Posts by Ian Pattison

  • Legal Beagle: If Australia Jumped off a…, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    I reckon at an election time (either local or national) is best – when people are more ‘civically aware’ and use the time up to that, to educate and engage the public.

    I'm on the opposite side of that. I reckon, if referenda are held as walk-in ballots, they should be held in between election campaign years.

    The first reason is the potential for the referendum topic to skew the results of the general election. Some people are saying it would be more advantageous for the Green Party if the cannabis referendum were to be held concurrently with the 2020 election. This is because their supporters are more likely to turn out to a referendum on cannabis and, therefore, are more likely to also vote Green in the general election.

    The second reason is the potential for the nuances in the public debate being lost in the noise of the general election. The choices Graeme pointed out in the original post (Will it be legal to sell cannabis, or just to possess and use it? Will people be able to grow their own... et cetera) will be lost in the miasma of fiscal holes, H-fees, and moments of truth. If these debates were to be held in non-election years, we'd have a much more sensible debate.

    Also, I like the idea of people being asked more often what they would like. Perhaps it would be better for political engagement if these sorts of debates and decisions were made more regularly throughout the cycles.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 24 posts Report

  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the…,

    Also thought I'd point out my entry, 'jacindamania', above was the first grammatically-correct rendering of the term ie: expressed as a common noun rather than a capitalised name or proper noun.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 24 posts Report

  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the…,

    I can't see how 'Jacaindamania' didn't have the greatest impact on everyone here in NZ, certainly more so than any words that came in from overseas.

    'jacindamania' for word of the year. I've even added it to my dictionaries.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 24 posts Report

  • Hard News: Harkanwal Singh: What really…,

    If you are a journalist and only realise in 2015 that things don’t have to be true to be published, you are blind.

    Newspapers have been printing politicians’ lies since the year dot so the author’s statements smack of faux outrage.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 24 posts Report

  • Hard News: The long road to Hit and Run,

    The impression I got was that investigation by the ICC on this is inevitable. According to an expert on RNZ yesterday, there is scope for claims like this book in what is known as 'chapter 15' (of what?) whereby anyone can put this forward as evidence of a war crime and it will be investigated.

    That's what makes this so much more important than the previous books, this will result in a thorough, gold-standard investigation rather than your typical National Party white-wash/sham inquiry.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 24 posts Report

  • Speaker: Broadcasting and the Public Interest,

    As well as this, we should be looking at refreshing the Free-to-air Television Code. It is not enough that television shows simply be 'balanced' and 'accurate'. This works fine on an issue-by-issue basis, but not when taking the news stream as a whole. The problem is that broadcasters (particularly commercial broadcasters hoping to sell wealthy audiences to cashed-up advertisers) can choose to simply ignore issues wholesale, obviating the need to be balanced and accurate. The best example would be the depiction of organised labour. The media does a passable job of providing a balanced and accurate depiction of union-related incidents on an issue-by-issue basis, for example when there is a negotiation or a strike, and the unions can come off a bit angstey (because that is how they are almost always portrayed in the media), but there is no requirement for news outlets to broadcast stories about things like when unions work with employers and develop more efficient systems like lean manufacturing or successfully advocate for wage rises for their members. This is because they are not required to.

    Not just labour, but many aspects of society are ignored or portrayed in a certain way that plays well with advertisers.

    Perhaps a re-jig of the journalism/media/broadcasting codes could end with a more specific set of requirements, something like that they are required to compulsorily report on (in a balanced and accurate way) a few, or several, aspects of civic life that are important to people (like how much they are being paid). This would result in a much more balanced and accurate overall news stream.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 24 posts Report

  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the…,

    Horrifying. This word was Hillary Clinton's response to Trump's equivocation on whether or not he would accept the election results. But it could equally apply to most things that have happened this year.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 24 posts Report

  • Hard News: Obscuring the News,

    Case in point regarding articles from overseas that are not actually relevant to what's going on here: NZ Herald online article about the bank fee payouts happening over in Australia.

    Apart from references to ASIC, there is nothing in this article to indicate that it is not relevant to New Zealand-based ANZ customers.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 24 posts Report

  • Polity: Custard, in reply to Marc C,

    But this may only result in a one term government, unless they can then offer competency and real solutions.

    Without Key, National are gonners and in the case of a National Party defeat, he won't even be in the country when the final tally comes in. He will be in New York cashing-in on all the work he's done here over the past nine years.

    Without the charisma of Key, there isn't really anything special about the National Party. Part of the secret to their success (I think) is the fact he goes on commercial radio on a nearly daily basis (there are a lot of channels) for a bit of a joke with presenters. This is what most people hear when it comes to politics: fawning radio hosts and a bit of a joke. They don't tune in to RNZ where he stumbles on hard questions while trying to tell us the sky is green and is generally pulled apart by the interviewers. And they're certainly not tuning in on Sunday morning to The Nation or Q+A. So they think to themselves 'he's an ok guy' and that's where it ends.

    Having Patrick Gower as Newshub political editor probably doesn't help, though.

    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 24 posts Report

  • Polity: Custard, in reply to izogi,

    Contrary to popular belief, employers are still required to tell the employee why they had been fired, and to communicate to them during the trial how they are doing - a concept that has big consequences.

    The basis of this is the fact that the law only applies to the point of dismissal. Apart from that, the employer is required to act with good faith, which means communicating whether or not the employee is doing a good job or not. The employer is also required to advise the employee, when asked, what the reasons were for the termination. This is all part of the employer's obligation to act with good faith - an obligation that extends past the point of dismissal.

    The most obvious reason for this is: when the former employee turns up at WINZ, what are they to tell them? The reason for the termination of employment has a big bearing on how quickly they can access financial support.

    Why is this so significant? Well, if an employer is not communicative during the trial, or tells the employee they are doing a good or satisfactory job, and then turns around and fires them for not doing a good enough job, then they were not acting with good faith. You'll only ever get an award for unjustifiable disadvantage - rather than unjustifiable dismissal - but you can still use that to make a claim for compensation for work lost.

    So the provisions are actually more faulty than people realise but employers won't make a fuss about it because, so long as most employees don't understand their rights in this reasonably complicated area, the longer they can take advantage of the situation.


    Auckland • Since Aug 2014 • 24 posts Report

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