Do you know what an Electronic Notetaker is?

Well do you?

I do…and let me tell you it isn’t either just an electronic, nor software, nor some sort of cool new tech solution it in fact requires another person sitting beside her typing all this stuff…just for Mojo Mathers:

Electronic notetaking (ENT), also known as computer-assisted notetaking (CAN), is a system that provides virtually simultaneous access to spoken information to people who are deaf and hard of hearing, facilitating equal participation with their |hearing colleagues, coworkers, and classmates. ENT is most often used in educational or training sessions, but can also be used at health care appointments, meetings, orinterviews.

Using dedicated software, a trained operator types a summary of the spoken information into a computer at a minimum typing speed of 60 words per minute. The text is then projected on a screen or transmitted to a second computer.

The text also provides a written record of sessions, which is particularly useful for deaf and hard of hearing attendees because taking notes whilst lip reading or watching a sign language interpreter is difficult.

It isn’t equipment as the fool media keep on suggesting…it is trained people in the main…being available when Mojo Mathers needs them…this is like Winston Peters needing a sober driver availabe 24/7 to cart him backwards and forth between Parliament and the Green Parrot.


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  • Brian Smaller

    So? It is not their money. What do the Green’s care?

    • Grandstream

      Idiot Norman on Radio Live was crystal clear about the Greens lack of any knowledge of how budgets and operations actually work.  They think teh spealker should just fund – again a foireshaodw of their economic policy ie – there is a bottomless pit of money that they can dip into for anythign they feel is PC.   If they had her on the list, surely they must have thought about how she could function in parliament ? Actually, Mojo has been more visible than parasites like Alamein Kopu……

  • Macca

    Here’s an idea! 

    Why don’t the greens all chip in together and pay for this out of their own personal salaries?  That way they can get a true feeling as to how it feels for the rest of us to have to pay for something we don’t want to, is completely unecessary and a complete waste of money!!!!  After all,  isn’t that the socialist ideal that they keep forcing on us all?

    She’s only a bloody list MP!  How did she comunicate with her constituents? 

    • Sullir

      Nobody in Christchurch East that I know even heard of her prior to her appointment as a list MP in Parliement I live in the East and I never once saw or heard from her.

    • AnonWgtn

      It is not the equipment, which is available, it is the person/s who operate the equipment which is the point of contention, who will have to run round after Mojo Blojo.
      The Greens should train and pay a staff member from their generous $5.9 annual buget.
      Possibly not really doing the deaf community a favour actually.

  • Pete George

    A key thing to consider is whether it is to be personal assistance just for Mathers, or if it could be service available to all MPs and the public.

  • Andrew McMillan

    This Stuff story from yesterday got it right: 

    They noted that Mojo Mathers “required a staff member to do about 1000 hours of electronic note-taking for her to participate in Parliament through a laptop on her desk in the debating chamber”.

    Although in the same story, Labour’s Clare Curran got it wrong when she called for the Speaker to “immediately fund the equipment”.

    And to Winston’s defence (crikey!), his Party has “offered to contribute its staff funding towards the cost of electronic note-taking”. Maybe he’s cutting back on the Green Parrot a little, after his recent farce in Parliament?

    •  If Winston paid back the $158k that he owes Parliamentary Services, all would be sweet!

  • In Vino Veritas

    I think Lockwood-Smith on Close Up last night spelled it out. Essentially Mathers and the Greens want him to break the law. Parliament has bent over backwards for Mathers to date, even changingdeveloping software to be compatible with her kit. It’s just that the “electronic notetaker” person, is considered by the rules to be support, therefore to be paid out of the Green’s budgeted support.

    • Hakim of phut

      No laws to break !!
      Thats just a smokescreen,  much better to ‘kick a cripple’ than rejig the budget

      • Euan Rt

        I wouldn’t know, but it seems you have experience in “kicking cripples”?

      •  Bullshit HoP; the media and the Left would rightly come down on Smith like a ton of bricks if he contracted outside the law. He is bound by Speaker’s directions.

