web analytics
The Standard

Because it’s all about “me”

Written By: - Date published: 6:24 pm, October 22nd, 2013 - 22 comments
Categories: benefits, capitalism, child welfare, class war, david cunliffe, housing, paula bennett, poverty, public transport, sustainability, unemployment - Tags:

I was very pleased when David Cunliffe in his speech earlier this month at the CTU conference, talked about moving from a “from a cost-based to a values-based” strategy.  This is something that needs to be developed as part of a wider narrative, that shifts public discourse from an individualistic focus, to one that focuses on valuing all members of society – to a focus on  us all being in this together in the long term.  The kind of findings that were reported in The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, need to be repeated again and again, in as many ways as possible. What is good for the least well-off in society, is good for all of us.

The 1980s+ escalation of individualistic values resulted in short sighted, short term politicised policies that ultimately damage the wider society.  The focus on the here and now, and how it impacts on “Me” masks the way society is being damaged in the longer term. This focus can be seen in two news items reported on today:  Paula Bennett’s disregard of the risk of negative impacts on children through her welfare reforms; a survey that shows transport is a way bigger issue for Aucklanders than affordable housing.

The Child Poverty Action Group has published a report that shows pressuring parents to get into work and to fulfill various “social obligations” puts the children of beneficiaries at risk.  key’s government can demonise beneficiaries, and fail to provide adequate support for them, because, overall, they are a minority, and for most voters it’s a case of out of sight, out of mind.  Too many people fail to understand how this damages our society, and diminishes us all. As reported in the NZ Herald:

CPAG spokesman Associate Professor Mike O’Brien said the children of beneficiaries were being singled out for different treatment under the Government’s new welfare reforms.

A background study by CPAG on benefit sanctions found the children of beneficiaries were now subject to a set of rules which other children were not required to meet.

The changes risked creating a separate, disadvantaged class of children whose activities were unjustly restricted for reasons beyond their control, Mr O’Brien said.

Under questioning in the House today, Paula Bennett dodged the issue, showing she really doesn’t care enough to properly monitor the impact of her reforms, especially on children.

paula bennett inequality

The NZ Herald also reported today that an digipoll shows Aucklanders care far more about improving transport, especially public transport, than providing more affordable housing.  It’s great to see such a high amount of concern on the transport issue, but worrying that affordable housing is marginalised by such results:

Herald-DigiPoll survey of 500 Super City dwellers found 43.8 per cent ranked transport as the biggest issue facing Auckland.

It was streets ahead of affordable housing, the chief concern of 17.1 per cent of those surveyed, and balancing the city’s budget (3.4 per cent).

Of course transport issues impact on a great number of Aucklanders daily.  The people who daily struggle with issues of no or less than adequate housing, and with pressures on their budget because of the relative high cost, are a smaller number of people.

Affordable housing and better public transport are related issues that impact on us all, as does demonisation of beneficiaries, child poverty, and too high an inequality gap.

The 2009 Guardian review of The Spirit Level sums it up:

Inequality causes shorter, unhealthier and unhappier lives; it increases the rate of teenage pregnancy, violence, obesity, imprisonment and addiction; it destroys relationships between individuals born in the same society but into different classes; and its function as a driver of consumption depletes the planet’s resources.

[…]

The graphs also reveal that it is not just the poor, but whole societies, from top to bottom, that are adversely affected by inequality.

[…]

However, the book does end on an optimistic note, with a transformative, rather than revolutionary, programme for making sick societies more healthy. A society in which all citizens feel free to look each other in the eye can only come into being once those in the lower echelons feel more valued than at present. The authors argue that removal of economic impediments to feeling valued – such as low wages, low benefits and low public spending on education, for instance – will allow a flourishing of human potential.

This is the story that needs to be told again and again, and where I see a values-based approach should guide any economic and financial polices.  It needs to be in political policies and campaigns, but also in

How can we keep telling it in different ways, in different media and on different platforms?  I’m trying to thinking of a really good positive political song about valuing all in society.  I can only think of the protest ones about “neoliberal” values, like this one.

22 comments on “Because it’s all about “me””

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    What is good for the least well-off in society, is good for all of us.

    And the converse:
    What’s good for the rich is bad for all of us.

    • Zorr 1.1

      I dunno Draco – I think the rich could do with a haircut and that’d be good for them… and us… :)

  2. Ad 2

    That slippery-sweet red toffee of “what we all want” coating the bitter apple of neoliberal self interest will take more than one term to resolve into a proper dessert. The Auckland Unitary Plan tells me self interest beats strategic planning hands down so var. Common interest is going to take many years and smart policy to turn. We are seriously self-involved now.

