Saturday, October 25, 2008

NZ on Screen

NZ on Air have set up NZ on Screen where you can catch and watch a lot of New Zealand content.

Some interesting items on the site with some gay and lesbian content including:

There is a lot of other interesting NZ Material on the site and it is great to be able to access someof the  NZ film and television archives on demand and free of charge.

Website: NZ on Screen

Monday, October 06, 2008

GABA Scholarship non story

Russell Brown last week discussed a recent Listener article entitled Gay Wrongs?

In this article Mary Jane Boland accused the Education Minister Chris Carter of supporting discriminationary practice in that GABA has announced a single new $2000 tertiary education scholarship offered to a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender student.

Mary Jane Boland went on to attack Chris Carter as the patron of GABA for supporting this sort of discrimanation against straight students.

Sadly Mary Jane Boland just showed the lack of research which Russell Brown highlighted the July 2008 issue of women only scholarships and was published in Salient Newspaper and said:

Section 150 of the Human Rights Act 1993 states clearly that the unlawful discrimination provisions of the act do not apply to charitable benefits.

I would have to agree with Russell's closing comments:

This crappy little story speaks of everything that's wrong with the Listener now. The next thing Mary Jane Boland writes should be an apology.

Sadly in the letter's sections Mary Jane Boland continues  to defend her lack of research and lack of incompetence when Chris Lawrence careful points out that she had her key assumption wrong in that charitable trust are perfectly entitled to discriminate. In his letter he concludes:

The article strongly implied that the trustees of a philanthropic trust, and someone holding public office, have behaved inconsistently with the Human Rights Act. On this false basis, the article then gave Rodney Hide and Anne Tolley the chance to attack Carter and, by extension, the Government.
Mary Jane Boland responds:
Lawrence is correct. None of the experts interviewed – including those at the Human Rights Commission – explained charitable trusts are exempt from the act. However, two questions remain: should charities remain exempt and should a minister of the Crown from any party - especially an Education Minister - support a scholarship that benefits some pupils over others? 
So Mary shows what a useless journalist she is. If she had actually done some simple research she would have found out the answer to the question before wasting any one's time with this pathetic piece of journalism. 

It took me less than two minutes online to find the Human Rights Commission website - type in the word Scholarship on their website and there for me to read was their July 2008 ruling on scholarships

Finally what of your other questions:

Should charities remain exempt - will this is a totally different question and not even raised in your article because you were so ignorant as not to know this fact. It would have been interesting to have an article about this but you didn't raise it so stop trying to raise it in your defense now.

Should the minister not be Patron of GABA because of this scholarship. I think not. He didn't maket this decision and if the scholarship is lawful then no reason to resign at all.

Finally I have discovered by a simple bit of online research that Mary Jane Boland is the Deputy Editor of the Listener - lets just say if this is the level of journalism by their deputy editor then The Listener is in a serious bad state. It certainly isn't the weekly magazine which was the home to good quality journalism and research that I remember when I lived in New Zealand.