Male only Santa stance ‘inappropriate’

Farmers (to chain of stores) has sacked a Santa and Santa provider because he has said he won’t consider employing females for the role.

ODT (NZH):  Santa sacked over ‘inappropriate’ comments

Farmers is ditching its longstanding Santa for tomorrow’s Christmas parade in Auckland, after the man behind the beard said he wouldn’t hire women to play Father Christmas.

My Santa director Neville Baker last weekend told the Herald on Sunday he does not cast any female applicants for the role of Santa.

“They apply, and you say, ‘have you misread the ad?’ Putting politically correct things to one side, there’s a certain character people expect to find when they come to meet Santa,” Baker said.

For the past five years, Baker has personally played Santa on the main float in the Farmers Santa Parade, and was booked to do so again on Sunday.

However, in the wake of Neville’s comments, Farmers has announced it is no longer employing their Santa through the My Santa company.

“We are distancing ourselves from this company. We found his comments to be inappropriate and unnecessary and will be not using their services for the parade,” Chairman of the Children’s Christmas Parade Trust Michael Barnett said.

However, last night, Baker said he had not heard from Farmers and insisted he would turn up as usual.

Is this a fair and righteous stand by Farmers? Or ‘PC’ gone mad.

I doubt that many men are considered for roles as Minister of Women or midwife. Perhaps the difference is the discrimination is done on the quiet with those jobs.

Lowell Goddard sacked?

There have been claims from the UK that Dame Lowell Goddard was effectively sacked from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.

Daily Mail: Child abuse inquiry judge Dame Lowell Goddard did not resign – she was ‘sacked’, legal sources reveal

Dame Lowell Goddard, the New Zealand judge who resigned on Thursday as chair of the £100 million Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA), did not leave her post voluntarily but was effectively fired, The Mail on Sunday has learned.

Dame Lowell, appointed by then-Home Secretary Theresa May just over a year ago, had already lost the confidence of senior staff and members of the inquiry panel, according to two well-placed legal sources.

After she gave a stumbling performance at a preliminary hearing on the case of former Labour politician Greville Janner, when she appeared not to understand her own legal powers, this was picked up by Mrs May’s successor as Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, and her advisers.

The final straw was the disclosure – prompted in part by questions from this newspaper – that in her first year in the job, she spent 30 days on leave and 44 days supposedly ‘working’ in Australia, although in all that time she held only two meetings with members of a child abuse inquiry underway there. A Home Office spokeswoman last night insisted it was ‘her decision’ to offer her resignation. But asked whether this had been suggested to Dame Lowell by officials because her position was becoming untenable, she refused to comment.

So the suggestion is she was pushed.

The judge’s departure leaves the IICSA in disarray, for she is the third chair in just two years – though the inquiry has not yet heard a single piece of evidence, and is not set to do so until next year.

The inquiry was already in disarray.

Questions should be asked about how much interference and deliberate disruption, if any, is being caused by people who may not want the inquiry to succeed.

The Inquiry looks at sordid happenings over a long time. It risks being seen as just as mired in very messy business.

Benn sacked from shadow cabinet

The post-referendum ructions continue in Britain with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn sacking Hilary Benn from the shadow cabinet.

Guardian: Labour shadow minister sacked as Brexit fall-out continues

The UK’s shadow foreign secretary Hilary Benn has been sacked from the shadow cabinet amid reports he was encouraging ministers to resign should Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn ignore a vote of no confidence.

The Labour leader is facing a no confidence vote over claims he fought a “lacklustre” campaign in the EU vote.

A Labour spokesman said Mr Corbyn had “lost confidence” in Mr Benn.

Senior Labour sources also told the BBC that a significant number of shadow cabinet resignations were likely if Mr Corbyn were to ignore the result of the confidence vote.

Labour MPs Dame Margaret Hodge and Ann Coffey submitted a motion of no confidence against Mr Corbyn – who campaigned on the losing Remain side – in a letter to the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) chairman John Cryer on Friday.

Has anyone got any confidence in anyone else in the UK Labour Party?


Hilary Benn statement (3.40am latest) on his sacking. Told Corbyn to quit and says Labour will lose next election.


Just been told half the shadow cabinet to resign this morning

Missy says Kuenssberg is BBC Political Editor.

Serco to be barred from Mt Eden contract renewal

It’s not very surprising to hear that serco’s contract to run Mt Eden prison won’t be renewed at a contract break point in 2017 although Serco would be able to re-apply.

What I do find a bit surprising is that the news needed tol be searched out about, it was nowhere near headlines where I looked.

Newstalk ZB reports: Serco sacked from Mt Eden contract

Private prison operator Serco’s contract to run Mt Eden Corrections Facility will not be renewed.

The company’s contract is up for review, and Corrections chief executive Ray Smith has recommended that it should not be extended beyond next year.

Cabinet has now approved Smith’s recommendation.

Management of the jail was taken off the company after a string of incidents including prisoner assaults and fight clubs earlier this year.

Smith spoke to Serco’s Asia Pacific chief executive last night, and the focus on both sides is to manage the transition carefully.

“This is a practical, logical next step that’s available to us. We’re taking it. They understand that. For all parties now, what’s really important now…is that we want a safe prison.”

Corrections Minister Sam Lotu-Iiga said it doesn’t look as if Serco has grounds to challenge the decision, and it’s response has been pretty much to accept it.

Smith reports either party can seek to break the contract at the six year mark.

“I think the contract’s given us all the leavers that we needed and we’re using them as appropriate,” Smith said. “When you put these things together, one of the reasons you want a break point in it is because things do change.”

This is embarrassing for Serco in their first term of their contract, but they seriousy embarrassed the Government and Corrections – and seem to have been less than satisfactory in their care of prisoners – so this seems fair enough.

It will be interesting to see if a private option is sought, and if so whether Serco tender again. I expect they probaly would, but their record will have to be overcome with a convincing pitch.



Barfoot and Thompson sack leaker, Twyford ‘disappointed’

Barfoot and Thompson have identified the person who leaked sales data and have sacked them. Not surprisingly it was against company rules.

Stuff: Barfoot & Thompson fires employee who leaked sales data

Peter Thompson: “It’s disappointing that one person could jeopardise the whole company.”

Phil Twyford was disappointed that because of what he did an employee was sacked.

Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford said it was “extremely disappointing” to see the staff member lose their job over leaked data.

“The whistleblower who I worked with wanted to shine a light on what is a very real issue for New Zealand – foreign investment pushing up house prices and shutting people who live here out of the property market.

“This data provided an important snapshot of what’s going on in the Auckland housing market,” Twyford said.

“I think they did Aucklanders a huge favour, telling Aucklanders, giving them a snapshot of what’s happening in the housing market – information that the government doesn’t trust people with.”

The whistleblower approached Twyford because they wanted the information in the public domain, he said.

It’s highly debatable they could be called a whistleblower.

What did Twyford expect? What planet is he from?

It’s hard to find much information about his pre-political experience.

All Wikipedia says is that he was founding director of Oxfam.

All his Labour bio says is:

With a background in leadership, campaigning and advocacy Phil’s pre-politics career allowed him to hit the ground running when he entered Parliament.

Not much insight there.

He may have hit the ground running but he has been running a  bit too fast lately and risks falling face first on the ground.