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News Worthy - 29 October 2004

News Worthy - 29 October 2004

Political correctness no. 4

The National Party website has been refreshed to strike out the word "spokesperson" and replaces it with "spokesman/spokeswoman" after comment from a News Worthy subscriber. Homer must have nodded.

This month a poster promoting the meningococcal vaccination in Northland was withdrawn because it could offend Maori. Northland GPs were asked not to display a poster of a Maori child and an elderly woman because the face of the woman had been cropped at the brow. The GPs were told that such a picture could be culturally unsafe. The woman concerned was in fact a Pacific Islander.

The year has seen numerous politically correct grants made by the Community Employment Group including: - funding two people on an overseas trip to research hip hop. - $2000 funding for a "Te Kahui family reunion" which CEG's New Plymouth field worker described as "a real success". - almost $2000 to a Porirua mental health provider to visit Auckland to look at a taro, hibiscus and citrus cultivation. - $7000 for two women to travel to the United States to study ways to encourage more gay and lesbian Maori and Pacific Islanders to take part in sport and cultural activities in New Zealand

A Policeman's lot is not a happy one

In a recent Parliamentary question I learnt that between 1 January 2000 and 30 September 2004 there were 17 stays of proceedings granted under the NZ Bill of Rights Act because of prosecution delays. To that number must be added a further 16 stays for a combination of prosecutor and systemic delays.

That means of course that in 33 cases accused persons whom the Police thought should have been brought to justice evaded the consequences of their actions.

Surely we must be able to do better than that. We need to look at the way the Police are resourced and organised. Not only is it a question of attracting high quality officers who are well paid and gain job satisfaction from the public service which they perform; it is also critical that resources are well organised.

Iraena Asher was not well served by a system which dispatched a taxi to her aid when police resources should have been deployed.

Long term funding of New Zealand healthcare The Health Funds Association of New Zealand commissioned research by former Treasury analyst Mr Kim von Lanthen. He estimates that public health inflation is running at an average rate of 8% per annum. If public health inflation is allowed to continue unchecked, public health spending will grow exponentially to over 63% of GDP by 2050, which is clearly unaffordable for future New Zealand taxpayers.

Unsurprisingly the report advocates a greater involvement of the private health sector to help District Health Boards develop a better focus on value for money.

Fuel costs soar to the heavens With fuel prices going through the roof, the Ministry of Economic Development has helpfully published a breakdown of where your fuel taxes of 41.965 cents per litre are going:

Where tax goes Cents per litre

Crown Bank account (ie schools, hospitals, welfare payments etc) 18.708

National Land Transport Management Fund (roads, public transport subsidies) 17.492

ACC levy 5.080

Petroleum fuels monitoring levy 0.025

Local authorities petroleum tax 0.660

Political quote of the week "He is going to have to get away from statism and bullshitting under the name of Third Way-ism because he is not practising Third Way-ism. No, no he is practising old Left", John Tamihere accusing his Cabinet colleague, Steve Maharey, of 'bullshitting' over the welfare direction the latter was taking - 23 February 2003.

29 October 2004 No. 14

Upcoming Events

29 & 31 October Auckland Indian community celebrating Diwali Festival. 1 November Asian 2000 - 10th Anniversary 2 November Diwali Festival at Parliament 3 November Epsom Girls Grammar School Senior Prizegiving 4 November Inter-Parliamentary Delegation from Italy visiting NZ UK Constitutional Affairs Select Committee visiting NZ 6 November Richard visiting residents in The Drive area 7 November Auckland RSA - 86th Anniversary Armistice Day Dedication of Cathedral Windows at Holy Trinity Cathedral 12 November Auckland City Council unfurling of national flags 13 November Richard visiting residents around Ranfurly Road.

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