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A quick question

Written By: - Date published: 9:11 am, July 5th, 2012 - 197 comments
Categories: benefits, drugs, john key, national - Tags: , ,

We’ve all seen the headlines: Fail a drugs test and lose your benefit, job seekers warned. Here’s a summary:

The Government is preparing legislation to strip beneficiaries of their welfare payments if they miss out on jobs because they won’t take a drug test, or fail one, and the bill could be in parliament next month.

I have a question for the Nats, and indeed for anyone who supports this policy. What is going to happen to the people who have their benefit terminated under this policy? How will they live?

197 comments on “A quick question”

  1. Julian 1

    No one cares, that is why we voted John for the job.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Yeah John doesn’t care if they beg on the streets, turn themselves or their childre4n to prostitution or dealing drugs themselves.

      Neither it seems do you, Julian.

    • Wrong on both counts.

      1. We care.

      2. And only 1,058,638 voted for Key. Over 3 million did not.

      There’s hope for us yet.

    • mike e 1.3

      Julyanne you’ll be caring when you get mugged on the St by a gangster!

  2. Unfair question Rob.
     
    When you are looking for a dog whistle soundbite what relevance is it what actually happens after the implementation of the policy?

    • aerobubble 2.1

      Human Right lawyers get massive payouts and trips aboard to sue out NZ???

      While addicts increase their income by crime???

      Or, its just dog whistle government again.

      Doesnt shonkey have anything better to do, like grow jobs?

  3. M 3

    They don’t give a flying fuck how these people will live. This is Key aping the shit that’s going on in America which is designed to cow the populace into meek acceptance of whatever bullshit is meted out.

    Perhaps the hidden agenda is to hope that those who stand up to them will starve to death.

  4. dd 4

    Which is exactly why they won’t actually do it.

    The soundbite just sounds really good to New Zealander’s jealous of those on the benefit.

  5. Adrian 5

    How about including any traces of booze, it may well be the best chance we’ll ever have of cleaning out the National caucas, and the P trigger should rid us of Banks at last!

  6. tsmithfield 6

    The policy needs to cover two main points:

    1. It is unfair that tax payers should have to pay for beneficiaries to indulge in illegal substances.
    2. There are people with addictions who are trapped in their behaviours.

    Therefore, the policy needs to include treatment to help beneficiaries who are addicted to drugs to escape their addictions before their benefit is cut. This seems to be entirely fair to me.

    So far as how people will survive with their benefit cut? The answer is that the benefit doesn’t provide enough for people to fund a drug lifestyle anyway. So, it is likely that they are gaining income from other sources to supplement their addictions. The benefit is likely to be only a small part of this, especially for drugs like heroin. So, I expect there would be a slight increase in crime, prostitution etc.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 6.1

      “It is unfair that tax payers should have to pay for beneficiaries to indulge in illegal substances.”

      Levels of drug use are directly related to levels of equality – more equal societies have fewer drug problems. Will this policy increase or decrease the level of equality in New Zealand?

      Perhaps you could explain why you think that is “fair” – since fairness appears to be the benchmark du jour.

      Then explain why all receivers of public money should not be subject to the same Nanny State interference.

    • aerobubble 6.2

      Addicts often are introduced to their habit by criminals who benefit from the illicit trade.
      Government has the means to crush this trade by semi-legalizing the illicit industry and
      so take the profit motive away and replace it by early intervention.
      The government cannot argue that its justified to stand at the botton of the cliff while
      mouthing high minded values from the top of the cliff when its so responsible for the
      crisis in the first place.
      We’re had the eras of preists shouting their hind quarters off while they were perverts
      themselves.

      As for the money issue, you are seriously not telling me you have 100% knowledge
      that means you consent to deny any other citizen basics of food, health, housing.
      Be very concerned its not you next, when petrol prices bear their real value in
      the market place.

      Yes, help addicts, yes give them paths to rehabilitation, but don’t think for one moment
      that the pooh emanating from the present government has anything to do with tax
      justice, or actually will help deal with the chronic levels of gang crime and drug
      addictions created by our ineffectual government legislative regime.

      Government needs the consent of all the people, not just tight arses like you worried
      about tax justice when addicts pay taxes too.

    • dd 6.3

      It’s unfair. What a total crytime line displaying a strange type of jealousy.

      Would you actually want to be stuck on the dole smoking weed with no money left over to do anything else?

      The answers to addiction cost far too much in the short term for any right winger to actually want anything to do with. Hence going down the punishment path again which just leads to more crime and in the long run even more money spent on the police and law system.

    • Robert M 6.4

      Addiction is not an illness, its an indulgence or an intelligent way of passing the time. There are many advantages for alcholics who maintain some control, the same with heroin addicts. You need only half the sleep to function at the highest level. Its reduces the chance of breadowns and reduces stress. Generally speaking if you drink and drug you never get colds and flu. In many ways legal drugs such as alcohol and many illegal ones seems far superior medication to medical pharmacuticals.
      Another point is that the most advanced medical pharmacuticals such as the early serotonin drugs have far more in common with illegal and recreational drugs than traditional medical drugs ( paraphase David Healy-but true).
      Medical addiction treatments are either a money making racket,or an excuse to employ huge numbers of psychologists, half trained nurses and consellors. The real reform needed in NZ, is halving of the health budget, the axing of social work training, the closure of all Sociology departments , the closure of provincial hospitals and polytechnics – with the compensation of guarnateeing those in farm related employment $75,000 a year in the hand.

      • McFlock 6.4.1

        the bold attitudes of someone who’s never had a relative suffer from addiction.

      • prism 6.4.2

        Robert M For a second my eyes misread and I thought you were suggesting the closing
        of all Scientology departments.

      • John72 6.4.3

        Robert M, addiction is an illness. It is a mental illness. As each of us passes through life we all have to face times of hardship. Life is difficult. Some of us face these hardships and conquer them, some try to find an easy solution in alcohol or drugs etc. We all take a different path. Some conquer an addiction. There is nothing intelligent about an addiction. Our actions make a statement of our purpose. Having lived and worked with alcoholics 24/7, I have seen how drugs contributed to the downfall of the British Empire. People who are dependant on drugs are not leaders in any way. They are not even achievers. They are dependant on other people and contribute nothing to society.
        Each time we face and conquer a hardship we grow and mature a bit more. We learn something about the world and ourselves, we gain self confidence and self respect. Life is an adventure. Life is difficult. In acknowledging this you are halfway to enjoying it. Seeking refuge in a drug will not enhance your relationship with other people and the world. It only confirms your fear of the world.
        Many people want to make money selling drugs. They have no conscience. Why let them use you. People selling drugs are only taking advantage of you. Undoubtedly, there are other people who want to use you , but there are many humble people who are prepared to help you too. Perhaps you could help another addict?

      • MrSmith 6.4.4

        Good stuff Robert M, personally I think everyone should be allowed to take drugs and then make up their own minds, plenty here like to give there opinions but few have indulged.

        John72’s little rant calling drugs the downfall of the british empire is laughable, “addiction is an illness” bullshit John, only because it suits you to give it a label. It’s people like John that think they know what’s best for everyone else that should be force feed drugs. 

        • Vicky32 6.4.4.1

          It’s people like John that think they know what’s best for everyone else that should be force feed drugs.

          Bitter much? Honestly, what an asinine thing to say…

          • MrSmith 6.4.4.1.1

            Bitter! far from it Vicky, I’m elated at the moment with the discovery of the Higgs Boson, just one more nail in God’s coffin.

            So Vicky on with the sex drugs and rock and roll because the chief problem with death, is the fear there may be no afterlife, a depressing thought, particularly for those who have bothered to shave.

    • North 6.5

      Then drug test everybody who gets a payment from the government. That will include the pampered little prick students who’re able to break student allowance thresholds because mummy and daddy have assets hidden in trusts. Test mummy and daddy for that matter.

      If they weren’t getting off their faces then that’s money they could apply to their kids’ education. Relieve the taxpayer of the burden accruing because they’re stoners or better. Makes equal sense.

      Unless you apply it to everybody you’re bashing beneficiaries and you’re a rotten discriminating
      pig. Don’t gimme that nice guy shit about Key. He’s actually a cold bully boy underneath that effete presentation.

      Further, Bennett needs to tell us whether she ever had a little go at the dak when she was on the bennie. Of course she couldn’t ‘fess up if it were in fact the case, but there would surely have been witnesses (if it were in fact the case – note I emphasise the “if”).

      • Jim Nald 6.5.1

        Drug (and alcohol) test all parliamentarians, focusing on cabinet ministers?
        Regular testing and random checks, especially when parliament is sitting … and particularly after dinner recess or when parliament is sitting under urgency?

        Penalties include instant fines, docking their pay, suspending superannuation and no access to the chauffeured limo for a specified period

    • QoT 6.6

      indulge in illegal substances

      Mmmmm, delicious prejudicial framing.

    • Your assumption is wrong, TS;

      Check out these latest redundancies;

      Hakes Marine; 15 redundancies
      Pernod Ricard New Zealand; 13 redundancies
      Depart of Corrections; 130 redundancies
      Summit Wool Spinners; 80 redundancies
      Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; 80 redundancies
      Norman Ellison Carpets; 70 redundancies
      IRD; 51 redundancies
      Flotech; 70 redundancies
      NZ Police; 125 redundancies
      CRI Plant and Food; 25 redundancies
      Hastie Group; 500 redundancies (?)

      Will drug testing be used to “sort this lot out smartly”, by your precious Mr English?

      And more bizarre is Paula Bennet’s admission that National “has ruled out universal drug testing of all beneficiaries, with drug and alcohol addicts being exempted from sanctions for refusing or failing a drug test when applying for a job“.

      See: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10817004

      Which means that if addicts and alcoholics are not tested – that leaves only those workers who’ve been unfortunate enough to lose their jobs through New Zealand’s ongoing stagnating economy.

      Adding insult to injury doesn’t begin to cover the humiliation which National intends to thrust upon workers who’ve lost their jobs.

      And all because National has no job creation policies.

      [Excerpt from my blog post here: http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/national-what-else-can-possibly-go-wrong/

      • mike e 6.7.1

        Frank maybe we can drug test the minister of primary industries David Carter re Bio security another $400 million dollar cock up.
        Last time Nactional were in the painted apple moth cost us $ 400 million .
        David Carter Cut the Bio security budget.And said it wouldn,t have any effect yeah right same thing happened with previous nactional govt they truly are blinded by their own BS

  7. The answer is that the benefit doesn’t provide enough for people to fund a drug lifestyle anyway.

    As someone who once endured a chronic inability to pay for the desired quantities of recreational drugs due to living on a benefit, I can confirm the truth of this. Cadging off your mates serves only to generate a mates shortage, and the resulting alternatives are abstinence, crime or work.

    • aerobubble 7.1

      Mates pay taxes, work pays taxes, crime causes taxes as replacement costs etc.

      So the question for me is why is tax justice used to justify what essentially is tax injustice.

      Everyone pays tax, addicts more so, so why would we deny them adequate minimum welfare
      levels.

      Seems that its all too easy for a few to run dumb ideas in the open and not be ridiculed for them.

      Tax justice does not mean we can deny addicts basics of humanity, it means tax injustice
      has now become government mantra. Rob from the weakest to subsidies the wealthiest.

  8. Uturn 8

    They go to live in tent cities, and on the street, like those in America. Yes, good ol’ mom and apple pie home of the free America – and die of simple viruses and general bad health. The unemployed are scum, and should not be engaged, or hired. The only way they can stop being scum is to be hired, but we don’t hire scum. It’s brilliant catch-22 don’t you agree? This is why shopping malls, high fashion, fast new cars, flashy watches, tailored suits and other vanities fill me with utter contempt. The evil that underpins it all is palpable.

    The thing about the right is they love to wish people dead, but won’t do it themselves, you know, look them in the eye while they pull the trigger type stuff. They always hide behind the cowardice of starving people to death; perhaps it’s cathartic for them, watching it in slow motion; watching it unfold on the 6pm news from their warm homes and couches, dreams of christmas dinner and church functions.

    Oh yes and don’t forget the crime that must be punished: the unemployed wanted to escape and could find no other way but to get high. The crime, is being human. Punish them with death for being human.

    • Vicky32 8.1

      The unemployed are scum, and should not be engaged, or hired.

