Wednesday, November 30, 2011

David Parker pulls out of Labour leadership race - now backs David Shearer

David Parker has pulled out of the candidacy race for Labour leadership.
He is now throwing his support behind David Shearer.
The decision leaves David Cunliffe and Mr Shearer in contention for the leader role.
Shane Jones is yet to decide whether or not he will put his hand up for the job.
Mr Parker says he remains committed to Labour ideals and will endeavour to work hard to achieve them for New Zealanders and the country.
"There is growing support for a new face to lead the Labour Party. I intend to support David Shearer in his bid."
3 News

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kiwi born rugby player dies of methanol poisoning in Bali...

Michael, Denton, TX June 2005
Image by mstephens7 via Flickr

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    A former Dunedin man died in Bali after drinking a local cocktail which contained methanol, an autopsy has found.

  • Michael Denton, 29, who became a prominent player in Perth's Western Force A-side, was in Bali in September for an international rugby tournament.

  • He had been drinking at his hotel when he complained of feeling ill.
    He went to his room and when teammates checked on him he was unconscious. He could not be revived and died at Sanglah Hospital.

  • The hospital's coroner investigated his death and found it was from methanol poisoning, the West Australian newspaper reported on Wednesday.

  • The methanol was in an incorrectly distilled batch of the local drink arak.

  • Just 10ml of the poison is enough to make a person blind and any more than 100ml is almost always fatal.

  • At least four foreigners were among the 25 people who died from methanol poisoning during a two-week period in Bali and Lombok in 2009.

  • Authorities say that following a crackdown on illegal importation of alcohol, a number of rogue producers set up small factories which produced the sometimes poisonous arak.
    Originally from Dunedin, Mr Denton moved to Perth in 2006.

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas 2011 - a birth of a New Tradition for Aussies and kiwis...

Christmas gifts.
Image via Wikipedia

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition for Aussies and Kiwis - the Australasians...

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into
high gear to provide Australasians with monstrous piles of cheaply
produced goods -- merchandise that has been produced at the expense of
Australasian labour.

This year will be different. This year Australasians will give the gift
of genuine concern for other Australasians There is no longer an excuse
that, at gift-giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by
Australasian hands.

Yes there is!

It's time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to
fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?

Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift
certificates from your local Australasian hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about
some health improvement.

Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small,
Australasian-owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a
gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.

Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of buying
a Chinese made products? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like
his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or games at the local
golf course.

There are a lots of Australasian owner-run restaurants -- all offering
gift certificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort,
what about a half-dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint.
Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about
supporting your home town Australasians with their financial lives on
the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or
motorcycle, done at a shop run by the Australian working guy?

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mum? Mum would LOVE the services
of a local cleaning lady for a day.

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy
who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people
spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewellery,
and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner-operated restaurants and
how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.

Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand
Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of
light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those
kinds of bucks to burn, leave the postie, garbo or babysitter a nice BIG

You see, Christmas is no longer about draining Austraaslian pockets so
that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about
caring about US, encouraging Australasian small businesses to keep
plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other
Australasians, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back
to us in ways we couldn't imagine .

THIS is the new Australasian   Christmas tradition.

Forward this to everyone on your mailing list -- post it to discussion
groups -- send it to the editor of your local paper and radio
stations, and TV news departments. This is a revolution of caring
about each other, and isn't that what Christmas is about?

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Was it a case of cultural bullying in NZ...

Ngāi Tūhoe tribe, New Zealand
Image via Wikipedia

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    James Takamore's widow and daughter.

  • :no:Was it cultural bullying? His whanau(family) insist James Takamore's body stays where it is buried, after it was taken from his home, wife and children. That is cultural arrogance as well.
  •  Custom cannot be allowed to circumvent the the decision of the immediate family. I don't support this, and I believe a majority of New Zealanders of many etnicities don't either.

  • "Denise Clarke, with daughter Jenna, is delighted with the judge's decision over the body of her husband, James Takamore, but uncertain about her next move. Photo / Simon Baker
  • Relatives who took the body of a man from his partner and children, claiming Maori custom, say they did nothing wrong and have no intention of returning it despite a court ruling against them.

  • The Tuhoe relatives are standing firm after the High Court ruled that they had no legal authority to take the body of James Takamore from his family in Christchurch in 2007 and bury him at Kutarere in the Bay of Plenty.

