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Children’s Commissioner’s report due

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, August 28th, 2012 - 91 comments
Categories: child welfare, class war, poverty - Tags: ,

Today the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group (EAG) report will be released, apparently. In anticipation of this Tim Watkin and Bomber have posts on the poverty issue:

http://www.tumeke.blogspot.co.nz/2012/08/the-death-of-nz-egalitarianism.html

Figures released on Thursday show 21% of children now living in poverty, median household incomes fell 3% while the richest amongst us had their salaries soar leading us to having the highest levels of inequality on record.

How much did the wealthy gain? The average increase in 2011 for executives was $28, 311. That pay rise is more than a minimum wage worker earns in a year, and it get’s better for CEO’s. In 2011 our richest bosses earned on average 22.5 times more than the workers working for them.

Borrowed tax cuts for the wealthy, forcing beneficiaries back to work when there are no jobs, higher unemployment, weaker unions, cut backs to public services and higher GST all have social consequences and we are now seeing the terrible harvest from those social consequences.

This indicates the scale of the problem and the raft of changes that need to be made to provide any significant improvement for NZ’s children.

Watkin offers some possible actions that he guesses might be in the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group report.

http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/solutions-to-child-poverty-easy-as-123#comments

First, the group will call for a Warrant of Fitness for landlords.

Second, it’ll call for meals to be provided more widely in schools.
…Third, the EAG is expected to call for some form of long-term and universal state assistance for kids – maybe a Universal Child Benefit, or some money every week for every child born. Until 1991 we had such a thing – a Family Benefit. That went in the Bolger/Richardson years.

I think the first (rental property WOFs) would be hardest to implement. But this and the other two would go some way to alleviating the immediate dire situation. The UCB would have the longest, most far reaching impact, followed by the meals at school.

But, until the vast levels of inequality are reduced, Watkin’s steps will just be a life raft, not a sustainable destination.

– Carol

Update: The report is out, read it here, a summary here.

91 comments on “Children’s Commissioner’s report due”

  1. insider 1

    Building WoFs would be an absolute political nightmare and logistically near impossible. Look how hard and expensive dealing with visibly damaged buildings in Chch is and multiply that across the country. Labour had a big push on it about 7 years ago and it went nowhere.

    It will be electoral poison. First it will be imposing yet another significant cost on homeowners or tenants, then it could effectively devalue a large chunk of the housing stock (see how Labour runs from CGT on houses for a lesson), then there will be all the appeals from people saying that the assessment is wrong, and then a whole lot of houses rented on the black market or withdrawn from the rental market.

    • Shane Gallagher 1.1

      Impossible? Like having WoFs for every car in the country?

      The financial payback would be huge in health care savings alone (ignoring the common decency/ethical behaviour and basic compassion factors). If you are renting a property you will have the local council inspect it and give it a rating, make insulation and adequate efficient heating mandatory etc. If you want to make some money off something like a rental property then you need to have it at a decent standard that does not make the occupants chronically ill. There is a phone app developed here in Dunedin which allows students to give star ratings on star ratings on flats and it has seen a marked improvement in the standard of flats offered. Kind of like the star ratings you get on trademe – crowd-sourced honesty and reputation.

      Imagine if this was a food product, where you actually made a huge number of people ill every year – sometimes ending their lives prematurely – and see how long you would stay in business.

      This would also reward good landlords (and there are some out there!) who look after their houses and their tenants.

      • insider 1.1.1

        If there is a phone app already in place and you say it has made a marked difference, why bother with all the bureucracy and cost that would surround a WOF? The market appears to be working…

        The big difference with a car is that I can take to a centralised place, there are plenty of them, and the standards are well established. So tell me what would be involved in a building WOF, what the standard would be, how you’d check it was relevant, how you’d confirm a house would meet it, who would do the work, what training would they need, how long would one take, how much would it cost, what rights would homeowners have to challenge the assessment, what period is acceptable for these to be done? There are over 400k rental households in NZ. Ever tried getting a council officer out to do a proper assessment of your property for rating purposes?

        • McFlock 1.1.1.1

          For the same reason cars need wofs, even though some car manufacturers advertise their safety test results.      
               
          Your questions are just standard delaying tactics, and were probably brought out be second hand car dealers when WoFs were initially considered. Now we have the infrastructure to support them, developed because people had to do it.
                   
          Same goes for rental property WoFs. With a bonus being that there’d be greater capacity to assess buildings after a natural disaster, because we’d have more of the people on the ground already trained and able to do the basic checks. 

          • insider 1.1.1.1.1

            To get a wee bit pernickity, cars are mechanical devices, prone to failure, and move at high speeds in crowded areas controlled by fallible people so the risk to life and limb are very real. Houses are very different in terms of risk. So using the same approach to completely different risks is not sensible. It also got a lot of attention around 2005 and it went nowhere for very good reasons.

            So flogging a dead horse slogan could be worse than doing nothing because it could divert resources into poorly thought out approaches, so that everyone pats themselves on the back saying ‘solved that problem’ we don’t have to think about it, but ignoring the real issues.

