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UBI (3). Taxes, income and Welfare

Written By: - Date published: 12:46 pm, January 25th, 2014 - 68 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, Economy, equality, Politics, poverty, quality of life, tax, welfare - Tags:

Continued from. http://thestandard.org.nz/ubi-2-why-should-we-push-for-a-ubi-universal-basic-income/

An often repeated argument against increases in welfare, including UBI, minimum wages, or payments to alleviate poverty, is that it will fuel inflation and most will end up no better off. (More market advocates don’t seem to have the same faith in “the market” to hold prices down for the poor, as they do for the rich). We never see that argument made against the 17 to 20% increases at the top end, which are already fuelling inflation, in food, transport, health and housing, making prices too high for poorer people.

The answer is, to make the rich less wealthy.

The Laffer curve theory, the idea that Government share of the economy displaces private share, is often cited as a reason for not expanding the size of Government spending. The theory is generally given as an argument against higher taxes along with the idea that higher taxes will simply be avoided. The evidence shows, however, up to a certain point, Government spending on infrastructure, education, health, services, welfare and social policy helps the private sector as well. The worlds most successful economies generally have a Government share of the economy greater than ours. We have a lot of room to move in this direction.

However, a UBI is a change in distribution of incomes, not an increase in the size of Government. WINZ will shrink, for a start. So will tax compliance costs for small business.

Higher progressive taxes are inevitable. As Obama said “it is math”.

We cannot have a viable economy/society, while reducing Government services below a minimum, and continuing to borrow, so a few wealthy people can pay less tax. We cannot afford the compounding interest, on the billions required over time, for Nationals unaffordable tax cuts.

Middle to upper middle income PAYE earners claim, with some justification, they are paying a disproportionate share of taxes. They are in the middle, between the better off, who can use tax dodges, and the poor, who do not have enough to pay tax.

A more even distribution of taxes, maybe, with capital gains taxes, financial transaction taxes, wealth/land taxes, which share costs more fairly around all sources of income/wealth, will  allow us to reduce PAYE income taxes share.. Broader definitions of income, for tax, makes the system fairer.

The psychological effect of universality. “I am getting something back for my taxes, even if I am paying more tax than I am getting back” should not be underestimated. If New Zealand super was not universal, it would have been steeply reduced, or gone, 2 decades ago.

The highest marginal tax rates are paid by those on the lowest incomes. Then there are regressive taxes such as GST.  At the bottom end high marginal rates really are a disincentive to work. Abatement rates, plus work and transport costs means a welfare recipient that does some work is often worse off.

At the other end I do not know of anyone who will turn down an extra million dollars in income, because they may have to pay 600 thousand in tax. Certainly didn’t stop me from trying to work harder to raise my income, when marginal tax rates were 60%, in the early 80’s..

I have no sympathy at all with those on high incomes who complain they use the same services as those on low incomes, but are paying a greater dollar amount of tax. They are benefiting the most from the society, NZ taxpayers and workers have built, and from Government services.

That is how they became  wealthier! It is only fair that they pay the most. Chances are,  if they had been born in a country without our education, infrastructure, social and health systems, they would be the one in the cardboard box on the street.

Progressive taxation  is the price of living in a well resourced, pleasant, and cohesive society.

If you don’t like it, move, to a tax free paradise, like Somalia!

But first, Please be consistent with your principles, and give back to New Zealanders all the proportion of your wealth that you gained because of our  efforts and support.

68 comments on “UBI (3). Taxes, income and Welfare”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Good on ya KJT. Succinct as always

  2. RedLogix 2

    Thanks KJT. We’re totally on the same page here and I really appreciate your sustained contribution. It finally feels like the UBI concept is gaining some traction.

    I’ve always thought that there were important aspects of the UBI which have a broad political appeal. What makes sense to your typical conservative Nat voter are:

    1. It treats ALL taxpayers equally. Gareth Morgan spent sometime exploring the importance of vertical and horizontal equity. In other words it treats small and large taxpayers the same (vertical equity) and similar cases the same (horizontal equity).

    2. We can eliminate almost ALL targeted benefits. The entire system is essentially managed via the tax system. Righties understand tax. They might not like it, but they do understand that it is one of life’s universals. Benefits they implacably hate.

    3. No more bene bludgers. No-one can scam the system.

    4. It eliminates an enormously large and expensive bureaucracy (does anyone have the latest admin costs for WINZ? Last I looked it was in the order of $800m pa.) They really love the idea of cutting out administrative waste.

    • karol 2.1

      Yep – universality just plain better all round – reduces admin, is less likely to demonise those on low incomes….

    • weka 2.2

      “We can eliminate almost ALL targeted benefits.”

      What do you mean by almost all? Ill and disabled people, and single parents, to name three, are not insignificant groups.

      Because of that I don’t think WINZ can be completely disbanded. The MoH or the DHBs can manage the supplementary benefits. I would prefer to have my income managed by WINZ, separate from my health care. There are really good reasons for keeping those two things separate. Or did you have a different dept in mind? Maybe it would be good to revert the payments part back to something like the MSW, and have a different dept that assists people finding work.

      • karol 2.2.1

        So, on top of UBI, what kind of targeted benefits would be necessary for the ill, disabled, injured & single parents… and who else?

        Ill, disabled, ACC claimants – medicines, surgery, and rehab, etc. Cost of living supplements?

        Single parents – extra income for the children?

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1

          The children would be getting their own universal payment (although paid to the parent(s)).

        • Mike S 2.2.1.2

          “Single parents – extra income for the children?”

          Wouldn’t each child’s ubi (administered by their parent) be the extra income for the children?

          The inflation side of things could be a little tricky. The income increases at the top end as mentioned in the article do increase real inflation in that all additional money coming into the overall money supply inflates the money supply. However, those increases are concentrated in a small number of hands so they would have a different affect on the CPI or price inflation, which is what matters most to people, especially those on lower incomes.

          With the introduction of a ubi for every natural person in the country, there would most certainly be a sharp increase in demand for things like food, which are relevant to the cpi. (With more money in people’s pockets, they are going to want to buy things that they previously couldn’t afford) The result of increased demand is generally increased prices (an increase in the cpi or published inflation rate)

          So, in my opinion, a ubi would lead to an initial increase in prices (cpi), which would stabilize over time. However, assuming that the ubi is funded from the existing money supply via taxes (i.e doesn’t require government borrowing) then it theoretically should have no direct effect upon real inflation, as the existing money supply is not being inflated.

          In simple terms, there would be the same amount of money for all of the goods and services in the economy, but due to the change in distribution and spread of that money, it would theoretically be inflationary (in terms of consumer price inflation) due to increased demand for the goods and services.

