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Are we a caring country?

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, November 9th, 2011 - 123 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, labour, national, poverty, welfare - Tags: , ,

At the end of last Sunday’s Insight program on RNZ, which focused on the issue of poverty, one of the experts featured (Ruby Duncan from charity Oasis) left us with this:

Children are dying, children are being killed in their own homes, we know all about that, how much do we care?

It’s a very good question.  How much do we, as a country, care about the poor?  I think the answer is complicated, and I also think that it is the issue that most clearly distinguishes the political Left and the Right.  I wrote about this last year, but I’m going to repeat some of the words now.

Here’s a triplet of facts. 1) Every “developed” country needs a welfare system to take care of those who are, for whatever reason unable to support themselves. 2) The majority of welfare recipients are exactly the cases of genuine need that welfare systems are designed for. 3) A minority of welfare recipients are lazy bludgers who game the system to try and extract benefits when they could support themselves.

I don’t think anyone seriously questions point 1 anymore. The Left won that argument. What still separates us clearly into Left and Right today, it seems to me, is how we respond to 2 and 3. A Lefty will generously support a comprehensive welfare system to provide a decent quality of life for those in need (they accept the minority of bludgers as a cost of doing business). But nothing shrivels a Tory heart like the idea of sharing their wealth. While unable to deny the need, they become so obsessed with the small minority of bludgers that they can’t help but attack the system, and in doing so they attack the support for the overwhelming majority of perfectly genuine welfare recipients.

Now in the run up to the election, as both major parties have released their welfare related policies, we can see exactly this difference very starkly portrayed.

National’s policy is all about trying to drive people off welfare, all about trying to stamp out the bludgers. For that reason it is punitive and damaging to the majority of genuine welfare recipients.  National’s policy is divorced from reality because it fails to take any account of three important facts:

  • First, there are no jobs to drive people in to.  Unemployment is up 50% under National.
  • Second, since National took office there are 60,000 more people on benefits.  These people didn’t suddenly get lazy, they got shafted by economic forces beyond their control.  They’re already looking for jobs that aren’t there, so there’s no point in pushing them any harder.
  • Third, “The vast majority (81 per cent) of people on UB [unemployment benefit] have received it continuously for less than one year. Less than one percent of people had received UB continuously for 10 years or more”.  This idea that there’s a huge number of people sitting on the dole as a “lifestyle choice” is simply bollocks.  People want to work.

In contrast Labour’s policy accepts that we should simply help in cases of genuine need – the vast majority of welfare recipients.  In particular there are around 200,000 children living in poverty in NZ, and that is simply unacceptable.  Extending the WFF tax credit to beneficiary families with children under 18 will put an extra $60 a week in their hands (phased in by April 2018).  The cost of paying more to some small percentage of bludging beneficiaries is far outweighed by the benefit of lifting children out of poverty.

Oh and just by the way, Labour’s policy makes more economic sense no matter which way you look at it.  Child poverty costs New Zealand $6 billion annually by some estimates.  Spending to reduce child poverty has a massive return on investment.

So there you have it.  The classic split between Left and Right on welfare.  As ever the Left is working to help the majority in genuine need, while the Right is so obsessed with the small minority of bludgers that their only aim is to make the system more punitive for all.  Which approach better serves the children of New Zealand?  How much do we care?

123 comments on “Are we a caring country?”

  1. sdm 1

    No the split between left and right is not about ‘caring’, its about who should fix the problem. Many on the left wish to abdicate their responsibility to the state, so that ‘others’ are deemed to be responsible for fixing the problem. They can then sit back and sip their pinot, because they have voted in such a way so as the ‘rich pricks’ pay more money to help the poor. They havent actually done anything.

    You can always defer your responsibility to the state. We have a moral obligation to care for those less fortunate, rather than just relying on the state itself to do it

    • fmacskasy 1.1

      “You can always defer your responsibility to the state. We have a moral obligation to care for those less fortunate, rather than just relying on the state itself to do it”

      What does that mean?

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        They mean to ignore the economic savings by collectivizing aid and
        so recreate holes in the system so the few at the top can look down
        on others.

        Welfare is a program designed by the state, for the state, and of the
        state. Those who hate the state, those who want to game society
        for their own religious, economic, or personal reasons hate
        welfare.

        The state has a duty to the long term needs of society, as stated
        by its people, to save money and increase opportunity to make
        money, not for a select few of taxpayers(who it seems don’t pay
        their fair share) but for even those who legally claim benefits.

        Because the benefit is a direct response of the state to the problem of
        saturated supply, there is not enough work around for everyone.
        So the public and private sector work together to create work
        as idle poor hands have the tendency to take away power from
        those who fail to achieve this goal.

        But there are the few, back by the deluded, who believe that
        this balance is a opportunity to abuse the poor, and corner
        profits for themselves. The profits of the last three decades
        were always temporary, we were always likely to shrink
        back to old time government through concensus for
        the common good, a social community.

        The state has the duty to include everyone, its wrong for
        the left to susgest that there is anyone on welfare gaming
        the system, anyone lying to WINZ has a right to have their
        lies brought before them in a court of law. I find its
        disgraceful that 3.) is included above.

        Welfare recipients are no more or less criminal than anyone,
        and when they leave jail after serving their time they can
        claim welfare again. It therefore seems very silly to
        claim anyone without evidence to the contrary on
        welfare is criminal since any false positives will cost
        the state a hell a lot more money in jail costs and
        compensation later. The idea that we’d create
        a welfare system that manufactures criminals, those
        misleading WINZ falsely and so commiting fraud,
        is staggering, since this is in effect an error of
        management in creating a trap for the poorest.

        There are uncouth people who become powerful and
        justify their power by criminalizing and claiming those
        sane are insane, for their ownn needs.

        The courts fail the poorest, children, when the law
        cannot stop obvious discrimination against them, but
        the court can’t change the law, only government can.
        As i have said in the past, NZ does not respect human
        rights, ask any poorer person in NZ about consumer
        rights, or any migrant about how money grabbing
        NZ really are, money talks in NZ, no more obvious
        example could be provided that shows that basic
        dignity has a price in NZ – and so little protection
        for human rights..

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.2

      “abdicate their responsibility to the state”.

      That’s so stupid it’s not even wrong. People organise a co-ordinated response and you call it “abdicating responsibility”. Your ‘moral obligation’ looks like a painting by Hogarth, we’ve been there, we’ve seen the revolting outcome of private charity as the only safety net.

      “Pay more money to help the poor”. Once again, a one-eyed mis-characterisation. We pay tax for the benefit of all, and the rich benefit the most of all.

      • aerobubble 1.2.1

        Exactly, the wealthy are not our rulers, the rich are rewarded by the legislative
        regime or the times, they are not owed continuity for the rest of time at the
        exense of child poverty, or any kind of poverty.

        we have enough to feed, cloth, provide health
        to everyone.We don’t bceause the system is gamed by those
        with too much wealth.

    • Tania 1.3

      sdm
      We are the state you idiot

    • Lanthanide 1.4

      sdm – how many ‘rich pricks’ are out there doing actual hands on work? Surely they’re all too busy Working Hard For Their Money that they don’t have time to help out those less fortunate.

      • seanmaitland 1.4.1

        I earn enough to be called a rich prick by people (even though I’m not even close to being a rich prick).

        I pay enough tax (around 50k of my income ends up as crown revenue) – however after that, my moral obligation is to provide and care for my wife and son, and extended family. The problem I have is the Left want to take more money off me and give it to welfare programmes and then they claim they have a social conscience and are “caring” for spending the money I earnt.

        I am fine with paying the amount I pay – I am not fine with more being taking off me under such hypocrisy.

        Oh, and after taking my money and spending it, the ‘left’ will still call me a greedy rich-prick and look at me with disdain – simply because I work my butt off.

        • r0b 1.4.1.1

          Yeah and the other side to that argument is that the right take tax money off me to spend on things that I don’t approve if (like pollution subsidies for business under the ETS, or enforcing national standards). So we all pay taxes for things we don’t like sean, taxes are the price we pay to live in a functioning society. [Huh – I shouldn’t comment just as I have to go off line – later!]]

        • One Anonymous Bloke 1.4.1.2

          If you’re including yourself in the group Labour intends to tax more, you must be earning $150,000, and therefore by your calculations you have $75,000 pa to spend on whatever you choose. $205 per day. Poor puppy.

          • sdm 1.4.1.2.1

            He still earned it. Its his money to do with as he pleases. Not yours

            • McFlock 1.4.1.2.1.1

              Earned and retained and guaranteed as a means of exchange by virtue to living in this country, rather than hunkering in gated community somewhere hoping the extremists don’t put a firecracker under his arse.
                