  3. The changes risked creating a separate, disadvantaged class of children…

    Too late – wasters have already created a separate, disadvantaged class of children. The question is what to do about it now it’s happened, not how to avoid it happening – it’s way too late for that. O’Brien seems to be still living in the 1980s.

    • QoT 3.1

      Because beneficiaries deliberately choose to have children, specifically to raise them in poverty, because that’s how evil they are. :roll:

      • Mike S 3.1.1

        :xD:

        Yeah and it’s a lifestyle choice, all those bludgers choosing to live the highlife on my hard earned tax dollars instead of getting off their lazy arses and working for a change.

    • miravox 3.2

      “The question is what to do about it now it’s happened,”

      You can tramp them down or work with them to improve their circumstances. The US/UK/NZ version of the tramp down doesn’t work. Time to try another modell… Such as one of education, support and finance. You know, what Paula Benefit and John Key’s mother got. And what I got back in the ’70s when I was a 16 year-old single mum with no adult support.

      I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you restate your opinion of the ‘wasters’ over and over again, with bugger-all suggestions to improve the chances of these kids. Me? – I’m living proof of what works along with Paula, John and many others – and it’s not greater inequality that punishes people for circumstances they were born into.

  4. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you restate your opinion of the ‘wasters’ over and over again…

    Yep. As long as Standard authors write posts in which the production of children by people without the means, ability or even inclination to raise them is treated as something to be supported and encouraged, I’ll write comments suggesting otherwise.

    …with bugger-all suggestions to improve the chances of these kids.

    I don’t see much that can be done for these kids, short of intensive management by servants of government (which carries its own risks, not to mention horrendous expense). Producing fewer of them in the first place would be a good thing, but CPAG also seems vehemently opposed to any measures along those lines.

    …education, support and finance… what I got back in the ’70s when I was a 16 year-old single mum with no adult support.

    No doubt you are living proof of the benefit of that, just as I’m living proof of the benefit of providing free university education. Thing is, both those things are only sustainable when the numbers involved are small. When you were a single mother and I was a student 30-40 years ago, the numbers of others like us were in the thousands – now in each case the numbers are in six figures and taxpayers are less able to provide the lifestyle to which we were able to become accustomed. When people like us become the norm, instead of a tiny minority, the number of people working for a living to pay for it all just doesn’t cover it any more.

    • Tat Loo 4.1

      Child poverty rates and youth unemployment could be halved by spending approx 0.5% of GDP.

      It’s an easy fix, PM. People who want a full time job should be provided with one, and they should be expected to perform it to a high standard.

      Problem solved.

    • karol 4.2

      This sounds like a kind of eugenics argument.

      Having children is not always planned.

      People often have children prior to going on benefits – life circumstances are not always that predictable.

      Why not stop the wealthy having children. They just pass their wealth onto their children who have actually done nothing to deserve it. Many develop an entitlement attitude, contributing to the demonisation and disadvantaging of those on low incomes.

      Show me the jobs.

    • miravox 4.3

      So still nothing, just wailing about stopping ‘them’ breeding.

      “No doubt you are living proof of the benefit of that, just as I’m living proof of the benefit of providing free university education. Thing is, both those things are only sustainable when the numbers involved are small”

      Sorry. I just find it really weird that you recognise the problems of people languishing on benefits began in the ’80s yet you don’t seem to recognise that more of the same medicine will only increase the number of dysfunctional families. Economic and social conditions are the greater drivers of dysfunction, that individuals (i.e. individuals will behave differently in different conditions), imo.

      As long as there is poverty and alienated people these dysfunctional families will exist in numbers that reflect those social norms. All that the benefits have done in this sense is made it easier to count them. I’ve yet to see a count of the kids of the working poor living in dire, dysfunctional conditions and likely to produce a new generation of the same – those figures would be a bit to hard for some people to take, I reckon. Of course, I agree that there are the utter bastards and the totally careless, but they are few in relation to those who would be able to make better decisions for their kids (even not having them) if the world was a lot more inclusive and equitable.

  5. Having children is not always planned.

    It’s never planned if you regard it as just shit that happens.

    Why not stop the wealthy having children.

    Because their kids aren’t 13 times more likely to suffer abuse? Anyway, nobody mentioned stopping anyone having children.

