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A decent policy

Written By: - Date published: 6:23 pm, September 9th, 2012 - 278 comments
Categories: Economy, political alternatives - Tags:

David Shearer’s policy of free meals for low decile schools is a bloody good one – there are too many kids that are going to school hungry and suffering setbacks because of it.

But remember, this should only be seen as a stop-gap measure. The goal should be to make sure all kids are feed properly at home and that will require some much larger, much more transformational policies as institutional poverty is practically a requirement of our current economic settings (as an aside I highly recommend Danyl’s post on this).

In the meantime though, kai pai David Shearer, now make sure you address the economic policies that have been making kids hungry since 1984.

278 comments on “A decent policy”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    Jeez, it is getting rough when the ‘poor’ pākehā have to be led by their Te Mana brothers and sisters. Look and learn some more Labour.

    • McFlock 1.1

      lol
           
      At least they’ve announced some decent policy, though. Although it is a symptomatic treatment that doesn’t address the causes of inequality. But at least it’s a start.

      • Tiger Mountain 1.1.1

        Fair enough McFlock, it’s just I am a pākehā Te Mana member and like to skite!

        I know a number of teachers in the Far North that feed kids with cereal and toasted sandwich makers and so forth already at their own cost unfortunately.

        One looks forward to Labours review so that the members at large run the joint rather than the parliamentary wing and caucus and then we may get the final turn around. Even if Mr Pagani going is not much really, it is a good chance to make big changes.

        • Tracey 1.1.1.1

          I know teachers in South Auckand who have been doing breakfast for their classes for years, from their own pockets also. These stories about the dedication of teachers don’t get airplay though.

          • Fortran 1.1.1.1.1

            Tracey

            Our local New World Supermarket has been providing food for breakfasts for three low deciles in the region for years.
            Our neighbour supervises one every day, including school holidays.

            So what’s new ?

        • prism 1.1.1.2

          I noted that this morning on Radionz John Key quoted that in many schools, trusts are already providing meals. Conclusion – government can wash its hands of concern and input. No leave it to the teachers or overworked community people who usually haven’t much money to spare. The wealthy just sit in their houses, work in their gardens, and sneer at the poor and their efforts.

          Then Jokey Hen quotes that fruit is already being provided. I’d like to see him do a day’s work on an orange and a biscuit or small sandwich perhaps.

          And then says that reading recovery is already being provided. Apparently in only 40% approx of low decile schools (or in new terminology working class neighbourhoods?).
          Then a Prof comes on and says that reading recovery is outdated. Do nothing till I call you is the slogan here I think.

          Yet we know we have a tail of school failure, and want to be able to tabulate that to the nth degree with National Standards which apparently are very uneven in the Standards. So tell us what we already know and spend $mills on it that should be going to real assistance programs. Very wise thinking and spending!! I don’t think.

      • Bored 1.1.2

        But at least it’s a start. Indeed, it is easy to knock this policy but when the kids who are hungry eat there will be smiles all round.

      • Dr Terry 1.1.3

        McFlock. Yes, it is at least a start, but one to which National will immediately put a stop, I should imagine!

        • Polish Pride 1.1.3.1

          Not necessarily. This policy can be expanded to include families on a benefit over time if it isn set up correctly. Then it can be assured that entire families in need will have a home. All the healthy food they need (potentially far more than they get now) and benefits can be reduced accordingly. This is something that even National would be keen on.
          It could also provide opportunities to set up infrastructure and supply chain to enable a move to a resource based economy.
          It is a fantastic policy on all fronts IMHO

  2. Carol 2

    I see nothing wrong with making free school meals an integral part of free education for all, as is done in Finland – free school meals available to all who want it:

    http://www.oph.fi/download/47657_school_meals_in_finland.pdf

    Pre-primary and basic education are provided free
    of charge for all, and this includes school meals,
    teaching materials, school transport, and pupil
    welfare services.

    • Jenny 2.1

      Fantastic, makes perfect sense in a country overflowing with food. Only the true haters and greedy could oppose such a policy.

      • Mary 2.1.1

        “Only the true haters and greedy could oppose such a policy.”

        It’s not as simple as that. Whether it’s acceptable or not depends on what Labour means by it and how it sees it working in the future. If, for example, it’s as Carol above suggests then such a programme could work, i.e. as “an integral part of free education for all”, then it’s possible the policy could be sound and have integrity. But Labour doesn’t seem to be saying this. Shearer’s already said it’s for the lower decile schools. The fact the announcement’s come after the child poverty report also suggests the programme’s not about what Carol’s talking about. What’s also not clear is whether Labour considers it a permanent fixture, which it seems to be saying it is and if so then we’re diving back into poor law days without addressing the root causes of poverty and which dangerously plays right into the hands of Nact’s less government / less welfare / private charity model. Even if Labour does say it’s a temporary measure until “alternatives” are found, when do we know when we’ve found them? Policies like these would be very difficult to end once they’re put in place. Just look at how many saw food banks back in the early 1990s as “a temporary fix”? They’re now such an entrenched institution they’re even seen by Work and Income as a legitimate form of welfare. Food banks have helped plug gaps in ways that let the government off the hook fixing the systemic problems. Food in schools has the danger of doing the same. On top of this how would such funding be guaranteed to be used in the way it was intended and not used, as time goes by, to justify cuts to spending on education overall? The way education is funded and education budgets overall can over time are easily skewed or absorbed or characterised as something different and have the effect of lowering school funding overall.

        Of course we need to make sure kids have a full belly every day so they can learn with smiles on their faces. But if Labour’s new policy targets only lower decile schools and becomes a permanent part of how we deliver education then not only will we know it’s failed, we’ll be giving the many “true haters and greedy” within Nact, many of whom would not oppose such a policy, a helping hand to make things even worse.

        • fatty 2.1.1.1

          “But if Labour’s new policy targets only lower decile schools and becomes a permanent part of how we deliver education then not only will we know it’s failed, we’ll be giving the many “true haters and greedy” within Nact, many of whom would not oppose such a policy, a helping hand to make things even worse.”

          True, targeted welfare of this sort can perpetuate the issue of deserving/undeserving. Should be in all schools…as DTB says below.
          Also instead of based on charities, this is an opportunity to create jobs. Just like the housing shortage in Chch/Auck: lack of builders, unemployed, and youth who would benefit from a decent apprenticeship scheme.
          The dots are all there, can we get some people to join them up please.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    David Shearer’s policy of free meals for low decile schools is a bloody good one…

    It’d be a heel of a lot better if it was part of getting free meals into every school.

    The goal should be to make sure all kids are feed properly at home…

    And this detracts from having free meals supplied at school how?
    Yes, we should be eliminating poverty but I think that shouldn’t impinge upon having good healthy meals at school.

    • IrishBill 3.1

      I guess my point is that I’m wary of this kind of policy as it needs to be grounded in a plan for broader economic change. Otherwise it’s basically a third-way policy in that it uses the government profits (taxes) from a market economy to ameliorate (in a small way) that same market economy’s social costs.

      That works in a boom but we’re not in a boom now.

      You may recall Key’s plan for free muesli bars for poor kids (whatever happened to that wee gem?) I’m not saying that this is akin to it but I do want to see Shearer et al start talking about doing the big things differently as well as getting the small things right.

      • Carol 3.1.1

        I agree it needs to be grounded in a programme for broader economic change. And the use of PPPs and charities is all a bit neoliberal 3rd way. I rather go for the whole way the state-funded way, as in Finland.

      • mickysavage 3.1.2

        Agreed IB.

        This is way better than the Pagani fed wedge stuff.  At least this time the wedge is in the right place.

        It is a progressive proposal but in the big picture quite cheap.  It allows business as usual but makes sure that more kids are getting fed.

        So I am happy with it but also a bit pensive.

        What is really interesting is that the blowtorch that the Standard has recently applied to Shearer has obviously had an effect. 

        • Bored 3.1.2.1

          IBs point is valid, but I am reminded of Keynes comment on us all being dead in the long run…..
          it is a case of priorities, keep the patient alive until a real cure can be administered.

        • Anne 3.1.2.2

          What is really interesting is that the blowtorch that the Standard has recently applied to Shearer has obviously had an effect.

          Yes, ms and it is such a relief – hopefully not short-lived. I’ve never understood what happened, because I remember David Shearer coming to speak to Labour members in my electorate about 18 months ago (well before he was leader) and he was saying exactly the same sort of thing only he applied it to a wider sphere of activity than just education. One has to wonder who was stopping him from coming out with his beliefs sooner.

  4. Bruno 32 4

    Why don’t we cut to the chase and lets have free meals for every one. I’m rich but I hate cooking as much as any one.

    • IrishBill 4.1

      You’re too fat already.

    • Tiger Mountain 4.2

      Heh, Dom Perignon in every refrigerator! thats my idea of socialism rather than swapping undies with the neighbours or one lawn mower per street.

      But, cash dripping Mr Bruno, if you think it through it will happen when the one percenters chrome hard grip is finally prised off.

    • mike e 4.3

      bruno Need not greed you grotesque man.
      you already have a brand food named after you.
      Greed is never being satisfied always wanting MORE obsesive compulsive disoerder.

    • Colonial Viper 4.4

      Why don’t we cut to the chase and lets have free meals for every one. I’m rich but I hate cooking as much as any one.

      Not free meals for everyone who wants one…full time jobs for everyone who wants one. That’ll actually solve the problem you see.

  5. AmaKiwi 5

    Good work, Labour. Keep rolling out policy initiatives that focus on the contempt this government has for our people.

    I loved the NZ Herald expose of National MP slumlords who are too greedy to insulate their rental properties.

    Jobs next. Why are there unemployed while in Christchurch people are living on the streets!