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.2.1

            You’ll also need to include the dynamics of sufficient competition and under utilised (spare) productive capacity. Put simply, if competition for each dollar is fierce, and there is considerable productive slack still to be taken up, price rises will be highly constrained.

            In addition, for a lot of people, extra dollars on hand will not necessarily go into consumer spending. Retiring bank or credit card debt, and increasing savings are examples of activities which will not fuel consumer item price inflation.

          • geoff 2.2.1.2.2

            @Mike S
            Can you explain how food price inflation could occur? What’s the mechanism?

            • KJT 2.2.1.2.2.1

              This probably deserves a whole post on its own, but, briefly.

              As a general rule inflation occurs when you have too much money chasing too little goods and services.

              The idea is that if you give poor people more money to buy food then the price of food will simply increase offsetting the advantage of the increase.

              We see the effect all ready with accommodation supplements pushing rents up. The landlord gets the benefit not the tenant. The price stays up because the housing stock available for rent is limited. Which is why a UBI needs to be paired with other initiatives, such as state housing.

              In a “market economy” an initial price rise triggers more production of food, and the price drops back towards equilibrium, so long as the capability to produce more food exists (elasticity of supply).
              New Zealand most definitely does have the capability to produce much more food. We feed many times our population already.

              It is funny that the same people who claim an absolute faith in “the market” don’t have the same faith when it involves people at the bottom end, instead of the top, having more spending power.
              It can work just as easily for food as it does to reduce the cost of flat screen TV’s and airline flights.

              It may mean some rebalancing, from dairying to pay for unneeded imported junk, to market gardening for local consumption. Which is good for local economics and our balance of payments.

              • Colonial Viper

                Ask anyone who works in a supermarket and they will tell you that bins full of fresh produce, baked goods and other food gets disposed of every day. Plenty of hungry kids in NZ; no shortage of food. Fucking market economy.

                • greywarbler

                  We could all phone a nearby supermarket/s and find out what they do with their dated goods. Then write a letter to the paper advising. And ask if there are groups who could collect the food box it and deliver it to houses where there are people having difficulties with cost etc.

                  Get people thinking and put some pressure on supermarkets. Get groups formed to do this. Don’t rely on foodbanks to do it. They will be fully loaded with what they are doing.

                  And they are under WINZ thumb. WINZ often won’t provide the food themselves through various options like vouchers, or only part of what is needed, but they try and control the distribution of this community food. People can get turned away from food help that people have provided for other people, not for the government to withhold at their will. Or they have to go through some budgeting advice thing, where they have to expose their miserable lives and management of money to smarter people who can tell them what they can do without so they don’t need regular help. As the song goes ‘Nobody knows you when you’re down and out.’
                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O24KixmFFc

                  • Molly

                    I had an idea after watching a couple or programmes about supermarket waste.

                    1. Set up a charitable trust.
                    2. Coordinate with supermarkets – and get them to donate their expired goods on the day before expiry. Give them a receipt for goods donated.
                    3. Supermarket then avoids disposal costs AND can claim back from tax on that charitable donation.
                    4. Now here is the kicker – arrange for the supermarket to donate half of that tax rebate back to the charity to pay for admin/transport/operational costs etc. The supermarket then can claim on that donation for a further 30% tax rebate.
                    5. Food can then be:
                    – distributed via food banks,
                    – used to contribute towards community meals – with a nominal payment or koha,
                    – used to supplement composting schemes in community gardens etc
                    – used to run free/or minimal fee classes about healthy cooking, with participants taking the results home to family – or sharing them on site
                    – used to set up a soup group etc.

                    What appeals to me about this idea is that regardless of which government is in – they will continue to be assisting by funding the operational/admin costs via the charitable tax rebate.

                • weka

                  “Ask anyone who works in a supermarket and they will tell you that bins full of fresh produce, baked goods and other food gets disposed of every day. Plenty of hungry kids in NZ; no shortage of food. Fucking market economy.”

                  Indeed. And fucking capitalist state backed up by the police/’justice’ system. If any of us were to go and take food that’s been dumped from the skips at the back of a supermarket we would be charged with theft. Property rights trump rights to be healthy and well-fed.

                  I’d be interested to know where this has been tried before, what the supermarket owners thinkg about donating food that would otherwise be dumped. Do they believe that they are doing themselves out of customers by making some food ‘free’?

              • geoff

                I’m much more inclined to think it is a situation where the supermarkets will charge what the market can bear rather than some actual supply/demand.

                I think that the global food market from which NZ’s two main supermarket companies draw their stock is so large that the idea that extra demand from any UBI scheme could cause price increases is absurd.

                Much more likely that the supermarkets oligarchs would just charge more because they can .

                Just one of many reasons why UBI is not a panacea.

      • RedLogix 2.2.2

        Because of that I don’t think WINZ can be completely disbanded. The MoH or the DHBs can manage the supplementary benefits.

        That is a worthwhile question. My brother is deaf-blind so I’m pretty aware of the issues. He’s quite keen on any specific costs relating to his disability being managed by his health care providers. From his perspective they are the ones who know and understand what he requires, therefore they are the best placed to fund it.

        One of his biggest frustrations is the constant ‘pass the parcel’ and finger pointing that goes on in the current system.

        I would prefer to have my income managed by WINZ,

        The UBI vision I have in mind completely eliminates WINZ. The whole system is greatly simplified if every person has one single IRD-linked bank account.

        IRD simply credit that account weekly with the UBI – for everyone. Call it ‘negative taxation’ if you like.

        Many features of the current system are there simply because of the limitations of slow paper-based, clerk-driven accounting systems we had to use decades ago.

        • Sacha 2.2.2.1

          “From his perspective they are the ones who know and understand what he requires, therefore they are the best placed to fund it.”

          I have to say that’s not a common belief in my experience. I’d bet most disabled New Zealanders would rather separate out provision of their support services from income management. Could split responsibilities between providers and some form of regional coordination agencies like the current NASCs and DHBs. Should be possible for different models to coexist anyway.

          • RedLogix 2.2.2.1.1

            I’d bet most disabled New Zealanders would rather separate out provision of their support services from income management

            I’m not quibbling with your experience, but I think you’re missing the core point here – under the UBI model it is your income management.

            Nothing else needed.

            • weka 2.2.2.1.1.1

              If there is one UBI per person, how do ill/disabled people live when they have higher needs? Someone has to assess how much extra income they need, based on individual circumstances. At the moment it is done poorly by WINZ, but the health system manages such things poorly as well, we just don’t see it because there is no health system ‘bludger’ culture in NZ (I can tell you many power and control, treating people like shit stories from the health system)

              In the 90s, the funding for homecare and personal cares for ill/disabled people was restructured into what was called the funder/provider split. DHBs, who get the money from the govt to provide services, were not supposed to be assessing who needed the services because that was seen as a conflict of interest ie if they needed to cut their budget they could just start reassessing people as having less need (which is apparently what was happening in some areas before the change).

