Tagged: Parliament

Cabinet vs Shadow Cabinet: the identity politics

Just because I’m a numbers nerd, here’s a breakdown of a few key factors in the National and Labour top 20.

The Labour list is taken from here; National from here.

Gender, identity and bumping uglies

Labour’s lineup is 35% women, 100% cisgendered, 15% queer.

National is 30% women, 100% cisgendered, 5% queer.

Race and origins

Labour is 20% Māori, 5% Pasifika and 75% Pākehā.  One MP was born overseas (Su’a William Sio).

National is 15% Māori, including Paula Bennett and Simon Bridges, whose Māori ancestry is mentioned in their Wikipedia articles.  One MP was born overseas (Tim Groser).


Labour is 60% electorate MPs, and three were born in their electorate or thereabouts – Damien O’Connor, David Parker (having formerly held Otago), Chris Hipkins.

National is 80% electorate MPs, and six were born in their electorate or thereabouts – Gerry Brownlee, Anne Tolley, Nathan Guy, Chris Tremain, Nikki Kaye, and, technically, Bill English.


As far as I can tell, all 40 are currently able-bodied.

17 out of 20 on Labour’s list and 18 out of 20 on National’s have a university education.  Both parties have two members with a stint at Harvard mentioned on their Wikipedia page:  David Cunliffe, Shane Jones, John Key and Hekia Parata.

Does that make you think?

Rino Tirikatene in the Hooooooouse

Literally!  And taking it to Dr Pita Sharples, who gave answers so not-on-the-topic that Lady Gardiner couldn’t have done better.

Long may Rino Tirikatene ask Shane Jones’ questions for him.

See also: Morgan Godfery – Symbolism vs substance: is the Maori Party doing anything?


This not-really-a-post brought to you by my flubbing the scheduling, which meant two went up last night.

Parenting and politics just don’t mix!

This week, we’ve seen some really clear examples of how parenting and politics don’t mix.

Nanaia Mahuta, MP for Hauraki-Waikato, had to take her five-month-old baby into the debating chamber late on a Friday night because 8 of her Labour colleagues apparently had far more important things to attend and no one told Chris Hipkins that this government likes to ram things through under urgency right after the Budget.

And Holly Walker, list MP for the Greens, has received kindly, compassionate words of advice from a constituent who wanted to remind her silly ladybrain that it’s a terrible, terrible crime for her to be pregnant while elected.

Mahuta and Walker just don’t understand.  Politics and parenting doesn’t mix.  They’d be well advised to look to role models like the Prime Minister, who understood that because he chose to have a son who attends a prestigious private boys’ school and chose to become leader of our country, he needed to set priorities and remember he can’t just demand that politics accommodates his choice to have children.

Which is why he didn’t attend his son’s overseas baseball game when it clashed with the funeral of two New Zealand soldiers.

Wait, no, the other way round.

Now, the thing is that Key did get some blowback for that choice – but because it was seen as a matter of his priorities, and the fucked-up-ness thereof, not because John Key’s choice to be a father is inherently in conflict with his choice to run for office.

All Mahuta has asked is that we reconsider Parliamentary rules laid down in the dawn of time when the notion of a woman MP would have been mindblowing – much less a breastfeeding parent MP.  All Walker has asked is that we, um, accept the existence of her pregnancy, and presumably make the same allowances that all working pregnant people should receive, because (a) pregnant people deserve basic human rights and dignity and (b) pregnant people are just kinda ensuring the propagation of our species and the creation of future taxpayers who are going to support all your judgemental asses in retirement thanks to this government’s short-sighted bullshit suspending payments to the Cullen Fund.

Yet apparently this is completely inconceivable, despite the point (raised on Walker’s Facebook thread) that it’s meant to be the House of fucking Representatives.  And pregnant people and breastfeeding people and parenting people deserve some fucking representation too, and if they cannot be accommodated by the institution which governs all our lives, where the fuck will they be accommodated?


Addendum: I note with raised eyebrow the National Council of Women‘s tweet on the matter.  Read it how you willETA: apparently just a case of sloppy editing.  My raised eyebrow stands.

