Posts by Kevin Hague

  • Kevin Hague

    Reducing child poverty is the best investment - by Kevin Hague



    With the inaugural Child Poverty Monitor showing that 16 % of kiwi kids will live in poverty for much of their childhood, I was stunned to hear the Social Development Minister say she was “incredibly proud” of her Government’s record for children. Asked if she had a target for reducing child poverty Paula Bennett instead reeled […] read more
    December 12, 2013 1:06 pm - 11 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    What Tony Ryall doesn’t know - by Kevin Hague



    A crucial part of the role of any Minister is to know what is happening in their area of responsibility. It seems that Tony Ryall, however, is taking a ‘hear no evil, see no evil’ approach to being the Minister of Health. My previous blog posts on what Tony Ryall doesn’t want to answer and […] read more
    October 31, 2013 10:14 am - 4 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Something great is happening in Court - by Kevin Hague



    A year and a half on from the landmark conference about Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Courts last year I recently spent a Friday in one of the two that are now operating as pilots. It’s 8.30a.m., we are in the Auckland District Court and Judge Ema Aitken is convening the morning meeting. First off […] read more
    September 20, 2013 12:57 pm - 6 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Rational Tony Ryall - by Kevin Hague



    I am continuing to push the Minister of Health on the issue of planning for diabetes because it is his job to plan for future health services that we need; and he is not doing that. This is a problem for all of us who will inherit, within our lifetimes, an obesity and diabetes crisis […] read more
    September 6, 2013 10:16 am - 5 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    A table for one? - by Kevin Hague



    After yesterday’s blog post about the lack of response from the Minister of Health to my written questions it was a nice surprise this morning to see my inbox brimming with responses. Well, sort of. These responses would be funny if they weren’t so sad. The first thing you need to know in order to […] read more
    September 4, 2013 9:12 pm - 10 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Tony Ryall and democracy - by Kevin Hague



    I have just sent a letter to the Speaker of Parliament to complain about the apparent disregard with which the Minister of Health, Tony Ryall, has been treating his democratic obligations. Here’s the main gist of my complaint: Every single one of the 101 Questions for Written Answer I have asked the Minister this year […] read more
    September 3, 2013 5:07 pm - 20 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Psychoactive Substances Bill could have been great - by Kevin Hague



    For many years the Green Party and many others have been calling for the regulation of drugs to be driven by harm minimisation and health promotion rather than a criminal justice perspective. The evidence is ubiquitous and extremely strong that the “war on drugs” approach does not work to reduce use or harm, and itself […] read more
    July 10, 2013 7:49 pm - 4 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Family First gets it wrong on sexuality education also - by Kevin Hague



    New Zealand religious right organisation Family First has endeared itself to many with its refreshingly zany approach to evidence when constructing its arguments. Over several issues recently New Zealanders have become familiar with: opinion polls that are more or less useless because of their biased questions essentially moral conservative and religious arguments made to look […] read more
    June 18, 2013 4:50 pm - 17 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Health Budget predictions and alternatives - by Kevin Hague



    As I write this I am preparing to go into  Parliament to hear the Budget, and no doubt to see  Government Ministers crowing about “more money than ever before” spent on Health, and ‘brave new’ programmes for this and that. I only get the Budget documents once I’m actually in Parliament, and have to frantically […] read more
    May 16, 2013 1:09 pm - 3 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Christchurch mental health initiative better than “all right” - by Kevin Hague



    Seeing images of the extent of the devastation wrecked by the earthquakes on Christchurch was depressing. I couldn’t even imagine how life must be for the people who had to work and raise their families in such tough conditions. So it’s great to see bright splashes of colour with the positive message of caring and […] read more
    May 10, 2013 9:57 am - No Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Marriage Equality: Difference of world views - by Kevin Hague



    The debate over Louisa Wall’s marriage equality bill has been raging for almost a year now, and I have received thousands of emails and letters, as well as having read many thousands of submissions during the Select Committee process I thought the contrast between those in favour and those opposed was striking, and have blogged […] read more
    April 12, 2013 12:32 pm - 30 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    The Marriage Equality Bill and religion - by Kevin Hague



    One of the themes winding its way through the debate over marriage equality is the relationship between the church and the state. New Zealand has no official religion and great effort has been expended to keep the church out of law-making and the State out of religious matters. So marriage presents an interesting set of […] read more
    March 11, 2013 1:09 pm - 8 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Family First, own goals and desperate measures - by Kevin Hague



    I guess Family First is in a hard position. They really don’t want Louisa Wall’s marriage equality bill to succeed but they’re faced with a situation where most New Zealanders support it, where it passed its First Reading with an emphatic majority, and where the Select Committee that heard submissions has given the Bill a […] read more
    March 5, 2013 5:15 pm - 12 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Police move to protect cyclists - by Kevin Hague



    In 2011, I discovered that the Police were failing in their duty of care to cyclists when it came to policing bicycle safety. The Police weren’t keeping any meaningful records on bicycle accidents reported by the public on their Community Roadwatch site. Now that’s changed: This small addition will make the world of difference to […] read more
    March 5, 2013 9:49 am - 13 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Marriage equality – the submissions against - by Kevin Hague



