Maori can’t be found on Muller’s front-bench list but they are getting priority treatment on a revised surgery list

Claims and counter-claims about racism have been triggered by two lists in the past week.

Elective surgery was at issue with one list.  Election prospects were at issue with the other.

Let’s sharpen our scalpels and start with the surgery.

Changes are being made in the Wellington region to a system whereby people placed on a surgical waiting list are treated according to clinical urgency, firstly, and then days waiting on that list. 

Clinical urgency is determined using national scoring tools (www.health.govt.nz/nz-health-statistics/data-references/code-tables/national-booking-reporting-system-code-tables).  In general the higher the score, the greater the urgency for treatment.  

No longer, according to this press statement: 

“Capital & Coast and Hutt Valley DHBs are prioritising Maori and Pacific in our surgical scheduling processes. The patients’ ethnicity is taken into account along with their level of clinical urgency and the number of days they have been on the waiting list within a given clinical priority band. Continue reading “Maori can’t be found on Muller’s front-bench list but they are getting priority treatment on a revised surgery list”

Some Labour strategists may agree with Peters that the election should be delayed

NZ First leader Winston Peters today said he wants the election held on November 21,  Radio  NZ   reported.  He says he believes  the health system would be under the pump in September with the winter flu season and the country potentially still dealing with the impacts of Covid-19.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the September election date before the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Peters said he had fought for the November date originally, because his party believed summer elections were better, but given the pressures of Covid-19 he will again raise delaying it by two months.

“Having a good look at it now and with the compounding problems of coronavirus and all the distractions and efforts going in elsewhere, perhaps the sound thing is to say November 21 is the right date and we should go ahead then,” he said. Continue reading “Some Labour strategists may agree with Peters that the election should be delayed”

A united front against Covid-19 is all very well, but it shouldn’t isolate the Ardern govt from hard questioning

As  the  Covid-19 crisis  deepens, the  country  needs  unity, not politics as  usual:  so  says  the  PM  Jacinda  Ardern.

Repeating  a  theme  she had expressed  in a speech the previous   day, she told  Parliament  on  Wednesday:

There are moments in our history where it’s not business as usual, where New Zealanders expect us to come together”, 

 “We are a nation that has been shaped because of our experiences, and they often have been tough, harsh, and unpredictable. That is when New Zealanders are at their best. That is when we rally: when we look after one another, when we care for the most vulnerable. So my final message is this to New Zealanders: be strong but be kind—we will be okay”. Continue reading “A united front against Covid-19 is all very well, but it shouldn’t isolate the Ardern govt from hard questioning”

Labour Party in disarray – and the flow-on to the PM

The once-proud NZ Labour Party was in a sorry shape this week. Its president Nigel Haworth handed in his resignation, the PM Jacinda Ardern was looking rather bedraggled, and several of her senior staff stood accused of a cover-up, in the wake of the scandal involving allegations of sexual assault against a Labour staffer said to be working in the Beehive.

Stuff reported earlier this week that a 19-year-old woman was allegedly assaulted on two occasions by a staffer with “strong influence” in the party.  It took a year after the second alleged assault before the party eventually launched an investigation into multiple complaints. But in spite of the young woman meeting with Labour Party officials including Haworth to seek help, the party contended the allegations did not include sexual violence.

Continue reading “Labour Party in disarray – and the flow-on to the PM”

Capital gains tax: hear what Peters (as PM) has to say about something NZ First opposes

Anticipating the release of the Tax Working Group’s report, Point of Order on Tuesday said the  question  of a capital gains tax being endorsed by the government is whether   the concept can be sold to  NZ  First.  Its leader,  Winston Peters,  in the past  has been  vocal in  his  opposition to a  broad-based  capital  gains tax.

Early yesterday, a few hours ahead of the report’s release, the NZ Herald echoed our thinking.

Whatever Sir Michael Cullen recommends in his final Tax Working Group report today may be off the table if Labour can’t get New Zealand First and Winston Peters’ support for it.