              There are many things wrong with how the new system was set up (not least that the provision of services was set up to be provided by private, profit-driven, businesses in competition with each other, of the huge excess of management positions that exist now), but the fundamental principle is sound. My GP is qualified to say what my medical needs are. She is not qualified to put those needs in the context of what the govt can afford to pay. Likewise, I don’t want someone in the MoH, who has an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff approach to health, AND a budgetary imperative, overriding what my GP and I know about my health care.

              • RedLogix

                If there is one UBI per person, how do ill/disabled people live when they have higher needs?

                The idea is that the UBI should be an adequate baseline for everyone, which IRD can readily manage without any evaluation or targeting.

                Those extra higher needs that arise from a disability are probably best managed by those organisations best able to evaluate and assist. As a disabled person you would receive a baseline UBI as of right – anything over an above that, specific to your disability, would be managed via the health system.

                I’ve no especial position around how that breaks down within the health system – I’d happily defer to your experience.

                • McFlock

                  I think it’s a bit inconsistent to argue that WINZ can be eliminated completely, when part of the proposal is to simply redistribute the more complicated cases amongst several different organisations. So we save on WINZ, but MoH, DHB, HousingNZ etc all have increased administration (not to mention the pass-the-parcel between organisations).

                  It’s like arguing pay increases for elite teachers to spend a fifth of their time mentoring others, but saying nothing about how schools are to replace that time that had been spent actually teaching.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Nevertheless, to be seen as getting rid of govt bureaucracy, simplifying systems and eliminating the need for a highly paid chief executive is a vote winner.

                    • McFlock

                      Ah, so we should lie to win votes.

                      I merely thought we were considering the actual merits and efficiencies of the policy, rather than discussing how to con people into accepting it.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      which of the above point(s) is the lie?

                    • RedLogix

                      Not to mention a fair chunk of those 800,000 non-voters might just turn up on the promise of getting rid of WINZ.

                    • weka

                      “Ah, so we should lie to win votes.”

                      I would phrase it as “ah, so we should compromise disability policy to win votes”. Which is pretty fucked.

                      “Those extra higher needs that arise from a disability are probably best managed by those organisations best able to evaluate and assist. As a disabled person you would receive a baseline UBI as of right – anything over an above that, specific to your disability, would be managed via the health system.”

                      That’s just taken us around in circles. My original comment assumed a base UBI for everyone, with topups for those that needed it. You assert that topups would be managed via Health. I’m saying they shouldn’t be.

                      “I’ve no especial position around how that breaks down within the health system – I’d happily defer to your experience.”

                      Yes, and at least two of us with experience are saying don’t put income provision into the health system. I wonder if you are thinking that the topups are health services. They’re not, they’re income. Not something that the health system is designed to deal with, nor should be dealing with.

                      What are your reasons for wanting to completely disband WINZ?

                    • RedLogix

                      Having IRD manage the UBI gets rid of at least 90% of what WINZ does in pure dolllar terms.

                      The whole idea is to eliminate targeted benefits, and that will never happen as long as WINZ exists.

                      Better to get rid of it and transfer any remaining rump functions onto those govt organisations whose actual purpose is to provide them.

                    • weka

                      You’re not making sense Red. Either we agree that targeted supplementary benefits are needed, and then we decide who should deliver them. Or they’re not needed, in which case people with disabilities will be disadvantaged.

                      But you are saying that targeted benefits should be eliminated AND provided for by a govt dept. Which is it?

                      Why do you think that the Health system should be involved in income provision?

                    • RedLogix

                      In order to work the UBI would have to be set at a level that would replace all existing benefits.

                      Of course not all benefits are the same. The DPB for example is higher because of the cost of the children and their extra housing needs. Easily managed with a lesser UBI for each child and the extra housing provision via HNZ.

                      Now I’ve no idea specifically how much more than this you would require to meet your higher disability related needs – but IRD would be in the worst position to evaluate them. But the Health system is and therefore they should provide them.

                      Does this make you worse off or not? I have no idea, it really just depends on exact policy settings.

                      To my mind getting rid of the whole idea of benefits and beneficiaries and getting to universality is worth any re-organisational costs.

                    • McFlock

                      which of the above point(s) is the lie?

                      ” getting rid of govt bureaucracy, simplifying systems ”

                      All very well in theory, but not so hot for complex cases. Lots of opportunity for people in the real world to go to appointments with MoH to be told that the DHB handles that function, or not know that they need to go to IRD to get a top-up for clothing assistance, and so on.

                      I get that the UBI might solve problems for the bulk of people, but there will still be exceptions to that rule. And as soon as there are exceptions, someone needs to take on extra paperwork. Basically, a complete removal of WINZ might end up placing more barriers in front of people truly in need, rather than solving their problems.

                    • RedLogix

                      I’m trying to avoid making assumptions about your disability and the higher needs you refer to.

                      But I’m imagining that they involve a bundle of extra expenses spent of various services and needs that are personal to you and you alone.

                      All I am suggesting is that the Health system simply provides them to you gratis. Just like they provide largely free health and emergency care to the rest of us.

                      Of course this may well leave a cash gap of some kind which is what I’m thinking is the nub of what you are concerned about. Fair enough – but it should not be so very large that we couldn’t think of a some innovative ways to cover it. You would be in a better place to propose them than me.

                      A similar problem arises with Superannuation. Using Gareth Morgan’s figures the UBI for two people would be somewhat less than current Super for a couple .. but he goes on to outline a number of ways the gap could be bridged.

                    • weka

                      “In order to work the UBI would have to be set at a level that would replace all existing benefits.”

                      Why?

                      “Now I’ve no idea specifically how much more than this you would require to meet your higher disability related needs – but IRD would be in the worst position to evaluate them. But the Health system is and therefore they should provide them.”

                      I think you are confusing health services and income. Why do you think that the Health should provide income? Currently my GP assesses my disability needs and WINZ pays income based on that. Why should the MoH take over the role of my GP and WINZ? Income provision isn’t something they do, and they currently contract out needs assessment to private organisations for the support services that aren’t medical (eg home help and personal cares). Did you read what I wrote about the funder/provider split? Do you understand what I meant in the context of the UBI?

                      “Does this make you worse off or not? I have no idea, it really just depends on exact policy settings.”

                      I believe that I personally would be much worse off if Health was assessing my needs rather than my GP. That’s not true for everyone, but you are very naive if you think that Health is somehow good at supporting people with disabilities. We as a country fuck this up quite badly alot of the time.

                      “To my mind getting rid of the whole idea of benefits and beneficiaries and getting to universality is worth any re-organisational costs.”

                      The thing that concerns me is that that sounds ideological. However you’re not talking about universality. You’re suggesting ghettoising disability costs so that they don’t look like a benefit.

