Day: November 11, 2019

Oranga Tamariki blundered in Hawke’s Bay, true – but that’s no reason to disqualify it from dealing with family violence

Point of Order

 The strong whiff of “treaty” politicking has accompanied the intense scrutiny of Oranga Tamaraki in recent months, including the Waitangi Tribunal’s announcing an urgent inquiry into the child protection agency’s practices towards Māori children.

No-one, curiously, seems much bothered about the agency’s practices towards other children.

Oranga Tamariki staffers certainly invited closer scrutiny when they tried to take a baby from her mother in Hawke’s Bay in May, a bungled operation that was the subject of a Newsroom investigation.  This prompted howls of outrage, cries of institutional racism and the calling of national hui.

The tribunal’s Chief Judge Wilson Issac  said:

“I conclude there are sufficient grounds for an urgent inquiry into a specific contemporary issue concerning a risk of significant and irreversible prejudice to Māori arising from current Oranga Tamariki policy and practice.”

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November 11, 1918: Emperor Karl of Austria-Hungary and the end of the Habsburg Monarchy.

European Royal History

Karl I (Karl Franz Joseph Ludwig Hubert Georg Otto Maria; August 17, 1887 – April 1, 1922) was the last Emperor of Austria, the last King of Hungary (as Karl IV), last King of Bohemia (as Karl III), and the last monarch belonging to the House of Habsburg-Lorraine before the dissolution of Austria-Hungary.

Karl, Emperor of Austria and King of Bohemia

Karl was born August 17, 1887 in the Castle of Persenbeug in Lower Austria. His parents were Archduke Otto Franz of Austria and Princess Maria Josepha of Saxony. At the time, his granduncle Franz Joseph reigned as Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary. Upon the death of Crown Prince Rudolph in 1889, the Emperor’s brother, Archduke Karl Ludwig, was next in line to the Austro-Hungarian throne. However, his death in 1896 from typhoid made his eldest son, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the new heir presumptive.


In 1911, Archduke Karl…

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Shiiiiiit: The how and why of swearing in TV series

Strong Language

This is a guest post by Monika Bednarek, a linguist who has extensively analyzed US TV series. She is the author of Language and Television Series and the editor of Creating Dialogue for TV, a collection of interviews with Hollywood screenwriters. She has created a companion website at and tweets at @corpusling.

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The use of swear words in US TV series attracts a lot of attention. There are those who revel in creating mash-ups of swearing, and there are those who monitor and oppose swearing (like the Parents Television Council). Rules by the Federal Communications Commission restrict the broadcasting of profane and indecent speech to the evening and night and forbid obscene speech. But these rules don’t apply to subscription-based television such as cable or streaming services. Elsewhere I’ve looked at how frequent swearing is, but here I want to approach swearing…

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No Punches Pulled

“Totally Inappropriate”, proclaimed Auckland Mayor Phil Goff about Shane Jones’s response to an Indian migrant’s complaint about the Immigration Department. But inappropriate to what? Phil didn’t tell us, instead preferring to jump on the current fashionable bandwagon, led by the Indian community, with the wearingly wrong cries of racism and hate speech.

It transpired the Department had declined the migrant’s application to bring in an arranged marriage potential bride he’d never met. The Department declined permission for the excellent reason that the rules required it to do so. Specifically, couples must have lived together for a year before their migration applications can be considered.

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No Discretion: On Royal Assent and the Governor General

James Bowden's Blog


Under our system of responsible government, the Sovereign or Governor General exercises his prerogative powers on the advice of the Crown-in-Council, and his constitutional powers relating to Parliament on the advice of the Prime Minister alone. Responsible government means that “Ministers of the Crown are responsible for acts of the Crown” and responsible to the House of Commons.[1] The Sovereign or Governor General acts as a neutral figure and remains above partisan politics. The Prime Minister is the Governor General’s principle constitutional advisor, and while his government commands the confidence of the House, the Governor General must carry out the Prime Minister’s advice. Under no circumstances can the Leader of the Opposition, the leader of the third opposition party, or any other government or opposition backbencher offer legitimate, binding constitutional advice to the Governor General.

The Crown-in-Parliament (Tidridge 2011, 63)

We must also situation this constitutional relationship between…

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