    After that “exporting profits.” Why do we sell more abroad than we buy from overseas but for 30 years have NEVER had positive balance of payments? Because our company profits go to overseas owners. We can never milk enough cows or sell enough wood chips to overcome the mountain of money we pay to foreign owners of our banks and factories.

  6. But remember, this should only be seen as a stop-gap measure. The goal should be to make sure all kids are feed properly at home…

    It’s depressing the above needs mentioning, but witness the above comments effectively declaring it the govt’s job to feed kids via the education system (presumably from people who don’t have any kids, because parents for the most part recognise instinctively whose job it actually is to see that their kids get enough to eat).

    A policy of schools feeding kids because the alternative is hungry kids is a declaration of emergency and has to be regarded as a stopgap until measures to see that kids are able to be fed by their parents are in place, not as a worthy general principle. So the big unanswered question here is: what’s their proposal for eradicating the need for schools to be feeding kids?

    • fatty 6.1

      “but witness the above comments effectively declaring it the govt’s job to feed kids via the education system”

      Why do you think schools should not be providing food at school?
      I see it as a preventative measure for all kinds of health and social issues.
      Do you hold this view for ideological reasons, or moral reasons, or what? I’m yet to hear a decent argument against it.

      • Psycho Milt 6.1.1

        Why do you think schools should not be providing food at school?

        For the same reason I think hospitals shouldn’t be fixing people’s cars or doing their dry cleaning – it’s not what they’re there for. That’s not either an ideological or a moral reason, more of a practical one. You could potentially make a case for school meals on the basis of parental convenience, but that’s not what’s under discussion here.

        • fatty 6.1.1.1

          So what are the limits of schools? Are you against this sort of thing too?
          How about social workers in schools?

          “That’s not either an ideological or a moral reason, more of a practical one”

          Why is food in schools not practical?…It works out cheap and prevents many negative effects. How is it not economically and socially practical?

          • Psycho Milt 6.1.1.1.1

            The thing is, food in schools isn’t cheap and prevents no negative health effects in my and a great many other people’s kids’ cases, because:

            1. We have no shortage of cash to buy our own food; and

            2. We aren’t wasters.

            So, the problem we’re looking at here isn’t one of schools failing to act in their appropriate role as canteens for the educational proletariat, it’s one of significant numbers of parents lacking either the cash, or the strength of character, or both, to be able to feed their kids properly. Which means, as pointed out multiple times already, programmes involving schools feeding kids are, or fucking ought to be in any case, an emergency stopgap measure while the actual problem is sorted out.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Time for analysis is over. School meals have a long proud tradition. Let’s get back to it.

              programmes involving schools feeding kids are, or fucking ought to be in any case, an emergency stopgap measure while the actual problem is sorted out.

              This will sort out the problem.

        • Sanctuary 6.1.1.2

          “…For the same reason I think hospitals shouldn’t be fixing people’s cars or doing their dry cleaning – it’s not what they’re there for…”

          This has to be the stupidest argument against a school lunch program I have ever seen. Of your argument, Samuel Johnson would simply take you any school in the land and say “I refute it thus!” Schools are state institutions; they are there to provide precisely what the government says they should provide. According to you, schools are not there to provide sports facilities, but they all have sports fields and swimming pools and much more besides. They have dental clinics, despite you clearly thinking they don’t have any mandate to fix childrens teeth whatsoever. Why can’t the government direct schools to also be community hubs with public health clinics, school lunches, adult education, sports, and even local community justice? They are state institutions, whose role may expand as the state sees fit. Finland – we all remember Finland – has a extensive schhol lunch program, as does Sweden. They would fall about laughing at the nonsense that schools don’t exist to provide meals.

          New Zealand never had school lunches because once upon a time people Jack was able to set the price of his labour with his master, and his price was enough to provide for his children’s needs from an ordinary wage. The neo-liberal “triumph” has been to deliver our country’s workers back to the mean state of the European poor from which Jack had thought he had delivered his decendents. The same conditions that led to creation of school lunch programs exist here. In addition, one could observe that common sense tells us that the provision of free, nutritious meals could be one of the clues to the success of Finland’s education system.

          Therefore it seems to me the conditions are fully met for Labours policy to be hailed as a simple common sense targetted measure that’ll actually improve educational outcomes. To me the aspect of this debate I find most incredible is that we are having it all. The cost at the upper end is put at nineteen million dollars per annum. That is absolute chicken feed. To put it in context, this National government has spent 200 million dollars just on consultants for its road building for National party cronies program. That is a decade of school lunches right there.

          • Psycho Milt 6.1.1.2.1

            New Zealand never had school lunches because once upon a time people Jack was able to set the price of his labour with his master, and his price was enough to provide for his children’s needs from an ordinary wage.

            And the left’s answer to the loss of Jack’s ability to provide for his kids from an ordinary wage is, apparently, for the schools to provide for them instead. Despite your lengthy rebuttal, I’m still not seeing the awesome genius of this approach.

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.2.1.1

              I’d happily cut school lunches if we had a policy of full employment.

            • McFlock 6.1.1.2.1.2

              True, it’s a bit of a band-aid.
                 
              But in lieu of a system where everyone can have a job and a single wage is enough to provide for a family, at least the kids get fed. 

            • fatty 6.1.1.2.1.3

              “And the left’s answer to the loss of Jack’s ability to provide for his kids from an ordinary wage is, apparently, for the schools to provide for them instead.”

              Yeah…most here think feeding kids at school as the best, cheapest, most efficient, and least stigmatising way to ensure kids are not hungry.
              But you seem quite sure that it is not the best way…so what do you the the answer is? Or are you happy the way things are?

            • Sanctuary 6.1.1.2.1.4

              Right, so because Shearer hasn’t come up with a policy that reverses all the neo-liberal disasters of the last quarter century, it follows that everything less is just existenial posturing? Sorry PM, but that is just patheticly defeatist posturing on your part. Worse, it is a defeatist posturing that won’t at least have the practical outcome of filling hungry tummys soon. A policy that feeds hungry kids is still a policy that feeds hungry kids, even if it doesn’t fit your purist desire for panacea solutions or nothing.

              • so because Shearer hasn’t come up with a policy that reverses all the neo-liberal disasters of the last quarter century, it follows that everything less is just existenial posturing?

                No. More like “But remember, this should only be seen as a stop-gap measure. The goal should be to make sure all kids are feed properly at home…”, which is from the post and the bit I commented in support of. The dispute you’ve wandered into is with those who feel that the govt feeding people’s kids for them isn’t just a stopgap measure to ensure all kids get fed while the govt works on the actual problem.

                • fatty

                  So what’s your solution?…you say all kids should be fed at home. How do you think this can be done?

                • fatty

                  Psycho Milt:

                  You didn’t answer my question here…so I’m not surprised you didn’t answer this one too.
                  Lame…but unsurprising.

            • Bored 6.1.1.2.1.5

              Years back I was stunned when a worker in an aged care facility told me she had no had a pay rise for 15 years for doing the same work, which with inflation meant she had less than half of her prior wages. At the same time the management had significantly increased profits and wages. Obviously something had happened to break “Jills” ability to set the price of her labour.

              I see a certain (antisocial) genius in the simple formula of cutting real wages to move the profit upwards. Lets face it the price of work is not set by any other criteria than how close to, and what control of the margin you can get. Consequently we citizens have to feed the children whilst those close to the transaction / deals / books wander off in big brand new 4WDs paid for as tax write offs. Don’t tell me it ain’t so, I run the transaction / deals / books and it has been very nice from this end.

    • Carol 6.2

      Actually, some of us instinctively feel we all should take some responsibility for ensuring that all kids are fed well and educated.

      Once the whole community, including the broader whanau, looked out for their own. Since the rise of industrial capitalism, there’s a been a shift to the nuclear family, relatively separated from the rest of the community.

      • Psycho Milt 6.2.1

        Yeah, and once the whole community painted themselves with woad, lived in mud huts and looked forward to a life expectancy in the 30s, but that’s not how we live now. People who don’t delude themselves with hippy fantasies about villages raising a child are awake to the physical reality that nobody is going to care about their children the way they do – and if they don’t care, those kids have got some serious shit coming regardless of “community,” “whanau,” bullshit it how you will.

        • mickysavage 6.2.1.1

          I take it you do not have kids PM …

        • Carol 6.2.1.2

          And now kids are someone’s property. That’s capitalism for you – everything’s and most folk are owned.

          • Psycho Milt 6.2.1.2.1

            Well, those are pretty bizarre inferences to draw from that comment. Mickysavage: anything I write about the responsibilities of parents to their children is based on over a decade of intense and at times emotional personal experience of it. Carol: this may come as a shock, but ownership of another human being has been illegal for a long time in NZ. Maybe you were confused by the fact that it was accepted back in those halcyon, community-driven, pre-industrial capitalism days.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.3

          People who don’t delude themselves with hippy fantasies about villages raising a child are awake to the physical reality that nobody is going to care about their children the way they do

          For proper socialisation a child needs a lot of people about them so that they can learn. Stick them in a a small, insular family environment and they fail to learn that socialisation. And I’m pretty sure than most people will look after any child as well as they possibly can because most people aren’t sociopaths.

    • To be frank Psycho I do not give a flying feck who feeds the children as long as they are fed.

      And if the cost is $40 mil a year then this is really cheap. 

      • Herodotus 6.3.1

        So instead of addressing the real issue yet again we see a politician/Party playing on the peripheral. Either govt support is inadequate of those receiving it, or it is adequate and those receiving it are unable to allocate it out to allow that their children are adequately fed. But why address the cause ???

        • mickysavage 6.3.1.1

          So instead of addressing the real issue yet again we see a politician/Party playing on the peripheral. 

