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MENZ Issues: news and discussion about New Zealand men, fathers, family law, divorce, courts, protests, gender politics, and male health.

Good luck

Filed under: General — UF @ 3:10 pm Wed 12th November 2008

I have taken a keen interest in family law and men’s issues. I worked with Judy to draft and get the DNA bill on the order paper, where it now languishes because United fell 0.3% short of getting Judy Turner back into Parliament.

I feel for those who cannot challenge their paternity and consequently are paying child support they shouldnt or are enstranged from their own children.

I feel for those who lose their right to be parents to their kids because the family court has a default position to give it day to day care to the mother. so i drafted a members bill for shared parenting that would ahve been int he ballot next parliament if Judy had returned. Now it will not be there. Criticism of the bill that it was not tough enough is, to be honest, coming from the ignorant who have no understanding of politics and how to achieve things in parliament. Newman’s bill got defeated. You need more than 50% of votes in the House to pass 1st reading and get a bill to the select committee – this is the hardest task. The bill says that ’shared parenting’ should be the default position. It did not define ’shared’ as this would give political parties and excuse to vote the bill down before it got to select committee. So it was left out – especially as even if i had added a definition it would have been changed to whatever the select committee wanted anyway, if it was to be passed further.

I felt for those who are accused of assaulting their partners when the violence is initiated by the women more often than the male. And protection orders and vexatious allegations that play out in custody hearings. Judy spoke on all these issues challenging the orthodoxy – plus on boys education, men’s health and CYF (where she got a complaints process and panel achieved).

As someone who has no personal gripe or history with any of these areas, i can look relatively objectively i believe. I saw systematic injustice occurring and tried to do what little was in my power to change.

I can pretty honestly say that the men’s and father’s movement’s worst enemy are themselves.
The biggest barrier, politically speaking, to getting change and movement on issues is the dis-jointed, at times aggressive, conspiratorial nature which the vocal members seem to adopt.

Work with others – not against them. Stop seeing compromise as a dirty word that only “feminazis”, “wimps” and those with “manginas” would consider.

Bitterness at a system that has let you down is inevitable and expected – but leave it at the door when you visit those who do not understand where you are coming from or share your view.

If you see white, and others see black, don’t demand white or nothing from them. Suggest a grey and work to the lightest shade you can, but take what you can and then next time around, the status quo is closer to where you want to go than it was.

I am no expert and if i am coming across in a condescending manner i apologise. I just want to say what i think for once in the hope it will help you change the areas of importance to you.

I will not be posting again and infact i am personally leaving the country in a few days (not because fo the government but personal reasons). As i said i have no personal experience about being shafted by policies or the family court or child support. My interest was simply because i saw it unfair, but the negative tone, pettiness and readiness to attack anyone and anything means i have no interest in becoming involved in discussions.

If i could give one piece of advice, it would be for those who are moderate to form a lobby group for fathers, taht could also deal with mens rights.

Leave the word ‘feminazi’ out of any correspondence.

Put out regular press releases on issues of the day that affect men and fathers. Keep the tone forceful but respectful so that you soon get recognised by media sources as someone they are not scared to call or refer to in stories. Build a reputation. The reputation of mens advocates at the moment is that of aggressive nutters, ready to yell or snap anytime….

get a mild group that journos can talk to on topics such as the DNA bill. Put out releases referring to the aussie article above, and ask is anyone going further this bill in NZ? challenge National.

Get this group to visit MPs and make sure youa re realistic in what you are hoping to achieve. be single minded in your goals – one or two at a time and leave the wider debate for another time. Be pragmatic.

Once you have a lobby group that is mildy respected, then you can start to champion things and pressure government better. You could work with other like minded groups on certain issues. Shared parenting is something Family First may help you champion.

STOP GETTING PERSONAL. It makes you look petty and you lsoe credibility, even if your criticisms are justified.

Keep the extremists out of the area of communications.

Basically, im jsut saying be smarter and use the system. the womens groups did. And realise that the key to change is public support. Your gripes are valid. You are treated unfairly. Point this out and you will get sympathy. Come across as conspirators and aggressors and you will lose the public (and journos who are the link).

