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INVESTIGATE May 2010:
Damage Control • The Wool Industry • Babyboomer Healthcare
The runaway child who became an intern, the intern who became a timebomb, the timebomb who wants a political career, and his serious tell-all allegations
$8.30 May 2010
End of the Golden Wether
Could this fix the wool industry?
The Babyboomer Health blues Can NZ & Australia afford it?
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C ONTENTS Volume 10, Issue 112, ISSN 1175-1290
Hamish Jevan Goulter was just 14 when he quit school and began volunteering in the office of a Labour MP. What followed has become a nightmare for Goulter, and the politicians who say he stalked them. IAN WISHART has the exclusive story
End Of The Golden Wether
The Spy Who Framed Us
Babyboomer Health Blues
The wool industry used to be the foundation of our economy, but now as ALAN GALLAGHER reports, it’s in danger of dying
Did a Canadian diplomat secretly working for the Russians steal NZ passport data to help smuggle nuclear weapons blueprints? GRAEME HUNT has the exclusive story
Are our health systems properly resourced to deal with an ageing population? PETER CURSON & LAURA COSTELLO analyse the problem
EDITORIAL & OPINION
Focal Point Editorial
Vox-Populi The roar of the crowd
Miranda Devine on parenting
Obama’s life skills
Richard Prosser asks ‘Can we fix it?’
Chris Carter on lisping morris dancers
Matt Flannagan on Dawkins
The Investigator messes up
L IFESTYLE Money
Peter Hensley on trading down
Amy Brooke on dumb bureaucrats
Chris Forster on the Warriors
Judith Graham on sleep disorders
Beating the common cold
Mexican getaway Sharon Thompson likes creampuffs
Michael Morrissey’s autumn reads Chris Philpott’s CD reviews Films to see
Is PG safe for kids?
Cadillac’s CTS tops Consumer test in US
Chief Executive Officer Heidi Wishart | Group Managing Editor Ian Wishart | NZ EDITION Advertising 09 373-3676, firstname.lastname@example.org | Contributing Writers: Hal Colebatch, Amy Brooke, Chris Forster, Peter Hensley, Chris Carter, Mark Steyn, Chris Philpott, Michael Morrissey, Miranda Devine, Richard Prosser, Claire Morrow, James Morrow, Len Restall, Laura Wilson, and the worldwide resources of MCTribune Group, UPI and Newscom | Art Direction Heidi Wishart | Design & Layout Bozidar Jokanovic | Tel: +64 9 373 3676 | Fax: +64 9 373 3667 | Investigate Magazine, PO Box 188, Kaukapakapa, Auckland 0843, NEW ZEALAND | AUSTRALIAN EDITION Editor Ian Wishart | Advertising email@example.com | Tel/Fax: 1-800 123 983 | SUBSCRIPTIONS – Online: www.investigatemagazine.com By Phone: Australia – 1-800 123 983, NZ – 09 373 3676 By Post: To the PO Box NZ Edition: $85; AU Edition: A$96 EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org All content in this magazine is copyright, and may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher. The opinions of advertisers or contributors are not necessarily those of the magazine, and no liability is accepted. We take no responsibility for unsolicited material sent to us. Please enclose a stamped, SAE envelope. Inquiries in the first instance should be made via email or fax. Investigate magazine Australasia is published by HATM Magazines Ltd
Is that the glow of uranium behind your ears? PRIME MINISTER JOHN KEY HAS, UNDERSTANDABLY, basked in the attention created by President
Obama’s nuclear free summit in Washington this month. Obama is desperately searching for something, anything, to help him win back brownie points with a disaffected domestic audience as he enjoys some of the worst political ratings of any US president. For New Zealand, suddenly being embraced by the US is a double edged sword, kind of like being grabbed by Wyllie Coyote as he lingers unwittingly beneath a falling boulder. John Key isn’t stupid, and he and his management team would be wise to avoid nailing their reputations too firmly to the mast of an unpopular Democrat administration. But what of the overarching ambition – surely ridding the world of nuclear weapons is a good thing, right? Well, yes and not really. You see, the problem of nuclear weapons is not that democratic countries like the US, Britain, or Israel have them, it’s that a raft of dictatorships like North Korea and Iran believe they are entitled to them as well. There is a sizeable difference between the thresholds for nuclear use by a democratically elected government that recognises certain behavioural rules, and a one party state either controlled or capable of being controlled by one irate leader having a bad day or a Messiah complex. And the risk of mutually assured disarmament is a very false sense of security for those of us smug bunnies in the West who labour under the misapprehension that the rest of the world is civilised. Newsflash: as the LA riots showed a couple of decades ago, civilisation has an incredibly thin protective veneer at the best of times in the West, and in much of the world they don’t even bother paying lip service to it. In many countries, thanks to the lack of 4 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
democracy, life is cheaper than a loaf of bread, and the idea that most of the UN’s member governments care deeply about anything more that numbered Swiss bank accounts for the ruling class is a discredited notion, proof of which is furnished daily in the hundreds of skirmishes, mini-wars and genocides that dot the planet at any given moment. To groups like al Qa’ida, obtaining nuclear material and blowing the stuffing out of a city like New York would be their wildest dream come true. There are plenty of rogue scientists capable and willing to build nuclear devices for the highest bidders. So I return then to an uncomfortable
it that we all contribute money towards. Sound suspiciously like a UN world government initiative? Yeah, well, call me overly suspicious if you like but with climate change fast losing credibility the UN is desperately searching for a new horse to ride to its “global governance” finish line. If the public won’t believe in climate scares, maybe we’ll all get in behind an organisation so powerful it can make the world non-nuclear. Well, that’s what they’d like you to believe, but see my point about nerds. The UN might have found a new horse, but it’s still Trojan. Nuclear arms reduction is a good thing, and if we can step up the
The risk of mutually assured disarmament is a very false sense of security for those of us smug bunnies in the West who labour under the misapprehension that the rest of the world is civilised question: Obama’s nuclear talkfest is aimed at the hearts and minds of people in Upper Manhattan, or Grey Lynn in Auckland, or the latte-drinkers of Newtown in Sydney. It’s designed to evoke warm fuzzies, and it will, but can it deliver? Nuclear weaponry can no more be uninvented than cars can; the technology is out there, the raw material is in the ground and a spotty-faced nerd with a library card can, in principle, design a nuclear bomb. There is one way Obama can achieve some traction, however: a global nuclear elimination treaty that requires all countries to sign up, and some kind of super-agency to police
process then great, but the moment the technocrats start beating this up into the need for global governance structures to secure the planet’s future, that’s the time to start throwing tomatoes. Like I said, the nuclear genie is out of the bottle. It can’t be put back. Any plan that glosses over that inconvenient reality isn’t a real plan.
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Communiques The roar of the crowd
An American Thinker
I wanted to thank you for your book. I’m a conservative American who under normal circumstances would never in a million years find himself agreeing with Al Gore. However, when he came out with, An Inconvenient Truth I found myself listening to some of the things on television and I agreed, I don’t want Polar Bears, or baby seals to die from anything we can change (picture me rolling my eyes rolling as I write this now). I was challenged by a professor at school recently who stated “I don’t think anyone should doubt or challenge Global Warming unless they have at least a PHD in Climatology or Geology and can tell me what the structure of carbon is!” He was totally serious and vociferous in his statement. I have never been one to tolerate not being told I can’t do something. I immediately went to the Amazon.com website and started looking for books on global warming pro and con. I finally decided on your book and the book by Ralph Alexander. (Global Warming, False Alarm) I have had an incredibly hard time getting past page 20 in either book as both books are so filled with facts, that as I go to your sources and confirm the information, I get further and further entrenched in more and more evidence. Evidence that shows what a truly evil conspiracy this whole thing is. I think I will have more than enough evidence to cite to write a ten page paper for my advanced composition class. Again thanks for the great book and standing up against the giant. Sometimes I wish I could afford to fly my family to New Zealand (I’m an IT guy who lost his job due to the downturn in the economy which is why I’m back in school at 50) …. 6 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
It’s a beautiful country and you don’t have Al Gore, Billary Clinton, or Obama mucking up your country. Brad Blosser, United States of America
Colebatch puts Foot wrong
Hal G.P. Colebatch ( April 2010 ) in justifiably criticising Michael Foot’s failed legacy makes the mistake of falling victim to more of the same propaganda when he adopts the view that Britain was not ready for war in 1939. This type of thinking arises from opponents of Tories and from Churchill talking himself up. In reality the picture is not so bad. Britain had the world’s largest Navy. Production of fighter planes outpaced Germany which was experiencing raw material shortages such as rubber. The combined force of France and Britain in western Europe matched Germany. The British had superior motorisation to Germany which still walked its armies. By 1940 the weaknesses for the Allies at this early stage were tactical and morale. The collapse of French forces sealed their fate. The British lacked sufficient air cover and their tanks while robust were slow. One on one both the British and French tanks could match the Panzer II but the Germans had radio communication between tanks while the Allies kept their armour as infantry support. And lastly, Britain had its empire. The only choke point was the North Atlantic and there the Royal Navy can be criticised tactically for holding back to deter an unlikely German invasion while leaving merchant shipping to suffer. There is nothing to the argument that the Tories failed. They delayed until the time to act was right. That was 1939. The villain is Labour and anyone who buys their lies. They are still pacifists at heart
and would sell us out at the first opportunity. The scrapping of NZ’s fighters are all the evidence we need. [ the photo page 40 shows a soldier pointing a Lee-Enfield .303 not a Bren gun ] Ken Horlor, Christchurch
Blame the editor
I have enjoyed reading Hal G. P. Colebatch’s articles over the past months. However, in terms of the article, “One Foot in the Grave” it seems to me rather ironic that whoever matched the illustrations should have chosen a flight of Me 109s powered by Rolls Royce Merlins and not the standard inverted V 12 Daimler Benz (also an amazing engine). In spite of the lack of preparation for war and some serious industrial problems that hindered aircraft production the British were able to match the enemy in advanced and innovative aircraft designs. Even America’s best fighter, the P51 Mustang was only able to meet its optical performance powered by the Merlin. The installation of this classic British aero engine subdued the rather blunt Teutonic lines of the Me 109 as defined by the German engine. The photograph is probably of aircraft built by the Spanish Hispano Aviaci`on and which were used in combat scenes in the “Battle of Britain” movie. Malcolm Ford, Whangarei
Letter from a pot supporter
I am writing to say that there is [sic] some practical solutions to the esculating [sic] crime rate in NZ. The main causes of the increasing crime is [sic] unemployment and our antiquated, failed drug laws. If our government was to allow the creation of a regulated market for cannabis as recommended by the Law Commission and many other advisory groups as well as allow
we protect your digital worlds
INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 7
the cultivation of industrial hemp (cannabis) then the illegal drug markets would wither and die. The hemp industry would create a lot of local jobs as it can be used to produce medicine, fuel, food, clothing, paper, wood, paint, plastic, and many other products as well as used to improve contaminated sites. There would be a considerable return from taxes on these activities as well as many long term jobs and saving of imported products. This would save the country heaps of wasted man hours and many millions of dollars per year in wasted tax dollars being spent on enforcing this failed “war on drugs” law (police, courts, prisons, families split) and ruining careers of those caught. This plant with hundreds of strains is a gift from God that could help turn our country around financially. This would be a long term sustainable industry returning benefits to the community and a better option than mining our national parks which is short term profits mostly for the already wealthy with the comminity [sic] picking up the tab for environmental distruction. [sic] Billy Mckee, Levin
Another satisfied reader
I have just finished reading Air Con and wanted to send a message of thanks and congratulations to Ian Wishart. Like many others I initially took seriously the claims of AGW, I changed the light bulbs in my house to the dull energy savers, I used the 10% ethanol fuel in my car, I went and saw the Al Gore movie and read other books and articles written by Tim Flannery and others. I told my children (much to my shame) that we had to change the way we live blah blah blah... I was personally very concerned about rising ocean levels because I live about 200 metres from a beach and thought one day my property could be inundated and the property valueless, my one and only nest egg gone. At some point along this journey the bulldust detectors kicked in and I started to question the increasingly shrill claims of the AGW lobby. As the claims started to get more alarmist and more contradictory I realised the science was not settled at all; the scientists were in turmoil and conflict over this issue. Moreover my own observations was that the weather was not changing at all, I am on the beach nearly every day, walking or swimming, and over the course of some 20 years I have seen no change at all in the
overall condition of the beach or the level of the water. I have observed the cyclical build up and removal of sand which is seasonal and I have seen storm surges push water to the back of the beach. The December king tides reach to the same point each year. There is no overall change. If (and it is indeed a very big if ) there is rising water levels they are so imperceptible that they are of no consequence. As for the weather I have detected no change either. We still get hot nights like we always did, it gets humid in summer as it always has and winter brings the cold air up from the Antarctic like it always has. I laugh out loud now when I hear a news report say something stupid like “the warmest August day for 17 years” or similar nonsense. My brother put me onto the Air Con book and I read it with interest, re-reading certain passages to make sure I understood it correctly. A lot of information has been joined together in the book and the dots joined up on a really shabby group of individuals motivated by self interest and greed. Thank you for shining a spotlight on these connections to UN and with each other. The self righteousness and hypocrisy of Al Gore makes me sick to the pit of my stomach. I feel like such a fool for believing this massive lie. Deception is a quietly cruel thing; we don’t know we are being deceived until the deception is made aware to us, like we don’t actually realise we have fallen asleep until we wake up and realise that we have been sleeping. We are not actually aware of falling asleep. We slip into sleep like we slip into deception; we slip into deception quietly and smoothly and can actually enjoy this deluded state feeling that we know something important. However all is not lost, I get the feeling more and more people are beginning to wake up to this giant delusion and are beginning to call it by its correct name – a lie. And the people propagating it most are liars of the first order, some of them may be acting out of genuine concern, but I feel they are aware of the bigger picture and have hitched their wagon to it hoping for fame and fortune. A very great and humble man who lived two thousand years ago said something significant about lies and liars - when speaking to the civil / religious authorities of the time He said, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is
8 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May February 20102010
no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44. When I see and hear the lies the AGW lobby are telling me I know whose work they are doing and I know what their aims are. I am encouraged by these words from Jesus – “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31,32. Free from deception and beyond the reach of these powerful deceivers. So congratulations on the book, it is excellent. I have been telling my friends and family that it is a must read if they want to know the truth of what’s going on. Sadly the current government here in Australia is firmly committed to imposing a massive Emissions Trading Scheme that will rip $42 billion in tax over 4 years out of everyday Australians. PM Rudd and his team are a particularly dull bunch and have fallen for this guff hook line and sinker. The Climate Change minister Penny Wong is particularly savage on sceptics and yet completely unable to properly enunciate the IPCC claims. More is to come, we have just had a pink batts home insulation scheme go belly up after 5 deaths of installers and 120 plus house fires caused by dodgy installers. The scheme is a brass bottomed debacle from start to finish. It was scrapped suddenly by another incompetent minister – Peter Garrett. The cost? $4.5 billion aussie dollars. The effect on AGW – zero. With hospitals, public transport, disability services and many other services groaning for lack of funds and resources you’d think the federal government would have higher priorities than trying to lower the 1.7% of man made carbon dioxide released into the air? No, AGW is their biggest priority. I recently spoke to a lady who works for a large bank here. She had just attended a seminar held by a Commsec Chief Economist. He discussed the various levels of per capita debt (in US Dollars) for various countries in the world. Several stood out large – Australia’s debt – $14k per capita (not good), Great Britain – $150k per capita (scary), the USA – $1.4 million per capita (absolute nightmare – can never be repaid – unless a big new tax comes along) Final point – I have a friend who is a coal miner. CO2 is a problem in the mines below ground, it builds up to dangerous levels and they have to pump it out to make the air
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breathable. My friend points out the simple fact the CO2 is heavier than air and tends to hang in lower hollows etc until stirred up by the air currents. Being heavier than air it is in the lower atmosphere - not in the upper atmosphere where the ‘greenhouse effect’ is alleged to occur. The amount of CO2 in the upper atmosphere must be miniscule and certainly much lower than the overall proportion of 385 ppm. Thank you once again, please keep at it, the tide will turn and the truth will come out eventually – it always does. Alan Blake, NSW
It wouldn’t be a debate without Don
Responses to three anti-evolutionary creationists (January 2010) follow. John quotes extensively from a newspaper article written by a prominent philosopher of science, Michael Ruse. The extract your correspondent has so eagerly latched on to contains the statement: “Evolution is a religion”, an apparent endorsement, by an evolutionist no less, of the repeated creationist claim to this effect. However, further on in the article the following assessment of organic evolution appears: “Darwinism is a terrific theory that stimulates research in every area of the life sciences. In the human realm, for instance, discoveries in Africa trace our immediate past in ever greater detail, while at the same time The Human Genome Project opens up fascinating evolutionary questions as we learn of the molecular similarities between ourselves and organisms as apparently different as fruit flies and earthworms. Surely this is enough.” Ruse continues: “There is no need to make a religion of evolution . On its own merits, evolution as science is just that – good, tough, forward-looking science, which should be taught as a matter of course to all children, regardless of creed.” (My emphasis in italics.) Any careful, unbiased reading of the whole article reveals the motivation behind it, for Ruse is clearly aiming his criticism at those evolutionists whom he considers fail to point out when they “are going beyond the strict science, moving into moral and social claims, thinking of their theory as an all-embracing world picture.” Certainly, in my case, I have constantly distinguished, in articles and in correspondences of this kind, between the science of evolution and any implications or conclusions derived from it that clearly lie outside the science itself, in the field of philosophy, for example.
Jason Clark is confused. It is the creationist Duane Gish himself who has declared creation “science” unscientific. What else can be inferred from his: “We cannot discover by scientific investigations anything about the creative processes used by God”? And how often must I repeat that any appeals to a Creator for answers to questions associated with the natural world are denied to scientists for methodological reasons? All scientists (past and present), irrespective of religious persuasion or unbelief, in “doing” genuine science, were and are limited to natural explanations. In contrast to Mr Clark’s assertion, the theory of common descent is scientific and the mechanism of evolutionary change is known – mainly in the form of natural selection. How the postulated first cell (or cells) originated has no bearing on what has taken place subsequently. Renton Maclachlan tells me to read more carefully. Apparently he was describing atheism (June 2009), not evolution, as “an atheistic evolutionary religion” that he contends I and like-minded individuals persist in calling a scientific fact. But surely evolution was a logical interpretation given that creationists often misleadingly refer to science as ‘atheistic’, their penchant for (wrongly) calling the science of organic evolution a religion, and because evolution has attained ‘fact’ status in biological circles. Also, atheism is not science and therefore cannot be deemed a scientific fact. Nor is it a religion. Atheism simply means without any belief in any gods. I suggest Mr Maclachlan could have written more clearly on this occasion. William Provine (quoted by your correspondent) has arrived at various philosophical implications based on our knowledge of biological evolution and concludes, for example, that there is no ultimate foun-
10 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May February 20102010
dation for ethics and no ultimate meaning to life. Fortunately, all is not doom and gloom for atheists as there is every indication our sense of self-awareness is a product of organic evolution and that it is the development of this faculty which has led to the eventual appearance of codes of ethics. Not surprisingly, recent research suggests the existence of ethical behaviour at differing levels of sophistication in other social species. Mr Maclachlan himself acknowledges that atheists are able to lead meaningful and purposeful lives (October 2009). Mr Maclachlan’s perennial ‘charge’ that “...if life could not get going naturalistically, then evolution is dead on the starting blocks” is no charge at all. The study of organic evolution and its scientific status are independent of how life and the universal genetic code originated on this planet. My responses to this so-called charge remain scientifically valid and should not in any way be misconstrued by your correspondent as desperate attempts by me to evade what is in effect a non-issue. His subsequent references to various components of an evolutionary universe, and to the origin of new genetic information, also have no direct bearing on the established status of organic evolution. Indeed, Darwin established the reality of evolution long before the appearance of the science of genetics. A “tree of life” (not the creationists’ “forest of trees”) is still an appropriate metaphor, above the level of microscopic life, for the well established concept of common descent (Jason Clark, also please note). Mr Maclachlan links a Creator with the near universality of the genetic code. Of course, such an explanation is ineligible as an alternative within the science arena. Warwick Don, Dunedin
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Damage Control • The Wool Industry • Babyboomer Healthcare
The runaway child who became an intern, the intern who became a timebomb, the timebomb who wants a political career, and his serious tell-all allegations
End of the Golden Wether
Could this fix the wool industry?
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The Babyboomer Health blues Can NZ & Australia afford it?
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Miranda Devine Abandon-ship parenting
TEENAGERS HAVE NEVER BEEN GIVEN MUCH RESPECT
but never have they seemed quite so marginalised as they are today. Strangers are all too willing to think the worst of the next generation of taxpayers they will expect to support them in their old age. This is especially true for boys. It’s a harsh world for a teenager, more violent and forbidding than for their parents’ generation, an anti-child culture with restrictions and rules for everything and adults who are too preoccupied to give them the attention they pretend not to need. The automatic assumption if something goes wrong is it’s the teenager’s fault. Take 15-year-old John, who was set upon and bashed with four friends at a park in Gordon on Sydney’s upper north shore this summer. The boys had been to see a movie in Hornsby and were due home by 8.30pm. When they arrived at Gordon station at 7.30pm they still had half an hour until sunset. One of the boys had a ball so they trooped over to the park to play touch footy before going home. Bad luck for them, a group of thugs wanted their phones and wallets. They escaped, but one boy suffered a black eye and split lip. When they arrived home, upset and dishevelled, John’s mother, a nurse, patched them up and took them to the police to report the assault. She was surprised by the attitude. “It was like they had done the wrong thing. The police said ‘What were you doing in the park? You shouldn’t have been there.’ Apparently this park is renowned [for bashings]. So kids can’t even go to a park and throw a ball round any more? It’s all their fault. They’re good boys but no wonder they have a bad attitude to police.” Since when is a suburban park a no-go zone in daylight? 14 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
If this is the experience of well-behaved boys from caring families, less emotionally advantaged teenagers fare far worse. The obvious reaction is to rail against inactive police who allow crime hot spots to flourish, empowering thugs with their reluctance to confront them, while applying the full force of the law onto citizens guilty of nothing more than minor traffic misdemeanours or being young and male. But we are seeing stabbings, bashings and escalating violence among ever-younger children, which indicates something more
Mummy’s relaxation time,” she says, shooing him away. It’s hard to imagine the child gets more attention at home. In a technological age it is too easy for adults to become engrossed in selfish personal pursuits which eat into time that should be spent connecting with their children, and children are so easily occupied by their own digital entertainments they are less likely to complain about being ignored. This is a form of modern neglect which the psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg calls “Tamagotchi parenting”, with no supervi-
We are seeing stabbings, bashings and escalating violence among everyounger children, which indicates something more profound is wrong with the nurturing instinct in our increasingly disconnected communities profound is wrong with the nurturing instinct in our increasingly disconnected communities. You can see it in everyday vignettes which show emotional advantage doesn’t necessarily correlate with socio-economic status. There is the well-heeled mother at the hairdresser having hair extensions attached while her bored seven-year-old does his best to amuse himself with pen and paper for hours. Every time he wants to show her his drawing or whine about how long it’s all taking, she snaps, determined to have her scalp massage in peace, or update her Facebook on the laptop she brought along. “This is
sion, limits or boundaries. He describes children growing up in Australia today as the “most vulnerable generation in our history”, lacking the “social and ritual protective factors” of cohesive societies, from stable institutions to neighbours who look out for each other. Binge drinking, anxiety and violence are just symptoms. James Pitts, CEO of the Odyssey House McGrath Foundation, sees what happens to the most vulnerable children, when low selfesteem, anxiety and a dearth of role models lead to serious drug addiction. By the time young men get to Odyssey House’s residential treatment centre in
Campbelltown, their lives are out of control. They must have had nine previous drug treatment attempts to qualify for a highly structured, peer-dependent program which uses stable male role models and team sport to teach social skills. For 60 per cent of the males, their biological fathers have been absent since they were seven or eight. But even in intact families, says Pitts, we have become, “narcissistic in our pursuit of happiness. Parents don’t have the kind of time to devote to children; kids have to fend for themselves.” Equally important is that, outside of home, few people know who they are or
care whether they are up to mischief. At a time when children are trying to spread their wings and join society, they are greeted with hostility, resentment and indifference. “That protective resilience within your own community doesn’t exist nowadays,” says Pitts. The concept that “it takes a village to raise a child” has been lost. Meanwhile, strong male role models and authority figures such as police and teachers have been disempowered, fearful to exert discipline in case they are accused of assault or intimidation and dragged through punitive procedures. Then there is the uber-violence of movies
and games which influences boys just when they are learning how to be men. The popularity of the recent Ultimate Fighting Championships at the Acer Arena, the world’s fastest-growing “sport”, suggests increased appetite for barbaric spectacles. “Young people these days are ... much more sophisticated, more in-your-face, more vocal, verbal and visual than past generations,” says Pitts. “They are a big challenge for parents and teachers.” Yes, they are a lippy, assertive generation, but they are a challenge worth rising to. After all, we reap what we sow. email@example.com INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 15
Obama: he’s not Dale Carnegie HILLARY CLINTON, AMERICA’S SECRETARY OF STATE,
was in Canada the other day. She criticized Ottawa for not inviting Aboriginal groups to a meeting on the Arctic, and for not including the facilitation of abortion in the Canadian government’s “maternal health” initiative to developing countries. These might seem curious priorities for the global superpower at a time of war, but, with such a full plate over at the State Department, it’s no wonder that peripheral matters like Iranian nuclear deadlines seem to fall by the wayside. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, took U.S. criticisms in his stride. “Whether it comes to our role in Afghanistan, our sovereignty over our Arctic or, ultimately, our foreign aid priorities, it is Canada and Canadians who will make Canadian decisions,” he said. Judging from the chill in the room at his and the Secretary of State’s joint photo-op, the Canadian Arctic now extends pretty much to the U.S. border. The Obama administration came into office promising to press the “reset” button with the rest of the world after eight years of the so-called arrogant, swaggering Texan cowboy blundering his way around the planet, offending peoples from many lands. Instead, Obama pressed the ejector-seat button: Brits, Czechs, Israelis, Indians found themselves given the brush. I gather the Queen was “amused” by the president’s thoughtful gift of an iPod preloaded with Obama speeches – and, fortunately for Her Majesty, the 160GB model only has storage capacity for two of them, or three if you include one of his shorter perorations. But Gordon Brown would like to be liked by Barack Obama, and can’t understand why he isn’t. There is much speculation on the “root cause” of presidential antipathy to America’s formerly closest ally. It is said his grandfather was ill-treated by the authorities in colonial 16 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
Kenya in the 1940s, which seems as good a basis as any on which to reorder 21st century bilateral relations, or at any rate as good as the proportion of the Canadian overseas aid budget devoted to abortion promotion. But I doubt insensitive British policing twothirds of a century ago weighs that heavy on the president. After all, his brother back in Kenya lives on 12 bucks a year, and that doesn’t seem to bother him, so it’s hard to see why ancient slights to his grandfather would – except insofar as they confirm the general biases of his collegiate Left worldview. In that sense, those who argue that, hav-
tossed Grampa Obama behind bars. Perhaps a singing Mountie yodeling selections from Rose-Marie beneath his jailhouse window all night explains the president’s revulsion to Canadian Arctic policy. Perhaps the Gujarati fakir sharing his cell and keeping Grampa up all night with his snake charming accounts for Obama’s 18-month cold shoulder to India. And you can hardly blame him postponing his trip to Australia given the lingering resentments after Grampa was bitten by a rabid wombat down by the billabong who then ran off with his didgeridoo. Fascinating as these psychological spec-
Fascinating as these psychological speculations are, we may be overthinking the situation. It’s not just the president. The entire administration suffers, to put it at its mildest, from systemic indifference to American allies ing been born in Hawaii and been at grade school in Indonesia, he lacks the instinctive Atlanticism of his predecessors are missing the point. Yes, he has no instinctive Atlanticism. But that’s not because of a childhood spent in the Pacific but because of an adulthood spent among the campus Left, from Bill Ayers to Van Jones, not to mention Jeremiah Wright. That also conveniently explains not just the anti-Atlanticism but the anti-Zionism, at least until the scholars uncover some sinister Jewish banker in Nairobi who seized the family home after the braying Brit imperialist toff
ulations are, we may be overthinking the situation. It’s not just the president. The entire administration suffers, to put it at its mildest, from systemic indifference to American allies. It wasn’t Obama but a mere aide who sneered to Fleet Street reporters that Britain was merely one of 200 countries in the world and shouldn’t expect any better treatment than any of the others. It wasn’t Obama but the State Department that leaked Hillary Clinton’s dressing down of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Ally-belittling comes so reflexively to this administration that it’s now doing drive-
by bird-flipping. I doubt Secretary Clinton intended to change American policy when she was down in Argentina the other day and, out of the blue, demanded negotiations on the Falkland Islands. I would imagine she is entirely ignorant and indifferent on the subject, and calling for negotiations seemed the easy option – works for Iran and North Korea, right? As to Canadian funding of Third World abortion, the secretary of state was simply defaulting to her own tropes: If she sounds more like the chair of Planned Parenthood than the principal spokesman for American foreign policy, well, hasn’t she always? In a 2003 autobiography almost as long and as unreadable as the health care bill, she offered little on world affairs other than the following insights: France’s Bernadette Chirac is “an elegant, cultured woman.” Nicaragua’s Violeta Chamorro is “an elegant, striking woman.” Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto is “a brilliant and striking woman.” Canada’s Aline Chrétien is “intelligent, sharply observant and elegant.” But Russia’s Naina Yeltsin is merely “personable and articulate.” Alas, since taking office, the Obama administration hasn’t found Gordon Brown, Stephen Harper, Binyamin Netanyahu, Nicolas Sarkozy, Václav Klaus or Manmohan Singh the least bit elegant, cultured, striking, elegant, brilliant, elegant, striking, elegant, sharply observant, elegant, or even personable and articulate. One of the oddest features of the scene is attributed to the president’s “cool,” which seems to be the euphemism of choice for what, in less-stellar executives, would be regarded as an unappealing combination of coldness and self-absorption. I forget which long-ago foreign minister responded to an invitation to lunch with an adversary by saying “I’m not hungry,” but Obama seems to reserve the line for his “friends.”
