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Beyond the welfare stereotypes

Written By: - Date published: 6:58 am, May 9th, 2011 - 124 comments
Categories: class war, International, john key, national, welfare - Tags: , ,

John Key once described DPB mums as “breeding for a business”. The Nats don’t like beneficiaries in general, and their welfare working group (led by Paula Rebstock) has cooked up a good old fashioned batch of Tory welfare bashing. Fortunately these extreme views have not gone unchallenged in NZ. And now a report from Australia makes a useful contribution to the debate (ht Colonial Viper).

“Beyond Stereotypes: Myths and facts about people of working age who receive social security” is the work of the Australian Council of Social Service. The introductory summary shows that the Australian experience over the last decade follows the same pattern as ours. The number of unemployed, and the number of people on benefits fell in the years to 2008 / 2009, and is now rising again. The report then sets out to challenge three myths about welfare:

Myth 1: The typical unemployed person on income support is a school leaver who could find a job quickly if they searched hard enough
The facts:
1. The overall proportion of people of working age on unemployment payments rose from 3.6% before the last recession in 1990 to 5.7% a decade later, but then fell by 30% over the 2000s,from 5.7% in 1999 to 4.1% in 20091.
2. The profile of recipients of unemployment payments does not resemble the stereotypical young school leaver. In 2010 only 27% were under 25 years old, 41% were 25‐44 years and 32% were 45 years or older. …

Myth 2: The continuing growth in Disability Support Pension recipients is due to too many ‘older men with bad backs’ being wrongly approved for payment
The facts:
1. The proportion of people of working age on DSP rose from around 3% in 1990 to 5.5% in 2004, but then stopped rising. It fell slightly between 2004 and 2009.
2. The strongest growth among DSP recipients since the early 1990s has been among women …

Myth 3: A typical sole parent on social security is a teenage mother who relies entirely on income support
The facts:
1. The proportion of people of working age on Parenting Payment rose from 2.2% in 1990 to 4.5% in 2005, but then fell by around 30% to 3.2% in 2009.
2. The vast majority of Parenting Payment Single recipients (85%) are over 25 years of age. Only 2‐3% are teenagers.
3. Almost one third (31%) of Parenting Payment Single recipients are already employed (mostly in part time jobs) even though most (60%) still have a preschool age child. …

There’s plenty more facts and figures in the report, well worth checking out.

Here in NZ the Ministry of Social Development does produce some excellent publications, including a useful annual Social Report. But, especially in the current climate, it would be nice to see a report that, like the Australian one, directly set out the myths about beneficiaries in NZ, and the hard data that relate to the myths. Although the details will be different in our context of course, I have no doubt that a similar pattern of unjustified myths would be found here. Starting with our PM.

124 comments on “Beyond the welfare stereotypes”

  1. qw 1

    Sounds like you love beneficiaries in general. The planet could do with a few less people. Especially unproductive ones.

    • Eddie 1.1

      isn’t it a tenant of most major religions/philosophies that in successful societies people love each other?

      That aside, how’s about you deal with the facts of the post?

      • Eddie 1.1.1

        wow! usually, qw, when people edit their comment after posting it’s to take out the batshit crazy stuff. Not add it in.

        • felix 1.1.1.1

          lol what was qw saying before that triggered the religio/philosophical response?

          • mickysavage 1.1.1.1.1

            If my RSS feed is right qw said:
             
            “Not really. The roman empire wasn’t based on love. I’d prefer to see more incentives and less handouts.”
             
            Pretty radical edit.

    • andy (the other one) 1.2

      The planet could do with a few less people. Especially unproductive ones.

      starting with babies and old people?

    • The Voice of Reason 1.3

      Wow, you managed to read all the way through to the second sentence of the post, qw. Perhaps when you’ve finished the whole thing you might have a crack at an intelligent comment? Maybe you could tell us if the myths exposed in the Aussie report tally with the fantasies in your head?

    • weka 1.4

      “Especially unproductive ones.”

      Myth 4: beneficiaries contribute nothing to society.

      Any beneficiary raising a child is doing the core work of society. We don’t have a society without children. Even for the nastiest of the liberterians children are important, they still need another generation coming through who will clean their toilets and wipe their arses when they get old (it’s not like their own kids will do that).

      But many beneficiaries do other, usually invisible, work in society, including things like caregiving and childcare and voluntary work. Decreases in unemployment equate to decreases in the voluntary sector.

      Many beneficiaries also do cash in hand work. If this is considered a problem then the simple fix is to change the WINZ and other abatement processes and make it easier for beneficiaries to take on above board part time work.

    • Colonial Viper 1.5

      The planet could do with a few less people. Especially unproductive ones.

      Well you’re frakin mistaken because it’s the productive ones who are destroying our natural resources and oil at an irreplaceable rate, and in fact the more productive someone is, they more they are a danger to us all.

      Geddit.

  2. PeteG 2

    Before trying to determine if Australia has caught up with New Zealand yet on levels of welfare dependency it’s worth considering what myths are prevalent. I doubt whether Myths 1 and 2 as defined in this post are typical here.

    • rosy 2.1

      See page 6 of the referenced report.

    • The Voice of Reason 2.2

      Myth 2 works in NZ if you swap ACC for DSP, pete. In a previous job I used to help ACC recipients back into work. Only a tiny percentage were actively bullshitting about their injuries and they were easily picked up. Often, the hardest part was getting those who hadn’t had a job for more than a few months back into the routines that come with working. Not that they were lazy, but had just lost the habits that regular work forces on us.

    • PeteG
       
      You have just come back from that alternative universe again, haven’t you.  Don’t you remember Collins and Bennett trying to drown out the good news of continued lowering of unemployment rates by the last Government by screaming that the numbers on sickness benefits were exploding.  They were going up but in numerical terms by little and certainly less than the numbers of people were coming off the dole.
       
      You do remember this don’t you?
       
      If so do you agree that Collins and Bennett were fibbing?