    • greywarbler 5.1

      PM
      It’s never planned if you regard it as just shit that happens.
      People who can use that sort of language about women having babies about whom they express concern are not the sort that should have anything to do with solving any problems. It’s a callous mindset and inhuman, more economic man or woman than hu-man. And the branch is neo-liberal, moralistic, utilitarian economics at that.

      • Psycho Milt 5.1.1

        People who can use that sort of language about women having babies about whom they express concern are not the sort that should have anything to do with solving any problems.

        We have a significant number of people for whom children are exactly that, and who produce a significant number of children each as a consequence. Describing the circumstances of these children using only self-delusional euphemisms might make you feel better, but others aren’t compelled to join in.

        • greywarbler 5.1.1.1

          PM
          I say again.
          It’s a callous mindset and inhuman, more economic man or woman than hu-man.
          And the attitude does not enable any pro-active reasonable action, just simple-minded reaction often behaviour that diminishes our perceived status as highly intelligent beings.

        • ak 5.1.1.2

          We have a significant number of people for whom children are exactly that,

          You poor beggar. When the need to hate is this strong, it’s usually terminal. Get help, lad.

          • Psycho Milt 5.1.1.2.1

            It’s a callous mindset and inhuman, more economic man or woman than hu-man.

            It is indeed. How people can be like that I don’t know, but that’s no reason to pretend it doesn’t exist.

  6. greywarbler 6

    Thinking about the way that this government is behaving to one group of children which they would not consider with another group. This reminds me of the stories that have come out about Britain I think mostly after WW2. Children were sent out in thousands to Australia some of whom were told their mothers were dead, untruthfully.

    There is an attitude amongst adult society in many countries that denigrates children of ‘broken’ or non-conforming homes., including here. A little blonde girl was taken on by a Gipsy couple, now in Greece. They say they were given her by a woman in Bulgaria who couldn’t look after her. Now she has been taken from them and they are automatically viewed with grave suspicion of mistreatment. No doubt she considers them her father and mother and if they have been caring, will be in distress and bewilderment feeling abandoned.

    The authorities can be worse than parents with all their faults, either biological or in loco parentis.
    Government needs to clean up their act more than parents. Support parents to do a good job, steer them the right way, and half of the nation’s ills will vanish.

  7. Sable 7

    I’m sorry but I have little more faith in Labour than National. The current mess we are in is down to both of these parties and I really think its time for then to go. This is starting to happen with the Greens but I hope we will see others come about that replace these old, corrupt, complacent parties.

    • greywarbler 7.1

      Sable
      Throwing all the toys out can’t be done. It implies that more and better will come along as replacements. This is what the Right Wing Labourites thought and did with their policies. They personally may have been satisfied they did good but the replacements were not a universal fit.

      Good things take time, they do not appear out of the hat when the magician waves his or her stick. There have been years of hard work building policy and controls to overcome the greed and self interest that abounds in those who have acquired power and resources for themselves.

      Trying to create something entirely new now is out. There isn’t time!!! Work with what we have. Rummage through the political op shop and look for treasures that will stand alteration and suit the new conditions. Seek out past examples of quality and find people who know how to use the old tried and true techniques to create, patch or mend an entity for today’s needs. One that will endure against ‘the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’.

      • finbar 7.1.1

        But Warbler,the Nats are taking us back to the bad old days, where working rights were non existent,taxation of the wealthy was frowned upon,health, education, housing, and a healthy diet was only afforded to those better off,and that regress of social progress seems to be working for them,as they cry, we are a progressive 21st century realist capitalist government.

  8. Mike S 8

    “A Herald-DigiPoll survey of 500 Super City dwellers found 43.8 per cent ranked transport as the biggest issue facing Auckland.”

    Sorry, but that’s either wrongly reported or the poll results were somehow wrongly counted or even deliberately altered.

    Everyone I’ve talked to and no doubt a large majority of us rank berm mowing as the biggest issue facing Auckland. I mean, after weeks and weeks, there’s still letters to the herald appearing almost daily regarding berms, berms have been on the main current affairs news hour as a headlining story, on the front page of the National newspaper.