Visiting France, he declined to dine with the Sarkozys. Visiting Norway, he declined to dine with the king at a banquet thrown explicitly in Obama’s honour. The other day, the president declined to dine with Netanyahu even though the Israeli prime minister was his guest in the White House at the time. The British prime minister, five times rebuffed in his attempt to book a date, had to make do with a perfunctory walk’n’talk through the kitchens of the U.N. Obama’s shtick as a candidate was that he was the guy who’d talk to anyone anytime anywhere. Instead, he recoils from all but the most minimal contact with the world. John Bolton calls him “the first post-American president,” and is punctilious enough to add that he doesn’t mean “un-American” or “anti-American.” In his Berlin speech, he presented himself as a “citizen of the world,” which, whatever else it means, suggests an indifference to America’s role as guarantor of the global order. The postponement of his
The British prime minister, five times rebuffed in his attempt to book a date, had to make do with a perfunctory walk’n’talk through the kitchens of the U.N /Tony Blake/ PSG
Australian trip in order to ram health care down the throats of the American people was a neat distillation of the reality of his priorities: a transformative domestic agenda must necessarily come at the price of America’s global role. One-worldism is often a convenient cover for ignorance: You’d be hard pressed to find a self-proclaimed “multiculturalist” who can tell you the capital of Lesotho or the principal exports of Bhutan. And so it is with liberal internationalism: The citoyen du monde is the most parochial president of modern times. © 2010 Mark Steyn INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 17
Richard Prosser Can we fix it?
BOB THE BUILDER ASKED THE QUESTION, AND SO DID
Winston Peters. New Zealand appears to be broke and in need of repair, or so we are constantly advised by no end of commentators. Politicians both Governmental and Opposition, the Police, the Judiciary, learned economists (ha), the various Churches, ‘educationalists’ (whatever they are), all manner of social agencies, Greenies, non-Greenies, youth advocates, Grey Power, and everyone from the Licensees Association to the Women’s Temperance League, agree that we have massive problems; but no-one seems to have any coherent idea about how we should be addressing them. Apart from me, of course. Your favourite scribe believes that not only yes, we can fix it, but that such fixing should be quick, simple, straightforward, and cheap. Not without a little pain, of course, but good things seldom are; to this end I have taken it in hand to craft a simple twelve-point list of Things We Should Do in order to cure New Zealand’s social and economic ills, bring about Peace and Prosperity, and restore this country to her rightful place at the head of the OECD’s standard of living and quality of life tables. In no particular order, they are these: Race Relations Abolish the office of Race Relations Commissioner. We didn’t have a problem with Race Relations in New Zealand until the post of Chief Grievance Stirrer was created, and today it serves no useful purpose, having become little more than a refuge for anti-white racists. As for the Treaty, take a photo of it for Te Papa, and then burn the damned thing. It’s caused nothing but trouble from Day One, and that will only get worse as long as we go on pretending that we aren’t one people as Hobson intended and as the reality of modern genetics dictates. 18 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
Transport and Communication Build roads. Turn the entire single-digit, and as much as possible of the two-digit State Highway system, into at least dual carriageway. Straighten the curves and flatten the hills, dig tunnels and build viaducts. This will speed up and economise freight movement, whisk the tourists along, cut the road toll, keep the contractors busy, keep the diggers digging, and provide an entire generation of real New Zealanders with real work for life. Lay high-speed fibre optic cable alongside the new roads, and link it to our phone, cellphone, television, and broad-
forward planning and cost recovery-only charging. We’re too small a nation to muck about with silly ideas like private utilities. Leave that to the Yanks, because it’s never worked for us. Install smart meters which will enable private individuals and companies to sell power back to the grid, and put a solar water heater and a mini wind turbine on the roof of every house. Form a State-owned oil company, dig up the riches in the Great South Basin, turn Southland’s lignite into diesel, and plonk a nuclear power station on the Kaipara to supply Auckland with electricity, like we should have done
Leave the poor bloody environment alone, for God’s sake. It’s adapted to humanity perfectly well so far, and it’s going to carry on adapting. We are not affecting the climate, and you have mental health issues if you believe we are. Put down your placards and go and get some therapy band networks, to bring everyone into the 21st Century. Forget about railways; we’re a small sparse population in a big empty country, and we can’t just transplant the London Underground or the Hong Kong Rapid Mass Transit system here and expect them to thrive. Public Transport is a shot duck in New Zealand. Live with it. Energy Re-nationalise electricity generation and distribution, and bring back thirty-year
fifty years ago. Run it on uranium from the Buller Gorge. We’re four million people in a country with more energy reserves than Britain and Japan combined, for God’s sake. There is no excuse for New Zealand to be short of energy or to be overcharged for it. Defence Bring back National Service, and boost Defence spending to 5% of GDP, like Singapore does. Re-create ANZUS, rebuild the Navy and the Air Force, and integrate
the Army into Civil Defence and community policing. This will help to re-establish our diminishing sense of patriotism and nationalism, give our young people involvement and a reason for national pride, and promote a focus on self-discipline, health, fitness, and team sports, beyond the school years and into a person’s early twenties. There is nothing benign about our strategic environment, and there never was. We are dumb if we continue to pretend that we don’t need Defence, and we’re deluding ourselves if we proclaim that we can’t afford it. Education Pay teachers properly, and make it mandatory for them to spend at least five years in the real world between finishing school or varsity, and coming back to the classroom. This will weed out the idealists and the airheads whose prime motivation appears to be filling our kids’ heads with left-wing propaganda and other PC rubbish, and provide for some better role models for our distracted youth. Concentrate on the three ‘R’s, and the rest will take care of itself. Go back to instructing kids about useful things like Home Economics and woodwork, and for crying out loud, teach them how to drive cars properly. While we’re at it, we need to reinstate corporal punishment and compulsory swimming lessons. As for tertiary education, we should be paying young people to learn, in exchange for a return of service agreement; newly qualified doctors, dentists, and vets having their training paid for on condition that they spend five years or so working in hardto-staff areas, for example, or engineers and mechanics extending their military service as an alternative to paying off a student loan. Also, no-one who hasn’t had kids should be allowed anywhere near the machinery of education policy making. Health Waiting lists for elective surgery, not enough specialists, nurses disappearing overseas in search of decent pay, taxpayers getting the rough end of the pineapple yet again? This one is really simple. Make private health insurance illegal for politicians and their families. Just watch, we’ll have the best health care system in the world quicker than you can say “scalpel”. Crime and Punishment Arm the Police, with real guns. Never mind your namby-pamby little Tasers or pepper
spray; if dumb criminals or drunken teenagers want to face off to the cops, shoot them. They’ll get the message. Make prison a place where people don’t want to go; no visitors, no tobacco, no coffee, no TV, no under floor heating, just bread and water and plenty of hard work. Legalise handguns for law-abiding people, and let the law specifically allow the use of deadly force for self-defence and the defence and protection of others and their property, as Texas does. Natural selection and natural justice will prevail soon enough. Obliterate the gangs, utilising the new conscript Army for additional manpower if necessary (see ‘Defence’ above.) Methamphetamine will disappear along with them, as will much of the rest of this country’s crime. Social Welfare Welfare rots the soul. Get rid of it. This country needs a fundamental, paradigm shift in its thinking where welfare is concerned. Have emergency benefits for people who lose their jobs, sure, but limit them in terms of time; if people have to retrain, relocate, or do something different or beneath them, then that’s what has to happen, and yes, I have been unemployed before. Have emergency benefits for women and their kids, but educate them about contraception (I think we all realise that abstinence isn’t a realistic option), and actually hold young men accountable for the children they sire. We can’t have a tenth of our able-bodied population sitting on their backsides doing nothing, we just can’t. It’s as simple as that. The time for excuses and apologies is over. It is time for people to go back to work. The Economy Build some factories! Manufacture things! It’s the way to create wealth and jobs! Film at eleven! Seriously, New Zealand needs to pull its head out of its posterior where industry is concerned. We cannot expect to fund a first-world lifestyle off the returns from a third-word economy. Bulk commodities, unprocessed goods, and tourism, are no substitute for real industries. The myth of Free Trade is one of the more stupid ideas promoted by the International Communist movement in recent decades, and if we need tariffs and subsidies to protect our industry, then let’s have them. The rest of the world operates this way. It is only New Zealand
who pretends that everyone else is playing by the rules, and it is only we who are suffering because of that. The Environment Leave the poor bloody environment alone, for God’s sake. It’s adapted to humanity perfectly well so far, and it’s going to carry on adapting. We are not affecting the climate, and you have mental health issues if you believe we are. Put down your placards and go and get some therapy. The Waikato wasn’t designed with dairy cows in mind, but over the last 150 years or so it’s got used to them; Southland and Canterbury will do the same. The sky isn’t falling, we’re not running out of water, windfarms won’t solve anything, and we’re not about to drown in our own poo. Take off your tinfoil hat. The snails will be fine. Stop panicking. Oh, and move to 100% recycling and a complete ban on landfills, because they’re stupid and unsustainable. Electoral reform Never mind fiddling about with MMP. Make voting compulsory, and put the age up to thirty. Maybe even thirty-five. This will get rid of most of the meddling influence of naïve, immature, irritating little political science graduates, idealists, baby journalists, Union activists, Greenies, anyone from the youth wing of a political Party, and all the other mindless juveniles who stalk the political landscape. Also, it is time we did away with the concept of secret ballots. Everyone should know exactly who voted for whom, so that the people responsible can be held legally accountable for the decisions made by the idiots who they elected. Perhaps such a move would provide us with a better class of representative, and make people just a little more careful about where they spread their wild votes. And it goes without saying that we need binding referenda (but I’ll say it anyway.) Immigration We need more people and we need new people, as every society does. But candidates must speak English, fear God, and honour the Queen. Enough said. There you have it; a dozen simple remedies by which the majority of the ailments which afflict this fair nation of ours may be cured. Can we fix it? Yes, easily, and wouldn’t it be nice if our elected representatives would just get on with the very straightforward process of doing so? INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 19
Lisping morris-dancing liberals WHAT BETTER TIME THAN NOW TO BEGIN SEEKING
some answers as to how on earth we might collectively begin to turn around our burgeoning crime figures. There is no doubt at all that New Zealand is fast becoming a haven for uncivilised low lifes who, without a second thought, will rob, seriously assault, rape and even murder their fellow citizens with apparently few qualms at all. We, in our turn as victims, either potential or actual, in true blue Kiwi fashion despite being well aware that our caring and sharing, softly softly approach to this problem is having absolutely no effect at all in reversing this worrying and dangerous trend, nevertheless appear to lack sufficient character or willpower to declare all out war on crime. Like many of you, I am sure, I cringe and even gnash my teeth in impotent rage as I read about court case after court case taking several months, even years to convict and sentence bastards of the first order for crimes that they have quite obviously committed. Then, much worse, being let out on bail for even the most dreadful offenses; being set free to add to their already extensive crimes. How simple would it be, do you think, to order our work shy court system to clear all serious cases from Arrest to Sentencing within a maximum of three months, with all other crimes to be completely dealt with in seven days. Whatever happened to the old legal adage that Justice must be swift and seen to be done? Well certainly here in New Zealand if that’s the case then plainly justice is in big trouble as painful slowness would currently be the apparent go, with “seen to be done” being largely determined, it would appear, by the offender’s position in society. If being “right up there”, it can almost guarantee the offender a nice little “secret squirrel” trial, although regrettably a privilege rarely available to ordinary folk who 20 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
happen to work for a living. So that pretty well encapsulates our broken court system doesn’t it? Keep any serious cases out of court until people’s memories as to the truth to be given in evidence is dimmed almost beyond recall, then pursue a policy of name suppression almost guaranteed to bring our justice system into disrepute as it reinforces the now widely held belief that we now have two separate systems.....one for the rich and the famous, and one for everyone else. Hell, we haven’t even begun to look at the poor souls who currently are doing their best to catch the crims and bring them into our wretchedly inefficient circus-like court
by and large the coppers are our friends and protectors against the bad guys. Here’s a quote from someone, to me at least, I believe to have been one of history’s greatest leaders and realists, Winston Churchill. “We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those that would do us harm”. Which is precisely the image of our Police force that I believe should be urgently rebuilt. I want to see a return to a time where criminals were actually terrified of what would happen to them should they ever be silly enough to attack a policeman, and yes, even unthinkable the consequences should the
Any talk at all to give the police defence tools like tasers or side arms is met with cries of anguish from the usual bearded and sandal wearing suspects rooms. Our Police are now being assaulted in bulk numbers, even now killed and seriously maimed, and what pray is being done to reverse this appalling trend? Any talk at all to give the police defence tools like tasers or side arms is met with cries of anguish from the usual bearded and sandal wearing suspects who mostly I suspect would personally wet themselves if ever confronted by a preschooler in a tutu who tossed even a handful of lollies at them, let alone a 100kg thug waving a baseball bat. This extremely vocal minority of cloud cuckoo land dwellers are our coppers’ worst enemies, as they plainly have yet to realize the difference between right and wrong or worse, that
copper being attacked be a police woman. Here too, I would return to my belief that we need to urgently begin to recruit street and patrol coppers of a size and demeanor that only a lunatic would even consider mixing it with. Our current, oh so politically correct police recruitment policies – where bright yet weedy little Kiwis are actively encouraged to become uniformed moving targets for legions of hardened thugs out there on the streets, is grossly unfair to them and, sadly, of very little use to us, the people that they are meant to protect. Fear is the key to any system of justice worthy of the name: peace and tranquility for those who quietly go about their lives
staying on the right side of the law, but absolute bed wetting and naked terror for those who choose the wrong path. We, for years, have listened to the self appointed testosterone-free morris-dancing criminals chief advocates lispingly tell us that prison, for instance, just doesn’t work, and of course they are quite right. The reason being of course that entirely due to prison, so called “reformers” continual carping and liberal “forgive them Lord, they know not what they do” mantra, they have now infected our prison system top to bottom, so that as a punishment, prison is no longer feared, having become in recent times more of an alternative lifestyle that many prisoners on release appear to be more than willing to re-enter. Time, perhaps, to bring back fear tactics that could pretty well solve a simple, yet ongoing public safety problem that we have seen the Government spend hundreds of million on without any success worthy of note being the result. The old favourite, drinking and driving. So what’s the deal at the moment? Have a few beers too many? What’s really to fear? Well, not a lot actually... Got caught as a first offender, it’ll probably be around a six hundred dollar fine and loss of license for six months. Be nice to the kindly Judge and he’ll probably let you pay the fine off, even give you a work license. Then again, if you’re a bit of a bad so and so, don’t pay the fine and just keep on driving – seems like you are allowed to get caught for six or so following
...hell, if I get picked up it’s straight into night court, then a cold damp cell in Mt Eden for seven days.
DIC’s before they toss you in the cooler, so she’ll be right mate just soldier on. So what if we introduce the Fear Factor? Time for one more with the boys, hell, if I get picked up it’s straight into night court, then a cold damp cell in Mt Eden for seven days. Probably won’t have that other pint Bruce, I’m off home. Now, how simple is that as a wee law change do you think, or would the LTSA be all upset by Parliament having solved an ongoing problem that the LTSA have built an empire around! And that’s not so much of a cheap shot at the drones living off a criminal activity like DICs, but more of an indication that crime has now become a
very important part of our whole economy. Introduce some common sense law changes that cuts crime in half and we’d likely double unemployment, and which government would ever do that do you think? Much better after all to accept that crime remains a wonderful election issue, provides the news media with at least half of its stories, employs tens of thousands of New Zealanders, both in fighting crime or it would seem, becoming an actual criminal as an alternative to getting a job, and after all, which political party wants to add to the dole queue? Chris Carter appears in association with www.snitch.co.nz, a must-see site.
INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 21
Matthew Flannagan Dawkins and open mindedness THE BOLD STATEMENT “RICHARD DAWKINS OPENS
minds” leaped out at me from the newsletter sitting on the University of Auckland’s Law Library counter. The article went on to sing the praises of Richard Dawkins and mentioned his book The God Delusion. On reading the piece one could be forgiven for concluding that Dawkins’ works are a paragon of the open minded assessment of ideas. Now Dawkins is a Zoologist and I, not being a Zoologist, would not presume to assess his work on Zoology. What is interesting, however, is that much of Dawkins’ most famous work is not on Zoology; it is on Theology and specifically Philosophy of Religion. That field of Philosophy which critically analyses religious questions, such as, the veracity of arguments for and against God’s existence. Having some background in these fields I find it a little surprising that an Auckland University publication would contend that his work is open minded because it is evidently not. In The God Delusion Dawkins’ main argument against the existence of God alludes to Fred Hoyle’s famous claim that the probability of something as complex as life evolving by blind chance was less likely than a fullyfunctional Boeing 747 being created by a hurricane blowing parts around in a junk yard. Dawkins writes, “However statistically improbable the entity you seek to explain by invoking a designer, the designer himself has got to be at least as improbable. God is the Ultimate Boeing 747.” Dawkins has made the same line of argument elsewhere “God, or any intelligent, decision-making calculating agent, is complex, which is another way of saying improbable”. In The Blind Watchmaker he argues, “Once we are allowed simply to postulate organized complexity, if only the organized complexity of the DNA/protein replicating machine, it is relatively easy to invoke it as a 22 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
generator of yet more organized complexity”. But of course any God capable of intelligently designing something as complex as the DNA/ protein machine must have been at least as complex and organized as that machine itself.” This argument contains three premises. First, that theism (belief in God) is justified by “postulating” God to explain the existence of organised complexity. Second that the God appealed to by theists is complex. Third, that the existence of complex beings are highly improbable. These lead to the conclusion that “God is the Ultimate Boeing 747” and hence “almost certainly does not exist”. The problem with this argument is
explanation. It is not that they are rationally believed because they explain some phenomena better than all alternatives, it is rather that these beliefs are part of the background data that we use to assess proposed explanations against. These things are true because we immediately experience them as true. I have the experience of remembering the existence of a past event. I intuitively perceive that rape is wrong. I experience the basic axioms of logic as self-evident and so on. Such beliefs are called properly-basic beliefs. Since the late 1970’s an extremely important movement within Philosophy of Religion, known as the reformed episte-
Dawkins simply ignoring what theists mean by God. He ignores how they conceptualise God and ignores the arguments and discussions they have actually made that all three premises rest on caricatures and misunderstandings of contemporary theology and ignorance of contemporary philosophy of religion. I will explain. Dawkins contends that God is postulated to explain organised complexity. There are two problems with this contention. First, Dawkins assumes that God is rationally believed only if his existence is inferred by some kind of argument for the best explanation of a given phenomenon. However, not all beliefs are justified on the basis of some kind of argument of this sort. Our belief in the existence of the past, our belief that it is wrong to rape, our belief that other people exist or that basic axioms of logic are true are not based on inferences to the best
mology movement, has offered detailed and rigorous defences of the contention that, for theists, belief in God can be properly-basic. This position has been defended by leading philosophers of religion such Alvin Plantinga, William Alston, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Peter Van Inwagen and others. Now, of course, it is possible that this movement is mistaken but Dawkins surely owes us an argument to this end as opposed to his simply assuming it and ignoring the counter evidence. Second, among those theists who do defend God’s existence on the basis of some argument for the best explanation, very few do so on the basis that God explains “organized complexity”. Richard Swinburne, the
leading proponent of such arguments, argues that God explains the existence of laws of nature, religious experience, the origin of the universe and the continued existence of the universe. Swinburne does not postulate God to explain “organised complexity”. Similarly, William Lane Craig, a leading defender of theism, suggests that God explains the origin of the universe, the existence of morality and the fine tuning of the laws of nature. Again, Craig makes no appeal to “organized complexity”. In 2009 the Blackwell Encyclopaedia to Natural Theology was published which contains the most up to date versions of the 11 most definitive arguments used to defend the existence of God in the literature today. Not one of them involves an appeal to “organised complexity”. While the cogency of arguments for the existence of God that do not involve “organized complexity” remains open to substantive debate, it is undisputed that these arguments exist. Dawkins’ picture of God as a postulate to explain organised complexity is a crude caricature of theistic scholarship. To be fair Dawkins attempts to address some of these other arguments elsewhere in the book. However, here again much of his writing consists of caricature. He attacks five arguments proposed 800 years ago by Thomas Aquinas as being representative of the current case for theism and completely ignores the vastly more sophisticated and vigorous versions being defended in the literature today. Ironically, Dawkins quite severely misunderstands Aquinas’ arguments and attributes to him a position no Aquinas scholar would accept as accurate. However, even if his account were accurate, critiquing theism by attacking the arguments of one 12th century theologian is a bit like me attacking evolution on the basis of the evidence for it gathered in the 12th century and ignoring any of the scientific developments of the last 800 years. Such ineptitude would not be tolerated in the scientific world and should not be seen as de rigueur just because the topic is religion. Dawkins’ second contention fares little better. Dawkins states that “A God capable of continuously monitoring and controlling the individual status of every particle in the universe cannot be simple” this seems to be because, “The corners of God’s giant consciousness are simultaneously preoccupied with the doings and emotions and prayers of every single human being – and whatever intelligent aliens there might be on other planets in this and 100 billion other galaxies.”
There are several problems here. First, as Craig has noted, this confuses whether what God thinks about is complex with whether God himself is complex. Second, as Plantinga has noted, in The Blind Watchmaker Dawkins states that something is complex if it has parts that are “arranged in a way that is unlikely to have arisen by chance alone.” However, the concept of God employed by most theists is of an immaterial being that does not have material parts so by Dawkins’ own definition God is not complex (unless one assumes that God is a material being but theists almost unanimously maintain that God is an immaterial being). This misrepresentation is made all the more pertinent by the fact that for centuries theists have been offering rigorous and sophisticated arguments that God is not in fact complex but is simple. While these arguments may not be successful, Dawkins still needs to actually provide reasons for rejecting them. To simply assert that God is to be conceived in a way that no one conceives Him and to ignore the numerous arguments to the contrary seem more like a child who asserts his position and then puts his hands over his ears and repeats “I am not listening” than it does a serious critical evaluation of another’s position. Dawkins’ final contention, that the existence of complex beings is improbable, is similarly confused. Suppose one grants that God is “the Ultimate Boeing 747” and that God’s existence is as statistically improbable as the complexity it is invoked to explain. Little in fact follows from this. This is because what is improbable in the Boeing 747 analogy is that the plane came into existence by chance. If God is “the Ultimate Boeing 747” then the conclusion to be drawn is only that
it is improbable that God came into existence by chance. This, however, provides us with no reason for thinking that God does not exist. No theist holds that God came into existence by chance, theists hold that God is eternal. Here, again, Dawkins attacks a concept of God nobody holds to and hence is caught jousting with a straw-man. On examining Dawkins’ central argument what one discovers is not an open-minded, informed, careful examination of the contemporary debate over the existence of God. Nor does one find a carefully researched assessment of theism. Instead one finds Dawkins simply ignoring what theists mean by God. He ignores how they conceptualise God and ignores the arguments and discussions they have actually made. The theism Dawkins dismisses apparently assumes that God is a material being with parts, that He came into existence by chance and is postulated merely to explain organized complexity. The actual arguments proposed in defence of theism that have been put forward in the literature are not addressed at all. Some Auckland University academics might consider such tactics to count as open-minded but I do not. In my view an open-minded honest assessment of religion requires accurately representing what theologians say and teach. It means endeavouring to read and understand their position and offer informed and critical responses to these positions. Ignorance and caricature is not open-minded scholarship. Dr Matthew Flannagan is an Auckland based philosopher/theologian who researches and publishes in the area of Philosophy of Religion, Theology and Ethics. He blogs at New Zealand’s most read Christian blog www.mandm.org.nz.
Richard Dowkins is pictured at the 2007 Frankfurt Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany. / Erwin Elsner/ NEWSCOM
INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 23
David E. Richmond The ultimate cold case: An unpalatable truth IF THE COVER STORY BY ANTHONY DOESBURG IN THE
Sunday Star Times over Easter is an accurate summary of the main points of Bryan Bruce’s new book: Jesus the Cold Case, – and I’m not aware that Bruce has denied that it is – then I’m afraid the so called cold case is destined to remain unsolved for some time to come. For a start, one would have thought that a sine qua non for investigating a cold case would be that the investigator would approach the evidence with an open mind. Bruce has however, apparently allowed his agnostic bias to uncritically embrace the philosophical stance of the Jesus Seminar as a frame-work for the investigation. For readers who have not heard of it, the Jesus Seminar is a small self-selected [and I would venture, ‘discredited’ (Ed.)] group of scholars who have taken upon themselves an attempt to discover which of the sayings and works of Jesus of Nazareth are authentic. In doing so, their assumption is that much of what is written in the Bible about Jesus is not authentic, and that they can discern reasonably accurately the inauthentic parts. Their standard for this judgement – the humanistic presupposition on which all their conclusions rest – is that it is not rational to believe in miracles, or a virgin birth, or resurrection from death. Therefore, they argue, where such events are recorded in the Bible, they are fabrications and not truly historical. They further argue that they can ‘read back’ what Jesus might or might not have believed despite an intervening 2000 years and a different culture. The effect of this approach is, amongst other things, to exclude about 85% of the teachings in the Gospels attributed to Jesus, including all but the first two words of the Lord’s Prayer. Their starting point then is not to take an historical approach that investigates the authenticity or otherwise of the New 24 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
Testament accounts, but to start with a philosophical stance that precludes any historical investigation and indeed, creates its own history. This is rather like what happened in the Arthur Allan Thomas case where the police having concluded that Thomas was the perpetrator proceeded to plant the evidence that would ‘prove’ their case. Then one would want to know how careful the investigator has been to ensure that the evidence he has assembled to support his case is accurate. Well, if Bruce’s assertion that the author of the third gospel, Luke, “claims that Joseph bundled heavily pregnant Mary on to a donkey for the 120km journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem” is any indication of the accuracy of the other evidence he is
investigator? Bruce’s account raises serious questions about this. After asserting strongly that the “the Gospels…. were Christian propaganda…” exemplified by his accusation that the gospel writers deliberately falsified the birth place of Jerusalem to make it coincide with the birthplace of the famous King David for its “great PR value,” Bruce then proceeds to enlarge on the “other side of Jesus” – his alleged self-centredness, enjoyment of “the good life and freeloading off rich sinners”, attention- seeking, and lack of sympathy for the poor. But where does this information come from? Why, from the very authors he has previously accused of plagiarism and propaganda in order to enhance the image
The important issue was not who killed Jesus but why he died. And the Bible is quite clear about that putting forward, it is highly suspect. There is no mention in Luke or any of the other gospels of Mary riding to Bethlehem on a donkey – or a horse for that matter. It is an assumption that isn’t in the Bible. Moreover Bruce’s claim that Matthew and Luke “have different explanations of how Jesus’ mum and dad came to be in Bethlehem for their first-born’s arrival” is entirely fallacious. Matthew gives no explanation whatsoever: he merely states that “… Jesus was born in Bethlehem.” Errors such as these lead one to wonder if Bruce ever read the New Testament for himself or has relied on ‘third party’ evidence. A further question would be: how logical is the line of reasoning employed by the
of Jesus! He wants to have his cake and eat it too. According to Bruce, the evidence he is working with – the gospels – was compiled decades after the events they purport to report. Moreover, he says, it is hopelessly contaminated from other sources. This is tantamount to saying that anything written about World War II after about 1965 is highly unreliable. Nevertheless, he relies on this undependable evidence – or what is left of it after the Jesus Seminar has done it over – to reach his hardly startling conclusion. Hardly startling because he had only to look in the ancient Apostles Creed to discover exactly the same conclusion. One would not expect much from an
investigation begun from a biased standpoint, advancing manufactured evidence and employing a dubious logic. And so it is. Pontius Pilate was the killer. Acting all alone. Nice, neat, and very P.C. No-one clamouring for Jesus to be crucified. A hint that the motive might have been “threatening public order” – though I don’t believe that even the Jesus Seminar people have accused him of fomenting a rebellion against the Romans. I do not deny that the appalling attitude of many Christians from medieval times onwards towards Jews was based on a conviction that Jews had been responsible for Jesus’ death. This misinterpretation of history is a matter of much sorrow to main stream Christians. In taking that attitude, our forebears were missing the point altogether, as indeed Bruce has done. The important issue was not who killed Jesus but why he died. And the Bible is quite clear about that. In the book of Acts chapter 2, Peter who had been one of Jesus’ disciples, is explaining to a crowd of people after Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection what has been happening. He says: “Jesus of Nazareth’s divine authority was clearly proven to you by all the miracles and wonders which God performed through him. You yourselves know this for it happened here amongst you. In accordance with his own plan, God had already decided that Jesus would be handed over to you and you killed him by letting sinful men crucify him. But God raised him from death, setting him free from its power…Each one of you must turn from his sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins will be forgiven…” In other words, Jesus’ death was God’s provision for the forgiveness of human sin. That’s the key point. And who was Peter talking to? A multilingual crowd from Parthia, Media, Elam, Mesopotamia,
Judea, Cappadocia, Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, Pamphylia, Egypt, Libya, Rome, Crete and Arabia, both Jews and Gentiles. The Jewish leaders of the time had an axe to grind. It suited them to have Jesus done away with. But it was the crowd that clamoured for his death, it was the crowd that pressured Pilate; and that was clearly an international crowd. The unpalatable truth is that we through our ancestors killed Jesus.
