Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

News Worthy - 24 November 2006

News Worthy

24 November 2006 - No. 94


Draft National Statement on Religious Diversity

The Race Relations Commissioner is inviting public feedback on a draft statement on religious diversity in New Zealand with a closing date for responses of 15 December 2006.

There are eight guidelines which "provide a framework for the recognition of New Zealand's diverse faith communities".

The guidelines raise a host of issues. Here are two.

* How do the guidelines sit in the context of Muslim women and the veil? This is the issue which has led to a distinction between the hijab (literary "covering up" in Arabic) and the niqab (meaning "full veil").

The English translation of the relevant part of the Koran which is the subject of debate as to its interpretation by leading Islamic scholars is "Tell the faithful women to lower their gaze and guard their private parts and not display their beauty except what is apparent of it, and to extend their scarf to cover their bosom" Koran 24:31

I believe it is wholly inconsistent with contemporary mores in New Zealand society for the niqab to be worn in this country.
* Do the guidelines presage amendment of the Parliamentary prayer which the Speaker reads at the opening of each Parliamentary day? The current wording of the prayer is:

"Almighty God, humbly acknowledging our need for Thy guidance in all things, and laying aside all private and personal interests, we beseech Thee to grant that we may conduct the affairs of this House and our country to the glory of Thy holy name, the maintenance of true religion and justice, the honour of the Queen, and the public welfare, peace and tranquillity of New Zealand, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen."


The regulatory juggernaut

A leading business commentator has noted that the amount of legislation that New Zealand businesses and households have to contend with has mushroomed over the last two decades.

The following graph shows the numbers of pages of new primary legislation (ie new Public, Private and Local Bills) passed each decade in New Zealand since 1900. Figures for the current decade are extrapolated from actual figures for 2000 to 2005. The data show that the number of pages of new primary legislation has increased dramatically over the last century. Moreover, the pace of growth has picked up markedly again after a period of deregulation in the 1980s and early 1990s.


1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s


When secondary legislation is added in, the picture becomes even more disturbing. Figures from the Annual Report of the Parliamentary Counsel Office show that in the 2005 financial year, 9,327 pages of new regulations or Acts were published. This was the highest number of pages of new legislation ever published in New Zealand's history. The growth rate in the number of pages published has been a phenomenal 25 percent per annum over the last two years - seven times the rate of economic growth.


Hard labour in jail

Recently National secured statistics about the success of prison work schemes. These showed that prisons in the Auckland region were among the worst-performers nationwide.

In the Auckland region the figures are:

* None of the 67 prisoners at Auckland Women's Prison are doing work while in prison - the worst record in the country.

* 93% of prisoners at Auckland Central Remand Prison are doing no work while in prison, with only 26 of 365 inmates involved in inmate employment schemes, the second-to-worst rate in the country.

* 91% of prisoners at Mt Eden Prison are doing no work while in prison, with only 39 of 444 inmates involved in inmate employment schemes, the third-worst rate in the country.

* 85% of prisoners at Mt Eden Women's Prison are doing no work while in prison, with only 7 of 47 inmates involved in inmate employment schemes.

* 65% of prisoners at Auckland Prison are doing no work while in prison, with only 225 of 646 inmates involved in inmate employment schemes.


Political Quote of the Week "Politics is not an exact science." -- Otto von Bismarck - German Chancellor


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Zimbabwe: New Democracy, Or A False Dawn?

Gordon Campbell: Robert Mugabe = Hosni Mubarak. The current jubilation on the streets of Harare at the fall of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe is genuine, and one hates to be negative about the country’s future. Yet the situation is eerily similar to the scenes in Cairo in early 2011, when a popular uprising swept Hosni Mubarak from power in Egypt. More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election