Jul 242014
 

If you or I aviation secbroke aviation security laws we would  be arrested. Why wasn’t Brownlee?

We all know that these days aviation security laws are some of the most strict we face.  Breaching them, like leaving an airport to board a plane through a doorway other than the official one would result in immediate arrest and severe penalties – in fact in the USA or UK you may very well be shot on the spot.

Why does the Minister of Transport himself, with the Prime Minister of NZ’s support,  think he can breach them and get away with it?

 

 Posted by at 9:07 am
Jul 212014
 
nz debt

Image from openyoureyes.org.nz Note debt has increased by another $30 billion!

When John ‘Casino’ Key took power, NZ was in $20 billion of overseas debt – it is now in over $82 billion, and rising!

See the NZ Debt Clock HERE

 

National Party = DEBT due to incompetence

 

 

 Posted by at 1:07 am
Jul 082014
 

John Key - Small Class Sizes 

    Need I say more?  

 

 Of course National (other than John Key who has already admitted smaller class sizes are better – as per photo) are saying their policy of paying a handful of teachers and principals, many of whom are apparently going to be selected because they are anti-union, thousands more in salary somehow is better for childrens’ education.  Yeah, right.

   With National having no plans to improve education for Kiwi Kids, and Opposition parties having plans that will help Kiwi Kids – all caring parents this election will party vote for opposition parties, and ignore National’s incompetent lack of good policy. 

 

 

 

Teachers hail Labour schools policy (article from Hawkes Bay Today)

On first glance, Labour’s new education policies are a step in the right direction, says a Hawke’s Bay principal.

At its election year Congress at the weekend, Labour announced education policies costing $850 million over four years, including reduced class sizes, hiring 2000 more teachers, increasing teacher quality, restricting school donations, and funding digital devices.

Under the policy centrepiece of reducing class sizes, primary school classes would drop from 29 students per teacher to 26 by 2016, and secondary school classes would drop to an average of 23 students per teacher by 2018.

William Colenso College principal Daniel Murfitt said reducing class sizes needed to happen alongside a shift from traditional teaching to more discursive teaching.

“So less of the teacher up the front disseminating knowledge to more being discursive, which means having a lot more interaction with students, providing a lot more feedback, getting students to bring their own prior learning into the classroom.

“For that to happen effectively, smaller class sizes are beneficial because you’re having a lot more one on one interaction.”

Hiring extra teachers would also make a difference as long as they were effective teachers, he said.

Mr Murfitt said funding digital devices was a positive move.

A Labour government would provide a $100 subsidy towards buying tablets or netbooks, with parents paying off the remainder at $3.50 a week.

The poorest families could call on a $5 million hardship fund to assist if they cannot afford payments or fall into arrears.

“It’s about equity and there are many students [whose] families can’t afford [digital devices], and in many places you’re getting those who have and those who haven’t,” he said.

Devices were “becoming a norm” in the classroom.

“I believe as a country we need to support all students to access the norm,” Mr Murfitt said.

Education Minister Hekia Parata said it was unnecessary to reduce class sizes, and last time a Labour government introduced the policy it made little difference to student achievement.

However, Labour’s policies have found favour with teacher unions and education groups.

New Zealand Educational Institute president Judith Nowotarski said yesterday Labour’s plan to introduce a more rigorous pre-screening programme for teacher education would go a long way to ensuring the “best and brightest” entered the profession.

“In recent years there has been virtually no oversight of teacher training and this has led to too many courses, too many students and not enough emphasis on quality.”

Labour’s policy was a welcome shift from National’s policy of “dumbing down” the teaching profession by allowing unqualified and unregistered people into charter schools and early childhood education, she said.

HAWKES BAY TODAY

 

 

 Posted by at 1:24 am
Jul 042014
 

shushing-key-300x235During an election year, amounts spent on advertising by Political Parties are carefully monitored and controlled.  The Electoral Commission is supposed to oversee spending, and ensure dishonest Political Parties like the National Party do not cheat.

This year has seen obvious ‘free advertising and marketing’ of the National Party by certain Mainstream Media Journalists heavily biased against all Opposition Parties and Pro National.  Obviously we always see some minor biases here an there in the media, and that can not be controlled, however this year it is extreme and obvious.  In fact some of the Mainstream Media ‘Journalists’ like some mainstream radio and television  personalities, and tabloid like newspapers  appear to be being fed information directly from National Party sources, and guided to attack Opposition Parties, particularly Labour. 