    • Peter Rabbit 2.4

      I agree PeteG, the myths outlined in the Australian report seem quite different to the usual ones I’ve encountered here. I must admit that I would be interested in seeing a similar report here done though after seeing first hand how many of my preconceived ideas were correct during the time I work for Work and Income.

      The sooner a the Government overalls this system the better the entire country will be (including the the current recipients) who in most cases if they get past 15 weeks in the system have focus taken off them and they allowed to sit there with as long as they make minimum effort.

      • mickysavage 2.4.1

        The sooner RWNJs realise that we have dole ques because there are no jobs and not because of fluctuating levels of bludgerism the better.
         

        • Peter Rabbit 2.4.1.1

          Mickysavage, when LWNJ’s actually go down spend some time working on the frontdesk at work and income vs spouting idealogical crap then perhaps they can speak from an informed position.

          • mickysavage 2.4.1.1.1

            PR I have been at the cutting edge of poverty for 27 years.  I can tell you most people on benefits are decent people who become a beneficiary as a last resort.  And because the economy cannot/will not ensure full employment there will always be a pool of people out of work.  Either we feed them and care for their basic needs or they will either starve, riot or pinch your new flatscreen TV.  From a humane as well as a rational standpoint the current system is the minimum we should do.

            • Peter Rabbit 2.4.1.1.1.1

              If you truly have been at the cutting edge of poverty for the last 27 years as you claim then you will know that the current system isn’t working and hasn’t been working for a hell of a long time and needs to be overhauled.

              If you can’t recognize that then I seriously doubt your claim.

            • mickysavage 2.4.1.1.1.2

              Aye
               
              Radical reform is required.  Governments have to focus on jobs and the wealthy are going to have to pay more tax.  Simple really.
               
              And who says the system is not working.  I know many people who would not have coped without benefits.  What is your definition of “not working”?  The fact that someone somewhere may have made a “lifestyle choice”?
               
              What do you propose?
               
              Reduction in benefit support levels?  Term limits?

  3. infused 3

    Your wrong actually. As you actually outlined at the start “breeding for a business”. The myths you’ve outlined have nothing to do with the current situation.

    National voters don’t like people on the unemployment benefit or any other type of benefit being paid so much that it becomes a ‘job’. That’s it in a nutshell.

    The amount of mothers I know on the DPB sitting at home and raving about the money they get is unbelievable. These are well off women too (well off families who can support them).

    I girl I know just had another kid because she was about to be kicked of the DBP. This is no joke. She went out, found some random and got pregnant. This was about a year ago now, the guy has left NZ and returned to the UK.

    These stories aren’t one offs either.

    • Eddie 3.1

      well, I know people who are on or have used the DPB too and I don’t know a single one who has abused it.

      Looks like our anecdotes cancel each other out, infused. How about engaging with the facts instead?

      • infused 3.1.1

        Those aren’t NZs stats, so no.

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.1

          Those aren’t NZs stats, so no.

          Any coherent argument as to why you think the NZ stats would be so very different to Australia’s? Given that the closest country in the whole world to New Zealand physically, economically, historically and culturally is Australia, and given that in most other social stats the two countries track each other tolerably well… it would be wholly remarkable to find a major divergence in just these particular numbers.

          Not just remarkable, but quite irrational to base your argument on such an unlikely proposition.

          • infused 3.1.1.1.1

            Their economy is nothing like NZs, which is why it’s pointless comparing the two.

      • lprent 3.1.2

        Ditto. I’ve known somewhere in the order of 20 women and 2 men who are or have been on the DPB. None of them wanted to be on it and with one exception in the 70’s, all of them were strenuously trying to get off it. The one that wasn’t was in the early days before the training routes were set up to allow her to up skill.

        • higherstandard 3.1.2.1

          Same, ratio of about 10:1 I find in both personal and professional life.

          Although by chance I was watching Marae on Sunday and there was a long piece on the northland economy which suggested there were for want of a better description ‘ghettos’ in parts of the region which were very much living in a dependency culture trap and even Hone was interviewed and made comment that beneficiaries needed to decide what they owed back to society in return for the assistance they were getting.

          • burt 3.1.2.1.1

            HS

            It’s funny isn’t it that rOb touts stats from Aussie and when people inject their real world experience from NZ they get called heatless. Guess it was expedient to say Aussie stats applied to NZ.

            • RedLogix 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Guess it was expedient to say Aussie stats applied to NZ.

              As I said above… it’s far more likely that they would than they would not.

              All you are doing is pointing to a very modest potential loophole in the argument (that the stats are Australian and not NZ) and expediently trying to drive your ideological truck through it.

              • burt

                That’s your opinion. However it wouldn’t take me long to find hundreds of comments from various people saying we shouldn’t compare NZ to Aussie on other matters.

                • RedLogix

                  So you are arguing that the relevant NZ stats on welfare would be dramatically different? If so … by how much would you imagine?

                  For example would you argue that when the Aussie stat is:

                  The vast majority of Parenting Payment Single recipients (85%) are over 25 years of age. Only 2‐3% are teenagers.

                  What evidence would you produce to support that NZ is very different to this.. other than just your opinion that is?

                  Or is this just a case of selectivity… we can compare ourselves with Aussie when it suits you… but not when it doesn’t.

                  • KJT

                    The NZ Stats are here.

                    Age group Proportions on benefits are similar.

                    http://www.stats.govt.nz/

                    Burt is talking bollocks as usual.

                    Unemployment rates and wages are different as they did not have NACT from the 80’s experimenting with them.

                • burt

                  I don’t have the stats – but I’m not the one saying it’s much the same here – you are.

                  Perhaps you could provide the stats to prove it.

                  • RedLogix

                    No you are the one claiming that the Aussie stats are not applicable in some very implausible faashion… you prove your claim.

                    • burt

                      My starting position was; Guess it was expedient to say Aussie stats applied to NZ.

                      I can’t see what stats I can possibly produce to prove that. But your demanding of such proof certainly proves I was correct to use the word ‘expedient’. Thanks.

