Creative NZ gives support to the art of pressing MPs to change “racist” law and facilitate race-based voting systems

Creative New Zealand – a generous supporter of  artistic projects it considers worthy – is supporting writing which promotes the contentious notion that the Treaty of Waitangi calls for race-based voting arrangements in local government.

Yes, this is the outfit that administers the Arts Continuity Grant, a Covid-19 response fund which came to the attention of the Taxpayers Union when it had paid out $16 million in grants to a variety of questionable short-term arts projects.

Since March, Creative NZ has offered grants of up to $50,000 for ‘a short-term arts project, or the stage of a project, that can be delivered within a changed and evolving environment as a result of COVID-19.’

Many of the descriptions of these projects are, frankly, incomprehensible. It’s hard to see how bureaucrats in Creative NZ can make an objective judgment on which projects are worthy of funding, and which aren’t.

Among the 637 beneficiaries of taxpayer funding under the grant at that time were:

  • Eamonn Marra – To research and write the first draft of a novel about male affection in hypermasculine spaces. Awarded $13,000
  • Duncan Sarkies – Towards writing a novel about the collapse of democracy in an association of alpaca breeders. Awarded $26,000.
  • Rosemarie Kirkup – Towards the development of a first draft of a play that explores the menstrual cycle. Awarded $16,766.
  • Imogen Taylor – Towards development of a new body of work exploring modernism, feminism & queerness, with specific reference to the Otago region. Awarded $30,089.

Creative New Zealand also sponsors contributions to The Spinoff which deal not so much with the arts as with politics and governance issues. Continue reading “Creative NZ gives support to the art of pressing MPs to change “racist” law and facilitate race-based voting systems”

Monitoring (or is it oversight?) gets good results in Westland but the Canterbury DHB requires strong medicine

Central government monitoring seems to have done the trick on one side of the Southern Alps.  Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has declared she is satisfied “the close monitoring” of the Westland District Council by an Oversight Committee can draw to a close.

he had written to the council in July and September last year, expressing concerns about poor processes, dysfunctional governance and management, non-compliance with policies, and natural hazard management. Later in the year she established an Oversight Committee comprising key government agencies to support the council as it worked to improve its performance.

But she seemed curiously disinclined to call it monitoring.

In a statement on November 26 she said:

“The Council has heard the extent of the concerns raised and has taken steps to respond. Westland have demonstrated they are establishing governance committees to provide transparency of decision making, putting in systems and frameworks for policies and processes, and learning from pas t experience”.

But she said there was benefit “from a level of oversight” and had tasked an existing group to provide support to the council to support necessary changes.

Continue reading “Monitoring (or is it oversight?) gets good results in Westland but the Canterbury DHB requires strong medicine”

Maori monarch flexes muscle to make waterways off-limits but we may muse on the matter of legality

The Waikato and Waipa Rivers have been declared off limits during Level 3 of the Covid-19 emergency, prohibiting food gathering and all recreational activities on the waterways..

Elsewhere around the country people have been barred from going to some beaches by vigilante groups who set up checkpoints to impede the public.

In the case of the two rivers, the prohibition has been imposed by a former truck driver who now rejoices in the title of Māori King Tuheitia.

He has declared the rivers are subject to a rahui, a cultural and spiritual prohibition.  It came into effect on Monday.

The king’s authority to make a rahui binding on anyone who feels they should not be constrained by it is dubious.

Point of Order hoped Local Government New Zealand would guide us on King Tuheitia’s entitlement to bar people from swimming or fishing in the rivers or boating on them.  Continue reading “Maori monarch flexes muscle to make waterways off-limits but we may muse on the matter of legality”