Sunday, May 29, 2016

can you handle the truth?

It is very hard to face up to this - people commit suicide in this country at alarming rates. The numbers do not tell the full story - how could they. They record successful attempts and not the other multiple attempts. They must fit a certain criteria before they are recorded as suicide and this ensures - what? half are recorded as suicide? a third?

Former Chief Coroner Neil MacLean said the number of recorded suicides in New Zealand should be taken "with a large grain of salt".
"Some people could fall through the gaps because just relying on raw suicide numbers isn't giving us the true number," he said.
Judge MacLean said each case was judged on whether the evidence proved the person deliberately intended to take their life.

"That would include making a determination that it wasn't just an accident or indulging in risky behaviour without thinking of the consequences," he said.
We want to blame - their fault, his or her fault, or this issue or that issue. None of that is really helping because it isn't getting to the heart of the issue.

I'm going to talk about that and some ideas for solutions over the next couple of posts.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

fishy smell

So a group of teens did this and got this
A sentence of home detention for four Northland teenagers for a burglary spree totalling nearly $80,000 in stolen property has been met with outrage...
Former Maori Affairs Minister Dover Samuels told media the penalty was "inadequate", and thousands of social media posts claimed the teens escaped a custody sentence because they were white.Comments left on the Northern Advocate website were similar in theme with most questioning the justice system and making the observation that if the offenders had been Maori or Pacific Islanders the most likely outcome would have been jail.
It is not really rocket science to come to that conclusion especially when we also have this
A trout poacher has been jailed for four months - about 18 months after he was found guilty of the original charges. Leef was also disqualified from driving for six months as he used a car to get to the stream. Leef was caught with 10 rainbow trout strung onto a length of rope by Fish & Game rangers at a spawning stream at Lake Rotoiti in 2014. He claimed he was taking trout to eat and for his whanau.There were six hatchery bred trout and four wild trout.
Yep so there we have it
$80,000 + priviledge = not much
10 trout + Māori = Jail

Justice? No! 
The way it is? yes.
Please note this post is NOT about sending more people to Jail - it is about the injustice of systemic and unrelenting institutional racism. Trout are an introduced species and they don't need special protection so that sport fishers can get a thrill. This poacher was in the wrong - and he was trying to feed his family. But he didn't steal $80,000 worth of fish and he should not have been sent to Jail.

Good post on The Standard on this topic.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

not broken just reflective

The Standard is broken says the voice of reason (trp).

I've had my issues with some authors on The Standard - namely voice himself and I have visited a lot less over the last 3 months because of those issues. I have had time to reflect on The Standard and myself as a commenter, a contributer, an activist and a person.

I've come to some conclusions. These are 2 to consider.

time online is just a little bit better than watching tv - the map is not the territory

the world continues to spin even when we don't contribute - a painful realisation for sure

So to voice's assertion - No The Standard is not broken in the sense that that means because it actually does reflect a wider society - slanting left and progressive. The Standard is not broken, our society is broken, our values are broken, our communities are broken. Yes The Standard is not safe for women, neither is society - ffs women still get blamed for being abused, women still earn less for the same role - the Patriarchy is alive and well - in society and at The Standard.

voice says
My suggestion is that we need to look again at the structures of the Standard, from the ‘owners’, through the moderators and onto the authors. The undemocratic, male dominated and authoritarian ownership structure of the Standard is fundamentally wrong for a left blog. There are moderators who do little or no blog writing, don’t contribute much in the comments, but hang on grimly to their tools of power and control. There are authors who are bigots, authors who hate the left, authors who hate women. One author is all of the above. Why are they here on a left wing blog?
I think voice needs to be more honest here - this is a power play by him to take over The Standard and wrestle it towards his vision of what he thinks it should or maybe could be. That in itself is not necessarily a bad thing but dressing it up as some sort of defense of women is disingenuous and insulting imo.

Please understand I cannot stand and in fact oppose the gender politics and sad defenses offered by the likes of cv or redlogix and over the years I've commented many times about what I, as a man, think about other men who have these ideas.

So what to do?



Yep - do nothing, change nothing, get rid of no one - anything that is done is just hiding the issues and not dealing with them.

But what about offensive and horrible comments?

delete and ban them

But what about making The Standard safer for women?

It won't be, not without changing attitudes and that won't happen anytime soon - especially with fundamentalist views and attitudes.

But The Standard might whither and die?

So does everything. If you want to change that then contribute, be an author, be a commenter, be involved.

Friday, May 6, 2016

use tikanga not leaks

It is time to talk a bit about Ngāi Tahu and the situation at the top.

Sir Mark Solomon is stepping down after 19 years as Kaiwhakahaere, leader of the Iwi. This is a big thing, especially as there are now 'issues' in the media. 

I am of the mind that Mark has been a good leader that has helped the Iwi and that it is a good time for a change.

In recent times I have been especially impressed by Mark. The historical sexual abuse case has shown his leadership. He has said
Sir Mark said he had been campaigning for some time to stamp out all forms of violence and abuse within Ngāi Tahu communities.
On the runanga website, Sir Mark said the descendants of Kurī, the hapū in Kaikoura, were facing a challenging time.
Sir Mark, who is from Kaikoura, said his whanau had found it difficult living within the community, knowing some of their whanau had been perpetrators - or victims - of sexual abuse.
It has been reported a kaumatua has been convicted on sexual abuse charges.
Sir Mark said the hapū was addressing the issue as a community, rather than ignoring the issue and sweeping it under the carpet
the complainants are some of the bravest people he knows.
I also read the letter he sent to all members of the Iwi and within it he was accurate - all communities have sexual abuse victims and perpetrators, this is a community issue and the victims especially need support, they need to know they are supported and loved by the community, the community that includes relatives and friends of the perpetrator and that individual too. This issue within that community is the visible side of sexual abuse and it is within all of our communities. Don't be fooled into thinking it is rare - it isn't.

Mark resigned as chair of Takahanga, he said he will not seek re-election as the Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Representative for Kaikoura and thus his time as Kaiwhakahaere is completed.

and now we have leaked confidential letters showing a real conflict - perhaps personal, perhaps ideological but definitely public now.
A confidential memorandum has been leaked containing a raft of allegations by chairman Sir Mark Solomon that the perception of nepotism and corruption were creeping into the way the iwi conducted itself.
I think the tense is wrong in that statement - "were creeping" nah it creeped a long time ago and guess what? I don't think it is necessarily a bad thing at all.

This bullshit of the "best person" for the job is imposed rubbish that just creates roles for non-iwi members - those roles could and can be filled with Iwi members - and that is what I would like.

I know nepotism has a bad name - and it is a pain when you are not in the inside running - and I know about that from bitter experience but the fundamentals are correct - use people you know, trust and can rely on.

The response from Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu Arihia Bennett was very good
asking him to show restraint in his statements, or have the integrity to state them openly and with supporting evidence.
It is interesting to note that in her Iwi profile she writes
“Ko te whānau te mea tuatahi – Family comes first; everything I touch and do must be about the whānau way.”
So we get to the same spot as we have been in the past - and the media will lap it up because they love controversy.

What do I think about it all, whose side am I on?

I wish they'd just get their shit together and use tikanga to sort out their differences not leaked documents like some slimey politician. And at another level I just don't care - when you are in the mode you think you are a big fish, you think you matter, you think you are important - you aren't, you are just another cog, another descendant - our mana is your mana - sort your shit out top table!!!