      I read on an American site maybe 9 months ago, of the experience of many unemployed Americans who said they’d been rejected specifically because they were unemployed!
      I suspect it’s the same here…

  9. Phase 2: Outsource The Drugs Tests To Lowest Bidder With Cross-Contamination And Unaccountable Processes That Mean Everyone Fails, and then the unemployment problem will just go away…

    • prism 9.1

      Shackleford H Have you tried this? You seem to be a bit lacking in the thinking department mainly because of some mind-sapping condition.

      • IcI 9.1.1

        No, no. Shackleford has the right idea.
        As benefits will not be denied to addicts, we MUST all BECOME addicts to retain our benefit.

        I do wonder though, if that is an unintended consequence, or if that was the plan all along. Most likely the latter; for reasons to grim to contemplate right now.

        • bad12 9.1.1.1

          Speaking of ‘unintended’ consequences, if as the Slippery led National Government insinuate there are whole tribes of DPB mums out there having babies for the sole purpose of collecting that particular benefit,

          Then,

          The Government can in fact expect not a reversal of the numbers collecting that DPB as to stay as a recipient they all will have to have a new baby on a yearly basis,

          Baby boom anyone???…

  10. Roy 10

    A person can fail a urinary THC test by inhaling ‘sidestream’ marijuana smoke:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3037193
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3017628
    so people may lose their benefits just because they share a flat with someone who is a marijuana user. Hardly seems fair, does it?

  11. belladonna 11

    They will be going onto sickness benefits, just in time for the unemployment stats to improve before the next election.

  12. weka 12

    Why are so many people assuming that all beneficiaries that use drugs are addicts?

    • Te Reo Putake 12.1

      Good point, Weka. And last I heard, marijuana isn’t addictive. Can’t say the same for alcohol, tobacco, painkillers and some anti-depressants.

        • weka 12.1.1.1

          The reason it’s generally not considered addictive is because there is no physiological withdrawal when you stop chronic cannabis use. There are physiological and psychological processes obviously. However my point still stands. Plenty of people use cannabis on a regular or semi regular basis without being addicted in the sense that stopping causes an acute medical crisis. I do think that depriving poor people of cannabis and alcohol is cruel, and that a better policy would be to exclude people from job searches that require drug tests if that’s necessary. It’s not like there are enough jobs to go around.

          • tsmithfield 12.1.1.1.1

            “I do think that depriving poor people of cannabis and alcohol is cruel,…”

            Actually, giving beneficiaries money to meet basic living costs is kind.

            Since you argue that cannabis use is not physiologically addictive, then it is difficult for you to argue that beneficiaries are compelled to use cannabis. Hence, according to your argument, and even the link I gave, cannabis use is usually a choice, not a compulsion. If beneficiaries choose to use their benefit for drugs and alcohol rather than basic living expenses, they are stupid.

            Tax payers shouldn’t have to fund stupidity, and, if beneficiaries are using the benefit to fund their drug use, they probably don’t have enough left over for basic living anyway. So, stopping their benefit seems most likely to impact on their drug use rather than basic living.

            • weka 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Smithfield, you seem to be missing the point that not all people who use drugs are addicts. You are also failing to understand the complexity of drug use, and how it affects humans physiologically and psychologically. Obviously people can need something without being physically addicted to it (in the sense of withdrawal when stopping). Think food, water, shelter, companionship, respect etc. Many people use cannabis and alcohol to self medicate in the face of suffering. That doesn’t mean they’re addicted, and it doesn’t mean that they can easily choose to stop such use and be ok.
               
              You talk about kindness but I suspect you have little real appreciation of what that means for people who are institutionally bound to poverty. 
               
              ” If beneficiaries choose to use their benefit for drugs and alcohol rather than basic living expenses, they are stupid.”
               
              You’re an idiot. There are people who grow their own cannabis, so they’re not using their benefit. Under National’s new law they can have their benefit taken off them for refusing to submit to a drug test at the request of a potential employer. I’m saying that when there are enough jobs to go around, we might want to look at whether that is even an issue, but at the moment it’s ridiculous to deprive someone of their income because they’re self medicating a problem that society created, given there aren’t enough jobs to go around anyway.
               
              Further, people who do use their benefit to self medicate instead of paying for basics are not stupid. They’re making desperate choices about which survival need to meet on any given day. You’re arguments are specious, being based on morality instead of reality. Even if you don’t care at all for people in this situation, it is still true that forcing people to choose between medication and a job is a very inept and inefficient way of managing public monies. All you are going to do is increase crime and pressure on the public health system.
               
              And of course, there are plenty of people who can buy small amounts of drugs without compromising their rent/food etc, but who would still be penalised by this policy.

            • aerobubble 12.1.1.1.1.2

              Its kind to redistribute wealth to other citizens??? WTF. Social wealth is not about kindness, only the most dumb rightwinger peddles that line for obvious reasons,
              they need to invoke some kind of compulsive measure.

              Redistribution is justified on the basis that by housing people properly we keep disease
              of ghettos abated. By feeding people and their kids they do not start criminal gangs
              and then march on the Bastile overthrowing the government. By providing access
              to medicine we stop the next pandemic. Its just nonsense that we provide the benefit
              out of some collective kindness, when we actively intervene in the labor market to
              stop short term hiring, we place employment costs on businesses that inhibit them
              hiring people. Its a duty of government to make up for the collateral damage of
              unintended consequences to provide a safety net. When a health and safe breach
              saves someones life in the work place that has cost the business money and so
              means they don’t have the money to employ more people, grow faster.

              The whole basis of the National parties view of welfare is predicated on the
              nonsense that government is owed some duty from beneficiaries, when in
              actual fact, in law, they have a duty not to tax people, whether monetry or
              by non-fiscal means (like regulating employment, businesses, etc) to
              redistribute a minimum standard to everyone. Least we forget.

              remember when war comes we will be harmed if the majority of the
              people messed around by big government and these right wing psuedo
              libertarians, when they realize they are the majority and now have been armed
              by government. We support one another because we are one people.
              national divisiveness is pandering to the heartless and stupid.

            • Frank Macskasy 12.1.1.1.1.3

              TS, you’ve missed the point. Wilfully, I suspect.

              Bennett herself confirmed on Q+A (29 April),

              “There’s not a job for everyone that would want one right now, or else we wouldn’t have the unemployment figures that we do. “

              http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/transcript-paula-bennett-interview-4856860

              She has also confirmed that the drug-testing will not include ACTUAL drug & alcohol addicts,

              “The Government has ruled out universal drug testing of all beneficiaries, with drug and alcohol addicts being exempted from sanctions for refusing or failing a drug test when applying for a job.”

              http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10817004

              Now think about it…

              1. Not enough jobs.

              2. Addicts & alcoholics exempt.

              What does that tell you?

          • Kotahi Tane Huna 12.1.1.1.2

            “Tax payers shouldn’t have to fund stupidity…”

            This coming from a National Party apologist?

            Once again: levels of drug use are directly related to levels of equality – more equal societies have fewer drug problems. Will this policy increase or decrease the level of equality in New Zealand?

            What were you saying about stupidity?

            • tsmithfield 12.1.1.1.2.1

              “Once again: levels of drug use are directly related to levels of equality – more equal societies have fewer drug problems. Will this policy increase or decrease the level of equality in New Zealand?”

              Seems to me that you are relying on that spirit level nonsense that has been thoroughly debunked e.g:

              http://irserver.ucd.ie/dspace/handle/10197/2475
              http://esr.oxfordjournals.org/content/26/6/731.short
              http://spiritleveldelusion.blogspot.co.nz/2010/08/spirit-level-has-been-debunked-more-or.html

              • McFlock

                nonsense?
                Whatever helps you sleep at night, dude. 

                • tsmithfield

                  Check out those citations. Especially the first two. They’re not from some random blog.

                  The first article is by: Dr. Michael O’Connell , Senior Lecturer,
                  School of Psychology, UCD

                  You can download his article.

                  Here is a quote from his article on the statistics used in the Spirit Level:

                  But of course ‘everyone knows’ about the correlation and causation issue. Well, the problem for Wilkinson and Pickett is that the evidence they provide in The Spirit Level is no stronger than this, i.e. virtually all we are presented with are correlations. This evidence should only be considered the most basic first step in building their causal argument. And even some prominent readers do not seem to get this – here’s a quote from a rave review of the book from Colette Douglas Home writing in the Glasgow Herald (available on the webpage linked to The Spirit Level) – “graph after graph demonstrates cause and dire effect”. Sorry Colette, they don’t. As correlations, logically, they cannot demonstrate cause and effect, dire or otherwise. They are suggestive at best, a point that Wilkinson and Pickett do not acknowledge clearly enough.

                  • vto

                    tsmithfield – why do you think the government should be able to snoop into beneficiaries personal lives outside of work hours and requirements?

                    if you feel so inclined, check my post below. I even mentioned you in it.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “tsmithfield – why do you think the government should be able to snoop into beneficiaries personal lives outside of work hours and requirements?”

                      You mean like the way they snoop to see if a beneficiary is living with someone they shag? The drug testing would be just another similar requirement to ensure the benefit system isn’t being ripped off by people who could otherwise be working if they were able to pass a drug test. On the other hand, check out my opening post. I did say I also thought the government should give help with addictions and give people a chance to get off their substance of choice. So, I’m not totally heartless.

                    • weka

                      Just mostly heartless.
                       
                      There is nothing wrong with a beneficiary having sex with someone they live with. It’s only a problem from the perspective of WINZ rules when there is a level of relationship that means that finances are shared in the way that couples do. In fact the whole sex thing is as ridiculous as the drug testing thing. What’s the difference between a bene and their flatmate, and a bene and a flatmate who are fuck buddies? The presence or absence of sex has nothing to do with anything and it’s none of WINZ’s business.
                       
                      You obviously have as little understanding of the realities of Work and Income as you do about addiction and drug use.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Weka: “You obviously have as little understanding of the realities of Work and Income as you do about addiction and drug use.”

                      The point I was making is that WINZ, (and other government agencies) already pry into our lives in various ways now. So, drug testing for a benefit is just another one to add to the list.

                      I suspect that what will happen if this law is enacted is that those who are addicted will need help to get off. Those who are recreational users will be come a lot less committed to their enjoyment for the sake of keeping a benefit. Either way, that has to be good, doesn’t it?

                    • weka

                      Weka: “You obviously have as little understanding of the realities of Work and Income as you do about addiction and drug use.”
                      The point I was making is that WINZ, (and other government agencies) already pry into our lives in various ways now. So, drug testing for a benefit is just another one to add to the list.
                       

                      No. What I am saying is that the example you used is a false one. WINZ can’t discontinue a benefit because the beneficiary is having sex with someone and not telling the department. The only reason that WINZ get away with that shit sometimes is because too many benes don’t know their rights, and advocates are so poorly funded. You seem to think that WINZ have the right to pry into the sex lives of beneficiaries, but they don’t. See if you can find some WINZ policy or legislation the proves I am wrong.
                       
                      In the same way that your example is false, it’s also bullshit that WINZ should be able to pry into beneficiaries’ lives about drug use. It would be different if this was being applied across the board, but it’s being targeted at some of the most vulnerable people in the community. It’s discriminatory and it’s morally wrong.

                       
                      I suspect that what will happen if this law is enacted is that those who are addicted will need help to get off. Those who are recreational users will be come a lot less committed to their enjoyment for the sake of keeping a benefit. Either way, that has to be good, doesn’t it?
                       

                      Yes to the first, but in the meantime, in the real world, where we know that addiction support is woefully inadequate, and that that is unlikely to change any time soon, what becomes of those people? That is the point of r0b’s question at the end of his post.
                       
                      No to the second point. Many people self medicate to make their lives bearable. Why should beneficiaries be deprived of that when the rest of society isn’t? Again, this is discrimination.
                       
                       

                  • McFlock

                    I seem to recall they were brought up last time tsl was discussed.

                    Let’s see: the delusion link was here, here, here, and here. Just for starters. Oh, and it’s shit – read through the arguments I had with goos as to why.
                        

                           
                    The cause and effect thing is perfectly correct. It’s not a “debunking” though. It doesn’t even say the tsl authors pretend causation, just that they “do not acknowledge clearly enough “. A “debunking” would show that the data was false, etc. 
                         
