Red Alert

Archive for the ‘Pacific issues’ Category

Cartoons irresponsible and racist

Posted by on May 31st, 2013

 I believe the two cartoons in the Christchurch Press and the Marlborough Express were a clumsy and objectionable attempt to draw attention and raise debate about an important issue.  The approach taken is indefensible and potentially damaging.

 The cartoon depicts two stereotypes.  The first is that those who access food in schools have the financial resources to feed their children but would rather spend the money on gambling, smoking, booze and a lavish life style.  While there may be some people who fall in this category there are many who don’t and who just simply can’t make ends meet either on a low income or on a benefit.  These depictions refuse to accept that. The second is that most of those who fall in this category are brown, overweight and irresponsible.

 Like all stereotypes the depictions malign those parents who access food in schools most of whom the cartoons depict as Māori and Pacific Islanders.  Therefore they are offensive.  The defence that the cartoons depict people of different ethnic background is just plain unbelievable.  The figures are overwhelmingly brown and overweight, gamble, smoke, drink and have a flash lifestyle.

 If the cartoonist’s message was that in New Zealand everyone should be able to feed their children because we are a welfare state, he failed miserably in getting that across.  Rather the cartoons accidentally or deliberately discount the fact that for whatever reason a good number of children live in poverty and they come to school hungry and in no position to take advantage of the education offered.  Any perspective that had an understanding of the needs of children would not depict the programme to feed our hungry children in this way. 

 The alternative surely can’t be to let the children go hungry or take them away from their parents?  Neither option is realistic and shows little appreciation of the real financial pressures on many families who are not in work or who are in poorly paid jobs.

 The second stereotype is even more troubling.  Some would say it incites racial disharmony.  It certainly does not assist positive race relations.  If the cartoons had asked people to take negative action on the parents, who it believes are brown, it would have breached the Human Rights Act for inciting racial disharmony.  As such it would have led to the commencement of the process of mediation and even eventual prosecution.  I accept that it does not reach that threshold.

 The cartoonist does have a responsibility to present issues fairly.  Satire is fine but there is a fine line.  There are many complex issues behind child poverty.  The cartoons should also show an appreciation of the impact of the depictions on minority ethnic groups.  Instead they trivialise these two issues and as such the two papers ought to print a retraction.  The Race Relations Commissioner should also take a much stronger line to discredit this approach and to caution cartonists who periodically stay into this style.

 Dr Rajen Prasad MP



Look to Local Success for Maori and Pasifika students

Posted by on October 11th, 2012

Attending the Raise Pacific Education Conference held at the Auckland Museum was an opportunity to consider what success looks like for the growing number of Maori and Pacific young people. I highlighted the importance of looking towards local exemplars in our public schools that are working and improving the engagement, retention and achievement of Maori and Pacific students. There are alot of great examples in our local schools in Auckland that are raising the bar and showing the way such as Otahuhu College, Kia Aroha College, Massey High School and Western Springs High School to name a few. The problem is that they are spread out and it takes a long time to roll these innovations across the system so more students benefit from ‘what works’. This is an exciting time to be Polynesian and living in the country’s largest city, the growing reality is that the demographic mix is becoming more diverse and more polynesian. So our communities, schools and city of Auckland will have to shift the way in which planning for the future incorporates Maori and Pacific values and identity.
Its important to recognise that in education more should and must be done to lift achievement outcomes for all our children. There are two distinct paths, under the current Government, National standards, league tables and performance pay will seek to push polynesian kids down a path that will create winners and losers. It will create a culture of teachers “teaching to the test”, ultimately schools will treat all kids the same as if they are forcing round pegs into square holes. This is not the model for a high performing system.

Its disappointing that the government is using private sector models like charter schools as a solution to the challenge. All those schools will do is take from the public purse and privatise profits with little or no real gain in outcome for Maori or Pacific kids. Its time to dismiss empty rhetoric and invest in quality public education. By tackling the causes of poverty and inequality Labour will bring together solutions that exist outside the school gate to support the good work that teachers and school communities achieve to support their children within the school gates.

Getting more parents involved in their local Boards of Trustees and owning educational outcomes can make a huge difference. We must guard against the inclination of the Government who wants to pull decision-making back to the centre and tell parents and communities what works best.

We need only look at the sweeping reforms being proposed for the children of Christchurch to see that the Government is not serious about consulting with the community for the best schooling opportunities for children.