                    • RedLogix

                      The only expediency going on here is you trying to make the unlikely claim that somehow the NZ stats would be dramatically different to Aussies. In other words different enough to invalidate the argument.

                      Given how close the two countries are in so many respects, expecially socially, (after all almost a million kiwis live there) it’s an extraordinary claim to suggest that they must be significantly different in this one particular way.

                    • burt

                      rOb said;

                      … especially in the current climate, it would be nice to see a report that, like the Australian one, directly set out the myths about beneficiaries in NZ, and the hard data that relate to the myths.

                      So meanwhile we’ll expediently claim it’s the same. The problem I see here RedLogix is that to explore that we first need to get over the “oh you can’t say that” arguments about what sectors of society are perceived as bludgers, then we need to compare the nature of the identified groups in Aussie and NZ and how similar their ‘welfare environment’ really is. As rOb said, would be nice to see such a report, or do you want to go for it in this thread ?

                    • RedLogix

                      No-one has claimed that the Aussie data would be the same as for NZ. That too would be highly unlikely.

                      Yes the Aussie welfare environment is likely to be different than it is here. For example; for the equivalent unemployment benefits the qualifying partner income is much lower in NZ than it is in Aussie. This means that only 34% of people who loose a job in this country qualify for a benefit, while the comparable number in Aussie is much higher, closer to 90% from memory.

                      The point is this… this Australian report strongly suggests that many of the claims made about ‘welfare lifestylers’ are myths. And there is every plausible reason to think that much the same case applies here in NZ.

                      Unless of course your sense of self-worth and identity is tied up in the opposite belief. In which case no amount of data will change your mind… indeed it would only harden your position.

                    • burt

                      Unless of course your sense of self-worth and identity is tied up in the opposite belief. In which case no amount of data will change your mind… indeed it would only harden your position.

                      Or if your sense of self-worth and identity was tied up in ‘National are nasty torys’ then you would call them ‘beneficiary bashers’ expediently using an Aussie report that studied welfare myths.

                  • RedLogix

                    R0B is the one who has provided referenced data. You have provided nothing that amounts to more than an expedient quibble.

                    • burt

                      There is no reference data directly relevant. How can you not understand this simple point?

                  • RedLogix

                    Unless you can provide a clear argument as to why the Aussie data would be irrelevant then all I can say is ‘so what’.

                    In the absence of you providing more relevant NZ data … then your quibble is mute, pointless and an expedient distraction.

        • Peter Rabbit 3.1.2.2

          Eddie/LPrent while there are many people who do not use abuse the welfare system there are equally a large number who do use it as a life style choice. While a lot can be said on the individuals themselves a lot more can be said about the system that allows that kind of abuse to occur in the first place.

          If you go and do the job yourself you will quickly see how true this.

          Eddie if you want specific cases try these:
          1) Mother signing up for DPB requests assistance to purchase a new LCD TV. Assistance provided as rules around this state that without a TV a mother may become isolated from their community.

          2) A Person who owns multiple houses (6-8 from memory) via a trust. Is renting the house he is occupying from the trust and trust is also providing assistance in the form of food vouchers however is able to collect Unemployment benefit and top up benefits.

          3) A Person with over $40,000 in the bank account is collecting Unemployment Benefit, and special needs grants for replacement inner soles for his shoes.

          4) A person collecting over $2000 in Ko Hai payments from his local marae is still eligible to collect full unemployment/top up payments as these are not counted as income.

          5) A person collecting Unemployment benefit however with over $1,000,000 in foresty assets shares.

          6) A family of 3 brothers living on 1 farm (3 different houses on the same property). Brother a Whangai Adopts Brother Bs children, Brother B adopts Brother C’s adoption and Brother C adopts Brother As children. Each parent gets paid an bonus payment for looking after a non blood child.

          • RedLogix 3.1.2.2.1

            Peter,

            In ANY universal system there will be a small minority of people at the margins who abuse it. The amount of this kind of abuse can be reduced by adding more rules or more draconian policing of the system… but very quickly you get to the point of diminishing returns, subjecting 99% of the people who use the system honestly to demeaning, intrusive scrutiny in order to obsessively track down every last example of those who don’t.

            Treasury has acknowledged somewhere that the amount of welfare abuse probably amounts to about $10m pa… a pititful trickle in the larger scheme of things.

            In the meantime you never mentioned the vastly greater sums of public monies used to bail out wealthy investors and shareholder in failed finance companies…

            • Peter Rabbit 3.1.2.2.1.1

              Do you have a link for the Treasury report? I’m quite surprised by that figure as at the time I was working for Work and Income the estimate was around $10m pa of undetected Benefit Fraud however benefit abuse was unable to be determined and the two are quite different.

              Why would I mention the finance companies on a thread about benefit stereo types least I be accused of thread jacking?

              • PeteG

                Annual figures:
                Total benefits: $16b
                Detected fraud: $16m
                Convicted: 700
                Average: $22,000

                Obviously it’s a lot harder to know what the undetected fraud level might be.

                • RedLogix

                  In other words detected fraud is about 1 part in a 1000.

                  Ever if the actual undetected levels were ten times larger than this (unlikely) it would still be a small fraction hardly worth getting excited about.

                  • PeteG

                    It is relatively small, and I think there are probably enough resources committed to addressing this now.

                    Obviously this is separate to how much of the benefit budget funds:
                    – genuine necessity (almost certainly a significant majority)
                    – demoralised
                    – lifestyle choosers
                    – lazy buggers
                    etc

                    I think it may be impossible to get accurate data on this, people are hardly going to volunteer honest information if they are rorting off taxpayers.

                    • Campbell Larsen

                      There is no conceivable society that will be embraced entirely by all potential citizens. Humanity is diverse in belief, expression and aspiration. Modern society attempts to assert the virtue of subsuming our diversity and most of our time in return for the comforts offered by the limited collectivism that remains after profit and privilege have taken the lions share. It does not acknowledge the fact that not everyone will view this trade as being fair and reasonable.