In other words, Jesus’ death was God’s provision for the forgiveness of human sin. That’s the key point
David E. Richmond MD BD, Professor Emeritus. Sometime Dean of the Auckland Consortium for Theological Education. INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 25
26 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
ABUSE of Trust
A Political Whodunnit
Hamish Jevan Goulter was just 14 years old when he quit school to begin working in Labour MP Tim Barnett’s Christchurch office. What followed has become the stuff of nightmares for both men. Goulter is accusing Labour of spending taxpayer cash and effectively turning him into a gay toyboy, while Barnett describes Goulter, now 21, as a political ‘stalker’ who is ‘seriously confused’. Sucked into the fray are cabinet ministers accused of smoking dope, allowing a 15 year old to drink alcohol or even springing him from a CYF residential facility. Yet as IAN WISHART reports, final judgement may be in the hands of voters, as Goulter is now standing for election to the Wellington City Council INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 27
n just a few weeks Labour’s historic ministerial expense claims are due to be released. What’s not clear is whether they’ll go far enough back to shed light on the strange story of Hamish Goulter, and his year of swanning around in ministerial limousines, drinking wine with the Prime Minister, having access to MPs’ taxi chits, and allegedly enduring sexual advances from Labour MP Tim Barnett. It’s a story that’s been hanging over the heads of the Labour Party since 2003, threatening to rear up at two crucial elections. If you believe Jevan [he now uses his middle name given to him by his birth mother] Goulter’s account of what transpired, this story is what prevented Tim Barnett from being promoted to cabinet, and in fact what caused his decision to stand down at the 2008 election. If you believe Tim Barnett, Goulter is a fantasist whose false and hurtful allegations played no part in his retirement from politics. Goulter is standing for the Wellington City Council in this year’s election. He approached Investigate saying he had political skeletons and needed to lay his past open for voters to make their own judgement on. His biggest fear was that political opponents would use the information against him in the campaign if he didn’t make a pre-emptive strike. It’s been a difficult story to investigate, this one. The central figure grilled repeatedly in hours and hours of taped interviews – and a large amount of time then devoted to chasing up responses from those he’s aiming his guns at. Personable, charming, intelligent, Goulter knew what he was getting himself in for. “The first thing people are going to say to you when they read this interview is that you’re a wannabe, you’re a narcissist. How do you answer that?” “Well,” says Jevan, “How does me doing this story make me look good in any way whatsoever? I know what I’m saying. None of this looks good from any political view. It doesn’t make me look good. You know, if I was going out there to get cheery little supportive stories I’d go to a little Maori magazine saying ‘I support culture, I support arts, blah blah blah, do a nice luvvydovey story on me’. “People are going to think what they are going to think. This stuff’s gonna come out regardless, because the reality is there are too many individuals who know about this stuff.” 28 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
TOP LEFT: Goulter and Winston Peters. BOTTOM LEFT: Goulter and former partner Mika. BOTTOM RIGHT: Goulter and drag queen Carmen at their joint birthday celebration.
He’s right, in the sense that it’s a story that’s been lurking in the background since 2004, when Goulter’s relationship with the Labour Party soured. Aged just 15 and a half, he began pitching to news media what he claimed was a sexual harassment story against one of Labour’s most effective and respected MPs, Christchurch Central’s Tim Barnett. “Do you know what?,” he says at the end of one long gruelling interview with Investigate, “I have even sat down and I’ve thought to myself – I do this sometimes – I’ve sat there and I’ve thought, now OK, did that actually happen or have I just said that has happened so many times that I believe that it happened? But I think about those things, and I make sure.” The difficult thing for Goulter, and news media, is that the stories he tells are remarkably consistent in their core detail. Days, even weeks apart, he will be rolling through an explanation of what allegedly happened and then suddenly recall some nugget – like an over-talkative mother chatting over the
teacups – that he last told you a fortnight ago, yet the visual imagery and remembered conversation snippets of the incident are identical to the previous version. Were Goulter ever to end up in a courtroom he’d be a cross-examining lawyer’s worst nightmare – his far-reaching tapestry of tawdry tales resists unravelling, despite repeated attacks. Yet the weakness remains: for much of the gritty stuff, it is a one vs one account, he said/he said, without witnesses. When it comes to Goulter’s core recollections, his memory for detail is impressive, although as a psychologist could point out that doesn’t necessarily make the events totally true, it simply means he genuinely believes they happened the way he remembers them. He could be utterly, but honestly, deluded. Or, of course, he could be telling the truth. As he notes, he is not immune to selfdoubt occasionally when his recollections are challenged, yet they feel so real: “I distinctly remember having the glass ripped out of my hand by Jacinda, I dis-
tinctly remember saying to Helen, ‘is it OK if I drink?’. I distinctly remember what she said to me. I remember these things, I didn’t imagine these things. Yes, people did try and stop me from drinking, and other people didn’t have a problem with it.” Born in October 1988, and adopted out, Hamish Jevan Shanan Goulter grew up in Christchurch. His story begins at Shirley Boys High School in 2002: INVESTIGATE: How did you get to work for Labour? JEVAN: Basically I was at high school and then I came in touch with Tim Barnett and joined his Youth Advisory Committee that Tim had advertised in the Christchurch Press. Applied, got in and basically from there was
INVESTIGATE: So when was this? JEVAN: I’m 21 now, so around 2002, 2003. INVESTIGATE: What did the school say about all this? JEVAN: It all happened pretty quickly. The school – I’d been flying to Wellington to go to all these shindigs and things that Labour used to put on – the school weren’t happy, they basically told me ‘you can’t be out of school three days a week’. I ended up with a truancy officer, but the truancy officer who was a Labour supporter turned around and said ‘well, if they want to play hardball so will we’, and she said ‘we’ll just go and put you in the mayor’s office for two days a week as well’. I met Gary Moore at the 2003 Labour
I WAS PRETTY MUCH ABLE TO DO WHAT I WANTED THERE AT PARLIAMENT. TIM PROBABLY BECAME A LITTLE BIT OF A LESSER PART OF THE PICTURE, YOU KNOW, I WAS FROM CHRISTCHURCH AND I HADN’T REALLY MET ANY OF THE MINISTERS APART FROM AT ANNUAL CONFERENCE, AND APART FROM LIANNE DALZIEL AND RUTH DYSON
encouraged to leave school. I was about 14 by the time I’d left school and I was doing three days a week ‘work experience’, because I wasn’t really allowed to be working, in Tim’s office and two days a week in Mayor Gary Moore’s office. INVESTIGATE: So Tim arranged that did he? JEVAN: Yes, at his electorate office in Christchurch. INVESTIGATE: Tell me a bit more about yourself. JEVAN: I was at Shirley Boy’s High School and how it happened was that I randomly saw it advertised in the paper – I wasn’t much of a school person, didn’t really enjoy it, and Tim sort of got me out of it. INVESTIGATE: What did your parents think? JEVAN: My parents thought it was great that I had joined the Youth Advisory Committee but they weren’t happy about the fact that I’d left school at all, however I had the whole attitude of ‘Tim’s letting me and he’s an MP’.
Annual Conference, I asked him and he was more than happy for me to do that. The next time, I ended up going to Wellington on a trip my parents had not agreed to, my flights had been cancelled but the Labour Party re-booked my tickets for me. I ended up in Wellington, Tim kept his distance, the school sent a truancy officer to Parliament and Helen Clark’s office sent the truancy officer away and said that I was under the care of her office. INVESTIGATE: You’re kidding me?? That’s staggering! JEVAN: Tell me about it. ••• Investigate was able to verify with school authorities that Goulter had become involved with Labour’s Christchurch Central MP Tim Barnett, and subsequently ceased attending school three days a week while he was still only 14. The school has confirmed it referred Goulter to the Truancy Service, but had no control over how the Truancy Service subsequently handled the case. The school
says whilst a truancy officer may have gone to Parliament to find Goulter, the officer was not technically “sent” by the school per se. The records show Goulter effectively left Shirley Boys High in July 2003 at 14 years 10 months, in what one source describes as “a Kiwi Suspension”, where all parties agree that a parting of the ways is best, without giving the student the “criminal record” of an actual expulsion. Goulter is remembered by staff as “a colourful character”. Normally what follows such a suspension is that the Truancy Officer will try and come up with alternative placements to occupy the student until they reach a legal age to leave. Goulter’s perception as a 14 year old was that Tim’s office ‘lured’ him to work for him which was why he was wagging school, but a more nuanced assessment of the evidence suggests Barnett’s office was the “cure” proposed by the truancy team. And indeed, that’s precisely how Tim Barnett remembers it too: “We were approached by the local school, he wasn’t attending school and they were desperate to find something for him to do. He was interested in volunteer work, and that’s when he first appeared in our life. I had a Youth Advisory Committee, and he seemed quite keen as a young person and focused on politics and that’s when he became part of that committee,” Barnett explains from his office in Cape Town, South Africa, where he’s now working with the World Aids Campaign. So it’s true, Goulter left school at 14 to work in a Labour MP’s office. It’s not true that Tim Barnett lured him there or “encouraged” Jevan to become a truant. After listening to Barnett’s comments, and the way the school and other key players remember the sequence of events, Goulter accepts what Investigate has found in this regard. But there are odd comments too. “We were certainly aware of his age, he was 16 throughout this period,” says Barnett. Except, of course, he wasn’t. It is a matter of record that Jevan was aged 14 when he left school to work in Tim’s office, not 16 as Barnett believed. Jevan says Labour knew he was only 14 and 15 through this time, and it is certainly hard to believe that the Truancy Service did not reveal Jevan’s age when arranging work experience in Barnett’s office; after all, if Jevan had been 16 the Truancy Service would have had no role to play, by definition. To add to the confusion, however, friends of Jevan at the time recall he boasted of his INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 29
contact with Labour cabinet ministers, and how he’d “claimed to be older than he was”. Jevan certainly looked older than 14, but he’s adamant the key people at Labour did know his real age and that’s one of the reasons he became a bit of a token good-keen-Labouryouth attending ministerial functions. In his initial interview he talked extensively of having free rein inside the Beehive. JEVAN: I was pretty much able to do what I wanted there at Parliament. Tim probably became a little bit of a lesser part of the picture, you know, I was from Christchurch and I hadn’t really met any of the ministers apart from at annual conference, and apart from Lianne Dalziel and Ruth Dyson, but when I started going out with John Tamihere and being invited to the Speaker’s Flat with Jonathan Hunt, Tim became more insignificant in the role he played. It was always known that I was there initially under the care of Tim’s office but some days I’d walk into Steve Maharey’s office and he’d take me out to a conference, or other days I’d walk in and have lunch with Michael Cullen. We used to have this big saga where the security guards in parliament would continuously pull me up because I’d be walking around with my video camera and I’d have all these other young people following me around, and they’d drag me over to the security spot. Jonathan Hunt would then come out and say ‘How dare you? He’s allowed to do what he wants here’. Apparently all I needed was the Speaker’s [Jonathan Hunt’s] permission and I had free range. INVESTIGATE: What was it that you believe made Labour sit up and take notice of you? JEVAN: Labour can look at it and say – I’m older now so I can look back now and also say what I think – but Labour would look at it and say ‘Jevan is young, he’s enthusiastic...’ but the reality is, cutting all that crap out, I’m good looking. It wouldn’t matter if I knew s*** or not, I still would have ended up being able to do what I did regardless. I can imagine you’d know how hard it was to go into a political party and pull out all the good looking young ones – it wouldn’t happen! So I think that was a bit of a bonus. I really was ‘show and tell’. I see that now. If I’d had glasses and freckles all over my face it wouldn’t have happened. I quite adamantly say it wouldn’t have happened. There’s been certain Labour MPs I’ve spoken to who have blatantly said to me that is why. I feel like I was used, to be quite honest. I didn’t go in there for the fact that I’d 30 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
get to ride around in Crown cars to KFC, I went in there with the attitude, ‘this is cool, I like the political buzz’. Remember, I was young and I hadn’t experienced the other parties, the other views that people shared. Because I was so young I was hustled into ‘this is the way we do it, it’s the right way, and anyone else who says otherwise, that’s the wrong way’. INVESTIGATE: In terms of Annette King and Phil Goff, did you have many dealings with them? JEVAN: Dinner a couple of times at group functions where I was sitting next to Annette. As for Phil Goff I probably had more to do with his daughter, who worked for a Government agency when Labour was in. Her name is Samantha. She was just stunning, she was beautiful when I met her, she was really hot. And I was like, ‘Piss off, you’re not his daughter?’ And she was, so we used to go out and have dinner and lunch quite a bit. Phil was a, I think he was a bit of a nobody then. INVESTIGATE: Did you ever run into Heather Simpson? JEVAN: I don’t recall meeting her. All I recall about her was when I went back to Tim’s office someone in the office turned around and said, ‘Did you run into the bulldog?’ I said, ‘I beg your pardon?’, and he said ‘Oh, so you didn’t meet Heather then because you would have known if you did’. I said ‘no’, and Tim turned around and said, ‘No, her lover hides behind closed doors’. INVESTIGATE: Who were they referring to? JEVAN: To Heather and Helen. INVESTIGATE: Was it common knowledge or just ‘supposed’? JEVAN: To Tim I’d say it was common knowledge, and when Tim said it he sounded pretty adamant that he was correct. Like when Tim said it he made a statement, if you know what I mean. It wasn’t a joke or questioning. When other people said it it was all just assumption and speculation. Also, Tim made remarks about Helen and Judith. The only reason I knew Tim wasn’t lying is because I didn’t even know Judith very well when he first mentioned her. In fact, I didn’t know who she was, all I knew was that she was a minister in Auckland. INVESTIGATE: What did Tim say? JEVAN: He would have only said it three times at the most during the whole time. After the time when he mentioned Heather he said, ‘I wonder how Judith’s going to feel about that’. Who was Tim talking to –
because Tim wasn’t talking to me, I was listening in. I think he was talking to Kimberley Woods who was his office manager. The other time was in Wellington and it was just me, Tony Milne and him, and we were at Tony’s house – because Tony moved to Wellington to work in Tim’s parliament office. And the time after that was in Tim’s office again. INVESTIGATE: What was the context at the time with Tony? JEVAN: They were having drinks and joking, candidly, together. INVESTIGATE: What sort of things were Labour paying for in regard to you? JEVAN: It was more trips and hotels. They put me up in a couple of hotels on certain occasions. The one in Wellington, and the other in Christchurch. The occasion in Wellington was that Tim didn’t want to get in trouble, he’d suggested I get out of school and the school was after me, and he thought it not a great idea I stay at his place – it wasn’t a good look – and it’s not a good idea I stay at Tony’s place because Tony works for him, so yeah, let’s keep him as far away as possible until he turns up to conference tomorrow. INVESTIGATE: So did you normally stay at Tim’s? JEVAN: It was decided it was too risky and Ramon was there as well. Ramon never liked me. INVESTIGATE: So where were you staying most of the time? JEVAN: Tony Milne’s, in Roxburgh Street if I recall, by the Embassy (cinema) because at the time the dragon was up and Tim used to always take us to the Phoenician kebab shop. I was 14 and 15 at this time. INVESTIGATE: So did Tim put it on his credit card, do you recall how it was paid? JEVAN: I had no money, it was just paid. I presume it was Tim, I think Tim had a ‘Labour fund’ for his office and it probably would have been that, the Labour fund. Lynne Lulham, when all the crap went down afterwards, because I think she ended up working for Winston Peters, but she told me, ‘we always told Tim he was going to get in trouble’. ••• For his part, Tim Barnett adamantly denies paying for hotels or airfares for Goulter. Barnett believes Goulter had enough loot from his McDonalds job to fund the trips, but Goulter’s eyebrows raise at this: “McDonalds? How was I going to get rich on one shift a week?”
TIM BARNETT: “The allegations are a pack of lies”. /NZPA
INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 31
“It’s possible Hamish could have ingratiated himself with someone prepared to pay for a hotel,” responds Barnett, but it certainly wasn’t me.
MINISTER CHRIS CARTER ALLEGEDLY INTERFERES WITH CYFS CASE
JEVAN: I was put into Child Youth and Family’s care and protection a number of times, but I was fine with that. One night I was taken by the services and put into a house with all these other drop-kick kids, and I was sitting there thinking, what, this is ‘care and protection’?. I was able to get one phone call in this house. You go in and they pretty much lock 32 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
you up – they say they don’t but that’s more or less what it is – and I said ‘look, I want one phone call, I’m going to call my friend’. They said, ‘well, your friend can’t do anything’, and I replied ‘My friend’s a minister, my friend will do something’. They explained to me how the church played no part in what was happening to me, and I said, ‘No, mine’s a cabinet minister and I’m sure they’re going to let me walk out of here’. Anyway, I hopped on the phone and I rang Chris Carter, this was about midnight and the lady in the house didn’t believe me, but I sat on the phone and I said, ‘Look Chris, I’ve been taken to this place, I don’t want to be here, can you help me?’
CHRIS CARTER: “Hamish Goulter? I’ve no idea who Hamish Goulter is”./ NZPA
He said, ‘Put her on the phone’. I have no idea what happened after that, basically the phone conversation ended and he sent me a text message saying ‘You can leave’, and she said to me, ‘yep, you can go, I won’t stop you, do you need to ring anyone to come and pick you up?’ and that was the end of it. ••• Investigate has been able to locate the person whose house he was taken to after leaving the CYF residence.
That person, now a professional working in the youth health field, remains stunned that a 15 year old was released close to midnight from a CYF Care and Protection residence into the care of someone who was not Jevan’s legal guardian. This does not of itself prove the involvement of a cabinet minister in the process. So we asked Chris Carter to comment: CARTER: Hamish Goulter? I’ve no idea who Hamish Goulter is. INVESTIGATE: Now known as Jevan? CARTER: Oh, I know, this is Mika’s former partner. Yes. INVESTIGATE: He used to visit parliament. Did you ever see him there? CARTER: Correct. I sent him home once when he arrived and I got the Social Welfare secretary to put him on a plane and send him back to Christchurch. INVESTIGATE: He was selected for Tim’s Youth Advisory Committee when he was 14, and ended up coming up to Wellington quite frequently, getting taxi chits to go around and so forth. Were you familiar with any of that? CARTER: No. I found out about this kid hanging around parliament from my staff, who said he was really young, 15 or something, he looked older but they said he was pretty young. He’d actually based himself on that particular day – I only ever encountered him once – in Judith Tizard’s office and was making quite a nuisance of himself. So I spoke to him, found out he was essentially a runaway from home and that he claimed to be heading to Auckland to find his birth mother – he spun this sort of elaborate story. But when he confirmed to me he was only 15 I went immediately next door to Ruth Dyson’s office where I got the Social Welfare secretary and said ‘this kid should not be in Wellington, he has to go back to Christchurch, could you sort it out?’ And that was my only involvement with him. Several years later he surfaced in Auckland at Mika’s dance company and that’s where I saw him again. INVESTIGATE: Was he a guest at your wedding by any chance? CARTER: He was not, he certainly was not. Mika came and sang a song and brought a couple of young Tongan guys who sang rap songs but Jevan was not there. INVESTIGATE: Let me read this to you [recounts incident relating to getting Jevan out of CYF care] CARTER: All bulls**t. First of all, who
would get me at midnight, or in the night, anyway? My only involvement with him was getting him sent back to Christchurch. ••• Well, that’s Carter’s explanation. To be fair, however, it contains some inconsistencies. Carter claims he only met Jevan once, and that was at parliament in Judith Tizard’s office where he promptly pinged him and arranged to have him sent back to Christchurch. “You can check the records,” responds Jevan, “I was never sent back to Christchurch from parliament. I did get sent back from Auckland the following year, but never Wellington. It didn’t happen.” Incidentally, Chris Carter’s comment about Jevan being 15 conflicts with Tim Barnett’s belief that he was 16. Chris Carter also claimed Goulter “never” attended his civil union ceremony, yet Jevan’s Facebook page contains photos from Carter’s “wedding”, featuring Goulter and his performers. Investigate is in possession of emails from Chris Carter to Jevan in regard with the wedding performers. Additionally, Tim Barnett says Chris Carter did meet Goulter away from Wellington. “He saw Chris when he was up in Auckland. He went up to trace his birth mother and it was a distressing trip for him.” So it seems odd for Chris Carter to initially deny knowing Hamish Goulter, yet he could instantly make the connection between “Mika’s former partner” named “Jevan” and a boy he claims to have kicked out of parliament seven years ago named “Hamish”. Denying that Goulter attended his wedding, Carter then faces the reality of photos and Goulter being able to describe events inside the ceremony, like one of the wedding songs : “You raise me up”. Is Carter’s memory poor, or is there some other reason for his denial of involvement with Goulter? Investigate struck a similarly unusual response from Labour MP Lianne Dalziel. “Hamish Goulter? I don’t know him”. “You might know him as Jevan,” we prompted. “Oh, he’s a friend on Facebook but I don’t know him personally I think.” “He’s spoken of being with you on various occasions and at Tim’s office.” “I don’t know, I don’t know. I don’t remember every single person that I meet. I don’t know him. He is a friend on Facebook.”
Lianne Dalziel poses with Jevan Goulter, tells Investigate: “I don’t know him”
“You don’t recall him ever being at Parliament?” “No.” We pressed her on a couple of points, like the afternoon in Barnett’s office when she was being stalked by the media. She could remember the occasion, but not the presence of anyone named Hamish or Jevan. It would seem straightforward enough. On the strength of Dalziel’s assurances it would appear to the casual reader that Goulter has lied about his relationship with the former Immigration Minister. And yet...within five minutes of making the call to Dalziel’s office, Investigate received a phone call from Jevan, “You’ve just rung Lianne? She’s just sending me a Facebook chat apologising for denying that she knew me”. This is what Dalziel said to Goulter: “I owe you an apology. Ian Wishart has just contacted me and I’m afraid I said I didn’t remember you. I feel so guilty. All I’ve said, I told him you were a Facebook friend, so I knew ‘about’ you. I hope this doesn’t affect what he is writing about you.” Why the denial? With former ministers evidently skating on ice when it comes to revealing the full truth of what they know about Jevan, and in fact inadvertently confirming his basic factual recollection of some areas of his story, it is impossible to rule out Carter’s involvement in springing Jevan from CYF care: perhaps he has simply forgotten; his defence is more based on “how could he reach me at night?” but that’s not exactly a fulsome rebuttal so much as an appeal to doubt. It is a matter of record that Goulter walked free from a locked residential facility late at night on the same day he was INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 33
admitted, something that simply does not happen – especially to children subject to a court order under s31 of the Care of Children Act. Something sprung him and odds are it wasn’t pixies. Goulter has applied for a copy of his CYF file, which may shed further light.
LABOUR SUPPLIED ALCOHOL TO MINOR
JEVAN: I had even got a job working part time at McDonalds while I was doing the whole Labour buzz as well, and one night I couldn’t, sorry, I was at the annual Labour party conference and I was at the party that night, and I was completely smashed off my face with Annette King and Michael Cullen. I walked over to Tim and he said, ‘You’ve got to be up in the morning if you’re coming today [with us], and I said ‘No, I have to work. I’ve got a job and I actually have to go to it.’ He turned around and said, ‘No you don’t, you don’t look well enough.’ Now here’s a man I don’t like: Dr Ian Scott. Isn’t he a horrible thing? Tim took me over to him and said ‘This is a doctor and he’s going to decide if you are well enough to go to work or not’. Dr Ian Scott, in his drunken state, said ‘no, no, you don’t look like you can go to work’, so off he went and told Tim. Tim walked off to either his car or around the corner, because we were just around the corner from his office (this is the year it [the conference] was in Christchurch), and brought back a blank piece of A4 paper. Ian Scott starts writing out his BSc Hons, credits, qualifications or whatever, and said ‘This person’ blah blah blah ‘is not well enough to work’ ra ra ra ‘and if you’d like to take it any further feel free to contact me’. I went in there [to McDonalds] and gave it to them and they were furious. They accused me of faking it and I said ‘Well, Tim’s sitting out in the car, he’s an MP, you can go and ask him if you want’. They looked outside and he was sitting there, so they took it. The following week they put me into a disciplinary meeting so Tim sent someone from his office along and completely got me out of it just by flashing Parliamentary Service papers around, and then McDonalds did something to do with ACC and told them I wasn’t covered when I burnt myself, and Ruth Dyson [ACC Minister] blew up at them – I always had someone coming into bat for me. INVESTIGATE: And who was the super34 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
visor at McDonalds you were dealing with? JEVAN: Steve, Steve something. He was the restaurant store manager. He had muscular dystrophy. This was the big Linwood branch in Christchurch. Now, the medical certificate, what actually happened is, when I hit 16 I was really pissed off at the Labour Party. I was. I’d left school, I’d had this huge falling out with my parents and I pretty much blamed it all on Tim, to be fair. And to be honest I still do, I still look back now and think, ‘it wasn’t my fault’. So at that time I did go to TV1, and the Press, but I didn’t like the way that either of them dealt with me. Because I was 16 and if someone was that pushy with me, at 16, I put my guard up and thought, right, you’re not the right person to do the story with me. But McDonalds wouldn’t give the actual medical certificate to us, they gave us photocopies of it. So it was then proven to TV1 and the Press, OK, this kid’s not lying. They sent questions to Tim’s office and he replied saying ‘yes, he has taxi chits’ and then he didn’t answer a whole heap of the other questions. With the medical certificate he turned around and said ‘I truly believed he was sick’, and he didn’t answer the other questions and sent them back. Sarah Azzam, the journalist at TV1, came back to me and said, ‘Oh, look, my board have had a discussion and they don’t think it’s right for us to do this kind of story with someone your age’. Bulls**t! Like they freaking give a toss. I walked away wondering if it was because Labour was in power and they were the state broadcaster. As for the Press, somebody had talked me out of doing it by the time the Press got back to me, so I just dropped it. ••• Investigate spoke to Bruce Davies, Goulter’s former employer. “He’d have a lot to confess about,” he muttered darkly. Davies remembered the incident but refused to supply a copy of the medical certificate. Tim Barnett remembers the “medical certificate incident’ well. “That was the incident at the Labour Party conference. Hamish was working at McDonalds, and that’s where he was saving the money to go on these trips. Somebody at the conference who was a medical doctor, Hamish (who hadn’t been drinking any alcohol) tried to ingratiate himself with this guy to get a medical certificate so he could attend conference the next day, which was a Sunday actually, and that was between
him and this guy from Auckland, Ian Scott.” So on the one hand, Goulter says he wanted to work but got talked into providing a questionable note from the doctor, whereas Barnett effectively argues Goulter wanted to play truant from his work, and got the doctor to write a questionable certificate. About the only thing Goulter and Barnett agree on is that the certificate was questionable. Either Jevan had indeed been drinking and the doctor genuinely believed the boy was unfit for work the next morning, or it was, as Tim says, a case of the good doctor
Georgina Beyer (second from right). / NOTIMEX
doing a perfectly healthy youth a favour. But that wasn’t the only incident involving alcohol. JEVAN: At that Chinese restaurant they all go to, there was a bomb threat, let me tell you a little bit about that. I’m 15 at this time, quite happily getting drunk, and Helen’s left half an hour before everyone else, before they decided to tell the rest of us there was a bomb threat. Good-o! That’s one thing I remember, Helen being ushered out so much earlier. What a joke. We weren’t even told. INVESTIGATE: What was Helen like?