Peters has made it clear in the past he is not a fan of a capital gains tax.

Just before the 2017 election, he told TVNZ’s Q&A that a capital gains tax was “off the table.”

“The two factors are – it doesn’t work and the second thing is there is no fairness if you haven’t got capital losses as well.” Continue reading “Capital gains tax: hear what Peters (as PM) has to say about something NZ First opposes”

Report on a leak looks like flushing a political career (and maybe more) down the drain

The association of Bridges with troubled waters was not overlooked by headline writers at the Dominion-Post today.

Bridges’ troubled waters draws front-page readers into a report about Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross’s spectacular explosion on Twitter and his allegations against his leader.

“It is disloyalty on a grand and almost unprecedented scale,” political journalist Tracy Watkins writes.

Continue reading “Report on a leak looks like flushing a political career (and maybe more) down the drain”

Ontario has a lesson for NZ on how to deal with universities which constrain freedom of speech

Education Minister Chris Hipkins perhaps has been too busy to notice, but the Ontario government has determined it should force post-secondary schools to discipline students who interfere with “free speech.”

If this be so, we recommend the Minister ask someone to brief him on overseas government responses to publicly funded universities which constrain freedom of speech and academic freedom.

Come to think of it, he might also get a staffer to advise him on how to answer questions we put to him last month about the apparent breach of the legislation which governs New Zealand universities when  Don Brash was banned from speaking at Massey University.

In Ontario, Premier Doug Ford’s office is dealing with this sort of campus carry-on by requiring all colleges and universities that receive government funding to publish a “free speech policy” by January 1. Continue reading “Ontario has a lesson for NZ on how to deal with universities which constrain freedom of speech”

Plaudits for Shane Jones should be offset by his antics at Question Time

New Zealand First’s Shane Jones today has been rewarded with a positive mention in the Dominion-Post’s weekly “Below the Beltway” column, where a political scribe salutes some politicians in the “up” section and chide others in the “down” section.

Explaining why Jones merited a spot in the “up” section, the column says  –

“He’s on track for his target of one billion trees after Cabinet approved an extra $250 million for the scheme…”

At Point of Order we would have taken into account his playing the race card in an ignoble attempt to constrain the Nats from holding the Government to account at  Question Time. Continue reading “Plaudits for Shane Jones should be offset by his antics at Question Time”

No, Simon Bridges isn’t floundering – he’s buoyed by pitching for mainstream support

It’s  tough   going  for  National’s  Simon  Bridges,  judging  by  anything   you  might  read in  what   was  once the  mainstream   media.

From one  commentator   we  had   this  on July  23:   

National is bereft: bereft of ideas. Personality. Communicatiion skills. Anything really.”

A week later from the  same commentator:

The big ticket item was the announcement that National would be reducing class sizes. Great! More teachers is a fantastic idea. While there were no more details at least the idea is positive.It seems that National as a party is starting to think about things differently, the pro-choice protest, the medicinal marijuana bill, more teachers.”

 Then   there  is  the wily   veteran   Winston Peters  capturing  a  headline   with his    warning on The Nation that “the jackals” are coming for  National’s  Simon Bridges and    Paula Bennett and will take out the weakest first. Continue reading “No, Simon Bridges isn’t floundering – he’s buoyed by pitching for mainstream support”

McVicar rejects “loopy” tag – and he may bridle at being called an “expert” too

The headline atop a press release from the National Party complained the Government had again showed a contempt for expertise:  “Govt arrogantly dismissing experts and academics”.

The Ardern-Peters Government continued to arrogantly show it didn’t want its ideas challenged and that it is willing to insult those who disagree with its ministers, National’s Deputy Leader Paula Bennett says in the statement

Point of Order was aware of some recent examples she referenced.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford scoffed at the ‘kids’ at Treasury who were ‘fresh out of university and … completely disconnected from reality’ when they produced a forecast which raised questions about the impact of the KiwiBuild policy on residential construction. Continue reading “McVicar rejects “loopy” tag – and he may bridle at being called an “expert” too”