some believe that assisted dying should not be considered until New Zealand’s high suicide rate is reduced. Others believe that the lack of assisted dying legislation means that people are more likely to suicide.

We recognise that a lot of work and investment has gone into suicide prevention programmes and support services. However, we were concerned to hear that people feel that there is a lack of grief counselling. We therefore encourage the Government to investigate improving access to these services.

We have not made any recommendations about introducing assisted dying legislation. We understand that decisions on issues like this are generally a conscience vote.

The petitioner asked us to investigate attitudes towards the introduction of legislation that would permit assisted dying in the event of a terminal illness or an irreversible condition which makes life unbearable. However, some submitters thought that the criteria would or should be broader than terminal illness or an irreversible condition. This has made it difficult for us to consider what the safeguards should be. We were particularly concerned about protecting vulnerable people, such as individuals with dementia or reduced capacity. Some of us remain unconvinced that the models seen overseas provide adequate protection for vulnerable people.

We would like to thank all of the submitters for sharing their stories with us and for the
respect submitters showed for opposing views when they appeared before the committee.

This issue is clearly very complicated, very divisive, and extremely contentious.

We therefore encourage everyone with an interest in the subject to read the report in full and to draw their own conclusions based on the evidence we have presented.

New Zealand First minority view

New Zealand First congratulates the petitioner for bringing this issue before the Select Committee. Medically-assisted dying is a serious matter and is so serious that it is not one that should be taken by temporarily empowered politicians. New Zealand First cannot support such a fundamental change without a clear sign that this is the will of most New Zealanders. That would be achieved by either a binding Citizens’ Initiated Referendum, or a Government Initiated Referendum held with a future General Election thus allowing for a period of informed debate.

Public broadcaster funding

At a time when private media is being severely squeezed by shrinking advertising revenue, and they react by sacking journalists and dumbing down the news, there may be more need for publicly funded news and current affairs.

Radio New Zealand has had it’s funding frozen for ‘at least 8 years’. Should more funding boost what they can do?

I have tried breakfast television and largely given up on both TV and TV3. Too bland and padded with pap. So I know listen to RNZ from 6 am, they are much more informative.

I’m not a fan of everything RNZ does – I listen to a bit of John Campbell while driving in the afternoon and while he covers some interesting things he can be over the top with his advocacy and delivery – but I think they are an essential part of New Zealand’s media mix.

A peition that has been running over the last year is being given another push leading up to May’s budget.


Increase funding for Radio New Zealand in this year’s Budget. (Petition still going)

Radio New Zealand Limited, New Zealand’s only public service broadcaster. It delivers high-quality, impartial, journalism and a wide variety of content, including coverage of issues in the Pacific region. This organisation has had its funding frozen for at least eight years.

RNZ deserves a funding increase in this year’s Budget because it needs to be properly resourced, not just this year, but in future years so that it can continue to deliver on its charter and provide the same standard of content that has given RNZ its fine reputation.

Please sign this petition if you care about the future of RNZ and share it with your networks.

https://www.change.org/p/hon-amy-adams-minister-of-broadcasting-increase-funding-for-radio-new-zealand-in-this-year-s-budget

Labour’s health petition whopper

This week’s petition from Labour is aimed at fixing our tax system. Perhaps Labour should aim at on fixing their honesty, or their research or maths.

Sign this petition

To the New Zealand Government

Fund our health system properly so New Zealanders can get the treatment they need.

That’s hopelessly vague. More detail:

Sign the petition to fix our health system

In just six years, National has cut a whopping $1.7 billion from our healthcare system.

Every day we hear stories of how these cuts are impacting Kiwis’ lives. Stories of struggling to pay for the GP; missing out on the medicines they need; and health professionals who are exhausted and overstretched. It’s not right and we have to fix it.

To fix our system, we need to make sure Kiwis know this is a vital issue and they need to vote to change the Government at the election next year.

To make sure health is an election issue, we need to build a massive campaign calling on the Government to ensure the health system can provide the services Kiwis need. A huge petition can’t be ignored and together we can make sure health gets the attention it needs.

A petition this vague, huge or otherwise, will be easily ignored. Health funding is a big issue but this won’t do anything to help our health system.

Plus there is nothing from Labour about how they might ‘fix’ our health system.

Has the Government cut a whopping $1.7 billion from our healthcare system?

