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Sunday, 18 September

14:01

September 19 in history "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

335  Dalmatius was raised to the rank of Caesar by his uncle Constantine I.

1356  In the Battle of Poitiers, the English defeated the French.

1676 Jamestown was burned to the ground by the forces of Nathaniel Bacon during Bacon’s Rebellion.

1692 Giles Corey was pressed to death after refusing to plead in the Salem witch trials.

1777  First Battle of Saratoga/Battle of Freeman’s Farm/Battle of Bemis Heights.

1796 George Washington’s farewell address was printed across America as an open letter to the public.

 

1862 American Civil War: Battle of Luka – Union troops under General William Rosecrans defeated a Confederate force commanded by General Sterling Price.

1863  American Civil War: Battle of Chickamauga.

1870 Franco-Prussian War: the Siege of Paris began.

1881 President James A. Garfield died of wounds suffered in a July 2 shooting.

1882 Christopher Stone, first disc jockey in the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1965).

1889 – Sarah Louise Delany, American physician and author, was born (d. 1999).

1893 The Governor, Lord Glasgow, signed a new Electoral Act into law. As a result of this landmark legislation, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world to grant all women the right to vote in parliamentary elections.

Women's suffrage day

1911 Sir William Golding, English writer, Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 1993).

1927 Nick Massi, American singer and guitarist (The Four Seasons), was born (d. 2000).

1930 – Derek Nimmo, English actor, was born (d. 1999).

1933 – David McCallum, Scottish actor, was born.

1934 Brian Epstein, English musical group manager (The Beatles) (d. 1967).

1934  – Austin Mitchell, English academic and politician, was born.

1940 – Zandra Rhodes, English fashion designer, founded the Fashion and Textile Museum, was born.

1940...

10:00

366 days of gratitude "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

It won’t work, there aren’t enough people to support it, it will be too cold in winter  . . .

These are just three of the many reactions the nay-sayers had when the idea of a farmers’ market was mooted for Oamaru.

The people promoting it didn’t listen to them and five years-on it is still going strong.

A visit to the market has become a regular part of Sunday morning when I’m home.

It’s a good place to meet people and to buy plants, fresh produce, bacon, baked goods . . .

Today I’m grateful for the market, the people who got it up and running and those who keep it going.

 


Filed under: food, gratitude Tagged: Oamaru Farmers' Market

09:28

NZ Andrew Buckley - Fluoridation and democracy "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

It’s not about water fluoridation, it’s about democracy and following a proper process.

As a member of the Waikato District Health Board I believe it is my job to ask hard questions and hold our system to account. Board members, both elected and appointed, are there to ensure a good process is followed so that the best decisions can be made. At our DHB, and apparently at others around New Zealand, I believe that we have lost sight of the right process and therefore decisions are being made without having all of the relevant facts in hand.

During September 2016 we saw media reports of allegations of bullying and intimidation at Nelson and Marlborough DHB against a board member who raised legitimate concerns about the safety and value of water fluoridation. Another report related to a board member’s concerns at Canterbury DHB about their “gagging policy” and lack of transparency. Please refer to the links at the bottom of this article to read more about these cases..........................

Is this the real enemy?

In July last year, Nelson and Marlborough DHB Principal Dental Officer, Dr. Rob Beaglehole, delivered one of his many attacks on national consumption of sugary drinks and junk food. (see link below). He presented a number of disturbing statistics:
  • Each year 35,000 NZ children under 12 have rotten teeth extracted because of excessively sugary diets, mainly due to sugary drinks and other junk foods.
  • New Zealand is the 11th largest consumer of soft drinks.
  • New Zealanders, on average, consume about 54kg of sugar each year, equivalent to 37 teaspoons of sugar per person, per day.
  • In 2014 New Zealanders drank 518.3 million litres of soft drinks.
To quote Dr. Beaglehole, “Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) are the leading cause of dental caries. It’s not lack of fluoride, it’s SSBs”
Dental caries in children, along with type 2 diabetes and obesity, are manifestations of the underlying problem: high sugar and saturated fat consumption along with lack of sufficient physical exercise. So, with regard to the global health crisis that faces us, let’s turn our attention, energy and resources toward the “too hard basket” of lifestyle practices that are the real issue.
...