            And your bonus benefit is really wishful thinking because the skill around assessing an existing building may or may not easily transfer, we just don’t know (though in Chch untrained 19 year olds apparantly could assess buildings for EQC so your skilled workforce actually may be overrated) and those kind of disasters occur rarely – the last one was Napier and I’m not sure much worthwhile widespread knowledge came from that in terms of professional skills applied in Christchurch.

            • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1.1

              The same broad approach can be applied reasonably to the same broad situation:
              1) identify the most common causes of death/illness/injury associated with the item;
              2) develop a list of minimum requirements to mitigate those causes;
              3) develop quick and efficient tests and inspections to identify any failure to meet those minimums;
              4) develop core competencies in administering those tests and inspections;
              5) develop training and certification frameworks for inspectors.
                      
              I’d also point out that inexperienced building inspectors might not have been the optimum choice for, e.g., the CTV building. But then if the residential building inspection industry were as large as the WoF industry, who knows if that would have been the situation?
                 
                   
                   
              Again, I can’t help but visualise you a few decades ago saying “oh, it would be so difficult and pointless to inspect every single car”. It sounds like a big task if it’s not been done before. But the funny thing about societies is that big tasks can become routine.

              • insider

                I think cars is a silly comparison, but as you keep using it. We have six monthly car checks at huge national cost yet have poorer road safety performance than say Australia that doesn;t have them. According to your model, we should be much safer.

                What you’ve left out of your list is whether the policy actually does any good and is cost effective compared to other options. Shane’s already said that an app has done more for rental quality in months than no end of campaigns over years. That might not work for all circumstances, but compared to the cost and complexity of a building WOF it’s a no brainer.

                And I think you are vastly understating the complexity of this, and contradicting yourself. How would you quickly and efficiently test such things as whether a roof is leaking or not, or condensation builds up or not, or if a house is draughty or mildew prone? These are the issues commonly discussed with building WOFs. These cannot be quick and easy tests. If they are they are, I’d suggest they are not meaningful and window dressing at great cost, ultimately to the renter many of whom won’t want or need a BWOF. It may sound simple but it is actually a huge hammer to crack a relatively small egg (and it may end up seriously injuring teh chicken!).

                • McFlock

                  lol.
                         
                  Your first paragraph is nonsensical – road safety is a lot more complex than just the safety of the car. But of course the specifics of the analogy are irrelevant to its efficacy.
                       
                  Your second paragraph is closer to the bone, notwithstanding your exaggeration of Shane’s statement. Perhaps you should read the report and look at their justifications for recommending regulation?
                             
                  Tell me something, if you buy a house now, a smart purchaser gets an inspection done, yes? To look for, among other things, leaks, quality of insulation, mould, and so on, with additional work included? How much would those inspections cost / how long would they take if only those flags necessary for healthy habitation over the next year or two were included, as opposed to also doing longer term structural issues, fence-line/encroachment surveys  and planning compliance?
                           
                  You’re  looking for problems in the minutae of possible implementations. All a bit much for:
                  “The current regulatory arrangements are inadequate and have not been amended since 1947.
                  The government should ensure all rental accommodation (both social housing and private rentals) meets minimum health and safety standards, according to a Warrant of Fitness”.
                   

                  • insider

                    Building/moisture inspections are around $500 up. I saw a moisture check alone for $350.
                    The local council charge their building inspectors out at $150 an hour. I can’t imagine you would do it in any time less if you are doing an effective job, like checking the roof is sound. It’s nearly $200 just to check a log burner. Plus their travel, plus their admin charge for filing the paperwork of $98 and any reporting time. So there’s your starting point. Scale may offer some benefits though.

                    Then, because you are talking about a regulated response, it will require a formal documentation process and standards, compliance checking, a registry of checks and checkers, people to manage the system, all of which have to be paid for in addition to those actually doing the inspection work. When I get a building check done, that person only reports to me and I wear none of that in their charges.

                    ” The government should ensure all rental accommodation (both social housing and private rentals) meets minimum health and safety standards, according to a Warrant of Fitness”.

                    Yes it;s so easy to say, just rolls off the tongue. But that’s another $150-200m on the country’s compliance bill. And much of that will deliver next to nothing in terms of outcomes. But it makes you feel good and like you’ve made a difference and it’s only rich pricks paying it.

                    • McFlock

                      But if I’m a landlord, I’m not responsible for paying the country’s compliance bill. Just my own.
                             
                      Let’s say $500 – yes, there is more processing to be done, but there’s also a larger economy of scale. And most of it could be cross-checked off the currently existing bonds infrastructure.
                      How often for a house? Every couple of years? Every year? That’s $10/w off a rent that might be $300-600p.w. But I’m not sure insulation needs checking as often as for leaks or heating system working properly.
                             
                      You’re not exactly bringing tears to my eyes with the oppressive cost of the scheme.
                            

                    • Tracey

                      What’s easy is for home owner’s, with prodding from BCA and TA’s, and government, install monitoring devices in their homes or ALL new home shave them installed for the cost of about $1500 per new home. The devices are permanent and can be read every six months, giving the most accurate (but not foolproof) record of moisture levels inside walls of any product on the market.

