Title: Comment: Maxim Institute in transition? Credit: Craig Young Comment Tuesday 30th January 2007 - 12:00pm1170111600 Article: 1568 Rights
The Maxim Institute seems to be transitioning into what it always said it was - a centre-right policy and research institute. So what does this mean to its erstwhile fundamentalist supporters? One example can be found in Michael Reid's new book, From Innocence to Agents (2006). At almost three hundred pages, it's the largest work that the Institute has ever produced. However, look more closely. Reid used to be employed at the Institute's defunct Christchurch offices, which may imply that this booklet was always a long-term plan. The Institute has been too busy recovering from Logangate to deal much with issues like Section 59 Repeal. Moreover, this book appears to be a lineal descendent of Reid's earlier article, "How Did It Come to This?", first published in Evidence, the Institute's defunct policy journal (under Bruce Logan's editorship), in Winter 2005. Apart from a submission to the relevant select committee, it hasn't done much to oppose the repeal of Section 59 of the Crimes Act, and more hardline Christian Right groups may be grumbling. Ergo, Reid's book appears to allay these fears. As well, the Institute pats Right to Life New Zealand on the head for its work to undermine the Abortion Supervisory Committee at the High Court in its latest Real Issues email newsletter. So, what does this all mean? Note that the New Zealand Votes campaign was directed against fundamentalist party United Future as much as any other party than National, under Don Brash's leadership. Note that for the last year, the Institute has concentrated on its education policy booklets. One is left with the distinct conclusion that the post-Logangate Institute wants to transition into a fully fledged centre-right policy and research institute, but wants to let the former constituency down gracefully, so it pays lip service to its pre-Logangate goals. However, symbolic gestures aren't the same as major interventions. Recommended: Maxim Institute Micheal Reid: "How Did It Get to This?" Evidence 14 (Winter 2005): 20-25. Michael Reid: From Innocence to Agents: Children and Childrens Rights: Auckland: Maxim Institute: 2006 Craig Young - 30th January 2007    
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