08:37

Bombs in New York and Syria "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

John Key could be heading for a very tense United General Assembly and also a Security Council special debate on Syria that he is due to chair next week. Bombs have gone off recently in New York and New jersey. Injuries have been reported but as yet no deaths have been confirmed. Stuff: New York […]

06:30

Word of the day "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Peristeronic –  of or relating to pigeons. pigeon-fancying.


Filed under: language Tagged: peristeronic

05:57

Kapiti Travellers Warned "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Council urges drivers to take care on rain-drenched roads By Alan Tristram Kāpiti Coast District Council is urging motorists to take care on Kāpiti’s rain-drenched roads as darkness falls. Infrastructure Services Group Manager Sean Mallon says Kāpiti had managed fairly well so far, although there had been large areas of surface flooding and some minor […]

04:09

Three more bronzes "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Two New Zealand paralympians have won three bronze medals to bring the country’s total to 21.

William Stedman has won bronze in the 400 metre sprint and 800m.

Emma Foy and her pilot Laura Thompson won their second medal in the Rio Paralympics with a bronze in the women’s road race.

New Zealand is now 12th in the medal tally with nine gold, five silver and seven bronze.


Filed under: sport Tagged: Emma Foy, Laura Thompson, Rio Paralympics, William Stedman

02:08

The racist truth about crime "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

The racist truth about crime:

An informative article on the institutional racism, colonialism and classism of the Aotearoa/New Zealand criminal injustice system (http://ift.tt/2cG2hgi):

“Maori make up the majority of prisoners. Think about that for a second because it’s a statistic which is thrown around so much so that sociologist Dr Tracey McIntosh of Auckland University says it’s "the most commonly-known social statistic”……

Contemplate, then, what it means: although Maori are only 15 per cent of the population, Maori inmates make up 51 per cent of the of the sentenced prisoners. It’s even higher in remand prisons (56 per cent).

But it’s not just in prisons where the disproportion exists: Maori are prosecuted and convicted at a higher rate than anyone else; and five years after being released from prison 81 per cent of Maori inmates will have another conviction, compared to 68 per cent of Pakeha…..

Last week, we put to him a figure that showed in 2015, the rate at which Maori were handed down sentences of imprisonment was eight times higher than it was for Pakeha. Fisher paused and said this: “I don’t have those statistics but yes Maori are more likely to be imprisoned than non-Maori, more likely to be prosecuted, more likely to be convicted than non-Maori…..

Take cannabis offences where police and the courts exercise discretion all the time - about who to arrest, who to charge, who to convict, who to sentence to jail.

From 2010-2014, police and justice figures show Maori made up 51 per cent of prison sentences, 40 per cent of prosecutions and convictions.

And yet, over the same period, Maori made up only 30 per cent of those who received pre-charge warnings - in other words, were let off - compared to 57 per cent of Pakeha.

In other words, if you’re caught with cannabis and you’re Pakeha, you’re more likely to receive a pre-charge warning or get diversion. If you’re Maori, you’re more likely to be convicted and sent to jail…..

Within two years of coming out of prison, 63 per cent of Maori inmates will have another conviction. Within five years it’s 81 per cent. And within five years, more than half will have been re-imprisoned.

But to find change, McIntosh believes, we need to look beyond prisons. And it’s in small town New Zealand where she believes much of the focus has to be.

Maori, especially young men and women, are often from small towns or rural communities, places where educational opportunities are limited, unemployment is high and gangs are pervasive.

And when you look at the figures for prison sentences handed down in areas outside of the main cities, you can see the disproportion of Maori imprisonment is extraordinary.

