Jackie Blue appointed EEO Commissioner

April 16th, 2013 at 9:57 am by David Farrar

Judith Collins has announced:

Justice Minister Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Dr Jackie Blue as the Equal Employment Opportunities (EEO) Commissioner.

“I congratulate Dr Blue on her appointment as EEO Commissioner for the Human Rights Commission,” Ms Collins says.

“The EEO Commissioner has an important role to play in championing EEO principles, issues and practices in New Zealand as well as appreciating their relationship to social, economic and labour market trends.

“Dr Blue is committed to human rights and equity issues and is currently the Chair of three cross-party groups in Parliament. I’m confident she will be a very capable Commissioner.”

Dr Blue will be leaving Parliament to take up her new position. She will assume office on 4 June 2013.

Congratulations to Jackie on her appointment. I was very critical of the appointment of former National MP Brian Neeson to the Human Rights Review Tribunal, so I will criticise political appointments that lack merit. but this is not one of those cases.

Jackie has a good track record at working with MPs from all parties, and will do well in the role I am sure.

Her departure from Parliament will of course create a list vacancy. The next candidate on National’s list is former MP Paul Quinn. Media have previously reported he does not desire or intend to return to Parliament. If he declines the spot, then Wellington Central candidate Paul Foster-Bell will become a List MP.

If Tim Groser does become WTO Director-General, then the next on the list is broadcaster Claudette Hauiti.

Rape, Blame and Safety

May 27th, 2011 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Andrea Vance at Stuff reports:

National backbencher Paul Quinn has apologised for remarking “there is a real issue with young ladies getting drunk” during a debate about rape.

The list MP defended his comments by saying he misunderstood the question because of background noise.

And he was forced to issue an apology on Twitter after a storm of negative feedback on the micro-blogging network.

He posted: “Sorry I did not hear what she had said. So my answer was totally out of context and I know that short skirts are not provocation.”

It is very very noisy in the pub at Backbenches.  Adam Bennett in the NZ Herald reports:

Greens co-leader Russel Norman, who was sitting next to Mr Quinn, said the National MP had turned to him and told him he had been unable to hear the presentation properly.

“He seemed genuine,” he said

I think Russel’s comments make it very clear that Paul did not hear the context to the question.

In terms of the substance, I always find it useful to differenitiate between blame and safety. In terms of blame, the victim is never to blame for being raped. Nothing justifies rape = ever.

The Lady Garden blogs:

For the record, I could give a dude a blowjob in a bar bathroom, and if he then forced himself on me, it wouldn’t be my fault. Get it?

I agree entirely.

To use a well known example, if Mike Tyson invites you back to his hotel room at 2 am, and then has sex with you against his will, you are not to blame, he is. And in this case he was convicted of rape as he should have been.

However if a female friend of mine told me that Mike Tyson has asked her back to his hotel room at 2 am, my advice would be not to go – or at least not to go alone, as you might not be safe.

Likewise if you get invited to a party at the Mongrel Mob fortress, again my advice would be not to go. If you did go, and got raped, it would be entirely the responsibility of the Mongrel Mob rapists, but as we do not live in a perfect world, reducing risk is often a sensible thing to do.

This is not just about rape. If I was wearing a $20,000 Rolex and had $50,000 of cash on me, and attended said Mongrel Mob party, then there is an increased risk I’ll get beaten up and robbed. I would be the victim, and 100% not to blame. The muggers would be to blame. However I’d probably conclude not to attend any more Mongrel Mob parties with Rolexes.

It is NEVER a rape-victim’s fault that they were attacked. The responsibility lies with the criminal, and the criminal alone. Clothes, behaviour, what they’ve had to drink, their sexual past, proclivities, and promises are no fucking excuse, and don’t come into it at all.

I agree. They are no excuse, and all the blame lies with the criminal. It is atrocious that some men can’t accept this, and commit rape. It is a hideous crime.

However, and I say this with genuine concern, one does have to accept we don’t live in a perfect crime free world. And it is worth taking steps to minimise the probability of crime. No I don’t mean dressing like nuns and being a teetotaller. I do mean however being aware that if you get pissed, you may not be as able to prevent a crime occuring. So if you are getting pissed, maybe make sure you have a more sober friend with you.

