Tag Archives: Democratic and Civil Rights

‘I Find That Offensive!’ – recommended by Patrik Schumacher · Mar 25

Book by Claire Fox - 'I Find That Offensive!' - front cover [bitebackpublishing.com]BOOK PROMO [by tweet]

‘I Find That Offensive!’ (Provocations Series)
By Claire Fox

When you hear that now ubiquitous phrase ‘I find that offensive’, you know you’re being told to shut up. While the terrible murder of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists demonstrated that those who offend can face the most brutal form of censorship, it also served only to intensify the pre-existing climate that dictates we all have to walk on eggshells to avoid saying anything offensive – or else.

Indeed, competitive offence-claiming is ratcheting up well beyond religious sensibilities. So, while Islamists and feminists may seem to have little in common, they are both united in demanding retribution in the form of bans, penalties and censorship of those who hurt their feelings.

But how did we become so thin-skinned? In ‘I Find That Offensive!’ Claire Fox addresses the possible causes of what is fast becoming known as ‘Generation Snowflake’ head-on (no ‘safe spaces’ here) in a call to toughen up, become more robust and make a virtue of the right to be offensive.

PROVOCATIONS is a groundbreaking new series of short polemics composed by some of the most intriguing voices in contemporary culture and edited by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. Sharp, intelligent and controversial, Provocations provides insightful contributions to the most vital discussions in society today.

“An ambitious new series that tackles the controversy of the topics explored with a mixture of intelligence and forthright argument from some excellent writers.” — The Observer

Bitebackpublishing.com

Related Posts and Comments:
26.3.16 New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 —Section 14

█ Enter the terms *post removed*, *removed*, *rephrased* or *video animation removed* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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“O Oysters, come and walk with us!” #SouthDunedinFlood

Douglas Field Published Mar 31, 2016 | Republished Aug 17, 2016
The walrus and the carpenter

THE TIME HAS COME!!!!
We’re cabbages
And kings!!!!

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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DCC: Infrastructure report 2 pending —Mudtanks & stormwater drainage #SouthDunedinFlood

Douglas Field Published on Mar 30, 2016 | Updated Jul 30, 2016
busy doin’ nonth’

Comments from Lyndon Weggery:

2016/03/31 at 11:12 am
Newsflash!!! – According to my DCC source the long awaited MudTank report will be tabled on Tuesday 26 April 2016 to the Infrastructure Services Committee. That’s nearly 11 months after the infamous event.

2016/03/31 at 3:34 pm
Elizabeth – aside from our patient waiting for the Mudtank report we are also waiting for any progress on a Council formal resolution dated 30 November 2015 requesting staff to implement a work programme etc to alleviate the flooding dangers to South Dunedin. So far nothing has happened and in the course of a polite discussion with Councillor Aaron Hawkins on Facebook on related matters I have asked him to check on progress. To his credit he has agreed to do so.

● ODT 5.3.16 New contractor for mud tanks
● ODT 25.1.16 April date for report on flooding

Council meeting 30 Nov 2015

Minutes – Council – 30/11/2015 (PDF, 121.8 KB)

Report – Council – 30/11/2015 (PDF, 553.9 KB)
Infrastructure Performance During June 2015 Flood Event [report 1]

17
INFRASTRUCTURE PERFORMANCE DURING JUNE 2015 FLOOD EVENT

A report from Water and Waste Services provided an overview of the extreme rain event of 3 June 2015, its impacts and the performance of the drainage infrastructure. It focused primarily on the impact of the events that were experienced in South Dunedin, as that had been an area of particular public interest.

The analysis presented in the report was based on a flow balance model that had been developed for the purposes of assessing the impact of pumping station performance. The flow balance model had also been used to assess the relative impacts of the high groundwater levels in South Dunedin that significantly increased the amount of runoff generated by the rainfall.

The rain event significantly exceeded the capacity of the stormwater system in South Dunedin. The post event analysis had identified some opportunities to improve the performance of the existing infrastructure in large scale rain events, but would not prevent serious flooding in a similar future rain event.