It looks like the ‘one size fits all’ creep could be a real prospect for young people in South Auckland if that behaviour continues.

Labour is looking to the future and wants to work constructively with parents, teachers and communities to ensure that every child no matter where they come from can be assured of a great education in their local community. The future for New Zealand urges us to think and act differently to ensure that success in education belongs to all our children. That does mean a different way of doing things and it will mean shifting the ‘norm referencing’ that currently occurs in our education system.

Larry Ross – in memoriam

Posted by on April 24th, 2012

“Peacenik” is a word which will only resonate with a few, but Larry Ross’s work for the anti-nuclear movement resonated far and wide.

Born in 1927, Larry Ross died last week at the age of 84. He founded the NZ Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Committee in 1981. His work at local government level saw the establishment of 105 nuclear free zones across New Zealand. That work was pivotal in building an anti-nuclear movement which culminated in New Zealand’s nuclear-free status enshrined in the Nuclear Free Zone Act of 1987.

Larry’s contribution to the peace movement in New Zealand was extraordinary. His commitment to a nuclear-free world was absolute and he achieved more than one person could ever expect to achieve, by galvanising neighbourhood peace groups and working from the ground up to build a robust and effective anti-nuclear peace movement, expressed locally and globally.

Rest in that peace you worked so hard for Larry. The NZ Labour Party salutes you and your years of commitment. Our thought and condolences go to Larry’s family and loved ones.

Youth NEETs change since 2008

Posted by on February 26th, 2012
Youth NEETs

Youth NEETs

Despite the foodhardy belief by some that all is well with New Zealand employment under National, if they would just pull their heads out of John Key’s armpits for a second and took seriously that our unemployment rate from Dec 2008 to Dec 2011 has doubled, and these are NOT just numbers but REAL people with families to support, then perhaps they might get a sense of the looming employment crisis that I’m talking about. Take note of the job losses so far announced with MFAT, Air NZ, and a host of other companies that have laid off workers in the last few months.

What should also compoud our collective concern is the increasing numbers of Youth Not in Employment, Education or Training. As of December 2011 they numbered 83,000 as highlighted in the graph above.

Some might be providing homecare to family members but I suspect the vast majority are drifting doing nothing. These are our future leaders – now mostly at risk. Without work, without skills and without the hope for a better future, what will be the chances of them slipping into drugs, alchoholism, crime and benefit dependency? If these trends continue to worsen, what is there to stop it from becoming a ticking time bomb making New Zealand susceptible to the kinds of riots we’ve witnessed on TV occuring in Europe and the likes.

The NZ Institute who released proposals last year of reducing youth disadvantage estimated that the cost of youth unemployment, youth incarceration, youth on the sole parent benefit and taxes forgone, is around $900 million per year. Youth Not in Employment, Education or Training is not only a tragic waste of talent and potential, but we also all carry the cost.

We should also be worried that Maori & Pasefika youth make up a large number of NEETS. While the 6.3% unemployment rate in NZ is worrying, its not at the crisis levels of the PIGS. But the 6.3% unemployment rate hides the fact that for some parts of New Zealand unemployment truly is at crisis levels. I’ve shown int the graph below the figures by HLFS showing 43.3% of Pasifika 15-19 year olds are unemployed. That’s a shocking figure, right up there with the worst youth unemployment rates of Europe.

Pasifika & Maori Youth Unemployment

Pasifika & Maori Youth Unemployment

Total Employment Change from 2008 Reveals Imminent Crisis

Posted by on February 21st, 2012

Increase in unemployment under National

Increase in unemployment under National

The Household Labour Force Survey Survey report of the December 2011 Quarter released last week revealed that our unemployment rate slipped slightly to 6.3% from 6.6%. While a rate of 6.3% in itself doesn’t necessarily mean we have reached crisis levels, the focus on the overall unemployment rate does conceal detail about our employment situation that if brought to the surface will shine light on what I believe is an immiment crisis looming in our economic horizon.

Since JohnKey’s National took office in November 2008, 53,000 New Zealanders have joined the unemployment ranks. That’s a 54% increase in the number of people unemployed to a total of 150,000. For these people, National’s promise of a ‘brighter future’ has utterly failed to materialise, especially if you have a mortgage and teenage children you are supporting through school.