JEVAN: I think, even growing up older and spending time with Georgina and hearing the things she said about Helen, ‘It’s ten steps behind me’, Helen was hugely controlling. Georgina, however, keeps her lips sealed. Georgina was a very good friend. I’m guessing she’s not going to be if you do the story but I’ve accepted that. Georgina and I were at Sky City having dinner one night, and she turned around and said, ‘Did Tim try and slip you one did he?’ I was 17 at the time. She hated Helen, but she’s a woman with a lot of morals believe it or not. She’ll always
say ‘Labour gave me my life, no one else would have’. But she hated the PM, she used to say ‘I could have been the first trans Cabinet minister but no, Helen wouldn’t let me’, and instead that’s gone to Italy now. Anyway, there were protestors there that night when I went in because someone almost hit me in the face with a sign, but probably realised I would have hit them back. ••• Investigate has been able to date this event as April 2004, thanks to a report on the Indymedia website from the Workers’ Party: INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 35
“In April 2004, the Labour Party held a fundraising dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Wellington. Appropriately, the restaurant was on Tory St – hence the slogan ‘Labour: up Tory St without a paddle’. “Around 70 people showed up to the protest. 2004 VUWSA exec member Scott Trainor, who’d been put up as the Labour candidate months earlier but became radicalised, stole this show. Scott burnt his Labour Party membership card in front of 36 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
Helen Clark when she walked through the picket line. “Later in the evening someone (not sure who, but not the WP) called in a bomb threat – so the Labour delegates probably missed out on dessert.” JEVAN: Young Labour were always very angry towards me, they didn’t like how I got to do what I wanted. Jacinda Ardern, who’s now an MP, she was my biggest hater. ‘You’re walking with us’. I said, ‘I’m not walking,
Paul Swain’s offered me a lift with him. You walk.’ “If we’re walking, you’re walking.” ‘Piss off Jacinda, you’re not in charge of me.’ So I walked off from her, went with Paul and ended up at Premier House. I had a few encounters with Helen that night, she came over and asked me to open a window because it was getting hot and stuffy. I thought they were push windows,
Annette King, “loud and annoying”. /NZPA
but they were slide windows and I broke it, just put a crack through the whole thing. No one noticed so I just walked away. But then I’m getting drunk and Jacinda comes over and rips the glass of wine out of my hand, ‘You can’t drink in here, you’re only 15!’ ‘Yeah I can drink in here, it’s a private function, you’re not my mum, piss off!’, and I got really verbal with her, I really didn’t like her. So I walked over to Helen and I said,
‘Jacinda’s just said I’m not allowed to drink. Am I allowed to drink or not?’ And Helen’s exact words were, ‘Of course you are, this is my house.’ I said, ‘I’m only 15’. And she said, ‘It’s my house’. So I got my glass of wine and I started boozing up again. Jacinda just went off her nut. Now, Helen was drunk that night, in my view. Helen was drunk and she gets to the point when she’s drunk where people just take her away. We were staying, I think, at JT’s house. I wasn’t walking. I didn’t like Young Labour, they’re a bunch of smelly, fat, unattractive people. Not that I’m a superficial person, but really, come on. INVESTIGATE: You claim you saw Helen drunk, how often? JEVAN: Actually drunk? I could honestly say probably only a couple of times. One was in Christchurch at the annual party conference. The other, I’m not sure if Ruth Dyson was drinking as well, but they’d just had a meeting, the house had been in urgency. I’d gone up there and I was sort of fluffing around and Helen walked through the corridors. She’d just been meeting with Ruth but I was going to Ruth’s office. Helen had been drinking and she still had the glass of red wine in her hand. The only reason I believed she was pissed, she didn’t do anything outrageously dumb but I felt she was pissed by the way she acknowledged me and walked through the hallway – it seemed obvious to me she wasn’t quite with it. This was on Ruth’s floor. INVESTIGATE: Did you ever see Annette King drinking? JEVAN: She was one of those at Labour Party conference – one night we were at the bar right beside the Press building and they had a function there. Of course I tried to get in and they wouldn’t let me – it was a pub. It was busy and late at night but Tim came and ushered me through, and the second time I got stuck out there it would have been Dr Ian Scott who got me back through because the guards weren’t going to let me in. I was just schmoozing around, I’d had a bit to drink and I was drinking with Annette for quite a bit and with Michael [Cullen] because Helen didn’t turn up on that evening. I had my camera and I was asking people to take photos and I remember getting a photo with Michael and I had my glass of wine. And then when I went over to Annette we had a few photos together and she was fine with me having my wine but then some-
one came and said ‘not a good idea having that in the photo’ and pulled it out of my hand. There was that, and the night that Annette King was at Premier House, because what happened was I’d gone down and spoken to Annette because they were trying to shove me with the Young Labour people in our seating arrangements. I didn’t want to be up there because I couldn’t see anything, so I’d gone down to ask Annette, who was going to sit at Helen’s table, and asked if I could sit with Annette and she said ‘sure, you can sit beside me’, but Jacinda wouldn’t let me. INVESTIGATE: What sort of behaviour when she’s drinking? JEVAN: Oh, she just can’t walk properly, and loud and annoying, in my opinion. That was Annette, she’s loud and annoying. She becomes a fag-hag [heterosexual woman who likes to hang out with gay men], that’s the best way to put it. Michael, Lianne, Ruth, Annette – they’d sometimes drink together in the rooms in the Beehive, which I was welcomed into, I was allowed in there. The other times were when I was in Jonathan Hunt’s office, or his flat, and I could pretty much do what I wanted there. I thought whatsisname, Mark Burton, Minister of Defence at the time, I thought he was a bloody waiter because he was carrying around a tray with stuff on it and handing stuff off. I’ve always been a bit of a loud mouth and I turned around and said to Jonathan, ‘the waiters here are quite old, aren’t they!’. And Jonathan said, ‘No, that’s Mark Burton, apologise please’. I’d offended him apparently. Whenever I got drunk in the Speaker’s flat, there was one time when I walked out onto the balcony which looked over the stairs, I’d always get dragged back in ‘because nobody can see you in that state, they’d murder us’. ••• Tim Barnett is equally adamant he never saw Jevan drinking, and that it was the other way around. “He claims he went to Premier House and got plied with alcohol, but a number of witnesses signed a statement then that yes, Hamish was there but we spent most of the evening trying to avoid Hamish coming into contact with alcohol. “Same with the Labour conference in Christchurch. We knew he was under 18 and that was the practice we followed. “He met Helen three or four times at INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 37
those events, he would bowl up to her. She probably knew his name at the time, because there aren’t that many young people who are that energised bouncing into the party and getting involved so quickly. We were trying to encourage this.” Jevan rejects the claims that there was a strict policy preventing him being ‘served’ alcohol. “At these events it was just laid out on side tables. You would simply go and grab a glass whenever you wanted. No one was keeping a specific watch. Yes, some people like Jacinda tried to stop me, but Helen let me.” 38 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
POLITICIANS ON THE WEED
INVESTIGATE: You’ve talked of alcohol, what about politicians smoking marijuana? JEVAN: I was in Wellington with them. Tim had offered it to me, I didn’t want it. I’ve never liked it. I experienced it when I was younger. There was Tim, Ramon and some other person I didn’t know. INVESTIGATE: What about Chris Carter? JEVAN: Yeah, it was either him or Peter, one of them offered it to me. They were all having it. Ah, Charles Chauvel, it was Chris, Peter and Charles, although Charles wasn’t
an MP then. It was a social night, there were drinks happening as well, and it was just us, after a show I think, or I might have turned up afterwards to see them. Because Chris and I used to text each other quite frequently, where are you, what are you up to, shall I come and hang out? Chris, he’s a definite, although that was never in the Beehive or Parliament, it was at events where I was in the background hanging around with them while they frolicked around being ‘twinkies’. INVESTIGATE: Michael Cullen?
JEVAN: I know he smoked it at the annual – I think it was the Christchurch Labour conference with Annette, but I don’t think Annette had it. I couldn’t be honest and say I saw her smoke it. INVESTIGATE: But you did see him? JEVAN: He had it in his hand, yes. I just remember him having it, it was passed to him by one of the young Labours. This was on the evening I’d been doing my photos and everyone had been drinking. INVESTIGATE: You recognised it, you smelt it?
JEVAN: I knew what it was, my friends my age had had it before, or just a bit older than me, so I wasn’t naive to that. Ruth, she’s a definite. INVESTIGATE: Did that happen in parliament? JEVAN: I’ve seen her. I’ve smelt it. I’ve smelt it while she’s had it. In Christchurch. ••• Many members of parliament, and indeed wider society, have tried cannabis. The pro marijuana lobby NORML’s website records on its register of MPs at the time: “Dr Michael Cullen (Dunedin South – Labour) evasive, won’t say own position, but does point to Helen Clark’s spot fines speech”. Of Annette King, NORML records: “Annette King (Rongotai – Labour) evasive, but wants to hear more. Has admitted to trying cannabis”. The NORML list says of Ruth Dyson: “Ruth Dyson (Labour List) is a supporter of decriminalisation” Tim Barnett told Investigate he’s never smoked marijuana, “ever”. Not only had Goulter pinged Chris Carter as bailing him out of CYFS care, he was now also accusing him of smoking weed as well. Naturally, Investigate gave Carter the chance to tell his side of the story: INVESTIGATE: He’s also alleged he was there when dope was smoked at a social occasion with you, Peter and Charles Chauvel. CARTER: [fits of laughter] No, definitely not, that’s ridiculous. No cigarette has passed my lips in 30 years. INVESTIGATE: He says he attended a function at Premier House with Young Labour and the Prime Minister and a bunch of ministers, this was after dinner at a Chinese restaurant and a bomb scare. CARTER: I’ve no idea whether that was true...I don’t think the Prime Minister would ever have met him. He certainly was loitering around parliament and when my staff told me he was only 15 that’s when we sent him on his way. I certainly don’t think he got anywhere near Helen’s office, that’s just ridiculous. INVESTIGATE: He’s 15 years old, he had no money, he’s claiming the Labour Party funded his trips up. CARTER: The Labour Party wouldn’t even fund my trips up. I couldn’t even imagine that they’d fund his trips up. ••• Carter’s claim that Jevan had no contact with Helen Clark contradicts what Tim and oth-
ers have said. It also overlooks the obvious fact that both Clark and Goulter attended his civil union. For the record, Carter voted against medical marijuana last year.
“TIM MADE ADVANCES ”
Tim had made advances on me when I was younger. Basically I spoke about one of those times to somebody, which I thought was in confidence at the time but which turned out not to be. Overnight, everything changed. I ended up in Child Youth and Family with a police officer and this person, that person, they were all begging me to press charges basically, and I was saying ‘no way, get out of my face’. I was pretty onto it then, and I knew they couldn’t make me and I knew they couldn’t do anything if I didn’t. I also knew that with my parents releasing guardianship for 30 days that they didn’t have a say either – I’d figured that bit out. So I said, ‘no, I’m not doing it’, and they had to let me leave and I walked out. INVESTIGATE: What nature did the initial advances take and what followed from that? JEVAN: Well, nothing in the end ever happened because I got freaked out and it was like ‘F*** off, mate!’ They were just late nights in his office basically, and he’d drop me off after. I’d be on the computer checking something out, he’d be working on, what was it at the time? The prostitution reform, decriminalisation bill. Evenings like that where I’d be on the computer surfing and he’d say, ‘oh, come over here, have a look at this, what do you think of this?’ and make me sit down on the chair with him. And then he’d put one arm over my arm while I moved the mouse, and it was just gross. That happened a few times and I thought, ‘f*** that’. There were times when he tried to lunge himself at me and kiss me but it didn’t really work because even at 15 I wasn’t the smallest person. I’m part Islander. I’m still a pretty confident person, even if I’m put in a situation I don’t like I’ll get myself out of it because I’m not submissive. Our relationship stayed the same because we’d never speak about it, never talk about it. Because he had a partner at the time, Ramon, who’s still his partner. Ramon couldn’t stand me. He’d always make sure Ramon wasn’t around at all, was at home or work or studying or whatever, when he’d do these sorts of things. There was even one night after Lianne Dalziel left the office, just before she lost her immigration portfolio – we were up there and Tim was saying to INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 39
me ‘When you’re a politician Hamish, this is what it’s like, you have to hide from the media’, and I was just standing there with Lianne looking out the window. And they were trying to decide how they were going to get her away in the bloody car because there’s one f***ing person down there with a camera. We were there for two or three hours before Lianne actually left. It was all over-dramatised. And it happened again that evening (February 2004), and I think that was one of the last evenings. Because as I say I became more closely associated with people like Chris and the North Island politicians. INVESTIGATE: Just to clarify, how old were you when you claim he first tried to touch you or make an advance? JEVAN: My birthday is [in] October, which is close to when their annual conference is. I remember that it had happened before the annual conference, and then it happened after the annual conference. INVESTIGATE: Annual conference 2003. In October 2002 you turned 14, you had already bailed out of school by July 2003, and in October 2003 you turned 15. The Labour Party conference was the 8th of November 2003. JEVAN: That’ll be it. So it began when I was 14 and continued when I was 15. Unfortunately I can’t lie to you and say ‘all this happened’, because I didn’t let it. But it’s still bad enough. INVESTIGATE: You talked about Tim making advances late at night while working on the prostitution bill, was that at his Christchurch office or at Parliament? JEVAN: Always at the Christchurch office, only once at his Parliament office. INVESTIGATE: How many times would he have tried it on? JEVAN: I can’t give you an exact number, five or less. INVESTIGATE: So from 14, through to when, when did it all turn to custard? JEVAN: 15. I remember halfway through 15 I was already flying to Auckland. INVESTIGATE: Who was paying for the flights? JEVAN: Who would know? I certainly didn’t know, and considering my parents didn’t want me going they were cancelling them every opportunity they had. Another person who can confirm some of this is Suzy Cato, the children’s TV presenter. Childrens Conference, all the young people ended up in parliament for a dinner. They went on a tour and I took Suzy for a 40 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
tour of our own (I was under the care of the Speaker’s office at the time) and one of the other girls, Jennifer from Levin, who’s on my Facebook. We ended up going into the Chinese New Year Celebration before the dinner started. We were celebrating the Year of the Monkey at the time (start of 2004), but they didn’t want to let us in. But someone rung Chris Carter’s office and Chris or his assistant Serge said ‘he’s allowed in there’. We just walked in, we were the only ones not dressed up. After the dinner they all went back to watch a movie. I said to Suzy ‘you don’t want to watch a movie, come hang around with me.’ So I took her on a tour of parliament. Suzy was shocked, she said ‘I’ve never been down these corridors, I can’t believe you’re allowed to just walk through here with me.’ We went into the House, it was in urgency, something like 10 or 11pm, and Tim was in there. She goes, ‘which one are you staying with?’ And I said ‘That one’. And she said, ‘So you’re staying with him and Mrs Barnett?’ And I said, ‘No, he’s gay’. And she looked back down in the House, and then back at me, and I said ‘What?’, and she just shook her head. ••• But this was not entirely accurate. Although Goulter says he told Cato he was staying with Tim Barnett, he would have been better to correct her to say he was working in Tim’s office. That’s because, as Goulter has admitted to Investigate, he never actually stayed at Tim’s Wellington apartment, which probably came as a relief to “Mrs Barnett”. INVESTIGATE: You mentioned that you were confiding in someone about Tim’s advances and somebody broke a confidence, what happened exactly? JEVAN: There was a cafe called the Diverse Youth Cafe in Linwood, which was put together by a community board in Linwood which has since closed or relocated. But there was a guy who was the manager of the cafe at the time, he rung Tim because he didn’t like what had been happening and was a Labour supporter and had been earwigging in on myself and one of the counsellors, Tania Smith. Canterbury university, one of their departments, they were looking for people who were 13 or 14 to interview, and they wanted to interview them for three years. I think I got 13, 14, 15. They got the whole Tim thing, when I think about it, at the time when it was good, before it went pear shaped. They
got the whole thing on tape and they transcribed everything because I was a case study. Apparently I’m allowed it. But by the time I’d finished my interviews with them they were shocked. I was passed on to that person at the Uni through Tania Smith at the cafe. INVESTIGATE: In your dealings with CYF, were they ever told about your relationship with Tim Barnett and what had happened? JEVAN: Yes, I ended up in Christchurch in the office on Hereford Street. There were police officers, CYF people and they were all sitting around trying to get me to make a complaint and press charges. The police officer’s name was Chris, from Christchurch central. They scared me, and I wouldn’t do it. In fact, they wanted to press charges on their own as well, but I think they couldn’t do it based on the section I was under because I would have reverted back to my parents’ guardianship. INVESTIGATE: What did they ask you? JEVAN: ‘We’ve heard, we know what’s happened to you, what Tim has done to you, it’s very wrong what he’s done, it’s illegal, we are here to help you and support you, you should be pressing charges. Nobody knows about this meeting’. The island lady made a point of saying, ‘we’re part of a ministry but neither the minister nor anyone else knows you are here, this is a secret meeting’. INVESTIGATE: Can you remember who the caseworker was? JEVAN: There were two people, Bart something, he was a young guy, and Paul Fox. ••• Investigate spoke to Paul Fox who remembered Goulter but refused to speak of the incident. ‘You’ll have to ring our head office’. He then hung up. We also spoke to another woman who accompanied Goulter to the CYFS/Police meeting. She strongly recalls the events, and remembers Jevan refused to make a formal complaint or cooperate with the investigation. As a result of Tim Barnett being told about the allegations in a phone call from the Diverse Youth Cafe, Goulter alleges Labour broke off contact almost instantly. JEVAN: I rung Tim’s office and Lynne Lulham – who worked there at the time and who I still get on with today – she said to me, ‘we always told Tim this was going to happen, we told him it was a bad idea, he didn’t listen.’ I rung a few other people’s offices, and they wouldn’t talk to me.
Now, I’ve gone from being able to take their crown cars whenever I want, take their taxi chit books, even getting things paid for on their credit cards, do whatever the hell I want, to ‘no one’s answering their phone’. I rang Lianne Dalziel’s office, and that was the only office that would tell me anything. The guy there, I think his name was Graham, said ‘The Prime Minister’s told everybody that they are not to speak to you and offices are to have no communication with you and MPs are to have no association with you.’ ••• Tim Barnett admits he was contacted by someone at the Diverse Youth Cafe who’d heard the allegations. “They got in touch with me because they were quite worried about his behaviour given his background.” Barnett says as soon as he became aware that allegations were being made, he ceased all contact with Jevan as the only responsible thing to do. “Then he contacted the Press, and TV1, and did this interview and it was ghastly. Then he texted me and said he was sorry and didn’t know what he was doing. And that was sort of the pattern. “The sexual allegations are a complete pack of lies, and he certainly had no witnesses, and that’s why the media lost interest. “I’ve never ever known what the allegations actually were. I had an odd conversation with him where he came to my office saying a TV station had sent him down, and I told him ‘Hamish, we were never in situations where that could have happened, it’s a complete pack of lies’. “I certainly wasn’t aware he was gay, I didn’t find out that he was gay until quite a bit later, but we were aware that he was somebody around whom there could be some risk of exaggeration.” “Your gaydar didn’t pick up his bisexuality?” we asked. “My gaydar has been very very poor for years. No, he had a bit of flamboyance but a lot of young people his age do.” Barnett makes the reasonable point that as a prominent gay MP pushing the boundaries of social legislation he was careful, like Caesar’s wife, to be above reproach, and not to be alone with people in situations that could be misconstrued. He’s right, but of course history is also littered with highprofile people who have nonetheless found themselves in sticky situations, rightly or wrongly.
Barnett says he had procedures in place from the moment Goulter arrived in Wellington. “We were insistent that he could not stay at my flat, so he stayed with one of my staff who was in Young Labour at the time. “There were two evenings I was there during a busy period in my office, and there would have been people in and out filing. It was late, one of those nights, when he decided he needed to go back to where he was staying and that’s when I gave him the taxi chit, and that was it. “There was no physical contact, no sexual contact, there was no discussion. This was a
TIM BARNETT : “I certainly wasn’t aware he was gay, I didn’t find out that he was gay until quite a bit later, but we were aware that he was somebody around whom there could be some risk of exaggeration.”
young guy who presented as straight, talking about all his girlfriends, who was up in Wellington. “Hamish was an absolute nightmare when this all came out, and drove people in our office a little crazy. I just think he was conINVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 41
fused and this was part of a lengthy ‘coming out’ process for him,” remarks Barnett. Significantly, Goulter claimed to Investigate he slept with another Labour official on a trip to Kaikoura: “Kaikoura, where they’re campaigning trying to raise the profile of Labour in that area, it was I think a house rented there for that weekend. Lianne and Ruth turned up, [Name Withheld] had said ‘My partner’s parents own a house here, we can go and stay there’. Lianne said that sounds great, and I said ‘If you’re going Lianne, I’m coming, I’m not staying here with Michael Woods and all those other losers’. “Lianne decided she was going to drive home, and it was just us there, and it all happened that night. I stayed out there with [X] that night, and [X] said ‘If [my boyfriend] was here we could have a threesome’. I don’t know what the different scenarios were for me
remember who he is, I do. Yeah, he was up in parliament a lot. And just because I used to know Tim, was friendly with Tim, yeah I did meet him and had lots of conversations with him. Is he a young gay guy?” “Yeah. He had been in school but effectively dropped out at the age of 14 to spend three days a week working in Tim Barnett’s office in Christchurch, and the school got pretty upset about this –“ “That’s right,” says Turner in a Homer Simpson, smack-the-forehead kind of moment. “I had forgotten that, that is exactly right. Because I can remember Tim even saying to me, I think he sometimes just turned up, I don’t know how he funded himself up, but he’d turn up in Wellington, and I remember Tim saying to me one day, ‘well he shouldn’t really be up here, he should be back at school’, and I think Tim was a little unimpressed himself.
he should have been at school. “I did deliberately befriend – because the impression I gained when I was in parliament was a lot of gay people work at parliament and I always gained the impression that they thought we Christians hated them, and I just wanted to demonstrate that we didn’t. So I was always engaging.” Turner might have been engaging, but Labour certainly wasn’t. After Labour shut Jevan out, the troubled 15 year old ended up in a relationship with middle-aged gay entertainer Mika. JEVAN: The next election that came after this, when they’d locked their doors on me, I was with Mika by that point – but I was like, ‘I should do my story, I should say how I feel’. Judith Tizard knew who I was, Mika introduced me to her again and she’d look down on me, but when the  election came
JUDITH TIZARD KNEW WHO I WAS, MIKA INTRODUCED ME TO HER AGAIN AND SHE’D LOOK DOWN ON ME, BUT WHEN THE  ELECTION CAME UP CHRIS CARTER AND JUDITH TIZARD STARTED MEETING WITH ME ALL THE TIME, THEY’RE TAKING ME OUT … AND I WAS THINKING ‘OH, YEAH, IT’S ALL CHANGING BACK AGAIN, THEY’RE OVER IT’, BUT NO, THEY WEREN’T OVER IT THEY JUST DIDN’T WANT ME CRACKING THE STORY IN AN ELECTION YEAR, BECAUSE I THINK THEY WERE ONLY AHEAD BY ONE SEAT
then, but basically I let [X] sleep with me.” Although Goulter’s story remains consistent in the telling, he can’t remember such details as whether [X] was circumcised. “I’m sorry, I just don’t know.” “But you are 15, having gay sex, surely you would have noticed?” “It was dark. I lay there. We were both gay, the only two people in the house, what do you think happened?” he snaps. It’s plausible, but it doesn’t help his case. We should hasten to add that Investigate doesn’t have a cupboard full of “penis identikit pictures” – the purpose of the question was to see if Goulter could remember a verifiable personal detail of the night in question. One person whose “gaydar” was switched on around Jevan was United Future MP Judy Turner. “Was he from Christchurch originally? I 42 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
“Tim was obviously very sympathetic to the sort of youth Rainbow movement and was very supportive of young people who were gay, but I got the impression Tim was a tad irritated that he sometimes came up uninvited to help out some more and was just really skipping school,” remembers Judy Turner. He did say, Investigate explained, that Labour was paying for his flights up because he had no money at the age of 15, and his parents were adamant he should have been at school, so he wasn’t getting money from elsewhere to do it. “Wow, that doesn’t make Labour look very good. To be honest with you Tim always struck me as quite a generous sort of person, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Tim funded people out of his own coffers, and so funding him up to youth events in Wellington wouldn’t necessarily be a problem. But he was definitely there midweek at times when
up Chris Carter and Judith Tizard started meeting with me all the time, they’re taking me out, being very nice to me at social functions, and I was thinking ‘Oh, yeah, it’s all changing back again, they’re over it’, but no, they weren’t over it they just didn’t want me cracking the story in an election year, because I think they were only ahead by one seat. Mika thought it would be a good idea for us to ask for money (bloody Maoris!) for my mental health, for what they’d done to me. He decided $25,000 was a good amount. Now of course, Tim turned around and said, ‘No way’, he didn’t have that kind of money to throw away. Then Tim and Mika, they were having a lot of private conversations. Mika was trying to get money out of Tim for me, but the reason Tim never gave in was because of Ramon. Ramon wouldn’t have a bar of it. I remember Chris [Carter]
thanking Mika – Chris thinks I’m stupid, he and I do not see eye to eye now – Chris said to Mika ‘Thank you for stopping Hamish from speaking’. They liked Mika. Mika’s a self server and he will do whatever he can to get ahead, in my view. So we didn’t get the money, but Mika the next year got a grant for so much money, and who was the associate Minister of Arts? Oh, it’s Judith. So it all just fell into place. Judith had said ‘I’ll make sure that I give a letter over to Helen for you, and I’ll do this for you after the election’. I was still young, and I believed her. But for the next three years they’re in power they don’t talk to me, or anything, until coming up to an election date again. INVESTIGATE: You mean 2008? JEVAN: Yeah, the election just gone. The last election. I came back from Sydney because I’d been over there for quite a bit,
I stood there, I stood my ground, and she said to me, her words were, ‘Maybe some time we need to sit down again with Tim and have a talk about things.’ Back in Christchurch, my friend Sophie at Sophie’s Cafe was giving me information that the Labour Party wasn’t happy with Tim. Now you’d have to look at his performance – he never did anything wrong did he? As a front person he was always pretty good at doing the work. So there was no reason for him to leave and he didn’t want to leave. But my friend Sophie knows a lot of people and she got in there and found out, ‘The Prime Minister’s not happy with him’. Melanie Reid, from 60 Minutes, she’d sent me to Christchurch with a TV3 camera crew to go and get the story. She put me with a producer from Wellington, Alison Horwood, so I went down there and they
JEVAN: Yeah, because I never said I wouldn’t do it. I never said I would do it. Basically when I went to events and saw them there I was very confident, I was 18 or 19 now, I knew what I was doing and I would walk into the room and purposely go over to them because I knew they would try and avoid me, especially Chris, because they didn’t like the things I was saying. I’d just say things quite blatantly, in public. I didn’t care, I’d created my own name, I had my own support group now and I was in Auckland and settled. I’d grown up now and I’ve got a mouth on me, I’ve got friends now and I know what I’m talking about. As much as they hate me, when the whole election thing was going on and they were pretending to be nice to me, I went to their wedding. That’s how much they were trying to patch it up with me. I remember sitting down with Lianne and she was probably
BACK IN CHRISTCHURCH, MY FRIEND SOPHIE AT SOPHIE’S CAFE WAS GIVING ME INFORMATION THAT THE LABOUR PARTY WASN’T HAPPY WITH TIM. NOW YOU’D HAVE TO LOOK AT HIS PERFORMANCE – HE NEVER DID ANYTHING WRONG DID HE? AS A FRONT PERSON HE WAS ALWAYS PRETTY GOOD AT DOING THE WORK. SO THERE WAS NO REASON FOR HIM TO LEAVE AND HE DIDN’T WANT TO LEAVE. BUT MY FRIEND SOPHIE FOUND OUT, ‘THE PRIME MINISTER’S NOT HAPPY WITH HIM’
and they’re all talking to me again! I was at all the functions and red carpet events, and I was managing some artists there, working with Nesian Mystik and Chongnee. It was the beginning of NZ Music Month, the Prime Minister turned up at the opening and since I was working in music obviously I get tickets to the openings. I’d just come back from the video music awards, and I’d been partying with Fergie, and Eve and all those people because I had the VIP passes and all the stuff, I saw Helen there and everyone knew me. I walked over to Helen, who was standing there doing her smile, wave, pretendI-give-a-s**t thing. I said to her, ‘How are you?’ and she did that thing with her ear which means she doesn’t want that person near her. Of course I knew that signal, I’d seen it before and Mika uses the same signal in certain situations too.
had me all wired up, and she asked me to go over to his office and get an admission on record. I think it was a stupid set up. I don’t think an MP who has been there for that long is that stupid, for somebody to turn up in their car park. I said it wouldn’t work. Tim knows me and he knows I’m not stupid, so when I walk in on a sunny day with a jacket with two different microphones on me (which they still couldn’t hear anything through anyway)...Basically what it all came down to was that Helen had asked Tim not to stand, or had told Tim he wasn’t standing, along with the party, because if Jevan does come out this time and say it we’ll lose. They lost anyway. INVESTIGATE: So what you’re saying is that they were so worried about losing in 2008 that they decided to lower Tim Barnett’s profile as a target.
really shocked I was there, and didn’t know why. But I’ve got Mika on one arm and they’ve got performers that they’ve booked through me performing at their wedding. Whenever I see Chris now he hates me, doesn’t talk to me, gives me a snide remark, whereas Peter will come running up to me, hug me, grope me, do the typical gay old man thing. ••• Tim Barnett backs up Goulter’s assertion that money was asked for, although surprisingly he doesn’t want to call it “blackmail”. “Then we heard stories that he wanted money. I wouldn’t say it was attempted blackmail, it’s a couple of stages back from that. Mika, who I knew anyway, made contact with me about Hamish a couple of times. Then I met up with Mika once because he said these stories were around and Hamish was going to go to the media, INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 43
and I just said to him, ‘we’re used to this, it happens’. We met in Ponsonby Road, and he said ‘you probably need to think about payment’, and we said, ‘No, and that’s that’. And that was the end of it,” says Barnett. “Did Mika raise the sum of $25,000 with you?” “No. He said that if the allegations were painful then one way to deal with that was to pay the person, but he didn’t mention a sum. I never had that much money and couldn’t have paid it anyway. “It seemed to me ridiculous that as there was no incident, and I was the victim of a young guy telling lies, that I should have to pay money out. “Mika told us Hamish didn’t know he was meeting with us,” Barnett admits, which tallies with what Goulter says. Barnett then interrupts: “Ramon’s just saying he [Jevan] tried to become a friend on our Facebook page recently, which is an odd thing to do when you are making allegations like this.” Goulter’s response: “I’m standing for Wellington City Council and my Facebook account constantly bombards me with auto suggestions of people to add – they might be mutual friends of someone who’s already a Facebook friend. I don’t bother vetting them, I just ‘add all’ because I figure the more people subscribing to my campaign page the better. That’s probably all that is.” On Goulter’s part, he appears to remain utterly convinced the events happened and nurses an absolutely burning anger, even a hatred, towards Tim Barnett that seems out of proportion to what Goulter has declared took place. INVESTIGATE: You mentioned using Labour taxi chits and ministers’ credit cards. What were the circumstances? JEVAN: Yes. For example coming back from Camp Anderson [Riversdale] in the Wairarapa, which was probably one of my earlier dealings with Georgina Beyer, but I was coming back with John Tamihere. I think Tim had left the city [Wellington] for the night but Tim had started going cold on me towards the end, before everything blew up, because of the fact I wasn’t really spending a hell of a lot of time around him, or with him. I was more running off with everyone else. Hell, I was 15 and Tim didn’t get a ministerial car! But I was coming back from Camp Anderson and JT had to go to the airport and fly straight to the Coromandel and asked if it was OK if I came for the drive 44 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
and it was ‘fine’. He goes, ‘what are you going to do?’, and I said ‘I have no effing idea, Tim’s flying back to Christchurch’. He turned around and said, ‘OK, you know what, my office can look after you, just go out for the day.’ I can’t remember the driver’s name, I think it was Sidney, or Sid, although that might have been Judith Tizard’s driver. Anyway, so after that it was, ‘what do you want to do?’, but I didn’t really know Wellington so we cruised down Lambton and went and played a few games at TimeZone, or whatever the
equivalent of Time Out in Christchurch is in Wellington. Went to KFC and got a feed. I didn’t have to pay for any of this because I didn’t have any money. Everyone stared at me when I got out [of the limo] like ‘who’s that?’ They probably thought I was someone’s son or something. There were other times when I was in the Speaker’s flat and there were cars outside, and Jonathan Hunt decided he didn’t want to go out, and I did, so I did. Lianne’s car...I don’t even know who half of the cars belonged to, to be honest. They were always
there though, they were always there to be used so I used them. INVESTIGATE: In terms of taxi chits, which ministers or MPs were supplying you with those? JEVAN: The bulk of them were coming from Tim just because it was easier, considering I was from his electorate. Otherwise they were just coming from left, right and centre. Tim’s book, I had access to his full book. INVESTIGATE: But he had initially made available or said to you that you could use them?