                    • weka

                      “I get that the UBI might solve problems for the bulk of people, but there will still be exceptions to that rule. And as soon as there are exceptions, someone needs to take on extra paperwork. Basically, a complete removal of WINZ might end up placing more barriers in front of people truly in need, rather than solving their problems.”

                      Spot on McFlock.

                      RedLogix:

                      “I’m trying to avoid making assumptions about your disability and the higher needs you refer to.

                      But I’m imagining that they involve a bundle of extra expenses spent of various services and needs that are personal to you and you alone.”

                      Don’t know what you mean there. If you mean each person has needs specific to their disability, then yes. If you mean no-one else has similar needs to me, then no.

                      “All I am suggesting is that the Health system simply provides them to you gratis. Just like they provide largely free health and emergency care to the rest of us.”

                      But many things currently covered by disability allowance under WINZ are not provided by the Health system. I really think you are confusing income and services.

                      I also wonder how people with disabilities not related to health would feel about having to got to Health for income. You are making massive assumptions by saying that income should be placed under Health.

                      “Of course this may well leave a cash gap of some kind which is what I’m thinking is the nub of what you are concerned about. Fair enough – but it should not be so very large that we couldn’t think of a some innovative ways to bridge it.”

                      All I can say is that based on this conversation so far, I really hope that people with disabilities don’t end up sitting across the desk from you when they need to get their income sorted out. Sorry, but I think you are arguing from a place of relative ignorance.

                      “A similar problem arises with Superannuation. Using Gareth Morgan’s figures the UBI for two people would be somewhat less than current Super for a couple .. but he goes on to outline a number of ways the gap could be bridged.”

                      What does he say about disability?

                    • RedLogix

                      But many things currently covered by disability allowance under WINZ are not provided by the Health system.

                      Such as? And does WINZ actually provide them?

                      If you have extra housing needs then HNZ are the obvious actual provider. Extra transport costs – the taxi driver just bills the DHB according to an agreed schedule.

                      And so on. If you think about it, WINZ don’t provide anything, they merely fund it. The actual provision of your specific disability needs always come from somewhere else – and they can be readily funded to provide them.

                      Now this doesn’t leave you entirely at the mercy of a heartless bureaucracy – you still have the same UBI cash to spend that everyone else gets.

                      As for being ignorant – you tell us what the exact problem is here. You claim extra costs because you are disabled. Fine I’m more than happy provide those services and meet those expenses gratis.

                      Now what have I missed?

                    • McFlock

                      Redlogix:
                      under a UBI with no WINZ at all, if a poorer family has a house fire and looses all their bedding and groceries, who do they go to for replacements?

                    • RedLogix

                      I agree I’m being a little ideological about getting rid of WINZ.

                      However if the UBI is set high enough it should cover the big majority of ‘exceptions’ – at least 90% of them I would imagine. That leaves only a rump of cases that I argue could be readily absorbed into existing government entities who are far better placed than WINZ to actually provide those needs.

                      The introduction of the UBI would be the single most radical political act since the First Labour govt’s first 100 days. I’m challenging people to put their thinking caps on and come up with better ways to provide the other 10% of remaining functions that would need to be met if we completely dismantled WINZ. There’s nothing sacrosanct about the organisation.

                      The other point everyone keeps overlooking is that the UBI system makes it much more attractive to earn extra part-time income. Many disabled people (my brother remarkably so) can undertake work or self-employment of some kind and the UBI would eliminate the high marginal tax rates this entails at present. Ideally everyone would be on the same flat tax rate (somewhere between 30-40%). Even an extra few hundred dollars a week gross income would make a big difference.

                      The other aspect is that the whole stand-down period currently applicable to many benefits would also disappear.

                      As for emergency benefits as you mention McFLock – surely you can think of some ways around this? How about funding some NGO’s like the Salvation Army to do this? They’ve a pretty good track record in this area. Or the govt simply funds it’s own insurance scheme to cover these kinds of needs?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I think McFlock and Weka are pointing out some important issues to consider.

                      The bottom line being is that there will be an ongoing need in society for social workers who will advocate for clients, help co-ordinate services and additional payments, as well as provide other professional support.

                      There are of course lots of different ways that this provision of social support services can be structured and located.

                    • weka

                      we’re getting out of synch here, not sure which of my comments you have read…

                      I agree I’m being a little ideological about getting rid of WINZ.

                      I think we could move this conversation along ALOT if you just stopped saying ‘move the issues to Health’

                      However if the UBI is set high enough it should cover the big majority of ‘exceptions’ – at least 90% of them I would imagine.

                      Ok, so me without a disability gets $100. I can choose to spend that on my basic needs and still have some discretionary income. Me with a disability gets the same $100, I get to spend that on my basic needs, my disability realted needs, but I have no discretionary income. How is that fair? (by me, I don’t really mean me, I mean anyone in that situation).

                      btw, some UBI advocates suggest setting the rate at below a living wage.

                      That leaves only a rump of cases that I argue could be readily absorbed into existing government entities who are far better placed than WINZ to actually provide those needs.

                      <*bangs head on desk*. Can you please understand that this is about INCOME, not service provision. Which other department is better suited to income provision than WORK AND INCOME NZ?

                      The introduction of the UBI would be the single most radical political act since the First Labour govt’s first 100 days. I’m challenging people to put their thinking caps on and come up with better ways to provide the other 10% of remaining functions that would need to be met if we completely dismantled WINZ. There’s nothing sacrosanct about the organisation.

                      No, there isn’t. But you have made a poor and potentially damaging suggestion of the alternative.

                      The other point everyone keeps overlooking is that the UBI system makes it much more attractive to earn extra part-time income. Many disabled people (my brother remarkably so) can undertake work or self-employment of some kind and the UBI would eliminate the high marginal tax rates this entails at present. Ideally everyone would be on the same flat tax rate (somewhere between 30-40%). Even an extra few hundred dollars a week gross income would make a big difference.

                      Yes, but you can remove the abatement issue when the UBI gets introduced. You don’t have to disband WINZ to do that.

                      The other aspect is that the whole stand-down period currently applicable to many benefits would also disappear.

                      Again, you don’t have to disband WINZ to do that, just remove the policy.

                      As for emergency benefits as you mention McFLock – surely you can think of some ways around this? How about funding some NGO’s like the Salvation Army to do this? They’ve a pretty good track record in this area. Or the govt simply funds it’s own insurance scheme to cover these kinds of needs?

                      See my previous point about it’s better to fund people in need directly, than it is to pay someone else to manage that funding.

                    • weka

                      The bottom line being is that there will be an ongoing need in society for social workers who will advocate for clients, help co-ordinate services and additional payments, as well as provide other professional support.

                      There are of course lots of different ways that this provision of social support services can be structured and located.