The Budget Economic and Fiscal Update 2016 (BEFU) published on 26 May 2016, health spending from Treasury’s Core Crown Expense Table (billions):

  • 2011 – $13.753
  • 2012 – $14.160
  • 2013 – $14.498
  • 2014 – $14.898
  • 2015 – $15.058
  • 2016 – $15.635
  • Forecast for 2017 – $16.214

That’s an increase of $2.461 billion, not a decrease of $1.7 billion as claimed in the petition.

Perhaps Labour is using some different numbers, but with no details it’s impossible to tell how they have come up with a whopping reduction.

It looks more like a whopper of a lie.

Medicinal cannabis petition presented

A medicinal cannabis petition was presented to parliament today.

RNZ: Alex Renton’s mum presents reform petition to Parliament

A woman whose son died of severe epilepsy has presented a petition with more than 15,000 signatures to Parliament, urging the government to make medicinal cannabis more readily available.

Rose Renton’s 19-year-old son Alex Renton died in Wellington Hospital last year, after suffering from status epilepticus – an acute, prolonged epileptic seizure.

Part of his treatment before his death was medicinal cannabis, which Mrs Renton said provided him with some relief, but was given to him too late.

A report by Wellington Hospital specialists said the oil had no effect on his underlying seizures, and medical staff never saw any improvement.

There’s a range of products becoming available and it was a gamble that the one chosen may make a difference. There was no time nor any easy ability to try alternatives.

But Mrs Renton said Alex had died peacefully.

“A lot of those drugs that were so heavily layered over the months leading up to his death were taken off and drastically reduced and the [cannabis] oil doses were increased.”

The process to acquire the oil and get approval to use it was drawn out and far from easy, Mrs Renton said.

Medicinal cannabis was only granted after a long battle with medical staff for backing, and after 43 other drugs had failed.

Keeping pressure on Parliament, along with overseas moves to more freedom to use medicinal cannabis overseas, may eventually get our Government to move with the times and for the needs of people who suffer.

 

Petition to ban petitions used as news sources

Mark Reynolds has started a petition calling for a ban on Change.org petitions being used as the source of a “news” story.

The demands of “modern news rooms” means they will do anything to fill the gap in the news cycle, including latching onto any silly petition that gets launched on Change.org.

As a result everyones news feed is getting clogged with banal stories to ban, close or shutdown most things in the world. 

Stories like this http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/tv-radio/81398157/mike-hoskings-supporters-start-keep-mike-petition

If we can stop this we will win back our news feeds. 

We therefore need to shutdown Change.org and stop its stupid petitions being used for stupid news stories.

I agree with the point being made even if it’s tongue in cheek.

Online petitions and online polls are very dubious sources of ‘news’ at best.

I thought of signing the petition for the hell of it but it also signs you on to Change.org’s email list so decided it’s not worth getting more junk mail.

Who else should be dumped?

Taking the lead of Dan Wayman and his attempts to have Mike Hosking dumped from TVNZ’s Seven Sharp – see The Hosking petition – why stop there? Who else should be dumped?

Why not have petitions to shut up other people in media and social media?

Suggestions please on who you think should be shut up, gagged, put in their place (in the silent naughty corner).

Perhaps we could have a whole bunch of petitions and see who are the most despised media presenters, the most hated journalists, the most despised Tweeters and Facebookers and bloggers.

Why not have a bloody good shake up of who is allowed to speak in public.

Then we could have discussions and petitions on who should present Seven Sharp, The Story and run Whale Oil and The Daily Blog etc.

Wayman provides a template:

“The ultimate goal is to have a more appropriate face on the national broadcaster in the 7pm slot,” he says. “That’s the ultimate goal.

Shouldn’t The People decide who has an appropriate face for television?

The ultimate solution for free speech.

The Hosking petition

There has already been discussion here about the petition directed at TVNZ to ‘GET RID OF HOSKING’.

I don’t like watching Mike Hosking on Seven Sharp so I hardly ever watch him or any of the show.

Anyone has a right to start up a petition about anything they choose, but I think that campaigns to try and force television presenters out of their jobs is stupid. If I thought it might be an effective way to shut down voices that people didn’t like I would condemn it as anti-free speech.

But the petition is just as likely to boost interest in Seven Sharp and Hosking so he and TVNZ may actually benefit.