          Yep H  Let’s feed the kids and then have the debate. 

          • Herodotus 6.3.1.1.1

            You should be in politics. So you think kids are starving because ….?
            If it is lack of benefits or lack of income well sorry your party is a major part of the problem. If it is lack of parental skills them up skill. As I have read here and in open mike e.g. If you don’t know the reason then go out and find out but don’t try to tell us a solution when you don’t even know the cause. Pity that Labour had 9 great potential years to solve this under boom economic times and achieved a great big “F”. From questioning at RedAlert Labour appears not to even know what a livable wage is. So if you have no idea of that how can you work out what assistance is needed to lift these families up to be a participant in society and to benefit instead of survive.

            Mary 13.2
            9 September 2012 at 6:08 pm
            If it wasn’t driven by poverty and was simply seen as part and parcel of a free and inclusive education system then perhaps. But this is Labour’s response to the fact families can’t afford to feed their kids. If this is all that Labour can come up with, a policy that feeds into the Nact agenda of moving the responsibility for social welfare from government to the community and eventually private charity then all I can say is that Labour are just a bunch of unthinking and shortsighted twits.

          • muzza 6.3.1.1.2

            Only when real people accept the only way to work towards a future that might include them and their families, is to form a political party in a cogent fashion with, some focussed core policies, about a half dozen to start with. Then go about putting a challenge forward at the elections, by appealing to the majority of this country who are being screwed, will there be any genuine hope!

            Politics has become so bad, that anything which is not sh8T news, actually becomes seen as positive action…

            Do we see whats going on ….

      • Psycho Milt 6.3.2

        To be frank Psycho I do not give a flying feck who feeds the children as long as they are fed

        Well, you should. This is something that shouldn’t be needed, and although $40 mil isn’t much in the greater scheme of things, the fact it needs to be spent on this means we have a serious problem that really needs sorting out, not having a school meals band-aid put on it so we can kid ourselves it’s all sorted. By all means put the band-aid on it, but let’s not lose sight of the underlying problem.

        • mickysavage 6.3.2.1

          the fact it needs to be spent on this means we have a serious problem that really needs sorting out

          Yep we do.  The working poor cannot feed their kids properly and those without jobs do not have a chance.  This really does need to be sorted out.  I propose that the wealthy that already have way more than they need should share it around and expect less and give up the last tax cut.

          What do you propose PM? 

          • Psycho Milt 6.3.2.1.1

            Give up the last tax cut? Well, sure. That would reduce the amount the govt’s borrowing every month, but in the meantime there’s all these kids to feed.

            What I’d propose counts for shit seeing as I’m not standing for election, but as a matter of idle speculation:

            1. Wages need to go up. Best way to do that is to implement a friendlier legislative environment for unions.

            2. Unemployment needs to go down. Govts tend to be in a pretty good position for kicking off large-scale projects involving a lot of labour, and seeing to it that locals get the jobs.

            3. People with neither the ability nor the willingness to look after children need to be encouraged to avoid creating them. There’s a wide range of options, none of which find favour with hand-wringers.

            All the above are long-term, so yes we need school meals in the short term. Skip the above and you’ll be needing the school meals in perpetuity.

            • Colonial Viper 6.3.2.1.1.1

              You should stop making sense PM, it upsets my universe.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.3.2.1.1.2

              All the above are long-term, so yes we need school meals in the short term.

              Once they’re set up why take them away? Doing so would just be a waste of time and effort. Keeping them keeps the benefit that they bring (which, IMO, will be more than just kids being fed).

              • Once they’re set up why take them away?

                Because it’s not actually the govt’s job to feed your kids, any more than it’s the govt’s job to buy their clothes, see to it they get a shower occasionally or read them a story at night. Once we’re confident parents have enough money to feed their kids, the govt should back off and leave them to it, as a matter of principle. As I wrote above, you can make a case for school meals as a convenience thing and some countries do provide them, but I find it a crap idea in principle, first because parental convenience is a luxury taxpayers needn’t fund, and second… well, it’s hard to decide which is a worse prospect – bureaucrats establishing just how cheaply they can feed a schoolful of kids, or professional busybodies imposing their “healthy food” neuroses on schoolfuls of kids. Under National it’d be the first, and under Labour the second. Neither appeals.

                • starlight

                  Government need not fund tax cuts for the top 20%,but they do,government need not fund
                  the vast array of ‘consultants’ but they do,government need not cost the tax payers billions of dollars in the sale of assets,but they do, government need not take tax payer perks,but they do,government need not take acommodation allowances,but they do,government’s actions are the cause of the problems,yes they are.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Because it’s not actually the govt’s job to feed your kids,

                  Actually, feeding everybody is part of the responsibilities that comes with being a society rather than a bunch of individuals.

                  Once we’re confident parents have enough money to feed their kids, the govt should back off and leave them to it, as a matter of principle.

                  And feeding the kids at school can easily be part of that “money”.

                  As I wrote above, you can make a case for school meals as a convenience thing

                  Actually, I think of it more along the lines of socialisation.

                  first because parental convenience is a luxury taxpayers needn’t fund,

                  The parents are taxpayers and so they’ll be the ones funding it.

                  …bureaucrats establishing just how cheaply they can feed a schoolful of kids, or professional busybodies imposing their “healthy food” neuroses on schoolfuls of kids.

                  Schools are run by school boards which hopefully listen to the professionals and I’ve NFI why you think having healthy food is a negative.

              • Mary

                A permanent food programme only for lower decile schools is an admission by Labour that they don’t care about fairness or equality. It plays into right-wing thinking around who’s responsible for the delivery of welfare in the same way as the Whanau Ora programme does. It’s easy to support these ideas because nobody wants to be seen as opposing kids getting fed or Maori taking control over their future, but hearing Shearer talking about government funding community groups to go into schools to provide meals for disadvantaged kids was sickening. Why are these kids disadvantaged in the first place, Mr Shearer? This is just more evidence that Labour’s policies on welfare are identical to what ACT/National want. The sickness beneficiary on the roof, support for no benefit for those with warrants – now it’s shifting responsibility for welfare delivery over to the community. All this on top of what Labour did to social welfare through its nine-year reign of terror on social welfare including introducing legislation that allows work-testing of people on the invalid’s benefit! FFS! With all of this and now funding charity to feed kids in low decile schools is a short step to the work houses and other laws for the poor that failed way back then and for the same reasons will fail today. Labour’s welfare policy is anathema to fairness and equality and is divisive. There is no hope for Labour. They are unfixable. I say cut them loose now.

    • mike e 6.4

      Psyho so we bring up healthy well educated kids that don’t require more state help as seen in our own longtitudinal study in dunedin with good food housing and education we inoculate these children for life.

  7. Bruno 32 7

    So theres no such thing as a free lunch but free breakfasts are the rage. I am getting confused guys.

    • McFlock 7.1

      no kidding? 

    • mike e 7.2

      Bruno it would be easy with your lack of intellect.

    • OneTrack 7.3

      But there will be free lunch. Kids who don’t get breakfast from their parents probably dont get lunch either. And the kids won’t learn if they are hungry in the afternoon. So the logical next step is that the state should provide lunch for them as well. The teachers don’t have that much to do so they will be happy to supervise the meal. Well they will have already got used to it after supervising breakfast, so it’s all good. And to be “fair”, the state should provide breakfast and lunch for all children, irrespective of decile rating (which we arent allowed to know anyway). This regime must apply to pre-school children as well because, as we all know, the early years are the most important period for learning.

      • McFlock 7.3.1

        oh noes! There will be an outbreak of well-fed children in the country! It’s communism by health! 
             
        Maybe you should shift to a country where they’re happy to have kids go hungry. Then we’d all be better off. Especially NZ kids. 

        • OneTrack 7.3.1.1

          Good that you admit it is communism by SThealth.

          And how much will it all cost? Who cares – other peoples money.

          • McFlock 7.3.1.1.1

            Damn, I keep forgetting that about you toryboys – for you to register sarcastic agreement, it has to be an outright godwin.
               
            It’s not “communism” to feed hungry kids. It’s called “being human”. Fuckwit.

            • Steve Wrathall 7.3.1.1.1.1

              “It’s not “communism” to feed hungry kids. It’s called “being human”. Fuckwit.”

              So by your definition, parents who don’t feed their kids are not human?

              • McFlock

                So by your definition, parents who don’t feed their kids are not human?

                I’d say that the very few parents who choose to not feed their kids have perhaps lost touch with their humanity. But that is very different from the many who are part of the structural 6-8% unemployment and/or fucked by winz or ACC who are simply too poor to feed their kids adequately.

                • Steve Wrathall

                  We’re not talking about parents who don’t feed their kids adequately. We’re talking about parents who don’t feed their kids at all in the morning.

                  • McFlock

                    For which they are only culpable only if they have the ability and money to feed their kids, but do not. 
                                 
                    You have to have food in order to be able to withhold it. 

                    • Steve Wrathall

                      What is the cost of some slices of bread and and some peanut butter?

                    • McFlock

                      too much if your benefit doesn’t pay your bills.
                           
                      Seriously, go to your local charity or food bank and have a chat with their budget advisor. Ask them about the ratio of dropkicks who put all their money on HPs for the soundsystem vs parents whose meager income doesn’t meet essential bills.
                             
                      The fact that you even asked that question shows how out of touch you are with how some of your fellow citizens live. 

                • Bored

                  What is the cost of some slices of bread and and some peanut butter? It is one hell of a lot if you don’t have it because you just spent all the cash paying some inflated rental plus increased power bills etc.

          • Colonial Viper 7.3.1.1.2

            And how much will it all cost? Who cares – other peoples money.

            The money doesn’t belong to you mate, until you pay the taxes you are required to on it.