In Northland, three out of every four prison sentences last year were handed down to Maori. In the Central North Island, it’s even worse - four out of every five. Yes, more Maori live in those areas, but 75 per cent and 80 per cent?

Why does it happen? There are no easy answers.

McIntosh talks about over-policing of certain communities, and of institutional racism which she explains can be "racism without racists”.

“You don’t have to have individual racist actions if the system itself produces outcomes of judicial racism, of institutional racism.”

She also thinks you can’t have a conversation about institutional racism without having a conversation about colonisation - especially when you consider that high imprisonment of indigenous people is also a feature of Australia, Canada and other “settler states”.

“For many, they think Maori...

02:00

Ordinary Life "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

ordinary life StoryPeople print by Brian Andreas

Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life. – Ordinary Life ©2016 Brian Andreas –  posted with permission.

You can sign up for a daily email delivering a dose of whimsy like this at Story People.


Filed under: whimsy Tagged: Brian Andreas, Story People

00:26

Ashes Rule Supported "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Council’s new rules on human ashes supported by leading funeral director By Andrew Malcolm (M/D, Kapiti Coast Funeral Home; chair, Independent Funeral Homes group) More rules, but why do we need more rules, and for such a personal things as scattering human ashes. As the owner of the largest Funeral Home on the Kapiti Coast, […]

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Saturday, 17 September

23:19

The UN should mind its own business "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

It incenses me when the UN sticks its nose into New Zealand's social and political affairs. Anne Tolley has apparently been challenged in Geneva over child poverty and naming the new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children. According to RNZ:

"...Unicef NZ executive director Vivien Maidaborn, who was part of the delegation, said the panel had expressed concern about the new ministry.
"The comment that was made was, 'I don't understand why you would call a Ministry the Ministry of Vulnerable Children when it could just have been the Ministry of Children. You're in danger of overtargeting towards vulnerable children at the expense of rights to all New Zealand children.'"

This is bullshit.

Most New Zealand children do not need the government in their lives. They do not need a Ministry. Their parents give birth to them, care for and feed them, raise them and send them into the world without any help from a government agency that concerns itself with the care and protection of children. Sure they might receive some tax subsidy and use public education and health services but that is the nature of the beast right now.

Around 3-5 percent of children are in circumstances that even a libertarian would acknowledge  (in the absence of private charities) require state intervention. The argument is about the nature and timing of that intervention.

Seriously, how can genuinely vulnerable children at risk of abuse, neglect, and failure to develop, be 'over-targeted'?

New Zealand has every right to tackle its own problems in the way it believes will work best. I know what I would have said to the UN.


23:07

Latta on what our politicians do "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Nigel Latta has had a look at what our politicians (and media and lobbyists and activists) do. Stuff: Nigel Latta: What Do Our Politicians Actually Do? We decided to go and look at Parliament because whenever you’re looking at how to solve the nation’s problems, it always comes back to Parliament.  Politicians are despised but […]

23:00

Quote of the day "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts.  – Samuel Johnson who was born on this day in 1709.

He also said:

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.

Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.

Agriculture not only gives riches to a nation, but the only riches she can call her own.

Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those who we cannot resemble.

The future is purchased by the present.

Kindness is in our power, even when fondness is not.

We love to expect, and when expectation is either disappointed or gratified, we want to be again expecting.


Filed under: quotes Tagged: Samuel Johnson

22:23

More on family violence proposals "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

During the week the Government announced proposals aimed at addressing and reducing family violence – see The Government’s most important policy – family violence. Yesterday Justice Minister Amy Adams was interviewed on The Nation about it. Justice Minister Amy Adams speaks to Lisa Owen about her family violence law reform – does it go far enough?  […]

21:02

Trumped by his own lies? "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Will Donald Trump end up being trumped by his own lies? There’s plenty of scope for it if voters thinks honesty matters. Paul Krugman at New York Times: A Lie Too Far? I suspect Donald Trump is feeling a bit sandbagged right now, or will be when he wakes up. All along he has treated […]

21:00

Sunday soapbox "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

Image may contain: cloud, sky, text and outdoor

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. – Martin Luther King.