              How much society chooses to extract for these services is up to the democratic process, not your syphilitic delusions of property rights.

        • mik e 1.4.1.3

          Go to Australia mate land

          • Reality Bytes 1.4.1.3.1

            Not really practical, Maitland would probably earn more in Australia and therefore risk paying up to 45% tax on income. Even if Labour comes back into power and reverses the National’s top-tier tax cuts back to 39%. Maitland may be better off in Australia economically, but the feeling of being punished for being successful would surely be more pronounced over there at 45%

            I do think Gareth Morgan’s 20/20/20 tax scheme is a good idea though. I agree we need to retain people and reward success for those who contribute and aren’t dodging tax! Good on you Maitland for not weaseling out of your helpful contribution. I appreciate it, and don’t think you should be knocked for your efforts.

            But on the other side of the fence, Maitland should appreciate that if his tax dollars are used well, it shouldn’t make him feel ripped off, the well-being of society and our shared infrastructure has intangible benefits for Maitland benefits too. I’d rather have sensible proactive (if a little bit more expensive at first) approach than a cheap ambulance at bottom of the cliff, pay for it later approach.

            Personally I think this is Labour’s Achilles heel, if they turned around and said we’ll do one better than Nats and further lower the top tier tax rate they would be unstoppable and virtually guaranteed electoral victory, as they would neutralize the only point of difference that the Nats can claim the high ground on in some circles.

    • millsy 1.5

      So you would dismantle our public schools and hospitals and have health services provided by charities who PICK AND CHOOSE who they help then?

      I dont see anything evil about taxing the wealthy to pay for things such as health services and schools. In fact the rich should have the shit taxed out of them. For years the rest of New Zealand have had to give up their services so the rich could enjoy lower taxes, and opt out of society by building gated communities and sending their kids to private school.

      Hundreds of hospitals were closed around the country so Bill Birch could cut taxes in 1996.

    • sdm is obviously a person who is lucky enough to have a job, how many people on welfare can afford to sip pinot. I bet there is many on welfare through no fault of their own who would live to sip a pinot.

      • sdm 1.6.1

        But I will say this Maggie, my charitable contributions including time and money are literally tens of thousands of dollars…..

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    Fear of bludgers is a smoke screen. The left has not “won the argument” on the welfare state; it is quite clear that many on the right would vote to dismantle it.

    • felix 2.1

      How are you defining “winning the argument” though?

      If you mean bringing your opponent around to your point of view by appealing to reason, then you’re probably right. There is a hard core on the right who will never agree with sharing responsibility.

      But I reckon if your opponent is so ashamed of the vulgarity and selfishness of their beliefs that they won’t voice them in public, you’ve probably “won the argument” insofar as is possible.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1

        Well, to me winning the argument would mean that we could turn our backs and trust wingnuts not to attempt to destroy the gains society has made.

        • felix 2.1.1.1

          Know what you mean. I don’t think they’ll ever be convinced though, we’re going to need to figure out how to put safeguards around those gains so they can’t rip it all apart every time they get elected.

        • Ari 2.1.1.2

          Well in that case nobody ever wins an argument in politics. ;)

        • seanmaitland 2.1.1.3

          No offense, but these gains you talk of are rubbish.

          50% of families relying on government welfare (WFF)?

          ludicrous numbers of youth unemployed because they have been priced out of the job market?

          people getting paid to breed by the state in lieu of working?

          I could go on, but thanks to 9 years of welfare state activity from Labour, we have a shitstorm on our hands that we cannot get out of.

          And you guys sit around saying that the solution is to throw more free money at them and let them sort it out themselves…….

          I’m absolutely astonished at the stupidity and hypocrisy of the “Left”.

          The historical Labour party figures will be rolling in their graves at what a disgrace Labour has become.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.3.1

            SM no offense, but your biased mis-characterisations have no factual basis. Take your assertions on youth unemployment about people being priced out of the job market. You are aware that this is the subject of peer-reviewed study? Google scholar is your friend – substantiate your assertions, go on, find something current.

            When you fail, I’ll laugh, because you still will have no respect for the facts, and you’ll continue to regurgitate false attack lines you heard somewhere.

            Your beliefs are lies and until you’re prepared to confront that fact, you deserve them. But no-one else does.

          • McFlock 2.1.1.3.2

            “No offense, […] people getting paid to breed by the state in lieu of working?”

            Nope, much offense. Dick.

            BTW, Saint Key’s mum had state assistance to raise that sociopathic little scrote, but I still don’t begrudge her a single penny. Do you?

  3. SukieDamson 3

    Tax Avoidance vs Benefit Bludging. Compare & Contrast.

  4. National’s approach over the past three years has been little different to Labours had been previously.

    You can’t compare Labour’s current policy Hail Marys, they aren’t going to happen.

    • Which particular dimension do you occupy Pete?  In that dimension is John Key a sound financial manager?
       

      • felix 4.1.1

        The dimension in which the best way to create political change is to snuggle up to Peter Dunne and never voice an opinion?

        • Pete George 4.1.1.1

          I’m getting a good response to some of my opinions on the trail in Dunedin North.

          I’m offering something distinctly different, and not reciting the same old lines like some other candidates.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      National’s approach over the past three years has been little different to Labours had been previously.

      Only you have been an ardent supporter of National Standards and DoC staff firings.

    • Ari 4.3

      If this is a radical hail mary policy lineup, I’d hate to see what a mainstream boring Labour policy launch is like, because while this has touched a couple third rails, it hasn’t exactly proposed solutions to even a majority of what we need to fix about our society.

  5. Jenny 5


    Mana: Press statement 8 Nov. 2011

    “I might sound like a bit of a cynic but a promise to fund something in 2018 is really no commitment at all because so much can happen in the intervening period.”

    Sue Bradford

    • The Voice of Reason 5.1

      Quite right, Jenny. To quote the esteemed English philosopher Karl Pilkington, you won’t get anything done by planning.

    • Isn’t the ‘phase in’ to be completed by 2018 (rather than everything happening on that date and nothing before)?

      More generally, Labour’s policies on children/mothers/parents look like they will make a difference. People working in child-related agencies are supportive.

      The problem with National’s policies is that they increase stress in the family on the assumption that such stress motivates better parenting and greater efforts to find work. This shows an extraordinarily impoverished and simplistic understanding of human motivation.

      Because of that, National’s approach is likely to be counter-productive and produce more of the ‘dysfunction’ it is supposedly aimed at reducing.

      Sadly, I think that just this kind of poor and simplistic understanding of motivation is quite common in New Zealand.

      • bbfloyd 5.2.1

        100% agree with that statement…sad as that may be…

      • seeker 5.2.2

        @puddleglum

        Your comment was so well put, especially

        “The problem with National’s policies is that they increase stress in the family on the assumption that such stress motivates better parenting and greater efforts to find work. This shows an extraordinarily impoverished and simplistic understanding of human motivation. ”

        with “iimpoverished and simplistic understanding” being the unfortunate operative phrase of most of national’s undertakings-to our children’s detriment. Not a wisp of wisdom in sight.

  6. M 6

    Brilliant Anthony

    This stood out for me:

    ‘But nothing shrivels a Tory heart like the idea of sharing their wealth.

    That’s the nub of the problem which makes me think they haven’t been socialised properly.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      They are brought up to believe that the world is divided into good people and bad people (who you can identify because they look different). The idea that there are bad people all around breeds fear, which turns to hate and then becomes right wing policy.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Time for the undeserving wealthy to pay back into the resourcing of the society which enabled them to collect their wealth in the first place.

    • Dan hansen 7.1

      Do you see the irony / hypcritical nature of you implying that all wealthy are undeserving vis a vis a common complaint on this site that the right think that all poor are deservingly so?

      Or are your blinkers that opaque?

      • McFlock 7.1.1

        Feel free to demonstrate a link between deserving-ness  and material wealth or lack thereof.

        • Dan hansen 7.1.1.1

          Its not me that contended that there is a link – its a combination of hard work and good luck.

          Thats my point..the left thinking all rich are undeserving is just as silly as the contention that the right think all poor are deservingly so

          • McFlock 7.1.1.1.1

            If it’s a function that includes luck (and I would suggest that luck is not always sufficient to determine wealth, but it is always necessary) and luck is not determined by deserving-ness, then (to quote the great man Clint Eastwood) “deserving’s got nothing to do with it”.
             
            Nobody deserves poverty.
            Nobody deserves wealth.
            Everybody deserves a fair shake in life.
             
            No inconsistency whatsoever.

