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Child Poverty in New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 8:21 am, December 8th, 2013 - 211 comments
Categories: child abuse, national, paula bennett, poverty, same old national - Tags:

child poverty a national disgrace

The Herald on Sunday is reporting today on some worrying trends in child poverty in Aotearoa.

The Government has been very careful not to properly measure the problem.  The formerly proud to be a westie Minister Paula Bennett has joked in Parliament about how there is not an official measure for child poverty.

The new Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills could see that the failure to properly measure such an important statistic was crazy.  To show how bizarre the Government’s approach to the issue is his application for funding of research into the area was declined.  So he did something unusual.  He approached a private trust for funding so that the research could be completed.  And the results are due out tomorrow and it sounds like they will be deeply concerning.

As stated in the Herald on Sunday editorial this morning:

A cynic might suggest it sometimes suits the Government to have no reliable measure of the problems facing the nation. If ministers can’t quantify a problem, then neither can their opponents.

Dr Russell Wills, Bennett’s appointment as Children’s Commissioner, was refused permission to measure and monitor child poverty and its impact on health and social wellbeing. So, displaying admirable enterprise for someone on the public payroll, he bypassed the Government and went to the charitable JR McKenzie Trust for $525,000 funding for the project.

The result, to be published tomorrow, is a truly independent measure of this blight on New Zealand society.

The first Child Poverty Monitor will graphically illustrate how children are spending longer periods in severe deprivation than previously recognised. The outcomes include a 12 per cent upturn in hospital admissions for children’s illnesses that are associated with poverty and over-crowding.

In a related article the HOS  reported on a shocking increase in the number of children being admitted to Hospital with third world diseases.  The article states:

Wills’ report is expected to reveal a 12 per cent rise from 2007 to 2011 in hospital admissions for poverty-related illnesses such as acute bronchiolitis, gastroenteritis, asthma, acute upper respiratory infections and skin infections.

Most New Zealanders will find the numbers of children affected by disease shocking … but for those of us working clinically with families in poverty it is not surprising.”

Wills also works as a paediatrician in Hawke’s Bay. He said hospital wards were now full of poor, sick children every month of the year – not just in winter. There was no longer a “summer lull” in diseases.

“I do see parents who have made bad choices but most families on the hospital wards with sick children are spending their very small income very carefully,” he said. “You don’t get 10 to 12 people living in a two-bedroom house because they want to.” The Government lacked “a plan” to reduce child poverty.

In the same article Kevin Hague commented on the recommendation of the Public Health Advisory Committee for the Government to set targets to reduce child poverty made in 2009.

Nothing has happened to that recommendation.  They don’t want to look bad.”

And in a further article the HOS reported on a computer glitch that has meant the data that the Government has been collecting has been compromised and has underreported child abuse notifications.  The computer programme apparently did not take into account cases for a particular month where the data was entered more than 2 days after the end of the month.

The combined effect is distressing.  The Government is refusing to measure some data and the data that it does collect has been compromised.  And meantime more and more kids are showing signs of living in third world conditions in Aotearoa while Bennett and co refuse to accept there is a problem.

Paula Bennett and the entire National Government should be hanging their heads in shame.

The final word should be left to the writer of the excellent editorial in today’s HOS.

Child poverty should not exist in this country. Blaming parents is pointless. No child should be left under-nourished or shivering in an uninsulated house. No child should suffer the preventable diseases of poverty. New Zealand can afford to rescue its most vulnerable citizens from neglect and abuse.

The Children’s Commissioner is right to give us this reality check for Christmas.

211 comments on “Child Poverty in New Zealand”

    • RedLogix 1.1

      I’ve sat here for a while thinking what to say r0b. But sometimes despair is the correct response.

      Because just on the other side of despair is a certain clarity….

    • lprent 1.2

      The legacy of all of the National governments I’ve watched I’m afraid.

      I’ve heard good things about the Holyoake government But I wasn’t old enough to observe it politically. At least Labour don’t screw up to this kind of monumental scale.

      Just think of the costs from this kind of early neglect over the whole lifetime of a person. It is classic short term penny pinching and a massive long-term cost from it.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        Although NATs are far worse, this is not a NATs vs LAB issue.

        Where is the full employment policy. Why are benefits not at an even minimally livable level. How were housing costs, power etc. allowed to climb so high.

        • Tracey 1.2.1.1

          CV (Tat Lo)

          I have a serious question, not mocking you or even being sarcastic.

          Given your stance on many issues and your underlying belief about the foundation of a fair and equitable economic system, can you really stay with Labour and will they embrace your ideas? It seems to be more than just a tnsion between your views and basic Labour policy.

      • Macro 1.2.2

        “I’ve heard good things about the Holyoake government”

        The best voice in the House!! Ho Ho Ho!

    • Rogue Trooper 1.3

      This is appropriate r0b

  1. Arfamo 2

    +1. Nothing more need be said I reckon. The CC’s report will no doubt make very interesting reading. And then it will be buried by pollies and mainstream media as quickly as possible I imagine.

  2. amirite 3

    ”New Zealand can afford to rescue its most vulnerable citizens from neglect and abuse.” yet more parent-blaming again even though such people make a very small percentage in the overall picture.
    It comes to the simple fact: there’s just not enough money those families are earning or receiving in benefits to make ends meet.

  3. One Anonymous Knucklehead 4

    What is the best solution to the National Party?

    Education? Wingnuts are as thick as pigshit so it’s doubtful education would help.

    Ethics? Don’t make me laugh, they haven’t got one.

    Empathy? They lack the cognitive ability to see things through another person’s eyes.

    No, appeals to reason and facts will not avail us. Emotional appeals may make a difference, but in the meantime these scum will just kill more children.

    New Zealand needs a solution.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Step 1: Break up the corporate media oligopoly.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Step 2: Re-establish true public broadcasting journalism on TVNZ and RNZ. Use that to pressure all commercial news providers to lift their game.

        • Marksman 4.1.1.1

          You are so right CV,this is the number 1 reason that things have got so bad.In the kingdom of the blind,the one eyed man is king.

          • Tracey 4.1.1.1.1

            +1

            • Arfamo 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Step 3. Make parliamentarians choose either a parliamentary pension or national superannuation, but not both, make them for the same amount, and make the qualifying age and other eligibility criteria the same.

              • RedBaronCV

                Save money by getting MP’s to catch the airport flyer in to parliament (or the #11 from Seatoun it’s only a short walk) and mix with the voters.

                • Colonial Viper

                  What 120 MPs spend on taxis is an irrelevant distraction.

                  Let’s think big structural, societal levers. The Right Wing thinks big. Given the chance, they will be willing to remake the entire electoral system, education system, health system, tax system, media and broadcasting. What does the Left want to do?

                  Take taxi chits off MPs?

                  • RedLogix

                    Without wanting to derail what has so far been a usefully concrete discussion into abstractions, I’m prompted to quote a comment Puddlegum made a while back and which has rather stuck in my mind since:

                    “how are you going to “remove the capitalists’ machine guns” without changing anyone’s mind?”

                    Mind’s change because circumstances change. They are not isolated, monadic devices calculating the world in some fume-like, immaterial dimension. They are in and of the world.

                    In politics, if you want to change attitudes change circumstances. That’s what Roger Douglas did back in the 80s and, lo and behold, attitudes have changed – ‘we’re all neoliberal now’.

                    It’s also why people change their attitudes when they change their jobs – suddenly being a manager is not such a terrible thing when you become a manager, rather than being dominated by a manager.

                    Mind’s are just our means of navigating circumstances. Change circumstances; change minds.

                    And, yes, minds (of others) are circumstances for a mind – what we say to each other and indicate through our behaviour can alter how someone else reacts. But that’s still not because we have ‘changed their mind’ or ‘changed their attitude’ – it’s because we have changed the circumstances within which their minds have to navigate.

                    http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-29112013/#comment-737674

                    People’s minds change because their circumstances change. That should be the gold standard here, what circumstances are we going to change that will liberate people’s emotional enslavement to the death machine we call an economy?

                    Recall Walter Nash’s famous line; “The came in their rags to vote us in, and they came in their automobiles to vote us out”. Now while that First Labour govt could perhaps take an ironic pride in the economic achievement implicit in that line; clearly that alone was not a sufficient change in circumstance.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Now while that First Labour govt could perhaps take an ironic pride in the economic achievement implicit in that line; clearly that alone was not a sufficient change in circumstance.

                      That’s because they didn’t really change the circumstances – society was still capitalist.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Thanks RL.

                  • RedBaronCV

                    You are quite right CV (although I was thinking of crown cars not shared cabs.)

                    The left needs to go for the big structural whammy’s that the right does plus a left version of moving the goal posts with a thousand small cuts.

                    But I think that gestures, even if not this one, do count as the tip of the iceberg that can be seen. Removing anything that smacks of large income earning privilege as opposed to “man of the people” stuff gives voters an “emotional tag” to attach to the big underlying changes.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I definitely agree with you that symbolism is important. It is worthwhile picking the right things to raise as symbols, though, as the danger is that they are otherwise interpreted as empty gestures.

                    • RedLogix

                      Moreover I think RB has a deeper point.

                      Jared Diamond identified ‘the social and physical isolation of the ruling classes’ as one of the most telling pre-cursors to collapse.

                      Those sodding BMW’s have their place – mostly in the parking garage. They’re not good for anyone’s spiritual health.