Whn going home after a night out, consider the relative dangers of walking home vis a taxi. There are some suburbs that would not be particularly safe for either men or women to be going through at 3 am. if you get mugged or raped, of course you are not to blame because you took a short cut through (for example) Cannons Creek. But knowing we do not live in a crime free society, it might be a good idea not to do so.

It would be nice if we could leave our front doors unlocked and the car keys in our cars, without them being stolen. And if they are stolen, the thief is to blame. But generally I wouldn’t recommend people leave their car keys in their ignition.

Now again, I am in no way saying that women should not go out, should not drink alcohol, should not wear what they like, just to minimise the chance of rape.  All I’m trying to say is there are some evil bastards out there, and to use some common sense when out on the town – to look after each other.

A porkie from Trevor

August 6th, 2010 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Trevor Mallard blogged:

Sometimes you get leaks of policy through interjections. Today we got a gem from Paul Quinn.

After it was pointed out that twice as many firms in Aussie are increasing staff this year than in NZ, and that 23% more Aussie firms are planning to increase wages we at last got the plan.

Quinn said – Kiwis should move to Australia.

Except he didn’t.

He said “Well go to Australia”- basically to Trevor. He never said “Kiwis should move”.

You can listen to it at In the House, at around 2:56.

The biggest losers

July 1st, 2010 at 5:36 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports the winners of the weight loss challenge amongst Maori MPs:

  • Tau Henare – from 104 kg to 96 kg – 8 kgs
  • Mita Ririnui – from 100 kg to 92 kg – 8 kgs
  • Kelvin Davis – from 113 kg to 106 kg – 7 kgs
  • Shane Jones – from 109 kg to 103 kg – 6 kg
  • Simon Bridges – from 88 kg to 86 kg – 2 kg
  • Parekura Horomia – from 155 kg to did not report
  • Hone Harawira – from 107 kg to did not report
  • Paul Quinn – from 112 kg to did not report

Prisoner Disqualification Bill passes 63-59

April 21st, 2010 at 5:16 pm by David Farrar

Paul Quinn’s private member’s bill to ban all prisoners (rather than just those serving terms of greater than three years) from voting passed its first reading by 63 votes to 58.

National and ACT voted in favour. Labour, Maori, United, Greens and Progressive against.

It has been referred to the Law & Order Select Committee, which will hear submissions on it. I would be interested to find out how many prisoners actually do vote, and how many are eligible to vote.

Quinn wins

February 10th, 2010 at 12:18 pm by David Farrar

Paul Quinn won the ballot so his Electoral (Disqualification of Convicted Prisoners) Amendment Bill will be introduced and go to a first reading.

I’ve asked for a copy of the bill. Presumably it bans all prisoners from voting, not just some of them as is the case presently.

If you do a crime bad enough to go to prison, I think it is repugnant that you still vote. I even think there is a debate to be had about whether there is a period of non voting for those released from prison, if they were convicted of very serious offences.

UPDATE: The bill is here – Electoral _Disqualification of convicted prisoners_ Amen. At present only prisoners serving a term of three or more years are disqualified, and this would extend the disqualification to enrol to anyone currently in prison.

The worst behaved in Parliament list

December 23rd, 2009 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

United Future leader Peter Dunne has given up on his annual list of worst-behaved MPs, saying Speaker Lockwood Smith’s reign has ushered in a new era of dignity and propriety.

To be fair, I think the absence of Winston helps also. But the House has been a far less toxic place this year.

Mr Dunne did honour Labour’s Trevor Mallard with a lifetime achievement award in bad behaviour “for services to melodrama, fisticuffs, and generally aberrant behaviour”.

When Lockwood orders him to apologise, you can actually see the supressed rage in his eyes!!

The Herald does find a few insults though:

Labour’s Moana Mackey apologised for referring to Hekia Parata as “Lady Parata” and “her royal highness”. National’s Paul Quinn was pulled up for calling Labour’s backbench “monkeys”.