          • mike e 7.3.1.1.3

            OT So National is already contributing so that makes them a communist party according to your short sighted redneck theory.
            So this money disappears forever OT stops going round the economy according to your dimwitted ideas.
            The money put into this area goes to the shops employees growers distributors who all work not simply speculate and they all pay taxes gst company and personal etc.
            Grow up.and stop being a shortsighted selfish prick!

          • Tracey 7.3.1.1.4

            not as much as is spent in the justice system, the health system etc as a result of hungry under performing children. You tories and your fake economies

  8. Bored 8

    Actually on reflection this announcement by Labour might be far more significant than we realise at face value. To suggest that food must be given to children indicates to me that :
    * Labour finally understand that the market has failed to deliver to those in need.
    * Labour has decided that those on the non voting disenfranchised take priority over winning the floating centrist vote.

    I hope this signals the beginning of a fundamental move back to Labours roots.

    • burt 8.1

      * Labour has decided that those on the non voting disenfranchised take priority over winning the floating centrist vote.

      Yes it’s probably the best way to increase their voter support outside of the center bloc.

      • Bored 8.1.1

        Yes Burt, I think the centre is best left to the “right”, its going to shrink dramatically as the recession increases. The new “unemployed” classes will be mighty pissed off at their fall from the centre.

  9. Bruno 32 9

    So how will voting back the gaggle improve parenting ? You guys must be on drugs.

  10. captain hook 10

    I think most hungry kids would think this is a fair policy.

  11. Paw prick 11

    Remind me what WFF is/supposed to achieve? Is it a failed policy?
    If it is not achieving what it was intended for then maybe it needs to be riviewed and the money can come from that pool to provide breakfast for the kids?

  12. captain hook 12

    only labour will be able to fix it.

  13. Colonial Viper 13

    These steps are required because NZ lost the policy of full employment it had through the 1950′s and the 1970′s.

    • indiana 13.1

      The parents of today and future parents, wouldn’t care less about the policies of the 1950′s and 1970′s.

      • McFlock 13.1.1

        Maybe true.
        But they care about getting jobs that enable them to feed their kids. 

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.2

        The parents of today and future parents, wouldn’t care less about the policies of the 1950′s and 1970′s.

        Of course they would, they can learn political economics from them.

    • burt 13.2

      CV

      NZ didn’t lose the full employment policy, it failed…. As a policy goal it was abandoned because it’s not something that can be successfully engineered in a sustainable way. Of course in dreamy ‘fighting the man’ memories it was a roaring success to mandate full employment… nope, not social engineering – really it wasn’t….. it’s progressive…

      Spare us the romantic revisions of past Labour greatness CV.

      • Colonial Viper 13.2.1

        Full employment is easy to achieve. Just extract an additional $5B pa of taxes from the most wealthy. In comparison the failure of neoliberalism over the last 30 years is clear for all to see.

        Spare us the romantic revisions of past Labour greatness CV

        You ain;t seen nothin yet.

        • Draco T Bastard 13.2.1.1

          Need more than $5b. Try $25b. Of course, if the figures are right, around $14b of that is what they’re not paying now that they should be.

          • Colonial Viper 13.2.1.1.1

            $5B is fine just for wages mate. 170,000 jobs paying $30K pa. Plus you get a lot of that back in tax too, to recycle a second time around :)

            Of course maybe another $5B raised for equipment and materials would also be of use.

            • Draco T Bastard 13.2.1.1.1.1

              Well, that $5b along with the ~$14b that they’re presently not paying should probably do it.

              Of course, if the government was the one that created and destroyed money in the first place then it wouldn’t have to raise in an income as such – merely adjust taxes to maintain monetary value.

            • indiana 13.2.1.1.1.2

              Lets say your fantasy came to revelation…are you also content to pay someone $30k even if they are incompetent just for the sake of keeping unemployment to zero?

              • Draco T Bastard

                If they’re in employment then they’ll probably increase they’re competence. If they’re on the unemployment benefit then they probably won’t. So, $12k/annum to achieve nothing or $30k/annum to give somebody a chance – I think I’ll go with the latter thanks.

      • mike e 13.2.2

        Burt so we should accept unemployment is here to stay and stop denigrating the unemployed.

        • prism 13.2.2.1

          mike e
          I think Burt will find the page to quote you from his economics textbook soon.

        • Steve Wrathall 13.2.2.2

          There will always be some people between jobs, just like there will always be some people bewteen relationships. Promising full employment is as credible as promising there will be no single people.

          • McFlock 13.2.2.2.1

            “between jobs” implies a job to go to, if they wish.
            This is  different from the structural unemployment we have now, where 200 people desperate for work line up for one or two positions.

            • Steve Wrathall 13.2.2.2.1.1

              The scarcity of such positions is a function of the minimum wage. An employer who could offer two such positions at $15/hr could offer three positions at $10/hr.

              • blue leopard

                …or could offer 10 at $1/hr for that matter.

                Are you saying that there is unemployment is because the government won’t allow employers to pay employees less?!

                Brilliant! Hope there are enough bridges for the $1/h wage earners to live under.

              • McFlock

                sounds like a fixed lump of labour remuneration fallacy.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The scarcity of such positions is a function of the minimum wage.

                No it isn’t as has been proved. Go read Debunking Economics and get an education.

              • Bored

                Steve, thats deliberately disingenuous. If an employer has 2 roles why would he hire 3?
                As an employer I can tell you that the reason for unemployment is that the revenue incoming has lost volume and / or margin…..so you decrease the costs. Nobody tries to diminish revenue (sales), but if there is less money being spent in the market revenue falls. Employing more people for less wont put more money into the market.

              • Murray Olsen

                Thank you for informing us of ACT policy, Steve. Now run along for a pat on the head from Banks. Just don’t expect a relationship, because he is after all a married man.

              • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                Blow harder Wrathall. According to Treasury (lefties the lot of them) there is no evidence that increasing the minimum wage has any effect on employment levels. Put up or shut up!

              • mike e

                it would save even more if we just allowed slavery ie national fishing and farming policy less bureaucracy no labour laws etc pike river Korean fishing boats.

          • Tracey 13.2.2.2.2

            which means, by extrapolation you accept the need for welfare and don’t deride those who are on it or begrudge it to them.

            so if the minimum wage were $5 an hour, and employer would employ 4 people for the office admin job instead of 1??? And how would they be able to make sure their kids had breakfast lunch and dinner on that wage?

            The imaginary trickle down theory of the extra wealth generated by the business, will lead the employer to offer wage increases all the time… of that’s right, he/she would rather employ 4 at $5 per hour for one job…. wouldnt want to pay 4 people $10 in good times to do the same one job…

          • North 13.2.2.2.3

            You are nothing less than a fanatic Wrathall with a very obvious hatred of all of those so churlish as to be poor. Extraordinary !

  14. Sanctuary 14

    Just one more comment on Shearer’s speech. While the school lunch program is for some bizarre reason of great interest to the ideological and moral panic merchants of the right, the proposal that career planning for students should begin ”at the very start of secondary school” potentially is far, far more important.

    If we look at two of the three European countries with the lowest youth unemployment – Switzerland and Germany (http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/may/16/youth-unemployment-europe-oecd) – we discover that the secret to their low unemployment is robust vocational programs to take kids from school into jobs. Germany has its paid apprenticeship system (often while still at school) and Switzerland has its vocational education system, which combines school education with a paid apprenticeship in a company (the so-called dual system).

    If Labour is serious about this then it shows someone has finally woken up to the actual mechanism that translates an excellent education system into a highly productive, employed one. It also signals that someone somewhere in a major political party is finally looking at empirical evidence instead of just declaring the market will provide the mechanism for job training. Up until now, New Zealanders have adopted an underpants gnomes approach to the link between education, employment, and productivity that has gone:

    Throw money at education.
    ?
    High productivity and wages.

    Effectively, we’ve indulged in a vastly inefficient and wasteful middle class educational arms race for degrees that simply means we churn out vast numbers of lawyers, accountants, business graduates, performing and liberal arts students and the like who discover that a $50,000 student loan gets them a 35k entry level job with the IRD – providing the IRD with a worker that a vocational training scheme combined with a three year diploma could have done without the vast cost incurred in student loans.

    Of course, the implication is that the business sector will actually have to help and contribute to an proper jobs and training program, so I expect our captains of industry to oppose anything as enlightened as that tooth and nail.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      Yeah most kids today are wasted at uni; and an awful lot of uni quals are useless to society. If anything more people should study history and literature; fewer marketing and law.

      • Sanctuary 14.1.1

        I think that middle class capture meant our quest for the myth of an egalitarian education system has been interpreted since the 1970s as “everyone has the right to go to university and get a degree”, when what Clarence Beeby actually said was “every person regardless of background or ability had a right to an education OF A TYPE FOR WHICH THEY WERE BEST SUITED”.

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1

          Yep. And its important to remember that we should never let schooling get in the way of an education!!! (apologies to Mark Twain)

      • prism 14.1.2

        CV 14.1
        I think that all uni qualifications should be cross department, some social policy, some business, strategic planning and decision making, some study of broad history looking for the common recurring factors, full study of economic philosophy and broad study of philosophers, some literature involving non-fiction Marx and Hitler and included, and studies of different political and ruling systems, and then importantly Critical Thinking that helps to sort out the bullshit from others and identify the merely wishful thinking from oneself and the practical methods to humanely achieve near to those wishes.

        That’s all I want. Probably missed some things out. But Douglas Myer and some other high flyer took history, the study has to be targeted beyond just the wonder of the past but what can
        be learned and applied better for a beneficial outcome to society as well as oneself.