                      You are both correct – the big structural stuff is essential but ordinary people will judge by how the left conducts itself in it’s ordinary day to day actions

                      That’s why Labour can get tripped up with stupid little expense ‘scandals’ while Key’s crowd of crims can get away with shoveling hundreds of millions into their mates pockets.

                • Lloyd

                  This is a reason the a quick railway line from the airport to the existing Wellington Railway Station should be built. Such a service would be quicker than both the flyer and a government limousine, and would attract MPs onto public transport where they might be exposed to the realities of life for the middle of the road New Zealander, and possibly to those worse off.

          • Rogue Trooper 4.1.1.1.2

            on the Marksman

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2

          I’d put that as step three with step 2 being: Stop the private banks creating money and have it as the sole providence of the government.

  4. ianmac 5

    I guess it suits National agendas to turn a blind eye to politically troubling information.
    But listen you starving sick kids.
    The Government will Balance the Books.
    There now. That cheer you up?

  5. Marksman 6

    Yeah,Ho Ho bloody Ho.I hope this cabinet thinks about this while their sipping their g and ts at the bach this summer.I doubt it somehow.The word for today is Despair.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      I hope this cabinet thinks about this while their sipping their g and ts at the bach this summer.

      Unless it’s to find some way to make it all go away, they won’t.

  6. Pascal's bookie 7

    I wondered why Bennett was so visibly pissed off during QT this week when being questioned by Adern.

  7. Wayne 8

    Well I do think this is going to be quite an issue for the election, linking in with the inequality theme.

    So what would I do:

    Build 20,000 state houses over the next 3 years – the current numbers , either owned or rented by Housing NZ, would seem to be too low. One of the key issues is where they are built, since I suspect a lot of disadvantage is in places like rural Northland. But the goal is to look after the children, so I guess the houses need to be built where the people live.

    Free breakfasts/lunches in all Decile 1 to 5 schools.

    Free doctors visits up for all children up to age 12 (I realize this is not targeted, but some things should not be).

    Expand nurses in schools. I know this programme already exists but it is clearly not enough.

    I am sure there are other things that could be done like WOF for all rental properties, but those are my 4 big things.

    I would also change the tax system to have 5 rates (15%, 20%, 25%, 30% and 35%). Top rate cuts in at $150,000. Essentially the goal is to get an extra $1 to 2 billion revenue to pay for the above. The thresholds between each rate should reflect that, but in my view the average wage (around $45,000) should not have a higher rate than 20%. This is currently achieved, and there is general consensus on this.

    What I would not do is increase general welfare benefits, since it brings them too close to typical wage levels and distorts incentive. I also think that the current programmes encouraging training for work are highly desirable. However, on the immediate issue it is better, in my view, to focus on things that will make a tangible difference to the children. And housing, meals at schools and medical care are surely the key issues that will make an immediate difference.

    • mickysavage 8.1

      I am with you part of the way Wayne. But isn’t there something wrong when the average wage is so low that being on a benefit may “distort incentive” presuming this does occur? What are the structural matters that prevent the country’s resources being distributed more equitably?

      • Anne 8.1.1

        He’s halfway back to Labour mickysavage

        What I would not do is increase general welfare benefits, since it brings them too close to typical wage levels and distorts incentive.

        I believe that to be theoretical poppycock Wayne.

        Having been there back in the 90s and knowing plenty of others who have fallen on tough times in recent decades, I know that the greatest desire of all of them is to return to the workforce and re-establish for themselves a sense of worth and mental well-being. Why do National led governments insist on lumping all beneficiaries in the “lazy good for nothing bludgers” basket? I guess it’s because it is a false meme that has played well with a certain section of the population, and that is more important than making a genuine attempt to fix the problem of unemployment and poverty.

        And please don’t mention the dreadful woman, Paula Bennett in this context because she is a major part of the problem. She makes soporific noises about wanting to help beneficiaries when all the time she is… dragging the ladders from under them or undermining them with negative language and operational reforms bordering on threats and intimidation. Her modus operandi is only matched by Hekia Parata.

        • Dumrse 8.1.1.1

          She’s dragging the ladders out from under the absolute bludgers that shouldn’t be in receipt of a benefit, you know the ones, those that are too lazy to get off their arses and get a job.

          • Macro 8.1.1.1.1

            You really are a dumb arse!
            What a waste of space…

          • Anne 8.1.1.1.2

            Yeah Dumarse I know what you mean. Like those solo Mums who were getting themselves educated at night school so they could get a decent job and go off the benefit. Bennie Basher – who used the same service to educate herself so she could get a good job – pulled the ladder up from under them. Peer envy I reckon – didn’t want others like herself to make the grade. When two of them stood up to her and complained she had destroyed their chances of bettering themselves, she arranged for their personal files to be placed in the public arena.

            “Don’t you dare mess with me or else I’ll finish you for good” she was saying to them.

            You may be impressed by such bully girl behaviour. Most find it disgusting and reprehensible.

          • Tracey 8.1.1.1.3

            like she was you mean?

            • Anne 8.1.1.1.3.1

              And still is Tracey – even if she has learned to be more subtle about it. A lesson in life I had to learn the hard way… leopards rarely change their spots.

          • Naki Man 8.1.1.1.4

            Well said

    • RedLogix 8.2

      Wayne. Those are all good solid traditional left-wing ideas. They would help, they would make a difference for a while.

      Then inevitably the electoral cycle swings again and we finish up having this same conversation in another 9 or 12 years time.

      Free doctors visits up for all children up to age 12 (I realize this is not targeted, but some things should not be).

      Indeed. Universal Superannuation virtually eliminated poverty among our elderly. Before the First Labour govt and the introduction of pensions, our history in this respect was appalling. It was not uncommon for old men to simply die of exposure and neglect on the hillsides around Wellington.

      Yet because we treat children as the ‘property’ of their parents, we have this astonishing blind spot around their suffering. We hide them behind their parents, who themselves were most likely brought up in the same poverty. And we just go on blaming them as an excuse to never break the cycle.

      But I’d suggest you come very close to a bigger truth when you say that some things should not be targeted. I agree. Indeed if you look closer at the reasons why we do target and the distortions it inevitably produces … I eventually concluded that most things should not be targeted.

      • KJT 8.2.1

        If we look towards the recent past, we would do well to remember:
        After 30 years of Neo-liberal madness, what are now considered radical left wing ideas, like looking after our children, were once generally accepted by National, as well as Labour, Governments.

      • Wayne 8.2.2

        RedLogix,

        I know a number of commenters have seen my proposals as solid leftwing ideas. But in fact they can be just as easily implemented by a centre right (as opposed to right) government as they could by a centre left government.

        None of of them undermine in any significant way the free market economy (in which I am a true believer). There are plenty of free market economies that have either some or all of these proposals. As a simple example, PM John Howard never reduced the top Aussie tax rate of 45%, though he certainly pushed up the threshold.

        I simply see these proposals as the right thing to do in order to deal with the serious and real issue of child poverty. And I think the solution starts with housing. I do not think the current accommodation supplement is sufficient. It works well for a lot of people, but not for everyone. State houses have a guaranteed minimum level of quality, and essentially rent for $100 pw. Solve the housing issue for the most vulnerable, and you simultaneously solve a whole lot of other problems.

        It seems to me to be well within our capacity to deal with this issue. Yes, it does mean govt, as a proportion of GDP, becomes a little larger, maybe by 1 to 2%. But that will lift it to 35% of GDP, which is hardly at stifling European levels.

        And I am pretty certain that Dr Paul Hutchinson, National MP for Hunua, whose Health Select Committee has done a recent report on child poverty, would largely endorse these proposals. And I know that report is largely Paul’s work.

        • QoT 8.2.2.1

          But in fact they can be just as easily implemented by a centre right (as opposed to right) government as they could by a centre left government.

          The reason they can’t by the current lot (and yes, by some previous Labour-led governments too) actually has nothing to do with the bare-bones ideology involved. It’s because the government has justified everything it does by saying that those on the bottom deserve to be there because they’re lazy and don’t deserve help.

        • KJT 8.2.2.2

          Wayne has highlighted the point that many things decent people, on either sides of the political divide, took for granted pre 1984, like looking after the poor and vulnerable, are now considered “extreme” left wing.

          And, That a UBI is not the only option for reducing poverty.

          Initiatives such as increased state housing, free medical care and other support are easier to do, and find cross party support, both politically and economically short term.

          Even Bennett is finding it hard to find support, from left and right, for policies which impoverish children further.

    • dv 8.3

      AND add a universal first 20k tax free and adjust the tax rate and thresholds appropriately.

    • Tracey 8.4

      I agree with much of what you say. However is it just lack of incentive that prevents some people working, or are there actually not enough jobs to go round. Do you have reason to believe that governments (of any persuasion) actually believe that full employment is either impossible or at economic odds with their particular thinking?

      I would also add rape prevention education programmes because they are more than just “dont rape” messages they are about respecting sexual partners, potential sexual partners, and many other life skills crucial for all members of our society.

      • Colonial Viper 8.4.1

        Rape education/prevention programmes are just another example of work which needs to be done, and could employ dozens of extra people up and down the country.

        There is plenty of ‘work’ which needs to be done, it’s just that we seem wholly unable to take that work and structure it into paying ‘jobs.’

        There is no need for NZ to have an unemployment or poverty problem.