I’d rather be called Lady Parata than a monkey I have to say – well if I was a female Parata that is!

Some apologies:

For saying of Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee, “the notion of him and energy is a mathematical impossibility”.

For claiming another “fiddled the books” in ACC and Housing; for wishing the Speaker would use a 90-day eviction order on Trevor Mallard.


For North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams’ “madness”, for calling Trevor Mallard “the angry one”.

Isn’t truth a defence?

For claiming Green MP Metiria Turei thought Phil Goff was “racist”. She had said his speech was “the worst kind of politics”.

So worse than racism?

Mallard v Quinn

October 6th, 2009 at 11:29 am by David Farrar

After some lobbying on my behalf, Backbenches has arranged MPs Paul Quinn and Trevor Mallard to be on the same panel tomorrow night.

Now for those who don’t know, Paul and Trevor both stood for Hutt South, both are pretty adept at winding each up, and both can be pretty stroppy fellas.

So it should be a wonderful night’s viewing. I recommend getting in early for a seat. And bring popcorn.

While the show should be entertainment enough, I’ve been thinking we could make it even more enjoyable for spectators with the launch of the Mallard-Quinn drinking game. The proposed rules are:

  • Drink one sip if either interject each other
  • Drink one sip if either puts the other down
  • Drink two sips if either appears to compliment the other, but it is really a veiled insult
  • Drink two sips if either use a moderate term of abuse (idiot, dumb, thick etc)
  • Drink three sips if either use one of the seven banned words.
  • Drink four sips if use of if the seven banned words is in a way which is anatomically impossible
  • Drink five sips if one of them whacks the other. Drink a bonus sip if they accidentally hit Wallace by mistake.
  • Scull the jug if they agree with each other

Additional rule suggestions are welcome.

UPDATE: The Paul Quinn fan club has suggested the official names for the bout should be Mallard the Hammer v the Maori side-step Quinn, and they are backing Moimoi Quinn.

Friday’s MPs

January 23rd, 2009 at 12:59 pm by David Farrar

The Herald series continues:

Hekia Parata hit out at the impact the “capricious ideas of officialdom” have had on small towns struggling to keep themselves going, saying she had seen communities such as the Ruatoria she grew up in “succumb to the disease of dependency”.

A former public servant and consultant in the business she ran with husband Wira Gardiner, she said in some communities state intervention had become the norm rather than the exception.

“Caregivers and providers and facilitators and sector workers replace aunts, uncles, neighbours and friends.”


She knows now that even the Ruatoria of her childhood was economically challenged. “But its cultural wealth and social richness, its determined self-belief and hard work kept it viable.”

However, in such communities state welfare – “rather than social welfare” – had become a first resort, spawning “an intergenerational life sentence, rather than a life line”. In such communities, “despair and alienation are masked by drugs and alcohol and abuse, and displaced anger makes victims of children and their mothers, where low expectation in schools is predictably repaid with low achievement; where fault and blame laying has become the defence of failure”.

She said she felt called to Parliament to “lay bare the causes of these symptoms” and act to find durable solutions.

Her recipe for doing so was for the state to play a lesser role in communities and instead be filtered through organisations that worked and lived with the people affected. She also believed cultural diversity should be invested in, “not because it is fashionable, but because it carries identity and the potential for innovation and new technologies”. The final ingredient was education.

“All other aspirations for economic growth, raised standards of living, national confidence and pride, will flow from getting these basics right.”

There is a reason why Hekia had such a high list ranking.

Paul Quinn

Background: Iwi affiliations include Ngati Awa, Tuhoe and Te Arawa. Former Maori All Black from 1977 to 1979. Degree in economics, he most recently ran his own business advisory and consultancy company. Has worked in the forestry sector and on Treaty settlements, including as a negotiator for Ngati Awa’s Treaty claim. Director of the NZ Rugby Union since 2002 and remains active at a grass roots level on the committee of his old Marist St Pat’s rugby club.

In his own words: “[The Treaty settlement process] is but one specific reason why I now stand in this House. It is my response to the total lack of leadership provided by the previous administration in getting on with the job, particularly when it was obvious there was a better way. I note they magically found that better way some six months out from an election.”

