Every day of the week, The detail makes sense of big news.

This week we looked at why we are still using the BMI, the rules governing the charitable sector, a new route to Australian citizenship for New Zealand expats, the overhaul of our adoption laws and the politics at play in the This year’s Pacific Islands Forum in Suva.

Whakarongo may all the episodes you might have missed.

Why do we still use BMI?

One of the most important and widely used measures of health is the 190-year-old, invented by a Belgian statistician who had absolutely no expert medical knowledge or experience outside of the European population, and created to measure “the ‘average man’.

Photo: 123rf.com

BMI seems outdated. So why do we still use it?

Professor Jim Mann of the University of Otago says that although it has its limitations, it is also a useful clinical tool for treating a patient with a particularly high BMI – at age 30 or older.

“The real difficulty is when the BMI is in a slightly high range, that kind of 25 to 29 area. That’s when it’s especially important to look at it in context. other clinical measures,” he says.

Mann tells The detail about the inadequacy of BMI for Maori, Pacific and Indian populations, and the delicate line that practitioners must walk to diagnose and counsel patients’ health issues while treating them with respect.



What makes a charity a charity?

We are a nation of givers. Last year, New Zealanders gave more than $4 billion to registered charities.

But recently, in the charitable sector, there has been a bit of blood in the water.

Generic money.

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The government has announced a series of reforms to our Charities Act aimed at strengthening financial transparency. And in June, after nearly a decade of litigation, lobby group Family First lost its charitable status.

So what’s in a name – what does it mean to be a charity?

business office Senior journalist Oli Lewis says the foundation of our charity laws comes from 17th century England and the definition of what is or is not a charity has largely been left to the courts since then .


Paving the way to Australian citizenship

By Anzac Day next year, New Zealanders living across the Tasman should get an easier route to citizenship, as well as the right to vote, putting them on a level playing field with Australians living here – ending more than two decades of inequality.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese shakes hands with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (right) before a bilateral meeting in Sydney on June 10, 2022. (Photo by Mark Baker / POOL / AFP)


Photo: AFP

Under current rules, Australians are granted permanent residency upon arrival in New Zealand and, with a few ticking exercises, they are automatically eligible to become citizens after five years.

But for most Kiwis in Australia on a special category visa, their path to citizenship isn’t so easy – they have to apply on the same basis as any other migrant, it’s expensive and it’s not guaranteed . As a result, only a third of the New Zealand population in Australia is a citizen, compared to three quarters of English expats or our Pacific neighbors Fiji.

Things political editor Luke Malpass explains to The detail how relations soured between Australia and New Zealand and hit a low point in 2014 when the so-called 501 deportations began.

“Australians have gotten into the habit of not giving anything to New Zealand that has no political advantage,” he says.


Growing Pains: Our Outdated Adoption Laws

New Zealand’s adoption law is riddled with loopholes: it does not recognize same-sex relationships, common-law relationships or Maori Whāngai adoptions. It also makes it difficult – sometimes impossible – for adopted children to learn anything about their biological family.

silhouette of mother and daughter holding hands in nature at sunset

Photo: 123rf.com

After decades of lobbying by children, parents and concerned whānau, the Justice Department announced earlier this year that it would finally seek to reform the system.

Professor Mark Henaghan, who teaches family law at the University of Auckland, says The detail that society’s attitude towards adoption has changed since the laws were written in 1955, and the legislation simply hasn’t caught up.

“At that time, when a child was born out of wedlock, it was illegitimate. It meant the child was not recognized by law,” he says.

“So for the state, if you have the adoption, that means you have a guarantee that people will bear that financial burden. And that meant that the biological parents no longer existed, they weren’t recognized, nothing on the birth certificate. In fact, the certificates were hidden.


Superpowers cast a big shadow over the Pacific Forum

All eyes were on the 51st annual Pacific Islands Forum in Suva, Fiji this week.

BIP flags


Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

There are monumental issues on the agenda. Fijian Prime Minister and forum chair Frank Bainimarama said in his opening speech that the region was caught in the crossfire of the “deadly three Cs: Covid, climate and conflict, with each factor dangerously aggravating the other, c is the inescapable reality of the situation”. .

WritingNational affairs editor Sam Sachdeva has been on the ground where a series of last-minute withdrawals from the forum – Kiribati, the Cook Islands and the Marshall Islands – have created tension and distractions.

The detail’Sharon Brettkelly also speaks with Tuvalu’s Foreign Minister Simon Kofe, who says US Vice President Kamala Harris’ speech at the forum and focus on geopolitics is distracting attention from climate change.

“If you see it from our perspective, you have these superpowers fighting for their influence in the region and yet we have countries like Tuvalu fighting for their existence. We’re on totally different wavelengths.” , he said.

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