    • blue leopard 14.2

      @ Sanctury

      “While the school lunch program is for some bizarre reason of great interest to the ideological and moral panic merchants of the right, the proposal that career planning for students should begin ”at the very start of secondary school” potentially is far, far more important.”

      +1 Interesting comments thanks

    • Polish Pride 14.3

      You are forgetting a key policy that enables their high levels of employment and the primary reason. Very tight immigration control.

  15. Tracey 15

    beginning to train children in jobs at age 13 is more important than ensuring 5-11 year olds get a decent meal a day???? It’s a shame we don’t have wood burning open fires as much anymore, we could make them all chimney sweeps during primary school to teach them the value of money. How do you get around the probability that we have so many law, commerce and business graduates because the might dollar rules the minds of those choosing these subjects. To get lots of money to feed their already insatiable habit to have everything they want, now??

    I also like Louise Wall’s proposal to get 4 year olds into school grounbds for free pre school. This, together with one decent meal a day (minimum) will be a great foundation for learning and their futures.

    • Carol 15.1

      Yes, I think vocational training should not start at school. School should provide a broader education and leave options open to students. how many of us knew what job we wanted to do when at school?

      Some pre-vocational courses could be provided at school though, along side more academic subjects: courses that give students an idea of what various jobs are like, and then required for them.

      But I do think there should be less focus on all students getting degrees, and more value attached to training for skilled jobs.

      As well as that, the general focus on both school and tertiary education should not be purely vocational – I attach high value to arts and social science courses, but they all don’t provide an easy route into work – they are of value to our culture, and for preparing people for taking an active and critical role in a democratic society.

      I’m pleased to see Shearer mention inclusion of ‘civics” into the school curriculum.

    • blue leopard 15.2

      @ Tracey,

      “beginning to train children in jobs at age 13 is more important than ensuring 5-11 year olds get a decent meal a day???? ”

      If the problem of unemployment and our young ones leaving school into unemployment and no training is not addressed there will only be increasingly more children and adults going without the basics of life.

      The feeding of children is only the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff of poor political approaches over the last 30+ years and it is imperative that the poor political approaches are addressed.

      I would like to be see more interest in addressing the long-term issues on these disgraceful conditions.

      • Tracey 15.2.1

        feeding five year olds is NOT the ambulance at the bottom, it’s the fence at the top of the cliff… from a health and education point of view. Able, well fed and focused children will find their way far more than sick hungry children under a car at 13 doing an apprenticeship.

  16. Georgy 16

    I dont think schools are the place for the provision of meals. This policy will balloon out to mega millions. More schools outside the original group will want to be included, then there will be the cost of food prep areas, then there will be a need for full commercial services meeting commercial hygiene standards, then there will be a need for dining halls, then there will be the need for trained staff………..etc etc

    Instead

    If the state is going to pay for a meal, then provide each qualifying family with a card that can be swiped at the local shop for a boxed lunch for each child, picked up on the way to school.

    Schools should be left to focus on teaching children.

    • Rusty Shackleford 16.1

      It’s pretty much an ingrained genetic trait of the average statist that they either fail to recognise or purposely ignore the hidden consequences of their actions. This is a well intentioned policy, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

      I’d like to know what kind of food they propose feeding the kids. Likely a low fat one chocker block with hearthealthywholegrains. In other words, sugar and gut irritants.

      • Tracey 16.1.1

        “This is a well intentioned policy, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. ”

        Like, asset sales, tax cuts for the top earners, breaching privacy Act when it suits, and so on?

        • Rusty Shackleford 16.1.1.1

          I’m pretty sure all of the acts you just outlined were performed in blatant bad faith.

    • prism 16.2

      On targeting children for meals I have found an anecdote from a book on the memories of a poor girl in London. She was bright and had been sent to a school said to be superior, and the girls certainly were. You don’t just go to school to learn from the teacher, the other pupils can teach some crushing lessons.

      These ones laughed at her long uniform, frugally chosen as big enough to grow into for years.
      They were from better-off homes, mostly Jewish, and called her Polly Long Frock. Then
      there was a school request for children needing a dinner ticket because of poverty. She was humiliated when she was the only one to go forward. Then she felt ashamed about being poor and singled out and didn’t go to the meals, so had no food. A friend heard her tale and asked the Headmaster to hand the tickets out in private. Eventually her begging to return to her old school was successful – and she did very well there, and got good marks.

      So there is more to school than teachers providing education for children. Youngsters need to be cared for and about. It doesn’t pay to act from feelings of ‘should’ in making decisions for others, but to see the situation in full.

    • Tracey 16.3

      they sleep over a third of the day, they are at school from 8-ish to 3-ish and you think schools arent well-placed to feed them???

      The need for trained staff? Oh, you mean new jobs???

      You honestly buy that a swiped card for a lunch box is going to be cheaper?

      • Colonial Viper 16.3.1

        PRIVATE boarding schools feed their well off students THREE MEALS per day and those kids do JUST FINE. (Well we can talk about that heh).

        The frakking Tories here just hate it when others get the privileges that they love having their own kids get.

        • Carol 16.3.1.1

          The frakking Tories here just hate it when others get the privileges that they love having their own kids get.

          My thoughts exactly. So they raise the welfare dependencies bogie as a way to discredit anything that will level the playing field a bit – in spite of the fact that lessening inequalities are generally better for the whole society.

          This won’t totally end inequalities. The better off families will still be more advantaged. However, it’ll make it harder for them to rip of society to become more wealthy than anyone needs to be.

    • Dave 16.4

      Not a bad idea Georgy, but I can equally see this idea of yours ballooning out to cost millions, I think the Labour policy could work, and at least it shows they at least appear to give a fuck. And as a chef myself, I think that it would depend on the meals being offered, if they are American style school dinners, then yes, full kitchens would be needed, but if it is cold foods, sandwiches, fruit and ready made food, which is far more nutritious than chicken nuggets and pizza , not very many facilities are needed, all I would need is a few s/less steel benches, a fridge and the food obviously, everything else I would need is in my knife roll. I would get right behind this policy, would solve a few job needs too I would think.

  17. Rusty Shackleford 17

    What kind of food are they going to be feeding the kids?

    • McFlock 17.1

      The crumbs from your kitchen floor, rusty.

      What are you after, a full menu or just a promise that the meals won’t include arsenic?

      • Rusty Shackleford 17.1.1

        A promise that the meals won’t follow the formula endemic to all the other places that provide school lunches.
        http://www.jamieoliver.com/us/foundation/jamies-food-revolution/bestworstlunch

        • felix 17.1.1.1

          Some of those are terrible and some are excellent. See: http://www.jamieoliver.com/us/foundation/jamies-food-revolution/bestworstlunch?offset=0&sort=best_imgs

          If you’re trying to say that all school lunches are terrible – which you are – then your own link proves you totally wrong.

          • Rusty Shackleford 17.1.1.1.1

            Just google American school lunch
            http://goo.gl/xfiHd

            You never know, this could turn out awesome. I’d be for it on a school by school basis, let them choose. But forcing it down a certain segment’s throat will never work. It never does. The logistics are way more complicated and expensive than you seem to think.

            The govt isn’t in charge of the procurement, distribution, handling, preparation, serving and clean up of our food for a reason. We would all starve, as is happening to kids in American and British schools. They are being feed nutrient poor foods (all signed off on by their national food authorities) that are full of starch and sugar.

            • McFlock 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Hark at Nanny McRusty, caring about the kiddies’ diets.
                     
              Some school lunches are good, some school lunches are bad. The existence of good school lunches demonstrates that it is an achievable goal, yea even for a government. The costs are surmountable, the logistics solvable, and the benefits incalculable.
                        
              Especially compared to letting children go hungry.
                     
               

              • Rusty Shackleford

                “Especially compared to letting children go hungry.”
                You presume I’m in favour of this?

                “The costs are surmountable, the logistics solvable, and the benefits incalculable.”
                Fine good, you are right. Let’s see how it all pans out. If they go through with it, I hopes it is a rousing success. If it isn’t successful will you show any form of contrition that you might have been wrong? That you supported a plan that wasted money and contributed to suffering, or will you blithely go on suggesting crack pot schemes as the statists continue to do?

                • McFlock

                  Dude, you’re going to great lengths to pick holes in an alternative to children going hungry, while offering none yourself. But far be it for me to cast aspersions on your character – you do well enough yourself.
                         
                   And you know what, if school lunches turn out to be more harmful for the kids than going hungry, it would probably be because National got a hold of them. And no, in that case I wouldn’t be making an act of contrition – I’ll be working through democratic means to improve the lunches.
                         
                  Love your idea that some food “contributes to suffering” more than no food

        • joe90 17.1.1.2

          What kind of food are they going to be feeding the kids?

          From a nation that rates tomato sauce as a vegetable you’d expect shit food but elsewhere…. not so bad.

          • Rusty Shackleford 17.1.1.2.1

            Korean school lunches can be a bit up and down. It is just a giant lump of starchy empty calories that will spike your blood sugar and some watery soup. A small serving of salty preserved veg, maybe a little meat if you are lucky and a sugary treat to top it off. It’s more of a recipe for a post lunch nap than some magic potion that will lead us all to prosperity.

            100% better than what the average kiwi kid eats for lunch, though.

            • cardassian 17.1.1.2.1.1

              You were in a different Korean school than me then.
              In the state school I was at we got soup, rice, Meat/Tofu/Fish, at least 2 fresh vegetables, Kimchi and a piece of fruit.
              Was great as it became my main meal and meant I only needed a light meal later on.

      • North 17.1.2

        Wrathall……..as explained in words to this effect by (I think) American historian William Blum;

        The Trickle Down Theory benefits the poor because it facilitates the falling of crumbs from the tables of the rich into the mouths of the poor – it is therefore in the best interests of the poor that society upsize the meals of the rich.