        • Flip 8.4.1.1

          Two reasons I think

          1. Economists are so indoctrinated the only way they can value anything is via a market. No market no value. This reduces what income earning jobs exist.

          2. Capital currently receives a greater return than labour. The balance of reward has gone too far towards capital. Returns on investment need to be greater to labour than capital. Shift the income distribution. If labour is valued more highly it would be rewarded better and more jobs would be created.

          So would say a socialist. Labour seems awfully quiet on the topic. Any socialists present? Do they not understand this? If they would like some help I’ve got time. Is there some reluctance to create this kind of policy because of spooky capital?

          • Colonial Viper 8.4.1.1.1

            interesting how the power elite insists on maintaining “confidence” (of the financial markets and capitalists) but the confidence of labour and of communities is of no import.

        • RedLogix 8.4.1.2

          Another way of putting this CV.

          If we pay people to do what we value them to do – then logically unemployment is really nothing but a poverty of values.

          • Colonial Viper 8.4.1.2.1

            Good observation. Chris Hedges would say that all of our values have been gradually replaced by corporate consumer values over the last 50 years.

            And for a left wing which regularly trashes those who believe in religion and tradition, and instead takes it’s values from intellectual abstractions – can this “poverty of values” be a surprise.

            • RedLogix 8.4.1.2.1.1

              And for a left wing which regularly trashes those who believe in religion and tradition, and instead takes it’s values from intellectual abstractions – can this “poverty of values” be a surprise.

              No. It should not be. Many on the left keep forgetting that the first Labour Party meetings were often held in Methodist Church halls. And I suspect that therein lies the reason why you and I find ourselves so very often sailing close down the same tack CV.

              Many, many people much smarter than me have spent their lives attempting to derive an ethical code from intellectual abstractions. While their work is often interesting and intriguing – it never seems to get much traction in the wider world.

              Yet the essence of the fundamental ethical principles required for the modern world can be easily summarised.

              • Tracey

                All of those would work well even if you left out the words religion or religious.

                Have you ever read a book by Ernst Becker called Denial of Death RL?

          • Flip 8.4.1.2.2

            Like the logic. RedLogix.

            There are outstanding humanist values that can be promoted and perhaps added to the education syllabus. As a culture we are reluctant to talk about and evaluate values. Not all values are of equivalent quality and some are just wrong and immoral. Some schools have taught values but they tend to be private.
            If educated in values then perhaps child poverty and abuse can be reduced. That is not to say that better income would not help but it is not the whole answer.
            Personal problems are not solved with money they are solved via personal improvement which comes from the person who has a reason to make the improvement from inside themselves. Tough to do and costly but necessary if we are to break the cycle of poverty and improve the quality of society.

            • Tracey 8.4.1.2.2.1

              I think this is partly because values and morals have been seen as the domain of religion and so the state wants it out of education. Just a thought. I have met a very small number of religious folks that believe that without religion, a belief in God, one will never act ethically. I stress a very small number.

              I teach ethics over too short a period as part of my course. Use a great series from Harvard.

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBdfcR-8hEY

          • Tracey 8.4.1.2.3

            Marilyn Waring was writing ground breaking stuff about placing a value (in economic terms) on unpaid work and so on 30 years ago…

      • Molly 8.4.2

        NEF (New Economics Foundation) have some good reports on the case for shorter working weeks.

        Read “21 hours” a while ago, but the idea is along the lines of: Jobs are distributed more widely, people have the opportunity for healthier work/life balance and time for valuable (but unpaid work) if they are interested.

    • KJT 8.5

      Good God Wayne. Is there a closet socialist trying to get out.

      I think we agree on the above except for welfare cuts being an incentive to work.

      In the 70’s, and early 80’s, when the unemployment payment was relatively much higher than it is now, most people chose to work. A Prime Minister claimed, famously, that he knew all the unemployed by name.
      The same thing happened in the only large scale experiment with a UI. Basically only students and young mothers chose not to take on “work”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mincome

      We already know how to remove poverty. We have achieved just that, successfully and cheaply, in New Zealand, for the old.

      Time to extend it to our children!

      • RedLogix 8.5.1

        KJT. That Mincome link. Wow. Simply wow –

        Here am I having banged on about the UBI concept to the point of boring everyone to tears – and I had no idea that someone had actually tried it.

        I’m both stunned and a little embarrassed.

        • KJT 8.5.1.1

          A bit more mindfood.

          http://overtheedgenewspaper.ca/mincome-a-possibility-in-switzerland/
          http://public.econ.duke.edu/~erw/197/forget-cea%20%282%29.pdf

          Note, one of the advocates of a UI or tax credit for low incomes, wait for it,

          was

          Milton Friedman.

          • Rogue Trooper 8.5.1.1.1

            selective reading by the proselytes .

          • greywarbler 8.5.1.1.2

            Milton Friedman – or freed man? Have I been dismissing him as a blackguard all this time when actually he was trying to find a better way with UI?

            Here’s me thinking he was a freed man from taxes and worry about how to make a living and instead aiming higher, to emulate John D Rockefeller?

            John D. Rockefeller is the richest American who ever lived. At the time of his death in 1937, Rockefeller was worth the equivalent of $340 billion in today’s dollars. His company Standard Oil dominated American Oil production and was eventually broken up by The US Government for being a monopoly. Standard Oil was broken into smaller companies that you probably recognize today: Amoco, Chevron Conoco, and ExxonMobil. Rockefeller was the first American to ever have a net worth over $1 billion.

            That’s the sort of man that Milton Friedman could help.

            • Marksman 8.5.1.1.2.1

              Lets also remember,there was no income tax in the US untill the early 1900s.Rockefeller and his mates were cracking it.

            • KJT 8.5.1.1.2.2

              Wondered how he expected to pay for a UI given his opposition to “big” Government and support for unregulated “free market’s”.

              Though like all Neo-libs he was all for regulation that increased the ability of the wealthy to make more.

              Cognitive dissonance however, seems to be common Neo-Liberal trait.

      • Flip 8.5.2

        I like the idea of a Guaranteed Annual Income (GAI) so did some quick numbers.

        For 2013 the population over 18 yrs is estimated at 3,369,500. If you say a GAI of $20K that gives $67.39 billion spend. In that year social security, welfare and super payments were $23.019 billion. A gap of $44.371 billion to come from somewhere.

        The total tax take was about $61.955 billion in 2012 so short of $5.435 billion roughly if you throw all the tax at the GAI which you can’t.

        Great idea just need to figure how to fund it.

        • RedLogix 8.5.2.1

          A good question. The conventional answer is here.

          If you poke your nose down the rabbit hole a bit you can start to look at the fundamental nature of money.

          A little deeper deeper in and you realise that the your question is predicated on the myths and assumptions of capitalism itself.

          In reality if I was to get anywhere near implementing such a system I would prefer to see it introduced gradually over a period of at least a decade. There would be many deep and fundamental adjustments that a GAI or UBIO would provoke.

        • Flip 8.5.2.2

          Ignore the other post as I failed to take account of people who did not need $20K GAI. In 2011 about 1,499,940 people earned over $30K. This would reduce the total cost. I picked $30K as I allow $10K above GAI to make it worth going to work.

        • James Thrace 8.5.2.3

          Why would you want to work this out on total figures of population?

          The GAI is only for those not earning the arbitrary limit of $20,000, so only around 250,000 people, giving it a $5bn spend.

          Never mind the fact that administration costs and associated WINZ bureaucracy would be greatly reduced so in the end, GAI appears to actually save money.

          • KJT 8.5.2.3.1

            Lower health costs, less welfare administration costs, lower number of criminals and crimes, simplified tax system.

            Not to mention all those extra good little consumers to expand the economy. and the tax base.

            Some of the more intelligent capitalists are already wondering who are going to buy their goods, if most people have either no job or a very low paid one. The Henry Ford dilemma.

            Then there is the Aussie yacht manufacturer who shifted production to Thailand, and now complains he has no customers. Thai workers on $10 a day, do not buy yachts.

          • KJT 8.5.2.3.2

            You may want to look at your sums, and assumptions, a bit more.

            A UI, initially, extended to children only, is of course much cheaper. We have done it in the past. The family benefit.

        • KJT 8.5.2.4

          We have enough resources within New Zealand to do it easily.

          The problem is the current financial paradigm makes it difficult to get those resources to their proper place. Supporting New Zealanders, not overseas owners and a few very wealthy people.

    • greywarbler 8.6

      Wayne
      Bottom tax rate of 15% is still too high, make it 10% and bring GST down to 10%. The low income people are paying on a rough estimate then 20% and that is plenty for contribution from small pickings. My belief is that everyone should be paying taxes at a rate that is fair for their income then they can hold their heads up and say We Are Taxpayers so Don’t treat us as low-lifes – they can defend themselves from that with pride.

      Actually 20% for combination income tax and gst is still onerous for the low income bracket but better than 15% income and GST of 15/%.

      And what is needed is for government to buy from NZ, to stop bleeding us and building a current account deficit. Give us our work back!!!!!! Instead of playing Financial Giants Striding the Planet Like a Colossus. And going for cheap, and getting fleeced. Spend money in and on NZ and we can get some golden fleece back on our backs! And there will be a positive flow into the government funds.

    • Murray Olsen 8.7

      It’s a real sign of the times when an ex member of our main right wing party can make policy prescriptions that David Parker, a spokesman for the rejuvenated red heart of Labour, would probably find fiscally irresponsible and impossible. I did have some small hope for Cunliffe, but the inertia is too great and the original foundations rusted away to an extent that cannot be repaired.

  8. Will@Welly 9

    I actually agree with Paula-suck-it-in-Bennett, there can be no official measure for child poverty in New Zealand. To have one is to admit that there is child poverty in New Zealand. And we all know that is never going to happen with the Tories and their allies.
    All we can do is gather the evidence and present it to them, but we know they are not listening. This is a Government that is overseeing that wanton destruction of a once proud nation.

    • Tracey 9.1

      but her leader can measure a “breadline” cos he says many kiwis not in kiwisaver are not there cos they live below the breadline.

  9. Blue 10

    The Herald is disgusting – they pretend to give a crap about child poverty but they are the first to publish beneficiary-done-wrong! articles to play to the prejudices of their audience.

    Every time you think there might be some shift in the public mood, out comes another headline ‘Beneficiary living in million dollar state house!’ ‘Beneficiary defrauds WINZ!’ ‘Top ten longest-ever dole bludgers!’ etc. allowing people to believe that the most extreme cases are the norm and that all beneficiaries are like this.

    Whatever progress was going to be made evaporates and we’re back where the Herald wants us – eating up stories about welfare ‘reform’ and cutesy profiles of that bouncy, Wild Westie Paula Bennett.

  10. red blooded 11

    All of your suggestions have merit, Wayne. Of course, they all have gaps, too. For example, plenty of poor kids go to schools that are above Decile 5. This is particularly true in the smaller centres, where the population is not large enough for each suburb to have its own school and a mix of kids from all kinds of backgrounds go to the same few schools.

    I have a few other suggestions to add to the mix:
    1) Dump the 90 Days Act. It pisses on the poor, the young and the disadvantaged. There is no excuse for it.
    2) Dump Youth Rates. (See above.)
    3) Provide more assistance for kids with special learning needs, including decent reading and numeracy recovery programmes and state funding of tests for learning disabilities like dyslexia. It is appalling that the vast majority of reader-writer assistance in high schools goes to pupils in decile 9 or 10 schools. Parents with less money can’t afford the tests (which cost hundreds of dollars) and their kids’ learning is limited by lack of specialist assistance and basic interventions like reader-writers in exams.
    4) Reinstate adult education funding. Prioritise programmes that can help people finish qualifications or upskill themselves in areas like budgeting or first aid.
    5) Increase funding for school programmes aimed at transition to work.
    6) The scheme aimed at controlling power prices has potential to make a difference.
    7) Increase the minimum wage.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 11.1

      8) Set a maximum wage.
      9) Make the passing of laws without supporting evidence a criminal offence.

      • Arfamo 11.1.1

        It’s easy enough to find or manufacture “supporting evidence”. The problem is defining what kind of evidence is a valid justification.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 11.1.1.1

          Sure it’s easy: the National Party couldn’t exist otherwise. What I’m saying is that when we catch them at it they should go to jail.

          • Arfamo 11.1.1.1.1

            But you can’t catch them at it. Every NZ government has an entire army of public servants on which its Ministers can, and do, immediately place the blame for providing the evidence that is false or wrong.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 11.1.1.1.1.1

              I expect that jail time would be a disincentive to any party that practices to deceive. After all, what is perjury? Is Parliament not a court?

              • Arfamo

                Is Parliament not a court?

                Fuck me sideways. Are you serious? Is The Speaker a wise & impartial judge?

                Our Parliament is a freaking sandpit. And a polluted one at that. I actually seriously think it’s beyond redemption.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  So, we’re agreed that there are systemic problems in our Parliamentary system that allow perjury to go unchecked.

                  It costs the country at least as much as the problems the Serious Fraud Office was established to confront.

                  Perhaps there is (far) too little judicial review of government policy, although I note with pleasure that ACC have lost their court battle with evidence-based psychiatry.

                  In any event, the certainty of jail time would have given even Sir Roger Douglas pause for thought, no?

                  • Arfamo

                    There are systemic problems in our Parliamentary system that make it an unhelpful and undesirable form of government for this country. Full stop. The fact that Roger Douglas is a free man is simply one of the many symptoms that helped diagnose the problem.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Right. The worst possible system blah bla…

                      Since all the other ones are worse I think it’s better to make changes incremental rather than wholesale. I also think some of our representatives need more “guidance” as to what constitutes evidence…like the possibility of going to jail for perjury on suspicion of being John Key.

                    • Arfamo

                      No, it’s not the worst possible system OAK. Our particular version of Parliamentary democracy just hasn’t worked for the majority of our citizens. I don’t know what changes would be better, but it’s very clear that any change that would reduce the many benefits our current parliamentarians all enjoy but don’t deserve, and that their constituents do not get, will never be made, because none of them will vote for such change.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      The full quote goes “the worst possible system apart from all the other ones…”

                      Hence the “blah bla…”

                      And I disagree. Change is inevitable. There was a time not that long ago when the majority of our representatives denied women the vote, or defamed Nelson Mandela as a terrorist, or refused to measure child poverty, or regarded National Party membership as something to be tolerated.

                    • Arfamo

                      I won’t be investing in tumbrils futures for quite some time yet. Although I hope it will be a worthwhile investment some day.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      at this rate, it’s the guillotine manufacturers who are going to get the market spike.

    • bad12 11.2

      8) There needs be a full and frank admission form across the political spectrum that the Neo-Liberal Free Market will not provide full employment,

      It is the continual ‘get a job’ mantra which allows for the beneficiary class to be so woefully treated both in monetary terms and in terms of how they are portrayed as members of society,

      Having said that, it is obvious that the political class have no intentions of doing anything remedial about child neglect/abuse/poverty,(and all 3 are linked),that involves more than tossing the odd handful of crumbs off of the laden table of those who ‘have’ in our society,

      When, and only when, the middle class is made aware of and directs the political parties that middle class essentially controls to ensure such poverty no longer exists could we expect movement across the political spectrum to ensure that no child lives an impoverished life, which in essence means that nothing, until such time as entire families dressed in rags are sleeping in the doorways of our major cities, will occur of substance to raise these children and their families out of such abject poverty,

      A ‘ray of light’ could be said to be contained in ‘Wayne’s’ comment above, and if a party member i would suggest that ‘Wayne’ begin the process of raising His/Her concerns from the well written comment above within the particular party,(at the risk of becoming a total pariah i might add),

      Hone Harawira says it best when the ‘views’ of some about His ‘feed the kids Bill’ currently lurking somewhere within the Parliaments machinations are expressed, ”Where will we get the money from tho” is the usual lament says Hone pointing out that when we send the Army into a place like Afghanistan the ‘cost’ never gets a mention,

      Of course i would add to what Hone has to say by pointing out that a country willing to send it’s Army into a country tens of thousands of kilometers away on a whim of ‘political friendship’ to murder the children of that country wouldn’t give the merest sniff of a shit about the fate of the poorest children in it’s own…

    • Wayne 11.3

      Quite a lot of which I would agree with.

      However, I note you started with the 90 day Act. I was the author of that, and I think that it has been shown to be a success. It has opened up opportunity. So that is one I do not agree with.

      NZ was the only OECD country that did not have a trial period in its employment law. I chose 90 days because it was the most moderate time frame among the OECD. Most countries have 6 months or a year.

      I thought that over time it would become an accepted part of the IR landscape. Well, not yet, but if the Nats get in for another 3 years it probably will. On the other hand if Labour gets in they will repeal it, but I suspect they may come up with an alternative that goes some way to deal with the issue (but perhaps not, given the hostility that Helen Kelly has to it).

      • RedLogix 11.3.1

        The problem is not so much the ‘trial period’ Wayne – but the lack of rules or fair process around it.

      • QoT 11.3.2

        It has opened up opportunity.

        What opportunities has it opened up which weren’t already there under the previous law, which allowed trial periods but gave workers their basic rights to be treated fairly?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 11.3.2.1

          It’s provided opportunity for the National Party’s clients to further drive wages down and helped the strong prey on the weak, and we see the results in their ongoing war on New Zealand’s people, values and interests.

      • miravox 11.3.3

        “I note you started with the 90 day Act. I was the author of that, and I think that it has been shown to be a success”

        I wonder if you can show where it has been shown to be a success?

        As for 90 days being a moderate time-frame, it is exactly the opposite (with the exception of some easily learned jobs) – just enough time for a new employee to be brought in for a short-term contract and let go, and not nearly long enough for employees to prove their worth or establish a fit with the company culture. 12-months would have been fairer but that’s a problem with an agenda based on economic cost rather than social cost – short-termism.

        The previous law was doing the job well enough for a 90-day trial period to weed out the people who good businesses found were no up to the job. Your 90-day version just made it easy to sack people who might be good, but chose lousy companies to work for.

  11. Naki Man 12

    There is no child poverty in new Zealand just useless lazy parents and far to much welfare.
    Dum arse parents that want the state to feed there kids. If you cant feed them don’t breed them.
    Truth is it only cost about $2 for breakfast. Some useless parents want there kids to go hungry
    so they can have money for sky tv smokes piss and cell phones.

    • bad12 12.1

      Pathetic comment of the week award goes here, with a slow hand clap for being able to use a computer keyboard with an obviously dead head…

      • Arfamo 12.1.1

        +1

        Also

        Their kids, not there kids
        Dumb, not dum
        Can’t, not cant (which actually means hypocritical and sanctimonious talk, typically of a moral, religious, or political nature)
        It only costs, not it only cost
        Meet the comma -> ,

        Back2 skool 4U aye?

