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Archive for 8 March 2012

Petition: Support for Mojo Mathers *** Update ***

8 March 2012 6 comments

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Support for Mojo Mathers and the wider Deaf and hearing-impaired

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Paul Gibson, the Disability Rights Commissioner, has called for the Speaker Lockwood Smith and Parliamentary Services to accommodate Mojo Mathers’ need for live electronic notetaking. Article 21 and 29 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which New Zealand has ratified, specifically deal with the right of persons with disabilities to access information intended for the public in a timely manner without additional cost, and the right to serve effectively in public life.

Many other figures and organisations have come out in support of Mojo Mathers.

The Human Rights Commission currently has a discussion paper out for consultation called The Wider Journey, which deals with accessibility issues for disabled people in the physical environment, in accessing information, and in the political process. If you have experience with disability, hearing-related or otherwise, I recommend you make a submission to this report detailing obstacles in the political process.

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Sign Petition Here

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* * *  Update  * * *

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from:    Suzanne Culph, Change.org mail@change.org
to:    fmacskasy@yahoo.com
date:    Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 8:00 PM
subject:Speaker’s answer

Frank, huge news!

Late last night, Speaker Lockwood Smith announced that he will fund the note-taking Mojo Mathers needs to do her job until a permanent solution is found.

What’s more, he’s promised to develop live closed captioning of Parliament — something that would give over 700,000 hearing impaired New Zealanders unprecedented access to their democracy.

It’s been an uphill battle to get this far. From the start, Speaker Smith was reluctant to commit to the funds, and claimed that the decision was out of his hands. But then student Merrin Macleod started a Change.org petition, and 6,200 people — including you! — joined her.

Merrin started her petition after hearing that New Zealand’s first deaf MP was essentially being asked to pay $30,000 to participate in Parliament. She spent hours contacting media, friends and everyone she could think of to spread the word.

Thousands signed, driving media coverage in the New Zealand Herald and across the country. And last week it was tabled in Parliament — in front of MPs, a packed press gallery and Speaker Lockwood Smith himself.

The pressure is working. Yesterday, the Speaker committed to making Parliament “more accessible to the hearing impaired community at large,” and to “make sure Mojo is getting all the support she needs” — including funds for her note-takers.

There’s still a way to go before ongoing funding is guaranteed in a way that is fair for all MPs with a disability — the long term issue is now before the Standing Orders Committee, which is yet to deliver its verdict. But expert legal advice suggests that there is every reason for the committee to grant the funding.

And with thousands of New Zealanders uniting behind Merrin’s petition, and intense media attention on Speaker Lockwood Smith, it will be near-impossible for decision-makers to avoid the issue.

The progress is proof that ordinary people coming together really can make a difference. And by sending a powerful message in support of Mojo Mathers, everyday people are helping pave the way towards equal access in the country’s highest institutions.

Thanks for being part of this,

Suzanne and the Change.org team

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And a really, really B I G thank you to everyone who read this (or heard about the petition from some other source) and put their name to the petition. People-power can work!

– Frank

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Appeal to Solidarnosc!

8 March 2012 2 comments

An appeal to our Polish cuzzies,to support Auckland’s port workers,

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Attack on New Zealand Trade Union – Can you assist?

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Date: Thursday, 8 March, 2012 3:44 PM

From:  “Frank Macskasy” <fmacskasy@yahoo.com>

To: zagr@solidarnosc.org.pl

Subject: Attack on New Zealand Trade Union – Can you assist?

Fraternal greetings from New Zealand!

As throughout the world, New Zealand is experiencing it’s own share of industrial conflict.We have experienced lock-outs of workers at meat-processing plants (http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/business/6523789/Affco-to-lockout-more-workers); strikes by aged-care workers who are on low wages(http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/6536400/Resident-joins-resthome-workers-on-strike); and just recently, 300 maritime workers were sacked by their employer, Ports of Auckland Ltd – a company that is owned by the Auckland City Council (http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/business/6537074/Fight-on-as-Auckland-wharfies-made-redundant).

https://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/workers-lose-their-jobs-day-of-shame/

The employers (POAL, Ports of Auckland Ltd) is attempting to smash the maritime union’s presence on the Port and is attempting to casualise the workforce and contract out the work to private stevedoring companies.