Filed under: soapbox Tagged: Martin Luther King

20:56

The KIN Mid-Week Quiz 37 Answers "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

If you would still like a go at the latest challenge, scroll down to September 14. Remember that no correspondence, computers or cell phones may be entered into! Answers below.     1    In which Olympic event did “Eddie the Eagle” take part in? (ski jumping)   2    The film Sully is based on a […]

20:13

Chiefs’ bus driver "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

The Chief’s 70 year old bus driver has admitted he touched and licked the stripper at their ‘Mad Monday’ event. I don’t know the legalities of what happened, and there is dispute over consent or perceptions of consent, but how anyone could be involved in doing or encouraging this baffles me – including stripping at […]

19:40

On the Process of Awakening "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

There is a tremendous amount of pain in our society. There are many sources of this pain: the emotional desertification of dysfunctional families, the knowledge that we don’t fit in and never will, a widening disconnect between the narratives we’re told are true and our experience, and a social and economic structure that tosses many of us on the trash heap.

The lifestyle we’re told we need to be happy is unattainable to many, and disconcertingly unsatisfactory to the top 10% who reach it.

We cannot help but feel a hunger for authenticity, honesty, spiritual solace and human connection, but these are precisely what is scarce in our social and economic structure.

The process of awakening has many paths. For some, the path starts with the incoherence of official explanations and narratives. For others, it’s the inner search for truth via psychotherapy or spiritual practice.

For some, it’s an investigation into the way our economic and political hierarchy function. For others, art is the starting point: a film, a novel, a comic, a song.

For many of us, it begins with this simple but devastating realization: I don’t fit in. I don’t fit in, have never fit in and never will fit in. I play along because it’s easier on me and everyone I interact with to do so, and I value my independence which means I have to find a way to support myself. That is difficult, as what I like to do has little to no value in our economy.

What interests me is how the epidemic of pain and alienation that characterizes our society is the direct result of how our economy and social order is structured. Incoherence, self-destruction, pain and alienation are the only possible outputs of the system we inhabit.

I recently had an amazing free-form 1:50 hour conversation on these topics with New Zealand talk-show host Vinny Eastwood. Any conversation that stretches from the erosion of community to loneliness to Daniel Ellsberg to Marx to Taoism to alienation to Michelangelo Antonioni and on to the process of awakening is amazing in my view.

Here’s Vinny’s page with listening/viewing/downloading options, and the program on Youtube (please ignore my goofy expressions): The magic of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies (1:49:54)

My conclusion may strike many as radical, but to me it is self-evident: the primary source of the rot, insecurity, inequality and alienation of our society is the way we create and distribute money, which is the conduit for creating and distributing political power.

I explain why this is so in my books A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All and Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform.

If we don’t change the way money is created and distributed, we change nothing. Money = power. If we don’t devise a form of money that is beyond the reach of central banks and states, all “reform” is just window-dressing, simulacra of “change” that simply solidifi...

On the Process of Awakening "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

By Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert

There is a tremendous amount of pain in our society. There are many sources of this pain: the emotional desertification of dysfunctional families, the knowledge that we don’t fit in and never will, a widening disconnect between the narratives we’re told are true and our experience, and a social and economic structure that tosses many of us on the trash heap.

The lifestyle we’re told we need to be happy is unattainable to many, and disconcertingly unsatisfactory to the top 10% who reach it.

We cannot help but feel a hunger for authenticity, honesty, spiritual solace and human connection, but these are precisely what is scarce in our social and economic structure.

The process of awakening has many paths. For some, the path starts with the incoherence of official explanations and narratives. For others, it’s the inner search for truth via psychotherapy or spiritual practice.

For some, it’s an investigation into the way our economic and political hierarchy function. For others, art is the starting point: a film, a novel, a comic, a song.