                      Yep, and the last bit is especially important. We shouldn’t be pre-empting how taht could be done by just lumping it into Health because we want to get rid of WINZ. Let’s look at how it could be done in the best way (and that might or might not be via WINZ).

                    • McFlock

                      As for emergency benefits as you mention McFLock – surely you can think of some ways around this? How about funding some NGO’s like the Salvation Army to do this? They’ve a pretty good track record in this area. Or the govt simply funds it’s own insurance scheme to cover these kinds of needs?

                      So your simplification of bureaucracy is to replace a government department with contracting out social assistance or aother government department (for insurance)?

                      The devil is in the details – if WINZ was replaced by the UBI in one fell swoop, and our rough arsetimate of 10% without met needs is accurate or an undercount, that’s a policy failure the tories will exploit to nuke the entire thing. Yes, administration costs will be reduced, but I’d be expecting by the area of 30%, not anywhere near a compete elimination.

                    • RedLogix

                      Somewhere along the way you seem to have gotten the wrong end of the stick.

                      The UBI I have in mind would have to replace all current benefits and Super. That’s a LOT more than $100 per week. Probably somewhere between $200-300 pw. In addition BOTH partners get it unconditionally. Children get a smaller one.

                      The gap between this and your extra needs can be funded or provided in any number of ways – you just no longer need WINZ to do it. Nor does it have to imply any loss of choice or agency on your part.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      under a UBI with no WINZ at all, if a poorer family has a house fire and looses all their bedding and groceries, who do they go to for replacements?

                      HNZ and state insurance?

                      Can you please understand that this is about INCOME, not service provision.

                      No it’s not as you point out in the same comment:
                      Me with a disability gets the same $100, I get to spend that on my basic needs, my disability realted needs, but I have no discretionary income.
                      Your disability needs will be covered by the provider and so you would still have the same discretionary income.

                      Now, I agree that some unscrupulous bastards will try to rort the system which is why such provision would be completely transparent.

                      Why do you think that the MoH should be the ones to help a family with bedding and groceries? They’re not health service issues.

                      A) Nobody has said that the MoH should
                      B) The UBI will more than cover those

                      You really are not getting the difference here. I’ve explained this ad nauseum.

                      Actually, the problem is that you’ve misunderstood everything that RL has said ad nauseam and not made any suggestions yourself – as per usual.

                      After all that I suspect that we’ll end up with a small government department that covers a few small extraneous expenses such as fire lost groceries but it won’t be called WINZ but something more along the lines of Social Security.

                    • McFlock
                      under a UBI with no WINZ at all, if a poorer family has a house fire and looses all their bedding and groceries, who do they go to for replacements?

                      HNZ and state insurance?
                      […]

                      After all that I suspect that we’ll end up with a small government department that covers a few small extraneous expenses such as fire lost groceries but it won’t be called WINZ but something more along the lines of Social Security.

                      I suspect the latter, too. But to be accessible it will also have to have locations or at least representatives all around the country, just like WINZ. And hell, they might as well provide assistance finding work, too.

                    • weka


                      “Can you please understand that this is about INCOME, not service provision.”

                      No it’s not as you point out in the same comment:
                      “Me with a disability gets the same $100, I get to spend that on my basic needs, my disability realted needs, but I have no discretionary income.”

                      Your disability needs will be covered by the provider and so you would still have the same discretionary income.

                      Can you please clarify (provider of what?). Are you saying that I won’t be funded directly (as per current system), but that lots of different people and agenices will meet my disability needs directly and the state will pay that person?

                      “Why do you think that the MoH should be the ones to help a family with bedding and groceries? They’re not health service issues.”

                      A) Nobody has said that the MoH should
                      B) The UBI will more than cover those

                      Red is suggesting that all this be done through Health. If that’s not via the MoH, what dept would do it?

                      The bedding/groceries was McFlock’s example of losing those things in a fire. I agree that state insurance is one way to go. Presumably free of premium cost to the person who needs cover, because someone on an income of $200 a week won’t be able to afford that.

                      “You really are not getting the difference here. I’ve explained this ad nauseum.”

                      Actually, the problem is that you’ve misunderstood everything that RL has said ad nauseam and not made any suggestions yourself

                      But I have given a reason for why I’m not making those suggestions yet in the conversation with him. Did you understand that?

                      – as per usual.

                      Please take your shit about me somewhere else, it’s not helpful.

                      After all that I suspect that we’ll end up with a small government department that covers a few small extraneous expenses such as fire lost groceries but it won’t be called WINZ but something more along the lines of Social Security.

                      yes, exactly, and this fits with what CV has said too at 8:47pm (which I agreed with). Reverting WINZ back to something like the Ministry of Social Welfare and scaling it down is one way to go. Separate work/employment support from other welfare. I have made this suggestion in other threads.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      But to be accessible it will also have to have locations or at least representatives all around the country, just like WINZ.

                      Seen the WINZ site lately? They’re slowly getting to the point that you can do it most of it online. If this is successful then offices become even smaller and it may actually be better for any face to face to be done at your place.

                      And hell, they might as well provide assistance finding work, too.

                      If the government is going to run a recruitment agency make it a dedicated department. WINZ is actually too broad as it tries to do everything.

                      Are you saying that I won’t be funded directly (as per current system), but that lots of different people and agenices will meet my disability needs directly and the state will pay that person?

                      Yes.

                      Red is suggesting that all this be done through Health.

                      No he didn’t – he used health as an example of greater needs that would be supplied to those that needed them. He didn’t say that all greater expenses would be met through MoH.

                  • RedLogix

                    But that’s exactly how the heath system works for all of us. Your GP or specialist determines what you need and the system then pays to provide it.

                    It works because it is universally available to everyone and yet neatly adapted to each person’s need. If for (a silly) example I need a boil lancing I don’t get booked for a heart-transplant. It meets my specific targeted needs without anyone thinking of it as a benefit.

                    • weka

                      You still don’t understand the difference between income (where I get to choose where, when, and to an extent how I spend the money) and service (where other people tell me how I will get my needs met, tell me who will meet them, when etc, and then often fail to meet those needs). Big difference.

                      “But many things currently covered by disability allowance under WINZ are not provided by the Health system.

                      Such as?”

                      eg Costs of extra heating. WINZ currently do an assessment based on where you live and what the average costs are for that area. Nothing to do with health provision. The service is provided by private power companies, and is funded by the state via WINZ.

                      eg Phone and line rental (not sure if this is available to new applicants). It’s a set amount, paid into the beneficiaries bank account each week. Nothing to do with health provision, service provided by private telcos.

                      eg health services not provided by the public health system or ACC (for instance massage therapy, accupuncture).

                      eg counselling (and no, the MoH should definitely not be getting involved in this. Individuals should be free to choose the counsellor they want to see).