        The ungrateful poor just don’t know how lucky they are, do they Wrathall ? If they’d just stop their pathetic whinging in no time at all a minimum wage of $7.50 per hour would have them all creaming it. Masters of the universe like you possessed of your aggressively vaunted fantastical constructs would see to it, wouldn’t you ?

  18. Steve Wrathall 18

    The projected cost of this is a joke. What makes you think that most parents won’t cease to supply food for their kids once they get the idea that it’s the gummint’s job?

    • Carol 18.1

      What makes you think that most parents won’t cease to supply food for their kids once they get the idea that it’s the gummint’s job?

      Would that be so bad? Think about it.

      It’s quicker and more cost effective to produce a lot of meals at once. At the moment, each individual family produces their children’s lunches. Many of the parents in these families are both working and pressured for time.

      Having the lunches done for them (including buying the food etc) would take some pressure off parents, and take some stress off many workers, who would then perform better at work.

      And as long as there’s a progressive tax regime that raises enough money to do it, seems all good to me. The country, including it’s children and workers would be better off.

      • Steve Wrathall 18.1.1

        And that really what’s at the heart of this policy isn’t it. Beyond all the hand wringing about the fact that hundreds of thousands of your people are so steeped in welfarism that they don’t really see why they should have to feed their kids, there is the agenda of taking as much responsibility as possible from families and handing it over to a state bureucracy. Why not provide everyone with their 3 daily rations? Think of the efficiencies….

        • Kotahi Tāne Huna 18.1.1.1

          “…hundreds of thousands of your people are so steeped in welfarism that they don’t really see why they should have to feed their kids…”

          Really? Says who? Surely you don’t expect anyone to take your weasel word for it, do you?

    • fatty 18.2

      “The projected cost of this is a joke”

      Wrong…the projected cost of NOT doing this is a joke.

    • Colonial Viper 18.3

      Steve, you really need to look beyond just the cost of things to the actual value of things. Just saying.

    • Tracey 18.4

      it’s fairer than say, a tax cut to the top 5% during a recession which won’t give any momentum to growth or job creation at all… Please don;’t assume that those who can afford to feed their children do it, or do it well.

      Well fed, well educated, awake and alert children are more likely to become strong and confidant. This measure will also impact on children’s ability to fight back, off or speak up about abuse etc…just as self defence courses for teenage high school girls has shown (of course the govt put a stop to that nonsense)

    • mike 18.5

      South Korea has a tax rate of 4-7%, yet every weekday every public school kid in the country gets a full, hot, healthy, free lunch. Chew on that NZ.

      So every kid gets at least one decent meal a day regardless of their family’s economic status.

      Is there a problem with parents ‘ceasing to supply food for their kids’? No Steve, there isn’t. That’s because just like every where else parents want to help their kids as much as they can, not starve them. And yes Steve, that even applies to the poor ones.

  19. captain hook 19

    the last two weren’t much help.
    full of doom and naysaying.
    typical tories.

  20. redfred 20

    “Gummints job”, I love that non-thinking right wing drone saying; it shows how much they have swallowed the neo-liberal crap that has led to 25% of children in poverty in this country.

    Food to ensure these kids get the best start to their day is an excellent policy. I am sure a well designed healthy meal plan can be put together easily. The logistics of supply should be straight forward; no need for Dickens like pots of gruel that some seem to be imagining.

  21. aerobubble 21

    Free trade means that our citizens, and the citizens of China, Russia, or America, are the same
    economically. Welcome to parity of poverty, since the inception of free trade has sen us become
    more and more in debt, our ecology more destroyed, our water, soils, atmosphere more polluted and run down. Free trade without even stronger protections of consumers, taxpayers and the environment, without simpler and easier to impose laws on wrongdoers, is effectively global slavery.
    Free trade isn’t delivery outcomes that any of us should rejoice in.

    • Steve Wrathall 21.1

      This I presume is the same free trade that allows us all, including the non-child-feeders, to buy food, clothes, appliances, et al, at a fraction of the cost of previeous decades

      • Kotahi Tāne Huna 21.1.1

        …the same, under-regulated free trade that allowed a multi-billion dollar fraud to be perpetrated against pretty much everybody, so that even though the whiteware is cheaper wages are too.

        • Steve Wrathall 21.1.1.1

          Please provide evidence of this fraud to the appropriate authorities. They’re not hard to contact. Especially as free trade and capitalism has brought computers and smart phones within the purchasing range of the poor non-child-feeders.

          • Colonial Viper 21.1.1.1.1

            Ahhhhh…the “authorities” i.e. our political and business leaders…are the PERPETRATORS of the FRAUD

            they’re the ones who legalised the theft mate. Or are you just unimaginative?

            Especially as free trade and capitalism has brought computers and smart phones within the purchasing range of the poor non-child-feeders.

            You are aware that cheap imported shit is not a substitute for real jobs with real wages? That a $200 cell phone doesn’t really make up for a $200 fortnightly shortfall in wages because the minimum wage is so low?

          • Kotahi Tāne Huna 21.1.1.1.2

            Have you been living in a cave? Does the acronym LIBOR mean anything to you? How about CDO?

      • Colonial Viper 21.1.2

        Yes, the same “free trade” which lets about $9B get sucked out of NZ annually by foreign owned companies that we either used to own ourselves, or could do the job of ourselves.

        Gawd our political leadership sucks.

        • Steve Wrathall 21.1.2.1

          It’s simple, if you spend more than you earn, eventually somone will come and take your stuff to make up the shortfall. If you want to hang onto your stuff, increase your earnings (more mining, dairying, more flexible labor laws, etc) or decrease your spending (WFF, 0% student loans and other welfare). Otherwise stop grizzling when the bills come due for the policies you support.

          • Bored 21.1.2.1.1

            It’s simple, if you take more than you give, eventually somone will come and take your head….its the Marie Antoinette rule.

            • Rusty Shackleford 21.1.2.1.1.1

              Doesn’t (something like) the bottom 30% of NZers take more from the system than what they put in? (not making any moral judgments just asking you to think about what you say).

            • Steve Wrathall 21.1.2.1.1.2

              Do you seriously think the top tax payers go out and use at least that amount of state health, education, etc. Anyway thank you for your admission that behind all the moralising veneer of socialist apologetics is ultimately, the threat of violence.

              • Colonial Viper

                Violence is the ultimate and historical equaliser of highly unequal and unjust societies Steve. After a certain tipping point, its what happens, and it can be seen throughout history.

                “Socialist apologetics” as you call it, also has very practical uses for the elite you realise – they get to keep their heads if society remains fair to all.

                • Steve Wrathall

                  Agree with me and you get to keep your head…Why bother trying to give an argument if it really comes down to that?

                  • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                    If that were CV’s argument you’d have a point. Is this a genuine incapacity of understanding or simply a rhetorical trick?

              • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                Steve Wrathall are you handicapped or just pretending?

                Government is a perfectly rational response to the threat of violence from war, Randist serial killers, etc. And, yes, it is better to incarcerate Randist superheroes before they kill again, and to use violence against them if necessary, whether their disgusting crimes are the apotheosis of magnificent free will or not.

                • Steve Wrathall

                  “…it is better to incarcerate Randist superheroes…”
                  Please find more suitable website for your fetish fantacies.

                  • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                    Nothing fantastical about pointing out that criminal behaviour is the embodiment of Objectivism.

                    • OneTrack

                      Especially when, like all good communist regimes, you define criminal behaviour as disagreeing with the party line. “Education” camps on the volcanic plateau perhaps.

                    • Kotahi Tāne Huna

                      Nope – just regular criminal behaviour. Although, as any good Objectivist can tell you, fewer regulations make so many more behaviours legal after all.

                      The superhero has no regard for others nor acknowledgement of the debt owed to society. It’s a recipe for criminality right there – greed is good, remember.

          • Kotahi Tāne Huna 21.1.2.1.2

            So why does the incompetent numb-nuts government on the treasury benches spend more than it raises in tax then? As opposed to the previous government which maintained a surplus.

            Don’t bother – the answer is that you have no fucking clue what’s going on while you insist on looking at everything through Rand tinted lenses.

      • mike 21.1.3

        Food is a fraction of the cost of previous decades? It’s weird because I’ve heard most people saying that food prices keep going up. Which supermarket do you go to bud?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US_Consumer_Price_Index_Graph.svg

        http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/economic_indicators/prices_indexes/FoodPriceIndex_HOTPJan11/Commentary.aspx

        • prism 21.1.3.1

          mike
          If you are poor then housing is going to use up around half your very small income. Then food does seem expensive when it has to be bought when electricity use is up in winter for example. Things are relative all right but the disposable income of the individual past and present also has to be looked at.

  22. captain hook 22

    I hear some non attributed national party stooges on RNZ saying they know how to do “ALL THAT” but they haven’t done it.
    why?

    • Tracey 22.1

      children don’t vote…

      now, a privatised, govt feeding profit to commercial enterprise scheme for feeding children… subsidies by stealth… THAT they can probably understand

  23. tsmithfield 23

    The problem I have with state interventions into child welfare is that I believe it can lead to a type of diffusion of responsibility.

    Under this psychological construct, because the “large group” (i.e. the taxpayers) are taking up responsibility for the children, the parents of those children feel progressively less responsible individually because others are taking up those responsibilities. This seems to lead to a downward spiral that ends up with the state taking complete care for the children.

    If “diffusion of responsibility” applies in this way, then interventions that enable parents to provide better care are likely to be more effective than ones that target children directly.

    • Tom Gould 23.1

      Is that the same kind of ‘diffusion of responsibility’ that happens when the Tories sell assets to buy another bunch of Tories a free irrigation scheme, and sack the Regional Council to make sure it happens fast? That sort? Or where you thinking of another sort?