While the impact of the recession cannot be ignored, the number of people unemployed has actually increased since the recession officially ended in mid-2009. The official unemployment figures only tell part of the story. Many more people are without work but are not counted as being unemployed. Many are described by the Salvation Army as being “discouraged unemployed”. They would like to work and would accept a job offer if given, but they would not be deemed as actively seeking work because for instance looking for work through a newspaper does not meet the threshold of “actively seeking work”. The number of Kiwis jobless has increased by almost 100,000 under National’s watch to now 261,300 people as of December 2011. In the meantime 59,964 people are receiving the Unemployment Benefit as at December 2011 a fall of 7% from 67,084 as of the December 2010.
So is this it? Is this the brighter future promised to all New Zealanders?

Number of people jobless

Release of Foreign Affairs policy pending

Posted by on October 20th, 2011

I will be releasing Labour’s Foreign Affairs policy this afternoon at 2pm. It will include our role in the world and particularly in the Pacific, as well as our views on disarmament, human rights, the United Nations and MFAT reform. I released our Overseas Development Assistance policy separately two weeks ago –

I will post a more expansive blog later today.

Release of Overseas Aid policy

Posted by on October 11th, 2011

Today I released our Overseas Development Assistance policy. This is one point of distinct difference we have from the Nats in the Foreign Affairs basket of interests and issues. The points are simple:

1. Restore poverty elimination as the primary focus of overseas aid, as opposed to economic development, as the Nats have prioritised. Get back on board with achieving the Millennium Development Goals, especially here in the Pacific, and that includes education to improve literacy, access to health services like maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS prevention programmes, sexual and reproductive health programmes.  Stop handing aid dollars out to business friends without tender, so they can line their own pockets AND feel good about themselves at the same time.

2. Redevelop a strategic partnership with the NGO sector and develop best practice again, as we were known for previously. If there are inefficiencies in aid delivery through NGOs, let’s sort that out, but let’s not alienate some of our experts by adopting McCully’s “4 legs good, 2 legs bad” approach to the sector. In other words, if it comes out of the private sector, it must be good. If it comes out of the not for profit or, god forbid, the public sector, it must be bad.

3. We will set up NZAID with semi-autonomous status, taken back out of MFAT and based on sound principles of development analysis and research. Stop the blurring of the boundaries between aid and foreign policy objectives where it is too easy to slip into chequebook diplomacy.

4. We will build on our experience in reconstruction and peace-making to develop a specialist capability in mediation and conflict resolution.

Those are the main points. You can see the whole thing here. Comments welcome.

Annette = substance, Bennett = useless spin, play of the day

Posted by on May 6th, 2011

And from what I read she is struggling in Waitakere too.

For those without broadband, the Hansard is below: (more…)

The H.Y.P.E Movement

Posted by on February 15th, 2011

H.Y.P.E stands for, Helping Youth Pursue Emancipation.  I learnt about this programme via facebook about a year ago and was intrigued by what I saw.  The movement began in the U.S. by a group of Tongan young people who were concerned about high school dropout rates, incarceration rates, and death rates among young Pacific people in their local community.   They wanted to be engaged in bringing about a positive change and they wanted to be involved in a grassroots movement that would bring all youth together. 

The movement has now begun in NZ.  Last night I had the privilege of attending the H.Y.P.E Fundraising Ball in Auckland.  There was a room filled with inspirational people – young talented sports people, musicians, academics, artists and parents who have done and continue to do – a fantastic job of supporting their children to reach their potential.

The movement is not easily packaged as it’s deliberately designed in a way that young people (12 – 25 year olds) have the room to interpret and define the programme as they go.  Currently there are 300 H.Y.P.E projects happening across the globe.  The projects are all in response to social issues that directly impact on young peoples lives/ well being.  Once the young person/ people, identify the issue – they then go on to develop ways of addressing/ responding to/ resolving, that particular issue.

It’s exciting and I’m looking forward to watching how it develops in NZ!

Some Pacific Seasonal workers in appalling conditions

Posted by on February 1st, 2011

I just had a Samoan man in my office going over the nightmare of an experience that his brother endured while here on the seasonal work scheme.  His brother was housed in a 2 bedroom flat with 11 other Samoan workers.  Five slept in the lounge and two slept in the kitchen while the other five slept in the two bedrooms.  There was no ceiling in the house – apparently more like a shed than a house and the washing machine and shower were both coin operated.  The house had no TV and no oven in the kitchen – only a two burner gas stove outside for cooking.  All of them were paying $100 a week for rent.  What 2 bedroom flat  in this state on the East Coast could possibly bed worth $1200 a week in rent?

