Friday, 24 May 2019

Milkshakes and Hate Speech - Treading Carefully

Milkshakes and hate speech

Milkshakes stop people from doing what they want to do. Hate speech effectively does the same. Dr Neal Curtis explains how.

Since the terrorist attack in Christchurch the debate about the relative damage of hate speech and value of free speech has become understandably heated.

Those worried about the effects of hate speech are rightly concerned it fuelled the attack and will ignite another, while defenders of free speech, also quite rightly, argue the attack could be used to undermine essential democratic rights. Meanwhile, the acoalition Government has asked the Ministry of Justice to work with the Human Rights Commission to review the balance of the country’s laws in this area.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Dr Jiko Luveni wins Global Health Hero Award

Too often the work people do is only fully acknowledged after they pass away.

 Former Speaker of Parliament, the late Dr. Jiko Luveni’s significant contribution to the health sector was recognized at the 72nd World Health Assembly in Geneva last night with the World Health Organization (WHO) presenting her the Global Health Hero award.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

The Edges of Hate Speech

 A thoughtful article by Joshua Drummond in Public Address. Joshua also has
his own blog .

The enomics of shit speech  by Joshua Drummond

It’s time we fixed the New Zealand news media’s problem with shit speech.
First, let’s put together a working definition. Shit speech is the stuff that might not necessarily be described as hate speech, but it occupies much of the same spectrum. It’s speech that presses the buttons of prejudice, bigotry and outrage, but isn’t necessarily hateful per se; that isn’t (always) lies, but is most often inaccurate, skewed, or otherwise misleading. It’s the floating turd in gutter journalism.

To paraphrase the Broadcasting Standards Authority decision on Heather du Plessis-Allan’s foul commentary about Pasifika nations, it’s speech that is “inflammatory ...and [has] the potential to cause widespread harm.” It’s the foundation the Pyramid of Hate is built on.  READ ON ...

Friday, 17 May 2019

PIANGO on Climate Change- Emele Duituturaga, and UN SecGen

Secretariat Update #06/2019:                                                                     15/05/2019

Statement by the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organisation (PANGO) Executive Dirfector Emele Duituturaga, at the Climate Action Pacific Partnership (CAPP) III

Honourable Prime Minister of the Republic of the Fiji Islands
Honourable President of the Republic of Palau
Honourable Heads of States and Governments
  Your Excellencies, Distinguished Representatives

PIANGO - the Pacific Islands Associations of Non-Governmental Organisations is pleased, on behalf of Pacific NGOs and Civil Society to reaffirm and embrace the principles of Talanoa reflected in the spirit of collaboration and inclusivity that underlies the strength of this Partnership. Celebrating our diversity, while reaffirming our collective resolve to work together as a Pacific family leaving no family behind.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Fiji Why Contract to Qorvis?

Rabuka raises why was COP23 contract given to Qorvis while Sayed-Khaiyum says everything was independently audited By Vijay Narayan Wednesday 15/05/2019

Leader of Opposition Sitiveni Rabuka today raised the issue in parliament on why the Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum allowed the waiving of the tender process and Qorvis Communications was given the contract for communications services for COP 23 after a request by the COP 23 CEO John Connor.

However Sayed-Khaiyum stresses that the COP 23 accounts have been audited by independent auditors and all the donors knew where the money was allocated and for which services.

Jacinda on Facebook's Livestreaming: "A Good First Step"... and More

UPDATE. US refuses call, sort of 
UPDATE. Christchurch Call on Twitter

Prime Minister's Office, 15 May 2019 (See also  links at end to Jacinda in Paris and Helen Clark Foundation)

 Facebook’s decision to put limits on livestreaming is a good first step to restrict the application being used as a tool for terrorists and shows the Christchurch Call is being acted on,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

“Today’s announcement addresses a key component of the Christchurch Call, a shared commitment to making livestreaming safer.

“The March 15 terrorist highlighted just how easily livestreaming can be misused for hate. Facebook has made a tangible first step to stop that act being repeated on their platform.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Thirty (30) Good and Poor Delivery Points by Labour Coalition

If this is the year of delivery, do Labour, NZ First & the Greens understand the word delivery?
By in The Daily Blog /   May 9, 2019  / Source

I have argued many times that this Government wasn’t expecting  to win and so walked into Government with no actual plan of what the hell to do and how to reform the neoliberal public service enough to force change through. What we are seeing is a civil service fair more interested in doing nothing than being forced to do something and so work to water down any real reform so they can keep control of their fiefdoms, with many of the new Ministers unfamiliar with Executive power, they have been easily sidelined or manipulated into stagnation.

So this was the year of delivery was it?

Sunday, 12 May 2019

China Tweaks its Belt and Road Initiative to Avoid Further Backlash

Most Pacific Islands now have diplomatic relations with mainland China and many have signed up for the Belt and Road Initiative which, while providing much needed  and very considerable help with infrastructure, also raises questions about repayment and indebtedness that can be used —as can all aid assistance—to advance the political and economic interests of the donor. -- ACW

 China Tweaks its Belt and Road Initiative to Avoid Further Backlash  by 
    Alex He and Anton Malkin*

In his speech at the recent Belt and Road Forum, Chinese President Xi Jinping underlined that the next phase of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will “adopt widely accepted rules and standards,” “follow general international rules and standards in project development, operation, procurement and tendering and bidding” and “ensure the commercial and fiscal sustainability of all projects.”

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Some Pearlers from the NZ Listener, May 4 and May 11 2019*

May 4-10

"Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's decision not to press ahead with a capital gains tax is not a reflection on the merits or otherwise of a CGT. What it shows is that no coalition party —whether left-leaning or right-leaning—can make decisions on issues of national importance within the limits of our three-year parliamentary term
What we get is an 18-month post-election period of resentment by the losers and their media allies and frustration by the winners, followed by an 18-month pre-election period when all parties compete for power in the next Parliament by raising expectations among voters that may never be fully met." -- Geoffrey Whitehead, Letter to the Editor.

Friday, 10 May 2019

PNG: PM Peter O'Neill Product of the System

08 May 2019

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Gordon Campbell on the Social Welfare Report : "One might have thought the recommendations were equally compelling for any true centre-left government."

Gordon Campbell cn377
See also earlier post cn376 "A Glut of Reforms..."

"One can sympathise (a little) with the coalition government as it contemplates the legacy of neglect – and the raft of punitive policies that went with it – that it has inherited from the last National government. Still, it is becoming plain that leadership on social justice issues cannot be entrusted to the political micro-managers that dominate the Labour caucus."

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

NZ: A Glut of Reforms, and their Critics

■ Tax  
■ Oil Drilling 
■ Social Welfare
■ Employment Relations
■ Climate Change responses
■ Cannabis

It's taken a while, with so many advisory experts and commissions deliberating, but we're now being inundated with so many actual and proposed law changes that it's difficult to assess their likely impacts  and the  arguments of their critics.

First, we had the report of the Tax Advisory Working Group when government rejected its main proposal, the introduction of a capital gains tax,  and the ban on new oil exploration, and government's later controversial extension of lease dates.

Left-leaning Martyn Bradbury in The Daily Blog calls much of the latest proposed changes "window dressing exercises to look like progress is being made when sweet bugger all is actually being progressed." He may be right but government's response that some changes will be progressively introduced makes sense. It gives people time to adjust to the changes, and avoids increasing the national debt.

Let's take them one at a time.