    I haven’t blogged this year yet on the Marriage Equality Bill, but it has in fact been a major focus for me. I know some opponents of the Bill are trying to kick up a fuss about lots of submitters who wanted to make an oral submission not getting the opportunity, but having read literally […] read more
    February 27, 2013 10:25 am - 8 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Biggest Gay Out - by Kevin Hague



    This Sunday was definitely the biggest Big Gay Out I have attended, with some news reports estimating crowds of 15,000 people. The event is one of the highlights of the LGBTI calendar with a really positive and welcoming environment. I spent most of the day wandering around, not getting sunburnt, talking with what seemed like […] read more
    February 11, 2013 2:50 pm - No Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    JT does the time warp, again - by Kevin Hague



    The John Tamihere Horror Show has returned and is not so much about a jump to the left or a step to the right, but a giant leap backward into some weird chauvinistic 1960s time warp where “no fat chicks” or gays are allowed. For that he’s been called a charming rogue, who represents the […] read more
    December 5, 2012 12:44 pm - 5 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Pike River, two years on - by Kevin Hague



    At the Pike River memorial service held at our local racecourse on a hot, still day in the weeks following the disaster, Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn, who has often had the knack of putting his finger exactly on how our local community is feeling, referred to the Paparoa Ranges towering beside us as “our […] read more
    November 19, 2012 12:54 pm - 11 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Gay red top - by Kevin Hague



    Oh all right then. The issue with using the word “gay” in the way the PM did is that it works as a put-down only because it taps into and reinforces a bunch of negative ideas about homosexual people (actually, I didn’t think weird was one of them). As an adult gay man who has […] read more
    November 7, 2012 2:42 pm - 50 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Wilkinson resignation only symbolic - by Kevin Hague



    On Monday, in light of the Royal Commission report into Pike River, Kate Wilkinson resigned as Minister responsible for the Department of Labour. This was the right decision, given that Pike River was the most serious industrial disaster in the last fifty years, and it happened on her watch. What’s interesting is that she has […] read more
    November 7, 2012 10:19 am - 5 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Modernisation of adoption law - by Kevin Hague



    “Kevin Hague launches gay adoption bill”. Sigh. I’m gay, but that doesn’t make my bill a gay adoption bill. It’s true that in 2009 I did have a Bill in the ballot to extend the categories of people who could adopt to include same-sex and de facto opposite-sex couples. But I was persuaded that the […] read more
    October 15, 2012 5:12 pm - 8 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Asset sales costing jobs not creating them - by Kevin Hague



    Solid Energy’s announcement last week of the suspension of work at the Spring Creek mine is a devastating blow to the West Coast economy and our local community. Up to 230 jobs could go (plus others in contractors and related industries), which is very bad news for the workers and their families who are dependent […] read more
    September 6, 2012 5:43 pm - 54 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    3 way voting on alcohol purchase age more democratic - by Kevin Hague



    In the wake of the parliamentary vote on alcohol purchase age there are some people (the ones I have seen are people who favoured 20) who are suggesting that the voting procedure used led to a perverse outcome. I disagree completely. This is not a post about the merits or otherwise of the various options, […] read more
    September 1, 2012 10:46 am - 15 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    There will be no electoral backlash against MPs who support Marriage Equality - by Kevin Hague



    In the lead-up to the First Reading of Louisa Wall’s marriage equality bill, all MPs are receiving quite a lot of mail and email on both sides of the debate. A point frequently made by opponents of the reform is that they won’t vote for MPs who support the Bill. List MPs are insulated from […] read more
    August 28, 2012 5:17 pm - 5 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Me and Marriage Equality - by Kevin Hague



    So here’s a sample of the kind of thing MPs are receiving in our inboxes: EXACTLY WHAT ARE GAYS #4 WHO SAYS WE NEED ‘OFFICIAL MARRIAGE’ FOR INSECURE HOMOSEXUALS? WHAT’S WRONG WITH CIVIL UNION? OR FOR EXTREME INSECURITY, MAYBE CASTRATION COULD RELIEVE THEIR ANXIETY (IT DID FOR MY DOG) (BE LIKE GENETIC ENGINEERING TOO). OR […] read more
    August 26, 2012 10:48 pm - 29 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Catholic Bishops over-reach on marriage equality - by Kevin Hague



    It’s not a surprise that the NZ Catholic Bishops have chosen to oppose Louisa Wall’s Bill for marriage equality. After all, they opposed Homosexual Law Reform, they opposed human rights protection on the grounds of sexual orientation and they opposed Civil Unions. I’m beginning to sense a theme. The Catholic Bishops Pastoral Letter  is addressed […] read more
    August 23, 2012 9:58 am - 27 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Palliative care vs assisted dying: A false dichotomy - by Kevin Hague



    A necessary survival skill in this place is to be able to manage big differences of views on a daily basis, without becoming damaged by it. I’m usually quite good at it. I’m also a very big supporter of cross-Party approaches and working groups, and work hard to try to maintain good relationships right across […] read more
    August 16, 2012 4:13 pm - 6 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Marriage Equality – idea whose time has come - by Kevin Hague