JEVAN: Yeah, and he’d warn me to be careful, ‘Try not to use them too much in Christchurch’ he said, you’re not supposed to use them in your own electorate, but otherwise it was just ‘go for gold’. One person – because I presume you are going to need to talk to some people – I flew up, probably a month after annual conference just to go, Michael Cullen had said he would spend a couple of days with me – there was a conference going on at the same time and they wouldn’t let me in because it was full and you had to be paid
“Michael Cullen had said he would spend a couple of days with me” / NZPA
INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 45
for, something like $400, if you hadn’t been put in for free. And that was the Office of the Children’s Commissioner, Cindy Kiro. I turned up, they wouldn’t let me come, so I walked into Steve’s office, just to see what he was doing because I was bored, and Steve said, ‘Oh, I’ve got to go and speak at this’, and I said, ‘Oh yeah, I really wanted to go to that but they wouldn’t let me’. He said to get in the car, so I hopped in the car and off we went. He hadn’t written a speech, and he pretty much, word for word, took what I told him in the car. He was writing while we were in the car. It was just the two of us and the driver. And I looked at him during his speech, but he acknowledged me and said ‘all of this is what Hamish has been saying’, and he pointed me out and stood me up. ••• Investigate contacted Steve Maharey, who remembered Goulter as “a colourful character” [a familiar phrase], but he didn’t recall the specific speech. “Not after all this time. Too many speeches,” he laughed. ••• JEVAN: Then Helen turned up afterwards, she came up for the speech and I was on stage for some reason. The Children’s Commission office knew who I was, they knew I was the boy who wasn’t allowed there, yet there I am walking in and sitting in the ‘reserved’ seats. Helen came up to me and she grabbed me on stage, ‘This is Hamish, he does a lot for us, our most proactive young person’ blah blah blah’. And this is when the CoC office thought OK, we should be nice to him. Cindy in all honesty ended up becoming a good friend, she came to my birthday last year, which I celebrated with Carmen Rupe. She celebrated her 73rd and I my 21st. Google my name and you’ll see how much backlash I got publically for doing that: ‘You’ve ripped her off, you shouldn’t have put your face next to hers’ and that sort of thing. I just thought, ‘piss off, I did something good for her, paid for everything and sent her home with a bit of money. Get over yourselves.’ INVESTIGATE: And yet, despite all this, you are now throwing yourself into the bearpit for election to the Wellington City Council. What are your political colours then? JEVAN: When asked if I’m left or right, I say I’m pretty much straight ahead. I agree with a little bit from each but probably align myself more on the right. I’d probably be described as ‘left on the right’, if Phil Goff is ‘right on the left’ if that makes sense. 46 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
For example Kerry Prendergast. I’m not going to say I overly support her but I generally support her on most things. I think she’s better than anyone else who’s got their hand up at the moment. INVESTIGATE: So why are you standing for local politics? JEVAN: Quite frankly, and as clichéd as it sounds, being around politics at a young age and seeing how they do what they do and how they make things happen, I look at our councillors, pretty much all of them now, and they’re just so disappointing. Because I can get close to these sorts of people and I can work in these sorts of circles, I can see what these people are actually like and how they actually look at things, and it’s just really disappointing to see the sort of people that are there, and the visions that they have (if they even have a vision) and how they represent people; they don’t vote the way people want them to – it’s all cliché stuff but it’s true. I can go in there yelling and screaming, it’s because I’m young and motivated and that probably is a big part of it. I’d have a two-term policy, you do your two terms and you’re out, because you just get lazy and lose your youthful essence, or maybe just essence in general. The problem is, Kerry gets voted in and everybody thinks, ‘we’ll vote these people in to keep her honest’, but instead no one is keeping her honest, they’re just disagreeing with what she’s saying and things don’t happen. The council can’t work together. One thing I have said is that I’ll support any mayor that does get in, to be as effective as they can be, and make sure that the things that I want to do can come to fruition and happen, and that’s not going to happen if I bag people. INVESTIGATE: Your parents are supporting your council bid, but are they aware of everything that’s happened to you and everything that could come out? JEVAN: Yep. My father said to me, you may not have made the choices we would have made in life, but we still love you. So they are aware of everything, they’ve accepted everything. ••• As for the abuse of trust, did Labour abuse its trust in looking after a troubled 14 year old badly, or did Jevan Goulter abuse the trust of a political party who’d taken him under their wing? Ultimately, that may be a question only forgiveness, and the voters of Wellington, can decide. q
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END of the GOLDEN WETHER? MISSED OPPORTUNITIES IN WOOL MARKETING It was once a mainstay of the New Zealand economy, the land of 60 million sheep (once). Now, as ALAN GALLAGHER writes, we’re witnessing the meltdown of a major industry
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fter fighting valiantly, albeit misguided at times, our good friend and at times saviour, the worldwide wool industry, is finally succumbing to the rigours of a long internal malady, that dreadful disease – “economic pressures”, and the severe haemorrhage which has reduced its market share of the world yarn market to less than 1.5% – and is not expected to live much longer – R.I.P. The worst feature of this passing is that like the Joni Mitchell song – “ you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone”. This is especially pertinent in a world desperate for things “natural and sustainable”. A subsequent coronial enquiry will no doubt discover one overarching problem, and that is that the main players could not agree on how to cure the ailing patient, the true causation known to only a few, and the intractability of those who should have known better, but would not listen. To fix a problem you first have to know what the problem is, however given the divergence of opinion it was evident the majority of players had absolutely no idea. Unfortunately the history of the industry reads like a litany of deceit, vested interests, egos, and ignorance. To be fair, even if the problem had been analysed correctly the fundamental underlying problem was not an easy one to counteract. But there were solutions. Regrettably these required some assistance and leadership from governments, especially in countries like Australia and New Zealand, where wool was a significant export. So add weak and/or ignorant politicians to that litany of ignorance . In the interests of the truth being known prior to the funeral we set the facts as follows. The principal factor in the demise of the wool industry in developed countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, is that they continued to sell wool as a commodity. Commodity prices, particularly those of agricultural commodities, have been falling for over two hundred years in real terms. We know this for a fact because the prices of commodities were well recorded in 1829 in England as there was acute distress in the country as the poor and middle classes suffered because of the new Corn Laws which kept the price of grain high and above the international price to protect English producers from cheap imports from France and Ireland. Just to give an example of the effect of 50 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
market forces on wheat measured against wages over the same period, the price of wheat has fallen 300 times the price in 1829. Wool’s fall has been more dramatic. Commodities are at the bottom of the manufacturing chain – the “raw ingredients” of the chain – and generally sold through markets where there is an abundance of supply. Mostly the buyer’s decision will be made on price, and history shows that a free market only forces prices down. Each time prices fall farmers are forced to expand the size of his operation, cut costs, refine production methods, or grow more. And every time they do this, especially expanding supply, the market forces the price down even further. So why can’t growers force prices up? Firstly sellers are in a weak position in the market. They are price takers. They are competing not only with other countries, but with their own neighbours. Buyers have a stronger hand in the market. They can stockpile when prices are low, and stay out of the market when prices are higher. They can buy man made fibres, which may not be cheaper than wool but have advantages such as delivery on a “just in time” basis thus cutting holding costs. Wastage is less and quality control better. The fact that the major part of the wool clip comes on the market about the same time does not assist the sellers’ cause. Secondly the rise in wages for white and blue collar workers over the last century, more particularly the exponential increases of the latter half of the 20th century, has had a profound influence on manufacturing costs. Faced with these increases, as well as the rising costs of technology, manufacturers of woollen products have looked to depress the cost of raw ingredients, to be competitive. This was the easiest avenue to cut costs. The Chinese are particularly adept at it – they’ve been bargaining for centuries. Thirdly the wool industry has not helped itself. Old fashioned methods, “time-warp” thinking, poor leadership, and not the least
the problems of production and sellinglengthy and time consuming supply chains, lack of quality control and better classification, have handicapped the industry. Even today the Wool Industry Taskforce, set up by the New Zealand Government talks about “a single voice for the industry” , single desk marketing, and marketing
THE PRINCIPAL FACTOR IN THE DEMISE OF THE WOOL INDUSTRY IN DEVELOPED COUNTRIES SUCH AS AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND AND SOUTH AFRICA, IS THAT THEY CONTINUED TO SELL WOOL AS A COMMODITY
emphasis on the qualities of wool. Even the Minister for Agriculture talks of “expanding demand.” If you sell commodities, even if you label them, package them differently, or subject them to some first stage processing – they are still commodities! Take bread. Wheat’s a commodity, flour’s a commodity, but once it becomes bread there’s an opportunity to label and market it. Similarly barley is a commodity, but turn it into whisky and you reach a different market. The real clue today is to get behind brands. People buy brands, become loyal to brands. McDonalds and Coca Cola don’t spend billions on marketing for nothing. Some of todays wool leaders think that if you label wool you can promote it differ-
ently. Unfortunately it still remains a commodity, and whilst convenience may squeeze a small margin out of a buyer, he is not going to stray too far from the market price. To their chagrin this what the Fair Trade people are now discovering. Starbucks has recently ceased buying Fair Trade coffee because the price was too far above the commodity market price. It was prepared to be somewhat altruistic but unfortunately when the price strayed considerably above market, hard-headed market reality kicked in. Let’s assume that somewhere a lone voice emerges from the din of journalists, commentators and so called “experts”, and convinces the government and the industry to take the following steps: • recognise that “the wool industry” is, in fact, made up of a raft of small indus-
tries classified by micron (and even more importantly “bulk”) quality, and end usage, as different as apples and oranges. • assist them to forge alliances with manufacturers so that they partake in the “value added” end of the market, not just supply directly under a fancy name. At the same time Government might suddenly find it has killed two birds with one stone and saved New Zealand’s wool manufacturing industries. • by all means put some resources behind some smart marketing of “wool” and its many unique properties, but make sure this money isn’t wasted on Paris fashion parades, or gaudy billboards. In fact targeted “smart”, the green groups will do the marketing for the industry. Target the midday housewife shows and news media. • push the New Zealand story because it does resonate all around the world – but don’t let it overshadow the importance of good, strong brands. • stagger shearing so that wool comes on the market at different times thus levelling out supply. • ensure that the industry has a universal quality control system and traceability. • start to think in the 21st century – bring the industry out of the “horse and cart” age and into the jet age by embracing better techniques and cost saving production methods. Would those steps avert the forthcoming demise? Highly unlikely! It is just too late and the margin between current all-time low prices and cost of production plus a reasonable margin is unachievable. The forces that have pressured the price of wool down such that it now is a fraction of the costs of production are still alive and well. Least not governments which have convinced the populace that there’s something dirty about subsidies, even if their recipients are affected by government policies, inflation, currency fluctuation etc,while on the other hand encouraging increases in standards of living of urban dwellers. Markets are now more sophisticated to the extent that a mill owner in China has immediate market data at the same time it’s occurring around the world. He can take a ‘phone out of his pocket and contact his agent to buy the cheapest wool available be it in Uruguay, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand or even on the growing domestic market. However let’s not get too carried away. There will always be wool as long as there is lamb on the table. But the industry won’t be the one that had such a golden past. q INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 51
Canada’s SOVIET SPY IN NZ Was a Canadian diplomat part of a New Zealand spy ring? GRAEME HUNT reports
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hen Canadians heard the news on April 4, 1957 that their dapper ambassador to Egypt, Herbert Norman, had jumped to his death from a Cairo apartment building they were shocked. “Murder by slander,” screamed Toronto’s Daily Star – a none-too-subtle attack on red-baiting American politicians who, three weeks earlier, had repeated their allegations that Norman was a communist and, by implication, a Russian spy. The allegations were nothing new – they had originally been raised by US Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1940s – but Norman was in a fragile state after helping broker a fragile peace in Egypt after the Suez Crisis the previous year. His suicide notes, which were not published immediately out of deference to his
family, talked of his being “crushed [by] guilt by association” and suffering from the “filth of slander”. Conspiracy theorists, mostly Canadians, claimed the notes were the work of the US Central Intelligence Agency and that Norman was murdered. Whatever the circumstances that led to his death, Canadians rallied to defend the reputation of their late diplomat, turning on the US for its persistent hounding of Norman. Yet a sober assessment of Norman in the post-Soviet world suggests he was in fact a communist and could easily have been working in the service of the Soviet Union. Why does that matter to New Zealand 53 years after his death? Because Norman’s previous posting, high commissioner to New Zealand, coincided with the worse spy scandal involving New Zealand in the Cold War – an act implicating a talented but subversive New Zealand diplomat, Desmond
Herbert Norman (1909–1957), Canadian high commissioner to New Zealand from 1953–56. His position gave him the perfect cover to acquire New Zealand documents for the KGB to forge for its operatives in the Portland spy ring. / Newspaper picture and also in Library and Archives Canada, PA-134317
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(“Paddy”) Costello, whom Norman had met at Cambridge University in the 1930s through the underground Trinity cell of the Communist Party of Great Britain. Norman had also known another prominent New Zealand communist at Cambridge, Griff Maclaurin, the first New Zealander killed in the Spanish Civil War. If, indeed, Norman were the innocent victim of the Cold War as his defenders claim, why then was the Canadian Security Intelligence Service so reluctant to allow the New Zealand SIS to release his file to the media? More than three years ago I applied to see it – to review anything out of the ordinary when Norman was in diplomatic exile here from 1953–56. Canada said no. On March 25, 2010 the New Zealand SIS finally released the file – or most of it. There was little that directly incriminated
Paddy Costello (1912–1964), the New Zealand diplomat who issued the false passports to atomic spies Morris and Lona Cohen. He and Herbert Norman had been members of the underground Trinity cell of the Communist Party of Great Britain when they were at Cambridge University together in the 1930s./NZSIS
Griff Maclaurin (1909–1936), the first New Zealander to die in the Spanish Civil War, was a close friend and fellow communist of Herbert Norman at the Cambridge University in the 1930s. Maclaurin and Paddy Costello ran a leftwing bookshop and communist haunt in Cambridge, England. / New Zealand Herald, Auckland City Libraries collection. Norman: the largest item was a Hansard report of the debate in the Canadian House of Commons following Norman’s death; the second was a report a few weeks earlier of testimony before the US Senate subcommittee investigating domestic Soviet activity in America. There was virtually nothing on Norman’s time in New Zealand, save a reference to a “courtesy call” to Norman in 1956 by a visiting Russian diplomat on temporary duty to the Soviet legation in Wellington (by virtue of Norman being dean of the diplomatic corps). Hardly the smoking gun of subversive activity. The clues to Norman’s leanings come from his past. Egerton Herbert Norman, known as Herbert (or Herb or Herbie to his family and friends), was born in Karuizawa, Japan, in 1909, the third son of Canadian Methodist missionaries. As part of his impressive academic career he enrolled in Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1933 where he embraced Marxism in addition to his Christian beliefs. He met several prominent traitors-to-be, including Anthony Blunt, then a fellow of Trinity, and the notorious quartet of Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean and John Cairncross. He also met Paddy Costello
Peter Kroger’s postal application for a passport. Despite claiming he had been born in Gisborne, his handwriting is in the distinctly American cursive script and the syntax and style of the text is American./ NZSIS
LEFT: New Zealand passport of Peter Kroger, whose real name was Morris Cohen. The writing in the passport is that of Paddy Costello, first secretary of the New Zealand legation in Paris. RIGHT: New Zealand passport of Helen Kroger, whose real name was Lona Cohen. She and her husband Morris (also known as Peter Kroger) used their passports to gain free access to Britain to spy for the Soviet Union. They were caught in 1961 – one of MI5’s few post-war spy-catching successes. /NZSIS
who, like Norman, would eventually end up in the diplomatic corps, and the young communist poet, John Cornford, a recruiter for the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War. Norman also got to know mathematician Griff Maclaurin, the son of an Auckland headmaster and nephew of New Zealand’s top mathematician, Richard Maclaurin. Griff Maclaurin, like Norman, had embraced Marxism from 1933 and from 1935 he and Costello were running a left-wing bookshop in Cambridge, a short walk from Trinity College and St John’s College (the latter where Maclaurin had graduated from).
Norman’s letters lament the deaths of Cornford and Maclaurin in Spain in 1936, noting Maclaurin’s skills with a machinegun – one of the reasons Cornford recruited Maclaurin for active service. Norman’s association with Costello is less clear – Costello was a lapsed Catholic and heavy drinker while Norman was a straitlaced practising Methodist – but by the mid-1930s their common ground was hardcore Marxism and their adoration of the Soviet Union. They were also gifted linguists. Norman joined Canada’s External Affairs Department in 1939 and Costello the New INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 55
Part of the Venona codebreaking decryptions relating to New Zealander Ian Milner that the Australian Royal Commission on Espionage heard in secret in 1954. The decryptions confirm that Milner was a Russian spy. /National Security Agency,mm Wasington DC, third release of Venona documents, March 1996.
Zealand External Affairs Department in 1944. Costello was attached to the New Zealand mission in Moscow and later the New Zealand legation in Paris. Norman was attached to the Canadian legation in Tokyo before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and repatriated to the US in 1942 after being interned by the Japanese. During the Allied occupation of Japan after the war, Norman served as a Canadian representative to the administration of supreme commander of the Allied Powers, General Douglas MacArthur, and worked under the direction of MacArthur. In 1950, at the height of the McCarthy purges, Norman was suspected by the Americans of being a communist and possibly a Soviet spy. This arose from his communist activities at Cambridge in the 1930s and concerns that he had allowed the Japanese Communist Party to continue while other parties had been banned. Norman was cleared of wrongdoing by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, then Canada’s primary security intelligence agency, but the Americans were reluctant to deal with him, despite the support he received from Canada’s secretary of state of external affairs, Lester Pearson, himself suspected of spying for the Russians. Norman returned to Canada under a 56 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
cloud in 1950 but was given a sideways posting as high commissioner to New Zealand in 1953. He was, in reality, a diplomatic exile. It was during Norman’s term in New Zealand that Paddy Costello, first secretary of the New Zealand legation in Paris, issued New Zealand passports to two Americanborn communist atomic spies on the run, Morris and Lona Cohen. The Cohens applied for the passports to the legation by post in April 1954 in the names of Peter and Helen Kroger. Peter Kroger claimed to have been born in Gisborne but his handwriting in support of the passport application was in the distinctive American cursive script taught at US public schools and the syntax and style of his letter were decidedly American. Lona purported to have been born in Canada and the couple is said, without direct evidence, to have travelled to New Zealand at some stage on Canadian passports. Costello’s defenders, mostly from the left, denied he issued the passports but Peter Kroger’s is in Costello’s writing and the letter posting them to the Cohens’ Austrian address is also his. The Cohens, using their forged New Zealand identities, were part of the elaborate spy ring to steal secrets from the Admiralty’s Underwater Weapons Establishment at
Portland, England, including details of HMS Dreadnought, Britain’s first nuclear submarine. (The Portand spy ring was exposed in 1961 and the Cohens prosecuted.) Costello, suspected by New Zealand authorities of being an active communist, had been under notice from 1953 that his diplomatic career was over and he was forced to quit the diplomatic service in July 1954, less than two months after the passports were issued. (The New Zealand and British authorities were not to find out until 1961 that the passports were false, by which time Costello was back in academia, teaching Russian at Manchester University). Shortly after Costello’s death in 1964, his old Cambridge colleague, Anthony Blunt, made a private confession to MI5 that Costello was a Russian agent. Blunt apparently said the same about Norman, who was also dead. Costello was not in New Zealand when Cohens were on the run from America so, assuming he issued the false passports knowingly, he would have needed an accomplice to procure the necessary New Zealand documents for the KGB to forge. Herbert Norman – then on post in New Zealand was the man to do it. The birth certificate for Peter Kroger (Morris Cohen) was cleverly doctored from one in a numbered series of birth certificates issued in Wellington by the registrar-general of births, deaths and marriages. Norman’s involvement in obtaining the certificate would have attracted far less attention than, say, a non-English-speaking member of the Soviet legation. Then there is the question of the Canadian passports found in the Cohens’ house in Ruislip, northwest London, when they were arrested in 1961. Had Norman arranged the procurement of those as well before his death in 1957? Various authors have tried to examine Norman’s character in light of the persistent allegations that he was a communist as possibly a Soviet spy. None has looked at his term of diplomatic exile in New Zealand until now. Those who say he was an innocent victim of the Cold War need to look no further than Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were executed in 1953 while protesting their innocence after being convicted for spying for the Soviet Union. Decryptions of Soviet signals obtained by the sophisticated AngloAmerican Venona codebreaking operation, not released publicly at the time of their trial, are now available on the internet for all to see (www.nsa.gov/venona). They leave
little doubt the Rosenbergs were in the service of the Russians. Whether they should have been executed is another story. Similar evidence now available publicly leaves little doubt about the spying activities of New Zealand-born academic and Rhodes scholar Ian Milner, who defected to communist-run Czechoslovakia in 1950, or his roughhouse Kiwi communist offsider, Wally Clayton. The Venona evidence formed the basis of the findings against Milner and Clayton by the 1954–55 Australian Royal Commission on Espionage following the defection of Russian diplomat Vladimir Petrov. But Milner and Clayton were not charged with spying, or indeed anything, because of the unwillingness of authorities to alert the Russians to the Venona project. There might never be definitive evidence of Herbert Norman’s guilt but his past puts him into the same category as Costello, Milner and others who had the luxury of being active communists during the Depression when someone else was paying for their tuition costs at top English universities. The lives of other English-speakers recruited as Russian spies suggest that communist activities at university were the foreplay to a career in espionage. Herbert Norman, despite being the darling of Canada as Dr Bill Sutch used to be to many in New Zealand, was, I believe, an important courier like Costello in the Portland spy ring. His New Zealand exile was far more useful the Soviet Union than it was to Canada.
Carbon copy of Paddy Costello’s letter issuing the false passports to Peter and Helen Kroger. Costello always denied he had issued the passports and was defended, wrongly as this document proves, by author James McNeish in his 2007 biography of Costello, The Sixth Man. /NZSIS.
Graeme Hunt is an Auckland-based journalist and author. His book, Spies and Revolutionaries: A History of New Zealand Subversion, was published by Reed in 2007. q
New Zealand-born Rhodes scholar Ian Milner (1911–1991) passed on secrets to the Soviet Union when he was working for the Australian External Affairs Department in 1944–45. He defected to communist-run Czechoslovakia in 1950. Milner denied he was a spy but the Venona decryptions of cable traffic between the Soviet embassy in Canberra and Moscow, released years later, confirm that he was in the service of the Russians. Pictured at Oxford University in 1934./ NZSIS
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BEST HEALTH SYSTEM
NZ’s health bureaucracy has a ‘Tui’ moment
With the sharp debate in recent months about the US health system, fresh questions are being raised about the real health of the medical systems downunder. PETER CURSON & LAURA COSTELLO have run the analysis
eny, meeny, miny moe, to whom should health care treatment go? That question, or others like it, has been posed before (most recently by Paul Hansen), but the answers to it remain as diverse as the strong opinions in the debate. Who should be immediately relieved of continuing pain and disability and who should be made to wait? Who should live a pain free existence in good health and who should not? In a rapidly ageing society where people are living longer, many with chronic illness, the impact on any health care system may become acute over the next 25 years. In such circumstances, should we ration health care and establish “waiting lists”, and if yes, just how should we do it? But do New Zealanders have a right to health care? The sad reality is perhaps not. Unlike other countries, the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act contains no reference to the right to health care and while New Zealand is a signatory to a number of international conventions governing human rights, the right to health care has not been enacted into New Zealand law. Although the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act of 2000 enunciates the admirable objec-
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tive of “equity, community participation and access to appropriate, effective and timely services”, this is watered down by the overwhelming constraints of available funding and resource allocation. Apart from a few references to mental health and intellectual disability, it is difficult to find any reference to “a duty to treat in a timely manner” in any New Zealand legislation. There seems little doubt that New Zealand governments have exhibited considerable hesitancy in advancing legislative rights to health care. While cost must be a concern for any New Zealand government which has accepted the responsibility of providing its citizens with universal health coverage, so too is the necessity of protecting the dignity and basic needs of individuals, issues which go to the real heart of any welfare democracy. But let’s begin by putting forward a series of broad principles. In the first place, it is clear that we are well overdue for a rethink about how we define national security. Traditionally, national security has been defined in terms of the
dynamics of international relations, the defence of national territorial integrity, the protection of citizens from external threats and the ensurance of a state’s survival. We need to appreciate that there are many non-traditional aspects of security that are as important as responding to more traditional military threats. For example, without a healthy and secure citizenry free from fear of major health risks and secure in the knowledge that treatment for ill health will be forthcoming, New Zealand and Australia cannot prosper, expand their economies, adequately secure their borders, and maintain an innovative and productive society. In many ways this was recognised by New Zealand’s first Labour Government back in the 1930s when they argued that good health, like adequate housing, was essential to people’s capacity to lead useful and fulfilling lives and to enjoy old age. Some of us still believe in such broad principles and that we therefore need a much broader concept of what national security means. In the second place, it would seem clear
WITH A RAPIDLY AGEING POPULATION, WHERE HEALTH IS FUNDED FROM LIMITED TAXATION RESOURCES, NEW ZEALAND MUST THEREFORE RATION HEALTH AND ESTABLISH A PRIORITY SCHEME FOR THOSE SEEKING “ELECTIVE” HEALTHCARE OR SURGERY
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that a government that cannot deliver on these basic commitments and maintain the health and wellbeing of all its citizens is failing in one of its most fundamental responsibilities. Thirdly, it would seem indisputable that equal, unfettered and timely access to health care is a basic human right and should be available to all, and that all people, regardless of age, sex, race, nationality, place of residence, and health status, should be treated equally and fairly. Finally, in a well functioning welfare state, there should not be any inconsistencies or rural-urban discrimination in access to health care across regions and health specialities. While many would undoubtedly accept these broad principles, others would argue that times have changed and that in New Zealand’s predominantly public health system, access to treatment cannot be guaranteed to all immediately. If, for example, 1000 New Zealanders require a cataract operation and the public health system can only cater for 600, then 400 will miss out and have to be placed on some sort of “waiting list”. In other words, when demand outstrips supply, some form of ‘rationing’ has to be introduced. With a rapidly ageing population, where health is funded from limited taxation resources, New Zealand must therefore ration health and establish a priority scheme for those seeking “elective” healthcare or surgery. In this context, it is important to note that ‘elective’ surgery does not mean nonessential surgery, but rather surgery that can simply be delayed by 24 hours. But how do we determine who must continue to walk, sleep or work with difficulty or pain? Already, New Zealand has attained something of an international reputation when it comes to developing a system for rationing health care. In many countries, including New Zealand up until the 1990s, health care rationing was a haphazard affair with decisions made by doctors at the patient level on a seemingly ad hoc basis. The new system of prioritisation introduced in the late 1990s was for the first time based on an assessment of multiple criteria relating to a particular patient’s history of condition, level of pain, functional limitation, relative needs, consequences of delay, and their capacity to benefit from surgery. Points are allocated for each category earning a particular applicant a place in the queue, which also characterises the treatment of emergency patients in hospitals.