                    I have noticed that the debate has shifted over the last several years from “no relationship” to more in the “correlation ne causation” area. That alone makes tsl worthwhile.
                           
                    ISTR a reasonable temporal relationship, a rough dose-response line, and some plausible causal explanations for the observed correlation.  

                    I look forward to a bit more data coming out as a result of the GFC, as well as more case-level studies.
                           
                    All in all, if you want to pretend the GINI is still in the bottle, fine by me. .

                    • tsmithfield

                      McFlock, that is just one of a number of criticisms.

                      I don’t want to derail this thread by starting the spirit level debate all over again. But there is a lot of stuff that is seriously dodgy with it. For instance, including extreme outliers to make a trend that wouldn’t otherwise exist. Plus obvious third variable explanations that weren’t considered, just to name a few.

                      I actually couldn’t believe that the spirit level got so much attention. But if you look at the academic criticisms such as several of the links I gave, you will find that people with a much more impressive background than mine have come up with similar criticisms.

                      I used to mark undergraduate papers in my post grad years in psychology. Honestly, I would have given students a D for coming up with some of the tripe I have seen in the Spirit Level. I can’t understand how it got through a peer review process.

                    • McFlock

                      yep – nothing there that hasn’t been done to death here before, like the “outliers” bullshit.
                           
                      TSL is an illustrative work that basically summarizes the research in the field, but it is consistent with the literature of the time and the patterns it draws attention to are still relevant today. It’s a shitload more reliable than Treasury forecasts, for example.
                               
                      Perfect? Nope.
                      Suggests a reasonable conclusion based on data gathered with a clear methodology? Definitely. 
                      Debunked? No more than anthropogenic global warming.  

                    • tsmithfield

                      “TSL is an illustrative work that basically summarizes the research in the field, but it is consistent with the literature of the time and the patterns it draws attention to are still relevant today”

                      If that was all they were trying achieve, then they would have been better to do a meta-analysis rather than what they put up.
                      This uses recognised statistical techniques to analyse data from multiple sources.

                      This study smacks to me of the sort of “research” tripe being dished up to justify banning wood-burners in Christchurch.

                      The claim was approx 150 lives per year were being lost due to particulates from wood burners due to respiratory related illnesses. But, guess what. The number of wood burners has decreased dramatically, but the number of deaths due to respiratory illness hasn’t.

                      The problem seems fairly obvious that there is a third variable at play: cold. It gets cold in winter. People use their fires more. And people die more due to the cold temperatures.

                      It seems quite likely that the wood burner particulates are too big to cause respiratory illness anyway, so the whole argument may well have been baseless.

                      You might be right. But, when I see the sort of statistical freedom used in tsl, it just leaves me shaking my head. Sorry.

                    • McFlock

                      Um – if you’re talking about:

                        Hales, S., Salmond, C., Town, G. I., Kjellstrom, T. and Woodward, A. (2000), Daily mortality in relation to weather and air pollution in Christchurch, New Zealand. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 24: 89–91. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-842X.2000.tb00731.x 

                       
                      They did actually control for temperature and still found a pm10 count correlation. So that actually does debunk your folksy wisdom on the issue.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Yeah. But that also covered a period that included coal burning as well as wood burning. Coal fires are known to have much finer particulates. Also, there is more car traffic in winter due to less people riding bikes, so more vehicle emissions. So, I am not so sure you can tease out wood burners from all that.

                      What is interesting is that the reduction in wood burners doesn’t seem to be having an effect on mortality, which is what would be expected if wood burners were a cause of mortality.

                    • tsmithfield

                      BTW McFlock, here is the article I was referring to.

                      The bullshit figures of 158 per year are derived from the bullshit study I was referring to. I suspect the much lower figures from ECAN are from the much better study you referred to.

                    • McFlock

                      meh.
                         
                      After a bit of googling, 2 things leap out at me:

                      1) 3 people really have their knickers in a twist about keeping their woodburners. 
                      2) without both original articles in front of me, it’s difficult to tell whether it’s a numerator issue (e.g. including some conditions but not others in the count), a denominator issue (e.g. interpolation methods between census years, estimated resident vs count populations, and so on) or just plain looking at different periods.
                             
                      I’m not entirely sure which side to call it for imo yet, and it’s getting late. 

                  • Kotahi Tane Huna

                    Both academic papers you cite are behind paywalls.

                    You’re going to have to do better than that.

              • mike e

                The stupid monetarist Right wing propaganda most of the statistics used in their research is correct .
                So cold independent institutes that counter claimed were found or were funded by right wing think tanks.

  13. tsmithfield 13

    Having had experience with someone in our family circle addicted to heroin, I am reasonably qualified to comment.

    In my experience people in this situation become transient, highly erratic, and engage in large amount of petty crime to fund the addiction. Whether the benefit is stopped or not is a moot point because these people tend to miss required paperwork from WINZ and frequently have their benefit stopped as a result anyway. As mentioned above, for a serious drug user, the amount of the benefit is piss all anyway compared to the cost of funding their addiction. So whether they have it or not probably makes very little difference to their behaviour.

    • dd 13.1

      What you are talking about is heroin which is entirely different to marijuana. For a start it’s far more addictive. It’s also far more life changing and harmful than weed.

      The amount of people addicted to heroin in NZ is extremely low. Mostly down to supply also being very low. Thank goodness for that.

      If you are going to talk about drugs and beneficiaries you should look at marijuana as that is the drug moist widely used. Except from, of course, alcohol. But employers don’t care about that.

      Otherwise you end up writing policy for a small minority that directly harms the majority.

      • idlegus 13.1.1

        heroin? bollocks, maybe your family member was addicted to opiates? which is what most iv drug users use in nz. i doubt anyone in nz could afford or get access to enough heroin for them to have a habit. i am involved with divo/needle exchange in dunedin & do have some idea what i am talking about.

        • tsmithfield 13.1.1.1

          Its amazing what can be afforded when theft is incessant and prostitution as well. You might be right though.

          • Colonial Viper 13.1.1.1.1

            Don’t stop there. Tell us more about your family member who is a thief and a prostitute.

        • McFlock 13.1.1.2

          Heroin is an opiate. But I think I see what you mean.

    • weka 13.2

      “Having had experience with someone in our family circle addicted to heroin, I am reasonably qualified to comment.”
       
      I disagree. You may be qualified to talk about your relative’s experience, but pretty much everything you have said in this thread leads me to believe you have a pretty limited understanding of drug use and addiction.
       
      You talk about ‘these people’ as if they are one homogenous group who are all in the same situation and act in the same way. They’re not and they don’t.
       
      The idea that taking away a benefit would have little effect is so ridiculous I don’t know were to start. The most immediate effect of removing a benefit is to put an addicted person under severe additional stress, both financial and emotional/mental. This is going to have flow on effects in terms of crime, social services, health/mental health etc. For addicts who are already living below the poverty line, this will further entrench long term issues to do with poverty, making survival difficult and recovery near impossible.
       
      I know nothing about your relative’s situation, but most addicts I’ve known have not been wealthy enough that the loss of several hundred dollars a week would have no impact on them, and benefits have been crucial in their survival.
       
       

      • tsmithfield 13.2.1

        “The most immediate effect of removing a benefit is to put an addicted person under severe additional stress, both financial and emotional/mental. This is going to have flow on effects in terms of crime, social services, health/mental health etc.”

        That is why they need to have help getting clean. For drugs such as heroin/opiates, then the methadone treatment should be extended considerably. My relative is now on the methadone treatment and in full employment.

        So far as cannabis is concerned, earlier on you seemed to be saying it wasn’t particularly addictive anyway. In that case, people will probably give up the habit rather than lose their benefit. If that means they are more likely to get a job as a result, then that is even better.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 13.2.1.1

          “..will probably give up…”

          I don’t mean to doubt your assertions but nothing else you ever say proves true so if you don’t mind: citation please.

        • weka 13.2.1.2

          That is why they need to have help getting clean. For drugs such as heroin/opiates, then the methadone treatment should be extended considerably. My relative is now on the methadone treatment and in full employment.

           
          I am glad for your relative, and I agree that methdone and other treatment services need to be extended. But tell me, how much time did they spend on a benefit?

           
          So far as cannabis is concerned, earlier on you seemed to be saying it wasn’t particularly addictive anyway. In that case, people will probably give up the habit rather than lose their benefit. If that means they are more likely to get a job as a result, then that is even better.
           

          No, that wasn’t what I was saying. I was saying that the effects of drugs are more complex than addicted or not. And that cannabis doesn’t fit the classic definition of addiction because of how it affects physiology. But obviously some people are dependent on cannabis for other reasons. What you seem to be proposing is that someone that is self medicating should either give up essential meds or lose their benefit. I’m saying that that is cruel.
           
          I suspect you have a moral objection to drug use, seeing some drugs as good (alcohol, pharmaceuticals) and others as bad (illegal recreational drugs). There is nothing wrong per se with smoking cannabis apart from the fact that it is illegal. Why should beneficiaries be expected to give that up?
           
          But beyond that, the whole argument is invalid. As others have said, drug tests don’t tell you anything useful about someone’s ability to the job on the day. And why target beneficiaries? Shouldn’t all people who apply for those kinds of jobs be penalised if they refuse or fail a drug test?
           
           

        • mike e 13.2.1.3

          Cannabis not addictive yeah right.

    • “You mean like the way they snoop to see if a beneficiary is living with someone they shag? ”

      Shagging someone is not the same as a relationship.

      I mean, really, if you paid a sexworker to say “I love you” whilst they shag you – do you really believe you’re suddenly in a relationship?!

    • mike e 13.4

      Stupid Monetarist The methadone program has shown to to be a good warehousing policy for heroine addicts but if they are drug tested and refused a benefit you know what will happen.
      A crime wave like we’ve never seen before will happen, Gangs will flourish not that they aren’t with already high unemployment.
      Think Mexico.

  14. Except from, of course, alcohol. But employers don’t care about that.

    It’s not that they don’t care about it so much as that, because they use it themselves, they don’t have bizarre and incomprehensible attitudes towards it. Which means that with alcohol, they tend to take the practical approach of requiring you not to be under its influence at work, rather than the stupidly impractical one of trying to require you to never use it even in your own time.

    Of course, for this govt taking a practical approach comes a poor second to dog-whistling the talkback ranters, hence the enthusiasm for drug-testing beneficiaries.

    • prism 14.1

      PM
      I agree that this government prefer to grab headlines by ranting about drug addiction rather than have the spotlight turned on themselves and their unsavoury behaviour.

      And crime in general is such a good distraction for the government in that way. It has emotional pull for people and the government comes in like Superman promising Action.

      Apparently the Herald had seven pages on the Scott murder and acquittal and tucked away somwhere was information about the rail tunnel project which is going to cost a $billion? Ho hum that’s not important just hoist the screaming headlines about crime again, and turn crime itself into a celebrity.

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    I want to know why these people (this government and some employers) think they have to have control of my leisure time. Really, that’s all that these drug tests are for.

    The correct time for a drugs test is after an accident and even then it also needs to be a test to see if the person is under the influence. Drugs stay in the body a long time and so it’s possible to get a positive result even though the person isn’t influenced by them.

  16. irascible 16

    Perhaps the reason is contained in this article outlining Cameron’s policies on welfare in the UK?

    https://apps.facebook.com/theguardian/commentisfree/2012/jul/03/cruel-welfare-system-private-firms

    • Olwyn 16.1

      Thanks for that link irascible. This is the sentence, in a page of alarming ones, that struck me above all: “Even backbench Lib Dems are predictably silent, and Labour restricts its criticisms of a system it invented to technocratic hand-wringing, focused not on any kind of moral outrage, but whether everything’s working, and how much it all might cost…”

      In Western countries, the middle ground has been disappearing at a rate of knots, and failure to take a stand speaks increasingly of cowardice rather than “broad appeal.”

  17. Roy 17

    Another big problem with marijuana is the long half-life of THC, which means you can smoke a joint on Saturday evening and fail a urine test during the week, even though you are not in any way affected by the tiny amounts of THC you are still excreting.