The man fell sick and asked his employer if he could assist him in getting to a doctor.  The employer said yes but 3 days later had still not gotten him any medical attention and the mans health had deteriorated.   The NZ based brother who lives in Waitakere had to ring the employer himself to get them to seek  medical attention for his brother.

The Auckland based brother was so concerned that he ended up travelling to the East Coast to check on his brother and his working conditions.  On arrival he immediately saw that they workers had no safety boots, masks or sunscreen.   He made the decision, despite the employers protests, that he would take his brother back to Auckland and send him back to Samoa. 

What kind of country are we if this is how we treat our workers?  After reporting it to the Department of Labour, the NZ brother has been assured that the case is being investigated.  Meanwhile a lot of the workers putting up with those conditions don’t want to complain because their families are relying on them earning money and sending it back home. 

I will be following this up.

Bill English and PEDA- Misleading the House

Posted by on December 24th, 2010

Bill English will be mighty glad that Parliament is not sitting today as Derek Cheng’s story in the New Zealand Herald today paints an ugly picture of the way the decision was made to fund the Pacific Economic Development Agency. As Derek says

The trail of emails suggest Mr English approved the money without telling the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs or the Treasury.

In essence it was a complete by-passing of the proper process for Budget decisions. No cabinet paper, no scruitiny from officials. It was the kind of thing the Minister of Finance would never stand for from another Minister.

The person who does come out of the episode with credit is Pacific Island Affairs Chief Executive Colin Tukuitonga. He was prepared to raise concerns about PEDA’s lack of suitability and the weakness of what they were proposing. It is his Ministry that has now done the work to run the tender process, and PEDA has missed out.

There are many questions for Bill English to answer as to why he did this, what his links were with the people involved. He showed little interest in answering those sort of questions in Parliament earlier this year. He did give one interesting answer that we will follow up next year to an oral question from Phil Goff

Hon Phil Goff: Why does the Minister not simply come clean and acknowledge that he, rather than Mrs te Heuheu, negotiated this deal, and that it was done without the normal standards of transparency, accountability, and due diligence that should have been followed before he included the commitment to a specific untested agency in the Budget?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: Because that is simply not correct.

Oh really…..

Taking cynical politics as far as they can go

Posted by on December 23rd, 2010

I accept that dumping “difficult” information in the week after Parliament shuts and immediately before Christmas has been done by many Governments, but the behaviour by the National government this year has been so cynical it is gob-smacking. We have had

– the release of the Hobbit emails
– the first steps towards privatisation of ACC
– the shutting down of TVNZ6
– sale of Whirinaki power plant

– and now the announcement this morning that the $4.8 million that the government gave to the Pacific Economic Development Agency (PEDA) without any tender process in the Budget has now been allocated to several other providers, with PEDA missing out.

The first thing to say is to congratulate my colleague Sua William Sio, other MPs and members of the Pacific community who doggedly pursued this case. It was an outrageous breach of good governance and convention to allocate the money to PEDA in the first place. This was an organisation with no track record, let alone the suggestion of links to National MPs.

The backdown that followed was the right thing to do, even if it took a long time. But there can be no doubting that the timing of the announcement today is deliberate to limit comment on the initial decision and the indictment on the National government that after a proper process PEDA did not get any of the money.

And we politicians wonder why many of the public don’t have faith or trust in us.  Disgraceful.

What are you doing in this picture?

Posted by on December 8th, 2010

WRAP demo outside Parliament

MPs from Labour, the Greens and National gathered on the forecourt today to stand in solidarity with women in the Pacific who face violence. The action was organised by the NGO coalition Women’s Rights and Advocacy in the Pacific (WRAP).  It is an important issue, and very valuable to have some cross-party consensus behind it. But my question for National MPs who were there today, very keen to get in the press photos, is this:  What are you doing about Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully’s cuts to the funding of human rights organisations and centres in Tonga and Vanuatu that work on violence against women?

Flights of fancy

Posted by on November 12th, 2010

Michael Field reports the Samoan PM Tuilaepa Sailele saying Air New Zealand’s decision to end its Los Angeles-Apia service is stupid. The flight brings much-needed American tourists to Samoa and Tonga but Air New Zealand says the run is not economic. New Zealand has been subsidising the route with aid funds for the last few years. Tonga has said it no longer wants its aid money from New Zealand to subsidise the flight so the deal is off.