For example, people genuinely dont know that men and women are violent in the home in roughly equal numbers – they just are not aware. Get active writing moderate, concise press releases to all major papres and other groups, as well as newroom and scoop.  Put your views across, in a moderate tone.   Keep those who are well meaning but in the end damaging individuals away from the microphone.

Work with others and don’t be afraid to compromise. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

All the best.

21 Responses to “Good luck”

  1. Alastair says:

    This is the first time I have heard a reasoned post. I have been abused and namecalled by one particular group of men, simply for espousing this sentiment.

    May I repost this on another list of moderates?

  2. Hans Laven says:

    Sure, some very good advice there. One must remember though that it was an election campaign, and those supporting the Republicans were hardly going to encourage people to vote for Dunne’s party, especially after the actual things he has brought about showing him to care nothing about fathers and little more about families. What on earth would you expect? All credit to Judy Turner for promising she would push several matters of interest to men or fathers, but surely it’s appropriate to point out inadequacies in those policies and to express some reservation given the party’s track record?

    Instead of bemoaning the criticism that UF received from many sensible posters here, they could take those criticisms into account and formulate policies more likely to bring about real improvement in the way fathers are treated.

    Regardless, Dunne still has every opportunity to push the policies his party went to the electorate with. Let’s see if he does. Let’s see if he even mentions them. Bets anyone?

  3. UF says:

    To clarify,

    I wasn’t bemoaning MY treatment at all. But i see others – moderates and thoughtful people who will be turned off as the environment is one that attacks any difference of opinion.

    I am not referring to United or Dunne – they are irrelevent to the post. I am not saying anyone should support either of them and i am no longer involved with them. I do not care about republicans either – they recieved 298 votes throuout the country.

    I was posting as an individual and my observations from where i sit.

    The bickering i was referring to was amongst yourselves – not involving me. I am not specifically talking about the election campaign either – it just so happens that their has recently been one.

    I was simply talking in general and to do with mens organisation.

    Not to do with Dunne or Turner. Hope this clarifies.

    regards

  4. Scrap_The_CSA says:

    UF,

    Thanks for your effotrs.

    It is one view, but there are others.

    Keep well and if you want a coffee email me.

    Regards

    Scrap

  5. Rosie says:

    I agree there is good advice here.But surely United Future didn’t lose voters by the thousands simply because those in the men’s movement did not vote for them.They lost the voters because of their leader and he also needs to reflect on why he has become so unpopular with both men and women.
    I’m hoping that he won’t be given that same portfolio in this government.
    He’s got to think hard about earning peoples trust again and if the issues that Judy raised are important to him,he’ll press on with them regardless.
    I know I was harsh in my criticism of him but I’ve had the last year and a half of my life turned upside down because of policies that he has had years and
    years to try to make more fair for all but were always put on the back burner until a few months ago.
    Yes Judy will be missed.She is caring and I hope Peter Dunne has learnt a valuable lesson from her.

  6. Tigerseye says:

    Thank you UF, what you have said, as an objective observer is quite true. It is a point I have raised in the past. It is an easy trap to fall into, it happened with me and your thoughts on the happenings of this site have snapped me back to reality.

    Now the elections are over we need to move in one direction and it has been said time and time again that we need a leader to guide us in the right direction. A number of our ways need to be looked at and changed to bring the real meaning back to the men’s movement. This is not about the individual, but about all men and our issues. There has been a change in government which means there will be change to the ways somethings are done and the way our political leaders listen to us. That is what New Zealanders have chosen. UF had a brilliant insight to the movement and how it is seen from the outside. Nobody wants to listen to activists… no one. Nobody will pay attention to those that are putting others down because lets face it, 2 wrongs don’t make a right. Two lefts don’t make a right either so the bickering and name calling has to stop. It is better to catch someone doing good and praise them than pull their feet out from under them just because they don’t have the same idea as you. That one idea may not have been great but when we shit all over people for it they choos not to share potentially fantastic ideas. Debates are what we need and really the only way in which we can get things changed… but they need to have an outcome, one which we can take to our MPs.

    Time for a more mature, informed move. It’s time to pick our battles as we can’t win the war – they have bigger guns than we do.

    The first thing I could suggest is a strong move by lobbying to make changes in the laws to charge perpetrators of abuse. Currently there is assault or Man assaults Woman but there is no Woman assaults Men which distorts the statistics drastically showing that only the man perpetrates domestic violence and child abuse.

    I say to you all, don’t be affraid to have your say and don’t be so quick to attack those that are trying to make a change. I think we have all learnt that lesson.

    Regards,
    Justin Harnish

  7. bruce says:

    Like many others i see peter dunne as the problem not the solution I first voted for him because of the family friendly view he espoused he has done nothing to follow up on this when he has had ample opportunity he spent nine years propping up the anti-family labour govt and only switched when he saw the writing on the wall Like it has been said he could put up a private members bill now if he wished but i am willing to bet he does absolutely nothing for men or families at least helen clark was honest about where she stood, unlike two faced dunne nothing

  8. Paul Catton says:

    Dear Luke,

    It is regrettable that you are no longer to be one of Judy’s researchers and also a confidant.
    Judy was an extremely good advocate on behalf of mens issues and will be missed by the movement seeking true gender equity.
    United Future in hindsight wasn’t the vehicle for her campaign of policy as the election results now show.
    In my opinion, what is needed, is that Judy Turner, Murial Newman, Richard Lewis, Bob McCroskie, Kerry Bevin, Gordon Copeland, Lewis Holden, and many other entities (perhaps inclusion of Destiny Church, Mormon Church, Jehovahs Witnesses, Scientologists, Masonic Lodge)and all others who wish Natural Policy not Social Engineering enshrined within Legislation thus fill the vacuum, they need to sit round a table and find the common ground discarding ideals.
    I believe that the common ground is Natural Family being the keystone building block, therefore any individual ideology be backburned unless subject to democratic inclusion therby focussing solely on this disparage of society

    I applaud you for using MENZ as a resource thereby providing Judy with research and then further, posting action being undertook.
    I wish you the best for your future endeavours.

    My Kindest Regard

    Paul Catton
    East Auckland Refuge for Men and Families
    (09) 271 3020

  9. julie says:

    Beautiful post. You have spelt out the issues very reasonably and IMO accurately.
    There are many men in society that have felt the bias when they built groups and to help men. They are still around but say that the men’s movement is still years away from working because of the differences. I will stop with the conspiracies.

    You did a lot of good work even though we gave you are hard time. (Ok, no generalising) I gave you a hard time at first.

    There is a lot of growing needed by some like myself and I just hope we can make it right this political term. Else it is not worth it. I can wait 5 years for the movement to get it’s act together.

    You will definitely be missed and so will Judy Turner. Yet I think you have left behind some strong movement in other areas. Thank-you very much and I hope you travel well.

  10. JohnP says:

    All your work for Judy Turner, and your observant comments in this post, are greatly appreciated UF. I’m sorry to read that you have run out of energy, but not surprised.

    Your advice about setting up a moderate group is excellent, but the big problem has been with the men’s movement since the beginning – there is no obvious way to:

    Keep the extremists out of the area of communications.

    There are, of course, many other men who favour a moderate approach, but they also tend to get worn down by the infighting and personal abuse, and seldom stick around long-term.

    I’m aware that MENZ probably contributes to the radical reputation men’s activists have (even though the most abusive contributors do eventually get banned). However I think the anger and frustration expressed on this site does accurately reflect men’s experience in New Zealand which is the primary goal it was set up to achieve.

    There are rumours of a new organisation that may be set up sometime soon in an attempt to promote men’s issues in NZ in a way that doesn’t portray us all as extremists. If that happens, and it gains enough support from men like you, UF, perhaps we might begin to advance the cause a bit more effectively.

  11. Alastair says:

    There are 2 moderate mens groupf presently functioning. I hesitate to promote them on John’s group though.

    Suffice to say they have rules and banish unruly members as several can attest to. However they are to widespread to be effective. The only group functioning in Auckland is undoubtedly being effective in their own judgement. I however have been abuse and called names once to often by its owner.

    Go well. We (Men) certainly need moderates to progress our cause. The are of diplomacy is the ability to tell a person to go to hell, and have them look forward to the journey 🙂

  12. Paul Catton says:

    In reply to Alastair and perhaps many others?

    UNIFICATION
    There is only currently MENZ being an “Open Forum” available to people to vent their spleen.
    However sometimes possibly detracting towards the position of unification, wounded terms of feminazism, wimps , Manginas are all emotive from people who have been subject to the guillotine called Family Law.

    I would advocate and have previously (parrot like) done so that we do not try to re-invent a wheel.
    Menz.Org.nz is the premier website for Mens Issues.
    It has facilty to delete innapropiate language in postings by the moderator.
    Both, Union of Fathers and NSMC were advised to utilise this site and link for referral rather than half ass replicate.

    Having to reinvent Pauls_News, Pauls-News etc…. CYFStalk, CYFSwatch etc…is demanding on a few for the multitude and within the same is dissent.
    This moderated but open forum with a multitude of category is ideallic to the movement being the one stop shop with active and utilised referrals.

    John, within my short lived but forced involvement of mens advocacy, this site has the potential for many others to take their challenges and overcome.

    It was from information publicly accesible from this website generating tears that Craig and Louise Martin’s history was forwarded to media, now although seperated, they are unified, CYFS are currently being taken to task from the death of their child, I apologised to them for providing CYFSwatch their story thus promoting them to media attention, the rest as they say is history.

    I would ask that all readers of the site defer their differences and focus upon Natural Family first, any inconsequential ideoligical differences can be sorted through dialogue.

    Kindest Regards
    Paul Catton
    East Auckland Refuge For Men And Families
    (09) 271 3020

  13. MurrayBacon says:

    UF, thank you for your wise, patient and constructive feedback, especially given at this delicate time in your career. I certainly do not see any condescension.

    Certainly, some men’s issue advocates detract from the causes they espouse, through immoderate communications and attacking people on their own side. This impression comes from noise made, rather than constructive actions taken.

    However, it is still true that “good cop, bad cop” tactics can help to bring the opposition to the table, with the moderates.

    These tactics can work, I have used them with as much success on the boys in blue, as they have enjoyed onto me.

    Unfortunately, it seems that presently these people are more interested in simply attacking out of frustration and in doing so, make themselves easy and worthy targets for our opposition. Their passion does not make up for their lack of listening to all sides, lack of effort to understand other people’s perspectives, lack of coordination and lack of provision of workable solutions.

    My criticisms, might apply to some degree to United Future, as well as to myself!

    Nonetheless, congratulations at obtaining 1 seat in Parliament. A seat at the right table has more influence, than moaning from the outside.

    Best regards, MurrayBacon.

  14. allan Harvey says:

    Re #12,
    Thanks for the post Paul. Yes MENZ is the main “Open” site. It came from Men’s Centre North Shore as I understand the history. Union of Fathers has actively decided we don’t wish to compete in the web-based resources area and we have sought to use MENZ for publicising our own work. We could do better, we will try.
    Unification is a good goal but I doubt we will ever get there. The first step has to be not shooting each other in the feet. We have some differences but many more similarities. We need to build on what we share together and our strengths and not nit pick about differences and weaknesses.
    Allan Harvey
    Union of Fathers

  15. julie says:

    This is going to be a hard thing for me to say with my own flaws to meet a standard worthwhile in NZ politics. But I am glad I have flaws because then I can help others through my own personal learning.

    The best thing that someone can do to help the movement is to think of others. Think how YOUR actions are going to affects others. (This is the self sacrificing that I have seen through some men here. OK, most men involved).

    I know that it is near impossible when you are in pain. You can barely see past the bias you yourself endure. And enduring keeps you alive. The anger often keeps you fighting for your children’s sake. One cannot imagine outside of this the insanity that goes on within you let alone outside of you.

    I had Labor Minister Mark Burton’s wife at my door representing CYF saying without even an introduction, “If you think we can’t get you because you have money think again”, she said. She went me and presented one sentence of hearsay in a community that is well known for tall poppy syndrome or having others bring you down because they don’t want to look inadequate yet it is false and only makes them feel better.

    I never knew and never expected for one moment that the left wing of politics hated anyone who represented success. And I never heard from the wife again. She just came in to destroy and nothing more.

