So poverty is now defined as having no pajamas

The Herald on Sunday has announced a new campaign, giving away pajamas to the poor.

The Herald on Sunday is today launching a campaign to provide much-needed pyjamas for some of New Zealand’s most vulnerable kids.

We have teamed up with the Middlemore Foundation to support its annual Jammies in June campaign.

The initiative is in its third year and we’re calling on readers to help raise a record $40,000 and 10,000 pairs of new pyjamas.

Cash donated will be used to buy more pyjamas, as well as blankets, socks and other items to keep Kiwi kids toasty this winter.

Herald on Sunday editor Miriyana Alexander urged readers to get behind the campaign.

“The foundation does a fabulous job, and I’m delighted to lend our support to this pyjama fundraiser,” Alexander said.

“It’s confronting to think so many Kiwi kids might be going to bed cold this winter — but that’s the reality.

“Please join us to ensure thousands more can go to bed snug and warm this winter.”

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Public shame a critical component of justice

The son of a New Zealand rich-lister has won a fight to keep his name secret after he allegedly punched a female police officer in the face.

The police officer suffered a black eye, serious swelling to her face and needed hospital treatment.

The man was charged with aggravated assault, resisting arrest, assaulting a security guard and damaging a window during the March 26 incident outside the popular Dunedin student haunt Shooters Bar.

He appeared in Dunedin District Court four times, without seeking name suppression, before the case was transferred to Auckland District Court.

But after questions from the Herald on Sunday, the man’s lawyers filed an application for interim name suppression.

On Tuesday, Judge Anne Kiernan ordered that the man’s name be kept secret for the next three weeks.

Details around that hearing have also been suppressed, but it can be reported that Judge Kiernan found publishing his name could prejudice his right to a fair trial.

That argument can be said to be true for anyone then.  What it also means is that the judge presupposes that a jury would ignore the facts just to notch up a win against the privileged.   Read more »

The “Decade of Whaleoil” series: Labour’s proudest moments of 2007

Decade of Whaleoil

Decade of Whaleoil

June 6 2015 marks the day Whaleoil has been publishing for ten years.   I can’t account for the earlier weeks and months, but there haven’t been any days without content for close to a decade, that’s for sure.  I thought it might be fun to go back through the videos and relive some interesting moments in politics.

As I look back on some of these videos, I realise how politicians rely on everyone, including the media, having the memory of a gold fish.
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Has Amanda Banks exposed the dark underbelly of the Crown Law office?

John Banks has done us a favour and shown our justice system to be truly broken. But what chance would he have had if he had been a young man, down and out, up against the system, or even an average person or, indeed, an ordinary MP?

He or she would have had no chance.

As it was, Banks had hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend.

And spend it he had to — to clear his name.

He had a wife who, stung by Justice Edwin Wylie refusing to believe her testimony, hunted down the key witnesses who turned the case around.

The Crown didn’t do that. The fancy lawyers didn’t.

Banks was, of course, a Government Minister, a party leader and a critical vote in Parliament.

It was never an everyday case and we would expect the Crown prosecution to be at its very best and most professional.

The real problem here is that we can’t step beyond the idea of mere incompetence, and instead we are tempted to infer political motives.  And if that’s the case, is it limited to the QCs involved, or were they acting on advice?   Read more »

Mental Health Break

Never apologise if you didn’t do anything wrong

Radio Hauraki has been rapped over the knuckles after a Mike Hosking impersonation by DJ Jeremy Wells was labelled racist by some listeners.

The radio station apologised after Wells’ appearance on the Hauraki breakfast show last Friday during a segment called Like Mike.

Wells, in character as Hosking, said he preferred ‘Maoris’ to “keep to themselves in marae, rural rugby clubs or on-stage cultural performances in Rotorua hotels coinciding with a hangi buffet”.

“Maoris are loose units. They’re often tattooed. The women smoke too much and are free and easy with their affections.

“The world’s media are watching us this week. As right-thinking New Zealanders we should be asking: is this the image we want to convey to the world?”

The comments drew hundreds of comment on the station’s Facebook page; many were outraged, while others said it was clearly satire and shouldn’t be taken seriously.

Areti Metuamate, a PhD student in Pacific Studies at the Australian National University, said it didn’t matter that the comments were satire – they were still deeply offensive to anyone who had experienced racism.

“If you’re a regular listener you might realise that it had this particular slant. You post it to Facebook and it’s taken out of context. People might not realise that it’s satire. Read more »

Map of the Day

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Looks like the Irish have welcomed marriage equality with open arms

Final results are not expected until later in the day in a vote that would make Ireland the first country to adopt same-sex marriage via a popular vote, just two decades after the country decriminalised homosexuality.

State broadcaster RTE said the victory appeared to be overwhelming and government minister Kevin Humphreys predicted the margin would be two-to-one.

“I think it’s won,” Equality Minister Aodhan O’Riordain told Reuters at the main count centre in Dublin. “The numbers of people who turned out to vote is unprecedented. This has really touched a nerve in Ireland today.”

Gay marriage is backed by all political parties, championed by big employers and endorsed by celebrities, all hoping it will mark a transformation in a country that was long regarded as one of the most socially conservative in Western Europe. Read more »

Sign of the Day

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The media wouldn’t lie to us would they?

New Zealand and its spying partners exploited weaknesses in one of the world’s most popular mobile browsers and planned to hack into smartphones, according to top secret documents leaked this week.

The Five Eyes partners are accused of targeting links to Google and Samsung app stores in a project civil liberties activists have denounced.

The spy agencies deliberately sought security vulnerabilities, but failed to inform companies or the public, leaving the private data of millions of people at risk, civil liberties group OpenMedia said today.

The leaked Top Secret document was posted on the Canadian CBC News site, in conjunction with The Intercept, after whistleblower and fugitive Edward Snowden acquired it.

Apart from discussing how to propagate surveillance software, the newly-revealed document also described efforts to place messages and other communications data on smartphones.

“The group wanted to send selective misinformation to the targets’ handsets to, among other things, confuse adversarial intelligence agencies,” the Slate website said. Read more »

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