It raises some interesting questions about our development aid. The last Labour Government initiated the subsidy as a stop-gap measure to protect the tourism industries in Samoa and Tonga, with the intention of carrying out cost-benefit and economic impact analysis. But the National Government has rolled the subsidy over for another two years, spending several million dollars and I’d be very interested to know whether they have done the cost-benefit sums.

Development blogger Terence Wood has this to say in an interesting post on Murray McCully’s changes to the aid programme:

… the Minister has selected some rather questionable new aid projects for funding. A good example being the decision to subsidise Air New Zealand flights from Samoa and Cook Islands to Los Angeles (discussed here). The subsidy might have development benefits – linking relatively isolated island states to markets – or it might not. And, even if it does have development benefits the money devoted to it might be more effective elsewhere. The decision to subsidise was of the type that requires careful analysis before being acted on. And yet there’s no evidence that such analysis fed into the Minister’s decision. More worryingly still, the subsidy was awarded directly to Air New Zealand instead of through the best-practice approach: to put the services out to tender and see which of the various airlines servicing the region could deliver best value for money. Which makes the whole affair seem remarkably like corporate welfare.

Murry McCully is very keen on spending aid dollars to promote economic development but I am yet to see much rigour when it comes to careful economic or social impact analysis. Without it, you are left with trickle down economics. Which is not fair on the taxpayer or the people our development aid is supposed to be helping.

Farewell to Hillary – what now?

Posted by on November 7th, 2010

Well, Hillary Rodham Clinton has gone now and we are left with the analysis and debriefing apparent in both The Nation and Q&A today on television. Those who got interviews are crowing and those who shook her hand (like me) are revelling in the moment.

John Key, I presume, is right now reading his Cabinet papers for tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting. The Cabinet will, I presume, do its own stocktake of Secretary Clinton’s visit and Murray McCully will lead the discussion on the list of initiatives to pursue, in priority order.  Is John Key reading his papers? Will the Cabinet have anything to discuss except who got their photo taken with her?

I despair of John Key’s leadership skills – he seemed overawed and intimidated by Clinton; I didn’t hear him make one utterance which sounded like it was informed by a briefing paper or was based on any recognisable principle for NZ’s relationship with the US; did he even learn any lines MFAT gave him? I worry that we have just witnessed this country’s biggest lost opportunity in recent times.

Fortunately, we have capable diplomats and officials who can turn it into a success for which Key can later take the credit.

I am keen to pursue a list of projects in order of priority, on which the US and NZ can work jointly to great effect.  That can be done from Opposition, believe me. Oh, and here is my own pic for the scrapbook – I think she still had a hand after I had finished squishing it!

Hillary Clinton meets the Opposition - 4 Nov 10

Sometimes, the planets align…..

Posted by on November 4th, 2010

I met Hillary Rodham Clinton today. Two weeks ago, in Washington, I met  Melanne Verveer, Hillary Clinton’s appointee to a new position reporting to her: Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. I was attending a conference, or seminar really – there were only a dozen of us  from nine different countries – to look at some of those irritating issues of no significance compared with guns and bombs and things, like human trafficking, women’s rights as human rights, getting women to participate in peace talks in the world’s hotspots, maternal and child health, the disproportionate effect of climate change on women, etc  etc.

Then I went to New York. There the UN Security Council was discussing Resolution 1325. I can see your eyes glazing over already! That is a ten year old resolution of the UN calling for action on women’s engagement with security and peace. Like having women at peace negotiating tables in the world’s hotspots.

I mean, how can you negotiate peace in the Congo or Afghanistan or Burma without having some of the victims of rape as a weapon of war being engaged in reconciliation processes? Hillary Clinton made a statement with Ban Ki-Moon (UN Sec Gen) about Resolution 1325 and then went on to make a joint statement a few days later with the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs on the same theme before they headed off to a conference on it in Denmark.

So I knew what I wanted to talk to SOS Clinton about: how NZ could work more efficiently and effectively with the US in the Pacific on issues like encouraging women to participate in decision-making, elected or otherwise, how to improve maternal and child health, how we could combat HIV and AIDS which are epidemic in the Pacific, how we could build an enduring peace in our difficult areas. So I did.

You know what she said? “This is music to my ears.” I knew it would be.