This would effectively reduce wages and destroy unionised representation on the wharves in Auckland City.

In 1981, when Solidarnosc was under attack by the Kremlin’s puppets, New Zealanders rallied to help the people of Poland. When General Jaruzelski declared martial law, New Zealanders marched in support of Polish workers – with an estimated 10,000 people taking part in Wellington City.

We ask that Solidarnosc offer some measure of support to striking maritime workers who have lost their jobs, and that you ask the Mayor of Auckland (Len Brown) and the Prime Minister of New Zealand (John Key) to intercede to save these workers’ jobs;

Len Brown
Mayor of Auckland
Len.Brown@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

John Key
Prime Minister of New Zealand
john.key@parliament.govt.nz

Any moral support that you can provide will be greatly appreciated and will contain great symbolism, considering New Zealand’s support for Solidarnosc in the 1980s.

In solidarity with our Polish cousins,
-Frank Macskasy

Blogger, “Frankly Speaking”
fmacskasy.wordpress.com

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Law passed in secret to sell State Assets 100% , Meegan Manuka MR NEWS Counter Spin 2012

Something worth a look,

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Meegan Manuka’s assessments of certain aspects of National’s machinations over the SOE Act 1986 is is scarily accurate. For example, at 1:50 into the video-report, she informs us,

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“…that priority will be given  to New Zealand investors. Now I know that’s not true because if you research the Trans-Pacific  Partnership Agreement there’s a clause in there that says that we cannot give priority to New Zealanders because that’s discrimination against the offshore investors…”

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Ms Manuka’s assertion is backed up from a Government document, the OUTLINES OF THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT,

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Investment.

The investment text will provide substantive legal
protections for investors and investments of each TPP country in
the other TPP countries, including ongoing negotiations on
provisions to ensure non-discrimination, a minimum standard
of treatment, rules on expropriation, and prohibitions on
specified performance requirements that distort trade and
investment.

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And unsurpringly, Ms Manuka’s research was backed up my msm,

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Full Story

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But Prime Minister John Key said legislation was not needed to guarantee priority shareholdings.

“You need to practically have it – it’s essentially the application of the policy and New Zealanders will judge us on how well we execute that policy, but it’s not necessary to have it in legislation.”

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Key’s statement that “it’s not necessary to have it in legislation” is mind-boggling. How else will Government  “guarantee priority shareholdings” if legislation does not exist to enforce it?

The only answer to Key’s bizarre statement is that National has no intention of enforcing “guaranteed priority shareholdings” because it knows that,

(a) As Ms Manuka stated, any such law would conflict with the TPPA, and

(b) the government cannot guarantee that New Zealand investors are financially able to purchase billions of dollars worth of shares

The issue of SOE privatisation is similar to that of farm-sales to overseas inestors, where John Key has stated that Government cannot ‘discriminate” between local and overseas offers to buy assets,

Which then influenced National’s  decision on the Crafar farm-sale, to overseas investors. As John Key said,

“He [Mr Peters] is in a state of denial. New Zealand has strict legislation where it comes to the sale of farmland. If government had decided to overrule the decision of the Overseas Investment Office we would have to give reasons – and that reason can’t be ‘because they’re Chinese.’” – Source

And,

Ministers were satisfied that Milk New Zealand met all of the relevant criteria under the Overseas Investment Act 2005. Ministers can only have regard to the criteria and factors outlined in the Overseas Investment Act 2005. Every application is decided on its individual merits and the outcome would be the same even if New Zealand did not have a Free Trade Agreement with China,” they said.” – Source

As with previous pledges and promises from National, it seems fairly evident that John Key has no intention of following through on his committment to “guarantee priority shareholdings“.

Be prepared for another back-down, with the usual ‘spin’ of excuses, buck-passing, and vacant smiling. As Bruce Bissett wrote in Hawkes Bay Today,

Double standards? Yes, of course. This is National, after all.

The next election can’t come soon enough.

And thank the gods for Gen Y. They’re here to fix up their parents’ mess.

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Additional

Next step in Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Negotiations

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade: Broad Outlines

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Leaders of TPP member states and prospective member states on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Yokohama, Japan, 11 November 2010.

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Map of Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement signatory nations

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