  18. Hami Shearlie 18

    Looks like the milk of human kindness that NZ showed to Mr Key’s mother after the war has been conveniently forgotten by him – A jew in Austria, she escaped to England, then came here with her English husband. NZ stretched out and helped – she got a state house even though she was not a New Zealander. And then she got a widow’s benefit and worked as well. Can’t do that now!! How come NZ could do all that for her and her family, yet her beloved John is so hard on native-born New Zealanders when they are in dire straits due to job loss, illness etc. How soon they forget????

  19. vto 19

    Horse shit.

    These drug tests do not test impairment at work due to alcohol or drugs.

    They test whether or not a person has indulged in cannabis in the previous three weeks. Perhaps any job seeker who has had a drink in the last three weeks should also lose their benefit. This is the logic of course, if applied without hypocrisy.

    This is ugly devious politics by dragging a work requirement (not to be impaired) into peoples personal lives.

    If the public of New Zealand do not think that beneficiaries should be allowed to do as they wish outside of work hours without the government snooping then the public of New Zealand should say so clearly. But the likes of tsmithfield above seem to think that the government shold be allowed to so snoop to check beneficiaries comply with a different and higher standard of behavioour than himself.

    The likes of tsmithfield don’t even realise this.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Lets start testing MPs and parliamentary staff to the same standard. A few would fail in a heartbeat.

      • tsmithfield 19.1.1

        The difference is that they have earned the money themselves. So they can spend it how they like. When the state gives people money for basic living expenses, that is exactly what it should be used for. Not for having a daily toke.

        • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.1

          The difference is that they have earned the money themselves.

          So you promote a different set of rules for poor unemployed NZers than for rich income earning NZers?

          And its the rich income earning NZers who set the rules for the poor unemployed NZers?

          And further, you think its ok that rich income earning NZers are allowed to get away with more than poor unemployed NZers?

          • prism 19.1.1.1.1

            CV
            “So you promote a different set of rules for poor unemployed NZers than for rich income earning NZers?

            I remembered some pithy comments from Oliver Goldsmith that I read on my desk diary once so googled him. –

            Law grinds the poor, and rich men rule the law

            Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
            Where wealth accumulates, and men decay.
            –Oliver Goldsmith Anglo-Irish writer (1730-1774)

            and
            The rich aren’t like us, they pay less taxes. ..
            Peter de Vries

        • weka 19.1.1.2

          Beneficiaries earn their benefit. They just do this in different ways than wage and salary earners do. MPs have a degree of privilege that they didn’t earn themselves but was given to them. If they want to drug test other members of society they should be willing to be drug tested themselves. You could in fact argue that someone in charge of running the country is a far bigger threat from drug abuse than anyone on a benefit.

        • vto 19.1.1.3

          See tsmithfield, you have fallen straight back into the trap I explained to you – no wonder you didn’t answer it, you couldn’t even see it.

          Your twaddle above is not what this drug testing policy is about. It is not about whether beneficiaries should take drugs or drink alcohol. This policy is about alcohol and drug impairment in the workplace. Do you understand that? a l o h o l a n d d r u g i m p a i r m e n t i n t h e w o r k p l a c e . The two matters are completely different but you and chris73 I see below have fallen straight into the nasty little political trap so cunningly set.

          If you wish to impose a bunch of specific morals and standards of conduct onto beneficiaries then you should say so and outline the reasons why they should. (and please don’t repeat the “I earned it, they didn’t” crap or else we will have to extend the drug tests to Working for Families, superannuitants, those getting free health care,…).

          So, what is it? You talking about alcohol and drug impairment in the workplace?

          Or you talking about imposing specific standards of 24/7 morals and conduct onto just jobseekers?

        • mike e 19.1.1.4

          Tsm Most beneficiaries can’t afford Drugs.Even the ones doctors prescribe.
          But last time the right were Dog Whistling(to avoid scrutiny over asset sales)
          A parliamentary aid was caught dakking up every body assumed it was a greenie or labour,
          It turned out to be an ACT staff er.
          Where is Dopey Don Brash when you need him.

      • Hami Shearlie 19.1.2

        Mr Groser would be a shoo-in!

  20. chris73 20

    Good

    I’m not particularly pleased that some drop-kick, dead-beat, losers are using my hard earned taxes to take illegal drugs.

    Is it really that difficult fro some of these dregs to, I don’t know, not blow the money that others have to work hard for on drugs?

    Sorry I forgot, its their right to do exactly as they please

    No responsibilities

    • North 20.1

      C73 = activist idiot. Piss off mr perfection.

      • chris73 20.1.1

        Piss off mr perfection.

        Not taking drugs makes me mr perfect? You must have really low expectations of people.

        • Colonial Viper 20.1.1.1

          What about our responsibilities to provide respectable jobs with respectable pay to everyone in society who wants one eh?

          Eh, fuckhead?

        • mike e 20.1.1.2

          C73You drink alcohol do you.

    • Jackal 20.2

      I think you need to refer to the initial question chris73: What is going to happen to the people who have their benefit terminated under this policy?

      You’re answer seems to be that you don’t care if people die of hypothermia under a bridge somewhere, as long as it saves money. How exactly is making people’s lives harder going to save money? The governments excuse… because these usually young people (the target group) shared a joint at a party a few weeks ago or perhaps use marijuana recreationally.

      Did you realize that there’s no peer reviewed scientific evidence that marijuana is any more harmful than smoking tobacco? Some people even regard the herb marijuana as a medicine, and it has been linked to helping people who suffer from alzheimer’s and chronic pain. Around 20% of New Zealanders use marijuana regularly, so why just discriminate against beneficiaries, at around 6.6% of the population? Your argument, like John Keys, is looking more unfounded and biased every day.

      You claim that beneficiaries; “are using my hard earned taxes to take illegal drugs.” FFS! Marijuana’s illegality makes it expensive, and your taxes are going to gangs because it’s legislated against by an ideologically blinded government. Did you realise that in many countries decriminalization has reduced consumption… or are you just commenting again on something you know nothing about?

      There’s also no evidence that beneficiaries take more drugs than the general public or that removing people from welfare would reduce drug dependency. This just looks like another ten point plan on how to destroy society to me.

    • muzza 20.3

      C73

      Some time spent learning about humanity for you lad….

      Thinking those thoughts, and putting them on paper is really asking for trouble in some way..

      Human life is not something to pour scorn on, or leave to rot.

      Do you really believe your attitude is adding any more value that those you pretend to deride..

      Oh, and I pay taxes too, and would rather see those you deem inhuman to ge that money, than one cent spent on the types you vote for!

      Give that money to those who need it, not those who sell their country out for it!

    • mike e 20.4

      c73 sounds like an investment banker your describing.

  21. John72 21

    Little children, this site reads like someone is making large sums of money selling drugs and they are fighting to keep the market alive.
    You do not NEED drugs, and regardless of what the people selling drugs tell you, life is far more fun without drugs. There is a deep peace that you can never buy, it does not come suddenly and you will never find it with drugs.
    God’s Peace.

    • Vicky32 21.1

      Little children, this site reads like someone is making large sums of money selling drugs and they are fighting to keep the market alive.
      You do not NEED drugs, and regardless of what the people selling drugs tell you, life is far more fun without drugs.

      Seconded!

      • McFlock 21.1.1

        What I really don’t need is the patronising tone.
           
        Drugs are fun. Especially ethanol. 

        • John72 21.1.1.1

          When you behave like a child you will be treated like a child.

          • McFlock 21.1.1.1.1

            That sort of pretentious crap reminds me of the Q’town bouncer and his delusional youtube clip. I’m sure it’s profound to you, but to me it’s nothing I haven’t heard from a drunk fresher law student. 
                  
             

          • QoT 21.1.1.1.2

            Oooh, yes, Daddy, I’ve been such a naughty girl, you know you want to talk down to me some more …

            • Colonial Viper 21.1.1.1.2.1

              For gawds sakes you don’t know what kind of reaction you’ll encourage…

              • QoT

                Au contraire, I know exactly what kind of reaction I’ll encourage – but of course John will continue to bluster and lecture and hector us all and claim it’s somehow not a massive paternalistic ego trip on his part … while fapping.

      • Draco T Bastard 21.1.2

        Says a person who gets upset every time the cost of cigarettes goes up.

      • joe90 21.1.3

        Little children, this site reads like someone is making large sums of money selling drugs and they are fighting to keep the market alive.
        You do not NEED drugs, and regardless of what the people selling drugs tell you, life is far more fun without drugs. There is a deep peace that you can never buy, it does not come suddenly and you will never find it with drugs.
        God’s Peace.

        Sanctimonious patronising twatcockery.

        Piss, pot, powders and pills, better living through pharmaceuticals I say.

        • ropata 21.1.3.1

          Christians are unrealistic to expect people outside the church to follow their values
          like anything taken to extremes, drugs, alcohol or religion become toxic
          people don’t NEED any of the above but they enjoy them, so live and let live

          • mike e 21.1.3.1.1

            Just about all Christians I know are the biggest hypocrites I know!

            • Vicky32 21.1.3.1.1.1

              Just about all Christians I know are the biggest hypocrites I know!

              I would not expect you to say anything different.. but nevertheless, it’s bit of a cliché…
              As a matter of interest, how many Christians do you know? My guess is not very many…

              • mike e

                Religion is a blight on humanity nearly all the wars that are being fought in the world today are over ones religious bent.
                Unfortunately I know to many.

                • Vicky32

                  nearly all the wars that are being fought in the world today are over ones religious bent.

                  Sigh… Just the other day I refuted that (and was ignored). Google The War Audit…
                  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/wtwtgod/3513709.stm
                   

                  • mike e

                    Coming from leaders of churchs yeah right so which wars in the world right now aren’t being fought along religious lines.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      I tend to think that few wars are purely religious.

                      Religion however is easily used by those who wish war and who crave power and resource.

                      It’s a short step once you convince people that their beliefs are under threat to then use that to do your will. Patriotism is yet another such tool.

                      Many religious of course do not fight on religious grounds – I have friends who I’m pretty certain will always take that position.

                      One of the things that I do find interesting at the moment is that the charging of interest is not allowed in the Muslim faith.

                      I can’t help but wonder, without thinking conspiracy, about how much those power brokers in the banking industry would dislike that.

      • mike e 21.1.4

        Nicotene is not a drug

        • lprent 21.1.4.1

          Yeah, never heard of nicotene.

          But nicotine is a drug used for various medical purposes mostly because of its effects on vasodilation. Oh and it is a highly addictive recreational drug as well.

          /sarcasm

    • vto 21.2

      John72 that is simplistic and ignores all of human history.

    • QoT 21.3

      You do not NEED drugs

      Got to love the compassionate faux Christians who like to pretend addiction doesn’t exist (which is not to say, as noted above, that all beneficiaries who use drugs are addicts, simply that “Just hug Jesus and your DTs will stop” is kinda clearly sanctimonious bullshit.)

      And of course the massive class privilege exuding from anyone who can’t comprehend that some people’s lives are just shit enough that yeah, altering your brain chemistry can sound like a pretty good idea …

      • Descendant Of Smith 21.3.1

        All the time ignoring their own addiction to having an invisible friend.

        So they cope with their life, it’s ups and downs, their sense of community, and so on through religion. Like dealers they also however seek to sell me their tainted product and take my money.

        Knowledge and logic and science play no part in religion other than the knowledge of the pychological charlatan and the conman.

        I don’t pay my taxes for beneficaries to give my money to churches and to peddle mis-information.

        Any beneficary who is religous should lose their benefit. There’s no excuse for such nonsense. It’s a choice and should be easy to give up.

        • Jackal 21.3.1.1

          Considering the shit that the “legitimate” drug pushers get up to:

          Glaxo promoted Advair from 2001 through at least 2010 for all asthma patients, even though the Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for use in only severe cases, according to the complaint.

          The agency added a so-called black-box warning to Advair’s label in 2003 that data showed “a small but significant increase in asthma-related deaths” in patients receiving long- acting beta agonists, a type of drug found in Advair.

          …Advair is marketed in New Zealand under Seretide, which is a asthma med targeted at poor people. Once again our media is underreporting on such issues.

          • Colonial Viper 21.3.1.1.1

            Usual rules. Steal £500, go to prison.

            Steal £50,000,000 get a knighthood.

          • mike e 21.3.1.1.2

            GSK are facing lawsuits for Africa. Fiddling research data to hide side effects etc.
            They are facing billions of dollars of law suits because of this they were fined $1 .5 billion dollars but this is just pocket change for this company.