Pacific Economic Development Agency – really just whanau ora for Pacific Peoples…so I wonder if the Govt are nervous now

Posted by on June 20th, 2010

PEDA really is just whanau ora for Pacific peoples.  The Government selected a private organisation and charged them with the responsibility of resolving some of the issues that exist for Pacific peoples.  From what I can see, PEDA is expected to work alongside existing organisations that are charged to achieve parallel objectives for Pacific peoples, and to fill any gaps that exist for the target group/s.  It will mean that the Government doesn’t need to take responsibility for coordinating this.  Ideologically it makes sense for the Nats to sink funds in to a private organisation and charge them with resolving some of the challenges plaguing Pasifika communities.  It would allow them (the Nat Government) to shirk their responsibilities and shrink the bureaucracy.  The National Party have made no qualms in the past, of expressing a desire to see the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs disestablished – this Pacific Economic Development Agency was suppose to be their first step towards this…but it’s backfired.

What’s worse for the National Government is that the negative reaction received by the PEDA initiative is the same type of reaction that would have been given to ‘whanau ora’, if there had been a higher level of transparency around what ‘whanau ora’ would mean in practice.  Who ever has been advising the nats on the Whanau ora initiative has been smart to advise them to keep the detail to a minimum.  One sniff of privatisation by the public – and an outcry similar to that received by PEDA would have been inevitable.  Unfortunately – the general public is still so confused about ‘whanau ora’, that they are tentative about reacting and probably would prefer to give it the benefit of the doubt.

If you asked Tariana about ‘whanau ora’ – she’d probably start talking about ‘tino rangatiratanga’ and how this is Maori having control over who provides services and how services are provided to Maori.  If you had an honest conversation with John Key or Bill English (which is unlikely to happen) – they’d tell you that it will enable the Government to devolve responsibilities for this sector to private organisations, therefore enabling them to cut back on Government spending.  Personally – I don’t care whether its Maori, Pakeha or Pacific who own the private organisations, I don’t want dodgy back room deals being made where hidden agendas are rife and transparency is non-existent.  Our Pacific communities don’t want that either – that’s why they’ve been jumping up and down over the allocation of funding to PEDA.

I do wonder whether the Government are now concerned about whanau ora – as more details emerge about this, it’s really just going to shape up to be a much bigger version of PEDA.

Part 2 – Pacific media being silenced over PEDA

Posted by on June 17th, 2010

Below is a public statement that has been put out by Efeso Collins – the 531 PI radio announcer who has been taken off the Saturday morning breakfast show for asking too many questions about the Pacific Economic Development Agency:

Talofa friends and family

I am emailing to advise that I have been ‘rested’ from presenting Talanoa Pacific this weekend.

This morning I received an email from Pere Maitai, Programming Director at Radio 531PI, informing me that ‘serious matters’ had arisen since I last spoke with him 2 weeks ago and that I would be rested as a result from presenting this weekend.

I want you to know that up until his email, I have had no official information from him outlining any of the ‘serious matters’ he was referring to. Further, I have asked him to supply me with information on these matters and await a response.

I am astounded at this decision has been made without my consultation.

I am committed to ensuring the Pasifika people have a forum for open, honest and frank discussion. This is what underpins Talanoa Pacific.

I look forward to this matter being sorted soon and am seeking legal advice.

Since my last broadcast I have received wonderful support from friends, family and listeners. Please know that I sincerely appreciate the love and support that people have and continue to offer.

Soifua, Efeso Collins

Pacific Media being silenced over PEDA – what about freedom of the press?

Posted by on June 17th, 2010

When our Pacific media are told by management that they can’t ask the hard questions about issues affecting their community – then something is seriously wrong.  Efeso Collins has been taken off the 531 PI Saturday morning breakfast show for refusing to toe the line.  He has continued to challenge the $4.8 million that was allocated to the Pacific Economic Development Agency and now has been taken off air without any explanation provided.

Only about 6 weeks ago the world celebrated the World Press Freedom day – who would have thought that here in our own little developed country – Freedom of the press could be breached in this way.

I’ve attached links to the Pacific Eyewitness website that provides some information on what has been unfolding with regards to the silencing of our Pacific media.

Standard on Key’s PEDAfile

Posted by on June 16th, 2010

Will they sacrifice Georgie for Inga?

This story has a long way to run yet – here is the Standard’s take.