Archives for April 2023 | Josie Pagani



The Hoon, 28 April 2023

Josie joined Bernard Hickey and Peter Bale on the Hoon.

Watch the whole thing, but Josie is on from about the 50-minute mark.

Watch here.

Let the candidate Hunger Games begin

Usually, we get only endoscopic glimpses of party sororicide before the vanquished are made to stand behind the leader, smiling that quintessential political smile that hasn't connected with their eyes since last July. Mostly thanks to all the broken high heels and shoving in the Green Party, this year's candidate rankings look more like 3am on Courtenay Place. Their co-leaders have been displaying that other political smile you get by sucking air through your teeth, as more members and staff tell their Elizabeth Kerekere stories to media.

Labour candidates will be required to agree that nothing important happened before February 2023. “Let's Do This” is now “Let's do something else”. The “Policy Bonfire” is on the bonfire, replaced by the more toothsome “bread and butter” issues. At $8.50 a block of butter, can I suggest they drop the metaphors completely and just promise to make bread and butter cheaper.

Christopher Luxon's handlers will be worried that he delivers every statement as if his next one is going to be “And the workshop on Corporate Synergy begins in 2 hours”. National continues to make itself the smallest target possible, worried Labour will steal its ideas, which is like worrying that Labour will steal Luxon's comb.

Josie's Stuff column is here.

Never mind co-governance. Show us the money

The refreshingly frank local government minister, Kieran McAnulty, said some aspects of the Treaty are not fully democratic. I think he meant to distinguish the Treaty from a definition of democracy that means everything belongs to whoever has the most votes. In modern democracies ‘majoritarianism’ is not fully democratic because a full democracy protects the rights of minorities.

One indisputably protected right guaranteed to Māori in the Treaty is “full, exclusive and undisturbed possession” of stuff they owned in 1840, which is awkward, really, for the way things have been run since.

Controversy about ‘co-governance’, or whatever we call it, zeroes in on a slightly different point. Non-Māori who are happy to return to Māori control over, say, their land and forests, are vexed by Māori having a say in the provision of “my own water or health care”. It’s understandable, not racist, they say, to ask why representatives who are not accountable to me should have a say in services for me.

The reason we do it is that we have to muddle through now, not as if we are in 1840. Separatism would be worse than sharing control over shared resources, so any government will have to share governance of water. Those who tell the public otherwise will eventually disappoint voters with promises they can’t keep.

Josie's Stuff column is here.

The Huddle: Shooting cats, water and tax

Josie was back on Newstalk ZB's The Huddle talking, The annual North Canterbury Hunting Competition encouraging under 14's to kill feral cats, John Tamihere saying that Māori own New Zealand's water and a new report says New Zealand's wealthiest people are paying their fair share of taxes.

Banning hate speech doesn’t get rid of hate

Nadine Strossen is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. She hates Nazis more than she loves free speech. Over coffee, she told me her mission is to get rid of the hate, not the speech. She has spent decades looking at hate speech through history, and found no evidence that banning it reduces hate. As the former head of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), an author and a law professor, she would know.

New Zealand's draft hate speech legislation has been put in the freezer, for now. Extending the Human Rights Act to cover hate speech against religion and politics was a well-intentioned response to the Christchurch shooting. But it is bad law. The first red flag was the Government's inability to define hate speech. ”You know it when you see it,” the former prime minister said.

You don’t know it when you see it. One person’s hate speech is another’s just cause. Words cannot define precisely enough what is a subjective concept. “Hate is an emotion after all,” says Strossen. “No two thinking people can possibly agree on what is hateful and what is not.”

Josie's Stuff column is here.

Health system in crisis

Those of us who believe in public service and want the public health system to work should be the strongest advocates for making it efficient and effective. When we leave it to the opponents of public service to point out its failings, we leave a false choice between a private model and a failing public one.

Campbell’s critique of Te Whatu Ora starts by pointing out that the problem to which it is the solution is ill-defined. Yet problems in health are obvious: There is a chronic lack of GPs, hospital doctors and nurses, waiting lists are long, there is unequal provision of services to Māori and Pasifika.

Josie's column is here.

Who represents the working class?

Working class voices are absent in our politics. That’s a problem for all of us.

Political elites don’t talk about the working class anymore. That’s a problem, whether you’re on the left or the right. Because any political system should look like the nation it governs.

If a group of people don’t see themselves – or their concerns – represented in their parliament, trust in government declines. Our country gets more divided.

See Josie's video on The Common Room here.

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