Race-based politicking at Ihumatao is condemned – by a socialist critic who is batting for the Maori working class

Who would have imagined it?

The carry-on at Ihumatao is being exploited by Maori nationalist parties for – wait for it – race-based politicking purposes.

A bloke named Tom Peters, from an outfit called the Socialist Equality Group, disapproves.  We suspect Hobson’s Pledge and Don Brash might agree with him – but only up to a point.

Peters has posted an item on Scoop in which he examines the occupation led by Maori activists protesting against a proposed property development at a historic archaeological site on the Ihumātao Peninsula in South Auckland.

He writes: Continue reading “Race-based politicking at Ihumatao is condemned – by a socialist critic who is batting for the Maori working class”

Michael Laws says he WILL share a council seat with Maori representatives – so long as they have been elected

Democrats who bridle against some community groups being granted privileged access to local authority decision-making bodies risk being portrayed for what they oppose rather than for what they uphold.

Waatea News, reporting on bizarre constitutional goings-on in Otago, illustrates the point.

The Otago Regional Council (a strong majority, anyway) has voted in favour of enabling Ngai Tahu to choose two iwi members, representing four Otago rūnanga, to sit on its policy committee.

The appointees will have voting and speaking rights and join 12 elected councillors at the table. Continue reading “Michael Laws says he WILL share a council seat with Maori representatives – so long as they have been elected”

Methane and interest rates – the things Brash can publicly discuss without upsetting the thought police

We haven’t spotted any expressions of outrage or dismay, in response to news that Don Brash is throwing his money and weight behind technology that could help to solve New Zealand’s methane headache.

According to Carbon News, the former National Party leader and Reserve Bank Governor is the sole outside investor in Zest Biotech, a family company commercialising technology developed by New Zealand horticultural scientist Nathan Balasingham

Balasingham last year was nominated for the prestigious World Technology Award in the Individual Biotechnology category for his products Biozest and Agrizest.

Anyone searching for a race angle to this story about Brash should note that Balasingham was born in Malaysia through Sri Lankan ancestry and graduated from Massey University with a Masters Degree in Horticultural Science with 1st class honours.

Armed with a PhD in economics as well as his RBNZ governorship experience, Brash stuck his head above the parapet again last week to express concerns after the Reserve Bank cut the official cash rate to 1.5%.  Continue reading “Methane and interest rates – the things Brash can publicly discuss without upsetting the thought police”

It is much too easy to win headlines – and then be treated leniently – for assaulting MPs

It’s rare for a politician in New Zealand to be mugged while out walking, broadcaster Barry Soper observed after Green Party co-leader James was assaulted in Wellington last week, although many had got into “skirmishes” when out doing their job.

The attack on Shaw prompted the PM to say New Zealanders should be proud of the access New Zealanders have to their politicians, whose job is to serve the people, but this assault showed they can’t take that for granted.

Soper recalled National’s Lockwood Smith once being forced to take a back door out of a university rather than face angry students as Education Minister.

But the last time a politician had been “supposedly attacked” while out walking was Keith Allen, a Minister in the Muldoon Government in 1983. Continue reading “It is much too easy to win headlines – and then be treated leniently – for assaulting MPs”

The Trough Monitor: speech-muzzling Massey will benefit from the latest serving of PGF money

The Point of Order Trough Monitor alerted us today to a handout which will benefit – among others –  the university which banned former Opposition leader Don Brash from its campus on spurious security grounds.

The ban brought Massey’s compliance with Section 161 of the Education Act into question, although Point of Order was left wondering  who (if anybody) actually enforces the law which deals with academic freedom:

It is declared to be the intention of Parliament in enacting the provisions of this Act relating to institutions that academic freedom and the autonomy of institutions are to be preserved and enhanced.

For the purposes of this section, academic freedom in relation to our universities includes —

The freedom of academic staff and students, within the law, to question and test received wisdom, to put forward new ideas and to state controversial or unpopular opinions.

In the performance of their functions, the councils and chief executives of institutions, Ministers, and authorities and Crown agencies “shall act in all respects so as to give effect to the intention of Parliament as expressed in this section”

This aspect of the legislation is incorporated in a Massey University policy document which informs staff members of the standards of conduct expected of them as university employees.

Never mind.  There’s plenty of money in the Provincial Growth Fund and it has to be spent somewhere. Continue reading “The Trough Monitor: speech-muzzling Massey will benefit from the latest serving of PGF money”

The shouting down of Don Brash shows decolonised democracy in action

An organisation which mounted a protest against Don Brash’s participation in the debate at the University of Auckland last night has yet to build a reputation for public service as impressive – or notorious, depending on your point of view – as his.

The organisation is “A New University“.

Point of Order could find no website in that name during a somewhat quick Google search but at Scoop we did found it has issued three press statements in recent months.

The first and third statements carry no names of spokespersons.

The second statement, however, said the organisation is composed of staff, students, and alumni, along with concerned community members. It named Vanessa Harvey as spokesperson. Continue reading “The shouting down of Don Brash shows decolonised democracy in action”

The law requires academic freedom to be preserved and enhanced – but who does the policing?

Whose job is it to check that university authorities comply with the Education Act 1989?

We ask because of the widely reported goings-on at Massey University, which have culminated in students being denied the chance to listen to Don Brash, former Governor of the Reserve Bank, former leader of the National Party, former leader of the ACT Party, and the best known member of Hobson’s Choice.

Section 161 of the Education Act deals with the academic freedom which has been imperilled at Massey.  It says: Continue reading “The law requires academic freedom to be preserved and enhanced – but who does the policing?”