        • Will@Welly 12.1.1.1

          Well said, bad12 & Arfamo. + 1. Suspect Naki Man is former colleague/class mate of Key or Joyce or some such other “noble” Tory inbred. Obviously early protege of National Standards.

    • Macro 12.2

      Here is what the Herald Editorial writer had to say on the matter:

      “Child poverty should not exist in this country. Blaming parents is pointless. No child should be left under-nourished or shivering in an uninsulated house. No child should suffer the preventable diseases of poverty. New Zealand can afford to rescue its most vulnerable citizens from neglect and abuse.”

      And your idiotic response?

      “There is no child poverty in new Zealand just useless lazy parents and far to much welfare”

      So $2 for breakfast..right!. and lunch and dinner and clothing and heating and transport to and from school and….

      You are aware that there are now 48,000 more unemployed since 2008…

      That includes parents who were working and are now not.. but still have children.

      You really don’t think to much do you?

      Maybe the economic travesty that is NAct hasn’t affected you too much, I can’t say it has effected me too much either, but that doesn’t give you the right to not be aware of the burgeoning crisis of child poverty that is now occurring in NZ.

    • @ Naki Man – I guess by burying your head in the sand and engaging in judgemental victim-blaming, you feel justified in shrugging your shoulders and not feeling responsible for being part of the problem.

      Naki Man, I’ve no idea if you really believe the trip that you’ve been posting here – but assuming you do, you exhibit all the symptoms of psychopathy. A lack of empathy with others, first and foremost.

      Just remember one thing as you keep telling yourself “there is no child poverty in new Zealand just useless lazy parents” – kids have no choice which family they are born into. Even someone with a blighted social conscience like yours must be able to comprehend that one, simple truth.

  12. adam 13

    The state always goes for option A) plausible denial.

    If they think they can get away with they will – and quite frankly they been getting away with a lot – so what one more little thing. (note: drippings of sarcasm here)

    Until there is a major rupture which fundamentally changes how business is done – then this is how business is done.

    Keep thinking voting will change anything and this is what you deserve; feel ashamed, feel ripped off, feel as if your powerless. Because that is the outcome of toleration of neo-liberalism and the false belief this sick puppy can be reformed. It is a nasty beast which feeds off the weak, the poor and the helpless. And all the time what’s left of the middle classes consumer there way to happiness, at the end of a bottle or a pipe – take your poison.

    Don’t cry a river – do something – anything. Join a credit union, leave your bank.

    Go here http://www.garalperovitz.com/ and try some of the ideas. This is not working. End the madness.

  13. Naki Man 14

    what was wrong with that comment?

    • bad12 14.1

      Not only a dead head i would suggest, but suffering paranoid delusions as well…

      • RedLogix 14.1.1

        I thought it was a fine example of Poe’s Law in action… with a little touch of the Sunday Horrors.

        • Rogue Trooper 14.1.1.1

          to paraphrase Alan Morgan- “Any sufficiently advanced tr00l is indistinguishable from a genuine ‘truther’.”

    • Arfamo 14.2

      what was wrong with that comment?

      Grammatically, quite a lot, as I explained beneath it.
      Content-wise, nothing. It was immediately apparent from it that all else from you will probably also not be worth reading for anything other than more examples of the failure of the education system.

  14. Bill 15

    Am I alone in thinking that the term ‘child poverty’ is kind of misleading and a distraction? Poverty generally refers to financial standing – and children have never had any of that. I mean, the term almost suggests that if kids were given more pocket money then they’d be fine.

    It also suggests that it’s legitimate to settle for secondary or oblique references to the fucked and deteriorating financial position of many, many adults who are somehow meant to provide material well being to their children from an empty pot….and allows for them (the parents) to be blamed on the grounds of being remiss.

    Better that, I guess, than a direct and focused debate on the inevitably misanthropic consequences of market economics running alongside the deliberate and politically motivated running down of health services and housing and general welfare provisioning. We’re good people thinking of the children afterall. And we can tinker a solution, yes?

    edit – read some comments after submitting and heartened to see that some others are of a similar persuasion :-)

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      +1

      the point being that the power elite don’t care about poverty, adult or child.

    • Rogue Trooper 15.2

      “We’re caught in a [developmental] trap
      ( some Family background )
      and we can’t build our dreams, on Suspicious Minds.
      all indications point to the leverage of education, yet, what’s that the trees are saying?
      -20% non-achieving tail
      -cuts to early childhood funding
      -cuts to adult education
      -recent PISA falls…
      -children falling asleep in classes; nutrition and social media implicated.

      “whispering grass, don’t tell the trees, ’cause the trees don’t want to know.”.

    • Draco T Bastard 15.3

      +1000

  15. Naki Man 16

    You spoon fed socialist losers think that throwing money at a problem will make it go away. These parents will always be poor. More money will not change that.

    • Arfamo 16.1

      Move along please. You can’t stand here dressed like that.

    • Macro 16.2

      So you admit there is a problem…
      So what then, would your solution be?
      Remember it must NOT cost anything. Well more to the point – it must not cost YOU anything. Which really says more about you than anything, doesn’t it.
      Loser.

    • Colonial Viper 16.3

      Why should some people earn a million dollars a year from society, but as a society we let hundreds of thousands go hungry?

      Don’t you believe in social and economic justice?

      • dv 16.3.1

        >>Why should some people earn a million dollars a year from society

        Why should some people EXTRACT a million dollars a year from society

    • RedLogix 16.4

      Naki

      I invite you to read this thread little more carefully. There is a lot more to this conversation here than simply ‘throwing money at the problem’.

      In their current circumstances I agree that: “These parents will always be poor.” I agree that the reasons why they are poor run a lot deeper than just a lack of money.

      For much of the last seven years I lived right next door to these people. I’ve held back from exploiting their stories here just because I could – but I could relate to you things that would make your ears bleed. (And be routine stuff for your average social worker or cop.)

      I know that just throwing money at them rarely changes much. I know that a rare few find their own inner strength to escape under their own steam, but most cannot or are just not that lucky. These people have been shit-magnets all their lives and that doesn’t change unless they can change their circumstances dramatically.

      It’s why so many poorer Kiwis have done so well for themselves by moving to Australia.

      And I agree that many have been so abused, drugged, suffered brain-trauma (90% of prison inmates have a head injury), malnourished or just plain beaten down that it’s a long hard, uncertain job to turn that around for them. But you might want to consider how we could change things for their kids….

    • KJT 16.5

      The same people were not poor in the 70’s. They were building roads, dams and houses, planting trees, making clothes and eating from their own gardens. Ask yourself, what changed?

      • Naki Man 16.5.1

        What has changed? House’s are a lot bigger and have far more electrical appliances
        people want to have more toys, There was no DPB when I was a kid, we had bugger all but there was always food on the table. there is no excuse for not feeding clothing and keeping your kids warm

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 16.5.1.1

          No-one made any excuses. I recommend remedial English Comprehension 101 for your problem.

        • Tracey 16.5.1.2

          well, if you were ok, everyone else must be. Glad you cleare dit up.

          Mr Key conceded last week that many people live below “the breadline”. His words.

          • Naki Man 16.5.1.2.1

            Well then we should just print lots of money for everyone, it works for Wussel and the Gweens. Lets just have a minimum wage of $50 per hour and massive unemployment

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 16.5.1.2.1.2

              Naki Man swallowed the lie that the Greens proposed that we should print money. The poor fuckwit is too stupid to check what the actual policy proposal was, and now looks like a parrot who ate some shit and is now coughing it up.

              I bet the moran won’t even blame the source of the lie for making them look like a dupe.

              What a tool. We need better wingnuts.

              • Arfamo

                Naki Man is just pulling everyone’s tits for a laugh. Probably a bored Young Nat or an old Nat pretending to be one. I’ll come back later and see if anyone’s woken up and left him to peter out.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  So you’re saying that Naki Man is fully aware that their comments have no basis in fact, but makes them anyway, because of a purported constituency of similarly well-informed jokers who promote these indistinguishable-from-the-effects-of-a-civil-war-hate-based-policies for fun?

                  Subtle.

                  • Arfamo

                    No. You’re saying that. I’m saying Naki Man is just pulling everyone’s tits for a laugh, and that now I’ve come back for a look it seems he’s pulled the tits he wanted to, got bored, petered out, and gone away.

                • Lloyd

                  Arfamo, I think you are wrong.

                  I think Naki man believes what he is writing. I know several of my fellow workers who parrot similar lines. These fellow workers who complain of their financial circumstances and the difficulties they see for their children in getting a home in the future still believe they shouldn’t vote Labour because Labour will bring back the welfare state,”and look where that has got us”. A spiel about dole bludgers then ensures. I pity my fellow workers who cannot see that the circumstances that keep the most dependent in our society on the ropes are the same circumstances that keep them awake worrying about their kids futures – and that the cause for almost all those circumstances is neo-liberal policies of both past Labour and the present government.

                  They still believe all the TINA arguments. They can’t remember the New Zealand of the 1970’2 where those beneficiaries of today were then reasonably paid workers at the freezing works or wharf.