  8. Herodotus 8

    r0b in this post you conyinually refer to “Poverty” without ever addressing at what level is poverty applicable. Labour (Kings) basis of 50% of median wage is some removed academic novelity for me. If we follow this then the likes of Rod Pedrovic for the last few years has been living below the poverty line, if only those in real poverty could match Petrovic live style but his income was below the poverty line!!. If you want to put a financial measure in, then refer to disposable income, not gross, and have an understanding of cost of living and what we expect individuals and family groups should be able to experience.
    Here we go on about income- What about the jobs we close an eye to that are paid below this level and allow overseas workers to fulfil these jobs & be paid below the poverty line e.g. fishing boats, fruit pickers etc
    And why tinker with WFF and allow beneficaries to be eligible. If the benefit is inadequate then make it adequate- Or am I missing something with my KISS approach??

    • felix 8.1

      Your last paragraph is spot on.

      Apply it to wages as well and we could do away with WfF altogether.

  9. Tom Gould 9

    Not possible to have a serious debate in this country on the big issues of public policy, as Goff has just proven. Despite trying to have one, the media got bored after a day or two and decided headlines and sound bites are much easier, so that was the end of that. Today, the Labour health policy came out, aimed at trying to deal with causes rather than symptoms, and the Radio Live head of news, Kevin Hercock, says ‘a list a bullet points, where’s the detail, where’s the money coming from?’ Ryall says ‘borrow and spend’. Game over, folks. Tabloid MSM rules the day, and Key is their hero and patron.

  10. Excellent piece, Anthony – well sussed.

    I’ve detected a very real global resurgence of opposition to neo-liberal policies. The recent banking crisis and recession illustrates vividly that leaving things to the “invisible hand of the free market” is an invitation to abuse and disaster.

    It’s the ordinary folk who’ve paid for Wall St’s excesses, and this narrative is becoming stronger.

    More and more people now probably have a cleaere understanding that social welfare is all that separates us from being a civilised country looking after it’s vulnerable – to a Third World state where everyone is left to fend for themselvres.

    It strikes me as ironic that our neo-liberals condemn social welfare at every opportunity. But when it comes to which country they want to live in – NZ is #1. And countries with no welfare are not very desirable. No one wants to go live in India or Somalia.

    In effect, neo-libs want the benefits of living in a First World society – but don’t want to pay for it.

    Classic bludging.

    And when it comes to “bludging”, nothing compares with the highly educated and well-heeled who know precisely how to rort the system: http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2011/08/28/greed-is-good/

    • Gosman 10.1

      Weirdly though most developed nations are swinging to the right rather than to the left and pursuing traditional Right wing economic policies rather than left wing ones. I would suggets the left is good at b@tching about how terrible things are but less able to articulate an alternative which is attractive to the voting public. Simply Taxing, Borrowing, and Spending more doesn’t seem to be able to cut it anymore.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        neo-liberalism is failing all but the top 1% to 2%. The other 6.9B people in the world are being royally screwed.

        The fact that many major world governments have been co-opted by the Bankster Occupation is merely speeding up the process.

    • Galeandra 10.2

      In effect, neo-libs want the benefits of living in a First World society – but don’t want to pay for it.

      Very much in evidence stateside where antique infrastructure disintegrates on the altar of anti-taxation, a problem highlighted recently when powerlines came down everywhere in the unseasonally early snowfall.Some people faced 2 to 3 weeks without power.How they must love the neo-con revolution.

      • fmacskasy 10.2.1

        Galeandra,

        I seem to recall something similar about America’s roading and bridges – which came to public attention when a bridge somewhere in the US collapsed without any apparent cause, sending several cars hurtling into a deep river. If I remember the articles at the time, the collapse seemed to be blamed on aging infrastructure and land of adequate maintenance (much like our railways from 1992 to 2008).

  11. stever 11

    Good article, R0b.

    It’s a common phenomenon that, when you don’t want to do something, but also realise that your reasons for not doing it are things you don’t want to admit to, you look for “reasons” for not acting that look more principled, and you adopt those.

    Lots of people in this country don’t want to contribute to the state, because, in the end, they are selfish. But they don’t want to admit that. So, in the case of social security (and much better term than “welfare” I think), they cling onto the tiny, tiny minority of people supported by social security who are not keeping to their part of the contract, i.e. they are avoiding finding work etc., and use that as an excuse to attack the vast majority who are keeping to their side of the social bargain.

    Sadly, a lot of people in government and other powerful sections of our society appear, by their actions and words, to think this way.

    Pointing out at every opportunity just how small a proportion of the total the cheaters are is important, because it leads to the question: “Why do you insist on doing this?”—and the honest answer is: “Because I’m selfish, but ashamed to let you know it”.

  12. Tombstone 12

    Here’s a thought – JOBS? Is it possible that if we focused more on JOB CREATION rather than welfare reforms that people would naturally take up those JOBS thus exiting the welfare system without the need to have been bullied into doing so? I know it sounds crazy but to my mind it seems fairly logical to me. A good start would be …. let me think …. TRAINS. We can build those here and that would CREATE JOBS and put money back into the local economy which is a good thing right? So why don’t we say NO to the Chinese and build them here? How can National expect people to believe that they can create the thousands of JOBS needed to get people off welfare and back into WORK when they keep on sending those much needed JOBS off shore? That seems a little bit arse about face to me and if not then I can only but summize that Key is merely plucking feel good figures out of thin air in the hope that the sheeple of NZ will buy into them and vote National. Either way it’s all a little insidious if you ask me. The problem is the JOB MARKET – there are NO JOBS. John Key has indeed plucked a figure out of thin air but what he hasn’t done is explain in detail where those JOBS will be created and who will be creating them. Would Key care to elaborate? Thought not.

    • madagascar 12.1

      You’ve got it in one.

    • Afewknowthetruth 12.2

      Tombstone

      For the kind of ‘level playing field’ needed for trains to be built in NZ rather than in China the Chinese currency would have to be revalued upwards against the Kiwi by around 300%.

      The chance of that happeing within the present economic framework is exactly zero.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1

        Or the benefits of building them here also put into the accounting which, under this government, also has a zero chance of happening.

      • mik e 12.2.2

        Probably closer to 30% afew but the quality would be better given that all Chinese made so far has been substandard

    • Draco T Bastard 12.3

      Is it possible that if we focused more on JOB CREATION rather than welfare reforms that people would naturally take up those JOBS thus exiting the welfare system without the need to have been bullied into doing so?

      Well, if we want a rational economy what we’d be focussing on is two questions:

      What is the economy?
      What is the economy for?

      The economy is the environment around us and the resources contained within it. What the economy is for is to ensure that the Earth can continue to sustain life including us.

      Instead we focus on money and becoming richer (having more money) which can only be achieved by using up those resources at unsustainable rates (consumerism).

      The real point about increasing productivity is that there is less work, on a proportional basis, available. This isn’t a negative but it is being used as one – to take resources away from many people and give it to the rich/ownership class.

  13. JS 13

    There is a nasty vindictive steak in New Zealanders which is manifesting very strongly at the moment and is causing people to vote against their own best interests just because they don’t want their neighbour (or their neighbour’s child) to have a hand up.

    We can counter this and keep our own integrity by speaking up and helping out where we can on a one to one or local community basis. Little actions will become big movements for change (look at the Occupy movement). In this respect the election is a just a little blip as we are in a time of rapid change and it’s how we work together that will get us through it.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 13.1

      “Nasty vindictive steak (sic) in New Zealanders…” well to be fair the phenomenon is observable in many countries – a symptom of the systematic dismantling of the middle class – you don’t see the shit you’re being fed, so long as there’s someone more downtrodden to look down on.

  14. Oh, please. This isn’t a Labour Party policy, it’s an appeal to Labour’s voter base to get out and vote. The only reason they’re offering it is they know they won’t be in government and have to implement it. The cynicism of it is really quite insulting.

    • felix 14.1

      If they’re so resigned to not being in govt, then why are they so cynically trying to get their voter base out?

      Make sense, you don’t. Conflicted, your theory is.

      • madagascar 14.1.1

        So they can warm as many seats as possible in the opposition benches.

        At the moment they are bleeding votes to the Greens (hooray) and also loosing the battle for the swing voters to National – there may be quite a few sitting and list MPs from labour feeling quite uncomfortable about their job prospects come the end of the month – hence Psycho’s comment above.

      • Psycho Milt 14.1.2

        If they’re so resigned to not being in govt, then why are they so cynically trying to get their voter base out?

        Any organisation will attempt to minimise the extent of a loss. They’re cynical, not defeatist or just plain stupid.