    I have a friend who 20 years ago arrived here as a refugee from Iraq. Watching him trying to explain to his relatives on skype how berms are such a major issue for us Aucklanders puts both of us into such hysterics that it physically really really hurts!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • A murdered Palestinian toddler won’t change the ‘facts on the g...
    An 18 month old Palestinian toddler is burned to death. The parents of Ali Saad Dawabsheh and 4 yr old brother are in critical conditions with burns up fo 70 % of their bodies. Are we horrified? Well most of… ...
    PunditBy Jane Young
    1 hour ago
  • Solarizing Greece with #PeoplePower is a way out of the crisis
    Greece is facing a depression on a scale arguably comparable to the US Great Depression of the late 1920s. Huge unemployment rates and a dramatic drop in family incomes of over 40 percent have Greek citizens pondering what the impacts will be… ...
    6 hours ago
  • July ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Rachel Knowles – Successful blogging workshop Big problems with Sitemeter The problems with SiteMeter are still bad  this month. No data could be obtained for about 50 blogs using SiteMeter. People have also reported strange results. So if… ...
    9 hours ago
  • NO DEAL IN MAUI!
    The post-Maui Ministerial Press Conference is just wrapping up, where Ministers yet again were unable to conclude a deal. The Press Conference was heavy on platitudes but light on detail of actual progress, with Ministers trailing out the oft-repeated mantras around… ...
    Its our futureBy Edward Miller
    9 hours ago
  • Time for a car free Domain?
    If New York can make most of Central Park car free, then why can’t we do the same with the Domain. That was my thought when watching this video from Streetfilms. Last week, people walking and biking on the Central… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: What If The Government Rejects The TPPA?
    Grim Faces And Patriotic Words: With a few, well-chosen, words, Key could place the 2017 General Election beyond the Opposition’s grasp. The Left has been clamouring for New Zealand’s negotiators to reject the TPPA in its current form. But… ...
    14 hours ago
  • So what is the rationale for private prisons?
    . . On 14 December, 2010, there was great excitement and jubilation  in the Beehive when then-Corrections Minister Judith Collins announced; “This Government is committed to a world-class Corrections system in New Zealand. To achieve that, we must have access… ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    16 hours ago
  • So what is the rationale for private prisons?
    . . On 14 December, 2010, there was great excitement and jubilation  in the Beehive when then-Corrections Minister Judith Collins announced; “This Government is committed to a world-class Corrections system in New Zealand. To achieve that, we must have access… ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    16 hours ago
  • Stalled TPP chance for wider discussion
    Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party Failure to get the TPP agreement across the line gives New Zealanders an opportunity to put more pressure on the Government not to sign away our sovereignty, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.ANDREW LITTLE… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    18 hours ago
  • Time for the Govt to come clean on flailing TPP
    Press Release – Green Party The Government should come clean about what concessions it has already made and what issues have been left on the TPP negotiating table, the Green Party said today. 1 August 2015 Time for the Govt… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    19 hours ago
  • Groser proves trade credentials by insisting on a good deal
    Press Release – DCANZ – Dairy Companies Association New Zealand The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) is commending New Zealand Trade Minister, Tim Groser, for standing firm against enormous pressure to concede to a sub-standard deal for dairy.… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    19 hours ago
  • Groser disappointed TPP deal not reached
    Press Release – New Zealand Government Trade Minister Tim Groser is disappointed that the TPP negotiations were unable to reach a conclusion today, but TPP ministers collectively pledged to meet again as soon as possible to finalise the deal.Hon Tim… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    19 hours ago
  • Failed Trans-Pacific (TPP) talks show folly of trading
    Press Release – AFTINET The failure of TPP Ministers to reach agreement in what was supposed to be the final round of negotiations vindicates the deep concerns of community groups that the TPP is secretly trading away issues like access… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    19 hours ago
  • TPPA ministerial fails – time for NZ Govt. to cut losses
    Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey The final ministerial meeting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) in Maui has failed. Not opting to stay another day shows the gridlock is serious and potentially intractable, according to University of Auckland law… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    19 hours ago
  • Yet Another ‘Final’ TPP Ministerial and Again No Deal
    Press Release – Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch Todays fourth final TPP ministerial without a deal means the clock has run on possible U.S. congressional votes in 2015. No deal means the TPP is thrown into the political maelstrom of… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    19 hours ago
  • No TPP deal in Maui, but Groser ‘extremely confident’
    Article – BusinessDesk Aug. 1 (BusinessDesk) – Intensive negotiations to seal the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade and investment pact in Hawaii this week have failed.No TPP deal in Maui, but Groser ‘extremely confident’ of conclusion + By Pattrick Smellie Aug. 1… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    21 hours ago
  • Tova O’Brien interviews Murray McCully
    Press Release – The Nation Headlines: With sanctions being lifted on Iran, McCully says there are big opportunities for New Zealand businesses in Iran and some have been giving the market a lot of thought. the opportunities are significant… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Affordable medicines at risk in trade deal