      • Andyg

         Idiot!!. How will notetaking assist her to hear the many voices and interjections coming from different areas of the room. Can she really fully participate at that level. Will all other members have to slow their speaking and speak in turns so her asisstant can type what individuals are saying?, and how will she comprehend the members” tones. She will be also be unfairly advantaged, becaase other members will be reluctant to interject for fear of being accusisng of attacking (in your words) a cripple.

  • Troy

    This is all getting a bit boring – shows the ineptness of the green turds in putting up a candidate without putting much thought into it – i’m guessing they thought they had absolute right to taxpayers money to fund an extra person to be in parliament for this list MP.  Frankly i’ve had a gutsfull of the Greens but unfortunately we all have to put with these twits for 3 years.

    • Pete George

      I’m not sure you’re right, I suspect the Greens have put a lot of thought into this since recruiting Mathers.

  • Callum

    I think some people are taking what the government (or any other employer) should be funding way too far. Maybe employers should have to pay for seeing eye drivers for blind bus drivers? I mean it is clear discrimination against blind people not to.
    Debating in the chamber should only be a small part of her job, if she seriously needs a note taker then it should be funded from her or her parties existing budget.

  • LesleyNZ

    What is wrong with Mojo lip reading “Parliament TV” from a screen in front of her – or if it has teletext – read the teletext? The Greens are deliberately being difficult to prove a point.

    • MNZ

      Parliament TV doesn’t have teletext (also referred to as captioning or subtitles) – and lip reading is not an accurate or effective means of understanding spoken english.  Especially when it is shouted.

      • MrV

        If the Hansard is transcribed in real time, perhaps that feed could be linked to her laptop. Although I assume the transcription doesn’t record all interjects/mumbling/Winstons drunken rambles/Mallard tantrums etc

      • Andyg

         Good Point . So how will notetaking help her to comprehend the tones in the voices of other speakers, or even help her participate in a candid full flowing debate where interjections are commonplace. Perhaps all the speakers can slow  their speaking and speak one at a time so she doesn’t miss out out on any comments.

  • Ksoh103

    Heres a thought, all of you who have ideas about how this can be sorted, contact the Speaker. He seems to be struggling quiet a bit on this issue, with even the PM not backing him. So I am sure Lockwood will be greatful for any advice you can give him.

    • Guestosterone

      sorry, did you say you want the prime minister to support/comment on the actions of the speaker in this issue..?

  • kevin

    Maybe the Greens could put up a blind candidate as well? Just to cover the bases.

    • Pete George

       Next could be a Pinball Wizard.

    • Grandstream

      Just wait, they are going for a full set or minorities,  however they seem a little top heavy with Retarded members at the moment !

    • Stevo

      I’m sure they had one of each and every sort on their electoral television advertisments before the election.

    • Andyg

       A blind person would actually be able to participate at a much higher level than Mojo. They develop accute hearing so would not miss any voices or thier tones, and would be able to speak and respond candidly and in a timely manner. Even a person without limbs would be able to better participate in a somewhat aggressive environment where hearing and timely response is most important. 

  • While you are fuzzing around the costs to getting ONE person equipped in Parliament, think about the 400,000 others with a hearing loss that will benefit from this as well.

    How many of you listen to Parliament TV or radio in real time? What would you do if that was taken away? 400,000 Kiwi’s don’t have the privilege of accessing Parliament via TV or Radio. They have to wait for transcripts way later or second hand information to be relayed to them.

    Parliament TV is not subtitled, Lipreading 400 words per minute is insane…

    This has been a long time dream of mine to see Parliament become truly accessible for many. Instead of making ‘excuses’ make this become a reality so every voter, taxpayer and citizen with a hearing-loss can participate is ‘Genuine Democracy’.

    After every General Election – I have fronted up to the Justice and Electoral Select Committees asking ‘What is Democracy?’ and ‘Are Elections a Beauty Contest’?

    The bottom line is… just DO it! Stop making excuses or giving waffled explanations. 400,000 Kiwis will be grateful if this happens and I would appreciate the support of everyone too. 

    • Honcho

      Yeah, thats right on!!!

      Lets give a tenth of the population their own assistants!! Its the only way to be fair!!