        • felix 14.1.2.1

          So they’re resigned to not being in govt but they’re not defeatist?

          Clearer, you could be.

          • Psycho Milt 14.1.2.1.1

            I guess I could point out the difference between “resigned to not being the next govt” and “not bothering to try and minimise the extent of your loss and keep as many of your MPs as possible in Parliament,” but there’d probably be no point.

            • Colonial Viper 14.1.2.1.1.1

              A few weeks ago, almost everyone had written the French team off as underperforming and disorganised, and that the All Blacks would win by an easy 15-20 points.

              Haha.

            • felix 14.1.2.1.1.2

              Yeah PM, I doubt you’d be able to make a point either.

            • fmacskasy 14.1.2.1.1.3

              And yet, Milt, if Labour is consigned to defeat – why should you be worried? Or motivated to comment?

              It’d be like me posting shite-loads of commentary about NZ First. Care factor: zero.

              Perhaps those who support National/ACT are picking up on a real anti-Nat undercurrent? The question is, how strong is that undercurrent.

              Case in point. There is a family living in our street; very low incomes; they’ve never voted before.

              But this time, they will all be out voting. Every single one of them.

              They are the ones who are ‘invisible’ to pollsters – no landline.

              I wonder… is this the “underclass” that Dear Leader referred to? Because it appears that they are concerned enough about their (lack of) prospects to go out and vote.

              • And yet, Milt, if Labour is consigned to defeat – why should you be worried? Or motivated to comment?

                Because I have no enthusiasm for National govts and would prefer a Labour one, albeit only in the sense that one would prefer a broken arm to a broken pelvis. Labour won’t become the govt this time round, but might next time – which means, given that the people formulating policy now are quite likely to be still doing it three years from now, the honesty and integrity of those people does actually matter.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I’m fighting hard in my nearby electorates for a good turn out. I suggest you do the same. Or not. Up to you.

                • Galeandra

                  You might like to think about the impact of the 80’s & 90’s on people like me who were Labour and got burned off in the great reforms. What point is there in promoting policy which is so out of step with the discourse in the media and Joe Public’s mind if Labour’s purpose is electoral gain?

                  I’ve been Green for the last four elections,am by instinct anti-right, and I find myself now working for the local Labour candidate who is a former student of mine, and really competent and compelling candidate for leftwing views.During this I’ve met a significant number of people on their doorsteps who seem quite defeated by things as they are, and are in consequence politically ‘uninterested.’ Their last decades of political experience have simply shown them that political self-promotion and careerism trump their needs most of the time.

                  At what point can we say that cynicism has ended and that there is a genuiness in Labour’s spirit of concern and opposition to systemic selfishness & class-ism? A real commitment to policy and planning which will make a difference? Probably now, when a prescription which won’t win an election is put out there for the public to consider. The prescription will work its way through the body politic and over time reduce the effects of the narcissistic neo-liberal malady that afflicts it.

                  In the meantime, consider the paucity of people who work for the party, who are willing to flagwave, phone list or doorstep for the party. That infrastructure of committed workers takes time to repair. Surely the policy and political leadership being shown on the hustings is as much about infusing a new generation of workers for the cause, as it is about winning votes on the day?

                  • At what point can we say that cynicism has ended…?

                    I’m not sure, but on thing I am sure of is that a policy that amounts to “Vote for us, we’ll give you money” definitely does not mark the end of that cynicism.

                    • clandestino

                      It’s simple ya psycho. Wages aren’t meeting the cost of living. You want a civil society? Is it that hard to get that without significant redistribution life will become a hell of a lot more unpleasant for everyone.

  15. Roy 15

    “There is a nasty vindictive steak in New Zealanders which is manifesting very strongly at the moment and is causing people to vote against their own best interests just because they don’t want their neighbour (or their neighbour’s child) to have a hand up.”

    I think it’s a nasty racist streak actually, and it is causing people to vote against their own best interests because they assume most or all beneficiaries are Maori or Pasifika people, and they don’t want them to have a hand up.

  16. Tiger Mountain 16

    There are only two types of people in our society, beneficiaries and those that will become beneficiaries (barring perhaps several hundred super wealthy). Welfare including national super and WFF in work tax credits are part of the price of striving for a civilised society. Though personally I would like to see collective wage bargaining extended so the middle classes could try and obtain a better income from employers.

    The rest is wedge politics. But there surely are dark vindictive curtain twitching kiwis around.

    • King Kong 16.1

      I am not sure that someone who worked for 45 years paying taxes towards their retirement would appreciate being called a beneficiary.

      • Roy 16.1.1

        No, superannuitants don’t like being called beneficiaries but the reality is that they ARE beneficiaries, national superannuation IS a benefit, and they need to get over that fact and stop pretending otherwise. Most of them will not have paid enough in tax during their working lives to cover all the superannuation they are going to receive between age 65 and death, either.

      • mik e 16.1.2

        Thats what ACt calls them

  17. DavidW 17

    The one thing that sticks out for me is that with welfare, driving rules (speed limits, alcohol limits), drinking age, in fact many many areas of society that are subject to Rules of one kind or another, the old saying that the few who abuse a privilege will stuff it up for the many who don’t.

    It would seem that the only real difference between the parties is how you look at “the few”. Labour tend to ignore them or add to the bureaucracy surrounding the system (i.e. increase policing) while National tend towards creating incentives to change (and disincentives to not change). In the end it boils down to which approach you would prefer.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.1

      Simplistic BS. National’s “incentives” don’t work, being based on a false premise. All they do is fail, and usually make things even worse. How long do you think we can afford the luxury of “preferring” this approach?

  18. JS 18

    That economist Kim Hill interviewed on Saturday (who has seen most of predictions come true), predicts the end of capitalism in the next 3 or 4 years. It is going to be a bumpy ride but something more caring and sharing will come out the other side. So this election is not that important becuase the new government is likely to soon collapse under the crisis, and will have to move to a more cooperative model.

    • fmacskasy 18.1

      Something “more caring and sharing”?

      Or, something more akin to desperation?

      I keep thinking that the rise of fascism in Europe occurred because of the mass unemployment, poverty, and economic instability caused by the Depression…

      God help us if history is repeating. Because this time, atomic weapons proliferate.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.2

      Well of course he does: he writes lots of books that essentially make the same predictions; appearing on the radio to talk about it is his marketing strategy. So much for the man, what about his ideas? Well, it turns out they’re based on Hindu idealism, and rely on a society where everyone does yoga and is vegetarian.

      I mean, I’m all down with that, but I can see how a lot of folks are going to need persuading…

    • Gosman 18.3

      Ah yes the Economist who thinks the solution to the world’s problems is increasing production and productivity via some ill defined mixed ownership model. Sounds pretty much like Marx’s fantasy land vision for the world which proved to be such an unmitigated failure.

    • dave brown 18.4

      JS agree 100%. But the ‘other side’ may take some time, and we need to be prepared.
      The Egyptian spring got stymied by the SCAF. But it hasnt stopped the revolution. The Syrians are getting killed by the score every day. Yet more defectors from the military are now fighting back. The Libyans got drawn into a brutal civil war where the people’s cause got hijacked by the oil companies. It remains to be seen if the armed people can unite to defend a real independence from imperialism. In Greece and Italy the collapse is already on them. NZ cannot be far behind.
      Is OWS prepared for the state force that will be unleashed against it? Perhaps. The pacifism has quickly become justifiable self-defence and a move to re-occupy evicted sites. For every arrest, torture or killing the resistance redoubles again and again. There is a point where a movement takes over and individuals lose their fear. And the reason is that the movement captures all the legitimacy lost by the regimes of the 1%. You only have to listen to Danny Glover’s speech as Oakland to see that.
      But as people have commented here, there is a nasty dark side to NZ society – a lumpen petty bourgeois streak of inhumanity towards others who can be scapegoated as undeserving. Its the mark of a white settler racist society of mainchancers now hit by bad times and looking for someone to blame.
      So things are going to be much nastier before they get better and I am thinking that those of us on the left have to form a self-defence community to protect all of us who will suffer in this fight. In particular I am thinking of youth who are vulnerable to hard times without support networks. So whatever comes of this election, OcuppyEverywhere needs to keep going and provide the groundwork for the new society we want to build.

    • insider 18.5

      From what I heard his predictions were incredibly broad so as to not be useful, or brilliant in hindsight. Kim tried to point that out at one stage, but he didn’t note the irony.

  19. Afewknowthetruth 19

    ‘Are we a caring country?’

    That is a very odd question.

    A country is a designation for an area of land on a map, usually coloured to distinguish it.

