April 4th 2020

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY The world has changed: Now for the new order

FAMILY AND SOCIETY Move to curtail underage online porn epidemic

CANBERRA OBSERVED ScoMo's delicate balancing act in extraordinary times

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Time and timing are crucial to Cardinal Pell's appeal by Peter Westmore

NEW ZEALAND Political divisions polarise across the Ditch

NEW ZEALAND Victorian Road Map smooths way of NZ anti-life clique to abortion 'reform'

FREE SPEECH Intolerance brigade at UQ attacks professor of Law

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Victoria lifts moratorium of gas exploration

CHINESE HISTORY The Soong Dynasty: Three sisters who rules China

LAW AND SOCIETY Guilt by accusation: The kangaroos are roaming freely through Australia's legal system

GENDER POLITICS Dr Quentin Van Meter's Australian talk is opening eyes in the U.S.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS Australia is not safe in the borderless globalised world

SHOPPING AND SOCIETY The Ubermensch in the aisles

MUSIC We seem to have lost the point of counterpoint

CINEMA The Current War: Industrial miracle workers

BOOK REVIEW A dark trade that continues unabated worldwide

EBOOK READ THIS Both sides to this old story



NATIONAL AFFAIRS Use detention centres to help deal with covid19 epidemic

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Justice at last: Cardinal Pell set free

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Political divisions polarise across the Ditch

by Amy Brooke

News Weekly, April 4, 2020

The old saying, “a fish rots from the head down”, suggests leadership and hierarchies are often the root cause of much going wrong. It conjures up the observation from Hamlet that “There is something rotten in the state of Denmark”. And there would be few New Zealanders who don’t think that there is something very wrong in relation to so much happening to this country, dominated by our hierarchies.

So often now, from the political level downwards, vocal agitators carry far more weight among our political parties than does the will of the majority. However, “We the People …” the beginning of the Preamble to the United States Constitution, is an important reminder to any democratic government of its mandate – which is not one for political parties with highly activist leadership to inflict their own ideologies onto the country.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, although no longer addressing her audiences as “Comrades”, is nevertheless moving us closer to the communist practice of central control. More and more decision-making is being removed from communities in the best position to decide on and manage local issues.

An egregious example are decisions by Chris Hipkins, Minister of Education, another ordinary politician whose appointment unfortunately seems to accord with the Peter Principle that, “In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence”.

The naïve Hipkins is also responsible for allowing the new, extremist climate-change curriculum being foisted onto school children. And, ominously, given that home-schooled children are performing almost embarrassingly well ahead of their peers in state schools, the authority for the issuing of certificates to parents who have demonstrated their commitment to well-planned curricula is now going to be removed from local education bodies. In future they are to be issued by a former primary school teacher, promoted to Secretary for Education.

Not only is this new proposal confusingly worded and ambiguous, any right of appeal by parents has been removed – although such a right is fundamental to any democratic process, and written into much of our legislation.

Constant edicts emanate from Ardern’s Coalition Government, a government composed of three minority parties – including her own Labour Party. Her born-to-rule attitude bypasses the fact that Labour gained only just over a third of the votes in the last election. This has not prevented her from embarking on opening the doors wider for the killing of unborn children by removing the abortion legislation from the Crimes Act and pushing towards more widely available euthanasia.

Adding to the divisiveness is the fact that government funding is now continually being granted to the very small group of activist part-Maoris who are constantly clamouring for more privileges and that the money for projects ends up in the hands of those managing them. The definition of who can be considered Maori was removed in the 1970s. So any individual with even 16 or 32 per cent Maori blood can claim to be genetically Maori and, therefore, supposedly disadvantaged.

Our most divisive day of the year is Waitangi Day, which many New Zealanders would like to see relegated to the dustbin of history. Ostensibly celebrating the 1840 signing of the well and truly hijacked Treaty of Waitangi, its provisions now reinvented and distorted to suit an activist agenda, the media focus, as always, is on friction inevitably arising from its centre-staging the Maori triumphalist movement.

This year, more subtly, verbal aggression replaced past years’ downright rudeness, even offensiveness, including: bottom showing; spitting at the Governor-General; mud-throwing at the face of Don Brash, previous leader of the National Party, and a sex toy aimed at the Minister for Economic Development. The Queen herself had a wet black T-shirt thrown at her in 1990.

Last year, the heckling continued throughout Brash’s speech, in which he advocated for the equality of all New Zealanders, regardless of race. A loudspeaker drowned him out, to the enjoyment of a noisy crowd. Although he had been invited to speak, officialdom failed to intervene.

This year’s offering was more subtle, with Ardern, inevitably wearing black, the colour of mourning – apparently now our national colour – paying the annual obeisance to controversial activist Mrs Titewhai Harawira, whose exhortations to Maori radicals never to be satisfied is paralleled by the reminder of her nine-month prison sentence in 1988 for beating a psychiatric patient, fracturing his skull.

In an unacceptably politicised statement, Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy referred to New Zealand as Aotearoa, a radicalised and historically inaccurate title, to which many object but encouraged by Ardern. Just another reason why so many New Zealanders, fed up with Waitangi Day, would prefer Anzac Day to become our day of national unity.

Amy Brooke is a New Zealand commentator, children’s author and poet. Visit her website at www.amybrooke.co.nz

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