There has to be a major deep reaching investigation into these Journalists, and their links to the National Party.

It is NOT a fair election when one party is receiving almost non-stop promotion from Mainstream Media, even if it is by constant attacks on their opponents, while other Parties play by the rules and use their allocation of advertising funds.

Sign the petition to be forwarded to the Electoral Commission by the end of August.

***PLEASE NOTE:  After threats from Right Wing Journalists towards AverageKiwi, I have amended the wording of the petition.***

We Demand The NZ Electoral Commission Investigates Mainstream Media's Links to the National Party

During an election year, amounts spent on advertising by Political Parties are carefully monitored and controlled. The Electoral Commission is supposed to oversee spending, and ensure dishonest Political Parties like the National Party do not cheat.

This year has seen obvious 'free advertising and marketing' of the National Party by certain Mainstream Media Journalists heavily biased against all Opposition Parties and Pro National. Obviously we always see some minor biases here an there in the media, and that can not be controlled, however this year it is extreme and obvious. In fact some of the Mainstream Media 'Journalists' like some mainstream radio and television personalities, and tabloid like newspapers appear to be being fed information directly from National Party sources, and guided to attack Opposition Parties, particularly Labour.

There has to be a major deep reaching investigation into these Journalists, and their links to the National Party.

It is NOT a fair election when one party is receiving almost non-stop promotion from Mainstream Media, even if it is by constant attacks on their opponents, while other Parties play by the rules and use their allocation of advertising funds.

Sign the petition to be forwarded to the Electoral Commission by the end of August.

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614 signatures

Share this with your friends:

   

ensure you check your email after to confirm signature for your vote to be counted

Jun 212014
 

John Key, Barack Obama play golfkey golfWhile John Key and his son play golf with Obama in the USA, at the cost of the NZ Tax Payer…

250,000 children in poverty in NZ face another day with a hungry tummy, worn out clothes, broken shoes, and Parents who despair at not being able to provide for them to live healthy lives

20% of New Zealanders needing full time work are either unemployed, or work in Part Time or Casual employment because there are no full time jobs for them

Murders and violent crime steadily increase, as do Traffic Accidents as a Police Force faces yet another year with no increase in funding, and so continue to make cuts in front line services

Hospitals struggle to provide the services that New Zealanders need to stay alive, as funding is hundreds of millions below what is required to keep existing services going, let alone to improve them

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders passionate about keeping New Zealand’s coastline free from oil spills, and stopping endangered species like the Maui Dolphins being wiped out – are laughed at and ignored by the National Government who is granting Oil Exploration rights throughout the Country

Thousands in Christchurch face yet another week of living in a broken home, or no home at all, after waiting more than three years for action after the devastating Earthquakes

Regions outside of Auckland and Christchurch continue to die as the Government ignores them in favour of funding Billionaire Yacht Races, and giving multi-million dollar tax cuts to Hollywood Movie Makers

Nearly 50% of the Workforce in New Zealand worry how they will pay their bills after going years without pay raises, or getting a pay raise over 1% to 2%

But fear not, while John Key and his son play golf with Obama, and Key feeds his ego more and more – the anger and frustration with an ignorant, arrogant, dishonest and incompetent Government grows, as the Country nears a general election.

 

 Posted by at 8:41 am
Jun 012014
 

FASD warningHave you ever wondered why NZ has so many thousands of repeat offenders?  Those who repeat the same crime, over and over again, while we ask ourselves “Why don’t they get it?”  “Why doesn’t the punishment imposed make them realise they shouldn’t do it again, and again?”  You will find these same questions are often asked by the Parents and/or support people of someone not yet diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

Many people will know this disorder as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, but some years ago the name was changed to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) to include those who may only have minor effects to those who are effected to such a degree, performing the activities of daily living without support is nearly impossible.

In New Zealand, the rate of non-diagnosing, or mis-diagnosing FASD is alarmingly high.

The Evidence

Despite the mounds of evidence going back decades, and the World Health Organisation naming FASD as the ‘leading cause of preventable mental retardation (intellectual disability) in the Western World’ and numerous accounts and warnings from around the World about FASD (just a fraction listed below with links), New Zealand continues to all but ignore this plight that effects an unknown but likely high percentage of it’s population.

“The true rate of FASD in New Zealand therefore could be greater than 5%”

“Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder is the most common birth defect in South Africa, by far more common than Down syndrome and neural-tube defects combined,”

“Exposure to alcohol in utero is considered to be a leading cause of developmental disabilities of known causation.”