                      Owners need to understand that ALL homes leak, that all homes are degenerating over time. They require maintenance and repair. So use permanent probes, it monitors the moisture inside the walls AND alerts the home owner early to possible defects before major damage, and before the ten year limitation runs out. A builde ris happier to come back to fix a non functioning flashing for $150 than wait 9 years 9 months and get sued for a reclad.

                      The products are there and available but the DBH (now MOBIE) and the so-called plethora of Building experts don’t want to get off the gravy train of leaky home claims. Credit where it’s due, Auckland Council recognised, and still recognises, the use of these permanent probes as a VERY USEFUL measure in houses.

                      Once installed you can read them every season with your own meter ($300) or get a company to do it and log the date ($125 per reading visit). It’s not alot for a very valuable asset…

            • mike e 1.1.1.1.1.2

              free market approach well why not just send the bill from the doctor or hospital to the slum lord.Why should the rest of us investors workers taxpayers have to subsidize slum landlords

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1.3

              To get a wee bit pernickity, cars are mechanical devices, prone to failure…

              So are houses which is why the WOF being suggested for rental properties.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.2

          The big difference with a car is that I can take to a centralised place, there are plenty of them, and the standards are well established.

          Oh noes, the house doesn’t move so we’ll have to send out the inspectors rather than taking the house to them. /sarc

          As for standards, well, I suggest these ones as a place to start. Easy to measure as well – just requires a camera or three. Probably want to measure moisture in the house as well. Would also be necessary to make that the minimum requirement for new houses which would be good as it would save us lots.

          what rights would homeowners have to challenge the assessment

          Why should they have any? I certainly don’t have any when I take my car for an inspection.

          There are over 400k rental households in NZ.

          and there’s millions of cars which indicates that you don’t actually have a point.

          Ever tried getting a council officer out to do a proper assessment of your property for rating purposes?

          Yes, it was easy – rung the council and made an appointment.

          • fatty 1.1.1.2.1

            True, it probably would be quite easy to set up a checklist to be marked off.
            The obvious downside of such a policy is that it would create jobs, which goes against National’s encouragement of unemployment.

      • insider 1.1.2

        “Imagine if this was a food product, where you actually made a huge number of people ill every year – sometimes ending their lives prematurely – and see how long you would stay in business. ”

        Tobacco? Dairy produce? Fast food? Chicken? Valentines?

    • fatty 1.2

      “Building WoFs would be an absolute political nightmare and logistically near impossible”

      A political nightmare?…you mean our two centrist parties won’t do it for fear of pissing off greedy people?…No surprise there – Nat/Lab have been pandering to the poverty producers for the past 30 years.

      “it could effectively devalue a large chunk of the housing stock”

      good, lets do it.

      • insider 1.2.1

        Ahh the unadulterated voice of the envy driven left. People who may have saved and sacrificed are just greedies, assumed slum lords, their work sacrificed at the swipe of a resentful pen. Way to win friends and influence people

        • Mr Burns 1.2.1.1

          Yes I have saved and scrimped and sacrificed the health of my employees in amassing my fortune. But there is no need to compliment me by calling me a greedy or a slum lord. And who needs friends if your bank account balance is big enough?

        • mike e 1.2.1.2

          Outsiser spreading cynicism,
          It can’t be fixed unless its free market.
          BS the market has failed ‘miserably’ for those on the bottom.
          Our future taxpayers are not going to be paying much tax as their lifes outcomes are being wasted by under achievement due to circumstances, (ie the oecds highest child poverty rate) you envy that.
          Its a wasted resource.Other countries take a more positive course by improving housing education and health.
          So when you are well into your retirement you will have to pay more tax to cover the lack of action thats leading more children into poverty up from 14% to 21% under National .
          A $6 billion a year drag on the economy has become an $ 8 billion a year problem!

          • vto 1.2.1.2.1

            ” the market has failed ‘miserably’ for those on the bottom”

            mike e, the market hasn’t just failed for those at the bottom, it has failed for most everyone, as the actions of the National Party government attest. Examples;

            1. Banks requiring taxpayer support.
            2. Farmers requiring taxpayer money for their business.
            3. The NZX requiring taxpayer electricity companies to improve their performance.
            4. Chch central city rebuild – free market last seen booted out from Brownlees office.

            You watch – one day soon those who fanatically endorse the free market approach will have to eat humble pie and admit it doesn’t work in the form they have been advocating. This is evidenced by their own actions, as above.

            Although if there is a free market adherant around these Standard parts please feel free to explain why the market approach was not adopted in the above examples.

            useless

            • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.2.1.1

              This is evidenced by their own actions, as above.

              Just remember: the failure of a bank is not necessarily a failure of the fraud. The executives often get to walk away with all their fat pay and bonus packages, even though they were predicated on fraud.