For many of us, it begins with this simple but devastating realization: I don’t fit in. I don’t fit in, have never fit in and never will fit in. I play along because it’s easier on me and everyone I interact with to do so, and I value my independence which means I have to find a way to support myself. That is difficult, as what I like to do has little to no value in our economy.

What interests me is how the epidemic of pain and alienation that characterizes our society is the direct result of how our economy and social order is structured. Incoherence, self-destruction, pain and alienation are the only possible outputs of the system we inhabit.

I recently had an amazing free-form 1:50 hour conversation on these topics with New Zealand talk-show host Vinny Eastwood. Any conversation that stretches from the erosion of community to loneliness to Daniel Ellsberg to Marx to Taoism to alienation to Michelangelo Antonioni and on to the process of awakening is amazing in my view.

Here’s Vinny’s page with listening/viewing/downloading options, and the program on Youtube (please ignore my goofy expressions): The magic of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies (1:49:54)

My conclusion may strike many as radical, but to me it is self-evident: the primary source of the rot, insecurity, inequality and alienation of our society is the way we create and distribute money, which is the conduit for creating and distributing political power.

I explain why this is so in my books A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology and Creating Jobs for All and Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform.

If we don’t change the way money is created and di...

19:32

Social chat – Sunday "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

A post for social chat. You can still chat socially on other posts if it happens in relation to other discussions but if you simply want a bit of social chat start here. The usual guidelines apply as to respecting others, behaviour and avoiding legal exposure. An emphasis on ‘social’, not ‘anti-social’.

19:18

25 Curious Cases of The Power of The Mind "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

By Phoenix

power-of-mind-header

By Chris Hammond

Everybody knows about the power of the mind.

It should be completely obvious that the human mind is amazing!

Right?

Well, maybe not. Just what the hell is the ‘power of your mind’ anyway?

Just why exactly is the human mind so damn amazing?

The point of this article is to inspire you with 25 examples of just what the human mind is capable of and how vastly it separates us from other animals of this planet.

So sit back, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy.

The Power Of The Human Mind

#1 – The Power Of Voodoo

You probably never gave much thought to voodoo before.

Like me, you probably regarded it as hogwash – if you even considered it at all.

But the shocking truth is that voodoo is real! There are many documented cases throughout history of people dying from “curses” placed on them.

Take for example the 1942 case of a Maori girl who died within a day of eating a piece of fruit – after she was told it came from a ‘taboo place’, directly forbidden by her tribal chief!

It’s not so hard to believe – when you think about it.

All these cases are due to the “nocebo” effect. This is essentially the evil cousin of the placebo effect. That is, inert substances invoking negative reactions through the power of suggestion and expectation.

So it’s quite possible for somebody to die just from being told that they’ve taken a deadly poison. Or in this case, told that they’ve been cursed. There’s been a fair bit of investigation into the nocebo effect in recent years. In fact, this study concluded with the sage words:

Words are the most powerful tool a doctor possesses, but words, like a two-edged sword, can maim as well as heal.“ – Bernard Lown

#2 – Tibetan Monk Power!

Everybody loves a decent Tibetan monk.

Romanticized by western cinema for their mind-boggling superhuman powers, the truth of the matter is that these exaggerations are actually rooted in reality!

The Power of Monk's MindsIn fact, the power of these monks’ minds is so honed – their awareness so great – that they can increase the temperature of their bodies by their minds alone! Documented evidence exists of monks being placed into a 4 degree room (pretty damn cold), wearing nothing except sopping wet, cold blankets and being able to increase their body temperature to 38.3 degrees (a moderate fever)!

They do this via a little known practice called Tummo – or Inner Fire Meditation.

Some scientifically minded souls have claimed that the temperature increase is partially a function of the ‘forceful breathing’ that the monks perform during the exercise.

Nevertheless, in no way does this detract from the achievement! We don’t see guinea pigs wearing freezing cold wet blankets and doing forceful breathing to train their minds, do we?

[More…]

...