                      The welfare system is there to ensure that everyone is able to participate in a consumer driven social system – its original intent was to enshrine in legislation compassion for our fellow countrymen, in addition it serves to ensure the pervasiveness of the notions of consumerism.

                      There has been some rhetoric recently about what people ‘owe’ in return – this ignores the fundamental fact that the rule of ‘law’ and ‘economics’ strips us of many of our fundamental freedoms as living creatures in order that the illusion of a cohesive ‘society’ may be perpetuated and exploited.

                      If we are to create a just society we must first acknowledge that not everyone can or should be compelled to participate in it or in the rather flawed systems of value and exchange that define a ‘modern economy’. The cost of homogenising most of a society is supporting the minority who will not/ cannot blend.

                      It is either that or recognise the legitimacy and independence of alternate societies.

                • kriswgtn

                  Are you including the Winz employees that have committed and been convicted of fraud or just bene’s?

                  http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/4839728/WINZ-unit-fails-to-stop-staff-fraud

                  This is just the tip of the iceberg

                  • Campbell Larsen

                    If you are looking for ‘fraud’ look no further that Cruiser Collins and her petrol expenses, or the Airlines colluding on prices, or the banks ripping off IRD or Steven Joyce and Shonkeys loan to Mediaworks – and THAT is just the tip of the iceburg…

                    • KJT

                      Douglas, Richardson and co selling assets at cents in the dollar for their mates to asset strip.
                      Present day NACT’s working towards the same as soon as they can claim a mandate.

            • Deadly_NZ 3.1.2.2.1.2

              To say nothing about the inside thievery, by staff. No one ever seems to mention that, much easier to just blame the beneficiary.

          • weka 3.1.2.2.2

            “1) Mother signing up for DPB requests assistance to purchase a new LCD TV. Assistance provided as rules around this state that without a TV a mother may become isolated from their community.

            What is wrong with that? WINZ have always said that a TV was a valid expenditure for single parents.


            3) A Person with over $40,000 in the bank account is collecting Unemployment Benefit, and special needs grants for replacement inner soles for his shoes.

            That person will be declaring any interest on the $40,000 and that interest will be counted as income and abated off their benefit like any other forms of additional income. Further, the person will be ineligble for the hardship grant TAS (and I think Accomodation Supplement). Depending on what part of the country they live in the person is likely to be experiencing financial hardship unless they own a freehold house. Other than using the $40,000 to live on and then going on the benefit, what are they supposed to do? Using the $40,000 to live on until it runs out is a sure way to create long term poverty, and no financial advisor of an employed person would suggest such a thing so why should a beneficiary do it?

            • weka 3.1.2.2.2.1

              And, decisions about additional assistance like SNGs are made in the context of the person’s whole situation, so unless you can give examples that include all the relevant details your examples are meaningless.

            • burt 3.1.2.2.2.2

              TV to counter isolation – a 29″ would be enough. Bet the TV of choice isn’t that small !

              Look I had to help sort out a really messy situation with a friend about 2 years ago. The “father” had given my friends daughter a hard time and was breaching his court orders to keep his distance. Now one of the things that was causing a lot of stress for the split beneficiary pair was who got the 42″ HDTV.

              Now having worked all my life and having only purchased a TV of that standard myself about a year earlier I was amazed that two people only just in their 20’s both on a benefit had a 42″ HDTV and a Sky subscription.

              There is nothing you can make up to pretend that there two people were struggling on a benefit when you saw the consumer spending they had indulged in.

              • felix

                “There is nothing you can make up to pretend that…”

                Oh the ironing.

                • burt

                  Oh I get it – you were not there helping the girl shift to a new flat so it didn’t happen.

                  • felix

                    lol. No, I do believe you burt.

                    Unlike RedLogix I have no trouble believing, having noted various hints you’ve dropped about your life and profession, that the vast majority of the people you encounter are bludgers.

                    • burt

                      Like most (I resist saying all or I include the sociopaths/psychopaths) my ‘friends and family’ draws from all walks of life. You can piss off trying to pigeon hole my “life” based on my comments relevant to my “profession”.

                    • felix

                      Don’t get defensive burt, I’m not attacking you. Just by your own admissions on this very thread you do seem to know a lot of bludgers.

                      I’m not surprised is all.

                  • terryg

                    Burt, what you appear to be trying to say, albeit in a highly confused and semi-incoherent manner, is that PEOPLE AT THE BOTTOM OF SOCIETY MAKE POOR DECISIONS. Do you think this might be correlated in some way, shape or form with their position at the bottom?

                    Or are you like so many recipients of privilege (the formal definition thereof) – white male cissexual privelege at a guess, IOW near the top of the privilege pile – of the opinion that those at the bottom are there SOLELY due to their own laziness?

                    • burt

                      You have overreached on all fronts there terryg. I’ve seen poor decision made at all levels, just people with deeper pockets get laughed at when it all turns to custard because tall poppy bashers think they must have been exploiting someone. They get called greedy and poor people get called lazy. Wow.. what’s new.

                      It’s hard to extend a hand to a low income person in need when they have a pile of flash toys on tick.

                      “Slap them flash toys up on tradme then ask me to tip out my pockets for real requirements rather than just to pay your interest bill…” – that’s what was running through my mind… but go on, read my tea leaves some more.

                    • terryg

                      “I’ve seen poor decision made at all levels, just people with deeper pockets get laughed at when it all turns to custard because tall poppy bashers think they must have been exploiting someone. They get called greedy and poor people get called lazy. Wow.. what’s new”

                      Hi Burt,

                      yep, thats a fair point. The point I was attempting to highlight is that those at the bottom of the heap have far fewer tools with which to make GOOD decisions – FUNDAMENTAL tools like literacy, numeracy – stuff those at the top of the heap posesss in abundance. Ergo those at the bottom are more likely to make poor decisions than those at the top.

                      is that a point with which you agree?