    • Pascal's bookie 23.2

      That’s not what diffusion of responsibilty means TS.

      DoR is about the scenario when no one helps someone because they all wait for someone else to do it. Because there is a large group of people there, no individual feels responsible, so no one takes the first step.

    • Colonial Viper 23.3

      tsmithfield – society must take responsibility for its own. First for providing decent jobs to people who want them. And failing that, to ensure none go hungry and cold.

    • mike e 23.4

      The silly monetarist or the sort that leads John Key and Paula Bene basher from poverty to be PM and Cabinet minister but deny others the same path!

  24. Tracey 24

    Why do you think the majority of parents who cannot put three square meals on the table for their children do that??

    ” This seems to lead to a downward spiral that ends up with the state taking complete care for the children.” It could lead to well fed, healthy children, awake and alert in school and learning stuff… they may also learn about good and healthy food, and they might learn to be better people and parents (eventually) for it. Wouldn’t that be awful? Much better to punish the children for their parents’ inadequacies or poverty and ensure the next generation follow the last.

  25. Rusty Shackleford 25

    “It could lead to well fed, healthy children, awake and alert in school and learning stuff…”
    What makes you think this is a given? This is why I’m so interested in what the school menus will be. Chances are they won’t be filled with foods that are conducive to the outcomes you seem to presume.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 25.1

      Chances are? Oh yeah? Says who?

      • felix 25.1.1

        If National were in charge of such a scheme they’d probably contract it to McDonalds.

        Maybe that’s the sort of assumption he’s working from.

        Certainly the link above that Rusty himself provided shows that many schools around the world can and do provide healthy, nutritious food to children.
        http://www.jamieoliver.com/us/foundation/jamies-food-revolution/bestworstlunch?offset=0&sort=best_imgs

        • Colonial Viper 25.1.1.1

          Private boarding schools provide 3 meals to their students every day of the week, whether there is school on or not! So do a lot of university hostels!

          • TheContrarian 25.1.1.1.1

            Yes, they do. But the parents pay for it in their fee’s.

            I don’t see you suggesting public schools bill the parents for the meals so you are not com,paring like with like. 

            • felix 25.1.1.1.1.1

              So what? Kids still need feeding and someone has to pay for it.

              • Indeed, that’s quite right. I don’t have a problem with Shearers suggestion at all. 

                But being outraged at the rich private boarding school kids being feed is a bit silly when their parents pay through the nose for it so it is not comparable to feeding low decial schools for free.  

                • felix

                  Who’s outraged?

                  • C.Viper has made a couple of shouty posts about it.

                    • McFlock

                      That doesn’t seem to be “outrage”.
                         

                      It seems to be a perfectly valid response to idiots who argue that providing healthy food at a school is either impossible or impractical – i.e. pointing out that it already happens perfectly well.
                         
                      I reckon the “shouty” bit comes from trying to bang reality into the thick heads of tories.

                    • felix

                      TC your comprehension problem is letting you down. Again.

                    • “PRIVATE boarding schools feed their well off students THREE MEALS per day and those kids do JUST FINE. (Well we can talk about that heh).
                      The frakking Tories here just hate it when others get the privileges that they love having their own kids get.”

                      yeah, not shouty in the slightest. Git. 

                    • McFlock

                      Um – neither Felix nor myself suggested that the use of capitalisation wasn’t, in ‘net parlance, “shouty”.
                           
                      The closest I got was to imply that simple statements and short words with the important ones in capital letters were part of an attempt to make it as easy as possible for tories to understand that objections to school meals on the basis of practicality are farcical given that they already happen every day
                             
                      Nobody has said that private school kids should go hungry. Just that poor kids should be fed. Comments on that?

                    • “Nobody has said that private school kids should go hungry. Just that poor kids should be fed. Comments on that?”

                      Agreement.

                    • felix

                      Where’s the outrage? It’s pretty obvious that CV is pointing out that schools can provide good food as evidenced by the private system.

                      You just posted a quote that demonstrates exactly what McFlock said and the precise opposite of what you claimed.

                    • Send in the trolls!

                      I am going back my K Bar.

                      Lemon flavour.

                    • McFlock

                      Agreement? Cool. End of distraction.

                    • How about fuck you McFlock?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The funniest thing about Contrarian is that he actually has no problem with schools feeding kids – as long as the parents palm off their responsibility by paying for it themselves.

                • mike

                  “How about fuck you McFlock?”

                  Will you be putting that one on your blog TC?

            • Draco T Bastard 25.1.1.1.1.2

              I don’t see you suggesting public schools bill the parents for the meals so you are not com,paring like with like.

              There’s this new invention called taxes where everybody pays a small, proportional amount of their income to the community for the things that they collectively want.

    • joe90 25.2

      Chances are we could end up with something like the French school lunch menus.

      • Draco T Bastard 25.2.1

        The French have decided the teaching healthy eating routines to children is a priority, and they teach children about healthy food in the classroom AND the lunchroom.

        Another great benefit from school provided lunches.

    • Tracey 25.3

      what part of “could” do I need to explain to you (Rusty)? Perhaps you didn’t get full meals each day and nodded off during english comprehension? It’s unlikely to have a worse outcome than having unfed children in class. Have you read any studies on this issue? I have.

      • OneTrack 25.3.1

        But we “should” have lunches like that. It’s only “fair”.

        Ok, now whats the menu for dinner? Will the children have them in the state provided dormitory, or will the Ministry of Food Supply and Delivery look after it?

        Did someone say 19 million?

        • Colonial Viper 25.3.1.1

          Best thing to do is for the Government to provide 100,000 new decent jobs for parents who want them.

          Your sidetracks are of no use of course. For hungry children one healthy meal a day is a good start.

        • Tracey 25.3.1.2

          let’s see, they could eat outside, or int heir classrooms when it rains like they do now.

  26. captain hook 26

    I know, I know, teacher teacher pick me.
    Teach the kidzzz to becum chefs and they could cook all the meals.
    two birds wif one stone.
    hows that for innovative, creative thinking?

  27. Dave 27

    I think anyone who has the absurd notion that this is a method of communism by stealth or any other weasel words of the type needs to know what it is like to be hungry, if they still hold those views, they do need a p in the t.

    • Uturn 27.1

      It’s an old trick, but it still works. Making everything about the kids, when it’s really about the fortunes of the people who talk about the kids. If anyone disagrees, they hate kids. But if they agree, they support a worldview that hates the poor, including their kids. Adult consciences eased on release of this speech: thousands. Children’s stomachs filled: no change. Rapid increase in NZ poverty over the past 25 years: ignored.

      “Communism by stealth” is an oxymoron. Not only is it not Communism, this “policy” goes in the opposite direction, starting from a point that those in need have no control over. As desperately well intentioned as it might seem, it isn’t even of the Left. If I were being generous, it’d call it Bourgeois Socialism, that special kind of hot air that warms people as you screw them. But given Shearer’s speeches, full of an alarming mix of Left and Right, with calls to the aspiring working classes, hatred of those who “cannot be understood” and no overall direction, there is also an equal set of parallels to Fascism.

      An interesting mix, theoretically speaking, and one I wouldn’t be voting for in a million years. What were Labour thinking when they thought a good hook was: Vote for me or the kids (might) die. The spirit of Pagani, lives on.

      • felix 27.1.1

        “If I were being generous, it’d call it Bourgeois Socialism, that special kind of hot air that warms people as you screw them.”

        I’d call it a subsidy to employers so they can continue to pay low, unlivable wages. Not as poetic as yours, sorry.

  28. Herodotus 28

    As we are discussing school funding, good to see that the govt currently funds education adequately. Or is this just another insidious indirect tax without being a tax ???
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10832946
    Especially if our education funding is inadequate why is this happening???
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/107482/private-school-funding-'at-expense-of-state-schools

  29. The private school system is funded by the taxpayer and the students receive free
    meals,those students live in affluent homes and should be able to feed their
    kids without free meals and without tax payers assistance,however when it comes to
    the less well off students and kids there isn’t allowed to be any assistance at all in the
    eyes of key and the right wingnuts,hence key’s statement that “they already get an
    orange and bannana” ffs key, you created more unemployment,you created the top
    20% of favoured nz’ers singled out for preferential treatment,your policies are
    systematicly destroying nz,from the little country towns to the city of auckland,
    resign, you have failed.

  30. Carol 30

    And a piece from Hone on the Mana site this arvo, saying congrats to Labour for picking up on Mana policy:

    http://mana.net.nz/2012/09/congrats-to-labour-harawira/

    “Congrats to Labour” says MANA Leader Hone Harawira. “It’s great to hear David Shearer support calls for our kids to receive healthy food in schools in order to raise educational outcomes”.

    “Feed our Kids is a core MANA policy and I encourage all politicians to take a look at the private members bill that I lodged last week. The bill allows for all children in all decile 1 and 2 schools throughout the country to receive breakfast and lunch. Everybody knows that a kid with a full puku learns better and that the time has come for children in poverty to who without food to end”.

    More at the above link.

  31. I knew that asoon as heard this policy announcement that the Nats and their mates would do their best to rubbish it.The amount of negative comments above are just what In expected, All this tells me is that it is a first class policy and the Right is scared. The facts are that we have thousands of hungery kids ,and until that is completly solved we need to feed these poor kids. Its going gto take a while to undom what this ghastly lot of of

    • OneTrack 31.1

      Nah thats not it. We just don’t trust Labour’s stated cost. Whats the bet they missed something out or they are just keeping the stated cost low to “avoid scaring he horses”.

      • McFlock 31.1.1

        lol
        You mean like the government when their budgets showed both the proceeds from asset sales and the dividends from the shares in the assets they were planning to sell?
         