18:58

Media watch – Sunday "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

18 September 2016 Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media. A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy. A general […]

18:56

Open Forum – Sunday "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

18 September 2016 Facebook: NZ politics/media+ This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isn’t spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is for you to raise topics that interest you.  If providing opinions on or summaries of other information also provide a link to […]

14:01

September 18 in history "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

96  Nerva was proclaimed Roman Emperor after Domitian was assassinated.

324 Constantine the Great decisively defeated Licinius in the Battle of Chrysopolis, establishing Constantine’s sole control over the Roman Empire.

1180  Philip Augustus became king of France.

1454  In the Battle of Chojnice, the Polish army was defeated by the Teutonic army during the Thirteen Years’ War.

1709 Samuel Johnson, English writer and lexicographer, was born (d. 1784).

1739  The Treaty of Belgrade was signed, ceding Belgrade to the Ottoman Empire.

1793  The first cornerstone of the Capitol building was laid by George Washington.

1809 The Royal Opera House in London opened.

1810  First Government Junta in Chile.

1812  The 1812 Fire of Moscow died down after destroying more than three quarters of the city. Napoleon returned from the Petrovsky Palace to the Moscow Kremlin, which was spared from the fire.

1837  Tiffany and Co. (first named Tiffany & Young) was founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany and Teddy Young in New York City.

1838 The Anti-Corn Law League was established by Richard Cobden.

1850  The U.S. Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.

1851  First publication of The New-York Daily Times, which later becameThe New York Times.

1858 – Kate Booth, English Salvation Army, officer was born (d. 1955).

1863  American Civil War: Battle of Chickamauga.

1870  Old Faithful Geyser was observed and named by Henry D. Washburnduring the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition to Yellowstone.

1872 King Oscar II acceded to the throne of Sweden-Norway.

1873  The Panic of 1873 began.

1876 James Scullin, 9th Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1953).

1879 The Blackpool Illuminations were switched on for the first time.

1882 The Pacific Stock Exchange opened.

1888 – Grey Owl, English-Canadian environmentalist and author was born (d. 1938).

1889...

11:38

ACC refuses to release Serco investment information "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

ACC refuses to release Serco investment information:

An example of the ACC circumventing it’s investment restrictions in order to make a profit from the prison system of Aotearoa/New Zealand and its inherent misery (http://ift.tt/2cDQ23C):

“Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) is refusing to release information detailing the risks of its joint venture with Serco to build and run Wiri prison.

ACC invested in a partnership, Secure Future Wiri], in 2011 with Serco Group and two others to build the Auckland South Corrections Facility, known as Wiri Prison.

This was despite ACC, not being allowed to buy shares in Serco because of its links to nuclear weapons. Serco had been on ACC’s exclusion list since 2008.

Documents released under the Official Information Act showed ACC’s investment committee decided a partnership with Serco complied with its ethical investment policy.

But the government agency, which runs a $33 billion investment fund to help pay for the medical treatment it provides, withheld four pages of the report that detailed what it perceived to be investment risks.

Both the Labour Party and Green Party said the public had a right to know what those risks were.

"If there are risks to the investment and the investment’s being done with public money then ACC should be prepared to make to make that information public, it is after all the public’s money that’s being invested,” Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney said.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw agreed and said the amount invested by ACC should also be made public.

“Because ACC is a public fund designed to look after all our health and welfare, the public does have a right to know how much is co-invested with Serco,” he said.

The documents showed ACC managers were aware that doing business with Serco could be seen as more “intimate” than owning shares in the company, but it disagreed with this view.

“Holding an equity investment implies a level of ownership. Therefore the equity-holder becomes somewhat responsible for the actions of the company. The important issue is ownership and control, not intimacy,” it said in the report.

The 2011 report also noted that the Department of Corrections appointed Serco to run the remand prison at Mt Eden a year earlier.

“While the actions of government departments are not determinative for ACC’s ethical investment policy, it does suggest that there is little risk of prejudicing New Zealand’s reputation as a responsible member of the world community,” it added.