                  The sad thing is they don’t realise that taking care of the poorest children will directly benefit everyone in our society. The poor spend the money they receive so any benefit quickly goes on to stimulate the economy, Keeping kids healthy removes reservoirs of disease in our society, meaning we individually are less likely to get a disease. Keeping the poorest fed and cased for means we are less likely to find the poor stealing from us. Making sure poor kids are well educated means they might be able to earn enough money to support our superannuation payments when we are old. And educating kids and making sure they can hear the teacher reduces the chance that those kids will end up in a life of crime and therefore means that we won’t have to pay the huge costs of keeping them in prison.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    In the old days the union movement amongst others would be providing political economic education for these workers.

                    That doesn’t happen now. These days such workers get their political economic education from the MSM, Radio Live etc. And even Labour says we can’t afford this, we can’t afford that. And National are excellent are playing to widespread prejudices – divide and conquer. So sad yes; but not sure anything different can be expected given the current circumstances.

            • Colonial Viper 16.5.1.2.1.3

              Well then we should just print lots of money for everyone, it works for Wussel and the Gweens. Lets just have a minimum wage of $50 per hour and massive unemployment

              1) First, do you accept that all the major central banks of the world (the Fed, BoJ, BoE, ECB, etc.) are ‘printing money’ on a large scale?

              2) Why would anyone set a minimum wage which is 3x a living wage?

              3) Do you accept that a minimum wage is absolutely necessary to prevent businesses driving wages down to a dollar an hour?

        • Macro 16.5.1.3

          and almost 100% employment
          and a decent benefit if you happened to become unemployed.
          and state housing at affordable rentals,
          and a child allowance
          and wages that were more equitable than they are today.

          You live in the past you stupid man – wake up we are now beset with the tyranny of 3 decades of neo-liberal stupidity, and things are VASTLY different from the 1960’s

        • KJT 16.5.1.4

          If you were a kid about the same time as me, there was a universal family benefit that was enough money to keep a child.

          And a senior shop assistants wage was enough to keep a family.

    • @ Nake Man

      Neither will doing nothing to address the problem.

      • Naki Man 16.6.1

        I did not say people chucked in there jobs. Have you heard of the global financial crisis?
        Some people just don’t want to work and are on welfare as a lifestyle choice
        I have met people that wont work because they don’t want to pay back there student loans

        • Arfamo 16.6.1.1

          Really? How many of them have you met exactly? And did they tell you this or did your amazing powers of deduction render such a discussion unnecessary?

        • Tracey 16.6.1.2

          “Some people just don’t want to work and are on welfare as a lifestyle choice”

          How many?

          What percentage of those on benefits?

          can you link to any facts to support your view, as opposed to what you “think” based on what some politicians want you to think?

          Here’s a link to some facts, not opinions on the matter.

          http://werewolf.co.nz/2011/02/ten-myths-about-welfare/

          1. Anyone who wants to get off welfare can get a job.

          No, they can’t. In the last two months of 2010, the number of people receiving the dole rose by 4,536 to 67,084, and rose again in January to 68, 087. The number of people out of work stands at 158,000. One in three of the people currently on the dole were over 40 years of age – and many of them suffer from age discrimination in the job market. (There were 112,865 people on a domestic purposes benefit at the end of December, 85,105 on an invalid’s benefit and 59,988 on a sickness benefit.)

          As one would expect, the dole numbers have risen steeply since the recession began. In the mid 2000s, dole numbers had shrunk to around 17,000 – one quarter of the current number, and solid proof that the problem is not a lack of motivation and/or of strong incentives. The vast majority of people want to work. The history of the last ten years in particular shows that when jobs exist, people work. Conversely, no amount of self-motivation by a solo parent will create a job at her local supermarket when they are laying off staff.

          It is a very odd situation. The same politicians who have been unable to manage an economy so that it employs people, are now blaming people for not finding jobs that do not exist. Nothing in this process is directly about reducing or alleviating poverty. It is mainly about reducing costs by making it harder for families to access the assistance they need in adversity – and this is being done in part at least, to make up for the revenue given away in last year’s tax cuts. It is part of the wealth transfer from the poorer to wealthier members of New Zealand society occurring on the government’s watch.

        • Frank Macskasy 16.6.1.3

          I did not say people chucked in there jobs. Have you heard of the global financial crisis?

          Naki Man – whilst you refer to the Global Financial Crisis as a response – you don’t seem to make the connection between the Crisis; the resultant Recession; and the destruction of jobs and collapse of companies.

          Because in the next cyber-breath, you still default to beneficiary-blaming;

          …Some people just don’t want to work and are on welfare as a lifestyle choice
          I have met people that wont work because they don’t want to pay back there student loans

          Aside from the fact that your suggestion is sheer lunacy that that someone went to University; spent several years getting a degree; accrued a student debt – all to go on the benefit to receive $196 a week (net) to avoid repaying that debt?!?!

          Do you realise how goddamn fucked up that suggestion is?!?!

          Do you even think through the implications of your line of thought and arguments?!?!

          Try again.

    • Will@Welly 16.7

      “These parents will always be poor.” – Well, Naki Man, such pertinent insights, obviously an inside finance man, maybe even a Finance Minister masquerading as a simple Taranaki farmer. Money never solves any issues does it, unless you happen to be rich.

    • Ad 16.8

      Taranaki is exceedingly lucky to have had wise governance for some time. I’m sure you’re aware of this.

      1. When the Bolger government required the sale of regional banks 25 years ago, the TSB refused and stayed locally owned. This has enabled really high circulation of local capital to local people and business employing locvals – so little interest gets sucked out of the region, and so much donor and lending capital ends up back in ‘naki hands.

      2. When the Council sold the Contact Energy shares, the fund formed and remained within public sector hands for the benefit of the Council and its citizens – and it has grown and grown. In fact grown to the point where New Plymouth ratepayers can can see their rates stabilize and even lower.

      Both sterling examples of Taranaki’s “socialist losers” “throwing money at a problem”, where local money is changing the community positively, and where there’s a comparatively low level of poverty in the regional around New Plymouth as a result.

      Individuals almost never alter poverty as a whole. Only a smart public sector has the combination of scale and time needed to really tilt poverty. Luckily you’re on the right site for getting educated on this.

    • @ Naki Man –

      Unemployment in January 2008 was 3.4% (78,000). By October 2012 it had reached 7.3% (173,000).

      (Analysis tools:
      http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/unemployment-rate
      http://www.tradingeconomics.com/new-zealand/unemployed-persons)

      So are you seriously telling us that 95,000 people decided to chuck in their jobs and go on the dole to receive the princely sum of $196 a week, nett?

      Be careful how you answer that – supporters of neo-liberalism already have a poor rep for rational responses. Mindless prejudice and cliches don’t cut it. I trust you can offer us an insight as to where 95,000 jobs went?

  16. Naki Man 17

    Yes there is a problem but calling it child poverty is crap. I already pay plenty of tax to support these people. More money will not help them. We get paid well where I work, there are people who
    are millionaires and some who rent a house and have very little. Some people will always struggle
    I guess life and budgeting skills, good health, no gambling, drugs not much piss is part of the solution

    • RedLogix 17.1

      Very well, but you will find around here that just making the same assertions over and over is not a conversation. Actually that’s true on most blogs.

      The general idea is that you read the thread and what other people are saying, think about it a bit – and then address what they are saying.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 17.1.1

        He’s said it three times now, this poor excuse for a Bellman.

        I always wonder whether they believe the lies and hate speech they spew out, or whether they’re just too fucking stupid to understand the issues involved. I think Naki Man falls into the latter category.

        • KJT 17.1.1.1

          Often just uncomprehending/unthinking, or badly informed.

          I find if I describe individual cases to even the most rabid right winger, they answer, “we should be helping that person more, but what about these people?”
          Then they go on to recount one of the ten welfare myths.
          http://werewolf.co.nz/2011/02/ten-myths-about-welfare/
          Of course it is more comfortable to believe in the myths, than admitting the truth, that we can get to pay a few dollars less tax, by keeping thousands of children in poverty.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 17.1.1.1.1

            I think Naki Man just wants to wear a uniform and drive one of the trucks.

      • lprent 17.1.2

        And if you don’t then a moderator gets annoyed and terminates your ability to leave comments…

    • so..naki man..

      ..how do those countries that have the least/minimal child poverty…

      ..how do they do this..?

      ..d’yareckon..?

      ..and you do know a definition of ‘poverty’ is not having enough money for a basic standard of living..?

      ..so however you look at it..

      ..contrary to what you say..

      ..’more money’ will help them..

      ..in fact..for any ‘solution’ not involving ‘more money’…

      ..that will just bring you back to the deeply cynical justifications/lies of bennett..

      ..and no real changes/improvements..

      ..and of course..this attitude you express is partly yet another manifestation of the nine years of brainwashing under labour..

      ..that there are ‘good/deserving-poor children’..and ‘bad/undeserving-poor children’..

      ..which involved a labour govt turning their backs on those poorest..cutting their incomes..and added insult to injury with all those tory-hectoring labour ministers..and clark..

      ..who peddled this poison..

      ..and of course this all climaxed with ‘working for (some) families’..eh..?

      ..you are just spouting that same old labour-neo-lib bullshit..

      ..that stuff that so/too many who still stare out at us from the labour benches..

      ..peddled for those nine long years..

      ..and what i still not have heard them resile from..let alone apologise for..

      ..phillip ure..