    • Pete George

      You’re right, it shouldn’t be all about Mathers, it shouldn’t all about Greens, it should be all about all those who might benefit (and I suspect that won’t be just from within the 400,000).

    • Roland

      Sorry Kim I don’t buy it that the 700,000 hearing
      impaired people in New Zealand desperately want to hear the parliamentary
      debates – most of us would only tune into them when there was an item of
      interest – I would think that the deaf community would rather see that $30,000
      put to use in schools or other training groups for the hearing impaired
      community – it is unbelievable for that kind of money to be spent on one
      UNELECTED MP.  It was up to the Greens
      Party to resolve this before Mojo was put into parliament.  I am in the East of Christchurch and never saw
      or heard from Mojo Mathers prior to her appointment.  Having said that I do wish her well in her quest.

      •  What if John Key needs this system if he went Deaf? Would you be saying the same thing? Or any of your favourite ‘Elected’ MPs happen to lose their hearing overnight?

        Investing 30,000 into this system will do far more to benefit this large number of people that need access. You can give us so much education, but yet, we still need ACCESS to health, employment, legal, politics, social aspects of life.

        Sullir, its time to think outside of your box – I suggest pay Deaf Aotearoa of NZ office in Chch a visit. You might get to meet Jeremy the Sign Language Guy or Elevyn the Sign Language Lady. Having them both on TV during the earthquakes was god-sent and invaluable to get information on what to do, where to go etc. It took the Cabinet to order the TV station to put them on when the TV channels were reluctant to.

      • Hakim of phut

        Sullir , your patronising attitudes sum it all up –
        I dont..
        I think…
        I am…
        BTW she was elected not appointed

    • In Vino Veritas

      Sorry Kim, but if 400,000 deafies are concerned about not listening to Parliament, then they are not only hearing impaired, they are intellectually impaired. Either that or the suicide rate amongst the hearing impaired would go up significantly.

      And before you get all holier than thou, my dad is deaf as a post, and when I communicate this stuff, he laughs his arse off. He may have lost his hearing, but he hasn’t lost his sense of humour.

    • Andyg

       Are you really suggesting that all people with hearing loss are really interested in participating in Government. I think you’ll find most use their time in other ways more important to them. I have short legs and small feet, and don’t get hung up on the fact that I will never be an olympic swimmer. Why is it that disabled people think they are owed the right to box above their weight. We are all limited in some way or another, and I think we need to accept that some people are more able to participate in areas of society at higher levels than others .

    • Andyg

       So how will she participate if she can’t lipread 400 words a minute. Are you suggesting that her “equipment” will be able to type 400 words a minute, in such a way that Mojo will comprehend the tones of the voices, and be able to repond in a timely manner with her own interjections. Its a cruel game the Greens are playng at her expense. Perhaps all the members can stop interjecting, and speak slowly, and one at a time so she can participate at her pace. And perhaps you will not think badly of other members if they treat her as an equal and interject and ridicule her with the full vigure that they interject and ridicule others.

  • By the way – some of the comments I’ve seen yesterday and today are so sickening, many of them reinforce the prejudices in this country. People with disabilities are not your ‘play toys’ to toss around while you re-jig budgets to fund your fancy trips… we are people too.

    • Sullir

      Kim I have been closely involved with the deaf in both Auckland and Christchurch.  I live in the East of Christchurch and never once saw or heard antyhing of Mojo Mathers until she appearee in parliament – I believe that the signers do a truly amazing job and their contribution during the earthquakes was absolutely inspiring -but  that is quite different to paying $30,000 to support one hearing imparied MP why not spend that mone on the schools on training? .  Incidentally you do have subtitled news on TV1 don’t you?  What do you think of that service?

      • AnonWgtn

        She worked for the Greenpeace Party in Parliament in Wellington, that is why you never heard of her.

      • Sullir

        Kim I was referring to her visibility of lack of when she was supposedly campaigning for the Christchurch East seat. Sorry but I truly think this is an orchestrated stratefgic move by the Greens Party on the day of her maiden speech.- very shabby.