    Marriage equality is about basic fairness. It is a pretty basic principle of law that discrimination that disadvantages a particular group based on irrelevant criteria is unacceptable, particularly when it is practised by the State. Louisa Wall’s bill to redefine marriage to exclude discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is about eliminating exactly […] read more
    August 14, 2012 11:00 pm - 54 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    What the ACC recording means - by Kevin Hague



    I’ve done a day of media interviews about the revelation that the crucial meeting last December between two senior ACC managers, claimant Bronwyn Pullar and her support person Michelle Boag was recorded. Several journalists have now heard the tape of the meeting and/or read a transcript, and have been reporting today that the tape does […] read more
    April 30, 2012 7:15 pm - 3 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Serious process failures by ACC: Bronwyn Pullar’s list - by Kevin Hague



    As you scan this list, please reflect on the fact that every one of these reminds me of issues other claimants have brought to me, and are endorsed by claimant organisations, lawyers and service providers who deal with ACC on a regular basis. And ask yourself if it is okay for this catalogue of issues […] read more
    March 28, 2012 8:44 pm - 32 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    ACC: what we really need to ask - by Kevin Hague



    There’s nothing quite like a ministerial resignation to send political insiders and journalists into a frenzy. There are big issues arising from Nick Smith’s interference in Bronwyn Pullar’s ACC claim. Such as: Are the four letters that Nick Smith wrote concerning Ms Pullar’s claim the extent of his interference in her claim, or is there […] read more
    March 22, 2012 11:32 am - 19 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Fat, fate and disease – giving up on a generation? - by Kevin Hague



    I’ve just seen Andrea Vance’s Dompost piece concerning planned changes to the types of nutrition programmes to be funded by the Ministry of Health. This follows the publication of Professor Peter Gluckman and Professor Mark Hanson’s new book Fat, Fate and Disease: Why exercise and diet are not enough. I’ve just dashed out and picked […] read more
    March 13, 2012 5:05 pm - 16 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Drug Courts a giant step closer - by Kevin Hague



    I go to quite a few conferences and, to be honest, most of them are rubbish. A pretty standard format is researchers taking turns to get up and tell us about their work. Sometimes interesting, sometimes not, but essentially always geared around the researchers’ need to disseminate results (and often they only get to attend […] read more
    March 5, 2012 11:44 am - 6 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    It’s official: Bicycling can save your life - by Kevin Hague



    The highly esteemed British Medical Journal has found, after an extensive study, that cycling literally saves lives. The research looked at the differences in health benefits of using a bicycle sharing scheme run in Barcelona compared with travel by a car in an urban environment. The results were clear: public bicycle sharing schemes can improve […] read more
    October 20, 2011 10:02 am - 4 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Mental Health Awareness Week - by Kevin Hague



    This week is Mental Health Awareness week. The culture around mental health in New Zealand has come leaps and bounds from where it was even five years ago. I congratulate everyone who has helped bring about this culture change and raise awareness about mental health issues, and I thank them for doing so. However, this […] read more
    October 12, 2011 1:44 pm - 6 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Blueprint for safer queer youth - by Kevin Hague



    Last week I had the chance to participate in several of the events in the Hamilton Pride Festival for queer and transgendered people in the Waikato. I spent my secondary school years at Hamilton Boys High School, so I really valued the opportunity to launch there a landmark new report by Murray Riches entitled “How […] read more
    September 29, 2011 8:13 am - 1 Comment
  • Kevin Hague

    Where are you now, Mr. Key? - by Kevin Hague



    I have spent a bit of time in  Courthouses. They are typically depressing places, cold, hard, unwelcoming; the people angry, fearful, resigned. The Greymouth Courthouse is a new one. The waiting room is well lit. There are paintings on the walls, carpet on the floor. Yet those same feelings are almost palpable, along with a […] read more
    September 9, 2011 12:37 pm - 19 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Pike Inquiry reveals regulation shambles - by Kevin Hague



    Thanks to my awesome Caucus colleagues I have been given leave from Parliament this week to attend the first week in this second phase of the Pike River Royal Commission of Inquiry. The Green Party was one of the voices calling for an inquiry with wide terms of reference, that families and mine workers could […] read more
    September 8, 2011 7:58 pm - 13 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Riding the first of the on-road Cycle Trails - by Kevin Hague



    This weekend, I got to ride big parts of the 180km route from Taumarunui to New Plymouth. The ride was a celebration of the opening of the first on-road component of Nga Haerenga, the New Zealand Cycle Trail. The weekend had a bit of everything: gorgeous scenery, local hospitality, wide-eyed children, even local political drama. […] read more
    August 24, 2011 10:50 am - 11 Comments
  • Kevin Hague

    Exciting next phase in National Cycle Network - by Kevin Hague



    I’m writing this from the Overlander train, heading North to Taumarunui. Tomorrow morning I’m part of an event there to launch the next phase of Nga Haerenga: the New Zealand Cycle Trail Network. Nga Haerenga is a joint project of the Green and National parties – Green cycling expertise and Government money. You may remember […] read more
    August 19, 2011 9:43 am - 2 Comments