Paul, like Hekia, has an excellent background and will be able to make a contribution across a number of areas.

Iain-Lees Galloway

Background: One of Labour’s ‘fresh faces’ intake, 30-year-old has two pre-school children. Was president of the Massey University Students’ Association in 2005 and a campaigner for NZ Nurses’ Organisation prior to Parliament. Maiden speech focused on the need for community organisations to help parents support their children and the importance of investing in research and development.

Many of Labour’s new MPs were student association presidents.

Personal: Mr Lees-Galloway is evidence that National is not the only party taking new MPs that don’t fit in with the party’s stereotypical image. He was educated at King’s College, comes from a beef farming family and wryly admitted his parents remained “thoroughly perplexed” by seeing him on Labour’s side of the House.

His candidacy in Palmerston North presented them with the dilemma of choosing between their own son or their beloved National Party. “They came up with a novel if somewhat drastic solution: they moved out of the electorate. I’m sure [National and Rangitikei MP] Simon Power will be relieved to know he now has two more voters whose loyalty is unquestionable.”

I’m not sure Simon’s majority needed the help, but I’ve yet to meet an MP who doesn’t appreciate every extra vote!

Hutt South Billboard

July 29th, 2008 at 1:29 pm by David Farrar

Sent in by a reader. Would make a great billboard in real life!

Paul Quinn wins in Hutt South

April 4th, 2008 at 9:01 pm by David Farrar

Congratulations to Paul Quinn, who has won the Hutt South nomination for National.

Paul will be a strong contender (but amongst many) for the List also.

Paul is an experienced company director and principal of his own strategic planning and commercial advisory services company.

He is most well known probably as a former Captain of the NZ Maori and Wellington rugby teams. Paul is also a current board member of the NZ Rugby Football Union.

National Party Selections

March 12th, 2008 at 10:09 am by David Farrar

National Party selections are in full swing, as they try to get them all finished by early to mid April. Last Thursday there was a Meet the Candidates Meeting upstairs in the Backbencher at 5.30 pm. I popped in seeing it was on my way home.

The three Wellington Central candidates are Paul Quinn, Stephen Franks and David Broome.  They all spoke and answered questions well.  Obviously only one of them can be candidate for Wellington Central,but I hope more than one of them can make their way into Parliament. It’s great to see all over the country so many good candidates stepping forward.

These meetings are not public, so I can’t go into details, but I can reveal that I asked a question stolen from Grant Robertson’s blog – which was to ask all the candidates to name a policy they think would be good for NZ, but which would be unpopular.

Most people probably don’t realise how gruelling a National Party selection contest can be.  So I thought I would use this post to explain.

First of all the selection meeting is made up of at least 60 delegates, based on a delegate  for every 15 members in the electorate, plus a top-up if that doesn’t make 60 by the local Region .  You have to have been a party member for at least six months to be a delegate.  The largest electorates can have around 150 delegates at the selection meeting. The Head Office gets no say at all except they can veto unsuitable candidates at the pre-selection stages.

Now once nominations close, candidates get told who the delegates are. Because it is a defined group of people (unlike Labour where any member or affiliated union member can turn up on the night), there is intensive lobbying.

In a serious contest, each candidate will have one on one meetings with all 60+ delegates – lasting about an hour each. On top of that there may be half a dozen “cottage meetings” where a dozen or so delegates are invited to hear a candidate talk and ask questions informally.

Then you have the three formal Meet The Candidates meetings. All delegates must attend at least one of these, and  they consist of 6 – 8 minute speeches from each candidate (with them all staying in the room for each other’s) and then questions from the floor which can be to one or all of the candidates. This can go on for some hours, and you can get some aggressive or tough questions.

Then you have the selection night, where each candidate has a ten minute speech, and then they have to answer two questions – one from the Leader and one from the President.  The same questions go to all candidates, so they don’t stay in the room for each other’s speeches. Then you finally have the vote.

So a candidate for the nomination may end up doing 60+ one on one meetings, half a dozen cottage meetings, three meet the candidate meetings plus the actual selection meeting.  It is no small commitment.