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The Incompetence of the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development

(slightly edited)

© Peter Zohrab 2010

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(Open Letter to the Minister of Social Development, the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, and the State Services Commissioner)

 

Dear Paula Bennett,

In the context of the Leader of the Opposition having criticised the high salaries of some Chief Executives of state agencies, I write to accuse Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development of total incomptence and irrationality in relation to the National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges (WomRef) and the National Network of Stopping Violence Services (NNSVS).

In response to one question in my letter of 16 October 2009, the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development has informed me that your Ministry has allocated WomRef $7,388,888 in 2009/10 and has allocated $242,917 to NNSVS for the same period.

As its second, and more important, request, my letter had also requested that the Government:

give me copies of all the reports of investigations carried out by or on behalf of any New Zealand Government into the activities of the National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges ... and the National Network of Stopping Violence Services (including constituent entities of that Network) with regard to their suitability for the receipt of public money or with regard to their suitability to provide expert advice to Government (e.g. to the Ministry of Social Development).

In his reply dated 16 December 2009, the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Social Development makes the following claims:

The Ministry funds the National Collective of Independent Women's Refuges and the National Network of Stopping Violence Services to provide a valued service to communities across New Zealand. Both of these agencies have a depth of experience in their field, and an understanding of domestic violence in New Zealand, and are able to provide expert advice to the Ministry.

However, those claims are totally unsubstantiated, at best. At worst, they are blatant lies.

The only investigations carried out by the Ministry (ie by its service arms: Family and Community Services and Child, Youth and Family) into WomRef and NNSVS were against business standards related to these organisations' ability to carry out their aims. There has been no investigation of the philosophical, political, ideological, or scientific factors involved in their theory and practice in the field of domestic violence prevention, management, or exacerbation (as the case may be). Even the "Philosophical Base" standard, against which the NNSVS was assessed, only related to how well it implemented its own defined vision, values, goals and service scope (whatever these might happen to be).

The standards they were assessed against were the following:

WomRef
1. Business Viability Standard 2 – Prevention of Abuse of Children and Young People
2. Business Viability Standard 4 – Cultural Appropriateness
3. Business Viability Standard 5 – Resolution of Complaints Related to Service Provision
4. Business Viability Standard 6 -- Staffing
5. Business Viability Standard 7 – Health and Safety
6. Business Viability Standard 8 -- Management Structure and Systems
7. Business Viability Standard 10 – Organisation Monitoring

NNSVS
1. Business Viability Standard 1 – Philosophical Base
2. Business Viability Standard 4 – Cultural Appropriateness
3. Business Viability Standard 5 – Resolution of Complaints Related to Service Provision
4. Business Viability Standard 6 -- Staffing
5. Business Viability Standard 8 -- Management Structure and Systems
6. Business Viability Standard 10 – Organisation Monitoring
7. Community Services Programme Quality Standard 1 – Service Planning
8. Community Services Programme Quality Standard 6 – Client Record Keeping

The Ministry of Social Development has carried out no investigations which would or could give the Chief Executive a rational basis for staying (as he did) that these organisations "provide a valued service", have "an understanding of domestic violence," or "are able to provide expert advice."

On the contrary,

1. NNSVS defames men by disseminating the "Power and Control Wheel" at http://www.nnsvs.org.nz/whoaffected/wheel.html . This is an unscientific and anti-male propaganda tool. A pro-male version is easy to construct and can be seen at http://equality.netfirms.com/powrcont.html .

2. NNSVS virtually ignores female violence against men. Its home page http://www.nnsvs.org.nz/ makes this clear by publicising the White Ribbon Campaign, which is about violence against women, and by stating that "The safety of women and children is paramount."

3. The NNSVS is run by Lesbian and violent women. I went to their Wellington office in 2009 to serve them with some court papers. I saw there two White women, both of whom were clearly Lesbians, one Maori woman, and one White man. One of the White people immediately threw the court papers into a waste-paper basket. I retrieved them from there, put them onto a desk, and left the office, which was above ground-level. The Maori woman temporarily kidnapped me by standing in front of the lift buttons, in order to stop me from pressing one to call the lift. The White male, with an apologetic glance at me, distracted her by attempting to persuade her to move away, and I was able to press a lift button. This same coalition between an apparent White Lesbian providing the man-hating theory and a Maori woman providing the aggression was something that I also witnessed at the Families' Commission. As far as I can see, the Maori Party works with Maori gangs, and more or less treats WomRef as just another gang which they support.

4. WomRef provides services for female alleged victims of male violence and provides anti-male information about Domestic Violence. On the webpage http://www.womensrefuge.org.nz/index.cfm?objectid=0CFAF2CE-1321-AE99-69928488C8082563 WomRef says:

Violence happens because of the attitudes and behaviours that boys and girls learn as they grow up; i.e. that men have the right to have ownership and control over women and children, and that its ok to use violence to get your own way.

It is grossly untrue, sexist, discriminatory to put all the blame for violence on men, on the basis of Lesbian-inspired, anti-male stereotypes, and it is incompetent and oppressive for the Government to be supporting and funding an organisation which publicises such lies. Professor Martin Fiebert's annotated Domestic Violence bibliography at http://www.csulb.edu/~mfiebert/assault.htm (as at 4 March 2010)

examines 271 scholarly investigations: 211 empirical studies and 60 reviews and/or analyses, which demonstrate that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners. The aggregate sample size in the reviewed studies exceeds 365,000.

5. WomRef also has a privileged status within the Ministry of Social Development in relation to Domestic Violence policy. According to the webpage http://www.msd.govt.nz/about-msd-and-our-work/work-programmes/initiatives/action-family-violence/taskforce-info.html WomRef is part of the Government's Taskforce for Action on Violence within Families. So the Ministry of Social Development actually lets the sexist, man-hating, Lesbian-inspired WomRef help formulate its Domestic Violence strategy, which is, therefore, naturally failing.

 

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