    • kevin

      WP seems to be disabled in some way judging by his recent performances, maybe he needs an at hand interpreter? The comments he issues are incomprehensible.

    • Grandstream

      Take it up with Rusty Moron (Norman), they are the ones who are insighting this debate.  If they actually have a rats-arse they would have funded this out of their share of their funding.  Do we see Labour asking for more money for Bellamys to feed Parakura, for once no ! 

  • nzd.gbp

    The rule should be that the only reason an MP is disadvantaged in parliament is because of brain power. All technical impediments should be the responsibility of the venue provider. I wouldn’t care if a brain turned up in a jar as long as it had something worthwhile to add.

  • Hakim of phut

    Explaining is losing Whale….. one of your mantras.

    • Anonymous

      this must be the third time in recent weeks I’ve seen you explaining to Whale that “explaining is losing”…….

  • Gazzaw

    Oh FFS what’s the issue here. The Greens have been given a $5.64 milion budget to handle parliamentary expenses. What the fuck is this if it isn’t a parliamentary expense.

    The denigration of Lockwood Smith is a disgrace. Ask most MPs of whatever political persuasion and you will be told that not only is he one of the best Speakers in recent history but also an extremely decent & fair-minded person.

    • Peter Wilson

      It’s a democratic issue, enabling legitimately elected MPs to do their job. Unless, of course, we should turn back the clock on all help for disabled people. On this, I’d side with the Greens and I suspect someone is having a quiet word with Lockwood as we speak.

      • Sullir

        You don’t realise that this lady has worked for the GREENS Party for some five years so it can’t possibly have been anything she did not know that government would not fund this extra support  — and just heard on the radio saying that the psrty funds were to help her support her constituency – and where would that be, as she is a list MP not elected by voters. This is typical of the Green Party usually half the story and usually not entirely true.  I reckon the Greens are trying it on.

      • Bafacu

        A point of clarification – she wansn’t elected – the party appointed her to one of the positions it’s (non-electorate) votes enabled it to.

        If PS provide the tools all the Greens need to do is operate those tools under their budget – that’s what it’s there for, and I understand tat PS have provided those tools requested to the point of modification of the software to account for some (perceived) shortcomings.

      • MrV

        Are you functioning?

        1. All list MPs get (incl. Greens) 80/hr/week for support staff.
        Mojo requires~1000/hrs/year help.

        2. Speaker said normal practice is for MPs with unused hours to donate them to those that need extra.

        3. If after that she still needs more hours he will speak to Parliamentary Services & govt regarding an appropriation for more hours and to look investigate new rules for this circumstance.

        Where is the problem?
        All I see is a crude hatchetjob on the speaker who has actually gone about this in a dilligent way.

  • Hakim of phut

    An even better idea, give all MPs  access to the ‘electronic notes’ .
    Just as when an MP speaks in Maori a translator appears  to provide an English version , this could be done on the screens all MPs  would have.

    As well it might improve the debates.

    • Anonymous

      Excellent idea, better still make these notes available on the internet for everyone to cure insomnia.

  • Peter Wilson

    I would say this is a little different than simple employment.I guess deaf people would say they have disadvantages we should all help with.

    If an ordinary business looked to employ someone similar, I guess they would try and see if the person was worth it. In this case the employer (us, taxpayers) have decided yes, since we have voted her in, much the same as “we” voted in national.

  • Sullir

    Hakim of phut  – Mojo Mathers was not elected into Christchurch East Lianne Dalziel LABOUR polled 17,969, Aaron Gilmore NATIONAL) polled 12.204 and Mojo Mathers GREENS polled 1,843 – that does not look preferred or elected to me?  Total vote was 34,220.

    • Peter Wilson

      What nonsense. How much did Finlayson get in Mirimar?

      • Sullir

        No idea, I thought we were discussing Mojo Mathers and Christchurch East elections?  What has Miramar got to doing with anything?

      • Peter Wilson

        Sullir. Apologies if I have this wrong, but….