Estimates show as many as 1% of all children born in the USA may have FASD

“… the lifetime cost for an individual with FASD is about $2 million.”

Not only does this society destroying yet preventable syndrome get little to no recognition by the present and past Governments, incredibly some so-called ‘Health Professionals’, including many GPs, still tell people ‘it is ok to drink moderate amounts during pregnancy’, or even more shockingly that ‘FASD is not a real thing’!

Several years ago I was asked to speak at a conference about the effects of alcohol on the unborn child, with (due to my specialisation) particular focus on the behavioural and learning issues that these victims often have.  After I finished my talk, which included warning that there is “no known safe amount of alcohol a pregnant Woman can drink without it effecting her child, according to most research”, I learnt that (incredibly!) the Pediatrician speaking before me, who I had not heard, had just told the crowd of health professionals that (in her opinion) it was in fact ok to drink small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy!  This of course goes against all the evidence that shows (in layman’s terms)  ‘maybe your child will be ok, maybe your child will not be ok’, why take the chance?  What advice do you think the people in the crowd would have remembered?  Yes, most would remember what the “professional Pediatrician had said”, after all surely she is the expert?  Unfortunately when it comes to FASD, many of these ‘Professionals’ speak with a bias towards alcohol being ok to consume in pregnancy.  We can only wonder if the reason they do so is because of their own drinking habits, or those of their family’s, as the majority of research and expert opinion  does not back up their advice one tiny bit!

“Because we do not know at what point alcohol damage begins, it is prudent to recommend that pregnant women abstain from alcohol.”   (US dept of Health and Human Services)

“The behavioural effects observed indicate maternal alcohol consumption has influenced, possibly permanently, the functioning of the brain and CNS of the fetus and infant. These effects are observed at low levels of maternal alcohol consumption (5-6 units per week) and this raises questions regarding the ‘safe’ level of alcohol during pregnancy.”   (Professor Peter Hepper)

“Laboratory studies suggest that a single drinking binge by a pregnant woman can damage for life the brain of her unborn child.”   (Dr David Lovinger)

“FASD is considered internationally to be the leading preventable cause of intellectual and developmental problems – however, there’s evidence that it’s under-diagnosed.”  (NZ Ministry of Health)

The latest battle with FASD, that many who have researched FASD and are aware of it’s lifelong devastating effects on the individuals effected (and their families!) are now fighting, is the ‘P.C.’ (Politically Correct) Brigade’s attempt to stop education and action on FASD with the excuse that “It’s a Woman’s body and she can drink during pregnancy if she so wishes to.”  Of course if we were to examine this highly ignorant belief, and come up with a fitting analogy we could also say “It’s a Woman’s right to stab herself in the belly when pregnant, it’s her body”.  Of course 99.99% of the population would say ‘that last statement is just ridiculous, and of course that would not be ok’.  So in that case, why would it be ok to subject an unborn child to alcohol that is likely to cause lifelong brain damage (though maybe it won’t?).

Any and all alcohol a woman drinks during pregnancy will pass into the placenta and subsequently through into the fetus.  Alcohol is of course a toxin to the human body, and while we as full grown adults can filter out this toxin from our blood via our liver  (in small to moderate amounts), an unborn child’s body can not process the alcohol so quickly or easily, meaning they are much more likely to suffer the resulting brain damage that alcohol can cause.

 

The Effects FASD Has on Those Effected?

Firstly, and most importantly, FASD results in irreversible Brain Damage.  You can’t “fix” FASD, it is not curable, there is no brain surgery that can reverse the damage, it is there from birth until death.  Where as many other drugs that can also effect unborn children do not have such permanent effects and/or debilitating effects, alcohol exposure to the Fetus – can result in  permanent and debilitating effects to various degrees.

Some of the more common behavioural and learning issues that will effect a person with FASD are:

Repeating the same problematic behaviour, over and over again, often despite education, punishment, and support from others (I.E, they have extreme difficulty connecting consequences to actions)

Intellectual deficit (often having an IQ of around 70 or below  – though quite often not falling into the official category of being ‘Intellectually Disabled’)

General learning difficulties

Particular problems with Maths Skills

Little understanding of time-spans / time

Poor impulse control

Memory problems

Attention deficits

Difficulty understanding abstract terms (Taking slang terms literally)

Over 90% of people with FASD will develop mental health problems

60% of children with FASD are suspended, expelled, or ‘drop out’ from school

60% of individuals (over 12 years of age) end up in trouble with the Police

Around 50% of individuals with FASD (over 12) will engage in inappropriate sexual behaviour

80% of individuals with FASD will need some level of assistance from professional support people, friends, or family in living their lives – lifelong

80% of individuals with FASD will have ongoing problems with employment

 

File:FASkid.gif

The Likely Victims In NZ Society?