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 17.2.1

        Nah, Naki Man wasn’t brainwashed: Labour certainly encouraged his cretinous hatred, but he seems a bit of a Titford to me: he wants to start building “work” “camps”: all he lacks is the authority.

        • KJT 17.2.1.1

          Naki doesn’t realise how lucky he was to be born in New Zealand.

          Where we support everyone.

          Rather than a country where people with his level of comprehension, live in cardboard boxes on the street.

          • Arfamo 17.2.1.1.1

            I see nothing in Naki Man’s comments that even warrants discussion. Why not let him or her just flame away until he or she gets bored and goes away?

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 17.2.1.1.1.1

              For the same reason that I’d intervene to stop someone being beaten. When a bully steps forward the best thing to do is step forward first, to confront the bully and see to it that they answer for their behaviour. Telling the loser lefties what for is all part of that Titford character, that born-to-rule arrogance.

              There was a time when I had difficulty understanding the contempt with which older hands would refer to “scabs”.

              • Arfamo

                Fair enough. But Naki Man seems pretty clearly the type who you can hit over the head with a brick numerous times to get them to see reason and they carry on ranting regardless, completely unaware the brick has by now pushed their head into their sternum.

    • McFlock 17.3

      Here’s the funny thing about poverty:

      If you give enough money to poor people, it DOES solve their poverty problem!

    • @ Naki Man – “More money will not help them.”

      Is that why Key gave two tax cuts in 2009 and 2010 to the top income earners in this country?

  17. Ad 18

    A development to watch for is NZ Treasury’s “Social Development Bonds”.

    These are Treasury bonds where there’s a social provider who gets the principal to carry out the social development, and there’s a risk taker (the bond-holder) who gets a premium. But the bond holder gets the premium only on successful completion of the social development outputs by the provider.

    The essence of this is that the state outsources risk for social development (or “poverty” if you like) as a whole.

    This is under active discussion with the major donor trusts and Treasury right now.

    • just saying 18.1

      God, what a nightmare.

      So the social agencies that are supposed to help pick up the losers of this cruel capitalist game, have to pick the best-off losers to help – those with the most personal resources already – in order to satisfy their shareholders and procure future “investors” – in order to have any resources to help anyone at all. That and fiddle the numbers

      Sounds very familiar….

  18. Ad 19

    An interesting initiative that occurred in the UK a couple of years ago is the state passing legislation about long-dormant bank accounts.

    UK banks were creaming interest and asset-worthiness from many many accounts dormant for decades ie those with no apparent beneficiaries, long dead or vanished. Banks were able to register them as assets on their books.

    UK banks had no legitimacy to the benefits of having those accounts. So the state passed legislation that those accounts dormant for over 15 years were effectively appropriated by the state into an utterly massive multi-billion pound fund.

    The fund is dedicated to social development with the third sector.

    Would probably take a bold government to do that here, but (I understand) it really motivates the social development third sector.

  19. tricledrown 20

    Naki
    Our prime minister was the product of you can’ t feed em etc
    He was also the product of the anti poverty policies of the first labour govt.
    Relative poverty has just as bad effects as abject poverty.
    Jobs are going to be harder to comeby new technology and cheap slave labour in developing countries.
    We need a less damaging abatement system especially as the future is going to be more about casual part time work.
    Most people who use the unemployment benefit are only on it for a short time.
    Naki by labeling all beneficiries you are just a nasty bully.
    I beieve their are nicer ways to improve our communities than ignorant short sighted nasty bullying.

  20. Fisiani 21

    How many children are actually wealthy? I suspect not many other than a few budding teenage entrepreneurs perhaps. Childhood wealth should surely be a good thing if childhood poverty is deemed to be a bad thing.
    Children in families that do have not much disposable income is a more accurate term than the emotive term childhood poverty which is somewhat meaningless.
    Children in families on intergenerational benefits are obviously most at risk. Thank goodness the government is getting tens of thousands off benefits and into work. Thank goodness the 90 day right to prove yourself law is allowing employers to give beneficiaries with children a chance to earn a decent living. Freeing children from welfare is the real key to helping children and Paula Bennett is investing millions to emancipate the people of New Zealand (for that is the name of our country rather than the Pakeha School Journal inspired name Aotearoa see Michael King -The Penguin History of New Zealand )

    • KJT 21.1

      The right to be a total slave to a poor and incompetent, employers whims for 89 days law, before they sack you for another employee that they can abuse with impunity, knowing that your only other choice is a 13 week stand down, with no money, if you quit sooner.

      Almost worse than the McD merry go around, where they take on a WINZ subsidised employee, then cut their hours as soon as the subsidy runs out, so they have to leave and make room for another subsidised employee.

      Or the part time employee rort, where an employer sets the hours and the call requirements so that the employee cannot take another “casual” job, but the employer never gives them full time hours. Which is what the POAL wharfies were fighting against.

      Already picked up the pieces, in the form of suicidal teenagers, after several rounds of this shit.

      No wonder why some give up on the idea of work altogether.

      Employers already had options for, fair, trials. I’ve had potential employees myself on “work experience” from training centres, and for mutually agreed trails. My best apprentice was an ex burgler and gang member, by the way.

      The training centre trainees, your only obligation is to help them build their work skills, while you can assess their capability, FFS. What more do you need?

      If you can’t assess an employee in a few weeks, or train them to do the job you want, then I suggest you should be looking at your own management skills.
      Contrary to some incompetent managers and supervisors belief, most people want to do a good job and do work they can take pride in.

      Lastly. The 90 day trial restricts labour mobility, the last thing employers really need.
      Employees that have had enough of the job, and want to move on, stay put because of the insecurity for the first 90 days of a new job. You get people, who hate the job, coasting along, instead of looking for another.

      • Rogue Trooper 21.1.1

        been eating your spinach too; you oughta busk ‘em right in the mush.(“That’s all I can stands cuz I can’t stands n’more”).

    • Flip 21.2

      @Fsiani

      ‘Thank goodness the government is getting tens of thousands off benefits and into work.’ Sure numbers are being forced off the benefit but how do you know they are going into work. Is that work improving the quality life for their children? I think without an appropriate research there may be some conclusion jumping.

      I agree the 90-day rule allows employers to take a risk and it is working out for some. There are some who are also abusing the rule and workers and until their is an appropriate balance then it is not a ‘success’.

    • KJT 21.3

      Fizzer. I know a great many teenagers who the Government got, “Off” benefits.

      Including several who live in our basement, on and off, cleaning out all the baked beans in our fridge.

      Applying along with thousands of others for non-existent jobs while WINZ staff keep inventing petty reasons to keep them off the rolls.

      Occasionally getting apart time Mcjobs that are not enough to live on, but again gives WINZ an excuse to get them off the welfare roll.

      They haven’t moved “off” into jobs. They have moved off onto living, as best they can, on friends or family, if they have any.

      There are no bloody jobs to move “off” to!

  21. The new Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills could see that the failure to properly measure such an important statistic was crazy.

    Actually, what’s crazy here is that we’ve spent 40 years actively encouraging the production of children in an environment that’s likely to result in child poverty, neglect and abuse, and now we’re wringing our hands about increasing child poverty, neglect and abuse. Uh, duh-uh.

    The reason Bennett’s “beneficiary-bashing” is so popular is that most voters are rational enough to figure out that doing something to discourage the production of children in dodgy environments makes sense and upping the financial incentives for such production would not. The inability or unwilingness to recognise that will be a major shortcoming of the next Labour government.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 22.1

      “Makes sense”.

      Only to authoritarian dupes.

      • Psycho Milt 22.1.1

        You’re chuffed at 40 years of increase in the proportion of parents and children totally dependent on state authorities, but I’m the authoritarian – makes as much sense as anything else you post here, I guess.

        • McFlock 22.1.1.1

          40 years?

          …because we didn’t have child poverty before the DPB?

          why do you think it was introduced?

          • Psycho Milt 22.1.1.1.1

            …because we didn’t have child poverty before the DPB?

            We did, yes. But it’s been increasing, apparently – didn’t you read the post?

            why do you think it was introduced?

            Not so that we could build up a significant proportion of children of being raised by sole parents on benefits, I’m pretty sure.

            • Arfamo 22.1.1.1.1.1

              I have a niece whose chosen lifestyle includes having children she intends to raise on the benefit with a part-time, non-live-in boyfriend-cum-dad who presumably meets her other needs on as required basis. I disapprove and no longer have anything to do with her – it’s all about what she wants and not about what a child needs.

              I don’t know how she’ll get on with the more stringent job search requirements but she’s just had another child so I guess that puts that problem off for another year or so. She struggles financially and bludges off her parents and charities to do it. But as for how many others choose to do this, and whether it’s really that big a problem, who knows? We never seem to see any actual statistics on the matter.

              • KJT

                Stats NZ has the numbers.

                If you look at the total numbers of young mothers, on the DPB, if breeding for a living is a lifestyle choice, then it is not a popular one!

                If it is, then the answer is to give young women better choices.

                If most of your peers are either on the dole or participating in the “McD merry go round” then “breeding for a living” may look like a good option.

                • Arfamo

                  Well, KJT, this lady simply only “wants to be a mum” and always has done, and doesn’t care about who will fund her choice of “career”. Most of her peers and all of her sisters are not on the dole and have no such aspirations – this is a decidedly upper middle class family. I’ll check out what Stats NZ has by way of numbers. I doubt that she is typical of the usual profile, but who knows. Numbers alone don’t tell us much. But if there was no DPB, perhaps she wouldn’t have chosen this option.