                      “And does WINZ actually provide them?”

                      GP writes on form that Jane needs x, y, z. Jane provides proof of how much x, y, z cost. WINZ pays money for x, y, z into Jane’s bank account. Jane spends money on her needs as she sees fit.

                      btw, I’m not seeing the GPs as part of the public health system here. Despite the subsidy, they are independent practitioners.

                      “If you have extra housing needs then HNZ are the obvious actual provider. Extra transport costs – the taxi driver just bills the DHB according to an agreed schedule.”

                      Not all disabilities are health related. I think you will find that many people with disabilities don’t want to be dependent on Health (ie a system designed around illness for their income). Disability is not equivalent to illness.

                      “And so on. If you think about it, WINZ don’t provide anything, they merely fund it.”

                      YES. I’ve been saying that all along. I need INCOME, not service provision.

                      “The actual provision of your specific disability needs always come from somewhere else – and they can be readily funded to provide them.”

                      Ok, so what you are saying is that the MoH can take over the administration of delivering income to people with disabilties. Not health services, but income. Right?

                      “Now this doesn’t leave you entirely at the mercy of a heartless bureaucracy – you still have the same UBI cash to spend that everyone else gets.”

                      You’ve missed again.

                      “As for being ignorant – you tell us what the exact problem is here. You claim extra costs because you are disabled. Fine I’m more than happy provide those services and meet those expenses gratis.”

                      Yes, we already established that. I’m saying don’t do it via Health (whose job is healthcare, not income provision).

                      In general, it is better to fund people to manage their own needs than it is to hand that management over to a bureaucracy, unless the person is unable to manage it for themselves (and even then there are other options). You might appreciate the irony of me having to argue this point given the rights’ rhetoric about how beneficiaries can’t be trusted to use their money properly.

                      There are ways of doing this, but until you get past the idea that this is all about health provision and should be via MoH, we can’t discuss them.

                    • weka

                      “It works because it is universally available to everyone and yet neatly adapted to each person’s need.”

                      In theory. In practice it often doesn’t work like that. In many cases people get failed badly.

                      Why do you think that the MoH should be the ones to help a family with bedding and groceries? They’re not health service issues.

                      “It meets my specific targeted needs without anyone thinking of it as a benefit.”

                      And yet you’ve said we should be doing away with health targeted benefits. Or are you suggesting that someone from the MoH goes out and buys the new bedding and groceries? Why would you pay someone to do that when you could give the money directly to the person in need?

                    • RedLogix

                      Yes I do understand the difference between income that you have the choice in how you spend – and a service provided that is provided with no choice.

                      First of all when it comes to health care, unless you have private health insurance – you are in exactly the same boat as the rest of us.

                      Secondly – as with all the rest of us – it is you and your GP or Specialist who negotiates with the health system for the services that will best meet your needs. That’s the point at which you retain your power of choice.

                      Thirdly – you overlook the obvious possibilities for private sector providers of your choice to simply invoice a department for the extra services you are entitled to. For example your electricity company applies a discount to your power bill and then invoices the DHB for the balance according to an agreed schedule. Same for counselling.

                      Fourthly – you still have your UBI income as of right. Same as everyone else.

                      And yes there is a real opportunity here to change the nature of some major government functions like health and housing. Imagine if they were properly designed to assist with peoples welfare instead of just their illness?

                      Yes the UBI is a radical change. Lot’s of things might change – it’s a chance to think through the possibilities and come up with new ideas.

                    • weka

                      Yes I do understand the difference between income that you have the choice in how you spend – and a service provided that is provided with no choice.

                      First of all when it comes to health care, unless you have private health insurance – you are in exactly the same boat as the rest of us.

                      No. See my example above re the $100. If you don’t accept that then you are saying that able bodied people are more entitled to support, because they can afford it.

                      And I would really love to know who you mean by ‘you’ and who you mean by ‘the rest of us’ in that sentence. Please claridfy.

                      Secondly – as with all the rest of us – it is you and your GP or Specialist who negotiates with the health system for the services that will best meet your needs. That’s the point at which you retain your power of choice.

                      No. At the moment my GP and I document my medical needs and WINZ pays for them. It’s not a negotiation between my GP and the health system (where is the client in that statement btw?). You really are not getting the difference here. I’ve explained this ad nauseum. Try rereading my comments, or asking for clarification.

                      Thirdly – you overlook the obvious possibilities for private sector providers of your choice to simply invoice a department for the extra services you are entitled to. For example your electricity company applies a discount to your power bill and then invoices the DHB for the balance according to an agreed schedule. Same for counselling.

                      No, I’m not overlooking that. It’s just problematic because it introduces another layer of accounting for the govt dept, and it takes power away from the client. Also, how does the private power company or counsellor know what the entitlement is?

                      Please answer this yes or no. Are you ok with the MoH providing FUNDING to people with disabilities? ie they don’t get involved in needs assessment or service provision, they’re just accountants.

                      Fourthly – you still have your UBI income as of right. Same as everyone else.

                      No idea why you said that, because it’s been a given right from the start.

                      And yes there is a real opportunity here to change the nature of some major government functions like health and housing. Imagine if they were properly designed to assist with peoples welfare instead of just their illness?

                      Yes, but that’s not going to happen with the kind of thinking you are displaying here. And it’s certainly not going to happen from within the MoH as it functions currently.

                      Yes the UBI is a radical change. Lot’s of things might change – it’s a chance to think through the possibilities and come up with new ideas.

                      And on that particularly patronising note I will leave this discussion.

                      And you know what? I don’t speak for people with illness or disabilities, and those voices are hugely diverse. But I do have a huge amount of experience in this area, not just my own personal situation, but many other peoples and many of the politics involved. You could have used this thread as an opportunity to pick my brains (and other peoples) in thinking through the possibilites and new ideas. Instead you are choosing to entrench in your idea that this is all about Health and how YOU see this should work. I’m telling you that what you are suggesting is likely to be problematic, and that there are better ways to approach this, but I don’t get the sense that you are listening. IMO that will be a stumbling block for deveoping the UBI further in this forum.

                    • RedLogix

                      Just above I was pointing out that the UBI I have in mind would have to be in the $200-300 range in order to eliminate all other benefits. That’s point – to eliminate the targeting which is the root cause of so many fatal flaws in the current system.

                      Bear in mind that it’s Universal, every adult in the household gets it, it’s not subject to standown or abatement. Bear in mind that there is no barrier to earning part-time income.

                      This eliminates in dollar terms at least 90% of what WINZ does. It’s a chance to radically restructure how government delivers services and real welfare for the community.