        • Pascal's bookie 31.1.1.1

          Or after the election when English said that the numbers they campaigned on ‘weren’t even a best guess, just a guess’.

          Or all those bike track jobs key promised.
          Or the revenue neatral tax switch that would step change the economy.

          They’ve got brass I’ll give ‘em that. No class, but some brass.

  32. Treetop 32

    Fruit in schools was introduced mainly to decrease school sores. I heard this from a school health nurse on the radio a couple of years back. The government is underestimating what the benefit of providing a breakfast and a lunch would do for children who have hunger pangs.

    Were National to trim back on some of the consultants they contract, the money would be available for school meals.

  33. Tracey 33

    Don’t we give free, or subsidised meals to politicians? Perhaps we could remove all their free food subsidies and drug test them randonmly, as we do others who depend heavily on tax payer income to move from day to day?

  34. felix 34

    So what? Kids need feeding and someone has to pay for it.

    My preference, btw, is better wages. Then we wouldn’t need Working for Families or state-provided meals at all.

  35. Tracey 35

    Interesting story about the difference between the haves and the havenots.

    A very well known politician/cabinet minister decides to take his family on a long haul flight overseas for their holiday.

    He moves through the shoot with all the other passengers and upon stepping into the plane turns left.

    The head of cabin crew stops him and says “May I see your tickets Mr (insert short control freak name in here). The HOCC says ” I’m sorry you are ticketed for economy Mr “. Mr ….. replies, but you must have free seats in business?” To which the HOCC says ” you have decided not to use your airpoints for an upgrade for this flight Mr…. so please take your seat (points to right of MP) and we will be along with your complimentary water in a few minutes.

    Oh yes, it’s only the last government that’s out of touch with the real world…

  36. DropDead 36

    Interesting article:
    http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=7999876

    Conclusions:
    The intervention did not reduce breakfast skipping; rather, pupils
    substituted breakfast at home for breakfast at school. However, there were
    improvements in children’s nutritional intake at breakfast time, if not the rest of the
    day, and more positive attitudes to breakfast, which may have implications for lifecourse
    dietary behaviours. There was no impact on episodic memory or classroom
    behaviour, which may require targeting breakfast skippers.

    • blue leopard 36.1

      “Research shows that healthy eating can improve children’s concentration and help them do better in school, says pediatric behavioral nutritionist Janice Baranowski from Baylor University in Houston. Baranowski adds that getting the proper nutrients is especially important for young brains that are still growing and developing. Nutritionist Beth Reardon from Duke University’s integrative medicine center in Durham, North Carolina, adds that research also suggests that certain foods may affect kids with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, either in a positive or a negative way”.

      Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/192724-how-does-healthy-eating-affect-childrens-concentration/#ixzz263O2Vgsp

  37. Its rather ironic that there are those on the right that dismiss this policy and yet it is
    their key led govt that promised 170000 jobs,how did that go?
    acshully it was all spin,a scrurilous sound bite,meaning didly squat,now we have
    people loosing jobs left right and centre and having to exsist on $12.000 a year
    base rate, any other allowances need paper work and proof of need.,now enter ms
    benefit she is going to bring you down another notch,down where you should be in her
    eyes,she says go and find a job! or you will loose half your benefit and if you can’t
    you could be in danger of loosing it, is this mind games or what ? if you are sick
    or injured or disabled,think of some employment you can do,if there were employers
    out there and the jobs were there what employers would want to take on someone
    who has health and disability issues as opposed to a healthy individual,so all of the
    unemployed,the disabled,the injured,the sick all arrive on the trainwreck policy
    back at the winz office,to repeat the cycle,brainless.
    We have just got to get this country back to some commonsense
    and some form of caring for our fellow nz’ers and kids who are being treated in such a
    demeaning way.

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    Last year, in response to a series of court cases challenging its control orders or claiming compensation for human rights abuses by its intelligence services, the UK passed the Justice and Security Act 2013. The Act introduces a "Closed Material...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Massey chancellor sets up company in opposition to university
    Massey Chancellor Chris Kelly will chair the board of a company that intends to be New Zealand’s largest private training provider (PTE)...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Gibbs, Hayek, Canterbury and the free market for degrees
    The New Zealand Herald notes that philanthropist Alan Gibbs is about to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury today. One of the many institutions Alan Gibbs has donated his money to...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store Day
    As readers will know, I have long embraced the internet music revolution. The ability to discover and download new things pretty much as they're being made has reinvented and refreshed my lifelong relationship with popular music. But I still really...
    Public Address | 16-04
  • Great Sorkin Parody
    Aaron Sorkin (SportsNight, The West Wing, The Newsroom) makes a very particular style of TV. Some good parts to that, some really silly parts. Amy Schumer' Comedy Central parody of Sorkin is pitch-prefect and hilarious. Enjoy: Inside Amy SchumerGet More:...
    Polity | 16-04
  • Photographic proof
    Deborah asked for a picture of my bicycle, after I wrote about it, and there is now one in existence which even includes me riding it along Mt Albert Rd, thanks to a dear friend who drove past me and...
    The Hand Mirror | 16-04
  • Our future lies in science
    This is not a column on global warming, climate change or whether humans are or aren’t having an impact....
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Gordon Campbell on drone strikes and Judith Collins‘ last stand
    Reportedly, US drone operators refer to their kills as “bug splat” – mainly because when the carnage is viewed on their screens thousands of kilometres away at home, it looks like an insect strike on a windscreen. The name has...
    Gordon Campbell | 16-04
  • Revealed: Steven Joyce’s select committee submission
    Dear Education Select Committee, Well, there are less than two weeks for people to get their submissions in to you on my proposals to remove staff and students from university and wānanga councils. You...
    TEU | 16-04
  • World News Brief, Thursday April 17
    Top of the AgendaTensions Rise in Ukraine’s East Ahead of Talks...
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Northern Europe looks to end fixed-term agreements for academics
    Long strings of fixed term employment agreements are not just a problem here in New Zealand but Sweden too, according to Education International. But the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) has a plan to solve this. It is turning...
    TEU | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 17, 2014Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today.The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company, Christchurch Yarns, go into...
    First Union Media | 16-04
  • Collins: More contemptible lying
    Yesterday, Judith Collins treated New Zealand's media and people as if we were all complete fools. Here is what she said (via this morning's Herald): Ms Collins said she was unaware Oravida was having any problems getting its products into...
    Polity | 16-04
  • The Downside of Park and Ride
    Flicking back through older Atlantic Cities posts led to one from last year about Park and Ride catching my eye. It’s a fairly well reasoned cautionary tale which highlights the pitfalls and potential perverse outcomes from something that would appear...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, ...
    This is a guest post from Narahani.   Or is happening and is good for you, or has stopped happening, or is caused by CO2 but only a little, or is about to reverse due to lots of yet-to-be-discovered negative...
    Skeptical Science | 16-04
  • Submission
    Below is my draft submission on the Environmental Reporting Bill. I'm primarily interested in the freedom of information issues; I expect other groups to be focused on the reporting itself. I support the aims of the Environmental Reporting Bill of...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Government’s ‘rock star economy’ throws hospital staff ou...
    The Public Service Association says administrative staff at hospitals around the country are missing out on Bill English’s ‘rock star...
    PSA | 16-04
  • Lip service: it’s all climate action ever gets from Key & Co
    As expected, the New Zealand government’s response to the IPCC’s Working Group 3 report on mitigating climate change pays lip service to the science, while maintaining that NZ is doing all that can be expected. Climate change minister Tim Groser’s...
    Hot Topic | 16-04
  • Progress of FCV “slave ships” Bill is good news – but much work remai...
    The Maritime Union of New Zealand says the progress of the “slave ships” Bill in the New Zealand Parliament is good news – but much work remains to be done....
    MUNZ | 16-04
  • Judith Collins’ reputation dependent on Slater’s scandals
    Judith Collins' reputation as the possible next leader of the National party is in shreds. Her reputation as a minister of the crown in the Key owned National party caucus is in tatters. A resignation is the only honorable thing...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 16-04
  • Photo of the Day: Red III
    Learning Your Stripes, 2013, Regan Gentry, Papatoetoe. Commissioned by Auckland Council aer  ...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • The cost of tax cheats
    How much do corporate tax cheats cost? In the US, over US$180 billion a year:US taxpayers would need to pay an average of $1,259 more a year to make up the federal and state taxes lost to corporations and individuals...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Cats cavorting through capital – Morgan
    The capital’s cats are cavorting through Wellington properties at a rate of 49 million trespasses a year, according to a new study by anti-cat campaigner Gareth Morgan. Island Bay and the rest of the Southern Ward turned out to be...
    Gareth’s World | 16-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke
    Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke Hugh Pavletich Performance Urban Planning Christchurch New Zealand 16 April 2014 The Housing Accord entered in to today between the Government and the Christchurch City Council, can only be described as a joke. Christchurch...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
    Infographic from Charities Aid Foundation World Giving Index 2013 A Global View Of Giving Trends (click to see full size version)...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tranter questions CEO’s assurances
    “There is a bizarre notion among bureaucrats, politicians and others that if they say something then it must be so - despite all evidence to the contrary” said David Tranter, Health spokesman for Democrats for Social Credit....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
    In its oral submission to the Health Select Committee today, UNICEF NZ expressed its strong support for the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill as a measure that will help reduce the uptake of smoking, and urged parliament...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
    Waikato-Tainui, local marae, councils and agencies are working together to better manage whitebait fisheries at Port Waikato following the compilation of a new report....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
    The Smokefree Coalition is disappointed Imperial Tobacco did not win the Roger Award for Worst Trans-national Company operating in New Zealand, despite manufacturing products that kill 5000 New Zealanders every year....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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