        • fatty 1.2.1.3

          “Ahh the unadulterated voice of the envy driven left”

          An envy accusation…yawn. How predictable, did Bill O’Reilly teach you that one?
          Its got nothing to do with envy, its to do with who holds power and what they do with it. Those with excessive resources take away the freedom of those without.
          Are you familiar with Sen’s Capability Approach?…there are 3 key points – functionings, capabilities and agency. Most people in NZ have functionings (to various degrees), but we do not all possess the capability….as a result many people’s agency is limited. The problem in NZ is that housing inequality oppresses the capabilities of people, and therefore their freedom. Freedom of choice, freedom from preventable illness, freedom from human rights violations. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capability_approach
          Your assumption that I am envious is a result of your inability to think beyond binary logic / Fox News idioms. This simplistic assumption suggests that since a person points out poverty/inequality, they are therefore envious. You are wrong. Our unequal resource distribution deprives people of their capabilities so they cannot access the functions which are available to them…as a result, agency and freedom is denied. I am not envious that people have been ‘successful’ in filling their lives with consumer goods…they can chase their empty dream to their grave for all I care. But when their actions affect other people’s agency or health, then it becomes morally indefensible.
          The current housing crisis is a result of political ideology. I find it disturbing that a policy that would protect the health of the poor is considered envious.

          • insider 1.2.1.3.1

            Oh gosh a tired fox news reference. how predictable.

            Yep there was just no sign of envy in your sweeping genralisation around the “fear of pissing off greedy people” and “‘…devalue a large chunk of the housing stock’…’good let’s do it’”. None at all. It was all about righting inequality…yeah sure

            A building WOF IMO is oversimplistic and any form of effective one likely politically very difficult. It will be a very poor plaster to cover your concerns about poverty. But hey, it’s a great slogan so let’s go do it

            • fatty 1.2.1.3.1.1

              “Oh gosh a tired fox news reference. how predictable.”

              You get a few of those do you?

              “Yep there was just no sign of envy in your sweeping genralisation around the “fear of pissing off greedy people” and “‘…devalue a large chunk of the housing stock’…’good let’s do it’”. None at all. It was all about righting inequality…yeah sure”

              Of course I was referring to inequality/poverty, and I explained quite clearly why its an empathetic, not envious viewpoint, but you have ignored that and replied with a tui billboard-like response…despite existing evidence, I think you could possibly do better than that, have another go.
              National’s and Labour’s policies avoid pissing off greedy people…I don’t see this as an envious statement, just logic. For National its more ideologically related, so not so much an ‘avoidance’…they wear it as a badge of honour. For Labour its more as an attempt at vote grabbing and ideological indecision, Labour are a disgrace, both are as immoral as each other.
              Do you not consider our housing crisis to be central to our inequality/poverty?…cause I do. Our houses are way overpriced, and unequally owned. And our economy is unsustainable because of it, devaluing housing will help to reduce inequality (slightly).

              “A building WOF IMO is oversimplistic and any form of effective one likely politically very difficult. It will be a very poor plaster to cover your concerns about poverty”

              That I agree with, it will just plaster over poverty and achieve little, but considering our past 30 years, and the current greed based ideology of our purple party (Lab/Nats), we can’t expect much more than policies such as this. To really reduce poverty we would need far more changes than a WOF for housing…we need major changes.
              The fact that it is ‘politically difficult’ is not a reason why it shouldn’t be done, instead, it is a reason why it won’t be done…because Nat/Lab pander to the greedy. We Kiwis keep voting to travel on the road to stupidville. Sometimes we drive the red car, sometimes the blue car…but its always the same road

              • insider

                If it truly were concern driven I’d expect it to be a bit more nuanced than ‘all landlords are basthards and let’s screw them for the hell of it’. I think you could have tried harder. We can keep playing this game for a while if you like. Do you really believe that all landlords are greedy? Some might be. Most are just your neighbours or your friends’ mums and dads.

                Housing affordability is complex and its not universal – Auckland is not NZ. Rents similarly are unsustainable because they often don’t cover the cost of capital and running costs. Are your concerns about inequality extended to owners susidising the renter?

                Polictical acceptability is a major factor in a democracy, like it or not. I suspect any WOF will be so weak as to not be much chop as a result. the current insulation scheme does very little in terms of improving liveability, and I doubt much more by way of intervention could be done under a WOF without huge ructions. When they looked at housing in Dunedin they found that wealthy houses were just as cold and damp as poor houses, and insulating them made little difference, so the house quality-health link is quite complex.

                • fatty

                  “If it truly were concern driven I’d expect it to be a bit more nuanced than ‘all landlords are basthards and let’s screw them for the hell of it’.”

                  I never said that, or anything close to that…My perspective stems from power, and the use of power, read my comment again and read the wiki link – http://thestandard.org.nz/childrens-commissioners-report-due/comment-page-1/#comment-514065

                  “Do you really believe that all landlords are greedy?”

                  Since shelter is a human need, and a human right, then I do consider many landlords to be greedy. To buy up property so that others cannot appears greedy to me.

                  “Are your concerns about inequality extended to owners susidising the renter?”

                  I don’t really understand this question, are you suggesting that if the rent doesn’t cover the mortgage, then the homeowner is subsidising the renter?

                  “When they looked at housing in Dunedin they found that wealthy houses were just as cold and damp as poor houses, and insulating them made little difference, so the house quality-health link is quite complex.”

                  Sounds a bit odd…do you have a link for that? Be interesting to see who came up with that

                  • insider

                    RE the link. Otago University has an energy and housing group. I’m pretty sure it was a presentation by PRof Bob Lloyd but I can’t find it – it was a conference speech as opposed to a research paper, but it mayhave been based on his study of Dunedin houses. Sorry, I have tried to find it again but no luck. All I could refind was this

                    “The HEEP study (BRANZ 2003) and our own study of public housing (Lloyd and Shen 2004), however, made it clear that houses in Dunedin are not heated adequately and that temperatures considerably lower than World Health Organization recommended levels are routinely experienced at all income levels. “http://www.physics.otago.ac.nz/eman/hew/elocal/enzhousing.html#

                    • fatty

                      OK, well, thats completely different to what you were claiming.

                    • McFlock

                      lol

                    • insider

                      Well you may have missed it was a paraphrase and never suggested it was a full replacement. If you want some more from Bob, which kind of reinforces that a building WOF may not do what you think it might.

                      “However, according to our own work on indoor temperatures in public housing, the strategies to combat the problem of high space heating costs by housing insulation upgrades (targeted on mainly introducing ceiling and under floor insulation) do not seem to be producing improvements in indoor temperatures sufficient to satisfy health criteria. This later study of ours shows that in the southern part of the South Island of New Zealand, at least, many state-owned houses still exhibit temperatures seriously below World Health Organization recommended levels. Improving the thermal standard of houses is, therefore, difficult, especially in terms of retrofitting existing houses. In addition, research completed by Gabrielle Davie, a student associated with the Wellington School of Medicine, found that the level of seasonal mortality in New Zealand has not declined over the 20 years from 1980 to 2000, despite the introduction of thermal building standards requiring mandatory insulation levels, in all homes built after 1978.

                      http://www.physics.otago.ac.nz/eman/hew/econtacts/articlefuelpoverty.html

                    • McFlock

                      same article:
                      “Thus, after considering and rejecting price control on energy supply and realising the difficulties and time that will be needed to improve the housing stock, at least in the short to medium term, we are left with the final policy alternative, that of selective subsidies. This strategy has the advantage that it could be targeted at low-income householders and could be specifically related to the climate zone and the thermal condition of the housing occupied. Finally, it is thought that the relatively low-cost strategy of providing information to vulnerable groups, especially the elderly, about the health aspects of exposure to low temperature environments, has not been attacked aggressively enough by any New Zealand government health initiatives.
                      ” 
                      Question:looking at your comment ” When they looked at housing in Dunedin they found that wealthy houses were just as cold and damp as poor houses, and insulating them made little difference, so the house quality-health link is quite complex. “, if wealthy houses in dunners are indeed “as cold and damp as poor houses”, why would targeting at low income houses be an advantage?
                              
                      I think that you read “rich houses are cold and damp, too” and conflated it to “rich houses are as  cold and damp as poor houses”. 
                              
                      After all, if there’s no sociodemographic trend, there’s no explanation and no problem – it’s just what happens when you live in dunners. And if housing stock improvements haven’t led to WHO minimum temps in 30 years, then we don’t need to do nuffin – such as look at whether heating costs have increased in the same period of time.
                       

                    • insider

                      Here’s what bob Lloyd said “The rich are as cold as the poor” slide 13 at http://www2.physics.otago.ac.nz/eman/research/warmhomes.pdf

                      Question:looking at your comment ” When they looked at housing in Dunedin they found that wealthy houses were just as cold and damp as poor houses, and insulating them made little difference, so the house quality-health link is quite complex. ”, if wealthy houses in dunners are indeed “as cold and damp as poor houses”, why would targeting at low income houses be an advantage?

                      The paper this came from was about fuel poverty – not something usually an issue for the rich. It shows that the rich are happy with colder homes.And one of the reasons an across the board bwof is unnecessary. Better to use the $150m it might cost on far more targeted programmes for those in need. Why does the contrarian below have to have the cost of such a thing put onto his rent?

                    • McFlock

                      Yes, quoting the BRANZ HEEP nation-wide report. 400 houses over the entire country, wasn’t it? 
                         
                      I’d be intrigued to see whether the richer households go somewhere sunny for a couple of weeks in winter. Maybe that’s how they’re “happier” in a cold home in the middle of winter?
                         
                      So not Dunedin focused, no mention of damp, no mention of before/after household retrofitting, and so on. Your throw away comment is still worthless.
                           
                      BTW, it’s fair that Contrarian’s landlord pays the minor cost of ensuring they’re not slumlords. Or should tenants be forced into the false economy of cheap rent and large fuel costs?

                • mike e

                  outslider just do nothing typical. Make excuses thats the rights policy!

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Do you really believe that all landlords are greedy?

                  Rentier behaviour is always greedy and immoral and I don’t care if they’re my neighbours or friends or family doing it. It’s some people trying to get a free life which always costs others.

                  • “Rentier behaviour is always greedy and immoral ”

                    Bullshit. I live in a house owned by a woman who works in Africa (not sure which country at the moment – she moves around) for the UN and has done for many years. She owns a house which I rent from her.

                    identify the immoral and greedy aspect here. 

            • mike e 1.2.1.3.1.2

              outsider Don brashes productivity commission rated housing affordability as the No1 priority in getting NZ’s productivity up.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.4

          Ahh the unadulterated voice of the envy driven left.