        Aren’t you implying she’s not a real MP because she wasn’t voted in by her electorate, and “sneaked in on the list.” I agree totally with that, but that’s another issue, MMP.  But you can’t apply that logic to her and not to others. Finlayson is a highly ranked cabinet minister yet couldn’t even convince mirimar voters to elect him.

      • He wasn’t elected either…List MPs are appointed…by their party.

    • Hakim of phut

      ALL MPs are elected , some in an electorate some elected from the list , you know the list we all vote for !
      So is no more appointed than the Speaker himself

      • Honcho

        Most voters in NZ dont know who are on the lists.

  • Sullir

    Peter Wilson – Not I am not implying anything like that – I simply wish to point out the voter numbers in Christchurch East did not elect Mojo Mathers into Parliament so she cannot be called an “elected” MP she is a list MP put in place by the Greens Party.

  • Auto_immune

    It would require a rejig of budget and process, but couldn’t this be paid from reappropriating hansard funding?  They’re going to be transcribing this stuff anyway; the electronic notetaker could provide hansard’s first drafts?

    • kevin

       Yes,  just flick a copy of all debates to her next (working) day… no prob?

      • Hakim of phut

        Like when an MP speaks in Maori, they can read it next day ?

  • Peter Wilson

    It’s all just nonsense. Change the law, or regulate, whatever. They’re good at that. Just make it possible for a deaf person to be an MP.

    • Guestosterone

      it is not nonsense.

      as you go on to say “Change the law, or regulate, whatever”

      calling the existing situation nonsense is just grandstanding along with all the other fact-ignoring bleating

  • Euan Rt

    For me the problem is giving Mojo her own personal assistant. Surely the hansard’s shorthand can be converted to longhand instantaneously by a bit of software and screened for Mojo and for any one who wants to read it on the parliamentary telecast. I must be missing something?

  • Agent BallSack

    Okay if you need glasses to read in Parliament does it come out of the PS budget? Of course it doesn’t, you pay for them yourself. MM should be expected to provide what she needs for work and if she can’t do the job, then move her down the list and get someone  who can.

    • nzd.gbp

      What about microphones and speakers? or wheelchair ramps? or chairs? Your view is that the difficulty is hers alone so she should pay for it? Ok then, she should be able to get up and speak in uninterpreted sign language. If you have a problem with that then pay for your own interpreter.

      • Agent BallSack

        With all this furore over ‘NZs first deaf MP’ are deaf people getting good or bad publicity do you think? How many people will see this and think ‘Fuck that, hiring a deaf person is too much of a mission’. Is she really that disabled? I know a profoundly deaf person and they have no problem understanding and interacting with the world around them. IMO she is giving deaf people a bad rap.

      • Agent BallSack

        I agree deaf people should be catered to in all aspects of society and in general they are, but I wonder where does it stop? What’s the Greens next step? NZ’s first Cerebal Palsy MP? First MP in a vegetative state? Oh wait we have Winston. Parliament is a place where the ability to understand quickly and riposte is essential. Can she not be of more use to the Greens in some other role? Then you think of the rabble rousing and interjections on the floor, will all this be translated? How many people would be required?

      • nzd.gbp

        I couldn’t give a flying fuck for any other person’s opinion of deaf people. If anything I think that deaf kiwis are probably inspired by her willingness to get amongst it and I hope that deafness is never considered an impediment to participation. We are talking about parliament here. The place where there should be NO impediment to holding the government to account. 

  • Andy

    What is all this fuss about?
    The problem is not with the note taking system it’s with extra funding ( above the 80 hrs per week) she already gets.
    The speaker clearly state that he could not authorize the fundig without getting it approved by the expenditure comittee first ( he would break the law otherwise).
    He also stated that he will take it to the comittee next month ( March).

    • Agent BallSack

      As any opposition speaker would have to rule, also. Rules are there to stop this very sort of thing happening, without due course. 

      • nzd.gbp

        there is no such thing as an opposition speaker.

      • Agent BallSack

        You should read the Wiki before you make generalisations.

        In 1993, Peter Tapsell (a member of the Labour Party) was backed by the National Party for the same reason. Bill Barnard, who had been elected Speaker in 1936, resigned from the Labour Party in 1940 but retained his position 

      • Agent BallSack

        Also I meant a Speaker from Labour. 