    Press Release – Doctors for Healthy Trade Once again the pharmaceutical industry is pumping out misleading information, suggesting that theres no need to worry about price hikes to New Zealand medicines under the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) says… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Today’s awful politicians
    by Redliners “Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.”… ...
    RedlineBy daphna
    1 day ago
  • Not as much as it sounds
    According to TV3, the police are being inundated with OIA requests:Police are struggling to cope with the overwhelming number of Official Information Act (OIA) requests which flood their offices every day, and some of their time-saving measures are now prompting… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Taxpayers condemned to a life sentence with Serco
    Public Service Association/Te Pukenga Here Tikanga Mahi (PSA) national secretary Erin Polaczuk and organisers Willie Cochrane & Nerinda Cropp will attend the privatisation protest outside Mt Eden Prison this Saturday, 1 August at 11am. ...
    1 day ago
  • Journalism isn’t treason
    Back in February, German news website Netzpolitik.org published stories based on leaked documents showing that the domestic intelligence agency BfV was seeking additional funding to increase online surveillance and monitor social media. The German government's response? Investigate them for treason:Germany… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Questions in the House this week on TPPA.
    A busy time in the House this week with a lot of questions on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. James Shaw asking John Key about the benefits to the ICT sector and the risks of investor-state dispute settlement and Andrew Little… ...
    Its our futureBy Edward Miller
    1 day ago
  • Vice covers the latest TPPA leak: describes “horrorshow”
    Vice Magazine has an article by Jordan Pearson covering the latest TPPA leaks and concluding that the agreement is a “horrorshow” based on the leaked content. The Vice article gives a great introduction to the perils of a completed TPPA, including… ...
    Its our futureBy Sunil Williams
    1 day ago
  • Vice covers the latest TPPA leak: describes “horrorshow”
    Vice Magazine has an article by Jordan Pearson covering the latest TPPA leaks and concluding that the agreement is a “horrorshow” based on the leaked content. The Vice article gives a great introduction to the perils of a completed TPPA, including… ...
    Its our futureBy Sunil Williams
    1 day ago
  • Do we have enough trains?
    The new electric trains have by in large been a fantastic addition to Auckland. This is not to say that there haven’t been implementation issues however they are things that I expect Auckland Transport, Transdev, CAF and Kiwirail will iron… ...
    1 day ago
  • Do we have enough trains?
    The new electric trains have by in large been a fantastic addition to Auckland. This is not to say that there haven’t been implementation issues however they are things that I expect Auckland Transport, Transdev, CAF and Kiwirail will iron… ...
    1 day ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • The end of the unarmed police force
    Since forever, the New Zealand police have been arguing for more and better weapons with which to intimidate the public. And once again, they've got what they want:New Zealand police will now routinely carry Tasers, it has been announced. Police… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Music Will Save The World: Anna & Elizabeth
      ADAM WHITE, long-time anarchist and music aficionado, alerted me to Anna & Elizabeth – and I’m so pleased that he did. These two, superb, 25-year-old folk-singers, Elizabeth LaPrelle, from Virginia, and New Englander, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, have carved out an enviable reputation… ...
    1 day ago
  • Music Will Save The World: Anna & Elizabeth
      ADAM WHITE, long-time anarchist and music aficionado, alerted me to Anna & Elizabeth – and I’m so pleased that he did. These two, superb, 25-year-old folk-singers, Elizabeth LaPrelle, from Virginia, and New Englander, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, have carved out an enviable reputation… ...
    1 day ago
  • Music Will Save The World: Anna & Elizabeth
      ADAM WHITE, long-time anarchist and music aficionado, alerted me to Anna & Elizabeth – and I’m so pleased that he did. These two, superb, 25-year-old folk-singers, Elizabeth LaPrelle, from Virginia, and New Englander, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, have carved out an enviable reputation… ...
    1 day ago
  • A bad deal
    For the past seven years the government has been negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. All along they've told us that this would be the road to economic nirvana, that the negotiations would deliver a "high quality" free trade agreement which would… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • A bad deal
    For the past seven years the government has been negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. All along they've told us that this would be the road to economic nirvana, that the negotiations would deliver a "high quality" free trade agreement which would… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • A bad deal
    For the past seven years the government has been negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. All along they've told us that this would be the road to economic nirvana, that the negotiations would deliver a "high quality" free trade agreement which would… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Navel Gazing with Toni Street – a lesson in trust.
    They should rename this cross: Navel Gazing with Toni Street A diet requires a variety of food groups.  Yet whenever healthy eating is discussed in the context of legislating for better food sources in our supermarkets, or a new study… ...
    Politically CorrectedBy sleepdepriveddiva
    1 day ago
  • The Impotence Of Purity
    "Certainly, The Impotent Are Pure": Gough Whitlam struggled to make the left of his party understand that purity at the expense of power is a poor bargain. “It is true that some parties can exist only as pressure groups… ...
    2 days ago
  • Target Tokyo – Docs Show NSA Targets Japan Over Trade Deal
    Press Release – Wikileaks Today, Friday 31 July 2015, 9am CEST, WikiLeaks publishes “Target Tokyo”, 35 Top Secret NSA targets in Japan including the Japanese cabinet and Japanese companies such as Mitsubishi, together with intercepts relating to US-Japan relations, trade… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • K-pop’s loyal New Zealand fanbase