          It’s not envy but disgust that some people think that they’re entitled to a massive income with no responsibility.

        • Tracey 1.2.1.5

          the leaky home travesty (completely man-made) was predominantly affected the house value sof the middle and upper classes of NZ, so not sure how that fits with your view that trying to ensure such stuff doesn’t happen again is envy of the left…

          People need to understand that “leaky homes” are all homes, to a greater or lesser extent, and just because people can’t see behind those walls doesn’t mean that fungi arent growing… including stachybotrus (sp). Builders, designers, manufacturers, Branz, BCA’s, TA’s and MOBIE all know what is probably going on behind the walls, it’s the people living in the house that don’t.

          So, google permanent moisture probes and see how close and affordable the solution is, and why not subsidise it like insulation… once more demand for these things, the price will come down… BUT TA’s and BCA’s don’t want them in homes before the ten year limitation because people might sue them, builders, on the whole wont recommend them, Prendos advises against them for reasons not associated with logic but rather their business model and a misunderstanding of how the use of such probes would sustain their model rather than break it… and so on.

      • Carol 1.2.2

        I think the WOF is the most difficult of the 3 solutions that Watkin highlighted:

        He seems to have got it right as the report is now out:

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7562604/Give-parents-child-payment-poverty-report

        But I think for a WOF to work there needs to be a prior policy to increase the amount of affordable housing at a WOF standard. The WOF could be introduced with the new housing.

        I also think there should be some way of keeping WOFed housing at a level affordable to all.

        The improvement in housing also needs to be done at the same time as decreasing the wealth/income gap. A universal child benefit would go some way towards that. But there also needs to be a focus on improving incomes and jobs paying a living wage and decreasing the over-the-top incomes of those at the top of the income hierarchy.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2.1

          I also think there should be some way of keeping WOFed housing at a level affordable to all.

          That’s easy – the government builds thousands upon thousands of houses and rents them out to any one on an as need basis at 25% of household income.

          • TheContrarian 1.2.2.1.1

            “Rentier behaviour is always greedy and immoral”
            DTB

            “the government builds thousands upon thousands of houses and rents them out to any one on an as need basis ”
            DTB

            Hmmmm……
             

            • felix 1.2.2.1.1.1

              You may have missed the last bit of the sentence “at 25% of household income.”

              Not sure how you missed it, it’s right after the bit you quoted.

              Weird.

              • So not all rentier behaviour is immoral and greedy then.

                • felix

                  Depends how you define “rentier.”

                  Under the broadest possible definition (which would be something like ‘charging any amount of rent for the use of anything’) then yeah.

                  However I assume (and I may be wrong) that Draco was using the term in it’s more commonly used sense, which relates to charging rent in a parasitic and exploitative way with little or no concern for anything other that the private gain of the owner.

                  “Rentier” in its most common usage has negative connotations that “renting” doesn’t necessarily carry, in the same way that “profiteering” is used to describe parasitic and exploitative behaviour whereas “profiting” doesn’t necessarily. (Although I’m sure Draco will say that it does, or should ;) )

                  edit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rentier_capitalism

                  Often the term rentier capitalism is used with the connotation that it is a form of parasitism or a decadent form of capitalism.

                  • I guess Draco will need to define what he means in a more specific fashion. I was using it in a broad manner to relate to landlords charging rent.

                    I don’t know what my landlord does with the rent money she receives but she is far, the price is right and when something goes wrong it is fixed with little fuss. 

                    I do not consider this greedy or immoral. 

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Anything over and above what is required for maintenance. The state “renting” out at 25% of household income is like taxes – some people pay less, some more but overall the maintenance is paid. If the 25% more than covers maintenance then I would be looking at decreasing it.

                      In this light private ownership is always rentier behaviour as they want (in fact need) to cover maintenance, the cost of the residence and make a profit.

                    • Well my current rental situation is fair, the price is good (and we were able to negotiate the price we paid) and the property is well maintained.

                      This is neither greedy or immoral.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Yes it is* but you just don’t want to believe it is. This is probably because of the culture of legalised theft (Anglo-Saxon capitalism) that you were raised in. People really do have difficulty seeing the bad within their own culture.

                      * You’re paying for somebody else to buy a house and make a profit at the same time.

                    • My landlord works for the UN development program and works overseas. They have this property which they want to keep and come home to. In the meantime I lease it from them. The rent is cheap, the house maintained and the landlords reasonable and approachable.

                      You have yet to explain what is immoral.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Having an income that is a result of someone else’s work that requires little or no work on their part. Essentially, being paid far in excess of what the related work that they’re doing is worth.

                    • “Having an income that is a result of someone else’s work that requires little or no work on their part. ”

                      But you said it was OK for people to receive money for doing little or no work back on 22 August. Remember when I you  asked you if it was OK for people who can work but don’t to receive a benefit?
                      You said that was fine.

                      Yet when I pay my landlord a reasonable rent and she provides a safe, well maintained property that is immoral?

                      You have yet to explain what is immoral. And secondly what should my landlord do with her house while she is working overseas? Sell it and come back to NZ with nowhere to live? Let me live in her house for free?

                      “Essentially, being paid far in excess of what the related work that they’re doing is worth.”