All District Hospital Boards and the hospitals they administrate have benchmarks for funding and assessing treatment ranging over a number of categories ranging from immediate threat to life through to those with fractures, bleeding or other conditions not considered life threatening. However, there is also evidence that many hospitals struggle to see patients within the proscribed time and waiting time often exceeds four hours. If a “points system” leads to some people being delayed or denied treatment, is a further ethical dilemma then presented when treatment is required for lifestyle induced diseases, triggered by conditions such as obesity or smoking? There also remains a cer-
tain amount of subjectivity about assessing a patient’s ‘needs’ and whether or not they might benefit from immediate treatment. Just how sick or incapacitated (or young) do you have to be to get immediate attention? Obviously the tolerance of pain is a very personal thing, and so too is verbally communicating it to a third party. And indeed if the patient knows that by saying that his or her pain is unbearable, that their functional limitation is severe, they will be placed higher up the queue, then why would they answer differently? And what happens when ‘rationing’ principles are extended beyond elective surgery to emergency departments? Take for exam-
And what happens when ‘rationing’ principles are extended beyond elective surgery to emergency departments?
ple the case of a 91 year old woman admitted to the emergency department of a major Auckland hospital suffering from pneumonia at the same time as an array of other emergency cases. Is it right that the doctor on duty assessed that, because of her age, she was unlikely to survive the night and that the emergency room resources would be directed to the other cases? Incredibly, the INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 61
woman survived the pneumonia despite 12 hours on a gurney in the hospital corridor, and went home a few days later. But the fact remains that one patient was given priority over the other. Was it simply a matter of “age discrimination?” But the Swedish model of public health, envied by the world, particularly emphasises the importance of providing healthcare to the elderly to promote their contribution to society. So perhaps it was a rationalisation according to an individual’s own ‘life value’ system or a decision governed by concern for resources that led to such decision making? Whatever it was, it seems wrong.
et there be no bones about it, there are many admirable features about the New Zealand healthcare system. While primary care and prescription drugs are partly subsidised, secondary care is provided free by public hospitals and an efficient public accident compensation insurance scheme as well as disability support services also operate. In addition, health care is free for children under six and a free school dental system remains in place. But to return to basics; is it wrong to argue that timely access to healthcare without let or hindrance should be an inalienable human right, and that any priority scheme, rationing or waiting time, erodes that basic human right? Many people will undoubtedly argue that New Zealand just cannot afford it and that there are other budget priorities, such as age pensions, education and national security that must take pride of place. But let us take a look at a couple of these for a moment. If we are talking about equity and limited resources, why is there no means testing for age pensions in New Zealand? Is it right that millionaires are eligible for the age pension simply by reaching a certain age? Perhaps this is defensible in terms of treating everyone equally and recognising that New Zealanders have paid taxes all their working lives. But if this applies in the case of age pensions, why does it not apply in accessibility to healthcare? In one case all New Zealanders are treated equally and there is no ‘waiting queue’, whereas in the other, the opposite applies. The Australian age pension is means tested, however, unlike New Zealand; the Australian Government is currently attempting to overcome the efficiencies and duplication of services which result from a federal-state system of healthcare services. The Rudd government recently proposed 62 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
reforms which shift responsibility for primary healthcare away from States, resulting in an anticipated improvement of 25 per cent in service productivity, and estimated reduction in 70,000 hospital admissions each year. Waiting lists for procedures in public hospitals are anything from 34 days to six months, although only time will tell whether this improves under the proposed reforms which may yet be the subject of a national referendum. Although universal health care has also existed in Australia for over thirty years, there is no individual right to healthcare per se, and services such as dental care and physiotherapy are not included in the Medicare scheme. Nearly half of all Australians are thus covered by private healthcare, however concern regarding declining service quality and rising costs across both the public and private health care sector has sent the issue skyrocketing to the top of the Australian political agenda. Perhaps, as noted by former Australian High Court Justice Michael Kirby, “the allocation of healthcare resources has an ethical dimension which sometimes presents itself in a legal case and which is ultimately the source of competing political strategies, advanced for popular endorsement.” Like Australia, New Zealand is also a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the right to medical care guaranteed in Article 25.1. But how do obligations under international law, which have quasi resonance in a domestic sphere, play out when national security becomes part of the domestic health care matrix? Look at the panic and hysteria that surrounded SARS, Avian Flu and now Swine Flu, and how the New Zealand and Australian governments reacted to the pandemic threat in an effort to protect all their citizens. There is a great irony here. If something threatens to kill or overwhelm us we immediately do something about it. If on the other hand it simply debilitates us with lingering and persistent chronic illness, we tend to (or are forced to) live with it. The traditional approach to security sees New Zealand having a reasonably well equipped army, navy and air force, all of which can be easily deployed for humanitarian, international security obligations and for the defence of New Zealand’s territorial integrity. But as argued earlier, national security is much more than this and perhaps we need to take a wider, more encompassing view of just what produces a contented, healthy,
ambitious, secure and successful nation, and how critical it is to preserve such a state. The question, therefore, remains – is it ethical or fair to protect all New Zealanders and Australians against Swine Flu, but deny many people suffering from debilitating hip, knee, eye and heart conditions immediate care? In conclusion, there seems little doubt that New Zealand has been reluctant to produce legislation guaranteeing access to health care as a basic human right, and while cost must be a concern, it would seem clear that some health policies should be embraced because they are morally right and critical for the nation’s future, rather than being
simply assessed on economic terms alone. Perhaps it is time to reassess just what ‘national security’ means, and to see a healthy nation as part and parcel of a secure nation. New Zealanders were once (still are?) proud of their universal health care system and the access it provided to all. Some would now argue that health care rationing and waiting lists have eroded some of this reputation. In the final analysis, should a human right to health care exist and should unfettered and timely access to all health services be entrenched in New Zealand’s Bill of Rights? Like many questions about life in contemporary New Zealand, the answer depends on
who you ask. Many might respond by saying that the right to health care is less important than the battle to decide how resources should be allocated to various sectors of the New Zealand economy. Others might see health as too important to be relegated to a simple costing exercise. Peter Curson, a former Aucklander, is Professor of Population and Security in the Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney. Laura Costello is a graduate in Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. She is currently an intern in the Centre for International Security Studies and completing studies in Law. q
SHOULD A HUMAN RIGHT TO HEALTH CARE EXIST AND SHOULD UNFETTERED AND TIMELY ACCESS TO ALL HEALTH SERVICES BE ENTRENCHED IN NEW ZEALAND’S BILL OF RIGHTS? INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 63
n THINK LIFE
Trading down Peter Hensley examines options for big city baby boomers
eorge and Mildred were keen to catch up with Jim and Moira, George especially. Their friendship went all the way back to when they were youngsters together, when playing on the street was both safe and normal. They had grown up in the same town and then their careers saw George follow his dream of becoming a senior manager in an American conglomerate. It was one of the many friendships that Jim and Moira shared as they were very gre-
garious by nature. They were well known in the community as they had both contributed significantly over the years. They had also prospered financially, mainly due to Moira’s common sense and Jim’s innate ability to go along with his life partner’s suggestions. Their willingness to share their knowledge and good fortune was legendary amongst the locals. In the early days it took the form of excess produce that Jim grew in their veg-
Jim watched as the idea of selling up and moving to a provincial town floated across the table and register with their guests. It was not only logical, but given their circumstances it was the smart thing to do 64 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
etable garden. From the very beginning, Moira was mindful that the first rule of getting ahead financially was to spend less then they earned. In order to achieve this goal she encouraged Jim to supplement their groceries with fresh produce from their own garden. Not content with looking after their own needs she encouraged Jim to share their excess produce with their neighbours which in turn fostered life long friendships. Over the years George had made the effort to keep in touch. In the early days, it took the form of random visits when George’s schedule permitted he and Mildred to visit with their family. Typically these visits coincided with the traditional trilogy of hatches, matches and dispatches. Births, weddings and funerals were generally the only time he and Mildred would see the inside of a church. The sad part was that dispatches were becoming more and more frequent. The good news was that this latest visit had nothing to do with a funeral, the bad news was that he and Mildred were running out of money. They were living longer than they expected and the global financial crisis had impacted severely on their finances. They had come to seek counsel from their friends. Although Jim was aware of the nature of the visit, he was still looking forward to catching up with their old friends. The reason behind this was selfish as Jim knew they would be treated with some of Moira’s legendary home baking. Very few of their friends understood that Moira’s cooking ability was born out of the sheer necessity to stretch their budget. In Jim and Moira’s early days of being together, their household income was meagre. Then when the children began arriving, they stretched Jim’s wage to the maximum. Before Jim went out on his own, he would volunteer and happily work every available hour of overtime. Jim would also work long hours in the vegetable garden and along with the overtime, managed both the maintenance and tenants in their rental properties. Moira recognised that she could contribute to their financial future by mastering both the cooking and the budgeting. She proved to be a whizz at both. Although George and Mildred belonged to the same generation they followed a different path. George’s management style and skill saw his family traverse the globe. They lived the high life, their children were educated in England and they attended college in California. The company paid for the
travel and over the years they had holidayed on every continent except Antarctica. They had always retained their house in central Auckland, but had slipped on the maintenance program. George’s income was high which meant the Mildred never had to work. She made up for it by combining two unusual past times, retail therapy and community work. They arrived early which suited Moira as she knew that Jim would take George out into the conservatory and listen to his stories. Mildred stayed in the kitchen helping Moira prepare lunch. Jim had heard lots of stories in his lifetime, but he had not heard one just like this. George explained that when the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) hit, his company was hit worse than others. Suddenly he was considered to be the wrong age with the wrong skill set. The company superannuation scheme had been generous and they thought, no problem, they would retire early and live off the pension that it generated. They moved back to New Zealand only to find they did not satisfy the residential requirements for NZ Superannuation. The second problem they can up against was that George’s overseas pension was taxable in NZ
as the IRD took into account world wide income. The third problem was that they never really understood the term “market linked” and “allocated pension”. Jim knew exactly what George was referring to. Market linked meant that the value of their funds was directly linked to world share markets and when the market went down, so did the value of their reserves. Allocated pension meant that George had a market linked pot of money that was effectively reducing with every pension payment. Jim understood this was very similar to the Australian model. It took a year or two, before George realised that the GFC had halved the value of his savings and their drawings had considerably reduced the value even more. And on top of that the NZ tax man wanted his share as well. It was not a pretty picture. George was keen to hear the approach that Jim and Moira took to investing. Jim explained that they had experimented with the managed funds approach that George’s pension money was tied up in, but they had soon worked out that style worked well when markets were advancing, but the model was fundamentally flawed when the markets reached fair value. Jim and Moira favoured investments that
generated cash, either in the form of interest or dividends or rents. They then made sure that they never spent more than they earned. George marveled at the simplicity of the model and wondered how such a simple concept had escaped them for all these years. The four of them then sat down for lunch. The topic of house values was raised and Moira casually asked how much equity George and Mildred had in their Auckland property. Jim knew as soon as Moira posed the question that that was the answer to George and Mildred’s cash flow problem. Jim watched as the idea of selling up and moving to a provincial town floated across the table and register with their guests. The impact could be likened to an air bag going off. It was not only logical, but given their circumstances it was the smart thing to do. Jim knew that their guests would return once their house had been swapped for a provincial equivalent and a substantial amount of change. He was certain that George and Mildred would be adopting a more traditional investment style similar to the one they utilised. A copy of Peter Hensley’s disclosure statement is available on request and is free of charge. Copyright © Peter J Hensley April 2010
THE DIVINITY CODE
“…the most politically incorrect book” in New Zealand. He is absolutely right…Prepare to be surprised and shocked. Wishart may ruﬀle a few feathers but his arguments are fair as his evidence proves. If you are looking for a stimulating mental challenge, or a cause to fight for, Eve’s Bite will definitely satisfy. – Wairarapa Times-Age
Wishart takes up the gauntlet laid down by Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion, and in fact, uses Dawkins own logic and methodology to launch a counter-attack against unbelief. Challenging…thought provoking…compelling – keepingstock.blogspot.com
Discover the truth for yourself. Get these two books today from Whitcoulls, Borders, PaperPlus, Dymocks, Take Note, and all good independent booksellers, or online at
I’m having a cracking good read of another cracking good read – The Divinity Code by Ian Wishart, his follow-up book to Eve’s Bite which was also a cracking good read – comment on “Being Frank”
www.evesbite.com INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 65
n THINK LIFE
Enemies of society – the takeover of education Amy Brooke argues we’ve created ‘stupid’ bureaucrats
t’s come to me recently with growing dismay that if Australia deserves to be called The Lucky Country we deserve to be called The Stupid Country. We had so much going for us until the 60s manifestation of groundwork well and truly laid down by our society’s enemies from both without and within. The Trojan Horse of Marxism, anti-the West, anti-Christian, anti-the notion of both the rights and responsibility of the individual (solid foundations of a New Zealand society formerly epitomized by the decency and independence of its people) has wreaked enormous damage here, particularly by means of its destructive takeover of our education system and other institutions. What primarily sprang from a mindless hatred of the British Empire has seen what historian Paul Johnson reminds us has been the greatest transfer of power in human history, the values of our forebears cast aside, or inverted. Yet there is no evidence that civili66 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
zation is any richer or more secure, as new tyrannies have replaced old ones. Moreover, it has long been obvious that Australia is much more alert to the very real dangers that threaten its people than New Zealand. Closest to the largest Muslim country, Australians have been far more realistically hardheaded about restricting immigration rights than our soft-thinking politburo. Australians would never have been conned into abandoning the ANZUS Pact; would have treated with incredulity and outrage a Helen Clark doppelganger’s attempt to destroy the combat wing of its air force; would never have allowed the Electoral Reform Finance Act, the purpose of which was to restrict New Zealanders’ rights to freedom of speech during an election year by what MP John Boscawen has described as “the most repressive election law in any English speaking Western democracy”. The result of now three generations of New
Zealanders deliberately under-educated, with state schools under the well-manipulated control of a both overtly and covertly neo-Marxist education bureaucracy, is shown in the poor quality of our Members of Parliament, including the loud-mouthed, the boorish – and even our poorly-spoken Prime Minister, a disappointment to concerned New Zealanders hoping for much better after the autocratic and dominating Helen Clark. Meantime, the country’s internal and external policies are frighteningly awry, with the deliberate fostering of adversarial race relationships by the duplicitous Maori Party. Its focus on self-advantage is damaging the internal cohesion of New Zealanders, both non-Maori and majority Maori, backed by equally manipulative tribal élites run by activist in-groups for their own advantage – while piously invoking “our people”. Whose people? Most individual Maori (all reputedly now part-Maori only) reap no benefit from
the accumulative billions of dollars having haemorrhaged from taxpayers’ pockets. Scandalously, done deals between this votebuying government and pressuring tribes now exclude any input from, or scrutiny by, New Zealanders at large. I wonder if any Western country than ours could have so easily succumbed to what many New Zealanders regard as the basically stupid notion of opening the can of worms that enabled relitigating all tribal claims dating back to the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi – given the history and on-going reality of inter-tribal competitiveness and hostility. Many scores of conflicting and competing claims have now been launched, some simply manipulative, and, according to human nature, with its eye to the main chance, others already previously well and fairly settled, as with the more than dubious Ngai Tahu claim. And now this National government, obviously learning nothing at all from being well and truly outwitted in the past, has plunged us further into the cauldron of deteriorating race relationships by providing for tribes with a grievance to take to court “customary rights” claims for the seabed and foreshore. However, what Maori tribes are there now which lack grievances, given the considerable lucrative advantages in claiming such? While this present government, like its predecessors, naïvely and smugly congratulates itself on abandoning the very necessary concept of the Crown owning a country’s coastal waters and foreshore, dismayed New Zealanders out in the real world see stretching ahead even more decades of increasing and disastrously expensive litigation. Many have simply given up on this country: those leaving include troubled family Maori fearing an inevitably increasing backlash from the abandoning of the essential concept of equality in favour of racial and minority preference. Superior rights now embrace the tedious and unwarranted special consultation with centre-staging, by no means undemanding iwi in every sphere of national and local body politics. Moreover, the constantly recurring and ongoing rort of Maori business and tribal development dominated by nepotism, by jobs for relatives and hangers on, has been highlighted recently in one of the government’s biggest Maori business development projects. Te Tekau Plus, with the usual “names” on board, has long failed to deliver. One thing we can be sure about is that any who have apparently siphoned off the usual inappropriate fees and perks will
not be required to pay these back to hapless New Zealanders forced to pay for this ongoing opportunism. A now dismayingly stupid country? This description well deserves to be targeted not primarily at individuals themselves, although it is obvious that New Zealanders deprived of any opportunity to become well-educated contribute very largely to the growth of alcoholism, drug abuse and sexual promiscuity. Correspondingly, ill-educated young partMaori have been deliberately imbued with a sense of grievance and rebellion, taught to feel hostility towards their own colonial forbears. However, this country is not just being undermined from within by our educationists, but by also under-educated, even politicized state servants, including our troubling immigration and overseas investment bureaucracies. While our Australian cousins are now fighting to prevent Communist Chinese investment companies from gaining majority control of resource assets, our Overseas Investment Office, formerly Commission, has not automatically ruled out at the time of writing a quite shocking effort by a Hong Kong-fronted company to buy scores of dairy farms, some even bought without the IOI’s permission. The Lucky Country, aware of the danger of allowing Chinese corporations (financial entities overseen by the Chinese Communist Party) from gaining control of strategic industries, is fighting takeovers of major corporations in
Australia. New Zealand, however, has been encouraging Chinese companies to invest here since the fourth Labour government. Large chunks of New Zealand land are now owned by foreign business interests. Long aware of the white ant-ing of their own country and its consequences, Australia has begun the process of genuine education reform. As News Weekly reports, Western Australia’s Liberal-National Government has moved to trim the powers of education department bureaucrats over the state’s 770 primary and secondary schools. A new era of cross-Tasman education, following now bedded-in overseas reforms, is making it possible for schools to make decisions that are best responsive to the needs of their students and local communities. All state schools are being urged to apply for independent school status, with up to 30 schools already expected to move out of the education department’s orbit by the end of this year. Acquiring greater autonomy and flexibility, they are becoming free of much of the centralised red tape that prevents parents having a greater say in the running of schools. Our own real fightback, however, has not yet even begun. Why not? © Copyright Amy Brooke www.100days.co.nz www.amybrooke.co.nz www.summersounds..co.nz http://www.livejournal.com/users/brookeonline/ INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 67
n THINK LIFE
Endangered species dilemma Protect whales or salmon they eat?, asks Les Blumenthal
hen it comes to dinner, Puget Sound’s killer whales show no respect for international boundaries. It’s long been known that their favorite meal is Chinook salmon. However, using new genetic tests on the orcas’ feces, and fish tissue and scales taken from the waters near where the whales are feasting, scientists say that as much as 90 percent of the Chinook they eat are from Canada’s Fraser River. Though the dietary habits of killer whales may not seem like a big deal, the orcas and various salmon species are protected on both sides of the border. Efforts to revive endan-
68 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
gered species that share the same ecosystem can become intertwined. “It is fascinating the whales specialize in a particular species, and the species they focus on is one of the rarer ones and in some case protected,” said Michael Ford, the director of the conservation biology division at the National Marine Fisheries Science Center in Seattle. “Recovery of the whales could be dependent on the recovery of salmon. It is all related.” Ford was among a group of U.S. and Canadian scientists who published the results of their study in the recent edition
of the journal Endangered Species Research. The problem of killer whales nibbling on declining salmon runs isn’t just an international one. Federal scientists say that Puget Sound killer whales may also be taking their toll on endangered salmon from California. Though their numbers fluctuate, about 90 killer whales make up the southern resident population that swims the inland waters of Washington state and British Columbia from south Puget Sound to the Strait of Georgia. From late spring to early fall, the whales stay in the inland waters. During the winter they’re known to roam
Randy Pench/Sacramento Bee/MCT
A plan to restore Sacramento River salmon runs could help revive killer whale populations. / Dean J. Koepfler/ Tacoma News Tribune/MCT
the Pacific Ocean from northern California to Vancouver Island. The whales weigh between 6,000 and 12,000 pounds and can eat up to 300 pounds of fish a day. From 2004 to 2008, scientists from both countries followed the orcas in small boats near the San Juan Islands in Washington state and the western Strait of Juan de Fuca in British Columbia. “You could see them eating fish, a predator chasing their prey under our boat,” Ford said. As the orcas were feeding, the scientists used swimming pool nets to collect fish
scales, fish tissue and whale feces floating in the water. “It’s not high tech,” said Brad Hanson, a wildlife biologist with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Seattle and another of the study’s authors. Whale feces can range from the size of a quarter to a piece that covers the bottom of the net. Hanson said the scientists mostly relied on DNA from the fish scales and tissue. Beginning in 2006, scientists have been building a DNA database for West Coast salmon that now includes 20,000 samples. While they can’t identify the particular stream a salmon comes from, they’re able to identify a particular watershed. “It’s an extremely reliable tool,” Hanson said. Confirming previous studies, the scientists found that Chinook, a relatively scarce species, topped the list of the orca’s favored prey. Using the DNA samples, however, they discovered that 80 percent to 90 percent of the Chinook in the samples came from the Fraser River, and only 6 percent to 14 percent came from Puget Sound Chinook stocks. No one is quite sure why the orcas seemed hooked on Chinook, particularly those from the Fraser River, Hanson said. It could be because they’re relatively abundant during the summer months compared
with other salmon species. Others have suggested the killer whales favor Chinook because they’re larger – averaging roughly 20 pounds – and contain more fat than other salmon species. Fraser River Chinook are generally larger than those in Puget Sound, Hanson said. “The bigger they are, the more bang for the buck,” he said. Nine populations of Chinook found in the range of the killer whales are listed as either endangered or threatened. On the Fraser River, some returning runs of Chinook were at record low levels in 2009, and Canadian fisheries officials are predicting “very low” returns of summer Chinook this year as a result of poor ocean survival rates. “The research findings have implications for how Canadians manage their Fraser River stocks,” said Brian Gorman, a spokesman for the National Marine Fisheries Service in Seattle. Hanson said some of the scientists he works with want to get breath samples from the orcas, which could provide information on what chemicals the whales have been exposed to and whether they’re healthy. The idea is to pass a piece of sample material, attached to a pole, through the plume exhaled through a whale’s blowhole when it breathes. “It’s a challenge,” he said. INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 69
n THINK LIFE
Sour apple user Apple updates don’t meet expectations, writes Troy Wolverton
pple’s preview of its latest update to the software underlying the iPhone and iPad left me feeling underwhelmed. Yes, the update, dubbed iPhone OS 4, adds some long-desired features, most notably multi-tasking. And, yes, a new feature called Game Centre, which will make it easy for iPhone users to play games against each other, could be revolutionary. But many of the new features were predictable. Some won’t be available when the update launches, while others won’t be available for older devices. The bottom line: iPhone OS 4 doesn’t fundamentally change the iPhone software, even in areas that could use an overhaul. Don’t get me wrong: I’m looking forward to being able to run multiple programs at once on the iPhone, even if it was a widely expected update. One of my biggest complaints about my iPhone is that I can’t listen to Pandora Internet Radio while checking e-mail or surfing the Web. The new multitasking feature will also allow you to keep a GPS program such as TomTom’s running in the background while you change your Pandora station or check your e-mail. And it will allow you to
receive calls on an Internet calling program like Skype while you are doing things like playing games. Beyond multi-tasking, I’m also eager to use the updated Mail program’s universal inbox. I have five e-mail accounts that I check on my iPhone. Right now, I have to look at each of their inboxes separately. With the new update, I’ll be able to see mail from all my accounts in one box. Perhaps the biggest surprise in the updates – and the one that could eventually be the most significant – is Game Center. With the feature, Apple is creating a sort of universal online and social gaming service. Game Center will make it easier for iPhone users to play multiplayer games over the Internet, either by inviting friends to play with them or by pairing users with strangers of similar skill levels. The service will include a “leader” board to show users who are posting the high points. The iPhone has long supported multiplayer gaming, and some application developers, such as Ngmoco, have taken it upon themselves to set up game networks to connect users of particular games. But Game Center promises to be more like Facebook
70 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
or Xbox Live, allowing users to connect with others no matter what game they are playing. Despite these improvements, I left the Apple event feeling disappointed. Partly that’s because my iPhone – a 2-yearold 3G – won’t be able to use some of the new features. If I want to multitask, I’m going to have to buy a new iPhone. But I also was disappointed by the timing of the upgrades. I expected to wait until summer to get iPhone OS 4 because summer is when Apple has released its iPhone OS updates in the past. But the new software won’t be available for the iPad until fall, and Game Center won’t be up and running until sometime later this year. But mostly I was disappointed because Apple didn’t go further with the upgrades. I’d like to see Apple support Adobe’s Flash software, though after all the invective CEO Steve Jobs has directed at Adobe and Flash lately, that was probably too much to hope for. Still, the absence of Flash is a problem because some of what is delivered with Flash on the Web still isn’t available on iPhone OS devices, despite all the iPhone apps out there. The iPhone OS is in need of other major renovations as well. For one, Apple needs to revamp the iPhone’s notification system, which alerts you when you get a new e-mail or new text message. Currently, the system includes text messages that cover up whatever program you’re running, audible alarms that don’t give any indication what they are alerting you to, and badges that sit on top of program icons that can be buried deep within your list of programs. I’d like to see the iPhone take a page from Google’s Android or Palm’s webOS, whose notification systems are visible, specific and unobtrusive. They are delivered in a notification area at the edge of the screen, and because they don’t cover the program you are using, you can act on them at your leisure. Similarly, I’d like Apple to crib from Android and webOS to allow users to easily switch on and off common features. For example, I’d like to be turn off my Wi-Fi antenna by simply tapping the Wi-Fi icon at the top of the iPhone’s screen. Instead, you must launch the iPhone’s settings application and go several menus deep to switch off the antenna. Finally, I’d like to see Apple embrace gestures to a much greater degree. Even though Apple popularized the pinch-to-zoom gesture, iPhone OS devices are still too reliant on virtual buttons for most functions.
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INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 71
FEEL LIFE SPORT Richard Sellers/Sportsphoto
Nothing to lose
The Warriors are back in familiar territory. They’re underdogs in the fiercely competitive National Rugby League competition – and that sits nicely with the players, the fans and the New Zealand sporting psyche. Chris Forster analyses the chances of a team with dwindling star power recovering from a year of under-achievement 72 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
evels of expectation have long been the gauge for New Zealand sports teams. You only have to look at the All Blacks’ failure to live up to their top billing at Rugby World Cups since 1987. At the other end of the rating spectrum you’ve got the Kiwis’ memorable march to league’s downsized version of the World Cup in 2008 when no-one gave them a huhu grub’s chance of toppling the mighty Kangaroos. More recently the All Whites and the Wellington Phoenix have put football on the map in a country where the round ball code rates a distant fourth behind rugby, league and netball. Rowing, golf, cycling, athletics, hockey and a myriad of non-mainstream sports have provided highs against the odds over the decades – but it’s the Warriors who rank as the ultimate underdogs. Their war cry of the recent years of Keeping the Faith holds plenty of water with long-suffering fans. When they weren’t expected to fly they made the top four of the NRL playoffs in 2007 and 2008. Then it was almost a case of the Gods Must Be Crazy in 2009 when an ill-fated tilt at the title came up horribly short with a lowly 14th place finish. But the omens are there for a turnaround season for coach Ivan Cleary in his 5th year in charge. Steve Price has been the rock in the Warriors set-up for the last four years. Father Time’s caught up with the 36 year old, and after an early season battle with a troublesome heel injury, Price confirmed the inevitable last month – that 2010 will be his 17th and final season as a hard-nosed forward in the world’s toughest rugby league competition. His unceremonious dumping as the club captain late last year prompted endless media speculation about Price turning from the ultimate club man into an unhappy camper. But in truth his body was giving him strife. Injuries had cut into his reliability factor as one of the big earners under the club’s salary cap. “We’re in a situation now where I’ve got to listen to the medical staff and keep on ticking the boxes they give me. I think the biggest mistake I can make as a player is to put a date on it. It puts more pressure on me and the fans and the sponsors and the media … and they want to know when I’ll be back. You’ve just got to listen to your body at times”. Price has been a master at mixing enthusi-
asm and knowledge with a high level of media understanding. If he’s short of options after league a career in politics might be an option. His leadership was sorely missed on the field during the early games of the competition. But when it comes to wages, the Queenslander’s strictly confidential. “I won’t be there at the start of the next year. All the rumours going around about how much I’ll get paid out are simply not true. There’s a few players off contract at the end of the year. If one front-rower leaves I don’t know if you’ve got to replace him with another one”. The father of two may head back to his homeland at the end of the year – but he has no issues over staying here if opportunity knocks. “Because the lifestyle we’ve had here has been brilliant. Any other Australians or Pommies or Frenchies or whatever – who decides to come here would accept it the same way”. The university graduate’s clearly got options he’s keeping close to his chest. Although the retirement call wasn’t quite as pre-destined as you might think. “I’m 36 years old … so I think everyone tells me every year that this would be my last year. They have been for the last 6 years they were telling me at the Bulldogs”. Depth and leadership were stretched to the limit in the absence of Price early in the season. An enterprising approach paid a dividend with a comfortable sluicing of the Cronulla Sharks at Mt Smart then a record-breaking rout of the hapless Broncos in Brisbane. Suddenly that whole underdog thing started doing its magic with the media and the fans and a crowd of more than 19,000 showed up for an Easter Sunday showdown with the Manly Sea Eagles. Predictably the early season wave of optimism hit a brick wall and they suffered an “ugly” 14-6 defeat to Manly. They were flat and lacking in ideas, denting hopes of creating a home stadium fortress for the visiting Aussie teams. That may be the biggest turnout of the season unless Price and some of the other frontline players kick their injuries and start making a regular impact on the park. Their current captain is back-rower and Kiwis regular Simon Mannering. His ascendency over Price was hinged on reliability, but he was hit by a recurring hamstring injury. You only have to look at the current
NZPA / David Rowland
You only have to look at the current bunch of first grade choices to underline their lack of firepower up front when Price, Mannering and hooker Ian Henderson are out of the picture
bunch of first grade choices to underline their lack of firepower up front when Price, Mannering and hooker Ian Henderson are out of the picture. Jesse Royal, prop, is a 29 year old battler who came to the game late, and was picked up by the Warriors after struggling for game time at the Newcastle Knights. Lanky front-rower Jeremy Latimore was a late signing from the Parramatta Eels and
is getting regular action along with Tigers reject Lewis Brown. Journeyman Aaron Heremia has been first choice hooker in the absence of Henderson while Queensland strongman Jacob Lillyman’s a converted second-rower. Much will depend on Sam Rapira and the development of local lads Ben Matulino, Russell Packer and Ukuma Ta’ai to get the fear factor back in the Warriors pack. The prospects out in the back division are a little rosier. Manu Vatuvei is the most damaging winger in the NRL and Brent Tate’s been back to his best in the centres alongside Jerome Ropati. A six week injury to former Sharks bad boy Brett Seymour tested the stocks the halves – and James Maloney, another New South Wales import, grabbed a chance in the famous Suncorp rout to make a name for himself. Lance Hohaia’s been “Mister Everything” for the club and has held down the fullback’s jersey early in the season ahead of Wade McKinnon, who’s sadly lost the zip that made him such a menace before a serious knee injury early in 2009. Betting agencies in Australia and New Zealand are starting to warm to the club’s prospects after writing them off pre-season. TAB Sportsbet put the Warriors at $41 long shots to take out the Premiership after the first four rounds, and second favourites to pick up the dreaded wooden spoon. The New Zealand TAB is predictably more generous offering $22 to win the competition after their early season surge. Their ability to battle the odds is summed up by New Zealand identity Grahame Lowe. “You’ve certainly got to have self-belief. If you’re a New Zealander and you’re in rugby league you’ve got to have it” These days the Otahuhu boy’s taken over as CEO of Sydney glamour club Manly, where Lowe had plenty of success in the early 90s, and went on to coach Queensland to State of Origin success and have a crack with the Kiwis. He believes the Warriors will have to dig deep to prosper in the current NRL season. “It’s one of the strengths the Warriors have is that they get hold of other teams and they bring them down to their level. I’m not being disrespectful. But their chance of beating a lot of sides is inviting them into an arm-wrestle and grabbing them down to the arm-wrestle level”. It’s that sort of Kiwi sensibility that gives this unlikely crop of Warriors a chance of living up to their long shot billing, and forcing their way into playoff contention. INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 73
FEEL LIFE HEALTH
Acting out while asleep A strange sleep disorder, writes Judith Graham
uring the day, Lawrence Neumann was a mild mannered man, considerate, kind and loving to his wife of many years, Bonnie. In the middle of the night, as they tried to sleep, he became someone else, screaming obscenities, grunting, kicking, punching Bonnie in the arm, violently hurling himself out of bed. For 16 years, this couple from Streator, Ill., more than 80 miles southwest of Chicago, had no idea what was happening or why night after night. The local doctors they consulted were at a loss to explain the strange symptoms. “Nobody seemed to know anything about it,” said Lawrence, 73, now retired from a concrete block business. Relief came at long last nearly two years ago in the form of a diagnosis from a neurologist at Northwestern University’s Feinberg 74 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
School of Medicine. Lawrence had a little known condition, REM sleep behavior disorder, in which people act out their dreams, unconsciously, during sleep. That diagnosis was a turning point, since the condition is easily treatable. Nine out of 10 people who suffer the disorder are men. The vast majority are age 50 or older, although new research is finding a higher prevalence of the disorder in younger adults as sleep problems gain more attention, according to Dr. Bradley Boeve, a professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic and a leading expert on this condition. “Several patients we’ve seen, their spouse will describe first encountering this on their wedding night,” he said. Estimates suggest one in every 200 adults has the strange affliction, caused by a dysfunction in a part of the brain that sup-
presses muscle activity while people are in REM sleep, a dream-filled phase of slumber. The prevalence of REM sleep behavior disorder might be much higher in seniors. Notably, 9 percent of 2,300 adults age 70 to 90 surveyed in Olmstead County, Minn., reported symptoms consistent with the diagnosis. “Even if only half actually have it, that’s still 4 to 5 percent – and that makes it pretty common,” Boeve said. A growing body of research suggests the condition is a precursor to Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia in up to 25 to 50 percent of patients. Why this is so is not yet clear, but neurons in adjacent areas of the lower brain stem appear to be implicated, according to Dr. Carlos Schenck, one of the physicians who first described REM sleep behavior disorder. Scientists are monitoring patients closely
For Lawrence and Bonnie Neumann, night became a time of danger, suffused with the potential for injury and hoping that someday drugs will become available to prevent neurodegenerative disorders from developing after the first signs of REM sleep behavior disorder appear. Asked about patients, Schenck described men who have jumped through windows while asleep, strangled their bed partners, smashed into dressers, knocked themselves unconscious, and given their wives black eyes. Typically, their experiences are eerily similar: men dream they’re being chased or hounded by large insects, animals or threatening people and have to defend themselves, Schenck said. Almost inevitably, the dreams are colored by violence and aggression. One of Schenck’s patients is Cal Pope, 85, of Circle Pines, Minn., who had seen 400 men go down on a ship in the South Pacific in World War II. “I was sure he was reliving that,” said his wife, Rowena, 81, who would watch Cal kick the wall fiercely and threaten to crush people’s heads in the middle of the night. It took nine years for Pope to get a proper diagnosis and treatment. One night, Rowena watched in horror as her husband got down on all fours, roaring like a lion. “I was chasing other lions around,” Cal remembered, adding that he was frequently “completely worn out in the morning” after nightly episodes. To be evaluated, patients need an expert sleep study, with electrodes placed on their arms and legs to track movements during slumber, said Dr. Alon Avidan, an associate professor of neurology at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. A videotape will capture the patient’s activities and other conditions, such as sleep apnea, that can cause similar symptoms. Also, alcohol, coffee, and certain anti-depressants can serve as triggers for REM sleep behavior episodes. Symptoms are relieved 90 percent of the time by clonazepam (also known as Klonopin), a medication commonly used to treat anxiety, panic attacks and seizure disorders. It helps patients sleep more soundly, wake up less often, and have fewer episodes when they do. A large number of patients also are helped by melatonin, which is being
studied at Northwestern as a treatment for REM sleep behavior disorder. In San Diego County, Calif., John Chadwick used to strap himself into bed with a seatbelt and put on leather handcuffs so he wouldn’t hurt his wife, Susan, in the middle of the night. Once, Susan said, “he kicked me out of bed so hard I landed on my head.” Another time, she remembered, “he bit me so hard on my wrist that the teeth impressions last for two days.” “I was living a nightmare,” said John, who is now being treated successfully with melatonin at UCLA. For Lawrence and Bonnie Neumann, night became a time of danger, suffused with the potential for injury. Once, after leaping out of bed in the midst of an episode, Lawrence hit his head on a nightstand, opening a large gash. Another time, he threw himself out of bed head first, smashing his forehead on the floor boards and causing a concussion. It was routine for Lawrence to start kicking his wife, dreaming a bear was sneaking up on him. “The mood was one of defense against attack,” Lawrence remembered. “If she tried to touch me, I’d come after her.” Bonnie put pads around the bedroom furniture so Lawrence couldn’t hurt himself; other couples take sharp objects away, put mattresses to the floor, arrange foam barriers between them, or move their bedrooms to the ground floor so they don’t leap out of second story windows. “It’s very important to take safety precautions, kind of like baby-proofing the room,” said Dr. Phyllis Zee, associate director of Northwestern University’s Center for Sleep & Circadian Biology. After extensive neuropsychiatric tests and three separate sleep studies, Lawrence was finally diagnosed by Northwestern doctors with REM sleep behavior disorder in 2008. They gave the older man clonazepam, which worked like a charm, while also treating a mild case of sleep apnea, which can contribute to REM behavior disorder episodes. “It was the first time in more than 16 years that I could say I got a good night’s sleep,” Lawrence said. “I sleep really well now.”