                      “It’s hard to extend a hand to a low income person in need when they have a pile of flash toys on tick”

                      There are a number of ways I take issue with this. Firstly, many anecdotes DO NOT make DATA – solid research is where data (and hopefully policy) comes from.

                      Then there is the issue of set theory (think Venn diagrams – big overlapping circles). I once met a beneficiary who was a gang member – therefore all beneficiaries are gang members? NO.

                      And lets not forget plain old mean-spiritedness. Why SHOULDNT a beneficiary have SKY TV? (read as: spend their money how they see fit). Surely the free-market approach is to let people go to hell in their own handbaskets?

                      “Slap them flash toys up on tradme then ask me to tip out my pockets for real requirements rather than just to pay your interest bill…” – that’s what was running through my mind… but go on, read my tea leaves some more

                      text is not a particularly good medium for communication. poorly worded text even less so. Personally, I am a big believer in cost accounting – with the caveat that ALL COSTS are taken into account. Precisely what do we do with illiterate, unskilled adults? what is the likely cost to society if we adopt a market-based approach to child welfare – let them die on the streets if their family cant/wont support them? Are said children more or less likely to become “productive” members of society?

                      whats the likely cost of attempting to audit every cent that a beneficiary gets?

                      and most important of all: ACTUAL, VERIFIABLE DATA shows the exact OPPOSITE of your claims.

            • KJT 3.1.2.2.2.3

              Insider traders buying into SCF knowing they will make a killing in the bailout.

              Welfare beneficiaries are a drop in the bucket compared with the real bludgers.

              How much did Brash get to re-write the same drivel?

        • burt 3.1.2.3

          So if almost everyone has a one-off story then these one-off events are pretty common ?

          • RedLogix 3.1.2.3.1

            They are ‘pretty common’ because of your built in confirmation bias. In your value system, your self identity is built around the idea that you are a ‘productive’ member of society… and anyone who isn’t rich or working in paid employment must be ‘unproductive’. Your sense of self-worth is built on this economic model that money is the only measure of human worth… so you automatically select only the data that confirms what you expect to see.

            That’s why these stories seem ‘pretty common’ to you. Hard data be damned…

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3

        A RWNJ engage with facts? Not if they can help it.

    • burt 3.2

      I knew a woman who had 4 kids to different fathers and was looking for a 5th child which she could write ‘father unknown’ on the birth certificate… what was a guy to do !

      • kriswgtn 3.2.1

        put something on the end of it perhaps

      • burt 3.2.2

        One of the many used as part of her ‘could have been any of you’ plan obviously didn’t… She got her benefit increase and moved to a much nicer house.

        • RedLogix 3.2.2.1

          Frankly burt I think you are bullshitting.

          How is it that you RWNJ’s only ever meet people who are rorting the benefit system? Like you’ve never ever known someone who was in genuine need?

          At least from my perspective I understand that there will be a small minority of people who will abuse the system. But all the evidence is that they are a just that… a small minority. I once climbed Mt Cook with a guy on ACC because he couldn’t ‘lift his right arm higher than his shoulder’… although it seemed ok when he was holding an ice axe.

          But you guys run in funny social circles… you only EVER meet these types.

          • burt 3.2.2.1.1

            I’ve known plenty of people in genuine need. But I’m sorry that’s not making the other cases go away because we have a National govt and we need to keep up the “nasty tory” talking points.

            • felix 3.2.2.1.1.1

              I think you’re doing pretty well keeping up the nasty tory talking points actually burt.

              • burt

                Apparently it would be just fine if I started depicting ways to kill beneficiaries – freedom of speech and all that.

                You actually have an opinion on anything felix or do you just spend your entire life fighting for causes you invent in your own head ?

                • felix

                  Yes burt I totally think you should do that. Knock yourself out.

                • RedLogix

                  burt… we live in a world that has never been richer and more productive. We have access to the knowledge and means to sustainably give everyone on the planet access to a decent, dignified way of life.

                  I do not believe that humans are intrinsically feckless, evil, greedy and violent. I think that these are typically our stress respones to stressful environments.

                  However challenging it would be to get to there from where we are right now… I want a world in which people care for each other, share resources generously and wisely and helped each other bring out the very best in themselves. I want us to observe, learn and truly understand the astounding life systems on this planet, work intelligently with them and protect them from harm.

                  Humans are happiest and behave at their best when they feel valued, respected and useful. When they can express themselves creatively, achieve excellence and work together in groups toward common goals beyond the reach of any one individual.

                  That is what I believe in burt. I really don’t understand what you believe in. I don’t think even you do.

                • burt

                  RedLogix

                  I want a world in which people care for each other, share resources generously and wisely and helped each other bring out the very best in themselves. I want us to observe, learn and truly understand the astounding life systems on this planet, learn to work with them and protect them from harm.

                  The good ship ‘Nirvana RedLogix’ departs at gateway 1 in three hours. Please note there is a strict baggage allowance policy on this vessel – Doooh.

                  I totally agree with your sentiments Red, your values are admirable. But how is an Aussie report on welfare myths justification for calling National ‘tory welfare bashers’ ?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Because National are Tory welfare bashers. Or were you hiding when Food Bank comments and DPB comments were being bandied around by National Ministers, not to mention the shite spouted by Rebstock and co. in their “Welfare Working Group” report?

                  • RedLogix

                    So you mock my values and then say that you totally agree with them. Confused a little?

                    Because I know what I stand for and I’m not apologising for it. When I see National repeatedly demonising beneficiaries, perpetuating readily debunked myths and undermining public confidence in the system intended to protect the weakest and most vulnerable in our society… without offering any alternative vision around improving the system… then I know that what they propose offends what I believe in.

                    Your failure to see this connection is not grounds for me to have to explain it to you.

                    • burt

                      RedLogix. I certainly wasn’t intending to mock your values. They are indeed admirable. It’s how we translate those values into real world models when not all people ascribe to them that I was taking the piss out of. I;m sorry it came across that way.

                    • RedLogix

                      Fair enough burt. I can take that at face value.

                      One thing I think we all agree upon is that the present system is most certainly not the best of all possible worlds. Improvement, radical reform even, is certainly desirable.

                      If National were offering a concrete plan to develop the NZ economy, grow our skills and NZ based industries, increase wages and salaries as a percentage of GDP, transition from last-century extractive wealth paradigms to knowledge based, high value sustainable models… then I’d be able to believe that they were serious.

                      If most people in this country had equitable access to decent, dignified work and sustainable living… then the very need for welfare would logically be diminished. But not before.

                      Because while I hear rhetoric from National about reform, all I really see is policy intended to make the system even more stingy and demeaning than it is already. Sort of like ‘we had to bomb the village to save it’.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Good paying personally satisfying jobs are the best kind of wefare reform, problem is that John Key’s definition of a good job is digging up a cycle way.

    That’s as far as the Bill and John show go I’m afraid, people.

    • burt 4.1

      Colonial Viper

      Hope that “good paying’ is too much CV, wouldn’t want to be bashing the bene’s for being rich pricks would we.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Oh I think an economy with a lot of $16/hr – $20/hr jobs available for job seekers is a pretty reasonable ask.

        Of course, we have a wealthy class in NZ who prefer to sit on assets (in general) instead of building up industries which can pay New Zealanders decently.

        • burt 4.1.1.1

          That’s all good CV, but that creates a dilemma with current tax policy and possibly with your definition of rich.

          If you accepted circa $32K-$40K as a minimum wage what would you suggest was the top tax threshold? IE: What would you describe as a high income?

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1

            Top 5% of income earners and those holding over $500K in net assets should be defined as well off and taxed accordingly.

            I also suggest supertaxes for those earning more than 10x the median income (i.e. are on >$280K p.a.) and for those who hold more than $2M in assets.

            If this society can’t create decent numbers of jobs paying $16-$20/hr I suggest to people that they bugger off to Australia where they at least appreciate the value of good workers.

            NZ businesses don’t deserve you at rates less than that.

  5. vto 5

    The idea that there are either productive or unproductive people is as barmy as the bloody Federated Farmers ignorant idea that only those who pull in foreign exchange are real New Zealanders. They continually bleat on that they are somehow more important and we should recognise them for that.

    They constantly state that it is they who are responsible for providing the teachers and the doctors and for providing, well, pretty much everything in this country (including btw all the lost land following the Hawke Bay floods last week. Lost because of poor land practices).

    If you suggest to farmers that the reality is in fact the reverse they simply harumph and storm off, such is their ability to engage in controlled debate (like most of us ha ha). Like this simple question – how do you think the NZ farming sector would have performed over the last 100 years if no farmer had been taught how to read and write by a teacher? End.

    The reason for rabbiting on about farmers and their continual idiotic importance issue is that it is entirely analagous to the beneficiary importance issue.

    Productive members of society??????? Start with mothers as THE MOST PRODUCTIVE. Withot them there is no society. Try that on for size silly farmers.

    Secondly I would have thought are all those involved in raising newborns to youth and adulthood. Following logic of course.

    and on it goes..

    • KJT 5.1

      Norway.!.

      I have put a challenge on the internet, for several years now, asking any farmer who can prove they pay income tax to speak up. I am sure there are one or two, but I am still waiting.

      In fact without farming and our over reliance on commodity exports we would have had to develop a real economy. Like Norway, Sweden or Germany.

      All the keeping labour costs down and making life better for farmers and foreign corporates has left NZ much worse off. 4% growth against an OECD average of 28%.

  6. burt 6

    Is anyone from that “nasty tory” National party actually saying we should scrap welfare – NO. Are they saying we need to reform welfare because there is a sector of society using it as a lifestyle choice – YES.

    What’s the problem here ? Who are we protecting by casting this as beneficiary bashing ?

    • vto 6.1

      burt no reform is necessary in order to crack down on those using the welfare system as a lifestyle choice. There are already plenty of crackdown weapons available to do this. And they are used. It is just a cheap election year pile of shit.

      But you will know this of course, being a wise man of the street and the world.

      • burt 6.1.1

        The cheap election year pile of shit is rOb expediently using an Aussie report on welfare myths to cast National as nasty tory welfare bashers. It fits his world view.

  7. felix 7

    Ooh ooh ooh while we’re doing anecdotes about bludgers…

    I heard about this one guy who scraped up a shit-pile of money attacking his own country’s economy and selling the dodgy financial “products” that led to the global financial crisis costing millions of people their homes, jobs and savings.

    He then bought his way into a political party and became PM of the country he tried to take down years earlier and immediately sacked a bunch of workers, attacked the rights of many of those still working, and followed an economic agenda which has so far put around 135,000 people out of work.

    Meanwhile he had the country run up huge debts (probably with banks he owns shares in btw) in order to give himself and all the other millionaires a big kickback from the tax system which they’ll soon use to buy the publicly owned assets he’ll have to put up for sale due to bankrupting the country by borrowing to pay for the tax bonuses that will be used to buy the assets (cool eh?)

    On top of all of this he has decided that the country hasn’t served him quite enough yet so at every possible turn he uses up as much of the country’s police and military forces as he can for his own comfort and amusement, despite being able to easily afford these things himself which largely have nothing to do with his job as an elected official.

    Bludgers? There’s your fucking bludger right there.

    • outofbed 7.1

      If only that could fit on a billboard

    • terryg 7.2

      Felix,
      you owe me a new keyboard and monitor, I just spat coke all over mine I laughed so hard.

      Hey, I know what, maybe I should become a lazy bludging beneficiary and get a free one.

      Hang on a minute, I WAS said lazy bludging beneficiary. Hell, I even technically defrauded Social Welfare for a year (but fessed up during an amnesty in the early 90’s) by enrolling for 4 papers at Massey Uni in P.N. when the cutoff for the dole was 3. Thereby using the dole to kick-start my ALMOST ENTIRELY TAXPAYER FUNDED tertiary education, and eventually becoming a “productive” member of society (by Burts measure at any rate).

      Oh no, idiotic stereotyping fail. silly me.

      Fucking bludgers indeed. +1 internets to you Felix

      • mickysavage 7.2.1

        Um Terryg
         
        You could address Felix’s comment.  It seems to me that all of Felix’s comment was depressingly correct.

        • terryg 7.2.1.1

          I did – “fucking bludgers indeed”. There really isnt any more to add, Felix summed it up perfectly. but this entire thread is about bene-bashing, so I dont think my comments are entirely irrelevant.

          And you too are spot on MickySavage – its as depressing as all hell. the only “bright” spot I can see is after we sleepwalk to another NACT government, they’ll sell the few remaining assets we have, so at least it wont happen again. of course we’ll be a nation of renters by then *sigh*

          • mickysavage 7.2.1.1.1

            Sorry Terryg.
             
            Misread your comment.  Agree entirely.

            • terryg 7.2.1.1.1.1

              no apology necessary – I asked for it, Poes always run that risk (e.g. 13.1). Besides, sometimes I am entirely full of shit, and need to be reminded of it.

              Now its my turn: I have read a fair number of your comments, and want to thank you for taking the time to so eloquently share your knowledge and experience.
              regards, Terry

  8. Bill 8

    Isn’t it simply the case that unemployed people are in a position where others (bosses, shareholders etc) can no longer bludge off them?

    • vto 8.1

      Good point Bill, I always like looking at things backwards to see if it still makes sense. Bit like the French..

      You are quite right – it is the employers who bludge off the workers through paying insufficient minimum wages to support a family. That is the bludge.

  9. ianmac 9

    Anecdotal stories are no help in this discussion.
    There was an excellent interview with Sir Paul Reeves yesterday morning on National Radio. Sir Paul spoke on the subject of a caring society. He is concerned that right now NZ is at a tipping point and that the shift against caring for those in need worries him. (Paraphrased.) If a person of Sir Paul’s stature is concerned about the direction being signalled by the NActs, then I am too.

  10. ianmac 10

    Wouldn’t the Paula Rebstock Committee have assembled a report like the one that Rob has printed in order to properly assess the problem? Surely they could not have relied on the odds and ends of the few who cheat the system? It would be as stupid as saying a cold spell of weather is evidence that there is no global warming.

  11. It’s interesting how these people that are too lazy to work actually respond to legislation providing incentives to work and removing barriers to work (family tax credit, reduced cost of childcare etc).

    Impact on numbers of sole parents receiving benefit

    Numbers of DPB recipients fell by 12% from March 2004 to March 2008

    Sole parents’ periods of benefit receipt are shorter

    Sole parents previously on benefit are staying off a benefit much longer
    http://www.ird.govt.nz/aboutir/reports/research/emp-sole-parents/emp-incentives-sole-parents.html

  12. TightyRighty 12

    Doesn’t affect the most disturbing truth of the cradle to grave welfare mentality, enacted and encouraged by the left to maintain a voter base.

    • terryg 12.1

      which is what? that the right wing relies on anecdata (two or more anecdotes) because REAL DATA supports the EXACT OPPOSITE position?

      next you’ll crap on about how global warming is a conspiracy by dirty hippies….

    • Colonial Viper 12.2

      The social security system is a crucial part of NZ civilised society.

      And yes, that means looking after our people from the cradle to the grave.

      You think you can do better somewhere else which doesn’t believe in social welfare nor a social security system?

      Move to the US or Somalia and see how well the masses of people are doing there, abandoned to struggle on their own while more powerful forces control their societies and economies.

      • terryg 12.2.1

        or india. Now THERE is a country you REALLY dont want to be at the bottom of the heap in.

        • Treetop 12.2.1.1

          Yesterday on Radio NZ just after 7.30 am there was coverage on Indias recent census. Population is now 1.2 billion. In ten years it has increased by 181 million. The last time that a census on the casts was done was 1931. Money needs to be targeted for the most deprived casts. Females are in a much worse position to males as they get fed the scraps and the cost of a dowry can bankrupt a family.

      • Treetop 12.2.2

        Yesterday just after 7.30 am on Radio NZ mention was made that 1 million homes in the USA had been foreclosed and another 1 million were expected to foreclose. Unemployment and the banks not being prepared to extend or refinance a mortgage. One lady who recently had breast cancer was able to refinance, but she now owes three times what she purchased her home for.

        • Colonial Viper 12.2.2.1

          With no Federal sponsored mortgage relief programmes in sight and Obama spending US$3B-$4B per week on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

          Pretty clear what the priorities of the rich and powerful in the USA are.

  13. Bill 13

    Meanwhile.

    For all those out there who think beneficiaries are hopping aboard some type of gravy train…the UK has issued a six point suicide threat directive to its case officers in the (partly privatised from what I can make out) Department of Work and Pensions.

    Julie Tipping, an appeals officer for Disability Solutions, represents claimants who try to overturn decisions made following work capability assessment tests that they are fit for work.

    She says that in the last year, two of her clients have made “real attempts” at suicide after a decision was made that they were fit for work. Both were taken to hospital and subsequently sectioned.

    “It’s real and true. A lot of people think these people are crying wolf to get their money, but that’s not the case. They are suffering from real problems and can’t face it any more.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/may/08/jobcentre-staff-guidelines-suicide-threats

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      The UK Exchequer is looking forwards to unexpected budget savings which will result from beneficiaries offing themselves.

      Who needs those unproductive losers in society anyway.

      • terryg 13.1.1

        AIUI the UK are putting together a Soylent Green Department, to replace food subsidies.

  14. Where is the long-overdue review of ‘corporate welfare’ beneficiaries?

    Across the NZ $70 billion central government spend – how much taxpayer money is being spent on consultants and private contractors across all state sectors / SOEs/ Crown Research Institutes (CRIs) etc?

    There is going to be a full scale attack on social welfare beneficiaries………..

    The answer?

