Verrall draws attention to elder abuse today while the PM apologises for crackdown on Polynesians 40 years ago

We are paying special attention today to comments submitted for publication on the Point of Order blog.

The reason:  our writers are in the “veteran” category, as journalists, and accordingly feel entitled to make the most of today being World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

Fawning comments will be accepted with relish.  Anything unduly harsh will be forwarded to the appropriate authorities.

But we do acknowledge that finding critical comments in our in-tray is not as traumatic as being physically or psychologically abused.

Thus we recognise that we are unlikely to be the intended beneficiaries of a new campaign intended to alert the public to elder abuse and to encourage people to protect older New Zealanders.

Most abuse is committed by someone close to the victim, often by a family member or a caregiver. Continue reading “Verrall draws attention to elder abuse today while the PM apologises for crackdown on Polynesians 40 years ago”

Housing crisis is the driver as govt prepares three new laws to replace the vexing RMA

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We had been bracing for Environment Minister David Parker’s news this morning, which was to confirm that the Government intends to replace the Resource Management Act based on a comprehensive review of the country’s resource management system carried out last year.

Before the general election, in early October last year, Jacinda Ardern had posted a Labour Party policy announcement that the party would repeal and replace the Resource Management Act.

“Labour is committed to delivering better outcomes for our natural and urban environments, and so will repeal and replace the Resource Management Act.

“Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said Labour’s changes will remove complexity and inconsistency, improve environmental outcomes, and reduce costs for all involved.

“Overly restrictive planning rules are one of the causes of high house prices. Labour will continue to improve the availability of land for housing through better integrated planning and investment in urban development, infrastructure and transport, and set standards for quality urban design.”

Last month, under mounting pressure to deal with the housing crisis, Ardern mapped out a timeline for when the public can expect new announcements from the government on housing.

She mentioned the commitment that “high-level announcements” would be made about the Resource Management Act with draft legislation outlining major reform released in May.

Parker’s announcement today gave us some idea of what is intended. Continue reading “Housing crisis is the driver as govt prepares three new laws to replace the vexing RMA”

Now that race-based wards can be introduced more easily, let’s brace for Auckland (and Parliament?) giving a stronger voice to Asians

An election has taken place and the democratic will of the people must be respected, Nanaia Mahuta proclaimed yesterday.

As Minister of Foreign Affairs she proceeded to declare:

“We confirm our support for Myanmar’s democratic institutions and the rule of law.”

But as Minister of Local Government, Mahuta recently sacked the democratically elected members of the Tauranga City Council.  

And yesterday, in the same ministerial job, she set about rewriting the rules enabling voters in that city –  or any other local body area – to challenge the introduction of race-based Māori wards.

The Tauranga proposal would have gone to a referendum after a petition calling for a community vote met a necessary threshold under the law

RNZ reported at the weekend –

In August last year, councillors voted to introduce wards in the district where nearly 20 percent of the population is Māori.

If 5 percent of electors opposed this, a community wide vote was to be called.

Local electoral officer Warwick Lampp confirmed a petition calling for a vote reached the threshold of 4742 signatures.

But it’s not going to happen. Continue reading “Now that race-based wards can be introduced more easily, let’s brace for Auckland (and Parliament?) giving a stronger voice to Asians”

NZ’s voice missing from chorus of protests over jailing of journalists in Myanmar

Guest correspondent:   Ruthless military dictators are not given to taking notice of outsiders but that should not dissuade the New Zealand government from adding its voice to international protests at the seven-year jail sentences given two Reuters’ journalists in Myanmar.

The sentences followed a trial dubbed a travesty of justice by the United Nations human rights chief, Michelle Bachelet, and were condemned by the European Union.

US vice president Mike Pence, moreover, said the reporters should be commended – not imprisoned – for their work exposing human rights violations and the mass killings of ethnic Rohingya civilians.

Continue reading “NZ’s voice missing from chorus of protests over jailing of journalists in Myanmar”