  • But although the court has determined that Mr Takamore's long-time Pakeha partner, Denise Clarke, has rights to bury his body where she sees fit, Justice John Fogarty did not order that the body be exhumed.

  • Instead, he invited Tuhoe to disinter it or to get together with the widow to try to reach a resolution.

  • Ms Clarke was ecstatic at the ruling after two years of what she described as bullying and manipulation, but uncertain about what would happen next.

  • "I really don't know what the [Takamore] family are going to do. I know they want discussions, but we really don't know whether they will appeal or not."

  • A Takamore family member who asked not to be named said the whanau had no regrets about their actions.

  • But she said they were willing to talk to Ms Clarke. "That's if she comes to talk with us."

  • The lawyer for the whanau, Moana Tuwhare, said they were disappointed by Justice Fogarty's ruling but had no plans to give back the body.

  • "As far as my clients are concerned they hold firm to the position that they have acted in accordance with their tikanga [customs] ... but they are willing to continue out-of-court dialogue with Ms Clarke," she said.

  • "[Both parties] are quite determined to stand their ground, which makes any resolution difficult."

  • Mr Takamore died in August 2007 and before he could be buried in Christchurch, where he had lived for almost 20 years with Ms Clarke and his two children, visiting whanau took him north.

  • He was buried at Kutarere alongside other relatives before police could serve an injunction.
    Ms Clarke took a civil case to the High Court, which was heard this month.

  • In his ruling, Justice Fogarty said the family and Tuhoe had no legal right to take Mr Takamore's body and "so it is not properly buried".

  • If a resolution could not be reached, the judge said, he could make an order for the body to be disinterred.

  • "In this case, it is beyond doubt that the late Jim Takamore chose to live outside tribal life and the customs of the tribe," Justice Fogarty said.

  • "Under the common law he was entitled to expect the choices he made during his life to be respected by the executor of his will when it came to the decision as to his funeral. This is even more so because he chose as his executor of his will his life-long partner."

  • Ms Clarke said she still felt angry that the Takamore family did not consider her wishes, and those of her partner, who wanted to be buried in Christchurch.

  • She was prepared to go back to court to continue the fight if she had to.
    Maori academic Rawiri Taonui said those who took Mr Takamore's body ought to apologise for the cultural bullying of Ms Clarke and her family."

  • The Riverman says: The body should be disinterred and taken back south to Christchurch and re-buried where his wife planned to bury it before the North Island whanau 'stole' it. This is not the first time a Maori whanau has forcibly taken a body away from a Pakeha wife and family and taken it north to its Tuhoe tribal area. This is cultural bullying.

  • The court came out against it but the judge didn't have the intestinal fortitude to order the body to be disinterred and reburied where the widow and family want it. It is after all the 21st century, not the 19th century of a couple centuries ago.

  • Another story here:
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Shock look at NZ's child poverty...

A boy from an East Cipinang trash dump slum sh...
Could this be NZ too?     Image via Wikipedia

More than 100 New Zealand children who died last year would probably have survived had they lived in Japan, Sweden or the Czech Republic, a new documentary shows.

In Inside Child Poverty: A Special Report, set to air this week, Wellington documentary maker Bryan Bruce shows a Swedish doctor footage of sick, scab-ridden schoolchildren suffering from preventable diseases in Porirua and asks if he saw similar situations in his country.

The doctor shakes his head: "In the 70s, maybe."

Last year, more than 25,000 children were admitted to hospital for respiratory infections. Doctors routinely treat cases of rheumatic fever and scabies – diseases now rare in Europe.

The reason behind these preventable diseases were appalling rates of child poverty that New Zealand could not afford to ignore, Mr Bruce said.

In the two years he spent researching the topic, he visited schools, doctors and low-income families in eastern Porirua. Cross-referencing world development indicators with mortality data, he found that 150 children who died in New Zealand last year would probably have survived had they lived in Japan, Sweden or the Czech Republic. New Zealand is second to last in child health and safety rankings of 30 OECD countries, with only Turkey worse.

As part of the study, Mr Bruce visited Sweden – a country once considered similar to New Zealand – and found that children there received free healthcare, were provided a free meal a day at school and were free from diseases associated with poverty.

Back in Porirua, he visited houses with walls blackened by mould, where families of five slept in the same room just to keep warm. Diseases like rheumatic fever, skin infections and respiratory illnesses spread quickly in the damp and overcrowded conditions.

In the documentary, Wellington Hospital paediatric surgeon Brendon Bowkett laments the huge sums of money spent on operating to save children with preventable diseases. "That would have paid for hundreds of child assessments."