        • Vicky32 21.3.1.2

          Any beneficary who is religous should lose their benefit. There’s no excuse for such nonsense. It’s a choice and should be easy to give up.

          The words bigoted and bastard spring to mind.
          We’re well aware of addiction – I was married to an alkie, so you’re targeting the wrong person, with your acidic hatred. In fact, words fail me, I don’t want to spend hours trying to make some common sense penetrate your firmly closed bitter angry little mind. You are desperately in need of help, but I am not offering it to you, aside from aught else, the words “frak up and die” also spring to mind.

          • mike e 21.3.1.2.1

            Vicky He was married to a tobaccoholic

          • Descendant Of Smith 21.3.1.2.2

            Let’s be clear:

            1. I don’t believe in god (of any sort) and think it’s a load of crock
            2. I believe quite firmly in religous tolerance and you are free to be whatever religion you like. I don’t have to positively affirm your choices – they are yours and yours alone.
            3. I believe in freedom of expression and speech and that includes the right to say god is a load of crock and your right to say it is not. You are often terribly intolerant of those who criticise religion however I think you’ll find I’ve never ever called you names unlike yourself to me.
            4. I believe in a clear separation of church and state
            5. I understand perfectly both the good and bad sides of religion but in particular have antipathy for those who use religion to take advantage of others whether through ministers sexually abusing children, christian orphanages doing likewise, the hypocracy of those who sin all week and confess to cleanse themselves, the churches who take money off the poor and read out loud the names of those who could not afford anything that week to shame them, those religions that enforce ostracism of their members families and so on. Let’s not pretend those things don’t exist.

            I’m happy for you to list the good things religion brings – none will be a revelation (no pun intended)

            The point I was making was that if this government, who is clearly intertwined with the religous right as well as what could be argued mainstream religous, can build a case for my tax dollars not being spent on people who use recreational drugs I can just as easily argue from a moral point of view that I don’t want my tax dollars being spent on religous people, those this government is cosy with.

            It’s an attack on this government and one of the areas they do see as their client base – much as the righties argue that no hopers, women breeding and druggies are the left’s client base – or have you missed all that vitriol spewed at them somehow.

            I may be a bastard at times, but that like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I don’t mind at all using sacred cows to make my point. Try not to personalise it.

            • Vicky32 21.3.1.2.2.1

              particular have antipathy for those who use religion to take advantage of others whether through ministers sexually abusing children, christian orphanages doing likewise, the hypocracy of those who sin all week and confess to cleanse themselves, the churches who take money off the poor and read out loud the names of those who could not afford anything that week to shame them, those religions that enforce ostracism of their members families and so on. Let’s not pretend those things don’t exist.
               

              Ah, but also, let’s not pretend that these things do exist outside of the wonderful world of film! I’m thinking particularly about this one: “the churches who take money off the poor and read out loud the names of those who could not afford anything that week to shame them”…
              I have spent many years in churches of different types and kinds, and have yet to encounter any of the horror stories you enumerate. Funnily enough, I’ve heard of such stories only from the internet atheist, sub-type angry…

              The point I was making was that if this government, who is clearly intertwined with the religous right

              So, you’re one of those New Zealanders who believes that this actually is America?
               

              I may be a bastard at times, but that like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I don’t mind at all using sacred cows to make my point. Try not to personalise it.

              I wasn’t personalising it – but you are!

              • QoT

                Oh, Vicky, sweet innocent Vicky, so steadfast in your faith you’d rather make stupid statements like

                Funnily enough, I’ve heard of such stories only from the internet atheist, sub-type angry…

                Instead of actually having the integrity to use the google.

                But hey, just continue on getting knee-jerk petty and vindictive any time anyone dares question organised religion, Jesus was all about being deliberately ignorant in the face of justified criticism.

                • Vicky32

                  Jesus was all about being deliberately ignorant in the face of justified criticism.

                  I really hope you think you’re being funny, QoT! What you know about Jesus could be inscribed on an ant’s testicles and still leave room for the US Constitution.
                  I’d heard that story before and thought it was from a movie – as many of the rest are, the orphanage one being a particular favourite of directors… Funnily enough, I note where the person quoted says : “”I don’t go to that church and the big reason is they’re still using the old concept the fa’asamoa concept instead of using the biblical principles which are tithing that is not announced because announcing it shames the people.” So, the evil practice named is hardly a norm, it seems!
                  As I have asked before, do try not to be such a bitch, hey? Thanks in advance.

                  • QoT

                    As I have asked before, do try not to be such a bitch, hey? Thanks in advance.

                    Fuck me, the self-professed followers of a dude who was, I recall from my extensive Christian upbringing, all about the love and peace and shit are totally living up to his teachings tonight!

                    Not my problem you continue to make a fool out of yourself with your complete lack of self-awareness, Vicky. Please, take my advice. Try googling for something the next time you find yourself typing “shut up you evil atheist you’re just lying because you hate all Christians and me personally”, you might save yourself some lost dignity, and you ain’t got much to spare.

                    • Vicky32

                      Not my problem you continue to make a fool out of yourself with your complete lack of self-awareness, Vicky

                      Diddums wants attention from his mummy does he? Sorry, bored already. When you grow up, you’ll learn that a potty mouth as the Americans call it, and endless insults get you nowhere.
                      I have never called you evil, or an atheist, much less an evil atheist. I am very sorry to burst your attention whoring bubble, but you just don’t matter that much to me, neither does your opinion, yet you can’t resist going on the attack whenever you see my name.
                      I have nothing against atheists – but I despise bigotry, ignorance and above all, lying. Keep doing whatever you want to do, but try not to let your desire to be the centre of attention distract you from the actual subject under discussion, which was addiction and drugs…

                    • QoT

                      Ladies and gentlemen and non-binary folk, there we have it: backed into a corner by her own stupidity, Vicky has no recourse but to start using male pronouns against me.

                      It’s exactly what Jesus would have done, you know. He was also a fan of derailing conversations then accusing the person responder to him of being the real derailer. Also, not understanding the concept of paraphrasing, but you know, early-C.E. Middle Eastern cultures were all about the accurate oral transmission of data.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                “the churches who take money off the poor and read out loud the names of those who could not afford anything that week to shame them”…

                That’s not even close to being anecdotal including having a personal conversation with one particular church minister who was doing this.

                Even the Catholic Church has admitted that their priests abused children – I’m not sure why that is somehow the realm of movies.

                It’s fair to say that the “sin all week confess at the end” is more of a colloquial comment but I do know Catholics who quite openly and in theory light heartedly do say that. They the Catholics say that – it seems to be some sort of in-joke. I have rarely heard non-Catholics say that – it would be a 10:1 ratio at least.

                The behaviour of some who say that however, including in two cases, having affairs with their staff reinforces that stereotype.

                My daughter learned the hard way that religion was no protection from cheating boyfriends.

                And see I’m not a bigot – I had no problem at all with my non-religous daughter going out with someone who was religous, had no problem at all having him as part of our family and being welcome.

                Reminder too that bigotry was the name applied to the stance of religous people who maintained theirs was the only possible position to take. It was not used to describe those who disagreed with them. Religous bigots were the religous.

                I not think you can actually be a bigot if yopu are not religous.

                Anyway for both yourself and John are you for or against the drugtesting of beneficaries and the removal of their benefits.

                It’s clear I don’t support it any more than I support removing benefits if you are religous ( you may have missed that point perhaps) or many any other supposedly moral reason.

                And nah I didn’t personalise anything and still haven’t called you any names.

                • Descendant Of Smith

                  On the American point do I belive we’re the US?

                  ahhh no.

                  Do I believe this government has connections to the religous right – yep.

                  Exclusive Brethren and Parents Inc spring to mind.

                  You are aware the past CEO of Parents Inc becames the CEO of The National Party, that the National Government is funding religopus parenting programs and has increased funding to religous schools.

                  Do you not see connections here.

                  I hope we never become like the US but we are sliding that way – two rightwing major parties and an increased moral political influence by religous people.

                  I’m happy to fight against both those things.

                  • Vicky32

                    two rightwing major parties and an increased moral political influence by religous people.
                    I’m happy to fight against both those things.

                    Whew, paranoid much? Two right wing major parties? So you believe Labour is right wing, I take it. That’s so pathetic I won’t dignify it with an answer.
                     

                    • mike e

                      Yes labour has turned into national and national has turned into ACT.
                      Labours excuse is it can’t be done otherwise w’ell upset the markets!

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      I really enjoy hearing Labour’s leftwing policies articulated in public:

                      8 hour workingday
                      40 hour working week
                      Decent minimum wage
                      Increased taxation of the well off
                      Increasing benefit rates to a liveable amount – at minimum putting the $20-00 per week back on benefits – you know the $20 per week they put back on super and the one they had 9 years to put back on benefits but did not
                      Centralised wage bargaining forcing firms to compete on the quality of the product and service not on who can pay the crappiest wage
                      Ensuring minimum salaries are say 120% of the minimum wage to stop employers getting around the minimum wage requirements
                      Building more state housing and letting people live in their state houses for their entire life if they wish – you know giving people security
                      Employing people with disabilites and young people in the public sector to give them an opportunity for a decent life and a good start – cause the private won’t and will never employ them all
                      Regional development to support rural areas and not just farmers

                      These things were not even “left” when I was growing up they were normal

                      Maybe I’ve missed their press releases – don’t tell me Labours not a rightwing party.

                  • mike e

                    They gave $880,000 to Destiny church.
                    Its a typical right wing trick suck the religious nutters by offering moral policy that costs them nothing but suck enough poor ignorant people in with false moral high ground.ie abortion and gay rights.
                    Divide and conquer and guess what the labour party play right into their hands.

                • Vicky32

                  Anyway for both yourself and John are you for or against the drugtesting of beneficaries and the removal of their benefits.

                  I can’t answer for John, but if you’d bothered to read the whole thread, you’d know I am against it! Pretty damn obvious really, as (a) I am on a benefit (so don’t expect me to support any bene bashing) and (b) like John, I have/have had family members with addiction problems, so I know full well that drugging is not a matter of choice.
                  However, I agree with John that taking drugs is a piss-poor problem solving strategy. It doesn’t even ameliorate the sheer nasty grind of being poor – neither alcohol nor dope does that. 
                  PS – QoT, you pride yourself on your superior intelligence, yet you attack John for his saying “little children”. It is to laugh that you can’t recognise a quote when you see it! :D

                  • QoT

                    Oh, right, it was just a quote, not meant to sound smarmy or superior at all. Especially given the tone of John’s later comments, which were totally not those of a Big Scary Daddy Who Has Come Home And Found Out You Didn’t Feed The Goldfish.

                    I’ve sure been put in my place. You’ve changed my life. I repent, and will hold people responsible for the words they type no longer.

          • John72 21.3.1.2.3

            Vicky32 thank you for your support. I have given one reason why I feel qualified to write on the subject of drug addiction. It seems to have been ignored. There are several other reasons why I feel qualified to debate the subject, but I am not prepared to discuss them on this site because so many people have shown that they have no respect for others. If I discuss anything more personal, with the immature, selfish, childish, critics appearing on this site, they will only see it as an oportunity to “score some piggy stamps”. Any comment I make will be misquoted, quoted out of context or have assumptions added to it, in order to criticise. The critics will not see it as a thought to support an argument in a debate.
            There are some thoughtful contributors. However the uncivilised ones are quick to appear and spoil the nature of the site.
            Are the uncivilised contributors unemployed? They seem to have plenty of time.

            • Vicky32 21.3.1.2.3.1

              Any comment I make will be misquoted, quoted out of context or have assumptions added to it, in order to criticise. The critics will not see it as a thought to support an argument in a debate.

              Sadly, that’s true.. but the people who do such things will claim that it’s your fault, or mine! :(

            • QoT 21.3.1.2.3.2

              I am not prepared to discuss them on this site because so many people have shown that they have no respect for others

              I’m sorry, this from the dude who began his comment “Little children …”? You rock that moral high ground, Daddy.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                “If I discuss anything more personal, with the immature, selfish, childish, critics appearing on this site”

                “Are the uncivilised contributors unemployed? ”

                I only wish I was as respectful as you. And how come you see being unemployed as an insult?

                • mike e

                  Labour did only marginally better than national when it came to housing ,child poverty. That’s why their support has drifted away.

              • john72

                QoT, “Little Children…” was addressed to Children.
                Why did you take offence?

                • QoT

                  Oh, brava, sir. The classic “but if you’re not a dipshit why would you care if I say dipshit????” defence. Truly you are a marvellous stereotype of patriarchal self-importance.

                  (By the way, in future you might like to not undermine your defenders … Vicky put so much effort into claiming that you were “quoting” something, and now you’re obviously saying you’re not, and it’s just a little sad, like watching the Australian batting order collapse.)

                  • john72

                    QoT, 5 points.
                    1. You did not answer my question, “Why did you take offence?”
                    2. “Little Children” was used as a quote, because it was applicable in this context but not every recognised it.
                    3. The meaning you give to the quote depends on how you see yourself. In that context it would have a different implication for everyone.
                    4. Many people have been baited and have risen to the bait. They have shown their true colours
                    5. Mathew 7:6. “Do not give that which is holy to the dogs, and do not throw pearls before swine least, trampling them under foot, they turn and attack you.”
                    If this quotation offends you, the question arises, WHY?

                    “Your words and actions bear witness to your thoughts”

                    • McFlock

                      Patronising fuckwit,

                      Some of the comments from so-called “Christians” here read like someone who believes in magic books and defending child rapists, and they are fighting to keep the institution alive. 
                      You do not NEED god, and regardless of what people selling religion are telling you, life is far more fun without guys in dresses telling you what to do. There is amazing enlightenment you can get by opening your mind, and with drugs you can be there in seconds.
                      Make love not war.

                    • john72

                      McFlock, do you ever wonder if you are being “baited”?

                    • McFlock

                      Why so?
                               
                      I wasn’t talking to you. 

    • muzza 21.4

      Only those who have lived both sides of the discussion are really in a position to comment J72,

      Either you are a hypocrite or just sanctimonious,

      Neither of those is a good look, nor what you pretend to be!

    • lprent 21.5

      John – you might not need drugs, but I sure do. The probabilities of long term survival are pretty low without the wee cocktail of beta blockers, statins, and aspirin that I take every day.

      • Vicky32 21.5.1

        The probabilities of long term survival are pretty low without the wee cocktail of beta blockers, statins, and aspirin that I take every day.

        With respect, Lyn, that’s not what he meant, and I know that you know that…
        (Given that I am also stuck with statins daily, I sympathise, but I can’t agree with your point because you’re making an unwarranted dig at John. You know he didn’t mean therapeutic drugs. )

        • lprent 21.5.1.1

          I know that he didn’t. However he was somewhat imprecise in making it clear what he was actually talking about. When going in for condemnation it behoves the condemner to be precise because there is a short step from condemning a specific activity to smearing and attacking a much wider group. Just look at Paula Bennett’s nasty attacks on beneficeries as an example.

          This is particularly the case with “drug use”. I have run across people who dose up on aspirin and similar drugs (and these days I really notice when I don’t have my aspirin in the morning).

          Hell almost anything can act like a “drug”. I have run across people who abuse that Japanese horse radish – wasabi. They eat it out of the tube for the drug reactions their body makes. I have known a couple of ex-army on benefits who were seriously addicted to running for the endorphins – which costs quite a chunk of their benefit in food consumption.

          And I know people who use cannabis as a drug of choice to treat arthritis symptoms because it is a hell of a lot less of a problem over the longer term than many pain relievers for people with delicate stomachs. Everything depends on context and what you’re actually precisely condemning.

          I was pointing out that John72 was a righteously simple user of a black and white mentality on a topic that he hasn’t thought through. If you look at his statement then it was pretty easy to conclude that he could be construed as a condemner of religion because like exercise, the physiological effects that has are very similar to some drug effects (and seem to have addictive properties :twisted:).

          • Vicky32 21.5.1.1.1

            as a condemner of religion because like exercise, the physiological effects that has are very similar to some drug effects …)

            That’s ‘drawing a long bow’! In fact, it’s a bit silly, don’t you think?

            • lprent 21.5.1.1.1.1

              No more silly than John’s rather imprecise argument that seems to owe more to the language of bigotry (ie talkback) than logic.

              Say “drugs” after 80 years of expensive failed wars on drugs and you get the mindless kicking of psuedo-morality that John exhibits. But everyone’s bodies are awash with “drugs” normally. Both the ones we generate internally and the ones we manufacture – which are usually just analogues of the ones we produce naturally (because otherwise they don’t work)… Which is of course why drug testing has such a high false positive rate.

              The more that I think of this proposed stupid policy, the more that I am inclined to consign it to the bin of dead before arrival stupidities. It is another war on drugs or crushing the cars of boy racers type policy. It will be ineffective for its stated objectives and lead to some pretty severe inequities.

  22. Huginn 22

    Sauce for the goose . . .

    “National leader John Key has accepted MP Tim Groser’s word that he did not smoke cannabis in Jakarta while he was New Zealand ambassador there in the mid-90s.

    Mr Groser has admitted smoking cannabis, but rejects claims by his former wife, Milda Emza, that he smoked on the job. He says her claims have to be seen in the context of a failed marriage.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10456012

    • Jim Nald 22.1

      Might this be related to seeing internal enemies chancing upon cows in every stream?

    • weka 22.2

      “Tim’s marriages have not been successful, as he frankly admits. He’s had rather a tough time over the years. He says he has reached the point now that if he is attracted to a woman he has to assume there is something seriously wrong with her.”
       
      Charming.

      • Hami Shearlie 22.2.1

        And if she’s attracted to him – there definitely IS something wrong with her!

    • mike e 22.3

      Grosser was opposition spokes person on trade negotiations at the time and was runnuing down labour for finally turning over the aussie apple ban.
      He should have stuck to stone fruit negotiation aye!

    • mike e 22.4

      No I can see where key banks etc can’t remember what they said over a cup of tea.
      They were suffering short term memory loss because someone swapped the cookies they were eating with hash brownies.

  23. Colonial Viper 23

    I want all the fucking right wing nanny state types to agree to a very simple Government policy:

    – If you are unemployed and a marijuana user, and you agree to give up pot

    – NZ society will, in exchange, give you a full time job on at least the minimum wage.

  24. Jenny 24

    When unemployed people who pass a drugs test, start gathering in their tens of hundreds, or tens of thousands, sober and clear eyed, demanding the jobs that they were promised for passing this test. It will be the Nats worst nightmare come true.

    • M 24.1

      Yes Jenny, may their bullying come back to haunt them.

    • mike e 24.2

      Instead of getting the knives out and lighting up the bongs they will go out and vote.Probably Act if Don Brash makes another comeback.

  25. fender 25

    Oh that nice Mr Key wants his name associated with turning NZ into a land of drunks the same way the public-tit-sucking-Shipley has. He doesn’t believe cost of alcohol has an effect on consumption (despite believing it does for tobbaco), its obvious he’s thinking of the unemployed as he will be thinking they will want to buy booze once they stop smoking cannabis so he wants it to be cheap for them. He might even send them a bottle of wine from his own vineyard in appreciation for their conversion to the other side, the side him and his mates profit from, the same side that dislike cannabis as it interferes with the consumption of their particular poison.

    • bad12 25.1

      ”(Despite believing it does for tobacco)”, Oh no Slippery KNOWS full well that raising the excise tax on tobacco products has very little effect upon usage except for a downturn in use in the couple of months after an initial excise tax rise,

      On a year on year decadal scale tho our Prime Minister KNOWS that those addicted to the product will keep on ‘coughing’ up taxes to the tune of over a billion dollars a year over what the costs of the addictions are costing the health budget,

      Hell Treasury in its advice to the Slippery one and the Member for Dipton over raising the excise tax on tobacco products was absolutely gushing in it’s praise for such revenue gathering, telling the Government that as few of those using the products would be able to give up for long the raised excise tax was a real winner….

      • mike e 25.1.1

        sad1 4,600 kiwi’s die from smoking related diseases each year.
        P considered to be the most dangerous drug in NZ has been around since world war11 has killied less than 20 people including the ones murdered by user’s
        Heroine has killed less than a 100 people.
        pot including road accidents less than 200
        alcohol 500 to 600 a year.

        • bad12 25.1.1.1

          Tragic that you cannot debate without first insulting people by mis-spelling their user-name, shows you up for the infant you obviously are,

          All the figures you have used in your reply are irrelevant to the discussion as well as being incorrect, carry on believing the figures about tobacco related deaths tho, it simply shows that although some of the chimps did manage to descend from the trees their mental agility didn’t move much further than the peeling of bananas and the ability to repeatedly thump a tree branch upon the ground to make a point,

          the real amusement will come when one bunch of zealot idiots keeps screeching that raising taxes upon those addicted to tobacco products stops the use of that product while the other lot of zealot idiots screeches that the use of tobacco products kills 4700 a year,

          The same zealot idiots of course are at the same time calling for euthanaisa to become lawful…

          • mike e 25.1.1.1.1

            1.Cigarette smokers don’t need euthanasia.
            2. apes who descended from trees and beat upon the ground are smarter than cigarette smokers

  26. Drakula 26

    I would start drug testing cabinet ministers; after all they should lead by example don’t you think?

  27. gnomic 27

    Ah, drug testing. What a wonderful growth industry for the ESR and former cops too lazy to find real jobs. All based on the spurious premise that someone who has smoked marijuana is automatically thereby a danger to themself and all about them. Reliable sources tell me it is possible to drive a vehicle while whacked and live to tell the tale. Good lord, it is even possible to climb a middling kind of mountain with the dread THC in the bloodstream. Or cut down a tree in a forest. Or go surfing or skiing.

    What this really about is the wowser/puritan element in the NZ psyche that resents anybody getting a wee bit of fun that isn’t authorised and taxed by the state. And all the suckers who read one too many beatups about pot in the Reader’s Digest. And people like the scowling weasel, aka the allegedly honourable John Key, who are self-confessedly afraid of drugs. And curtain-twitchers who hate the undeserving poor.

    Perhaps some of the clowns who go on about safety sensitive industries can explain why there is a continual stream of trucking accidents involving drivers who are presumably not drug users since they work for employers who screen out the potheads. I’d really like to see the story on that crash by crash, but it’s probably not an issue the capitalist press wants to investigate, or even the relevant government departments.

    Oh well. Onwards and downwards – obviously far better to demolish the welfare state than do something sane like introducing a universal minimum income. But where are the tent cities going to be, since camping is mostly banned around our cities and townships?

  28. Roy 28

    People can, and do, fail drug tests because they have recently eaten a poppy-seed roll. Hardly seems fair, does it?

  29. Vicky32 29

    is that the charging of interest is not allowed in the Muslim faith.
    I can’t help but wonder, without thinking conspiracy, about how much those power brokers in the banking industry would dislike that.
     

    A very good point!
     

  30. MrSmith 30

    Bill Hicks Positive drug story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vX1CvW38cHA

  31. john72 31

    Once again we have shown that if the solution was easy, there would not be a problem. Who expects to solve the problem of drug abuse in 5 min. on a Web site?

  32. john72 32

    Every one. EVEN you.

