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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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    . . FROM: "f.macskasy" SUBJECT: Letters to the editor DATE: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:56:14 +1200 TO: "Dominion Post" <letters@dompost.co.nz>  . The Editor DOMINION POST . A New Zealand citizen is killed - murdered, to be more precise - by...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • Letter to the Editor: John Key and State-sanctioned murder
    . . FROM: "f.macskasy" SUBJECT: Letters to the editor DATE: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:56:14 +1200 TO: "Dominion Post" <letters@dompost.co.nz>  . The Editor DOMINION POST . A New Zealand citizen is killed - murdered, to be more precise - by...
    Frankly Speaking | 17-04
  • Judith Collins explains
    Judith Collins explains what really happened at that dinner, and why it's no big deal....
    Imperator Fish | 17-04
  • Citibanker: the age of renewables is here
    Kathryn Ryan’s interview earlier this week with Michael Eckhart, Managing Director and Global Head of Environmental Finance and Sustainability at the giant investment bank Citigroup was arresting. He was in New Zealand as a keynote speaker at the Wind Energy...
    Hot Topic | 17-04
  • Media Links: Kiwi killed in drone strike.
    I did interviews on TV 3 and Radio NZ about the drone strike that killed a Kiwi dual citizen in Yemen last year. There are many questions raised by the incident, but time constraints precluded addressing all of them. The...
    Kiwipolitico | 17-04
  • Photo of the Day: Lorne St
    A quick shot of Lorne St in front of the library. It appears Brobdingnagian gardeners have dropped by with some seriously big pot plants. I love them! About the only criticism I every heard about the shared space in Lorne...
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • National: American lickspittles
    Yesterday we learned that America had murdered a New Zealand citizen in a drone strike in Yemen. Today, the government was closely quizzed about its views on this in Parliament. Steven Joyce (standing in for the PM) was very clear:...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • A $130 million gift to the rich
    When the government announced that it was selling off Genesis Energy, it deliberately underpriced it, with a discounted price, generous bonus scheme, and huge dividend. And today that has had the expected result, with Genesis shares leaping almost 20% on...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Defamation via Facebook and ‘a private website’
    This defamation case should be a shot across the bows of various internet wide-boys who think ‘defence of truth’ or ‘opinion honestly held’ is some kind of magic elixir or Get Out of Jail Free card. It’s worth noting the...
    The Paepae | 17-04
  • Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink
    It is three years and one day since Danyl wrote this blog post about South Canterbury Finance. I was re-reading it today, and something stuck out like a sore thumb: December 2008: SCF undertakes a high risk loan strategy, losing...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 17-04
  • Access: I Can’t See You, But You Should See Me
    Being lost for words when you’re a talkback host could hardly be considered ideal. But back in September of 1992, I was hosting an evening talkback show on a fledgling radio station in what was then a newly deregulated, highly...
    Public Address | 17-04
  • Judith Collins: guess who’s coming to dinner?
    Judith Collins, Justice Minister, is playing dumb in parliament at question time and avoiding media. Her patronising responses, or non-responses, to allegations of corrupt influence is not becoming of a Cabinet Minister.  Her abuse of the House by criticising questions...
    Tumeke | 17-04
  • Can fracking save the climate?
    Blogging is a great way MPs can communicate and engage with citizens about the issues facing us. I have joined The Daily Blog blogging team and have so far posted on Anadarko’s failure to find oil and a piece outlining...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • Kiwis still paying too much for ACC
    Kiwis are still paying too much for ACC so that the National Government can balance its books, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “ACC Minister Judith Collins told Cabinet levies were too high but ACC’s proposed cuts would impact the...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Collins’ memory recovery raises further concerns
    Judith Collins sudden memory of briefing the New Zealand Ambassador to China about her dinner with a Chinese border official and her husband's fellow Oravida directors raises further concerns about exactly what was discussed, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This...
    Labour | 21-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive politics should work in the post global financial crisis environment....
    Labour | 20-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting polic...
    Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting police racism and injustice you were undefeated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Maori Party wine and dine invite
    Maori Party wine and dine invite...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget
    For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Never forget the GCSB lies
    Never forget the GCSB lies...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • The Empire strikes back
    The Empire strikes back...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • God bless capitalism
    God bless capitalism...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Drone killings erode social constraint on using violence
    The drone killing of an (unnamed) New Zealander in Yemen should prompt us to look at the ethics of this practice. We’re told from birth that murder is wrong. Yet drone killings (as conducted by the Obama administration) convey the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Labour’s first 100 days – where the messaging needs to be
    ‘The first 100 days’, an expression coined by President Roosevelt in 1933, is generally used to describe the successes and accomplishments of a government at the time when their power is greatest. During the 2008 election campaign, John Key issued...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Pharrell: a new brand of feminism?
    I think most people heard about how the song Blurred Lines featuring and co-written by Pharrell and performed by Robin Thicke (who has adeptly just been named “Sexist of the Year”) really pissed a lot of people off last year. ...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Why Easter holidays should always be mandatory and retail free
    The moaning from retailers that they can’t open the cash registers and worship the consumer culture of consumption over Easter bores me immensely because I’ve always believed that public holidays should be mandatory. It’s not that I really care about...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • ACT Speech: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail
    Last year there were more than 52,000 reported burglaries. According to the Treasury, for every 10 reported burglaries, there are another 12 that go unreported. This means there were more than 120,000 burglaries last year – or over 2000 a...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Derek Leask: Media Advisory Re: Nigel Fyfe MOJ Appointment
    Derek Leask yesterday 20 April 2014 made the following observations in response to a media enquiry about the recently announced appointment of Mr Nigel Fyfe, currently Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Justice (Legal and Operational Services and Legal...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Oceans In The Spotlight At Election Year Oceans Forum
    The marine environment will be in the spotlight at an ‘Election Year Oceans Forum’ at Kelly Tarlton’s SEALIFE Aquarium on April 27 from 10.30-12.30. A panel of non-governmental advocates and scientists will outline challenges facing our seas, and MPs from...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Tariana Turia: Labour doesn’t deserve our vote
    Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that Labour doesn’t deserve the Maori vote. ‘I don’t believe they deserve our vote any more....
    Scoop politics | 20-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
    Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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