    Ahead of the Wellington K-Pop World Festival competition we talk to some of the stand out contestants.   K-pop is music at its pop-iest with ultra polished dance sequences, catchy melodies, and elaborate outfits. While it may be some… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Not just consumers, but patrons too
    Lydia Jenkin's New Zealand Herald feature on the paltry earnings of New Zealand musical artists in the age of streaming services is a story you should read if you care about having music made here. To say it's sobering is an… ...
    2 days ago
  • Ban junk food marketing to kids
    One in three Kiwi kids are overweight or obese. They face a life where they are 3-10 times more likely to be obese, and this weight will be harder for them to shift than it is for others. Long term,… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    2 days ago
  • Tauranga Eastern Link complete
    Yesterday the Prime Minister John Key and Minister of Transport Simon Bridges officially opened just the second Roads of National Significance to be completed – the $455 million Tauranga Eastern Link. All up the project is 21km long from Te Maunga… ...
    2 days ago
  • Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court
    Press Release – Association of Salaried Medical Specialists A legal challenge to the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations will be launched in the High Court next week.31 July 2015 Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court A… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Guild interested to learn more about TPPA details
    Press Release – Pharmacy Guild The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (the Guild) is keen to learn more about how the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will impact New Zealands health sector if it is accepted by the Government.Guild interested to… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court
    Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court A legal challenge to the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations will be launched in the High Court next week. An urgent application for… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Achieving Patient-Centred Care Or Floccinaucinihipilfication
    Press Release – ASMS Thank you for the opportunity to address you again. As always my comments are personal observations, although in broad terms at least I believe they are consistent with the Associations view on the matters discussed. In… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • A Free Trade Deal must include Free Trade
    Press Release – Federated Farmers Federated Farmers says the Government must hold firm on a deal for agriculture at the Trans Pacific Partnership talks in Hawaii.31 July 2015 A Free Trade Deal must include Free Trade Federated Farmers says the… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling our homes?
    Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses its clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labours Trade and… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • More Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party More Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands, Despite English Saying Only Kiwi Farmers Can Make a ProfitMore Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands, Despite English Saying Only Kiwi Farmers Can Make a Profit Finance… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Government Tilts the Playing Fields
    The most shocking example of Government bias can be seen when comparing the treatment of the Problem Gambling Foundation and Relationships Aotearoa with how they bail out failing private and Charter Schools.Wanganui Collegiate is an elite Private School of around… ...
    2 days ago

  • Stalled TPP chance for wider discussion
    Failure to get the TPP agreement across the line gives New Zealanders an opportunity to put more pressure on the Government not to sign away our sovereignty, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“New Zealand land, dairy and medicines are up for… ...
    6 hours ago
  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling out our homes?
    After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses it’s clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labour’s Trade and Export spokesperson David Parker says. “Labour has… ...
    1 day ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 day ago
  • Bennett’s legacy a test for Tolley
    Former Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been thrown under the bus by her successor after its been suggested that Ms Bennett gave the green light to an ‘unethical’ observational study of high-risk children, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.… ...
    1 day ago
  • Submission to Greater Christchurch Earthquake Recovery: Transition to Rege...
    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Draft Transition Recovery Plan on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party.  It is important that the citizens of Canterbury have a voice in the governance of the next step of… ...
    2 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act
    In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote.… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 days ago
  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
    The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The company has told shareholders it… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    3 days ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    3 days ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    3 days ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    4 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    5 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    5 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    6 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    6 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    1 week ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    1 week ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    1 week ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    1 week ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    1 week ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    1 week ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    1 week ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere