Cross-Examination: Data Deaths and a Funeral – The Right to be Forgotten

Pooja Upadhyay, Content Contributor Digital media is increasingly changing the nature of identity. Generations are growing up with their lives open to scrutiny on the Internet by virtue of a culture of documenting actions online. Google’s concrete memory bank means that, “[y]ou are what Google says you are”.[1] This can have serious psychological and occupational repercussions for data users.[2] Consequently a …

Cross-Examination: The Phantom Menace – Misogyny in NZ Politics

Elizabeth Murray, Contributor Women are being left out of the political sphere in New Zealand. The level of female representation in Parliament looks at best to be stagnant, at worst to be declining. Neither of the major parties have put active steps in place to rectify the discrepancy between male and female representation in Parliament. Despite women having won suffrage …

Cross-Examination: Social Bonds – The Final Frontier?

Rebecca Hallas, leading contributor Introduction One in six New Zealand adults have been diagnosed with a common mental disorder at some point in their lives. Depression and anxiety are particularly prominent. In the 2011/2012 New Zealand Health Survey, over half a million New Zealanders reported being diagnosed with these disorders.[1] The use of anti-depressants has accordingly spiked in recent years, …

Cross-Examination: Shifting the Burden of Proof in Sexual Assault Cases

Jessica Fitzgerald, content contributor The prevalence of sexual assault cases that have dominated the New Zealand media in the past few years, such as the infamous “Roast Busters” scandal, has led to public outcry over the perception of a justice system that is “broken”.[1] In response, in 2014 both National and Labour released pre-election proposals aiming to improve how the …

Cross-Examination: How Universal is ACC?

James Peacock, content contributor The Accident Compensation Commission was established in New Zealand in 1974 pursuant to the Accident Compensation Act 1972 with the purpose of  better facilitating“the rehabilitation and compensation of persons who suffer personal injury”. [1] In effect, the ACC scheme was created to act as a safety net to compensate those who injured themselves either at work …

Cross-Examination: How Discrimination Impacts Mental Health Recovery

Chantelle Murray, content contributor Mental illness affects 1 in 5 Kiwis every year. However, many New Zealanders living with mental illness suffer from unfair discrimination.[1] A 2014 Health Promotional Agency (HPA) survey posed the following question to 2500 respondents: “You are a member of a local sports club. A new person wants to join the club. You know they have …

An OIA A Day Keeps Dictators Away: Freedom of Information and the State’s Accountability

Jack Garden, Content Contributor Politicians have long understood the crucial link between controlling the flow of official information and maintaining control of the government benches. Ministers who can sweep under the carpet documents detailing extravagant public sector purchases or failed million-dollar projects can convince citizens of their competency when the reality is the opposite. Armed with official documents, individuals and …

Cross-Examination: Trustee Issues – Balancing School Discipline and Fair Treatment

Ye Lin Ko, content contributor All New Zealand state and state-integrated schools have a board of trustees.[1] The members of the board, which include individuals elected from the school’s community, play a crucial role in managing and organising the school. This involves setting the appropriate educational goals and strategic direction of the school. The board works closely with the school’s …

Cross-Examination: Is our democracy in trouble? Public trust in politicians and news media

Lydia Buckley, Content Contributor Politicians are sometimes associated with shady dealings, broken promises, deceit and propaganda. Regardless of whether this stereotype is accurate or not, it is one that is commonly held by the public. In fact, a recent survey prepared by Research New Zealand ranked politicians as the second least trusted occupation by the New Zealand public.[1] A glance …

Cross-Examination: New Zealand’s Child Poverty Problem

Ari Apa, content contributor In 1978 New Zealand signed up to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCROC), which requires the State to protect children’s rights to social security and standards of living adequate for their mental, spiritual, moral and social development.[1] This is a binding legal obligation, which not only guarantees the provision of adequate …