Besides the quake, there’s news about the foreshore furore, charitable fund-raising and PSA pique

The NZ public is understandably focused on the disastrous earthquake and its aftermath in Christchurch. The media is appropriately focused there, too.

Some important bits of news accordingly might escape public attention.

In the last hour or so, for example, Scoop posted a summary of Māori submissions on the Marine and Coastal Bill was released.

This is a summary of the 72 submissions received by the Māori Affairs Select Committee from marae, hapū, iwi, Māori land owners, organisations and collectives. It does not include those submissions made by Māori individuals. It has been prepared by a collective of concerned people, Kaitiaki o te Takutai, who wanted to know what hapū and iwi said about the Marine and Coastal Bill. It is our hope that their voices will be listened to.

The important thing is that all submitters said they were opposed to the Foreshore Seabed Act 2004 and supported its repeal.

Almost half of the submitters (33) said that the Bill was not materially different from the Act and many expected that more would have resulted from the Ministerial Review process.

Of the 72 submissions received, only one supported the passage of the Bill as it is. This was from Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Porou who have sought to have their rights recognised in the Nga Hapū o Ngāti Porou Foreshore and Seabed Deed of Settlement.

Of the remaining 71 submitters, just under half (34) said that the Bill is problematic and needs significant amendment for them to support it. The main concerns requiring amendment are that the Bill….

Alf does not intend to regurgitate the list of defects and shortcomings claimed in the submissions. It’s enough for him to alert his constituents to the nature of Maori dissent on the matter and show them where they can look to see what Maori want (and will keep fighting for until they get it).

Oh, and let the record show that a new campaign to tackle child abuse has been (or it about to be) launched.

The Family Works Guardian Angel initiative will help raise funds for Kiwi children and families in need, with one child every three days hospitalised from child abuse.

Family Works spokesperson Jude Simpson says it’s a statistic we should be ashamed of.

Alf might feel ashamed, but he will suppress his shame until he sees those figures put into some sort of comparative context. What’s the rate in Australia, Britain, the US, Libya?

Jude Simpson is short on data of the sort Alf would like to see, but strong on rhetoric.

Family violence is not a single outburst, she says, but rather an escalating pressure that gets more damaging every day until it finally explodes.

Family Works hopes to help more families before they reach that point.

With a growing waiting list of families requiring help, Simpson says the new Guardian Angel campaign is aimed at getting New Zealanders to help the many families queuing for their services.

Kiwis wanting to assist those in their community are able to do so by donating around a dollar a day. The $30 donated will be used within the sponsors’ own region to help families in need reach their potential, says Simpson.

It seems – in other words – that we are being told we can give money to an outfit that hopes to do good things with it.

What sort of things?

Family Works services include counselling, parenting programmes and child therapy “so that families can work through their issues and change their behaviours”, says Simpson.

So maybe this is not really a new campaign to help kids. Rather it is a new campaign to raise money for a charitable outfit that thinks it can help.

Any more news out there?

Oh, yes.

The Public Service Association has launched an awareness campaign in national newspapers and electronic media to warn New Zealanders against the pitfalls of public-private partnerships (PPPs) “as the government here prepares to unleash the failed PPP experiment on New Zealand”.

Alf imagines the PSA is realy worried about the prospect of losing members, as more and more public services are provided by private sector people.

But the buggers won’t be telling us that.

“PPPs have often been expensive failures in the UK and other countries so it makes no sense to adopt them here,” says PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff.

“We’re concerned that tax payer dollars that could be used to provide better public services will instead be funnelled into companies and provide fat dividends for largely overseas shareholders.

The heading on the media statement is –

PSA launches awareness campaign to warn against PPP pitfalls

Alf suggests you stand well clear, if any of these PSA types looked like he or she might be overcome by an urge to read out those words and the words in the opening paragraph (highlighted above).

Great globs of spit are apt to flow when folks read sentences heavily laced with the letter “P”.

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