Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Maxim Institute - real issues - No. 125


Maxim Institute - real issues - No. 125

Same-sex 'marriage' banned in Australia

While the Civil Union Bills have received extensive media coverage in New Zealand, almost no attention has been given to a law change in Australia that prevents same-sex 'marriage'. On 13th of August, the Australian Senate, with support of Labour, passed a Government Bill to protect marriage 38 votes to 6. The critical clause reads: "Marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life." This will be inserted into the Australia's 43 year-old Marriage Act.

Also to be inserted is a provision stating "Certain unions are not marriages; a union solemnised in a foreign country between: (a) a man and another man; or (b) a woman and another woman; must not be recognised as marriage in Australia."

The amendment was given urgency so that the Federal government rather than the courts determine whether to grant recognition in Australia to same-sex marriages conferred overseas. The move was prompted by an Australian same-sex couple who married in Ontario, and were trying to have their union declared valid and legal in their home country. A New Zealand couple who also married in Canada are attempting the same process here. Conversely, couples who "civil unionise" in New Zealand if our proposed Bill makes it into law, are unlikely to have any international status.

The strengthening of the Australian Marriage Act reflects a very different political climate from that which presently exists here. Why has this been largely ignored by the New Zealand media? We have to wonder why we are heading in the opposite direction to our closest neighbour?


Government offers bonus to union members

If you were the Minister of Education and had an extra $7.5 million to spend, how would you spend it? How about 150 more teachers for stretched schools? What about new classrooms or facilities? Or rewarding outstanding teachers who go the extra mile for their students?

Or you could use the much-needed money to build your support base - the teachers' union.

As part of the new pay deal, the Ministry of Education has put aside $7.5 million to reward teachers who sign the new three-year contract, provided they are members of the PPTA. The 3,500 teachers who don't belong to the PPTA will miss out on the bonus even though they are covered by the same contract.

While it is very positive to see the Ministry rewarding teachers by offering salary increases of between 8.74 percent and 13 percent over three years, surely teachers should be rewarded for being excellent teachers, not for being union members? This is not a legitimate use of taxpayers' money.

This offer comes directly after figures were released showing that parents and schools pick up the tab for 3,800 teachers throughout New Zealand. These teachers are not government funded but funded by the schools outside the salary system.

An analysis of schools and how their teachers are funded is available at: http://www.billenglish.co.nz/teacherspq1.pdf You will need the free Acrobat reader programme to view this analysis: you can download it from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html


Social report reveals some big gaps

The 2004 Social Report released this week by the Ministry of Social Development gives us a mixed view of New Zealand. While officially unemployment is amongst the lowest in the OECD and education participation rates are up, several social indicators show no improvement.

One of the report's most compelling findings is that only 54 percent of New Zealanders between 16 and 65 have a level of literacy to meet the demands of everyday life and work. Nevertheless, over 63 percent left school with Sixth Form Certificate or higher in 2001. That level of qualification has been reasonably constant since 1969. So in spite of significantly more spending on education and a vision for a knowledge based economy we are making little headway. The two figures also raise questions about the standards of the exams.

It is also remarkable that an "inclusive, prosperous and environmentally sustainable New Zealand" has no connection with marriage. Marriage does not feature at all in the report. This is a significant omission because marriage provides the surest foundation for strong and healthy families and is a fundamental social good.

We need to take a closer look at the connection between family structure and social outcomes. Marriage provides proven benefits for couples, children and the country, so we need to take it seriously to address the negative indicators.

The 2004 Social Report can be viewed at: http://www.socialreport.msd.govt.nz


We need your help

The allegations are false. Maxim Institute does not receive any funding from American organisations. As a charitable trust, Maxim is funded entirely by donations from a broad cross-section of New Zealanders. Our goal is to continue building a wide base of monthly contributors to help increase the work of Maxim, which is to promote: marriage and strong families in policy and law; limited government; individual freedom and responsibility; excellence and choice in education. If you are not already supporting Maxim, please consider becoming a monthly partner so that we can plan with confidence and expand our research and training.

For information on how to support us please visit: http://www.maxim.org.nz/main_pages/act_page/act_support.html


Te Awamutu Change Agent workshop

A Change Agent workshop is being held in Te Awamutu on Monday 13 September for people concerned about the direction of social policy and culture in New Zealand. The workshop will address current issues such as Civil Unions, education, prostitution and political correctness, as well as provide practical tips on how to effectively engage in processes of public policy and debate.

The Te Awamutu event is being held in the Waipa District Council Chambers on 13 September from 7pm to 9pm. For details and to register visit: http://www.maxim.org.nz/main_pages/whatson_page/whatson.html

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK - George Orwell [Eric Arthur Blair] (1903-1950)

In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election