Tuesday, 17 September 2019

What Labour is Doing about the Allegations


See also previous posting pn494.

Jacinda Ardern: ‘We have a duty of care, and we failed in it’

The prime minister has admitted mistakes, and outlined measures to change the party culture.

Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister and leader of the Labour Party, yesterday addressed at length the situation around allegations of sexual assault by a Labour volunteer and an investigation into a Labour staffer. “We have a duty of care, and we failed in it,” she said at her post-cabinet press conference, before laying out a series of actions that would be undertaken as a result.

Here is what she said, in full.(My emphasis)

New Zealand's "Sex in the City" Scandal

I'm uncertain how best to deal with  Labour's "sex scandal." Ignore it and keep my thoughts to myself, or publish and  help keep the story alive. It should probably be left sleeping until the QC report is in.

The state of play at the moment is that lawyers for both the complainant and Simon Michell of Labour's NZ Council have sent letters to the other,  with the alleged victim maintaining her story, and Mitchell —who has had his computer forensically examined— denying her emails made any mention of sex. 

The only new move from Labour is that Jacinda Ardern admits the Party handled the situation badly and has announced a separate enquiry from that to be conducted by the QC. One heading read, 'We failed' - Ardern announces separate inquiry into whether Labour acted appropriately after complaint against staffer. This will bre covered in the next posting pn 495

Three Snippets: Race in the Classroom, Race and Refugees, and the Media's Supposed Left-Wing Bias

A recently released report based on a 2012 survey on discrimination has found Maori and Pasifika  teens to suffer more ethnicity-related discrimination from teachers than peers. Higher rates of
discrimination were also reported by teenagers due to their religion, a disability, a health problem or being transgender. Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft said the results echoed what his office had been hearing for at least the past five years

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Labour's Sex Allegations: Two Neglected Aspects

Gordon Campbell makes two overlooked and extremely important points in this article on Labour's Mishandling of the Alleged Sexual Assault, but they come almost as an afterthought in a footnote at the end when, in my opinion, they should have been at the centre of his analysis.

One. Why did the young women at the centre of the sexual harassment claim not take the matter to the police?

Two. Why has the mainstream and social media's sole focus been to cast doubts about the Labour "process" when National's "process" was found just as wanting last year with respect to the Jami-Lee Ross allegations?

Here is what Campbell wrote:

New Book by Steven Ratuva on Pacific: "Contested Terrain". Download free.

Canberra: Australian National University Press, 2019. 
With case studies on Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands

From Clive Moore:

I have attached the Solomons chapter and the whole Bibliography, as there are no detailed references for individual chapters.

The whole book can be downloaded free by clicking here.

Friday, 13 September 2019

'Akuila Pohiva: the Tributes Flow In. UPDATED.

 Once in a lifetime a nation thrusts up a man who brings about major change. For Tonga that man was 'Akuila Pohiva. There were others, of course, who brought change and some of those underpinned the movement created by Pohiva, but none, singly, stuck at it though years of ill health, or suffered so much, and none was as long in politics or as long Prime Minister. To compare him with Nelson Mandela would be too much. He made a smaller mark in a smaller space, but he was a giant, nonetheless. Kua hinga te totara. The great totara tree has fallen. -- ACW

"Yes indeed, this was a giant of a man and I am deeply privileged to have called on him and met him several times. The last time was in Tuvalu several weeks back. He was clearly not well and there had been talk that he would not make it to the PIF Summit. So when I saw him as I was entering the conference hall, I was so glad and told him so. He shook hands and said, "I had to come" 

"I agree with you that this was a giant of a man. May his soul rest in peace and may the seeds he sowed flower and bear fruit abundantly."

Tributes to Pōhiva flow in
New Zealand's Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa tweeted: "RIP and  my sincerest condolences to Rt Hon 'Akilisi Pohiva's family as well as to the Kingdom of Tonga. Such a tremendous loss for all of us Tongans. 'Ofa moe lotu mei Uelingatoni, Falealea 'o Nu'usila, Jenny Salesa."

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Jacinda Ardern's Trial by Media. And Me Too Labour Blames Haworth, not Ardern

The PM and Nigel Haworth pn489

While still reeling from the punches and counter-punches that have recently rocked the Fiji political stage, I turned to NZ media pages hoping for some relief.  But no.

First up, was Simon Bridges after his recent five-day visit to China.  He apparently "set a new standard of cringeworthiness by  ... buttered up the Chinese Communist Party" (more kindly, some might say he was naive and diplomatic).

And then,  Jacinda Ardern who is a hundred times guilty by association in the Labour Party sex scandals.

As expected, the media dropped the Bridges' story for the far juicier, and more politically damaging, sex scandals.

NZ, Indonesia and West Papua

New Zealand Government Should Advocate A Pathway For Peace For West Papua

It is clear and proper that New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is closely monitoring a concerning situation of deteriorating violence in West Papua.

It is also apparent that groups who have long monitored the security situation in West Papua have contacted the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, urging her to speak up against the violence and human rights abuses in the Indonesian-controlled state. I believe the Prime Minister should. Here’s why.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Who Knows What Either Of Them Really Thought

One half of my mind feels sympathy for Pio Tikoduadua who I think honestly saw no reason to apologise for what he said. He was misunderstood or misrepresented. But the other half wonders why he reached so high for the moral ground when he could have followed Bainimarama's example and made a qualified apology.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

I was Wrong. The Bainimarama-Tikoduadua Saga Lives On. Squeezing more juice from the lemon

I spoke too soon. I thought all the signs indicated reconciliation and a return to normalcy, whatever that now means in the Fiji political scene.

The Parliamentary Privileges Committee would report its findings on the Voqere Bainimarama-Pio Tikoduadua tussle and exchanges that occurred on August 9th, the House would debate and accept its findings, and then move on to more pressing issues of state.

Carbon Emissions: Get the Research Right Before Legislating

Last month Rangitikei sheep and beef farmer Andrew Stewart wrote an open letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and farming leaders about his concerns over climate change and farming.

Andrew describes his letter  as emotive —how he feels about his farm— but it is  far more than that. It tells of four generations of Stewarts who have carefully managed the 617 hectare  hill country farm,  planting 116 hectares of trees, one-fifth of its total area, and if shrubs and smaller trees were included, it would be much more than that. It tells of years of work protecting the land against erosion. It is hard not to feel Andrew's feelings as he shares them with us.

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Nearing its End? The Bainimarama-Tikoduadua Incident

PM (L) and Pio Tikoduadua pn484
What's happening now should have happened over three  weeks ago. Sores fester if left unattended, and new poisoning can enter the system.

In politics the "sores" are when one side tries to score points off the other, and when views becomes news and opinion becomes fact on the mainstream and social media. Even TVNZ1 had a say,  a little late and incomplete, but the opportunity for a dig at Fiji could not be missed (pn479).

 I refer to the alleged assault by PM Voqere Bainimarama on former army colleague and friend, opposition NFP president  Pio Tikoduadua, in early August. (pn475, pn478)