    COUNTER-ATTACK – ‘corporate welfare’ beneficiaries!

    Also – company tax – tax evasion.

    ‘White collar’ crime.

    Fraud and corruption at the highest levels!

    …………………… that sort of thing…… :)

    Penny Bright
    http://waterpressure.wordpress.com

    • ianmac 14.1

      Totally agree Penny. Somewhere in Europe everyone has to declare their income online and the tax they pay so that evasion and avoidance can be seen.
      I have met successful farmers who boast about paying little or no income tax. And then moan about dole bludgers!

  15. richard bartlett 15

    Just in case anyone has heard anything like this proposed by the welfare (Orwell?) department……….http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/may/08/jobcentre-staff-guidelines-suicide-threats ?

  16. Treetop 16

    Recent study done in the USA is a parent is worth $77,700 PA. This figure includes doing 40 hours childcare a week, party planner, chauffeur and cook.

  17. Tombstone 17

    I agree with 100% with Penny Bright

  18. prism 18

    I’m not able to give a link but I heard a report about the USA and beneficiaries there who have maximum limits of time for receiving help from the government.. People who need help are foregoing it and struggling on in bad conditions as they don’t want to use up the safety net of some entitlement if they become incapacitated. So the stats may look good, showing a drop in welfare but the true welfare of people is declining. Stats like in their teeth, which are false!

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Unemployment compensation in the US is generally restricted to 26 weeks maximum. Its been extended a couple of times by the Federal Government due to the economic situation there.

      And you don’t get it if you have been fired from a job for cause. Please feel free to lose your home and have your kids starve.

  19. Galeandra 19

    Late in the day to comment, but I really do not understand why some people become so exercised by the thought of supplying people with benefits. In today’s world those who ‘choose’ to be on benefits are actually supporting those lucky enough to be in work; diminished standard of living, few prospects for improvemen in life, low public esteem and vilification from the right are a steep price to pay for what many regard as ‘freeloading’.
    This is an important issue- employment is a diminishing prospect for many of our commmunity in the future and probably forever , unless we create a paradigm shift by what would be in fact a social revolution(this would need to be many magnitudes greater than Key’s proposed ‘step-change’) , and yet there is no sense of any strategising around the issue at all.
    If you doubt this, think for a moment about the situation in the States: 98 MILLION people of working age are not shown in the approx 11% unemployment register because they have stopped looking for the non-existent jobs.
    There is a social tsunami bearing down on us, and the sort of dickering that we see around the idea of welfare and ‘beneficiaries’ from the right is an appalling sideshow. Normal expectations of ‘growth’ and ‘recovery’ in an over-populated resource-diminished and over-heating world just won’t cut it.

  20. Galeandra 20

    Apologies, the memory ain’t what it used to be. Here’s the actual number I read the other day on The Automatic Earth’s posting about US employment issues.
    “All in all, the total number of people in the working age population who are not in the labor force hit a new all time high of 86.248 million in April. “

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    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
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    It’s common to hear people say that because roads are paid for by their users (fn 1), we should build more roads. After all, the new roads will fund themselves! At first glance, this seems convincing. But a closer look...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies, sons & daughters were sent to d...
      As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies Sons & daughters were sent to die Meanwhile at home democracy cried But his government crowed Everything’s fine.   Other peoples’ children signed up for his war While at home in comfort...
    Politically Corrected | 23-10
  • Why I am on the left
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) Post by Jem I am left first and...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Minister to attend TPP Ministers’ Meeting
    Press Release – New Zealand Government Trade Minister Tim Groser will depart today for Sydney to join Ministers from countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for the next round of negotiations.Hon Tim Groser Minister of Trade 24 October 2014...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    Press Release – The Nation This weekend on The Nation with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP
    Press Release – Federated Farmers International Agricultural and Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP At the round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations taking place this week in Australia, agri-food producer and processor groups from Canada, Australia …International...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Grant Robertson is not as much like Joseph Stalin as some would have you th...
    It’s not often you see a New Zealand political figure compared favourably to Stalin, but this is what Chris Trotter has done to that decidedly non-genocidal non-lunatic Grant Robertson.  ...
    Pundit | 23-10
  • Food, Fossil Fuels and Filthy Finance
    It is depressingly apparent that powerful forces in the global economy are set to carry on with the exploration for and use of fossil fuels ass a primary source of energy for decades to come. Oxfam has produced a report...
    Hot Topic | 23-10
  • 2014 Arctic sea ice extent – 6th lowest in millennia
    The National Snow and Ice Data Center has reported that this year we saw the 6th-lowest minimum Arctic sea ice extent on record. Research has shown that most of the long-term decline in sea ice, or the “death spiral” as...
    Skeptical Science | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    Today I made my oral submission to the Environmental Protection Authority on Chatham Rock Phosphate’s application to mine phosphate from the seabed approximately halfway between the mainland and the Chatham Island. In a nutshell this application is for the deepest...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • Surrounded sex offender still won’t come down from roof
    While they would still appreciate him coming down, police say they’re confident the man has “nowhere to hide.” After an agonising 54-year wait, it is beginning to appear as though a notorious sex offender dressed as Santa may not, in...
    The Civilian | 23-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #46 On the Way or Already There?
    46: On the Way or Already There? What if we dropped the pseudo-word “roading” from Auckland’s vernacular? Roads are on the way somewhere; streets are already somewhere. This simple difference in understanding and perspective between movement and place often results...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health about Katherine Rich’s c...
    KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister of Health : Is he satisfied that there is no conflict of interest in the head of the Food and Grocery Council, Katherine Rich, being a board member of the Health Promotion Agency; if so,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Kennedy Graham to the Prime Minister on the Deployment of New Zealand Speci...
    Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the risks to New Zealand from any commitment of military assistance to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq would be "no greater than I think the...
    Greens | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
    Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, and, like others, can I begin my contribution by congratulating you and the others in the Speaker's team: the Rt Hon David Carter, Lindsay Tisch, and the Hon Trevor Mallard. I also want...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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