    Looking back (which I did years ago) I understand what happened. My boss bought a house through a Real Estate friend that belonged to CYF. It was an unusual buy because it was a cash payment. The Maori had put a claim on the house which was expected to hold the sale back at least 2 years but the way things worked out the house was sold and bought in 6 weeks. The Maori did not have sufficient evidence to claim it.

    Of course this must have put Minister Mark Burton and his colleagues in a spin. But they were picking on the wrong people. My husband and I did not buy that house. We only rented it.

    CYF as a whole just love me. For all the work they do and all the lives destroyed a romantic story with a happy ending just makes their sacrafice worthwhile. But it was a very hard road. And to be honest, I don’t even know how I did what I did as a mother.

    You know, there are so many groups out there afraid of radical feminism. They fret like one can not imagine. Sometimes I hear CEOs say to me, “Please don’t bring us into this” and sometimes I am referred to higher staff who ask, “Have you spoken about this to anyone else?” because they are afraid I will drag them in.

    What is happening here is all wrong. There is no right in this.

    But somewhere along the line we must move with love and empathy. It is so needed in society now that generations have suffered and we are spiralling down to something worse than the animal kingdom.

    Love moves mountains. Self sacrafice is more valuable than all the gold in the world these days. This is the new high ground. And it would be a privilege to work with others who can understand this.

    I just wanted to say the above. We fight an enormous powerful enemy for the welfare of families and children. We must show, if we can, how what we offer is far more special.

    The left wing has no intention of even giving a little for they are concerned just one foot in the door will lead to another and another.

    I swear it is not I who am ill. It is the women and some men who are. But they make us all sick through their want for power. I don’t even know who they think they represent to be honest. I could not think of anything worse than being held back from empowerment by having to be told i am weak when I am not.

    To me sympathy is all that one can give. These people are not well.

    Thanx for listening.

  16. amfortas says:

    From across the Tasman, I send greetings and congratulations. This is a splendid site and shows the efforts that MRAs in NZ are putting in. Much better than in Oz. Keep up the good work – and play nicely. If in doubt remember Rule 303.

  17. Hans Laven says:

    Rule 303, from Australian history during the Boer war. When Harry “Breaker” Morant was asked under what authority had he shot dead some prisoners by firing squad, he answered “Rule 303”, referring to the fact his soldiers had .303 rifles and that was the only authority he needed.

    This of course is metaphorical and in no way implies anyone is suggesting or condoning violence.

  18. Alastair says:

    The Bad news for those using the web is Government control. cyfswatch.org and cyfstalk.org are both presently off line, apparantly blocked today by the New Zealand Government.

    The email I received from them a few minutes ago:

    I have just informed the Dom-Post that CYFStalk is being blocked in
    New Zealand, possibly by Peter Hughes of the M.S.D.

    It is clear now that this problem is exclsuive to New Zealand, that

    the only people in the world that cannot “see” the site are Kiwi’s.

    The server owners are going to move the site to another server with

    a new DNS, as a last resort “fix” but if the problem migrates over,

    even with the new DNS, then it will prove that the site is being blocked

    on purpose.

    While I could not access the site, the Dom-Post could. Is this coincidence?

    Stay tuned for more information!

    These sites could not be described as radical, Ration Shed would be worse! If it is correct – And I emphasise the matter is still being investigated, it does not bode well for freedom of speech in NZ.

    Back on Topic, Judy Turner will be missed. Muriel’s newsletters are thought provoking.

  19. julie says:

    Alistair, the control of the Internet free speech can be found on Canada’s Human Rights commission also. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a UN movement.

  20. Hans Laven says:

    Anyone know of any developments in getting cyfswatch available again? Does anyone have a stored version of it as it was?

    I would recommend that a few of us personally back up and save the MENZ site. Quite possibly it also will be suppressed by NZ authorities. NZ has no constitution and free speech is definitely not protected.

  21. Alastair says:

    Yes, cyfstalk.org is running and reasonably open. It is to be amalgamated with “Watch” This is happening as we speak. One reason it went down for so long, the group that owned our overseas server went bust 🙁 Fortunately there are people overseas who support our goals. It is re-emerging from a very deep pit.

    Feel free to join. We specialise in CYF, but we are all affected by the FC and MSD. I assure you it is going to grow.

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