    The word ‘nation’ does imply a group of people living in a politically designated region.

    The word ‘society’ suggests people interacting.

    Perhaps we could rephrase the question as:

    ‘Do we live in a caring society?’

    or

    ‘Do New Zealanders care about inequality and the suffering of the less fortunate?’

    or

    ‘Do NZers know what morality is/”

    Bearing in mind that NZers have been carefully trained over a period of many decades to be selfish, greedy and acquisitive, it is not too surpising that is how many of them have become. The natural tendency of communiites to care for those within the communities has been largely ‘beaten out’ by global commerical interersts: hence, many NZers were more concerned about the price of [fake] rugby jerseys than how many children in their community were (are) malnourished.

    It is intersting that the vast majority of ‘Christian’ churches have failed (miserably) to provide a role model based on the teachings of Christ.

    Ultimately, most of what we are witnessing is about social control and exploitation of the masses via brainwashing.

    We will start to see the REAL character of NZers shortly after globalised economic arrangements start to seriously break down, which will be some time between 2015 and 2020.

    It will make very little diference which bunch of ‘clowns and criminals’ gets into office after the coming elections, since none of them have any realistic strategies to deal with the economic, energetic and environmental meltdown which is underway.

    ‘The global output of heat-trapping carbon dioxide jumped by the biggest amount on record, the US department of energy has calculated, in a sign of how weak the world’s efforts have been at slowing man-made global warming.

    The new figures for 2010 mean that levels of greenhouse gases are higher than the worst case scenario outlined by climate experts just four years ago.

    “The more we talk about the need to control emissions, the more they are growing,” John Reilly, co-director of MIT’s Joint Programme on the Science and Policy of Global Change, said.’

    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2011/11/201111402622633852.html

    Needless to say, the vast majority of candidates who are offering themselves for election don’t REALLY care about such matters (or don’t understand them).

    It will be the children who will suffer the dire consequences of all the stupidity and greed that have characterised western societies for decades …. in a few years from now.

    • Gosman 19.1

      “Bearing in mind that NZers have been carefully trained over a period of many decades to be selfish, greedy and acquisitive, it is not too surpising that is how many of them have become”

      Where exactly did this careful training take place? I can’t remember too many classes at Primary or Secondary school where ‘selfish, greedy and acquisitive’ were topics pushed on students.

      Also curious that over these many decades is the 9 years where the Labour Party under Helen Clark was in charge. I didn’t realise it was part of their policy mix to push ‘selfish, greedy and acquisitive’.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1.1

        Truthiness can seem strange at first glance.

      • fmacskasy 19.1.2

        When 763,136 New Zealanders voted for Robert Muldoon’s National Party, in 1975, they effectively voted to end compulsory super-savings. They preferred to put superannuation “on tick”, to be paid for by future generations.Instead, they preferred to “spend up large” on property speculation (using borrowed money from overseas).

        If that isn’t shortsightedness and selfishness – then what is?

        By the way, Gosman, I expect you to pay for my retirement. Make sure you have deeeeeep pockets.

        (And no, I didn’t vote for Muldoon. Never have. Never would.)

        • Gosman 19.1.2.1

          Don’t worry Frank I have deep pockets and short arms ;)

          By the way I see your blog has been infiltrated by the leftist conspiracy theorist called Travellerev. I admire your scientific way of thinking Frank even if I don’t agree with your conclusions necessarily so be wary of her propagating her rubbish least you get tarnished by association. It is your blog so you can do what you want but she really is out there.

      • Puddleglum 19.1.3

        ‘Training’ in this instance is not quite as explicit as you seem to assume, Gosman.

        I presume what was meant is that changes to economic and social structures (including media discourse which follows economic restructuring as a reliable causal consequence) intersect with ‘human nature’ to make it more likely that self-focused behaviours (e.g., individual accumulation of resources and the corresponding emotions, like avarice and greed, to allow that and make it more effective) arise in the population.

        If you think at the population (social) level rather than at the individual level, it’s pretty clear how individuals get ‘trained’ by the contexts and circumstances in which they develop and come to act as adults. 

        Present structures encourage more individualistic approaches to living and, consequently, the assertion that others’ are morally inept or, at least, have no call on any other individual for their assistance.

        A repeated, longitudinal survey of attitudes in New Zealand (I think carried out by some North Island university business school?) shows just such a shift over the past 30 years. I thought that was part of what those on the right were ‘celebrating’? That we had become more selfish and self-concerned and believed that no-one had the right to expect assistance.

      • Afewknowthetruth 19.1.4

        Grosman.

        During the nineteenth century a small, but determined, band of selfish and greedy people managed to push the indigenous people off large tracts of land; once they acquired the land they sold it off to others at great profit or set up very profitable business prediated on extracting wealth from the land. The descendents of those sociopaths form the ‘upper’ echelon of NZ society.

        However, until the 1980s there was not a great disparity within most communities and the bulk of society was reasonably egalitatrian.

        The brainwashing phenomenon commenced in the US, where Edward Bernays, nephew of Freud, realised there were great profits to be made (for himself and others) out of manipating the masses. His first great success was to overturn the social stigma of woemn smoking by declaring cigarrets to be ‘torches of freedom’ [at a time when women were very much repressed]. Bernays and his associates were repsonsible for the painful deaths of hundreds of milions of people and the addiction ‘slavery’ of cigarette smoking. (excellent BBC documentary Century of the Self)

        The Second World War interrupted some of the social conditioning towards comsumerism, but in the 1950s consumerism went into hyper-drive in the via radio and television. The mission was to overturn the frugal make-do, reuse, recyle society that had existed from the dawn of time and create a society of ostentatious consumption by the masses. Think ‘Bewitched’, ‘The Beverley Hillbillies’, ‘Dallas’ ……….and all the advertisements that interrupted such programmes.

        It took a little longer for the global corporations to hook in NZers, but once television was set up primarily as an advertiser medium intterrupted with occasional content in the late 1980s it was open slather. Anyone who watches television is subjected to a near constant brainwashing to persudae them that owning and using stuff is meritorious…. bigger houses, bigger cars, higher performace cars, bigger and better utes, fly here, fly there, eat this, eat that, get rewards for buying stuff you don’t need and fuck the planet a bit faster via ‘Flybuys’. Add to all that the millions of tonnes of advertising literature put into mailboxes every day and plastered all over every city in NZ.

        All of this selfishness, greed and planetary destruction is because ‘you deserve the good life’.
        The fact that you are stealing from the next generation doesn’t enter into the equation, of course. Just keep consuming till you can’t.

        Then get dropped like a stone by ‘the empire’ when you are of no further use to ‘the empire’.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 19.1.4.1

          Your vision of the world is so backward,s AFKTT. Everyone knows the shadowy group you refer to is called “The Illuminati” not “The Empire”. Please try and keep up!

        • fmacskasy 19.1.4.2

          “Create a society that values material things above all else. Strip it of industry. Raise taxes for the poor and reduce them for the rich and for corporations. Prop up failed financial institutions with public money. Ask for more tax, while vastly reducing public services. Put adverts everywhere, regardless of people’s ability to afford the things they advertise. Allow the cost of food and housing to eclipse people’s ability to pay for them. Light blue touch paper.”

          – Andrew Maxwell, Irish Comedian (on the London riots)

          That has to be the summation of our consumerist societu.

          • Puddleglum 19.1.4.2.1

            Yep.

            I get the sense sometimes that the mentality of the ‘right’ operates something like this:

            Make a world full of temptations, injustice and grinding hardship as a test of ‘moral character’. When someone fails this ‘test’, grind them even deeper into the dirt – then repeat the test. 

          • Hami Shearlie 19.1.4.2.2

            Hey Frank, stop quoting the National Party Manifesto!!

          • Gosman 19.1.4.2.3

            “…Put adverts everywhere, regardless of people’s ability to afford the things they advertise…”

            Interesting. So this is a bad thing is it according to left wing thinking?

            If so then the only solution seems to be that advertising should be retricted based on whether or not someone in the target group might be able to afford the item advertised. How will this be policed and what is the implications for freedom of speech?

            • Draco T Bastard 19.1.4.2.3.1

              Actually, advertising should just be banned due to it’s psychopathy.

            • clandestino 19.1.4.2.3.2

              How can you seriously believe that it’s a good thing a large proportion of your compatriots suffer constant status anxiety. But nah, you’ll just come up with some specious constitutional argument that requires less than critical thinking.

               

  20. randal 20

    of course we are a caring country.
    we care about, leaf blowers, horizntal planers, vertical grinders, motorbikes, speedboats, v8 races, trips to machu picchui. what do ya think we are. numbskulls or soemthing.