Petitioning Minster of Broadcasting NZ Hon Amy Adams MP and 3 others

Get Rid of Hosking

GET RID OF HOSKING. [ It is our opinion ] TVNZ broadcaster Mike Hosking is an offensive and thoughtless media personality who continues to arrogantly and ignorantly disregard the struggles of everyday New Zealander’s. Hosking’s attitude and comments continuously cause offense, upset and disdain to reasonable and innocent people ; both viewers and non-viewers of TVNZ. Supporters of GET RID OF HOSKING expect that TVNZ acts as a responsible and mature public broadcaster and respects this request from thousands of New Zealanders – That is –  We no longer wish to see or hear any more from Hosking on our TV screens.

This petition will be delivered to:
  • Minster of Broadcasting NZ
    Hon Amy Adams MP
  • TVNZ
    Kevin Kenrick CEO and Jeff Latch Director of Content TVNZ
  • Broadcasting Standards Authority
    Broadcasting Standards Authority
  • ASB BANK Executive General Manager Marketing & Communications at ASB
    ASB BANK – Roger Beaumont

There are currently 18,115 supporters.

I guess it’s ok that the petition is aimed at TVNZ. It’s up to them whether they take any notice of it.

Although it depends on to what extent pressure is put on TVNZ to dump a presenter. If it goes to the extent of a campaign to boycott TVNZ I would be concerned.

A similar campaign was waged against TV3 over their axing of John Campbell. That appeared to affect their ratings, which in turn could impact on their viability.

I would be disturbed if a TV company or public broadcaster was shut down because of campaigns against them. This would significantly reduce options for free speech.

Why has the Minister been included? I would be appalled if a Minister intervened in TVNZ decisions on how presents their shows.

Why is the Broadcasting Standards Authority included? I would be appalled if they tried to tell TVNZ who they should or shouldn’t have as presenters.

The ANZ Bank being included has an insidious angle. Attacking a major sponsor could potentially have a significant effect on the financial viability of part of TVNZ’s operation.

A couple of contrasting blog views on this.

Kiwiblog: The haters of freedom of speech

I’m tempted to call these people cultural fascists.

First of all do they really think the bloody Government should decide who is and is not allowed to appear on television as a broadcaster?

Secondly they seem to hate views they disagree with, and want Hosking gone because he says things they don’t like.

I think NZ is better when it has diversity of views on air – I think it is good both Hosking and Campbell are broadcasters.

But these cultural fascists hate views that are not their own, and think the Government should decide who is allowed to be on air. They can get f****d.

The Standard: Dirty Politics Farrar and freedom of speech

In another fine example of the Streisand effect, poor wee Dirty Politics Farrar doesn’t like it.

Not being one for self-reflection, DPF hates views that are not his own and thinks they shouldn’t be expressed. Or perhaps he just doesn’t understand what free speech is.

It’s good that both Farrar and ‘Natwatch’ have the freedom to speak about this as they see fit.

Should Mike Hosking be shut up because many of us don’t like what he says? I don’t think so.

Who is Dan Wayman? He is a lawyer, sometimes from Wellington. Stuff has some information on him and his motives:

Wayman, who describes himself as a New Zealand-enrolled barrister-solicitor who divides his time between New Zealand and Shanghai, where he works at the British Consulate, says he started the petition because he “just felt something needed to be done really”.

“[Hosking’s] socially irresponsible comments are damaging to the New Zealand public, and especially as the face of the national broadcaster in the 7pm timeslot, being a family show, I think it’s harmful for the next generation to receive those types of sentiments from Mr Hosking.”

Seven Sharp is a family show? I can’t imagine that many young people would watch it. An increasing number of young people watch little or no broadcast television.

Wayman said comments made by Hosking over the crowdfunding purchase of the Awaroa beach and over the New Zealand flag debate as examples of why the broadcaster should be removed from TVNZ.

Wayman said: “It’s the constant lack of empathy and dismissive comments of New Zealanders struggling, even following stories on Seven Sharp – he just does not get it, and I think it’s harmful.”

“The ultimate goal is to have a more appropriate face on the national broadcaster in the 7pm slot,” he says. “That’s the ultimate goal. I’m not worried about his radio career, but I think the platform that he’s got (with Seven Sharp) – he’s not the right person for that platform.”

TVNZ said:

“We welcome feedback on our programmes, which we get in the form of daily audience ratings, quantitative and qualitative market research, and direct feedback from viewers. Given we engage with around 2.5 million New Zealanders per day, we typically get a broad range of views expressed about our on-air and online content. There are a number of viewing options.Seven Sharp is the most watched show at 7pm.”

There are a number of viewing and doing options at 7 pm Dan. As a lawyer don’t you value free choice and free speech?