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    Skeptical Science | 22-09
  • Kiwis concerned about the TPPA: Day of Action
    Saturday.November 8 . 1.00 pmAuckland ~> Aotea Square Facebook EventHamilton ~> Garden PlaceFacebook EventWellington ~> The Bucket Fountain Facebook EventChristchurch ~> tbc Facebook EventTimaru ~> Bay Hill Piazza Facebook Event...
    Watchblog Aotearoa | 22-09
  • Stuart’s 100 #30 Small is Beautiful
    30: Small is Beautiful What if we decided small can be beautiful? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the beholder sees beauty through the lens of what they hold dear. When it comes to lifestyle beauty relates...
    Transport Blog | 22-09
  • Carbon News headlines 22/9/14: If the PM doesn’t worry about climate chan...
    Welcome to a new regular feature on Hot Topic: the week’s Carbon News headlines, brought to you every Monday. Carbon News is an NZ-published web newsletter covering climate and carbon news from around the world, published and edited by experienced...
    Hot Topic | 22-09
  • Some acting experience an advantage but not required.
    If David Cunliffe were an actor, his preferred acting style might best be described as Shakespearean – declamatory, expansive, grand in tone and gesture, rich in soliloquy. It is a style suited to the stage but unfortunately totally unsuited to...
    Brian Edwards | 22-09
  • Labour and Greens voters are more alike than different
    Most political analysis in New Zealand seems trapped in the two-party winner-takes-all world, or perhaps they are numerically challenged by the number which comes after two. Whichever, to discuss the National-Labour divide without mentioning the Greens is almost pointless. (I’ll...
    Pundit | 22-09
  • The truth about our ‘rockstar economy’
    There were knowing smiles among economists when earlier this year John Key set the election date a couple of months early. He told us it was because there were various international gatherings that the prime minister had to attend. But...
    Pundit | 22-09
  • Post-election blues
    Frank Macskasy has written an interesting piece on the Daily Blog about things Labour needs to take away from this election.Some people picked him up on his claim that National has not increased its vote over 2011, pointing out that the special...
    Te Whare Whero | 22-09
  • The minor parties – some thoughts & questions
    The Greens They ran a blinder of a campaign. Their polling numbers were looking great, as they closed on 15% in some polls. Then they got just 10.02% on the night (although their vote share is likely to rise by...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-09
  • The threshold has to go
    Another election, and once again we've been reminded of the unfairness the two major parties built into MMP in an effort to stack it for themselves and prevent competition. ACT got 14,510 votes and one seat in Parliament, while the...
    No Right Turn | 22-09
  • Was Scotland’s referendum rigged?
    Things haven't gone well in Scotland after their historic referendum to choose whether they became independent from Britain or not.As it turns out, an apparent majority of 55.3% chose to stay with mother England.However, there has been a growing disquiet...
    The Jackal | 22-09
  • Don’t you get tired of this?
    I have seen so much of this lately: And this: And in so many cases when we challenge this cherry-picking and confirmation bias we get this:...
    Open Parachute | 22-09
  • Don’t you get tired of this?
    I have seen so much of this lately: And this: And in so many cases when we challenge this cherry-picking and confirmation bias we get this:...
    Open Parachute | 22-09
  • Access: You Can Call Me Brave Now
    People say I’m brave when they see me in my wheelchair. That can be frustrating. I’m not brave just because I happen to have a disability. There are, however, instances in my life where I have had to find a...
    Public Address | 22-09
  • New Fisk
    John Kerry’s rhetoric on Isis insults our intelligence and conceals the reality of the situation in Syria...
    No Right Turn | 22-09
  • MMP, electorates, and misaligned incentives
    Amongst the post-election entrail reading, I've seen a couple of people suggest that one of the reasons labour lost was due to a lack of tactical voting by Greens. If only Green supporters had held their nose and voted tactically...
    No Right Turn | 22-09
  • On a wave of mutilation : where to now for Labour?
    2014 was a disaster. Unfortunately for Labour, the disaster has now been surpassed. The party will be beginning (another) process of determining what went wrong, and what can be done to fix things. I hope they don’t throw all of...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-09
  • O’Connell St officially opened, time to close it again?
    On Friday evening the new O’Connell St shared space was officially opened. The street is by far the best shared space created in Auckland to date thanks in large part to the historic buildings in the area which feel like they’ve been...
    Transport Blog | 22-09
  • The issues that matter
    I'm not bitter and twisted. No, really, I'm not. Much....
    Imperator Fish | 22-09
  • Upcoming MOOC makes sense of climate science denial
    In collaboration with The University of Queensland, Skeptical Science is developing a MOOC, or Massive Online Open Course, that makes sense of climate science denial. The Denial101x MOOC will launch in March 2015 on the EdX platform. Registration has just opened...
    Skeptical Science | 21-09
  • Where to from here for National?
    If John Key wants to have a stab at a fourth term as Prime Minister, there’ll be no one in the party to stop him. He’s weathered the Dirty Politics and Moment of Truth storms, and come out the other...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-09
  • Things you can do about global warming now we have a new do-nothing governm...
    Australia’s brilliant First Dog On The Moon on climate action (courtesy of The Tree), deemed by me to be relevant in the aftermath of an election that has delivered New Zealand another three years of National-led government, and therefore little...
    Hot Topic | 21-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Eliminating Poverty – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Otara | Internet MAN...
    A campaign to Eliminate Poverty, Feed the Kids, build more houses, and create thousands of new jobs, was outlined by Internet MANA at a public meeting in Otara this evening. When MANA and the Internet Party first sat down to...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
  • THE DEATH OF INDEPENDENCE FOR MAORI TV
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA
    New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Reflecting on Elections Past
    There are a number of past elections that can give the left in New Zealand guidance and hope. Two major points though. Major parties require leaders who can bridge the political divide through strength of personality, vision of what it...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Reptile Room
    I stress, at the outset, that I’ve got nothing against reptiles. Some of my best friends are reptiles. Some say I am one, but I’m not really. I just emulate that ability to sit, stationary for hours in court, eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • The success of right-wing counter messaging in the election
    One of the reasons National won the election was due to its success in counter messaging – and the way so many media commentators ran with th the right-wing spin. Here are some examples. Dirty Politics The original message was...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New Flag competition
    New Flag competition...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • No time for self-pity
    After 23 meetings across the largest non-Maori electorate in the country – almost all of which went fantastically, approx 4,500km on the odometer, positive MSM and social media coverage, and polling well, I admit my team and I headed to...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • The 30 second speech that could have saved the Moment of Truth
    As the dust settles and we struggle to understand what the bloody hell happened on Saturday, many point to Kim’s failure at the Moment of Truth to present his evidence. I think that Kim was poorly advised and that politics requires a...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Internet MANA and the 2014 election
    It was always going to be a hard task for Hone Harawira to hold onto his Te Tai Tokerau seat when the political establishment united in a coalition to defeat him and the chance for Internet MANA to bring more...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Unity in Action
    Yes the Left have taken a drubbing, but never mind, time to pick ourselves up off the floor, patch up our wound pride, dust ourselves off, cast around for our friends and allies, and re-enter the fray. Lots of work...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • A Fiji democratic mandate for the coup leader – what now for the media?
    Attorney-General Sayad-Khaiyum and Rear-Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama’s Fiji First party is poised to lead the country in the next four years. Photo: Mads Anneberg, an AUT Pacific Media Centre student on internship in Suva with Repúblika Magazine and Pacific Scoop...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Why I voted Labour and why 2017 will be different
    As a 3nd and 5th generation Kiwi-Indian (depending on which side of the family we have to go with), my relationship with New Zealand is a special one. Like other New Zealanders who are not of the Caucasian variety, the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Humble Pie
    Oh. My. God. This was a heartbreaking nightmare. I was wrong, horribly, horribly, horribly wrong. I honestly believed that the resources, the media attention, the vile toxic politics exposed by Dirty Politics and the mass surveillance lies would have seen...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Election 2014; A Post-mortem; a Wake; and one helluva hang-over
    .   . It would be fair to say that the results for Election 2014 did not go as anticipated. The Left has had a drubbing – and some of it was of our own making. In other aspects, there...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Voting turnout affected by bad weather?
    . . NZ, Upper Hutt, 20 September –  Cold, wet weather in the Hutt Valley, north of Wellington may be impacting on voter turn-out. A head-count of people visiting the Trentham School Voting Station in Moonshine Rd, Upper Hutt, indicated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Final total of advance voting
    And the final total for the advance voting was a staggering 717,579 advance votes against 334,558 in 2011       Tonight, I’ll be watching the TV3 election coverage because I could bare Paul Henry’s smugness one inch more than Mike Hosking’s...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Vice article on NZ election
    Here is my Vice article on the NZ election....
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • The attempt to kill off Internet MANA
    It’s the last day of campaigning today and the long list of those attacking Internet MANA got longer yesterday with Winston Peters backing Labour candidate Kelvin Davis against the MANA Movement’s Hone Harawira. Davis is now supported by Labour, National,...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • A final word on the election – it’s now all up to you
    Brothers & Sisters, the fate of Aotearoa is now all in your hands. We here at the Daily Blog have thrown everything we can at this bloody Government and have spent every waking hour of this campaign trying to highlight...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – ...
    I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – but then again, I never could...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why Nati...
    TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why National Party is great...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • REVIEW: Royals of Kihikihi
    What an absolutely stunning show.  I had to ask twice to check I’d heard right that this is the first staged production for Samuel Christopher, who also played a raw, real, but vulnerable, Wolf Royal, home from London for his...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • 800 Cops to detain 15 ‘terrorists’ – why Australia’s hysterical Isl...
    I’m sorry but I can’t take this current Australian terror threat seriously. 800 cops to detain 15 people and arrest one of them? A week after Abbot decides to send in Australian forces to the cluster fuck of Iraq, suddenly...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Unbelievable corruption inside Government to attack Kim Dotcom
    The corruption inside this Government just more and more filthy – we now have an ex-Customs Lawyer quitting  after being told to bury information that could embarrass the Government, specifically to do with Kim Dotcom… Curtis Gregorash said he was told...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Everyone Loves A Win-Win That Keeps G...
      Permit me to quote some figures at you… -68% of New Zealanders think political news on television focuses too much on politicians’ personalities and not enough on real issues. This is the key result of a recent UMR survey commissioned by...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of being the most in demand broadcaster in the country...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: Te Tai Tokerau independent poll (44% Hone-27% Kelvin) vs Maori T...
    The Te Tai Tokerau Maori TV poll on Monday this week painted a bleak picture for Internet MANA supporters, and it’s results have been seized upon by Labour, NZ First and even the Maori Party (who seem set once again...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The time for TPPA weasel words is over
    Almost every day of the election campaign there has been a policy announcement that would potentially run foul of what I understand is currently in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA):  more constraints on foreign investment or investors … regulation of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • MELTDOWN – Maori Party turns on their own Te Tai Tokerau candidate – ag...
    The tensions are building in Te Tai Tokerau with the Maori Party on the verge of meltdown. Days out from the election, the Maori Party Executive has tried to heavy their own Te Tai Tokerau Electoral Committee and their own candidate, Te Hira Paenga,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • We Can Change this Government
    We Can Change this Government – Mike Treen at the First Union stop work election meeting...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Election 2014: For and Against
    With the general election tomorrow, we have had a very noisy campaign but little sign that the electorate wishes for a fundamental change of governmental direction. This reflects in part the fact that the economic cycle is close to its decadal...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eye To Eye Uploaded: Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury
    This interview was filmed a couple of weeks ago between Willie Jackson and myself, I was a tad off with my prediction of NZ First....
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair – The Players Revealed
      . . – Special investigation by Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules‘ Speculation that the Beehive office of Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, was behind the release of a letter linking Labour leader, David Cunliffe, with controversial Chinese businessman, Donghua Liu, is...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold NZ d...
    It should read ‘never stop spying’. As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold us down the river to the US by allowing the Southern Cross cable to be tapped… The ability for US intelligence agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work
    The final days of the campaign are ticking down and Labour and NZ First are manoeuvring to kill off the Internet MANA Party by both backing Kelvin Davis for Te Tai Tokerau. It’s a risky gambit that they better pray to Christ...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Bill English’s latest insult to beneficiaries – apparently they are lik...
    National’s hatred towards the poor continues unabated as National desperately try to throw raw meat to their reactionary voter base in the hope to inspire enough hate and loathing to win back their redneck voters from the Conservative Party and from...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eminem ain’t happy with John Key
    Eminem ain’t happy with John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Key claims he did not inhale
    Key claims he did not inhale...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Final prediction on election result 2014
    What an election campaign. The character assassination of David Cunliffe kicked things off with the Herald on Sunday falsely claiming $100 00 bottles of wine, $15 000 books and $150 000 in donations  from a donor that turned out to be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Live blog: Bainamarama takes commanding lead in Fiji elections
      Interview with Repúblika editor Ricardo Morris and Pacific Scoop’s Mads Anneberg. PACIFIC SCOOP TEAM By Ricardo Morris, Mads Anneberg, Alistar Kata and Biutoka Kacimaiwai in Suva WHILE the results are provisional at this stage, it is clear today that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 5AA Australia: NZ Elections Two Days To Go! + Edward Snowden + Julian Assan...
    Recorded live on 18/09/14 – Captured Live on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/multimedia-investments-ltd 5AA Australia’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning deliver their weekly bulletin: Across The Ditch. This week, they discuss the latest news as New Zealanders go to the polls on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What has Colin Craig done for his Press Secretary to quit 2 days before ele...
