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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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    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • The week in politics vs. Gilmore Girls
    This week in politics: Andrew Little became leader of the Labour Party. Julia Gillard spoke at the University of Auckland about gender and politics. Gerry Brownlee was fined for breaching airport security. Tony Abbott threw down with Vladimir Putin at APEC....
    On the Left | 19-11
  • Whither the class line?
    In 1995 I published a book that explored the interaction between the state, organised labor and capital in the transitions to democracy in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The book was theoretically rooted in neo-or post-Gramscian thought as well as the...
    Kiwipolitico | 19-11
  • This video shows the pain caused by NZ’s current benefit system
    Darryn bravely talks about the stigma that comes with being on the benefit, and how that has affected his life. This stigma is just one of the many problems our current benefit system creates. These problems would be removed if...
    Gareth’s World | 19-11
  • Climate change: The cost of past inaction
    For the past 20 years, New Zealand's climate change policy has been one of inaction and delay. While we've seen no less than four failed attempts at putting a price on carbon (including the current ETS), we've never really tried...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • Policy of fear
    Community groups have a vital role in New Zealand. In addition to speaking out on social problems such as poverty, mental illness and addiction, they also often have a direct role in fixing them via government funding. Unfortunately there's an...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47A
    A carbon tax could bolster wobbly progress in renewable energy A dam revival, despite risks Congress is about to sabotage Obama’s historic climate deal David Cameron urges Tony Abbott to do more on climate change G20 pledges lift Green Climate...
    Skeptical Science | 19-11
  • ‘Consult on promotions policy’: TEU to Auckland VC
    TEU is asking the vice-chancellor of the University of Auckland to engage in a process of consultation on the university’s Academic Grades, Standards and Criteria policy and other policies so the two sides can avoid further litigation. Earlier this month the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared
      This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Real reasons to fear Government’s new approach to child poverty
    Now  I really am worried.  Selling state houses is bad enough but a taking a ‘social investment focus’ to deal with child poverty? “The Treasury will issue a Request for Information inviting submissions from people who work with vulnerable New...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Power to the people!
    With all the huffing and puffing of the election out of the way and the right-wing still in ascendancy after 30 years of community-sapping neoliberalism it was a pleasure to attend a strike by workers at Carl’s Jr in Lincoln...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: OIA reveals WINZ trespassing 400 people a year
    W.I.N.Z is broken and it’s breaking my heart. Every year WINZ issues trespass notices to just under 400 people. 2008 / 418 2009 /  382 2010 /  347 2011 /  411 2012 /  373 2013 /  384 And this year...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • So David Farrar and the Government were wrong on gangs after all?
    Oh the predictability of this… Ministers acted on inaccurate gang data Cabinet signed off tough new measures to tackle gangs on the basis of inaccurate information which over-estimated the scale of the crime problem. The briefing paper told ministers 4000...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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