Would you look at that?

So having been told quite a bit recently that no one really cares about abortion as an issue in NZ and why don’t we prochoice women just shut up and get to the back of the manifesto where we belong, wouldn’t you know it but a bunch of awesome Kiwi bloggers managed to put together one hell of a blogswarm for World Health Day, hosted at The Hand Mirror.

My three faves are from Octavia, La Ranita and Deborah but there’s pa-lenty of other awesome reading.

And then, would you believe, there was actually an abortion-related vote in Parliament, regarding the Abortion Supervisory Committee, which even got honest-to-goodness mainstream media coverage thanks to Tariana Turia being an antichoice douchewad.  Hat tip to Morgan at Maui Street.

No Right Turn does his usual stellar work with the facts and figures on the vote, which split somewhat fascinatingly along almost-clear party lines, with National being the only divided party.

The basic take-home is that 70 MPs are sufficiently pro-choice that they won’t support appointing an avowed antichoicer to the Abortion Supervisory Committee.  It’s hardly an overwhelming statement of support of women’s right to make their own health decisions, but it’s also a pretty obvious sign that the majority of MPs, whether for personal or political-sensitivity reasons, will not erode the status quo.

It’s a fucking start.

Socially-aware kids threaten masculinist family paradigms

[TW: family violence, dehumanisation of children, Bob McCoskrie]

Bob McCoskrie’s boner has reared its ugly purple head again, for the right of parents to treat their children like mindless chattels is being threatened … by the little shits themselves.

You see, Bob and his boner commissioned what I’m sure was a totally neutral and bias-averse poll … from Curia … about our vile anti-twisting-the-law-to-excuse-beating-your-children-with-jug-cords laws.

And apparently:

An independent poll has found that almost a third of parents of younger children say that their children have threatened to report them if they were smacked.

I’m guessing the notion of “so don’t smack your kids” or even “so don’t smack your kids to the extent the Police feel compelled to investigate you” or even “don’t do anything worse than this dude who managed to get acquitted, for fuck’s sake” is so utterly alien to Bob that of course he decided it was somehow cause for panic that under-12s can be mouthy bastards who also sometimes watch the news.

“These are disturbing findings, and shows just how damaging the anti-smacking law has been to parents trying their hardest to raise great kids”

And by “parents trying their hardest to raise kids” Bob actually means “parents who are so fucking insecure they instinctively resort to violence against children when their authority is challenged”.

“By passing the anti-smacking law, [politicians] have completely undermined the authority of good parents and given children a weapon to use against their parents.”


And what’s this “weapon”, again?  Oh right, the ability to have the Police investigate whether a parent’s “discipline” has crossed a line which even this fucker managed not to cross in the eyes of a jury.

We were not surprised that the level of opposition to the law remains.

[Because “we” have spent a year broadcasting misinformation from “our” basement.]

This was a highly flawed law opposed by an overwhelming majority of NZ’ers, yet rammed through parliament by politicians who were more concerned with their respective party leader’s mandate and the interference of the UN.

Funny, I didn’t release that the 113 MPs who voted in favour of the third reading of Bradford’s bill were all from a single UN-sympathetic party.  I am so not up with modern politics the way Bob is.

I note with some dismay that the sky has not yet fallen …

… nor has there been a marked rise in calves born with two heads or other such examples of fantastic Apocalyptic imagery.

Yes, it’s been five whole years now since the enactment of my favourite piece of legislation from our government, the Prostitution Reform Act.* First, a little retrospective: the amazing Georgina Beyer‘s fantastic, inspiring speech during the Parliamentary debate:

It provides people like me at that time with some form of redress for the brutalisation that might happen when a client pulls a knife. The horror of that situation is that it could be a life and death one—one does not know—but it would have been nice to know that instead of having to deal out justice afterwards to that person myself, I might have been able to approach the authorities—the police in this case—and say: “I was raped, and, yes, I’m a prostitute, and, no, it was not right that I should have been raped, because I said no, and it was not paid attention to.”

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