    This is VERY strange.  Colin Craig’s Press Secretary Rachel McGregor, has quit 2 days before the election, allegedly telling ZB that Colin Craig was a “very manipulative man”. I’ve met Rachel many times in the past as Colin’s Press Secretary, she is...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” – A brief w...
    “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” said Key in the final leaders debate. Problem of course is that the 250 000 – 285 000 children living in poverty can not afford steak, milk, butter, eggs...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • National’s final bash of beneficiaries before the election
    On cue, whenever National feel threatened, they roll out a little bennie bash just to keep their redneck voter base happy. Nothing like a bit of raw meat policy to keep National voters focused on the evil threat solo parents...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • With All Of This In Mind, I Vote
    This is my last blog before the election and I really just want to speak from the heart. Right now in this country it seems to me that a lot of people consider the “essentials” in life to be simply...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Left has to vote strategically this election
    The dedication, loyalty, and tribalism of party politics means that sometimes the left lets itself down by not voting strategically. We all want our favoured party to get maximum votes, naturally, but the winner-takes-all approach doesn’t always suit multi-party left...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Dear NZ – as you enter the polling booth, stand up for your rights
    The last days before a NZ general election are a busy time as politicians make their pitch and party activists prepare to get out the vote. It is sort of weird watching from the distance of Europe the strangest election...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What is Waihopai, John, if it isn’t a facility for “mass surveillance...
    John Key assured us on RNZ’s Nine to Noon programme yesterday that “In terms of the Fives Eyes data bases… yes New Zealand will contribute some information but not mass wholesale surveillance.” How does this square with the operation of the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Mass Surveillance and the Banality of E...
    Renowned journalist and intellectual Hannah Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe the normalisation of genocide in Nazi Germany. I thought of her phrase when I was listening to Glenn Greenwald and other international whistle-blowers talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Election. Down. To. The. Wire
    Funny how last week it was John Key winning by 50%, now it’s neck and neck. I have always believed this election would be down to the wire and it is proving so. The flawed landline opinion polls the mainstream...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Reward offered in latest seal shooting
    It is with shock and dismay that our organization learns of the latest shooting of a New Zealand fur seal, this one on Stewart Island. This is the third such crime to reach our attentions since May this year and...
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Taxpayers Forgotten in Ministerial Horse-Trading
    Responding to the Prime Minister’s comments reported on Radio New Zealand , that he is considering giving Act MP David Seymour a ministerial role because “When they have more staffing and resources as a result of a junior ministerial role...
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Labour’s Defeat Points to a Forgotten Target Market
    With the devastating defeat for the Labour Party in the election, Labour seems to have lost touch with what resonates with New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Cunliffe may survive year but doomed by end of 2015
    NZ First is expected to take one seat off Labour once special votes are counted, maintaining the election-night result that John Key’s National Party will be able to govern alone, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders...
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Making All New Zealand the Place Talent Wants to Live
    The development of the provinces is becoming a major issue for New Zealand, and for the new Government. Television New Zealand’s Sunday programme (21 September) addressed the plight of towns such as Whanganui, where jobs and populations are declining....
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • China’s booming torture trade revealed
    The flourishing trade, manufacture and export of tools of torture by Chinese companies is fuelling human rights violations across Africa and Asia, new research by Amnesty International and the Omega Research Foundation reveals....
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • President Obama Congratulates Key
    The President called Prime Minister Key late last evening to congratulate him on his third electoral victory....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Seven Pasifika MPs elected – highest number ever
    AUCKLAND ( Pacific Media Watch / The New Zealand Herald ): The highest number of Pasifika MPs elected in New Zealand's history were voted in at the weekend general election....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • LGNZ congratulates National
    LGNZ congratulates National Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) congratulates re-elected Prime Minister John Key and the National led government on winning their third consecutive term following Saturday’s general election. LGNZ President Lawrence Yule acknowledges...
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • The Letter – 22 September 2014
    John Key’s win is historic. In the history of MMP elections – worldwide – ever – no government has won an absolute majority. MMP was imposed on Germany to make sure that country never had another Hitler. It is designed...
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Election Coverage – None Better Than Trans Tasman
    To get a steer on what was going to happen in the election - away from the histrionics of the mainstream coverage - the best place to go was The Main Report Group’s weekly political report Trans Tasman....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Federated Farmers intemperate
    For the second time in a week Federated Farmers has made intemperate and provocative comments on environmental issues, says EDS....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • MP’s Stolen Items Recovered
    Following a complaint to Parliamentary Services today [ September 19 ], items which had been stolen from NZ First MP Andrew Williams’ Wellington parliamentary office have been recovered and returned....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Election results bad news for those on benefits
    Beneficiary Advocate Kay Brereton says, “ The election result holds no good news for people on benefits, National campaigned successfully with their beneficiary bashing agenda, and will now believe their punitive treatment of beneficiaries has the support...
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Opportunity to progress water infrastructure
    “National’s re-election is an opportunity to develop the infrastructure New Zealand needs to provide surety of water for agriculture, town drinking water supply, waterways, recreational use and to future proof the country from climate change,” says Andrew...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Wellington City joins the global call for 100% clean
    At 1:00 pm, residents and visitors of Wellington gathered at the summit of Mt Victoria to join the millions strong call for a 100% clean future....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Hikoi with us from Cape Reinga to Auckland Oil Conference!
    Monday 22 September 2014: Maori from different tribal areas along the western length of Northland are organising a hikoi starting on Saturday to a Government oil conference in Auckland to make sure that Norwegian oil giant Statoil gets the message:...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Roy Morgan NZ Election Update With A Look At The Polls
    Roy Morgan NZ Election Update With A Look At The Polls National re-elected to third term with record high vote as Labour slumps to worst result in over 90 years...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • National-led Government wins mandate for RMA reforms
    An unprecedented increase in support for the third-term National Party, the best electoral performance since 1899, has delivered a clear mandate for reform of the Resource Management Act says Federated Farmers. “Vital reforms to the RMA have...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • New Zealand says no to Culture of Death
    Right to Life is pleased that the people of New Zealand have rejected a culture of death by refusing to elect a Labour/Green government that supported the decriminalisation of abortion....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – Steven Joyce
    CORIN Steven Joyce if we could start with how things are going to look now with your support partners. Can you just run us through, National can technically govern alone on what you’ve got at the moment, do you think...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – Kelvin Davis
    SUSAN Well earlier this morning, just before we came to air in fact, Corin spoke to Kelvin Davis, one of the big winners of the night, the new MP for Te Tai Tokerau....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – David Cunliffe
    CORIN Joining me now is Labour Leader, David Cunliffe. Good morning to you Mr Cunliffe. This is a tough result for Labour, how much personal responsibility do you take for this....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Grey Power congratulates Key
    Grey Power National President Terry King congratulated John Key for his party’s “resounding win “ in yesterday’s election and hoped that the new National Government would look hard at issues affecting the ever–growing number of older New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • EMA congratulates PM John Key and National
    The Employers and Manufacturers Association extend hearty congratulations to the re-election of Prime Minister John Key and National....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Helen Clark Receives Inaugural Women’s Health Rights Award
    Helen Clark was honoured as the first recipient of the Women’s Health Rights Award at the 121st Woman’s Suffrage event held in Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • National deal with New Zealand First unlikely
    The National party is unlikely to offer a confidence and supply agreement to New Zealand First according to Dr Ryan Malone, Director Training and Research at Civicsquare....
    Scoop politics | 20-09
  • Daily Election Update #12: NZ First to hold balance of power
    Winston Peters’ NZ First Party will hold the balance of power after tomorrow’s election, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Mr Peters is then expected to back a National-led...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies
    Over the course of this election campaign there has been a lot of focus on dirty politics and spying, and not a lot on policy. With election day looming, Gareth Morgan is calling for people to refocus on the issues....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • The Kiwi FM Alternative Election Commentary
    Saturday 20 September from 7pm on 102.2 Auckland, 102.1 Wellington, 102.5 Canterbury, or KiwiFM.co.nz...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Beneficiary Bashing unacceptable
    Kay Brereton of the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation of New Zealand says “ the comment made by Bill English yesterday comparing beneficiaries to crack addicts is shocking and incredibly poorly timed.”...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • UN Experience Beneficial
    Acclaim Otago representatives have just completed their participation at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability examination of the New Zealand government in Geneva, Switzerland. "It was an interesting two days which we believe has...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Changing face of NZ should be reflected in newsrooms
    With Fairfax Media’s Journalism Intern search closing on Sunday, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging aspiring journalists from Maori, Pacific and ethnic communities to apply. The deadline was recently extended to 10pm, Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • SPCA expresses concern over toxin in waterways
    Ric Odom CEO of Royal NZ SPCA has expressed concern over the toxic poison 1080 entering waterways, but DoC, Council’s and Ministry of Health have colluded to make it legal....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 13-18 September
    Below is iSentia’s final weekly Election Index, covering the period 13-18 September and showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. The methodology used...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Epsom Candidate (Adam Holland) More Liberal Than ACT
    For the past four years I, like 500,000 other New Zealanders, have been illegally smoking cannabis for medicinal purposes and/or even just for the occasional laugh with friends on the weekend. We don't hurt anybody, we don't cause nuisance, we...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Left Coalition Will Save Dolphins
    A left coalition would safeguard both Māui and Hector’s dolphins, as well as revive our inshore ecosystems. Labour, Internet Mana and the Green Party all have strong policies in place for dolphin protection. The Maori Party, and to a certain...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Waihoroi Shortland: Ngāti Hine is not standing alone
    The Chairman of Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi, Sonny Tau is blowing smoke worthy of a Dotcom rally with claims that Ngati Hine is standing alone in its opposition to Tūhoronuku says the Chairman of Te Rūnanga o Ngati...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Oceania voices on environment loud and strong
    While money and energy continues to be spent on global talks about climate change, Pacific islanders are scrambling to build sea walls out of sticks, stones, shells and coral, to protect their lands and homes from erosion and rising sea...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunket – Tonight
    No MPs tonight --- the campaign will be over at 9 30. Instead we will look back --- and possibly forward on what we have learned and what might happen. Listener Political Columnist Jane Clifton Editor in Chief, NZ Herald,...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election fails to address youth financial wellbeing
    Young people don’t feel included in New Zealand’s financial success and believe inequality is a problem, according to a new survey conducted by Westpac’s Fin-Ed Centre at Massey University....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Winston’s Waffle doesn’t hide the facts
    The Conservative Party is celebrating the ASA's finding announced today that rejected all but one of the complaints raised against its controversial “Conservatives or Peters” pamphlet. “Despite pages of complaints from Peters legal team the only...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ Independent Coalition looking forward to tomorrow
    “Our team is looking forward to tomorrow. It is a real opportunity to reclaim politics for the people,” said NZ Independent Coalition leader Brendan Horan....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Insights Issue 35/2014 – 19 September 2014
    Insights Issue 35/2014 - 19 September 2014 In This Issue • RMA reform the golden unicorn of policy | Jenesa Jeram...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Special voting arrangements made for NIWA crew
    One of the most unusual polling stations for this year’s general election is in the middle of the ocean miles from land. NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa, has been doubling as a polling booth for crew and scientists at sea....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Tourism operators urged to vote strategically
    Tourism operators should make sure they know their local candidates’ view on tourism and use their vote to support the country’s second largest export industry, says Chris Roberts, Chief Executive, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA)....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • WGTN: March for free education
    We are students, university staff, and members of the community. Whichever parties form a government after September 20th, we are demanding an end to corporatisation of education....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Evidence of Corruption a National Scandal
    Internet Party leader Laila Harré will take evidence of corruption to international forums if there is not a full Royal Commission to investigate the growing evidence of the systematic use and abuse of democratic institutions and processes for political...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt continues to throw money at charter school experiment
    Official documents reveal the three primary sector charter schools approved last week will cost $2 million to set up as well as divert another $1.5 million of potential taxpayer investment from local state schools next year....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • ACT Final Election Rally
    Elections campaigns are an opportunity for political parties to put candidates and policy to enable voters to choose what sort of New Zealand we want. In this campaign there have been three tests by which you can assess the electoral...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
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