  21. Afewknowthetruth 21

    ‘The empire’ I refer to goes way beyond so-called secret societies. It is all-encompassing and includes banking institutions, corporations, politicians, courts, the police, the military, lawyers, the construction sector, the advertising sector, mainstream media, most of the education sector, most of the agricultural sector, fishing, forestry and local government.

    All of the aforementioned (and many other sectors of society) are constantly engaged in promoting the narrative of the industrial-military-financial complex which is destroying the habitability of the planet we live on. The bulk of the popuace self-censor to keep the narritive they have adopted intact.

    Anyone who challenges the narrative of ‘the empire’ is labelled ‘an extremist’, ‘a nutter’, ‘a conspiracy freak’ etc., and is generally ignored or ridiculed or persecuted; if the ‘offender’ persists or becomes effective he/she is incarcerated or murdered.

    However, after millenia of looting and polluting we have reached the point at which a significant portion of society recognises ‘the emperor has no clothes’ and that ‘the empire’ is dying. That portion must inevitably grow as the narrative of empire (you too can become a tycoon if you try hard enough) fails to an ever graeater extent

    The coming years will undoubtedly see numerous acts of profitteering and acts desperation on behalf of the elites, to ensure that they are the last to suffer as it all goes into decline.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1

      The fantasies you subscribe to have traditionally been associated with the Illuminati, who, if you remember, are omnipotent and invisible. They rule the world in secret, manipulating countries to their own ends. Sound familiar? Why yes, what a coincidence – it’s the exact same narrative you’re pushing.

      • Afewknowthetruth 21.1.1

        OAB

        Some of the the fantasies you subscribe to are predicated on ignoriung fundamental laws of physics and chemistry.

        I’d rather stick with irrefutavle facts than play ‘conspiracy theories’.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1.1.1

          You have a problem here, because the only areas on which we differ is that I find your fatalistic panic tiresome and your conspiracy theories laughable. So remind me which part of Physics and Chemistry you’re blithering about please.

  22. vanakast 22

    “The Left won that argument.”

    That “left” is closer to the contemporary right than the contemporary left. The contemporary left is a desperate joke, driven by jealously and entitlement.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 22.1

      Oh too funny. You think I’m jealous of the fact free zone that the right has become? Do you think I’m jealous of the right’s dismal economic record (dismal as in “nowhere near as good as the Labour Party’s – the party that doesn’t get ratings downgrades)? Or how about your utterly bankrupt education policies? Am I jealous of your fear of your fellow citizens? Or your racism?

      Worry about your own motivations, fool, ‘cos you don’t know shit about mine.

    • Draco T Bastard 22.2

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

      Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others originate those feelings.

      Sums up the RWNJs perfectly. Not wanting to admit their own psychopathy they project it onto others notably those who they see as their enemies.

    • ropata 22.3

      Will Cain: “I find the one thing [the protesters] have in common revolves around the human emotions of envy and entitlement,” he said. “What you have is more than what I have, and I’m not happy with my situation.”

      Matt Taibbi: When you take into consideration all the theft and fraud and market manipulation and other evil shit Wall Street bankers have been guilty of in the last ten-fifteen years, you have to have balls like church bells to trot out a propaganda line that says the protesters are just jealous of their hard-earned money.

      http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/owss-beef-wall-street-isnt-winning-its-cheating-20111025

  23. johnm 23

    No We are not a caring society:
    1. We’ve allowed housing to be used as a wealth creator with easy finance grossly inflating the value of housing stock while wage slaves rent the same houses and pay of the owner’s mortgage which he/she cashes in on huge capital gains. Result housing is unaffordable for many young kiwis wanting to start a family. Those that buy have to pay the overinflated asset bubble price with all the additional interest to the banks! Whew!
    1a. The political class are cashing in to exploiting poorer kiwis that’s why they won’t impose a capital gains tax or if they do its when the asset bubble is long over as now!

    2.We burdened our young kiwis with crazy kiwi student loans, like a mortgage just to get off!
    3.We’ve done nothing about child poverty except Labour at this point.
    4. We have a wealth worship cult : We’re excepted to go WOW! when a billionaire appears like Oprah.
    5. Many of us think its great to elect a currency speculator from an American Shady Outfit now bust as Prime Minister!
    6.We are a divided society in terms of wealth and income and the richer lot love it!

    7.God Help Us! If the polls are right we are going to vote smarmy Key in again!! despite the grounded in reality offer from Labour: 1. Raise the minimum wage 2. Help beneficiaries with children 3. Keep our in common assets for the good of all kiwis

    But no the selfish greedy large minority don’t care they will vote Key in again

    No wonder young people can’t wait to get out!

    The bosses and the rich want it all their own way they were so greedy for money they ignored all safety procedures at Pike River. A Japanese mine expert was so shat scared of an explosion he couldn’t wait to get out! Typical NZ.

    • johnm 23.1

      Typical Wage Slave: ” I am desperate for a job to support my family at a minimum wage set by our beloved leader who dresses better than I could ever hope to do except at marriages and funerals If I am not good enough I will be dismissed after 90 days but if not I can then rent my Landlord’s house (He already has 8 of them) and pay and pay for ever and ever until I have paid his mortgage at which point I may be discarded as he cashes in his untaxed Capital Gain, selling the house, I will have done my lowly part to help make Master Key and his flash suited mates richer. I would have liked to have bought my own house but these clever business operators got in first with easy money and credit from the banks who cash in too! Me and my lowly kind were too slow our own home was taken from us by the greedy ones who worship clever smart tricks to cash in on a bubble bid up by their very own selves!

      From” the road to serfdom” There are now 47,000,000 serfs in the U$$$ surviving on food handouts beaten down they’ll probably work eventually for peanuts with about the same social status as tame monkeys!

  24. fender 24

    Debate with the right is futile. I’m disgusted with where our country is heading. A civil uprising is all the right will take notice of. Prepare for the” Mad Max” future ahead. No gates or walls will be strong enough to keep the 99% at bay. They say you get the leaders you deserve and I say they deserve the results their failed policies create.

  25. RedLogix 25

    The children and grandchildren of that same fell mob who loved Muldoon, are going to vote for a slicker, smarmier version of him this election.

    Although time will come with Key, as with Muldoon in the 80’s and 90’s, you couldn’t never find no barstard who ever said he voted for him.

    • I voted for Rob, got a problem with that? Thought not, at least he was fun and real, unlike the plastic people who run the country now.Key like Aunty Helen are so false thinking of them makes me vomit.

      Elections now days are socialist wankfests.  

      Appalling child abuse stats prove governments don’t care about kiwi kids.
      We have the world cup. 

      Who was charged with the murder of the Kahui twins Mr DumboKeystoneCop?     

      Children don’t matter bro we got control.

      Yeah right. What a sick country!

      Rant over.

  26. randal 26

    we are not a caring country.
    we say we are like little kids who think that if they say something then it is true.
    if children continue this behaviour in the face of reality testing then it becomes a serious mental illness and hey looky here we got one.