                      My rent is cheap and the profit my landlord makes, when rates and maintenance costs are taken into account, will be very sparse indeed.You can’t make any claim to her “being paid far in excess” when you have no idea of what the situation is.

                      So, where is the immorality, Draco?
                      hint: it isn’t you that is the arbitrator of morality.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.2.2.1.1.2

              Although I’d much prefer it I also think that people, ATM, won’t accept zero rent and those houses/flats will have to be maintained and rates paid. Once we get to a resource based democratic economy we could probably go to a zero rent model.

              • Carol

                I like that the Child Commissioner’s Report covers both short and long term housing needs, and states that their is an urgent need to begin improving and increasing the housing stock, with accommodation that is healthy and affordable.

                The report talks about social housing:

                http://www.occ.org.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/9857/FINAL_Issues_and_Options_Paper.pdf

                Increase the supply and quality of social housing

                Social housing refers to housing that is provided based on assessed financial and social need, at subsidised rates, and with active tenancy management. Social housing can include rental housing or home ownership support to individuals or families. In New Zealand, social housing is provided by the Government (69,000 properties managed by HNZC), local government (with around 14,000 units) and community housing providers (around 5,000 units).

                Social housing can directly mitigate the effects of child poverty and is of critical importance for many low-income families. Demand for social housing significantly exceeds supply. Increasing the number of social housing units should be a high priority for the Government. This is a longterm commitment and would require a considerable capital investment over an extended period of time.

                In our view, the Government needs to address the serious undersupply of social housing by taking immediate action to increase the number of social and affordable houses and their proportion of the total housing stock.

  2. captain Hook 2

    Oh well it will get 5 minutes on 9-noone sandwiched between some pap music and a vapid gamine whining and then put back in the box until next year.

    • Carol 2.1

      Shearer had a sound clip about it on the RNZ news in the last hour or so. It was a response to Paula Benefit’s drug testing beneficiaries (re) announcement.

      Shearer said this drug testing stuff was just a rehash of previous announcements, and a cynical attempt to distract from the Child Commissioner’s report.

      I see there are some related questions from opposition parties coming up today in today’s Question Time… so I’ll be interested to see how that goes, and if it gets a mention on tonight’s 6pm TV news.

  3. js 3

    The universal child benefit is a great idea – like the old family benefit.

  4. Dr Terry 4

    There is nothing concerning child poverty that the Government did not already know well. Calling for this report was unnecessary, probably a stalling tactic. This government does not like children (or youth) and those living in poverty they like least of all. What have they to gain from helping non-voters? The government only thinks in terms of what it can extract from every situation – otherwise why bother?

    • Carol 4.1

      Well, if nothing else it highlights NAct’s inaction on poverty and enables other parties to state what their priorities would be.

      For instance, I see on Scoop the report is the centre-piece tonight, and there’s statements and press releases from opposition parties and other agencies.

      http://www.scoop.co.nz/

      At the moment, Shearer’s statement from this evening is the centre-piece. He’s berating Key for his performance on the issue in Parliament today, saying Key doesn’t take child poverty seriously:

      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1208/S00423/john-key-in-denial-over-kiwis-in-hardship.htm

      John Key in denial over Kiwis in hardship
      Tuesday, 28 August 2012, 5:16 pm
      Press Release: New Zealand Government

      David
      SHEARER
      Labour Leader
      28 August 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
      John Key in denial over Kiwis in hardship

      The number of Kiwi children living in poverty has grown significantly under John Key’s watch but rather than acknowledging the problem, the Prime Minister would rather play the fool in Parliament, says Labour Leader David Shearer.

      “John Key’s flippant response to this crisis is disappointing. He refuses to accept the findings of several reports showing the gap between the rich and poor is the widest it has ever been, that inequality is rising and the number of children living in hardship is up to 21%.

      Meanwhile Key has called the recommendation to return to a universal child benefit “dopey”.

      http://news.google.co.nz/news/more?pz=1&cf=all&ncl=dY51fjbYU651hGMMm0UDUuz72GCMM&topic=h

      Key dismisses payment for all parents as ‘dopey’
      TVNZ – ‎1 hour ago‎

      I imagine the report isn’t telling you anything you don’t know, Dr T.

      But I had a flick through it this evening, and I like that it is very comprehensive, covering education, health, housing, employment etc, and sets both short and long term goals.

      http://www.occ.org.nz/publications/child_poverty

      http://www.occ.org.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/9857/FINAL_Issues_and_Options_Paper.pdf

      E.g. From the “executive Summary”

      In summary, we argue that New Zealand needs a standard approach to measuring child poverty.For each of the specific measures of poverty we have proposed, we have identified short-term and longer-term targets for reducing poverty. These entail cuts in child poverty rates of at least 30 to 50 percent by 2022. We have also proposed a comprehensive series of child-poverty reduction indicators. These are designed to supplement the Government

  5. captain hook 5

    yeah.
    they need all the money they can get so they can leave NZ at the end of their term and become non-entities in London.

  6. fnjckg 6

    Ah DTB, always the voice of understanding.

    What appear to be, newly graduated wannabee Rights, dipping their toes into the threads
    (Hammer th’ Scots)

  7. gobsmacked 7

    It was the lead item on Campbell Live.