                      As for playing the ‘patronising’ card. I repeatedly asked you for suggestions that were not simply a defense of the status quo with WINZ. There are plenty of ways to implement disability policy without WINZ that don’t impinge on your choice or agency – but you point blank refused to countenance any of them. I put up half a dozen suggestions and with all your experience and knowledge you put up nothing new at all.

                      Interesting how the moment someone suggests a change that actually impacts on your life and you suddenly get all conservative on me. Disappointing.

                    • RedLogix

                      And I would really love to know who you mean by ‘you’ and who you mean by ‘the rest of us’ in that sentence. Please claridfy.

                      We are discussing the difference between the needs of of disabled people and non-disabled people in terms of income support. It’s your distinction – not mine.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      RL, I think that weka has got much invested in terms of hard-won understanding and knowledge about how the current system works, and can be made to work practically.

                      With the major changes that you are envisaging, not only is much of that working knowledge being threatened, but it’s not easy to envisage how the new system would fairly and equitably deal with the edge cases requiring more attention and support.

                    • McFlock

                      RL,

                      What I think you’re forgetting is that assistance needs to be easily accessible for the person in need, not for the system.

                      $300p.w. will help a lot of people, but we cannot forget the people for whom it is insufficient either chronically or in occasional emergency circumstances. Waving a hand and assuming the DHB will handle individual objections we might think of here is insufficient – we need a system that can handle the problems that we can’t think of here. That means a service that people can go to for social assistance, reimbursement for eye tests or footwear, and so on. Nobody’s clinging to WINZ per se, but there’s a real threat of a kafka-esque situation of “falling through the cracks” (as they say when someone not getting what they urgently need is always the fault of some other department).

                    • weka

                      CV,

                      With the major changes that you are envisaging, not only is much of that working knowledge being threatened, but it’s not easy to envisage how the new system would fairly and equitably deal with the edge cases requiring more attention and support.

                      I support racial change of various systems including the introduction of a UBI.

                      Fwiw,

                      Instate a UBI as discussed (but whether that is a liveable income or a sub-liveable, benefit replacement makes a huge difference to the disability issues and how they could be resolved).

                      Separate out work/employment issues from social security/welfare (not my area, but put support finding work in the same department as job creation?)

                      Get rid of the name WINZ (and all the neoliberal incarnations of the last 20+ years). I don’t know if WINZ should be disbanded entirely, or just rejigged to be smaller and better managed (I’m not sure what the precedents are for removing a whole dept and then creating a new one from scratch. WINZ is a pretty dysfunctional dept, but there are probably salvageable things there, esp in some staff that have been there a long time). Either way, make it about social security rather than Health (this includes the kinds of examples McFlock was talking about). If the problem here is that social security is part of the bene bashing/resentment culture, then come up with a new name and concept.

                      Use an individualised, self-managed funding model (MoH have a system of this for some disability clients to access homehelp and personal cares). This means the person with the disability is funded directly (from a social security dept), and is accountable for how that funding is spent. They can get support for developing a plan if needed. Prioritise client centred models rather than using professionals who think they know best (which is what you will get if you put all this into Health).

                      Funding under a certain amount is accessed via the client with support from a primary medical practitioner or other suitable professional (current WINZ system, but no cap) ie the client applies with GP support and is paid weekly or whatever. This give the client a great deal of control over how to manage their life. This is one of the ways that the current WINZ system works well, when staff implement it correctly (the problem is that they often don’t).

                      Funding over that might need to be via a needs assessment, but there are some problems with how this is already done by the state in some areas (am happy to outline those if needed). I’m assuming this will be needed because the govt will want to control large payments more closely.

                      Entitlements (but probably find another name if this is about changing the bene bashign culture) can be reviewed periodically, depending on the individuals circumstances (eg long term or temp disability).

                    • RedLogix

                      Yeah all that makes sense weka. Without trying to be provocative let me explore this theme for a moment…

                      There are a lot of govt services that we all receive, like infrastructure, education, health, justice, etc over which we have very little agency. Yet we accept this because it makes sense from an egalitarian perspective that the state should treat people alike as far as possible.

                      By contrast arguing that the individuals should be given the income to manage their own services is not all that far removed from ACT’s old ‘school voucher’ system in principle. That was based on the same idea that people would know best how to manage their own choices for their children’s education.

                      The left very strongly rejected that one yet interestingly at the same time the left has been very strong in defending the right of beneficiaries to determine how they spend their income. Same idea but a different response.

                      How to resolve this apparent contradiction? At one level I’m happy for beneficiaries (who are generally already the most dis-empowered people in society) to have full agency over the very modest incomes they do have. At another level I’m willing to go with the idea that most beneficiaries are not in that position as a matter of choice – therefore there is no reason to deny them the same agency to spend their income (derived from the state as it is) as non-beneficiaries enjoy.

                      A UBI eliminates the notion of ‘beneficiary’ altogether. Essentially it represents a very real increase in personal agency over that portion of your income. It’s now essentially indistinguishable from any other income from any other source and a lot of positives flow from this.

                      I guess my approach above embodied something of a political balancing act, that in return for this very real increase in personal agency due to the nature of the UBI itself – this was a reasonable basis to potentially trade-off some existing agency around additional support specific to disability. Which is probably how I instinctively arrived at my original suggestions around the health system being the primary provider/funder.

                      I’m not trying to be dogmatic over this – but I think it’s worth thinking about these aspects and how they might play out.

                      Finally I do agree that neither WINZ nor the Health system are designed for the welfare purpose I think we both have in mind. Radical change and re-design would be necessary over time.

            • weka 2.2.2.1.1.2

              “Nothing else needed.”

              So are you saying that someone with an illness or disability that prevents them from working should have the same income as an able bodied person?

              I assume you are arguing for a UBI set at a living wage rate? Not everyone in these discussions agrees with that. What happens to disabled people that can’t live on that?

              • KJT

                I know all to well the difficulties of getting disability help from a fragmented and underfunded system.
                Something that also needs to be addressed.

                It is a side issue to the UBI. The problem is the way we fund, allocate,and advocate, disability services

                I would envisage with a UBI that the total of the UBI is a disabled persons income, AFTER extra needs due to the disability are met..

                So that any extra services or income required to meet their extra needs (Mobility, house adaptation, home help, health care etc) would be extra. provided either, as a fund for the disabled person (adjusted for actual needs) or through state provision. Or a combination of both.

                • weka

                  “So that any extra services or income required to meet their extra needs (Mobility, house adaptation, home help, health care etc) would be extra. provided either, as a fund for the disabled person (adjusted for actual needs) or through state provision. Or a combination of both.”

                  That’s good, thanks. If I get the chance, I might see if I can summarise the issues that have arisen so far along with potential solutions.

                • greywarbler

                  KJT
                  I was thinking of someone I know who has an allowance to draw on for needed prostheses. So when need occurs there is a balance of credit to drawn on that has an end date. Spending choice has to be judged by the person and the provision of service is paid for from the allowance that is renewed on a two year budget. There is an approved provider, and the service is good quality but not expensive, standard.