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    Transport Blog
  • Henryk Grossman on the struggle for Marxism, 1883-1932
    Henryk Grossman, Fifty Years of Struggle over Marxism 1883-1932, translated by Rick Kuhn and Einde O’Callagan, with an introduction by Rick Kuhn; Ebook AU$6.34 from http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OE6KF7O and paperback AU$10 from redflag.subs@gmail.com reviewed by Tom O’Lincoln There is a story about Marx’s legacy that...
    Redline
  • Financial assistance for tertiary students
    I’ve gotten my final assignment back for the 300-level Policy Research & Evaluation paper I did last semester, and earned another A+ and another teacher telling me to do post-grad if I can afford it without starving. The only way...
    The little pakeha
  • A brief commentary from John Key, Prime Minister
    Hello. I’m not going to apologise. There’s nothing to apologise for. I have done nothing wrong. Yes I suppose a few people in my office may have possibly been in contact with people in Camoron Slater’s office, but I had...
    My Thinks
  • A surveillance power-grab
    Section 7 of the government's spy bill introduces a new power for police and SIS to access information held by Customs. Its not mentioned in the press release, and the bill's explanatory note is extremely vague. So what's it about?...
    No Right Turn
  • Another shoddy analysis
    What's the case for the government's Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill? I've been reading the bills Regulatory Impact Statement, and the short version is that there isn't one. A RIS is a vital part of the quality control process for...
    No Right Turn
  • “We should be a working on the railroads…”
    Yesterday Peter asked if the Auckland’s motorway network built on “strategic misrepresentations”?. In it he briefly mentioned engineer Joseph Wright who questioned how much the motorways would cost. In response I put this image in the comments however it probably justifies it’s...
    Transport Blog
  • The facts of power price rises
    Everyone knows power prices are increasing and it feels like it is eating more and more of their weekly pay check. This morning I released census data showing this common feeling is in fact borne in the data. The data...
    frogblog
  • Slavery was cheap too…Pay equity fight back to court
    Today the NZ Aged Care Association announced they will appeal the decisions of the Employment Court and Court of Appeal in favour of Kristine Bartlett, to the Supreme Court. They say they have no choice but to appeal because many...
    frogblog
  • Why Pakeha are so offended by John Key’s idea of a peaceful settlement
    The statements by the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Maori never ceded sovereignty in 1840 are enough to make any student of history choke. First was the denial that the ruling means anything significant. And then there...
    frogblog
  • Counterproductive
    Since June, the US has been bombing Iraq. Since September, they've been bombing Syria. In both cases, the aim is ostensibly to stop ISIS. So how's it working out?About as badly as you'd expect:US air strikes in Syria are encouraging...
    No Right Turn
  • No justice in America
    On August 9, police officer Darren Wilson shot and murdered Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.. The shooting of unarmed black men by American police is so routine that they don't even bother to keep statistics on it. And of course,...
    No Right Turn
  • The Andrew Little experiment has failed
    It’s time to admit that the Andrew Little leadership experiment has been a failure. A terrible failure....
    Imperator Fish
  • Abuse of power: The OIA / public records dimension
    One of the things to emerge from the "dirty politics" report is that the SIS pissed all over the OIA:The NZSIS also made a significant error in considering information requests by the news media. Such requests were, from 25 July...
    No Right Turn
  • Restoration of the Christchurch Arts Centre well underway
    It was inspiring to be shown some of the major restoration and rebuilding work underway at the Christchurch Arts Centre recently. With 22 of 23 Arts Centre buildings damaged by the earthquakes, this is one of the largest heritage restoration...
    frogblog
  • A further thought on the Gwyn report
    The report itself is here. The main issues have been well covered by the media. Here’s what struck me. One of Key’s big achievements as Prime Minister has been the expansion of the size and powers of the state security...
    DimPost
  • A further thought on the Gwyn report
    The report itself is here. The main issues have been well covered by the media. Here’s what struck me. One of Key’s big achievements as Prime Minister has been the expansion of the size and powers of the state security...
    DimPost
  • Thin Ice edit for US TV funded in full
    The Thin Ice Kickstarter campaign was resounding success, with the total pledged reaching NZ$34,448 from 228 backers. The extra funds are likely to be used in a PR effort to get the newly-edited film shown on as many TV stations...
    Hot Topic
  • The City Unbound
    The current Metro Magazine has has an article by me on Auckland, its new urban nature, and surprise!: Why we need a change in transport infrastructure investment to unlock its true value. Most here won’t be unfamiliar with the arguments but the...
    Transport Blog
  • The City Unbound
    The current Metro Magazine has has an article by me on Auckland, its new urban nature, and surprise!: Why we need a change in transport infrastructure investment to unlock its true value. Most here won’t be unfamiliar with the arguments but the...
    Transport Blog
  • Cover up in the PM’s office
    Here's an extract from a very good post by Russell Brown this morning: But there’s more. The inspector, Cheryl Gwyn, has this to say: Witnesses appearing before this inquiry also produced documents. Documents were provided voluntarily by Mr Hager and...
    Polity
  • An abuse of power
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has released her report into the release of information to Cameron Slater by the SIS. Its a lot to digest, but it looks like the core allegation of Dirty Politics - that the Prime...
    No Right Turn
  • Media Link: The Slater/SIS/PM’s Office OIA debacle.
    Sometimes one has to speak bluntly but honestly about unethical behaviour within the NZ intelligence community. The revelations about the way an OIA request from a notorious right wing blogger was  handled by the then Director of Security and Intelligence...
    Kiwipolitico
  • The buck stops on level 9
    The IGIS report has come out, saying the SIS failed to maintain political neutrality, smearing Phil Goff, and finding that senior Prime Ministerial staff were complicit in channeling security agency information to Cameron Slater. In response, the SIS has apologised...
    Polity
  • Hard News: Incomplete, inaccurate and misleading
    The reporter of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of information by the SIS is now public, and it turns out to be largely about a democratic problem we've discussed plenty this year: the growing contempt in which New...
    Public Address
  • I’m not ALWAYS wrong …
    I'm presently acting as a "parent helper" at school camp in the backblocks outside of Cromwell, so my capacity to comment on recent events is limited (to put it mildly). So I'll simply reproduce this part of this post from...
    Pundit
  • Coal Action Network Aotearoa Newsletter November 2014
    What’s in this newsletter?  1.  Upcoming Events 2.  Heads in the Sand! Join us on December 7 3.  The Elections – analysis from Jeanette Fitzsimons 4.  The IPCC – and New Zealand’s response 5.  Honey I shrunk the Board!  Bathurst...
    Coal Action
  • Is New Zealand heading up shit creek? [infographic]
    Should we be able to swim in our rivers? Water quality has been in the news a lot this year – in particular the impact of dairy farming on nitrogen levels (and algae) in our rivers. But if we want...
    Gareth’s World
  • Reaction to Labour reshuffle
    The commentators have digested Andrew Little's reshuffle overnight, and their verdict is predictably positive. Even if the Herald can't agree on whether the reshuffle was a big deal or not (the editorial says "largely cautious" while John Armstrong says "radical...
    Polity
  • SIS report due out today
    The Gwyn Report into allegations the NZ SIS were used for political purposes to smear Phil Goff, via Cameron Slater, is due for release at 10 am. Radio NZ reports: The report by the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn,...
    On the Left
  • Nothing Wrong With John Key’s History.
    Done Deal: The Prime Minister's comments regarding the peaceful settlement of New Zealand have been ridiculed by his detractors, but they were considerably less controversial than the Waitangi Tribunal's assertion that Maori never ceded sovereignty to the British crown. (Image...
    Bowalley Road
  • Hibiscus Coast New Network confirmed
    Back in July and August, Auckland Transport consulted on changes to the bus network on the Hibiscus Coast as part of the region wide new network. The main driver for consulting on the changes now is that AT want to...
    Transport Blog
  • Hibiscus Coast New Network confirmed
    Back in July and August, Auckland Transport consulted on changes to the bus network on the Hibiscus Coast as part of the region wide new network. The main driver for consulting on the changes now is that AT want to...
    Transport Blog
  • (Not) changing the climate on climate change
    Here’s a foreign policy issue the government wishes would go away: climate change. Most other governments wish it would go away, too. They will nonetheless send emissaries to Lima in Peru for 12 days of talks from next Monday. Lima...
    Colin James
  • Accelerating Over the Cliff in our Latest Roadster
    Article – Paul Martin The Intergovernmental Report on Climate Change earlier this year noted if action is not taken soon the resultant 2C increase in global temperatures will have severe, and irreversible impacts on human habitation and economic activity.Accelerating Over...
    Its our future
  • Will New Climate Treaty Be a Thriller, or Shaggy Dog Story?
    The following article is reprinted by permission of its author, Stephen Leahy, who writes for the Inter Press Service (IPS) News Agency. To access the article as posted on the IPS website, click here. The as-yet unfinished exhibit area which forms part...
    Skeptical Science
  • Will New Climate Treaty Be a Thriller, or Shaggy Dog Story?
    The following article is reprinted by permission of its author, Stephen Leahy, who writes for the Inter Press Service (IPS) News Agency. To access the article as posted on the IPS website, click here. The as-yet unfinished exhibit area which forms part...
    Skeptical Science
  • Free your voices
    Last week Victoria University of Wellington lecturer’s Dr. Sandra Grey and Dr. Charles Sedgwick released some figures from the 2013/14 update of the 2008/9 survey of the community and voluntary sector. Their research question was: ‘How is democracy – as...
    Greens
  • The facts of power price rises
    Everyone knows power prices are increasing and it feels like it is eating more and more of their weekly pay check. This morning I released census data showing this common feeling is in fact borne in the data. The data...
    Greens
  • Slavery was cheap too…Pay equity fight back to court
    Today the NZ Aged Care Association announced they will appeal the decisions of the Employment Court and Court of Appeal in favour of Kristine Bartlett, to the Supreme Court. They say they have no choice but to appeal because many...
