Tories say they were heavied by party bosses to support legislation on same-sex marriage

May 31, 2013

Gotta say it’s great being the long-serving member for Eketahuna North, rather than the member for a British constituency sitting in the House of Commons in London.

For starters, Alf fancies himself more as a House of Lords sort of bloke.

But if he had to settle for the Commons, he would be sitting there as a Conservative (and a proudly deeper-blue Tory than some others in that great party).

Accordingly he would have bridled, had he been warned his career and seat would be at risk if he did not back gay marriage in a free vote.

But there is a strong whiff that the consciences of MPs were tampered with to nudge them to vote in favour of allowing poofs to marry.

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Sir Peter Jackson’s new aircraft just goes to show how welfare (well focused) can create a high-flyer

May 29, 2013

It is great to see how a beneficiary of state welfare has picked himself up by the bootstraps and …

Well, now he can buy himself a new $80 million jet.

News of this uplifting story reached Alf via the Dominion Post.

A version of it is told here at Stuff.

It involves none other than Sir Peter Jackson.

We can be sure WhaleOil will have taken note, because at Gotcha he has expressed himself somewhat critically on the matter (as you will find here).

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Maori kids in Invercargill going hungry? That should be a load of old cods (or freshly caught ones)

May 28, 2013

A Southland Maori language total immersion school has been quick out of the starting blocks to dip its pupils’ snouts into the expanded KickStart breakfast in schools scheme.

They have made their move (see here) remarkably soon after The Boss today announced extra funding for the programme, run by Fonterra and Sanitarium.

The programme will be offered to all schools that need it, five days a week.

The important words there – Alf would have thought – were “all schools that need it”.

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Louisa Wall strikes again – now we must consider having two mums named on a birth certificate

May 25, 2013

Haven’t had time to check out all the issues yet, but Alf is fascinated by the questions raised by one Rowen Sullivan, a lass who reckons she has two mums. According to a story about her at Stuff today, she wants to have them both recognised as her parents.

But for that to happen she will have to change the law.

Strictly speaking, for this to happen Parliament would have to change the law.

But our Parliament has become astonishingly liberal on these matters in recent years and she will find lots of sympathetic ears.

Actually, she has found one – as we will see further down in this post.

And she is following a process that may well put Alf in the position of having to vote on the matter, which is what prompted him to look at some of the issues.

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It’s unfair to rubbish an outfit as dysfunctional when it happens to be a kaupapa Maori service

May 24, 2013

It looks like a bunch of bureaucrats is lamentably lacking in understanding that our indigenous citizens are entitled to special treatment because they are special people.

That means any service they might provide to their indigenous kith and kin should be subject to special measurement standards. Applying the standards that apply to any similar service is simply inappropriate and may be contrary to the letter if not the spirit of The Treaty.

Accordingly it is thoroughly out of order for health officials to have written a damning report on the country’s only Kaupapa Maori intellectual disability residential care provider.

According to this report at the Herald, the officials have found the organisation is “seriously dysfunctional” and recommended urgent action to protect patients and staff.

Further insensitive details are provided in a more comprehensive report and backgrounder at Stuff.

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Ethnic people seeking more political clout will be finding they lack something important – a treaty

May 23, 2013

Ha! The ethnic communities that want a decision-making role within the Auckland Council look likely to learn fast that they are not “indigenous” and therefore they are not special.

Maori – on the other hand – are indigenous, they are special, and therefore they are accorded rights which are denied the rest of us.

They have special representation that allows unelected appointees to sit on Auckland Council committees, among other arrangements that debase our democratic arrangements.

Bugger all that election stuff. Too hard.

If you are special you can play the race card.

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A boisterous Opposition is noisy enough – but now they want their bawling brats in there too

May 21, 2013

If you can’t stand the heat, as they say, get out of the kitchen.

And if you don’t like the hours, get another job.

That’s Alf’s advice to Labour’s Nanaia Mahuta, who has been sounding just a tad pathetic while braying about it being unfair to expect nursing mothers to be in Parliament late into the night.

It’s good to see The Boss has climbed in on this issue, saying (here) he does not believe Parliament’s hours should be reduced to make it more “family friendly”.

Having children while in Parliament was “challenging but do-able”, he said, and it was up to each party to ensure nursing mothers had the support and time out needed.

It may well be challenging.

But more important, it was a matter of choice, presumably, that Ms Mahuta opted to become a mum as well as an MP.

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