                  This is very useful, one doesn’t have to go cap in hand. The decision ability is with the citizen and empowers him/her. This would cut out a lot of the bureaucracy and the feelings of depression that overtake many when they have to go down to the factory that is the s(laughter) house of positivity and empowerment. There ain’t no laughs there, no acceptance and appreciation of people as good citizens doing their best despite having some disadvantage.

                  Vouchers have a number of uses and a number of detractors I should think, as a result. But ones given to someone with a need that the government has agreed to assist with, and allowing a reasonable budget for buying services limited to the need, and limited to a suitable provider who is monitored for value and standard, would be a useful adjunct to UBI. The person would get checks from time to time as to need, BUT not more often than once a year, and it would be to see the level of requirement not the threat of pulling it away altogether without discussion.

                  This would do away with the soul-destroying approach by charity workers in WINZ, who are not professional community workers in their attitudes, which can vicious, and disdainful. But I think it is management’s attitude is reflected by the people at the coalface. And behind government services is the attitude of the employing government body who chooses the type of CEO deemed suitable, and the Minister, and also Treasury no doubt, looming in the background.

              • greywarbler

                I thought that the point made by Colonial Viper at 26 January 2014 at 10:32 pm
                was a good done where he points out Weka that you have a lot of background in this area. While the UBI sounds good I fear that it is another effort to produce a simple system without exceptions, (or bypassing or overlooking real needs) that is so beloved by those interested in economic efficiencies.

                When the almost open access to physiotherapists in ACC was introduced by Labour, it ballooned and there was the feeling that it was being rorted. Now the poor have trouble finding the first say, $20 required to get the bodywork needed to keep them mobile or whatever. As I have said elsewhere this morning we tend to go from one extreme to another when the answer lies near the middle. And sometimes simple economics are not satisfactory to find where that point actually is.

                • weka

                  Thank-you greywarbler, appreciate your and CV’s comments. I agree about the middle. The conversation in the last 24 hours was important I think, because it makes visible some of the issues that need to be resolved amongst the left in order to move the UBI idea forward (assuming we don’t want to leave some people behind). I think it’s easy to see the UBI as a panacea, so we have to look at how it might work at the pragmatic level.

  3. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 3

    Are those of you from Wellington aware that Perce Harpham is doing a lecture on UBI in Wellington?

    http://binews.org/2014/01/wellington-new-zealand-reducing-inequality-through-universal-basic-income

    DATE: Friday, 31 January
    VENUE: Rutherford House, Lecture Theatre 3, Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Victoria University of Wellington
    TIME: 12:30pm – 1:30pm

    I would love to hear about this if anyone is going and could report back here on The Standard :)

    [I mistakenly put this on the earlier UBI thread ]

    • greywarbler 3.1

      I don’t see that there would be any reason why it would not be okay to repeat details of this sort of meeting. After all different people read different things on any day. Perhaps for a final reminder one could get brief details in early on the day in Open Mike, so it’s an early bird position for anyone scanning the latest brain bursts on that thread.

  4. Daniel 4

    This is a good idea and we should be doing it.

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    On the Left | 21-11
  • Chipping away at police unaccountability
    Traditionally, our police have enjoyed a wide discretion over who to prosecute and how. Sometimes, this is a good thing - it means that the time of the courts is not wasted on minor crimes. In other cases, its use...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    frogblog | 21-11
  • CTU disappointed by poor government advice to workers on petrol station dri...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (‘MBIE’) regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue. Photo:  ...
    CTU | 21-11
  • Charging petrol station workers for drive-offs
    So workers at Masterton’s Night ‘n Day store have had their pay docked when criminals drive off without paying. From the flood of complaints coming from around the country, it’s not a practice that is confined only to Masterton, nor is it...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-11
  • Tearing up Westminster
    The central bargain of Westminster democracy is that the monarch stays out of politics, and in exchange they get to stay in the role, both legally and literally. Prince Charles - already famous for his undemocratic interventions in politics -...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Journalism is not terrorism
    What happens if you're a UK journalist and you campaign for press freedom or report on police misconduct? The police database you as a terrorist:A group of journalists has launched a legal action against Scotland Yard after discovering that the...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • A century of changing transport spending
    Via Donal Curtin, I got wind of a fantastic Statistics NZ visualisation of changes to the Consumer Price Index over the last century. The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is a tool that statistics agencies use to track inflation over...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Boycott thieving employers
    In the past few days, we've learned of a new employer horror: petrol-station workers, often on th eminimum wage, being forced to pay for the crimes of their customers. Its unfair, immoral, and possibly illegal. So what can we do...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Whiteboard Friday. How NZ’s welfare system traps people in poverty
    This Whiteboard Friday looks at how our current benefit system traps people in poverty, which is another reason we need to replace it with an Unconditional Basic Income. This week has been a big week for the Unconditional Basic Income....
    Gareth’s World | 20-11
  • Income mobility
    Recently Treasury has published a paper showing that most people do not stay at the same point on the income scale for an extended period. That is assuredly true, and is also a good thing in as far as it...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Read out, Xi in, as Hansen makes late change to All Blacks team
    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has sprung a surprise by picking Chinese President Xi Jinping to start in this weekend’s test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium....
    Imperator Fish | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    The chainsaws stopped in native forest on public land in 1999 after a strong campaign by non-governmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action (NFA), supported by the Green Party. Immediately after the 1999 election, the incoming...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • Persuasion experiment
    Michael LaCour, a PhD student at the excellent UCLA Political Science Department, along with Yale's Don Green, have a fascinating new paper on what causes people to change their mind on gay marriage. Many people know that a doorstep conversation...
    Polity | 20-11
  • $4.8 billion gone
    As readers know, the NZ Super Fund now contributes around $27 billion to our net position as a country, It will help us pay for the wave of baby boom retirements. Sadly, it is now clear that National's decision to...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • The week in politics vs. Gilmore Girls
    This week in politics: Andrew Little became leader of the Labour Party. Julia Gillard spoke at the University of Auckland about gender and politics. Gerry Brownlee was fined for breaching airport security. Tony Abbott threw down with Vladimir Putin at APEC....
    On the Left | 19-11
  • Whither the class line?
    In 1995 I published a book that explored the interaction between the state, organised labor and capital in the transitions to democracy in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The book was theoretically rooted in neo-or post-Gramscian thought as well as the...
    Kiwipolitico | 19-11
  • This video shows the pain caused by NZ’s current benefit system
    Darryn bravely talks about the stigma that comes with being on the benefit, and how that has affected his life. This stigma is just one of the many problems our current benefit system creates. These problems would be removed if...
    Gareth’s World | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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