      • nzd.gbp

        The main attribute required by the speaker is neutrality. The party they are in is unrelated to their role as speaker. Margaret Wilson seemed to have forgotten this extremely important point but it is true none the less.

      • nzd.gbp

        I should have said “some speakers seem to have forgotten this…”. Mustn’t name names now.

      • Agent BallSack

        I think Lockwood Smith is in a hard position. He’s bound by rules and so far there is no precedent. He can’t break parliamentary law, and if he did then Labour would have his guts for garters, to use an old expression. Perhaps PS Meeting can be held under urgency? Not too sure on that.

  • timboh

    Each party is given a lot of money to pay for support. Mather said on RNZ this morning when asked why she or the Greens don’t use some of this for what she wants. Her answer was that that money was for her constituent work. She wasn’t asked who here constituents were geing a list MP.

  • Greg M

    This whole thing is PC bullshit.There are some jobs some people can’t do, and shouldn’t apply for.
    How many deaf air traffic controllers are there ? How many blind ship’s officers are there ?
    ( Apart from the three on Rena)

    • ConwayCaptain

      Bugger you got there before me!!!! and the CC

  • Blair Mulholland

     My understanding is that NZ Sign Language is an official language of New Zealand.  That would require a deaf interpreter to be present in parliament and on call at all times, as a Maori interpreter is now.

    I fail to see how anything else would be required for Ms Mathers, and she should stop being a whiny bitch.

    • Peter Wilson

      Now that I agree with. A sign language person is all she needs, which I think should be provided anyway at parliament, or do they have subtitles on TV? And what about deaf people in public galleries? Personally i think sign language should be on the news at least. Subtitles are a poor substitute for an official language.

      I anti PC as much as anyone, but you want to keep your powder dry sometimes and remember that being anti PC is sometimes an excuse for retaining the status quo, and your own interest in retaining the power that comes with keeping things as they are.

  • Agent BallSack

    My main issue with the reasoning is: ‘Its hard to take notes and lip read at the same time’ – Well they invented shorthand 50 years ago for that very purpose. How much is a course in shorthand? Bet its a damn sight less than 30 thousand dollars.

    EDIT: That should be for a very similar purpose

  • Phar Lap

    Seems Winston Peters is suffering from a hearing complaint.In the past i have watched him use sign language by way of a big board saying NO !Also when asked where is the money owed to the taxpayer to the tune of $158,000 ,he refuses to answer. Perhaps he could get the same consideration as the” Green” Stooge Mathers.

  • AnonWgtn

    Once again the Greens have bamboozled the media very sucessfully, the day before Mojo Mather was to make her maiden speech.
    Keeps Labour in the dark (black actually).

  • thor42

    I have it on very good authority (from a reliable source) that Parliamentary Services have been running around left, right and centre for Mathers. What it comes down to is that this is just a publicity-stunt by the Greens. A storm in a teacup. 

    • Rpland

      I have just watched Mojo on Closeup and I can see that she would be demanding and very tiring.

  • Bobm (ex RNZN and Angry Croc)

    News Flash, ” The Royal New Zealand Ballet has applied for special assistance to allow them to employ leg-less dancers. This is all in the cause of being accessible to all.”

  • kevin

    It’s all about cheap point scoring by the Greens. Mojo is just a pawn in their game.

  • Bob

    This is a complete beat up by the Greens, the way they attacked The Speaker was so obviously planned, they must have been winding themselves up over it for weeks waiting for the opportunity to go all loud and obnoxious over this, such a load of crap.

    She is a Green list MP, they knew she was deaf when they put her on the list, knew she was deaf when they got enough votes to have her in Parliment, knew she was deaf after she has been working for/with them for years, it’s a Green party problem and they should sort and fund it themselves not look for another handout.

    But then I suppose that’s the Greens all over… whine, whinge, wail and cry, make a big deal, call everyone intollerent and anti the disabled who disagree with them, demand more money from the magic money pile by right and ignore where it comes from, pack of wankers all of them.