    Greens
  • Why Pakeha are so offended by John Key’s idea of a peaceful settlement
    The statements by the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Maori never ceded sovereignty in 1840 are enough to make any student of history choke. First was the denial that the ruling means anything significant. And then there...
    Greens
  • Restoration of the Christchurch Arts Centre well underway
    It was inspiring to be shown some of the major restoration and rebuilding work underway at the Christchurch Arts Centre recently. With 22 of 23 Arts Centre buildings damaged by the earthquakes, this is one of the largest heritage restoration...
    Greens
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • Report confirms John Key abused power of PM’s Office
    Today's Inspector General of Intelligence and Security's (IGIS) report confirms that the Prime Minister's office engaged in a serious abuse of power, says the Green Party.The IGIS report looked at the release of an Official Information Act request to disgraced...
    Greens
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter referring to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    ...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
  • Terrorism bill fraught with risk for academics
    Academics studying terrorism, or other topics that the SIS considers not to be in the national interest, could be among those who lose civil rights if an ‘anti-terrorism’ bill becomes law....
    Scoop politics
  • Iwi score badly on Māori language report card
    Māori language group Umere has given 'iwi corporates' a "Not achieved" for not standing up for te reo....
    Scoop politics
  • Men need to play leadership role
    White Ribbon Day is the international day for the elimination of violence against women and occurs each year on 25 November....
    Scoop politics
  • NZ-HK Customs heads meet to strengthen ties
    A meeting between New Zealand Customs and Hong Kong Customs officials in Auckland today has strengthened the close partnership between the two agencies that continue to work together, especially to combat drug smuggling and organised crime....
    Scoop politics
  • Liam Butler interviews Hon Richard Prebble CBE,
    Out of the Red $29.95 The untold story of NZ's biggest business turn around....
    Scoop politics
  • Submissions called for two herbicide applications
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on the reassessment of the herbicide Firebird and an application for release of the herbicide Sakura....
    Scoop politics
  • Collins Inquiry – Statement from Mr Adam Feeley
    "I am pleased that the inquiry was undertaken and with the outcome announced today, especially given the unprecedented level of speculation, criticism and comment around investigations into the collapse of finance companies - much of which bore little...
    Scoop politics
  • #GivingTuesday focuses on charitable giving in Xmas lead-up
    More than 100 New Zealand charities are taking part in the inaugural #GivingTuesday being held on Tuesday 2 December....
    Scoop politics
  • Carrick Graham: Inquiry Shows New Media PR Here to Stay
    Facilitate Communications welcomes the Prime Minister’s release of the Inquiry report into allegations regarding the Honourable Judith Collins and a former Director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley....
    Scoop politics
  • Carrick Graham: Inquiry Shows New Media PR Here to Stay
    Facilitate Communications welcomes the Prime Minister’s release of the Inquiry report into allegations regarding the Honourable Judith Collins and a former Director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley....
    Scoop politics
  • Importance of employer support of victims of family violence
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has welcomed a new report, Intimate partner violence and the workplace, published today by the NZ Family Violence Clearinghouse at the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Importance of employer support of victims of family violence
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has welcomed a new report, Intimate partner violence and the workplace, published today by the NZ Family Violence Clearinghouse at the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Activists celebrate success in ‘Roast Busters’ campaign
    Activist community ActionStation is today celebrating the success of their campaign to force a review into the lack of charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ case, after the Minister of Justice announced the re-opening of work to improve the justice system...
    Scoop politics
  • Activists celebrate success in ‘Roast Busters’ campaign
    Activist community ActionStation is today celebrating the success of their campaign to force a review into the lack of charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ case, after the Minister of Justice announced the re-opening of work to improve the justice system...
    Scoop politics
  • White Ribbon Day: A lot of work to do
    White Ribbon Day is a timely reminder to all New Zealanders that when it comes to sexual violence there is a lot of work to do says Human Rights Commissioner Jackie Blue. “Many victims of sexual violence are failed by...
    Scoop politics
  • White Ribbon Day: A lot of work to do
    White Ribbon Day is a timely reminder to all New Zealanders that when it comes to sexual violence there is a lot of work to do says Human Rights Commissioner Jackie Blue. “Many victims of sexual violence are failed by...
    Scoop politics
  • MBIE acts against Queenstown breaches of employment laws
    Enforcement action has been taken against 15 employers in the hospitality, retail and service industries following an operation in August by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)....
    Scoop politics
  • MBIE acts against Queenstown breaches of employment laws
    Enforcement action has been taken against 15 employers in the hospitality, retail and service industries following an operation in August by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)....
    Scoop politics
  • E Tu Whānau Supports Glenn Report’s call
    E Tu Whānau Supports Glenn Report’s call for Māori Tikanga to Battle Domestic Violence...
    Scoop politics
  • E Tu Whānau Supports Glenn Report’s call
    E Tu Whānau Supports Glenn Report’s call for Māori Tikanga to Battle Domestic Violence...
    Scoop politics
  • Link between inequality and teen births studied
    A University of Canterbury economics and finance postgraduate student’s research project has been unable to find a strong link between teen birth rates and socio-economic inequality....
    Scoop politics
  • Link between inequality and teen births studied
    A University of Canterbury economics and finance postgraduate student’s research project has been unable to find a strong link between teen birth rates and socio-economic inequality....
    Scoop politics
  • On White Ribbon Day, and every day, Plunket is here to help
    On White Ribbon Day, Plunket says the impact family violence has on children is not OK, but it is OK to ask for help, and is encouraging parents in violent or abusive relationships to seek help for themselves and their...
    Scoop politics
  • On White Ribbon Day, and every day, Plunket is here to help
    On White Ribbon Day, Plunket says the impact family violence has on children is not OK, but it is OK to ask for help, and is encouraging parents in violent or abusive relationships to seek help for themselves and their...
    Scoop politics
  • Dr Warren Tucker accepts findings of IGIS report
    I accept the findings of the Inspector-General's thorough and careful report and take full responsibility not only for my decisions but for the systemic errors made by NZSIS at the time....
    Scoop politics
  • Dr Warren Tucker accepts findings of IGIS report
    I accept the findings of the Inspector-General's thorough and careful report and take full responsibility not only for my decisions but for the systemic errors made by NZSIS at the time....
    Scoop politics
  • NZSIS accepts Inspector-General’s recommendations
    The Director of Security, Rebecca Kitteridge says she accepts all of the recommendations from an inquiry into the release of NZSIS information in July and August 2011. “We are implementing all of the recommendations as soon as possible,” Ms Kitteridge...
    Scoop politics
  • NZSIS accepts Inspector-General’s recommendations
    The Director of Security, Rebecca Kitteridge says she accepts all of the recommendations from an inquiry into the release of NZSIS information in July and August 2011. “We are implementing all of the recommendations as soon as possible,” Ms Kitteridge...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwis Embrace the Spirit of Giving This Christmas
    Auckland, New Zealand – November 25, 2014 – Kiwis are embracing the spirit of giving this Christmas, with new figures revealing that a majority of us will be looking to purchase gifts for six or more people this festive season....
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwis Embrace the Spirit of Giving This Christmas
    Auckland, New Zealand – November 25, 2014 – Kiwis are embracing the spirit of giving this Christmas, with new figures revealing that a majority of us will be looking to purchase gifts for six or more people this festive season....
    Scoop politics
  • The writing’s on the wall in aged care
    The writing’s on the wall in aged care, so let’s get on with it....
    Scoop politics
  • The writing’s on the wall in aged care
    The writing’s on the wall in aged care, so let’s get on with it....
    Scoop politics
  • Report on release of NZSIS information to Cameron Slater
    The inquiry found the NZSIS released incomplete, inaccurate and misleading information in response to Mr Slater’s request, and provided some of the same incorrect information to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office....
    Scoop politics
  • Report on release of NZSIS information to Cameron Slater
    The inquiry found the NZSIS released incomplete, inaccurate and misleading information in response to Mr Slater’s request, and provided some of the same incorrect information to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister’s Office....
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand a world leader in animal welfare
    The Animal Protection Index , which ranks 50countries across the world on their animal welfare standards, places New Zealand (along with the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland)in first place....
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand a world leader in animal welfare
    The Animal Protection Index , which ranks 50countries across the world on their animal welfare standards, places New Zealand (along with the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland)in first place....
    Scoop politics
  • Corrections Review of Phillip Smith’s Illegal Departure
    Corrections Chief Executive Ray Smith has made public a summary of the findings of the review into the illegal departure from New Zealand of prisoner Phillip Smith during a temporary release....
    Scoop politics
  • Corrections Review of Phillip Smith’s Illegal Departure
    Corrections Chief Executive Ray Smith has made public a summary of the findings of the review into the illegal departure from New Zealand of prisoner Phillip Smith during a temporary release....
    Scoop politics
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics
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