HEALTHBRIEFS INFANT BREATHES XENON, AVOIDS BRAIN INJURY. British doctors helped a newborn baby boy avoid serious brain injury from lack of oxygen by giving him xenon gas to breathe, a medical first, the doctors said. Newborn Riley Joyce was given a 50-50 chance of permanent injury and disability when he was rushed to St. Michael’s Hospital, a university hospital in Bristol, England, unable to breathe properly. His parents, Dave and Sarah Joyce, agreed that Riley could become the first baby to inhale xenon gas, in an experimental treatment, in the hope he would make a full recovery, London’s Daily Mail reported. Xenon is a colorless, odorless gas that is heavy and inert and is sometimes used as a general anesthetic, although it is expensive. It occurs in the earth’s atmosphere in trace amounts. Neonatal Neuroscience Professor Marianne Thoresen of the University of Bristol and colleague Dr. James Tooley lowered Riley’s body temperature to 92.3 degrees Fahrenheit, then connected his breathing machine to a xenon delivery system for three hours. Riley was kept cool for 72 hours, then slowly rewarmed. He started breathing without the machine on Day 5, the Mail said. After seven days, Riley was alert, able to look at his mother’s face, hold up his head and begin to take milk, said Thoresen, who pioneered the technique with Dr. John Dingley from Swansea University in Wales. Clinical trials had shown that lowering a baby’s body temperature by only a few degrees for 72 hours is a safe and beneficial treatment for lack of oxygen or blood supply at birth.
INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 75
FEEL LIFE ALT.HEALTH
Beating the common cold Ian Wishart reviews the latest clinical studies on a breakthrough natural remedy that’s revolutionised cold and flu treatment in the home
wo years ago, Investigate magazine was introduced to an almost unknown health supplement marketed under the name “Kaloba”. Like everyone else who sees a new supplement, we looked askance, kicked the tyres, lifted the hood and were generally cynical until two things happened: 1, we tried it; 2, we found out it had been tested in top level prestigious medical studies, and passed with flying colours as genuinely effective. We even gave it a cover line back then: A Cure For The Common Cold. The good news is, the latest studies are even punchier and this magazine’s staff have been long-term testing this product for two years. It seriously works. One of the new studies relates to athletes and any of us who regularly hit the gyms or go jogging. It’s one of the ironies of the fitness industry that people often get sicker – presumably dietary reserves normally destined for cell or system health are being diverted to meet the demands of highintensity training. Nieman et al’s latest paper shows marathon runners are six times more likely to get winter infections than ordinary couch potatoes. Additionally, because they have a habit of pushing themselves, athletes are twice as likely generally to suffer infections because they don’t fully heal from the previous episode before resuming exercise. Attention in Europe is therefore turning to solutions, and the one performance medics are looking at is EPs 7630, the active ingredient (from a type of South African geranium), because it is outperforming antibiotics, over the counter remedies and other drugs used to mask cold symptoms. Controlled clinical studies of children with acute bronchitis Kaloba was tested in three double-blind trials involving a total of 800 children aged one year or older (yes, unlike virtually all the cold remedies now on the market, Kaloba is safe for babies and children) 76 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
The studies measured bronchitis improvement between control groups taking the EPs 7630 extract, and those taking a placebo. “Each of the studies demonstrated the statistically significant and clinically relevant superiority of the active study drug vs. placebo after three to five days. Beyond that, the EPs 7630 group showed a significant decrease in absence from school or kindergarten by two days,” notes one journal report. Controlled clinical studies of adults with acute bronchitis “Nearly 750 adults were studied in three clinical trials which compared EPs 7630 with placebo; these trials had the same design as the aforementioned paediatric studies. Analogous to the paediatric studies, all of these trials showed significant superiority of active study drug within three to five days. “The length of absence from work was reduced by two days.” The reason Kaloba performs well is because it doesn’t mask the symptoms of colds or bronchial infections, it actually helps the body’s immune system kick in to kill off the viral and bacterial invasion. In scientific terms, the journal report (Translation from ARS MEDICI thema Phytotherapie 1/2010) describes it thus: “The antibacterial effects of the extract are largely indirect and manifest in the mucous membranes, blood and tissue. The onset of a viral or bacterial (super) infection begins when the pathogen adheres to the surface of the mucous membrane. In therapeutic concentrations, the extract clearly reduces the adhesion of A-streptococci to cells of the respiratory mucosa, which means that in this case one can speak of a prophylactic effect against (super) infections (24). “If adhesion has already occurred, the natural remedy prevents the pathogens from entering the mucosa and internalising (24). Since internalised pathogens play a large part in recurring infections, a prophylactic effect against recurrence can be attributed to this
mechanism. Furthermore, EPs 7630 stimulates the activity of phagocytes and the intracellular killing of phagocytised pathogens, which manifests clinically in faster and more effective immune response (25).” Another clinical trial (Kamin et al) has just been published in International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and found: “On Day 7, treatment outcome was significantly better, satisfaction with treatment more pronounced (77.6% vs. 25.8%, p < 0.0001), onset of effect faster, and time of bed rest shorter as compared with placebo. Tolerability was similarly good in both groups. All adverse events were assessed as non-serious. Conclusion: EPs 7630 was shown to be efficacious and safe in the treatment of acute bronchitis in children and adolescents.” So the good news is, it’s safe for kids, it’s effective, you start to feel better faster, it can help ward off infections, and it’s not a banned substance for athletes.
INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 77
TASTE LIFE TRAVEL
Todos Santos – a Baja getaway Mexico not so bad, writes Christopher Reynolds
nce upon a time, say about 1972, Cabo San Lucas was a sleepy little fishing town at the southern tip of Baja California. Then came the paved highway, the international airport, the marina, the golf courses, the raucous bars and wellheeled retreats. At the newest and perhaps fanciest, Capella Pedregal, suites this spring start at $675 a night. In Cabo, you just might score the spring break you’ll never forget – or the one you won’t remember. And then there’s Todos Santos, still small, still drowsy at most hours, wedged between the mountains and sea about 50 miles north of Cabo. Its sugar mills, born amid a 19th century boom, died about 60 years ago. The paved highway didn’t arrive until the mid-1980s, about the time the first American expat artist, Charles Stewart, moved in. With no
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airport, no marina, no golf and virtually no nightlife, downtown amounts to a few blocks of newish galleries, inns and shops in oldish buildings. Outside town, cardon cactuses stipple the hills, and miles of lonely beaches roar under assault by waves so wicked that surfers and swimmers must pick their spots carefully. Todos Santos, whose population might be as high as 15,000, depending on how many surrounding hamlets you include, is not where you come for action. But if you’re after Mexican flavor, Pacific solitude, desert vistas, fresh food and a seriously slow spring break, this might be your place. “We close down at Baja midnight, which is 9 o’clock,” said Lisa Harper, former chief executive of Gymboree and now proprietor of the Rancho Pescadero hotel, about six miles south of town. “We’re not up partying until all hours. It’s a very calm, relaxed area.
Lots of surfers, lots of expats. Lots of fantastic Mexican food, great galleries and artists.” Pat Cope, who arrived from Los Angeles to open a gallery with her husband, Michael, and infant son, Lane, remembers that “when we first moved here, all I heard was roosters.” Sixteen years later, Lane is contemplating colleges, and the roosters still greet each morning, Cope said, but “I don’t hear them.” Todos Santos, said Paula Colombo, coowner of the Cafe Santa-Fe, “is real. Good and bad, it’s real.” Now that the recession has slowed the pace of coastal vacation-home building outside town, Colombo added, “maybe we can settle down and do what we have to do to keep this place as magnificent as it could be ... an oasis in the desert.” My first stop was at Harper’s Rancho Pescadero hotel (no warning given, full price paid). Rancho Pescadero, billed as a different kind of “dude” ranch, has been busy since it
Visitors to the small town of Todos Santos, Mexico, gather on the beaches to watch the gray whales that migrate along the Baja Peninsula. /Tom Uhlenbrock/ St. Louis PostDispatch/MCT)
opened in Novem ber 2009 with 12 rooms, a restaurant, a bar and a pool. If things keep going this well, Harper said, the hotel could add 15 units by year’s end. Once on the grounds, you can take refuge in your large room (the smallest is still more than 600 square feet) or on your mostly private patio. Before long, you’ll be sipping your welcome drink, strolling past the fire pit, through the fledgling palm grove, to the dunes and the wide, lonely beach. Don’t jump in. Staffers warn guests not to swim at the hotel-adjacent beach because the tide is treacherous. But you can flop onto one of the Rancho Pescadero daybeds on the dunes. Or walk at water’s edge, especially near dawn or dusk, where you’ll get the full effect of the near-empty beach coastline: pelicans gliding above the swells, offshore breezes blowing feathered foam off the whitecaps. It’s a wonder I turned away long enough to spot the handwritten signs for the San Pedrito Surf Hotel, a few hundred yards north of Rancho Pescadero. Beginning four years ago, manager/co-owner Andy Keller and the other owners upgraded the beachfront site from a camping spot to a sevenunit hotel (rates are $55-$200, a kitchen in every room), but it remains rustic: tile floors, a few shelves of well-thumbed paperbacks, all at the end of another dirt road. “I’m into the classic look,” Keller said. “No red lights, no parking meters, no pavement....You have the dirt roads, you have
the dogs with no collars ... the proximity of the mountains just beyond us here, and the ocean just behind me. It’s the best of both worlds.” Out on the water – that is, the San Pedrito surf break, known up and down the West Coast – I spotted half a dozen euphoric young men carving waves with their short boards. If you can’t surf like these guys but want to get into the ocean, you drive a couple of miles south to Cerritos Beach, which has milder tides and beach gear for rent and the passable Cerritos Beach club restaurant. This beach, long empty, has been busy with development in the last few years. Just south of the restaurant, workers have completed about 10 Cerritos Surf Colony bungalows, being sold as time-shares and rented at $125 nightly. About 60 more are planned. On the cliff top just north, meanwhile, looms the immense yellow-orange Hacienda Cerritos, a 30,000-square-foot walled mansion that’s unfortunately visible for miles. Workers said it was built as a private home last year by Oregon developer Roger Pollock. Pollock’s finances became complicated in the
recession, so the hacienda has been recast as a hotel, renting 11 rooms for $295 and up nightly. My tour of the property befuddled me. Even with multiple zero-horizon pools, a massive patio, handsome tiles and big ocean views, the place felt like a rental house and was costlier than any other hotel I saw. Downtown Todos Santos is more affordable and easier to understand: the 18th century mission on the plaza, the galleries, shops and eateries on narrow streets, mostly unpaved. I looked at paintings in Galeria Logan and Galeria Indigo, chatted with sculptor Benito Ortega in his studio, checked out the 1930s mural at the Cultural Center. I picked up a book at El Tecolote bookshop on the main drag, Juarez, and sipped some cool gazpacho on the patio of Los Adobes de Todos Santos. Toward the middle of the day, I drove out to Punta Lobos Beach, where you can buy fresh catch from the fishermen as they drag their boats ashore about 2:30 p.m. each day. This is no longer a town I can hold in the palm of my hand, which is what it seemed when I first visited in 1995. Todos Santos
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School children walk the dusty streets of Todos Santos, Mexico. /Tom Uhlenbrock/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)
has probably doubled in population since. In 2006, local boosters managed to win a “Pueblo Magico” designation from national tourism officials, even though the label is usually reserved for towns with older buildings and more of them, more elaborately restored. If the highway is improved as promised, the drive to Los Cabos airport could drop from one hour and 40 minutes to one hour.
But even so, there isn’t a lodging here with more than 14 rooms. And though some have Wi-Fi and air-conditioning, most don’t bother with guest phones or TVs. I’m guessing that if you put two tourists in every guest bed, the population would grow by 500, tops. Though Stewart, the first expat, has closed his gallery, there are a dozen others, including Michael and Pat Cope’s enduring Galeria de Todos Santos. Cafe Santa-Fe, the smart, tasty Italian restaurant that Ezio and Paula Colombo started on the plaza in 1990, coexists with several other well-loved eateries, including the topnotch Asian fusion cuisine of Michael’s at the Gallery, now 4 years old. I also got a fix of down-home Mexican cuisine at Miguel’s, where since 2001 a family has been serving widely admired chile rellenos in a dining room with dirt floors, a palapa roof and walls of woven twigs. On the main drag, the Hotel California traded for years on the false idea that it had inspired the Eagles’ 1976 song of the same name. It got new owners in 2001, and when they reopened the place a year later, 11 rooms, pool patio and restaurant were full of vibrant colors and festive atmosphere. In otherwise muted Todos Santos, the Hotel California sounds a brassy note, but is a step up from the old days. And unlike other lodgings, it doesn’t ban children. If you want grown-up gentility in the heart of town, go to the Todos Santos Inn, which has been open since 1997. It has eight rooms, a restaurant and a tiny pool at the converted residence of a 19th century sugar baron. Or you cast your gaze across the street to the brick walls of the 14-suite Guaycura Hotel, expected to open in coming weeks.
“We came for the first time in ‘96, and it was much sleepier than it is now,” Juerg Wiesendanger, formerly a Swiss financier, told me one morning. “We went to look for a place to stay on the beach. Nothing. And we said, ‘This has to change.’ “ He and his wife, Libusche, moved here and went to work. In 2002, they opened the eightroom Posada la Poza, which sits on the edge of a lagoon at the end of a long dirt road. It has a popular rooftop lounge, a restaurant (El Gusto) and some of the town’s quietest guest rooms, with glimpses of La Poza Beach. The walls display Libusche’s paintings. On yet another dirt road that leads to the sea, London-born designer Jenny Armit in 2007 opened the four-unit Hotelito. It sits about midway between town and La Cachora Beach, and its quartet of cottages ($90-$135 nightly) is done in minimalist-modern style. It has a dining patio, bar and pool, palm fronds here, hammocks there, carefully raked pebbles in between. I liked the privacy, simplicity and quiet ... for a while. But my night at the Hotelito was the wrong night. In the wee hours of the morning, a chorus of crowing roosters piped up. They never quite settled down, and neither did I. When I met Armit over coffee later, she brought up the roosters and told me how the farmer across the street had brought in hundreds of the caged birds. She sighed and said she was confident that the problem would soon be solved, but she didn’t yet know exactly how. If you run a business in Todos Santos, it seems, crises like these come and go. “And if you haven’t got a sense of humor,” Armit said with a winning grin, “you shouldn’t live in Mexico.”
IF YOU GO Where to stay: Rancho Pescadero,
six miles south of Todos Santos; 1-612135-5849, www.ranchopescadero.com. Twelve rooms, restaurant and pool on 15 acres neighboring dunes and beach. Getting there, expect a mile of dirt road after you leave the highway. Rates US$185-$300. No children younger than 12. Posada la Poza, Colonia La Poza, A.P. 10, Todos Santos; 612-145- 0400, www. lapoza.com. Eight rooms, restaurant and pool on four acres at the edge of a lagoon. Rates $210-$480, with some “recession
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discounts” as much as 25%. Breakfast included. No children younger than 13. Hotel California, Benito Juarez e/Morelos y Marquez de Leon, Todos Santos, Colonia Centro; 612-145-0525; www.hotelcaliforniabaja.com. Eleven rooms festooned with bright colors and art, with restaurant, shop and pool on the liveliest block downtown. Rates $110-$215. Children OK. Where to eat: Michael’s at the Gallery, at Galeria de Todos Santos, Calle Legaspi and Topete, Todos Santos; 612-145-0500. Asian fusion cuisine. Dinner only, Thursday through Saturday. Main dishes $15-$25.
Miguel’s, Avenida Santoa Degollado and 2 Rangel, Barrio San Vicente, Todos Santos; 612-145-0733. Renowned chile rellenos and other Mexican fare, made and served by a lifelong local resident and his family. Lunch and dinner. Cash only, dirt floor, impeccably clean. Main dishes up to $10. Cafe Santa-Fe, 4 Calle Centenario, Todos Santos; 612-145-0340. Fine Italian dining on the town plaza. Founded 20 years ago by Ezio and Paula Colombo (formerly of Italy and New York, respectively), who still run it. Lunch and dinner, closed Tuesdays. Main dishes about $19-$39.
Deal direct, Quality Diamonds at Exceptional Prices Guthries Manufacturing Jewellers 3rd floor Dingwall Building 87 Queen Street Auckland Ph 09 3098491 Fax 09 3096049
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W W W. G U T H R I E S . C O . N Z INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 81
TASTE LIFE FOOD
Tom Wallace/Minneapolis Star Tribune/MCT)
Creampuffs, worth the work
A Japanese treat that may be worth trying, writes Sharon Thompson
have always considered cream puffs to be the province of the French, until I discovered the Japanese version last month in San Francisco. While visiting the city, I saw more Beard Papa stores than McDonald’s. The name caught my eye first. When I saw that the specialty was cream puffs, I had to try one, and then another, and so on. Beard Papa is a Japanese-based cream puff franchise whose logo features what one food blogger described as “a guy who looks like the love child of Ernest Hemingway and the Gorton’s fisherman.” The Osaka-based parent company, Muginoho, introduced its cream puff in 1999, and it has stores on the West and East coasts of US. Cream puffs are made from a classic dough called pâte a choux. “Choux” (pronounced “shoo”) is a French word for cabbages, which is what the puffs resemble. The dough requires just four main ingredients: water, butter, flour and eggs. Heat is the key to successful puffs, so the process moves quite quickly, mixing together 82 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
warm ingredients that go into a hot oven, where the steam puffs up the dough and makes a hollow center. When the choux is done, the puffs are injected with a rich, creamy filling. Sometimes the cream puffs are glazed with chocolate or dusted with powdered sugar. Beard Papa combines a traditional choux and a pie crust-type dough that produces both softness and a degree of crunch. The French version is smaller than Beard Papa’s and is called profiteroles. Because there are no Beard Papa stores downunder, we are going to have to make our own. I think they make a perfect spring dessert. Recipes are easy to find, but there are some tricks you’ll need to know before heading to the kitchen. These tips are from Food Network, Cook’s Illustrated and the San Francisco Examiner. • Warming the eggs in a bowl of hot water from the tap makes them easier to stir into the dough and keeps the dough as warm as possible. Using a pizza stone beneath your baking sheet also boosts the heat under the pastries, helping them to puff.
• For such a delicate result, cream puffs require strong biceps. Once you add the flour to the boiling water and butter, you need to stir vigorously to quickly incorporate the flour and avoid lumps. Stir fast and constantly for one to two minutes. • Using an electric mixer not only cools the dough but prevents crusty bits from forming. Some recipes recommend using a mixer or a food processor. • The dough needs to dry as much as possible so it will absorb as much egg as possible. Eggs are the only leavening ingredient in cream puffs, so the more egg, the more puff. One recipe calls for eight eggs. • Some recipes call for adding one egg at a time. As you add each egg, the dough ball will break into pieces and then gradually pull back together, at which point you add the next egg. • Add as much egg as possible, without adding so much that the dough gets soft. Do this test: Place a small spoonful on a plate. The dough should be supple enough to hold its shape but not be “pasty.” If it still seems stiff, add an extra egg white; if it seems quite soft, move on to shaping the puffs. • The dough recipe can be increased or decreased proportionately for any number of servings. • The technique is to press the batter against the sides, then stir into a ball, over and over until it feels drier and pulls away cleanly from the sides of the pan. Keep the dough moving in the pan so it doesn’t scorch. A thin film of cooked dough will form on the bottom of the pot when it is ready. This can take 3 to 6 minutes. • On the baking sheet, make sure to leave at least 2 inches between the dollops of dough to allow for expansion. • Just before you place the pan in the oven, spritz each puff with water. (A plant spritzer works well.) This will keep them moist longer, so they will puff as much as possible before beginning to firm up. • Before baking, smoothing the tops with a finger or spoon dipped in cold water evens out peaks that could burn in the oven. • Once they’re in the oven, don’t open the oven door to peek. A rush of cold air might make them collapse. The puffs can be made several hours in advance of being served; store them in an airtight container. • Piercing the finished cream puffs and leaving them in the turned-off oven allows steam to escape, making them crisper. • Don’t fill the puffs until you’re ready to serve them.
Pâte A Choux You’ll need: 2 large eggs 1 large egg white 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces 2 tablespoons whole milk 6 tablespoons water 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar 1/4 teaspoon table salt 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted To make: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray large (12-by 18-inch) baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and line with parchment paper; set aside. Beat eggs and egg white in measuring cup or small bowl; you should have 1/2 cup (discard excess). Set aside. Bring butter, milk, water, sugar and salt to boil in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring once or twice. When mixture reaches full boil (butter should be fully melted), immediately remove saucepan from heat and stir in flour with heat-proof spatula or wooden spoon until combined and mixture clears sides of pan. Return saucepan to low heat and cook, stirring constantly, using smearing motion, for 3 minutes, until mixture is slightly shiny with wet-sand appearance and tiny beads of fat appear on bottom of saucepan (the temperature of the paste should register 175 to 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer). Immediately transfer mixture to a food processor, and process with feed tube open for 10 seconds to cool slightly. With machine running, gradually add eggs in steady stream. When all eggs have been added, scrape down sides of bowl, then process for 30 seconds until smooth, thick, sticky paste forms. (If not using immediately, transfer paste to medium bowl, cover surface flush with sheet of plastic wrap sprayed lightly with non-stick cooking spray, and store at room temperature for no more than 2 hours.) Fold down top 3 or 4 inches to form a cuff on a 14- or 16-inch pastry bag fitted with 1/2-inch plain tip. Hold bag open with one hand in cuff and fill bag with paste. Unfold cuff, lay bag on work surface, and, using hands or bench scraper, push paste into lower portion of pastry bag. Twist top of bag and pipe paste into mounds on pre-
pared baking sheet, spacing them about 1 to 1 1/2 inches apart (you should be able to fit about 24 mounds on baking sheet). Use back of teaspoon dipped in bowl of cold water to smooth shape and surface of piped mounds. Bake 15 minutes (do not open oven door), then reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue to bake until golden brown and fairly firm (puffs should not be soft and squishy), 8 to 10 minutes longer. Remove baking sheet from oven. With paring knife, cut 1/2-inch slit into side of each puff to release steam; return puffs to oven, turn off oven, and prop oven door open with handle of wooden spoon. Dry puffs in turned-off oven until centers are just moist (not wet) and puffs are crisp, about 45 minutes. Transfer puffs to wire rack to cool. (Cooled puffs can be stored at room temperature for as long as 24 hours or frozen in a zipper-lock plastic bag for as
long as 1 month. Before serving, crisp room temperature puffs in 300-degree oven 5 to 8 minutes, or 8 to 10 minutes for frozen puffs.)
Fresh Whipped Cream Filling You’ll need: 2 cups heavy cream 1/2 cup powdered sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract To make: Whip heavy cream until semi-stiff. Add powdered sugar and vanilla, and whip until stiff. Do not overwhip cream. Refrigerate until ready to fill cream puffs. Cocoa whipped cream: Follow whipped cream directions above, and add 3 tablespoons cocoa with the powdered sugar and vanilla. INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 83
TOUCH LIFE DRIVE
Cadillac CTS tops Consumer Reports tests of luxury sedans
TS outpoints Mercedes-Benz E-350, Audi A6, and Lincoln MKS The Cadillac CTS posted an “Excellent” overall score and outpointed competitors from Acura, Audi, MercedesBenz, and Lincoln in US Consumer Reports’ testing of five luxury sedans for the February 2010 issue. The CTS earned an “Excellent” overall road test score of 84, outdistancing freshened versions of the Acura RL, which earned a “Very Good” score with 80 points, the redesigned Mercedes-Benz E350 and freshened Audi A6 and which both earned “Very Good” scores of 79 points, and the Lincoln MKS which earned a “Very Good” road test score of 75 points. The CTS trails only the Infiniti M35 among all luxury sedans in the category that CR has tested, but belowaverage reliability prevents CR from recommending it. “With excellent driving dynamics, a smooth and punchy drivetrain and a wellfurnished interior, the CTS outscores some of the best imported luxury sports sedans,” said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center in East Haddam, Connecticut. The CTS trails only the Infiniti M35 among the 13 luxury sedans that have been rated by CR. The new E350 has a slightly roomier interior and retains the same high quality materials and fit and finish of the previous E-Class, but it doesn’t quite live up to its predecessor’s great ride and handling. The Audi A6, now five years old, still holds its own against even the newest luxury sedans. The Acura RL has a smooth and refined powertrain, but it’s not the most exciting sedan to drive. The Lincoln MKS came with the uplevel EcoBoost turbocharged engine, which is bundled with AWD. In an Auto Test Extra, Consumer Reports also tested the Lexus HS 250h, a new hybrid 84 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
sedan that received an “Excellent” road test score of 83, slightly higher than the Prius. The Cadillac CTS gives up virtually nothing to the premium European cars tested in terms of refinement, powertrain, ride, or handling. The ride is supple and controlled and handling is agile and sporty. The Cadillac CTS Premium RWD, is powered by a 304-hp, 3.6-litre 6-cylinder engine that delivers lively performance and gets 19 mpg overall in CR’s own fuel economy tests. The six-speed automatic transmission shifts responsively. Braking is excellent. The interior is plush, with well-fitted padded panels and nice touches of wood and chrome. It has a moderately-sized trunk. The redesigned Mercedes E350 doesn’t ride as comfortably or handle as well as its predecessor. Handling is still capable but not exceptional, and the ride isn’t as absorbent as before, but still the E350 is quick and quiet, solid, comfortable, and luxurious. The Mercedes-Benz E350 RWD is powered by a 268-hp, 3.5-litre V6 engine that delivers smooth and strong performance and 19 mpg overall on premium fuel. The sevenspeed automatic transmission usually shifts smoothly. Braking is very good. The interior is nicely finished with padded panels and highquality materials. The trunk is good-sized. Audi freshened the A6 with a new, supercharged engine that improves performance while retaining decent fuel economy. Handling remains responsive and secure, the seats are very comfortable, and the interior is nicely finished. The A6 Premium 3.0T Quattro AWD is powered by a 300-hp, 3.0litre supercharged V6 engine that delivers strong acceleration and 20 mpg overall on premium fuel. The six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly. Braking is very good. The rich interior is trimmed with high-quality materials and panels are tightfitting. Trunk space is good.
INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 85
TOUCH LIFE TOYBOX BENQ E2420HDB LCD MONITOR BenQ expands their new Full 1080p High Definition LCD monitor E Series lineup, the E2420HDB. Designed for the gaming consumers, industry professionals and multimedia enthusiasts – the E2420HDB features a 24” glare wide screen with 16:9 Full 1080p HD, BenQ’s exclusive Senseye 3 technology, display mode hotkey, compatibility with Microsoft Windows 7, and is RoHS certified. The E2420HDB satisfies and enhances today’s display-centric Full HD world with uncompromised picture quality of full 1080p HD. Users can expect the best from BenQ’s extra wide screen LCD monitors, as they are the pioneer of the 16:9 aspect ratio. Gaming and multimedia enthusiasts can immerse themselves in their favourite past-time with more lifelike and vibrant images www.benq.com
COOLPIX S4000 Integrating sleek design and intuitive touch operation, the new COOLPIX S4000 digital camera is all about the user experience. Whether it’s recording HD movies or exploring creative possibilities, the COOLPIX S4000 places the camera’s controls at the touch of a finger. The COOLPIX S4000 incorporates a new 3.0-inch, high-resolution touchpanel 460,000-dot Clear Color Display LCD which makes it easy to compose, review and share pictures. Advanced touch features include Touch Shutter, allowing users to select their subject with a single touch on the screen to adjust focus and exposure, and to automatically release the shutter, as well as Subject Tracking to automatically follow and focus on a subject selected by touching the screen.The COOLPIX S4000 features 12-megapixel resolution; a 4x wide-angle Zoom-NIKKOR glass lens; ISO 3200; HD movie (720p); 4-way VR Image Stabilization System. www.nikon.com
NEW WIRELESS ROUTER LINE FROM BELKIN You can now do more with your photos, music, and videos with Belkin’s new wireless routers. Featuring fun and powerful applications, the Surf, Share, Play, and Play Max Wireless Routers enable you to play music, games, and HD videos as well as share photos and print wirelessly from anywhere in your home. With apps designed to enhance your wireless experience, Belkin’s new line of routers are easy to set up and will keep you online. The Self-Healing app automatically detects and resolves network problems and runs routine maintenance scans to give you the clearest wireless channel. The Share, Play, and Play Max Routers offer the Print Genie app that lets you wirelessly print from any computer on the network in your home while Memory Safe automatically backs up your photos and files to an external hard drive (sold separately)— so you can rest assured that your precious memories are protected. www.belkin.com
SONY ERICSSON VIVAZ PRO Sony Ericsson Vivaz pro adds a QWERTY keyboard to the touch screen offering, delivering a user experience optimised for messaging and entertainment. The full QWERTY keyboard allows consumers to communicate quickly and efficiently via email, SMS or social networking updates. Sony Ericsson Vivaz pro allows consumers to produce and broadcast their best experiences in HD video. The open platform also allows users to personalise their entertainment experience by downloading great applications through PlayNow and the Symbian Developer Community. Sony Ericsson Vivaz pro features the new design philosophy ’human curvature’, which will become a consistent feature of the Sony Ericsson portfolio going forward. Designed to mirror the shape of the human body, and at the same time delivering a precise and compelling way of interacting with the phone, Sony Ericsson Vivaz pro is instantly recognisable. www.sonyericsson.com
CANON PIXMA iP2702 Ideal for anyone wanting an affordable home photo printer, the PIXMA iP2702 is stylish and easy to use and features 2pl ink droplets for photolab-quality printing. Produce superb quality printed documents and images with impressive levels of detail, thanks to Canon’s FINE technology with 2pl ink droplets and up to 4800x1200dpi print resolution. FINE cartridges use dye-based inks for perfect photo printing, while an additional pigment black ink ensures crisp, sharp text. Combining quality and speed, the PIXMA iP2702 prints a 10x15cm borderless photo in approximately 55 seconds with default settings. This great looking printer takes up minimum desk space and the sleek, low-profile body sits neatly on any shelf. www.canon.co.uk
SEE LIFE / PAGES
The art of war and other stories Michael Morrissey ends on a war history and begins in a post-civilisational novel The Pesthouse Jim Crace Picador, $28
Utopias – fictional optimistic views of the future – have a way of turning into their opposite – dystopias. Dystopias, on the other hand, start by being gloomy. Where then is the hope? In 1984, the darkest of the genre, there is none. Big Brother, based on Stalin, reigns supreme and the hopeful rebel-hero Winston Smith has his personality crushed. In more recent dystopias like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, the future is a bleak ruin with western civilisation a broken down chaos. Yet this much acclaimed novel seems to say there is hope – the love of a father for his son and, of course, their stubborn persistence in surviving against the toughest of odds. Crace’s finely written The Pesthouse occupies a comparable canvas. Here we have a world which is anarchic, chaotic and reduced to an earlier more primitive state. Cast at some uncertain time in the future – I am guessing in the next 100-200 years – the world as we know it has disappeared. There are no cars; transport is by mule, horse or ox. There are no steel ships and sea trans88 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
port is by sail. Not only has all contemporary technology disappeared but seemingly cities as well. One might wonder how – but the text does not explore the causes of our civilisation’s downfall, simply presents it as tragic fact. There are only villages and barter (or theft) is the order of the day. Roaming bandits and rustlers rape and rob in the devastated American landscape. Weaponry consists of spears, wooden cudgels, bow and arrows and brute physical force. Apart from the absence of Indian tribes and firearms, you might imagine yourself in the nineteenth century Wild West. Indeed, since there is a horrible rapidly, highly contagious, lethal disease called the flux, (which sounds much like the plague) we could be in medieval times – minus however the “protection” of the lord in the castle.. In this vicious pastoral world, the two main protagonists – two physically imposing brothers, Jackson and Franklin, battle for survival. Enter Red Margaret or the Apricot, a frail heroine thus named for her red hair and her plumpness, qualities that make her attractive. Yet she is infected by the dread flux which results in every hair of her body being shaved. Unlike the majority, she makes
a recovery. Meanwhile, the fearless Franklin takes her under his muscular wing and protects her. There follows a touching love story without the physical act of love in which he massages her feet, feeds her, carries her over swamps and lonely trails. Far away, across the endless plains and prairies, the sea and ships beckon as some sort of salvation. Being unknown, the sea has generated new myths about itself – that it will know you as an old friend, that it will smell like blood and that drinking a cup of it will turn urine blue. But the sea turns to be an indifferent vast gray expanse with a black horizon. It is perceived as “too hard-surfaced to take a boat or for fish to pass through it, more metallic than watery”. This grim, foreboding sea is anything but the amiable blue presence we have read about in so much New Zealand fiction. Franklin and Margaret sight the sailing ships but never manage to board one, so their dream of being transported to some brighter friendlier domain fades. And yet this deeply pessimistic novel ends on a note of hope. “They imagine striking a piece of long abandoned land and making home in some old place”. And somehow you feel they will succeed. Compared to novels like The Pesthouse and
The Road, Robinson Crusoe – surely the ancestor of these grim novels of post-civilisation survival – is a utopian work, for Crusoe finds a ready supply of goods and eventually prospers. In Robinson Crusoe, there is only diligence and hard work, while in The Pesthouse as with the The Road, there is love. For that priceless gift the tough journey is worthwhile.
Dylan Horrocks Victoria University Press, $38 As a child, I was an avid devourer of comics – Batman, Superman, Donald Duck etc. I became serious about books at aged 12, and even more serious at 18 when I enrolled at the University of Auckland. I was still sneakily reading Donald and Scrooge McDuck but gradually these were replaced by university texts, together with James Bond books plus non course heavyweights like Dostoyevsky. After a momentary lapse in my mid 20s when I discovered the Fantastic Four and their ilk, I remained comic free thereafter. My lip tended to curl slightly at the idea of a graphic novel. But it’s difficult to avoid new developments in the cultural ether forever, so here I am courtesy of
Victoria University Press which has published so much good fiction and poetry, reading my first graphic novel. Did I like it? I’m not sure. More to the point, did I understand it? Probably not. It was a lot more challenging than I had imagined. In fact, it seems that Horrocks, clever lad that he is, has deliberately constructed a plot composed of a series of Chinese boxes which just as you get interested, do a jump cut (to use film jargon) to another narrative strand. It’s even tricky right at the start. There’s an introduction – not as you might expect an analytic essay in words by some university comic boffin but a history of Horrocks’ relation to comics in the form of a comic! Quite appropriate when you think about it. .It seems that Horrocks was also a lover of Donald Duck (what right thinking person isn’t? – he’s the Charlie Chaplin of comic book characters). His father wanted to be a cartoonist and had acquired a secret stash of American comics which he hid under the bed but which he subsequently burnt (that is if I have understood the cartoon sequence correctly). Sometimes there are no captions so you have to scrutinise the picture carefully for narrative clues.
OK so now we breeze past the introduction into the comic plot proper. American reporter Leonard Batts arrives in Hicksville, on the East Cape of the North Island, seeking biographical information about its most famous son, Dick Burger who became a leading cartoonist in America. It’s a tale of many twists and turns but we gather that Burger is not held in high affection in his native town (because he stole his masterpiece from another cartoonist but I may have got this wrong). Kupe, face covered in moko, appears from time to time to give cryptically sage advice. The central text is periodically interrupted by the insertion of another cartoon strip called Moxie and Toxie by Sam Zabel. We also enter the world of Grace who is a sort of now-you-see-now-you-don’t heroine. A Marvel comics type character called Captain Tomorrow breaks into the text and informs us that Mr Burger was the successor to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby who were of course the cartoonist heroes behind the Marvel comics heroes. So Hicksville is really a meta-comic – a comic about comics and the industry and the fame or otherwise it might bring. I have to say I was, in the main, baffled by the shifts and turns and not amused. But then, INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 89
this sort of comic is not mean to amuse. Perhaps I should read some more graphic novels or look for a key to the works of Dylan Horrocks. After all, someone wrote one for James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake . So why not for Hicksville?
Colin Harrison Bloomsbury, $19.99 Fans of Colin Harrison – among whom I am avidly numbered – regard him as one of the finest thriller writers alive. He excels in complex plotting, in depth characterisation and Balzacian detail about the exotic or sordid worlds his fugitive denizens inhabit. The protagonists of The Havana Room meet in secret to taste the dangerously poisonous Japanese fish fugu which provides hallucination as a main course and death for dessert while two unfortunates in The Finder are suffocated by excrement. Despite the sensational material he deploys, Harrison never writes it up in a cheap sensational way but renders it clinically and in such encyclopaedic detail that while you may feel repulsed, you never feel under informed.. His latest offering is Risk which is surprisingly lean at 176 pages. While perhaps less baroquely splendid that the 385-page The Havana Room or the 322-page The Finder, it still has plenty of familiar Harrison plotting magic and elaborately detailed descriptions. Here the engine of the plot is centred on the rare metal rhodium worth a tidy $9400 an ounce. Since gold is worth approximately $1000 an ounce we’re talking stratospherically serious money. George Young, a comfortable but not wildly successful insurance lawyer, is asked by the widow of the founder of his firm to investigate her son Roger’s mysterious auto accident death. So the respectable laid back lawyer becomes comparable to a private eye detective drawn into a vortex of intrigue, violence (nasty Russians) and some innocent looking Christmas ornaments that turn out to contain the treasure trove of megapriced rhodium. Reading Harrison is always a pleasure. How could you possibly not admire a writer who can evoke a minor character thus – “the bellman was a tall piece of fossilised Irish timber, and his white hair and stiff blue uniform made him look like a retired admiral.”? Then there is his lyric description of a Czech model’s hands – “ethereal fingers that touched only luxuries: diamonds, gold, 90 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
watches, the smooth skin of cars that cost more than houses.” She is a parts model – hands yes, face and figure no. Plus shrewd psychological insights – when Roger’s wife has breast implants without telling him, he knows she’s going to leave him and look for a new husband. Like all of Harrison’s gripping novels, Risk is an artful combination of driving narrative, urban mystery, violence and unexpected information. Like the more literary E.L Doctorow, he has made New York his sumptuous canvas. Long may he explore its seamy labyrinths.
STEAL AWAY, BOY: Selected poems
David Mitchell Auckland University Press, $35 Anyone who was part of the bohemian scene centred around the Kiwi, and later the Gluepot and the Leopard Tavern, would have come across Dave Mitchell in person and as a poet. From memory, I first heard Mitch read poems at one of Russell Haley’s parties sometime in the late 60s. I wasn’t initially overwhelmed by the sophistication of the poetry but I was struck by Mitchell’s low key yet persuasive confidence that could make the simple repetition of an end line create a haunting emotional effect. His beat poet approach – the utterance itself was the poem and a certain reluctance to appear in print – was in contrast to the more formal academic nuances to be heard in the reading of poets like Allen Curnow and C.K. Stead and of course their tenacious attachment to print. When Pipe Dreams in Ponsonby was published in 1972 by Stephan Chan, it became a local sensation. Here at last were the poems you had heard Mitch read at parties, in cafes and at Barry Lett’s gallery in upper Queen Street. When, in his finely balanced pros and con essay in the first issue of Islands, noted critic Stead asked ‘who is David Mitchell?’, that question clearly revealed how out of touch he was with bohemian Auckland where Mitch was an inescapable presence. Later in the 70s, Mitchell spent time in France under the Katherine Mansfield Fellowship (Stead was the benign catalyst) and when he returned, seemed for a while to have a French persona. The second book was eagerly awaited but never eventuated. Instead, a few years on, Mitchell founded the Poetry Live scene at The Globe. In many ways, this was his finest hour. He ran
the evening according to strict existential whim bestowing bouquets and brickbats as he felt inclined. Thus poetry became a living breathing performance-oriented affair, not something limited to the printed rectangle of the page. When Mitchell left the Globe, something of his spirit went with him, yet Poetry Live continued through many succeeding venues and still survives today 30 years later, at the Thirsty Dog in Karangahape Road. History has now turned full circle, poetic justice has now been done, so to speak, enabling us to hold a more complete selection of Mitchell’s work with a full and brilliantly detailed introduction co-authored by Martin Edmond and Nigel Roberts. This sizable book represents only a quarter of the entire Mitchell output. Personally, I consider the title awful and it would have been better entitled “night through the orange window” or “laughing with the taniwha” to name two of Mitchell’s most iconic poems. Reading this book is like shaking hands with a group of old friends: I remember her as a fifth season she who came unheralded into those lean months shaming the precise blue evenings with the proud eternity of her flesh Steal Away Boy contains many of the poems originally published in Pipe Dreams plus his longest published poem The Singing Bread which, being written in Paris, contains references to Sacre Coeur, Montparnasse, Pigalle, Apollinaire and naturally French bread – as well as many other previously unpublished poems. Mitchell can write inspired lines like I saw her face/scrawled on a wall/ frigid in red chalk! Like some medieval woven thing! Or more banal lines like sitting up front in the van weeping for life His work is a challenging mixture of the beguilingly commonplace and the successfully romantic. It is both now & beat, yet curiously old fashioned in its affirmations. This is the Mitchell mix, potent as a stiff glass of red wine. All the punctuation is to be understood as being a musical score to guide the oral delivery of the text. Nearly all of Mitchell’s poems are accessible and romantic, though from time to time he will write a wry political poem like his well known “kingseat / my song 1969” which
is about another David Mitchell who was guilty of war crimes at the notorious My Lai massacre in Vietnam. In my view, romanticism is always impliedly anti-political, which is a stance that is of course not acceptable to the politically minded.. A romantic like Mitchell is against slogans, uniforms, ready made ideologies not to mention academic formalism, and in favour of feelings, the moment of perception, the oral not the written. In theoretic terms, Mitchell is akin to some of the poetics of Olson and Creeley, though the sound and look of his work is more like Allan Ginsberg or Philip Lamantia. Exclamations, forward slashes, ampersands, large spaces between stanzas, beat poetry abbreviations (th for the) and CAPITALS are de rigueur. Though Mitchell’s poetry is primarily in the beat tradition, it can be readily appreciated by the wider audience of those who like their cafe and street-drenched romanticism served coffee hot. And for those who fondly recall his readings, the book will evoke rich memories.
1918: Year of Victory Edited by Ashley Elkins Exisle, $54.99
To put it brutally, this assembly of essays about World War One mainly by Australian war historians – though there is a chapter by noted New Zealand historian Glyn Harper – is an exercise in public relations. They aim to reverse the traditionally held view that the Great War was one long line of military disasters. As Robin Price writes, “We dwell on failure because there was so much of it. The battles of 1915, Gallipoli, Verdun, the Somme, the Nivelle offensive and Passchendaele are our stock in trade.” Gallipoli and Passchendaele in particular, are etched into the New Zealand psyche as colossal disasters – as indeed they were. But was that war nothing but military disaster? These essays argue strongly for a contrary view. To make their case stick, they are obliged to concentrate on the final year of the conflict, and the eventual victory of the Allies which Price states was “complete”. In March of 1918, the Germans achieved a military triumph. Thereafter from April to August there was a strike by the soldiers. This has been commonly regarded as the main reason for the subsequent German collapse. However, Price argues there were other crucial factors. One was supply – at the relevant time, the Germans had but 23,000 lorries compared to the Allies’ 100,000. The
Allies had perfected the creeping barrage technique and tanks pushed the enemy back eight miles. And in Price’s view, the Brits get all the credit. Gary Sheffield concentrates on the great victory of the 28th Welsh Division. It’s a different story though, when you read Elizabeth Greenhalgh’s chapter. Here the French are credited with the major part of the Allies’ effort and Foch becomes the dominant figure rather than Haig. By the time of the Armistice, the French held 55 per cent of the Allied front whereas the British held but 17.6 per cent. Greenhalgh contends that it was the second battle of the Marne that was crucial in defeating the Germans and not the One Hundred Days of the battle of Amiens, as is generally argued. As a lay person, I can only note the difference of opinion. Meleah Ward notes in the American chapter, that inexperienced troops lacked the protection of the creeping barrage, had poor leadership and communication and failed to mop up pockets of Germans as they advanced into the formidable Hindenburg line. The tough minded Australian General Monash, by contrast, always drove his troops “beyond the limit to which the men themselves think they can endure”. In this military philosophy, the soldiers who could hold
out the longest would be the victors. This view is reinforced by the grim realities of German starvation brought about by the Allied blockade. New Zealand historian Glyn Harper examines the prominent New Zealand contribution to the costly but eventual victory at the battle of Baume. We lost over 800 soldiers. Ten thousand fought without a preliminary artillery barrage, were supplied from the air not the ground, and not only fought with tank support but also for the first time met German tanks. Significantly, this was the only time three Victoria Crosses were awarded for a single battle. There are additional chapters of the sea and the air – a much underrated aspect of the war which swings away from the glamourisation of air aces and focus on the introduction of aerial photographs as an aid superior to notebooks. The overall effect of the book is to correct earlier myths or accounts but in turn put forward some freshly conflicting views. It must be noted that as a military focus history there is scant mention of the horrible realities of trench warfare and hand to hand fighting. We get the broad strategic picture but not the “smaller” human picture which actually was huge and bloody.
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SEE LIFE / MUSIC
From beyond the grave Chris Philpott finds the new Jimi Hendrix album unmissable Serj Tankian
The Rocket Summer
I really wanted to enjoy this album. As the singer of metal band System of a Down, Tankian established himself as a quirky frontman whose vocal range - even then - seemed somewhat operatic. When it was announced he was undertaking a symphony based project suggested by Kiwi conductor John Psathas, resulting in a concert at Auckland’s Town Hall last March, now immortalised on this CD/DVD set named for Tankian’s debut album, I was not at all surprised. I really wanted to enjoy this album, but it suffers from 2 distinct flaws. First of all, while it seems that the show would have been incredible to see live, with the Auckland Philharmonic taking the spots usually filled by guitar, bass and drums, that ‘wow’ factor simply doesn’t transcend to disc. The second problem probably relates to the first: this is a sprawling effort which simply doesn’t flow, despite Psathas and Tankian’s best efforts. The songs simply don’t suit orchestral arrangement – underlined by the fact that the few high points are songs, such as “The Charade” or “Falling Stars”, which were written specifically for the show. I really wanted to enjoy this album, but it is no more than a good idea which didn’t quite work out.
Hendrix is alive and living with Elvis Presley and Kurt Cobain somewhere in America’s midwest, releasing albums from beyond the grave! Not really though. Released this month, Valleys of Neptune is made up of previously unreleased material recorded in 1969, presumably for a follow-up to Electric Ladyland, with the classic Hendrix Experience lineup of bassist Noel Redding and late drummer Mitch Mitchell. Hendrix died of a drug overdose in September 1970, and the fourth studio album he had been working on at the time was understandably placed on indefinite hold. The songs on Neptune have nearly all been released in one form or another since Hendrix’s death: “Fire” is one of his most famous tracks and has been around for years, Cream cover “Sunshine of Your Love” was a concert staple for years and has shown up on several concert discs, and Elmore James cover “Bleeding Heart” was even released on the last Hendrix album, 1997’s South Southern Delta. However, the big difference here is the production quality. Advancements in technology mean that Neptune is easily the best sounding Hendrix album available, which – combined with the timelessness of Hendrix’s music – means that this is a must-have album for even the most casual music fan.
Often pitched by record label promoters and critics as a “band you need to know”, The Rocket Summer is in fact the brainchild of just one man. The “band” frontman, Bryce Avary, writes every song, plays every instrument, and even co-produced his extensive back catalog of albums and EPs, the first of which was released when he was aged just 16 years old. The result is that every release is incredibly focused, follows the same vision, and flows from track to track, a trait not lost on latest release Of Men and Angels. Musically, Angels follows the pattern of the recent indie rock trend, particularly invoking groups like Motion City Soundtrack and Brand New, but differing from its peers by exploring deeper, more mature lyrical content and embracing catchy vocal melodies that are generally not synonymous with the genre. Avary’s impressive vocal work, such as on lead single “Walls”, also helps in this regard; one could imagine him applying his formidable talents to pop music and succeeding admirably. If you subscribe to the idea of the indie rock genre then Of Men and Angels is one of the records you need to hear, and The Rocket Summer is one of the bands you need to know.
Elect The Dead Symphony 2 stars
92 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
Valleys Of Neptune 4 stars
Of Men And Angels 4.5 stars
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SEE LIFE / MOVIES
Girl explodes, Cyrus grows Two different takes on teen angst The Exploding Girl
Starring: Zoe Kazan, Hunter Canning, Mark Rendall, Maryann Urbano Directed by: Bradley Rust Gray Rated: TBA Running time: 80 minutes Sometimes a carefully placed pinprick can stay with you longer than a heavier, clumsier blow, and so it is with Bradley Rust Gray’s delicately done but indelible The Exploding Girl. This 80-minute feature is on one level the tiniest story imaginable, a look at a quiet emotional crisis a 20-year-old college student named Ivy goes through on spring break. But writer-director Gray is so committed to his minimalist aesthetic and applies it with such craft and skill that this careful character study, so exact in its aims and execution, holds our interest almost without our noticing how it’s done. It confronts the mysteries of the everyday by focusing not on life’s most dramatic moments but on the low-key spaces in between. A good deal of the credit for the success of this approach has to go to Zoe Kazan, the actress who plays Ivy, who has done wonderful things with this, her first starring role. Up to now, Kazan has had the kinds of 94 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
supporting parts available to young actresses, playing Meryl Streep’s character’s daughter in It’s Complicated and Leonardo DiCaprio’s character’s mistress in Revolutionary Road. But filmmaker Gray, who often collaborates with his wife, So Yong Kim (he produced her film In Between Days, and they share an editing credit here), wrote this with Kazan in mind, which means that she is in just about every scene. Ivy is introduced dozing off during one of the classic rituals of college life, sharing a vacation ride home, in this case to New York. Kazan’s face compels us even in repose, and it continues to do so once she is awake, her large questioning eyes and overall naturalness drawing us in and allowing us to sense her thoughts even in scenes in which she says little. Also in the car with Ivy is the awkward Al (an excellent, empathetic Mark Rendall), a neighborhood friend since eighth grade. Once they arrive back home, circumstances put Al on the living room sofa in the apartment Ivy shares with her divorced mother (Maryann Urbano). Though pals, Ivy and Al have never been a couple, and back on campus Ivy is involved with a young man named Greg, who is not seen but rather heard on a series of phone calls to Ivy over the course of the vacation.
The film’s title may seem odd given Ivy’s subdued nature, but it’s because she has epilepsy and is subject to stress-related seizures. This condition helps give Ivy a kind of fragility, a sense that she’s easily bruised and even a little lost in her own life. Because The Exploding Girl focuses on the tentativeness of relationships at this particular stage of life, the simultaneous tiptoeing both toward and away from attraction, it may sound like it fits into that contemporary relationship genre known as mumblecore, but it’s much more polished than that. For while that style of filmmaking makes a virtue out of being haphazard, The Exploding Girl benefits from the rigor and precision of Gray’s writing and directing. Small scale though it is, this is a film that knows what it wants to do and has thought out exactly how to go about doing it. The same must be said about the luminous nature of Kazan’s performance, which won best actress last year at the Tribeca Film Festival. Because so little happens in terms of action, Kazan has to hold us with nothing more than the emotions that play with subdued personal force on her face. Though her work here may seem like a performer being herself, it’s actually a highly controlled example of some of the hardest acting to achieve. – By Kenneth Turan
The Last Song
Starring: Miley Cyrus, Greg Kinnear, Liam Hemsworth, Kelly Preston Directed by: Julie Anne Robinson Running time: 105 minutes Rated: PG (for thematic material, some violence, sensuality and mild language) The trick for any starlet making the transition from teen queen to adult roles is finding just enough edge. Miley Cyrus does that with The Last Song, a film built around a rebellious but still family-friendly teen dealing with love and loss in vintage Sparks fashion. Nicholas Sparks wrote the book and script, about a troubled girl sent to spend the summer with her father (Greg Kinnear), with Cyrus in mind. Thus, Veronica “Ronnie” Miller may pout like a teen, dress like a New York tart headed for trouble and already have a police record. But she’s still one of Sparks’ “good girls,” with a generous heart,
a sense of right and wrong and a gift for bringing out the best in that boy whose eye she catches the day she wanders the Georgia beach where Dad lives. But Ronnie is still irked over her parents’ divorce (Kelly Preston is Mom) and is happy to punish Dad, ignoring the little brother (Bobby Coleman) who needs them all to get along. Two things soften Ronnie’s hard shell. She discovers a sea turtle nest and vows to protect it from raccoons. And she meets a boy. Will (Liam Hemsworth) may have a reputation, but something about Ronnie makes him get serious, or at least serious about showing her he’s serious. “Will has lots of friends,” one ex-girlfriend purrs to Ronnie. “He makes us all feel special.” Slack pacing, sappy situations and banal dialogue plague films built on Sparks’ novels, slow-footed movies such as Nights in Rodanthe and Dear John. Julie Anne Robinson, a TV veteran, directs her way
around some of these pitfalls by keeping the story on its feet – moving from beach to boardwalk to class clashes between the rougher locals and Ronnie. The “simple pleasures” of a Sparks story – carving your girlfriend’s initials on a tree, Dad’s atonement of making a new stained glass window for the church, finding magic on a beach (baby turtles), volunteering at the Georgia Aquarium – don’t play as much ado about not much. Robinson skips past those moments and keeps the focus on young love, a parent reconnecting with his child and lingering guilt. It’s not a great film, with some of the edge Sparks put in the novel left out of the script. But there’s real chemistry between the young lovers and an old-fashioned virtue to the father-daughter and father-daughter’s boyfriend scenes. Sparks often goes overboard with the maudlin and “old fashioned.” But with The Last Song, those traits don’t feel like a wet sack smothering the life out of it. – By Roger Moore INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010 95
SEE LIFE / THE CUTTING ROOM
Parental guidance strongly recommended PG-13 films serving up way more violence, not much more sex, reports Melissa Healy You don’t need to be a raging pacifist to notice that American motion pictures have gotten way more violent, and that younger and younger audiences are seeing more intense violence on the big screen. You just need eyes (and enough scratch to buy a movie ticket). But for sceptics, a new study, published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health, offers some validation of the point. Researchers from the Annenberg Public Policy Centre of the University of Pennsylvania painstakingly coded each year’s top-grossing 30 films from 1950 to 2006 to gauge the extent and intensity of sexual content and violence. They then sought to discern trends within ratings categories, and the migration of sexual and violent content into movies intended for the broadest circulation – G, PG and PG-13 movies. The sexual content of PG and R movies started accelerating in the late 1960s, when the Motion Picture Assn. of America’s ratings system was instituted. It stabilized in the late 1970s and even declined somewhat after that. Since then, movies bearing PG and PG-13 ratings have not become more 96 INVESTIGATEMAGAZINE.COM May 2010
sexually explicit, the study found. Not so with violent content. In fact, it exploded across the PG-and-up ratings categories, cascading heavily into a new category introduced in 1984 – PG-13. And as movies in the PG-13 category surged – in recent years, they have come to represent about half of all top-grossing movies – so did the violence in them. Before the PG-13 rating arrived, a movie that included scenes of rampaging destruction, intense fist-fighting or frenzied exchange of gunfire would routinely have earned a movie an R rating – in principle, barring teens under 17 from seeing it unless accompanied by an adult. With the new rating, not only did more films with substantial violence land a PG-13 rating; from 2001 to 2006, “ratings creep” resulted in PG-13 movies that had more violence and more intense violence than did R-rated movies, compared with the 1977-1984 period. The trend worries the Annenberg researchers, who summarize a welter of evidence suggesting that youth exposed to extensive media violence are more likely to engage
in aggressive behaviour, that they are less likely to reject violence as a means of solving disputes and have less empathy for victims of violence. While some of this research has been called into question, few researchers deny the weight of evidence: exposing younger and younger kids to more images of greater violence is probably not healthy for them or for the society they live in. The Classification and Ratings Administration, or CARA, a film industry group that oversees the rating of films, has always maintained it does not use rigid rules to determine what rating to assign a film. Rather, it says, the rating of movies should “reflect the current values of the majority of American parents.” When it comes to sex, says study author Daniel Romer, CARA seems at pains to reflect American parents’ values – largely to the exclusion of concern about violence. If the growth in violence reflected in movies aimed at teens is any indication of parents values, he said, it’s hard to say what that means: Their values have very likely been shaped by steadily rising levels of media mayhem.