Work was already underway to redesign the screens at the Portobello Road pumping station to make it easier to keep them clear during large events and was expected to be completed during the current financial year.

The planned infrastructure improvements would slightly reduce the impact of future flooding. However extensive flooding of low lying areas in large scale rain events or long duration rain events remained highly likely, particularly if the rain event coincided with high groundwater conditions.

The General Manager Infrastructure and Networks and Group Manager Water and Waste commented on various aspects of the report and responded to questions from Councillors.

Councillor Thomson left the meeting from 3.52 pm to 3.55 pm and Councillor Staynes left the meeting from 3.54 pm to 4.35 pm during the course of questions. Councillor Vandervis left the meeting from 4.36 pm to 4.38 pm and Councillor Peat left the meeting at 4.38 pm.

Following questions it was moved (The Mayor/Wilson):

“That the Council:

a) Notes the report on Infrastructure Performance during the June 2015 Flood Event.”

b) Notes the serious implications and consequences of rising ground water levels in parts of Dunedin.

c) That staff investigate and report back on a work programme to address the issues caused by rising ground water levels in South Dunedin and other parts of the city.

d) Notes that the report should include:
i) Possible responses to a range of sea level and climate change scenarios.
ii) Budgetary, infrastructural and community implications of both scenarios and responses.
iii) Catchment wide stormwater systems, ownership and effective management.

e) Notes that Council’s long term aims, as much as possible, are:
i) that the environment of affected parts of Dunedin is improved to an acceptable level.
ii) that no Dunedin citizen, ratepayer or householder is seriously disadvantaged as a result of any measures taken to deal with the challenges of ground water and rising sea levels.”

Councillor Peat returned to the meeting at 4.42 pm.

During discussion the work of staff was acknowledged during the time of the flooding.

Following discussion Motion (a) was put and carried on a division 14:0 with one abstention.
For: Councillors Benson-Pope, Bezett, Calvert, Hall, Hawkins, Lord, MacTavish, Noone, Peat, Staynes, Thomson, Whiley, Wilson, The Mayor
Council minutes – 30 November and 14 December 2015 7
Abstention: Councillor Vandervis, on the grounds that the motion did not identify the major flood causes as he understood them

Motions (b) – (d) were put and carried on a division 13:1 with one abstention.
For: Councillors Benson-Pope, Bezett, Calvert, Hall, Hawkins, Lord, MacTavish, Noone, Peat, Staynes, Thomson, Wilson, The Mayor Against: Councillor Whiley Abstention: Councillor Vandervis

Motion (e) was put and carried on a division 12:2 with one abstention.
For: Councillors Benson-Pope, Bezett, Hall, Hawkins, Lord, MacTavish, Noone, Peat, Staynes, Thomson, Wilson, The Mayor Against: Councillors Calvert, Whiley Abstention: Councillor Vandervis

It was moved (The Mayor/Staynes):
“That the meeting adjourns for ten minutes.”
Motion carried

The meeting adjourned from 5.35 pm to 5.47 pm.
[Item 17 ends]

Dunedin City Council Published on Dec 7, 2015
Dunedin City Council – Council Meeting – November 30 2015
Agenda Item 17 from 1:09:50

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 —Section 14

█ The Act (government legislation): http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1990/0109/latest/DLM224792.html

MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
About the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 (Guidelines) Link

The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 [NZBORA] was enacted to affirm, protect and promote human rights and fundamental freedoms in New Zealand. The Act also affirms New Zealand’s commitment to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) on which the rights and freedoms it contains are based.

When it was enacted, the Bill of Rights Act did not create any new rights but merely confirmed existing common law rights. The Act does not reflect all ICCPR rights; however, section 28 provides that, just because a right or freedom is not expressly provided for in the Act, that does not mean that the right or freedom does not exist or is otherwise restricted. The right or freedom is given effect by other legislation and by common law. For instance, while the ICCPR contains a right to privacy, the Bill of Rights does not. Nonetheless, the Privacy Act 1993, together with the common law tort of privacy, provides for rights of personal privacy.