Mr Bruce said New Zealand was now at a "moral crossroads" and he was calling for politicians to work out a long-term policy for the health of children. This could include redistributing parts of benefits to pay for free medical care and school lunches, introducing health regulations for rental housing, and appointing a children's minister.

"A nation with poor children is a poor excuse for a nation ... it's not a political question, it's an ethical question. No child should go hungry in this country, no child should have a preventable disease. 

Health Minister Tony Ryall could not be contacted yesterday, and Social Development Minister Paula Bennett did not respond to a request to comment.

Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett said that, while most of the information was already known, anything that put child poverty in the spotlight was worthwhile.
"We want to build these kids into contributing citizens for tomorrow, and certainly whatever is being done at the moment isn't working and we have to work really hard to put services in place that actually meet their basic life needs.

"This is not the fault of any one government, it's actually a social responsibility."
Inside Child Poverty: A Special Report will air on TV3 at 7.30pm tomorrow.
Acknowledgements:  - The Dominion Post
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Occupy Pomare in Taita North, Lower Hutt...

Pomare residents to move into tents on land where state houses were demolished

Media release from Pomare Community;

Members of the Pomare community in Taita North will this weekend move to occupy the site of their demolished homes as a further protest at Housing New Zealand’s failure to act on their housing concerns.

Last week hundreds of residents and supporters attended a community rally to highlight the loss of their community and the community’s need for state housing.

From Saturday morning community members will move into tents erected on the demolition site surrounded by headstones and crosses representing the lost houses. Each headstone or cross shows the time the house had been lived in by local families, with some families being moved from houses they have lived in for over 40 years.

Korina Haua, Tolly Jackson and Yvonne Kapua lived next door to each other in Pomare for more than 30 years before being moved by Housing NZ. The three women are missing the support of their long term neighbours “We all looked after each other. I feel like I’ve moved from a community to a street where I don’t know anyone. We just want to be allowed to come back to Pomare when the redevelopment is done” said Ms Haua.

“This is not just about Pomare,” said community spokesperson Dina Awarau. “The same thing is happening in Glen Innes and it will be other communities next. Many low income families are already struggling to get affordable housing and Housing NZ selling land to private developers is only going to make that worse”.

Housing NZ called for tenders this week for developers to deliver a mix of private housing, social housing and corporation housing in Pomare with a maximum of 12 of the 72 proposed new homes to be owned by Housing NZ.

“This is asset sales by another name” said Ms Awarau. “If the National government get voted back in, low income families will end up living under the bridge”.

Who? Pomare Community Voice

What? Occupy Pomare

Where? Farmer Crescent, adjacent to Taita Drive intersection.

When? From 9am Saturday, 19 November 2011

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Tomorrow it will be exactly one year since the Pike River mine tragedy claimed 29 lives...

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    Image by Getty Images via @daylife
    :'(Tomorrow it will be exactly one year since the Pike River mine tragedy on New Zealand's West Coast which claimed 29 miners and contractors employed by the company. They went to work in the morning and have never come home! An explosion ripped through the mine filling it with methane and other poisonous gases. The men wouldn't have survived the blast, let alone three more during the next few days. Children still cry for their fathers and widows still mourn for their men.

  • The whole country was stunned by the tragedy which was played out on television into the lounges of the nation. We all wanted rescuers to get into the mine and rescue the men, but knew it wasn't a reality under the circumstances. But why haven't the bodies been recovered, a year on? That's another story. A Royal Commission of Enquiry is under way to establish the cause of the tragedy. It will be a very emotional time for the families tomorrow! Please read the following news story below:

  • "A monument to the 29 men who died in the Pike River mine will be unveiled in Blackball on the West Coast today.

  • Most of the families of the miners are expected to attend the service as part of International Workers' Memorial Day.

  • The men died last November after a series of explosions at the coal mine.
    Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn says it will be a day for people to reminisce and spare a thought for those loved ones who are still in the mountain, not far from Blackball.
    President of the Council of Trade Unions Helen Kelly will also be at today's service and said the tragedy highlights a deeper problem with workplace safety.

  • "The Pike River mine was open for only a year before it exploded killing 29 people including a 17-year-old boy, and having a service in Blackball serves as a poignant reminder to us all of the tragedy of workplace accidents," she said."
  • Some have said the Pike River mine was an accident waiting to happen. Others say the mine should never have been allowed to happen.

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