It is my belief that we have a certain category of mainly younger people who are likely to be made up predominantly by those effected by FASD.  I believe this may be so, due to their type of behaviour, and even the physical appearance of many of them (from my observations).

That category is made up by those that are the more problematic and repetitive offenders of traffic crime, who we usually refer to as “Boy Racers”.

Their highly repetitive dangerous behaviour, despite the all too regular reminders of death and destruction that it causes, is an obvious sign that they may be effected by FASD.  They drive around in mainly dangerously modified cars, that everyone else seems to realise even on first observation that they are deathtraps waiting to be sprung, yet they see as perfectly ok.  They engage in driving habits that regularly kill or seriously injure many in their own groups, or others who become victim to their driving, yet they still repeat the behaviour over and over, week after week, month after month.  Despite getting ticket after ticket, fine after fine, they still repeat the same behaviours continuously.

From my observations of this population over many years, a large percentage seem to be microcepahlic (small head size) – a very common physical defect with FASD (smaller heads, smaller brain size), often also displaying narrow eye slits, small build, and have low intellectual functioning.  More often than not, if we are to go by the histories we often hear after they have been killed, many have struggled at school, and often appear to come from families where alcohol consumption has been a big part of family life.

Of course the other group that are likely to be made up by a large percentage of those effected by FASD are our Repeat Offenders, and those engaging in cruelty to animals (sometimes the same people).  Despite the jail terms the Repeat Offenders are given, time after time they go out and offend yet again, sometimes repeating exactly the same crime numerous times.  Those who engage in cruelty of animals often repeat the same behaviour numerous times, despite the obvious heartbreaking cries of the animals being tortured, and the response from the majority of society.  The consequences appear to mean nothing to them.

 Then there are those children who stand out from the rest at schools around the Country.  The constantly disruptive, aggressive, unfathomable children that everyone shakes their head at and asks “What is wrong with them, why don’t they get it that’s it’s not ok to act like that?”.  Many of those same children are likely to be victims of FASD, yet no one bothers to follow through with a diagnosis, and put in place appropriate strategies and support.

What Can We Do?

Sadly the ‘what can we do’ question has been answered many times before, the problem is – no one is willing to take the action that is made clear in the answers to that very question.

I Suggest as a minimum we:

Make it an offence for Bar Staff to serve any ‘obviously pregnant’ Woman.  Note the emphasis here isn’t on punishing the Woman, as such, but more so helping support her by politely refusing to enable her (sometimes unknowing) potential abuse of her unborn child.

Mandatory Warning Labels on all alcoholic beverages.  This should be the very least thing we do as a responsible society, with the warning stating clearly “There is NO known safe amount of alcohol that can be consumed in pregnancy.  Alcohol may cause life long brain damage to your unborn child.”

Compulsory education for all Year 10 students, with the ‘Total Abstinence from Alcohol while pregnant, or trying to get pregnant” message being taught, not the ‘it may be ok to drink some alcohol’ dangerous and ignorant ‘advice’.

Set, standardised warnings that GPs, Midwives, and other Health Professionals – MUST give pregnant, or trying to conceive, Women, rather than hoping they may give some sort of half hearted advice.

 

The Dangers of Continuing NZ Society’s Ignorance?

Simple really, the dangers of continuing on our merry little ignorant way in regards to FASD, are an ever increasing cost on society itself.

More Crime

Higher support costs for the increasing number of  people with FASD (likely to already be in the hundreds of millions of dollars)

More people suffering preventable mental health problems / addiction problems /physical abnormalities

Teachers and schools struggling with continuously disruptive children, who are failing to learn like their Peers do, yet have no definitive diagnosis of what could be wrong

The Continuing suffering of the victims of FASD, and those who support them – lifelong

 

At this election, ask the political parties representatives “What are you going to do to reduce FASD?” – by doing this in large numbers, we can start making a change for the better.

 

For further reliable advice and information on FASD, you can go to the following sites:

New Zealand Ministry of Health

Alcohol Healthwatch

Fetal Alcohol Network New Zealand

For Behavioural Resources  – www.BehaviourSkills.com

 

Article written by Trevor Lewis PGDipSci (Psych)

Behaviour Specialist

 Posted by at 12:56 am

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