Serco was stripped of its contract to run Mt Eden in July last year following allegations of assaults and organised fight clubs.

It was no longer a shareholder in Secure Future Wiri, but it still held the contract to run the prison until 2040.“

11:15

NZ web series tackles racism in education "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

I, Too, Am Auckland is a student initiative dedicated to the collaboration of Pacific Islander and Maori students & the wider University of Auckland community. This series of Youtube videos focuses on racism in education and how it affects ethnic minorities. In this particular video entitled Decolonising Education, school childern are used to address how Maori […]

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

10:53

366 days of gratitude "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Friends from the North Island came to stay with us yesterday.

We took them to dine at Fleurs Place last night where we experienced the usual warm and efficient service, delicious food and a magical sunset.

fleurs-evening

 

This morning we wandered round Oamaru’s historic precinct, taking in a visit to Steampunk HQ  which now features an infinity portal.

infinity-portal

Oamaru used to be the town you had to crawl through on State Highway 1 on the way from somewhere to somewhere else. Now it’s a destination.

Seven Sharp made it New Zealand’s sharpest town, Lonely Planet dubbed it the coolest town in the country a view echoed by travel writers with gems like Pen-y-bryn which featured on Kiwi Living this week.

Seeing the town through the eyes of visitors today reawakened us to its charms for all of which I’m grateful.


Filed under: gratitude, North Otago Tagged: Fleurs Place, Oamaru, Pen-y-bryn, Steampunk HQ

08:05

Nick Smith blamed for Kermadec cock up "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

It’s not surprising to see Environment Minister Nick Smith being blamed for the mess over the lack of consultation with Maori over the proposed Kermadec sanctuary. This week the Government was forced to put plans on hold while they try to repair the damage. This is a shame because there is wide approval for the […]

06:30

Word of the day "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Squee – to squeal in delight or excitement; a cry of delight or excitement.


Filed under: language Tagged: squee

02:04

Tax and transfer "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

From the latest Household Incomes Report overview a couple of interesting points.

Pertaining to the lower graph, "The transfers received by the top decile are almost entirely from NZS. The rest is from low-income ‘independent’ adults living in high-income households while (legitimately) receiving a core income-tested benefit such as Sole Parent Support."

Which raises a question for me. Why is it that student eligibility for an allowance is tested against parental income but eligibility for sole parent support is not?



02:00

Saturday’s smiles "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

He joined the local repertory society, auditioned for an upcoming performance and was chosen for a role which required him to wear lycra.

When he got home and told his wife he said, “I’m a bit worried about what people will say when they see me dressed like that.”

She replied, “They’ll probably say I obviously married you for your mind rather than your body.”


Filed under: smiles

01:07

Art Work of the Week "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

“Masked portrait ” by Kaz Tindall Kaz Tindall is a Waikanae artist who also makes amazing jewellery. She will be exhibiting at Feather&Fibre for the Kapiti Arts Trail and the summer season.  The medium for this piece is Chalk Pastel on Sugar Paper.    

00:58

Kapiti College Wins Basketball Trophies "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Senior Boys retain their trophy By Angelo Robinson The annual clash for the Angelo Robinson Basketball Cup (also known as the Lo Rob Cup), was played on Friday 9th September at Kapiti College. This end of season College Basketball game between Paraparaumu College Senior Boys Basketball Team & Kapiti College Senior Boys Basketball Team was […]

Friday, 16 September

22:28

Local body election – voting papers "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

My voting papers arrived for the local body elections today. I suppose I had better spend some time shifting through eleven mayoral candidates and over forty council candidates. The standout for me is the lack of strong choices who stand a chance, especially for mayor. I think the encumbent is likely to win by default […]

21:54

And what about ‘Aotearoa’? "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Following on from A constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand? – what about also having a serious conversation about the name of our country? I don’t like what seems to be happening, change by stealth. Our country is currently called ‘New Zealand’ and I don’t think it should be referred to as ‘Aotearoa New Zealand’ – yet […]

21:45

The individual citizen, the private soul "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

IMG_6555

Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism by Larry Siedentop (Belkanp Press, 2014)

This book contains a neat, telling little anecdote from 2001 when a proposed constitution was being devised for the European Union and the issue of the Christian roots of Europe was brought up.