The rights and freedoms
The Bill of Rights Act affirms the following rights and freedoms:
● the right not to be deprived of life (section 8)
● the right not to be subjected to torture or cruel treatment (section 9)
● the right not to be subjected to medical or scientific experimentation (section 10)
● the right to refuse to undergo medical treatment (section 11)
● electoral rights (section 12)
● the freedom of thought, conscience, and religion (section 13)
● the freedom of expression (section 14)
● the right to manifest religion and belief (section 15)
● the freedom of peaceful assembly (section 16)
● the freedom of association (section 17)
● the freedom of movement (section 18)
● the right to freedom from discrimination (section 19)
● rights of minorities (section 20)
● the right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure (section 21)
● the right not to be arbitrarily arrested or detained (section 22)
● rights of persons arrested or detained (section 23)
● rights of persons charged with an offence (section 24)
● rights to minimum standards of criminal procedure (section 25)
● the right not to be liable to retroactive penalties or double jeopardy (section 26), and
● the right to natural justice (section 27).

Application
The Bill of Rights Act is designed to protect individuals (natural persons) and legal persons (such as corporations) from the actions of the State (section 29). The Act applies to any acts done by the legislative, executive or judicial branches of the government, or by any person or body performing a public function, power or duty conferred or imposed by or pursuant to law (section 3).

Limitations
The rights and freedoms contained in the Bill of Rights Act are not absolute but may only be subject to reasonable limits that are prescribed by law and can be “demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society”. If a limitation does not satisfy this test then the legislative provision, policy or practice is inconsistent with the relevant section of the Bill of Rights Act.

The Bill of Rights Act does not have the status of supreme law. This means that the Courts cannot use the Act to repeal, revoke, or invalidate other legislation. In the event of an inconsistency between the Bill of Rights Act and another enactment, the other enactment must prevail (section 4). The Bill of Rights Act, however, includes two important safeguards to help protect human rights.
Cont/

Permission to speak [Douglas Field 25.3.16] 1Douglas Field 25.3.16

MINISTRY OF JUSTICE
The Guidelines on the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990: A Guide to the Rights and Freedoms in the Bill of Rights Act for the Public Sector

Introduction to sections 12 – 18: Democratic and Civil Rights Link
Sections 12 – 18 of the Bill of Rights Act concern the fundamental rights and freedoms that are essential to an individual’s effective representation and meaningful participation in the public life of a democratic society.

Section 12 Electoral Rights
Section 13 Freedom of Thought
Section 14 Freedom of expression*
Section 15 Manifestation of religion and belief
Section 16 Freedom of peaceful assembly
Section 17 Freedom of association
Section 18 Freedom of Movement

….

Section 14 – Freedom of expression Link
Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and opinions of any kind in any form.

[excerpt]
What every policy analyst needs to know about section 14:

● There are very few activities that will not be protected by the freedom of expression because most human activity has an expressive element (including political, artistic and commercial expression).
● Speech or an expression that is considered important to the ability of individuals to participate in core democratic processes, for example in elections, and political and social speech, is likely to enjoy a very high degree of protection.
● A fundamental aspect of the right to freedom of expression is that it extends to protecting all information and opinion, however unpopular, offensive or distasteful.
● The right generally protects all expression that conveys or attempts to convey meaning except expressive activity that takes the form of violence.
● Even though the right extends to all types of opinions, certain categories of expression (e.g., advertising, pornography or speech that incites racial violence) are more likely to be subject to reasonable limitations than others (e.g., political and social speech).
● The scope of section 14 means that as all forms of expression except those that take the form of violence are protected by the right, any restriction on expressive activity will be considered in the context of section 5 of the Bill of Rights Act.
● Freedom of expression includes the right to say nothing or the right not to say certain things.
● The opinions or views do not have to be held by that individual – the protection broadens out to include anyone else who subsequently communicates or disseminates those ideas or opinions.
● The right to seek and receive information may involve consideration of other statutory frameworks such as the Official Information Act 1982 or the Privacy Act 1993.

█ In Brief: Your rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act (PDF)
[click to enlarge]

Ministry of Justice Your rights under the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act

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Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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