                  • KJT

                    There will always be a few people who abuse the system, like Bill English.

                    Or a friends ex. She has to pack a lunch when her children visit their dad, even though he is a millionaire. He has never paid child support either.

                    It is no reason, though, to stop welfare for the majority, who are in genuine need. Including the children of the woman, in question.

                    • Arfamo

                      The DPB was meant for women like your friend’s ex. It wasn’t meant for women like my niece. Frankly she is simply using the fact she’s had them and that having been brought into the world they need to be fed and clothed, housed and educated to force someone else to pay for her lifestyle choice. Personally I think she is suffering a long-standing personality disorder and that her kids will stand a good chance of being dysfunctional and bitter when they hit their teens.

                      She is one of those who cause others in genuine need from abandonment to be penalised and vilified by this government.

                    • KJT

                      There will always be a few who take advantage.

                      We can afford the few millions lost through the small proportion of welfare recipients that do so.

                      We cannot afford the billions lost through those at the top end, who will not pay their share, despite having most of our wealth.

                    • KJT

                      There will always be a few who take advantage.

                      We can afford the few millions lost through the small proportion of welfare recipients that do so.

                      We cannot afford the billions lost through those at the top end, who will not pay their share, despite having most of our wealth.

                      And. Sorry. Poor wording. It is the friend who was on the DPB.
                      Now working as a Teacher, after bringing up two boys with no help from their father..
                      Her ex, is the wealthy bludger who went off with another woman..

            • KJT 22.1.1.1.1.2

              I hate to burst your bubble, but, the statistically typical women on the DPB, have reasonably well off ex husbands who hide their income to avoid paying child support, are middle aged and had the children while thinking they were in a secure relationship and/or employment.
              They are most often women who have had to leave a relationship because of violence, divorce or because the husband has found a younger version.

              The hords of over-breeding teenage mums taking over the world is a product of the fevered imaginations of some middle aged men. I suspect the ones who were not popular with the girls at high school..

            • McFlock 22.1.1.1.1.3

              The big spike in child poverty was in 1991.
              Not when the dpb was introduced.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 22.1.1.2

          “Chuffed” – citation needed.

          And yes, authoritarian, victim blaming, as though the poverty is caused by the actions of the poor – their “bad choices”. Right wing drivel by any other name.

    • Flip 22.2

      @Physco Milt
      You’ll need to explain how we have ‘actively encouraging the production of children’. I hadn’t noticed it. I thought it has been about contraception and abortion education and planned parenting. The only thing that has been encouraged is growth. That does come from children but birth rates in NZ have declined. I won’t bother with the rest of your ‘point’ as it depends on a false assertion.

      • Psycho Milt 22.2.1

        I probably wouldn’t have to explain it if you’d read the whole clause, which is “encouraging the production of children in an environment that’s likely to result in child poverty, neglect and abuse.” That has nothing to do with birth rates or population growth.

        • KJT 22.2.1.1

          Surely then, the answer is to change the environment.

          If the Psycho Milts of this world were really concerned about poor children they would be advocating the surest method of ensuring children are not born into poverty. Eradicating poverty!

          And, if they were really concerned about a high number of births to poor women they would be advocating the one proven method of lowering birth rates of poor women. Increasing the wealth, status and choices available to young women.

          • Psycho Milt 22.2.1.1.1

            …the surest method of ensuring children are not born into poverty. Eradicating poverty!

            Brilliant! I suggest we do this as soon as we’ve finished ensuring people don’t suffer illness by eradicating illness.

            Surely then, the answer is to change the environment.

            Exactly. We need to change the environment in which people without the means, ability or inclination to raise children are paid to produce them. The question is, how do we do that while still satisfying the original purpose of the DPB?

            ..if they were really concerned about a high number of births to poor women they would be advocating the one proven method of lowering birth rates of poor women. Increasing the wealth, status and choices available to young women.

            Worth a try. Let’s see – we could offer stuff like, oh I dunno – maybe state housing, a public health system, a social welfare system, a public education system, subsidised contraception. I’m sure if the government just cared enough and was brave enough to implement those things, this problem would quickly solve itself – oh, wait…

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 22.2.1.2

          This has nothing to do with birth rates and population growth, and everything to do with victim blaming and cant. Plus what KJT said.

        • Flip 22.2.1.3

          Picked up on the word ‘actively’ in your original post which you left out of the second. I could not understand how the government had actively encouraged the production of children.

          I agree it is an irresponsible choice to have children when you cannot afford them or to obtain a benefit but some people are. The poor do not have the monopoly on irresponsibility just fewer choices about how to be irresponsible and no money to cover it up.

          Perhaps some education in values and responsibility would be more useful.

    • miravox 22.3

      What’s crazy here is that we’ve spent 40 years actively encouraging the production of substandard or unaffordable housing and the reduction of wages, education and employment to such an extent that four out of 10 children who are living in poverty are in families with (a) working parent(s).

      Stressed, poor and over-extended parents increase the likelihood of neglect and abuse. The inability or unwillingness to recognise this will see the demise of the current National government.

  22. Philj 23

    Xox

    Naki,
    For your own good, I suggest you hold on to your money really tightly, just in case…

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    Redline | 20-10
  • Members of the public stop donating to the SPCA over position on 1080
    Steve Atwood that posted this letter to the SPCA on Facebook the other day. Steve is a great guy and takes some brilliant wildlife photos. We have republished Steve’s letter to the SPCA with his permission. Dear SPCA, I write...
    Gareth’s World | 20-10
  • The struggles of everyday life
    A photo of Asher (right) face-to-face with a cop, taken at a protest outside the Labour Party Conference in 2007, following the so-called “terror raids”, taken by Simon Oosterman. (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • West Auckland new network consultation
    Consultation for the West Auckland portion of the new network is now underway. This follows the consultations for Pukekohe/Waiuku, Warkworth, Hibiscus Coast and South Auckland. The consultation runs from today till Monday 1st December. It’s a consultation I’ll be following...
    Transport Blog | 20-10
  • The gerrymanders and National’s 2017 constraints
    Parliament is back in business with National in charge to a degree not seen since first-past-the-post “parliamentary dictatorship” days — thanks to three successful gerrymanders and one failed one. Two of the successful gerrymanders were National’s contrivances to get its...
    Colin James | 20-10
  • Ocean heat storage: a particularly lousy policy target
    The New York Times, 12 December 2027: After 12 years of debate and negotiation, kicked off in Paris in 2015, world leaders have finally agreed to ditch the goal of limiting global warming to below 2 °C. Instead, they have...
    Real Climate | 20-10
  • Sanctions and bombs: how the UN and western powers committed mass murder in...
    This article first appeared in revolution magazine’s Middle East bulletin MidEast Solidarity, issue #1, Spring 2001. It looks at the division of labour between the United Nations and western imperialist powers in committing mass murder in Iraq in the 1990s;...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Sanctions and bombs: how the UN and western powers committed mass murder in...
    This article first appeared in revolution magazine’s Middle East bulletin MidEast Solidarity, issue #1, Spring 2001. It looks at the division of labour between the United Nations and western imperialist powers in committing mass murder in Iraq in the 1990s;...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Luke Harding and the spy as editor
    Originally published at Overland I was writing a chapter on the NSA’s close, and largely hidden, relationship with Silicon Valley. I wrote that Snowden’s revelations had damaged US tech companies and their bottom line. Something odd happened. The paragraph I...
    Bat bean beam | 20-10
  • I quite like beer, the rugby no so much
    Phil Quin put a post up yesterday chiding Grant Robertson for what he sees as an overly cautious approach to political messaging and urging him to be more warlike in his phraseology because New Zealanders clearly have a deep, deep...
    Pundit | 20-10
  • Speech from the Throne: State Opening of Parliament, 21 Oct
    Speech – Governor General Following the General Election, a National-led Government has been formed with a majority in the House on confidence and supply. Confidence and supply agreements have been signed between the National Party and, respectively, the ACT Party...
    Its our future | 20-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the latest TPP leaks
    Column – Gordon Campbell The release by Julian Assange on Wikileaks of the draft Trands Pacific Partnership chapter on intellectual property including drug patents – contains some pretty disturbing evidence about whats still on the table.Gordon Campbell on the latest...
    Its our future | 20-10
  • United Nations: friend or foe?
    Many well-intentioned people still see the United Nations as some kind of alternative to imperialism. Below we’re reprinting an article that first appeared in issue #2 of MidEast Solidarity (Autumn 2002), the Middle East bulletin of revolution magazine. The anti-imperialist...
    Redline | 20-10
  • 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
  • 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
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • 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
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • 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
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 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....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Kellogg cereal donations help the Sallies feed those in need
    Kellogg New Zealand commits 64,000 serves of breakfast cereal during World Food Day Coinciding with World Food Day this year, Kellogg New Zealand and The Salvation Army are reaching out to less fortunate Kiwis with the donation of 64,000 serves...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • National Slips, Labour Hits Lows
    National fail to get post-election bounce but leaderless Labour Party crash to lowest ever support...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZ parents hope for more than just happy and healthy babies
    Auckland, 16 October 2014 – What do expectant mums and dads hope for their children? According to new research from Growing Up in New Zealand , a baby’s health and happiness may be high up on the list, but today’s...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
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