There were vigorous pro and anti arguments- author Larry Siedentop notes the more vehement voices in favour were from Poland and the most vociferous against tended to be France.

The overwhelming feeling, though, he observes,  was more awkwardness than anything else: ‘one of embarrassment, and  an uneasy wish that the question would go away.’

The question did go away, because the proposed constitution was dropped.

It is that embarrassment that I find most interesting.

I think it’s got several sources. One is the largely unexamined assumption by educated Westerners that while Christianity might be part of their heritage it is a heritage which belongs with childhood and should be left in the intellectual kindergarten along with psychological equivalent of fingerpainting and peeing in the sandpit.

But whether or not you’re a Christian believer, Siedentop argues, it is clear that for whatever reason there was a ‘moral earthquake’ shortly after the crucifixion of Jesus.

Christianity, he says,  changed the grounds of human identity because, by combining Jewish monotheism with an abstract universalism derived from later Greek philosophy, it emphasised the moral equality of human beings.

That was new. It meant that the moral equality of human beings  was more important than any social roles they might occupy.

And that presumption of moral equality is at the root of modern secular liberalism.

His argument is endorsed – though Siedentop is not mentioned – in this piece from last week in the New Statesman, which I’m grateful to Philip Matthews for posting on the Twitter.

Historian Tom Holland notes that his own researches into the ancient world showed him the values of Greece and Rome were further from our own than we often realise: he concludes, more or less, that what made the difference, what caused the change, was the ‘moral earthquake’ Siedentop writes about.

Siedentop gives Paul rather than Jesus most of the credit for this, asking rhetorically, at one point, whether Paul was ‘the greatest revolutionary in human history’.

I’m not so sure he gets the balance quite right:  Christ’s instruction, ‘render under Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and unto the Lord that which is the Lord’s’  has for a  long time seemed to me to be the most subversive religious instruction in history.

It set up the question of what one does, in fact, owe to the secular authority/state, and what one owes to one’s God/conscience.

Setting that boundary was not just the source of the Reformation but also the Enlightenment and beyond.

I suspect we are going to have to fight that battle again: the information revolution, the tools I am writing this article on and you are reading it on, is increasingly blurring the boundary between what belongs to us as individual citizens and individual souls;  and what belongs to the great collective, whether that collective is the government, Facebook or some other global entity, or just the social media chorus crowd demanding we share our private selves....

21:17

A constitution for Aotearoa New Zealand? "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Establishing a constitution, no longer having the Queen as the head of state, locking in a four-year election cycle, and enshrining the Treaty of Waitangi are all proposed in book by Sir Geoffrey Palmer and  Andrew Butler that will be launched next week. There is already a website set up: A CONSTITUTION FOR AOTEAROA NEW […]

21:00

Saturday soapbox "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist – Pablo Picasso.


Filed under: soapbox Tagged: Pablo Picasso

20:36

Trump concedes on birther bull "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

Donald Trump has publically conceded that Barack Obama was born in the USA. Until now Trump has been one of the most prominent ‘birther’ promoters, but with typical chutzpah has even blamed Hillary Clinton of starting the birther bull. Newshub: Trump concedes Obama was born in US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has acknowledged for […]

19:55

Social chat – Saturday "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

A post for social chat. You can still chat socially on other posts if it happens in relation to other discussions but if you simply want a bit of social chat start here. The usual guidelines apply as to respecting others, behaviour and avoiding legal exposure. An emphasis on ‘social’, not ‘anti-social’.

19:53

Media watch – Saturday "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"

17 September 2016 Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media. A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy. A general […]

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