    It’s the opposition’s job to make the running on this. The Greens have been doing well, but there’s really no point going on like a boring broken record about the MSM. If the Leader of the Opposition talks about something else in his speeches, then the media will report that something else instead.

    What Labour really needed was a heavyweight independent report focusing on poverty. Well, now they’ve got it (more than one in recent weeks, in fact). They should seize it and use it. Not for a day or two, but week in, week out. Every chance. Every sound bite. Every day.

    (this strategy advice is free – and it’s better than the paid sh*t you’ve been listening to, David).

    • Anne 7.1

      +1 !!

    • Carol 7.2

      Actually, I’ve seen a lot from Labour on this today, including a press release tonight from Shearer, that I linked to above at 4.1

      Other parties have been onto it as well.

      And I heard a good piece on the RNZ- National’s Panel while driving this evening, from a spokeswoman at KidsCan – she was talking about how successful some of their programmes have been in providing food for hungry school children. She said it’s helped make school feel like a stable and secure place for them, and this has helped improve school attendance.

      • gobsmacked 7.2.1

        Yes, there’s been a lot from Labour today, and there were good questions in the House.

        But that all disappears into thin air if it’s not followed up. Building a narrative takes time, and Labour have failed to stick to one strong story since Shearer became leader. Hence the “we don’t know what he/his party stands for” line that you hear from the voters.

        • Carol 7.2.1.1

          Agreed on the need to consistently build a coherent narrative – and also to tell it in a snappy and engaging way.

      • bad12 7.2.2

        For around 3 million bucks a year they could ensure all the kids in the targeted schools got breakfast and something for lunch as well…

      • Mary 7.2.3

        Nobody can deny the postitive outcomes for kids that these programmes bring. But the need for them is caused by government having abandoned the poor. Just accepting there’s a need without more is playing into government’s agenda of pushing responsibility away from government to what is essentially private charity. Food banks are already seen as a legitimate part of our social welfare system. Benefits haven’t increased in real terms since the cuts in 1991 and wages remain low. The more we rely on charity to fill the gaps the less hope there is of fixing things.

  8. Blue 8

    I can hardly believe the state of NZ sometimes. 25% of children living in poverty. That’s a quarter of all our kids. 1 in 4.

    And nobody gives a fuck. Seriously.

    There are no crusading editorials from the Herald, who are more interested in pushing to be able to publish league tables so they can make money off the middle class parents desperate to avoid all those poor kids.

    There is no voter backlash, demanding action. The only thing they want action on is bashing beneficiaries.

    We have a real classy PM, who dismisses a report compiled by a panel of experts as ‘dopey’.

    From the Herald:

    “Its members include AUT accounting expert James Prescott, Major Campbell Roberts of the Salvation Army, Professor Ritchie Poulton of the Dunedin School of Medicine and Philippa Howden-Chapman, a public health expert.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10830083

    But oh, no, the Wall Street currency trader and part-time Hawaii resident John Key knows better than any and all experts you care to name. Doesn’t need to do any research, just give a sneering verdict in ten seconds.

    What do people imagine will happen to this country when one quarter of our kids are growing up in poverty? Seriously, what do you imagine the future will be like when there is such a massive waste of human potential going on?

    Have a serious think about education, health, crime and the economy and think what is going to happen if one quarter of our kids grow up in poverty. I’m at the point where I’d advise people to get on a plane right now and get the fuck outta here.

    • McFlock 8.1

      And only a year or two back it was 20%. 
      At this rate, in the next election campaign we’ll be talking 1 in 3 kids in poverty. 

    • Carol 8.2

      Yes, Key’s a disgrace! And ditto the MSM who don’t attempt to hold him to account.

      Universal Child Benefit isn’t “dopey”. The thing about universal benefits are that they save in admin – prevents all that means testing, form filling, checking that only the people who are entitled to it get the benefit.

      For families that don’t need money for their children, they are assured of it anyway, but lose it at the other end through paying higher taxes. And it sends a message that the country cares about its children.

      This way, all children have money allocated to them.

      • mike e 8.2.1

        +270,000 carol
        -$6billion a year in costs of leaving the problem unsolved.
        Short sighted f/wit Conmankey.

        • mike 8.2.1.1

          He’s not short-sighted, it’s just not his problem. Conman? Definitely. F/wit? Yes.

    • gobsmacked 8.3

      The “drug testing for bludgers” distraction worked. Shamefully, but predictably.

      That’s why Labour have to keep talking about poverty. Bennett’s sideshows will get diminishing returns. There’s only so many meaningless recycled stunts.

      There’s countless ways to do this … challenge Bennett to a public debate, then hold one anyway when she doesn’t turn up. Get the Labour caucus to live on the minimum wage for a week. And so on.

      Labour only need the will, the focus, the energy, the smarts, the sheer determination. I don’t think they’ve got it, but I’d love them to prove me wrong.

    • Mary 8.4

      And government accepts every word from its “expert” bunch the Welfare Working Group, claiming it’s objective, unbiased research. Fucking liars.

  9. Adrian 9

    The house WOF thing is simple, same as a car, you can’t sell it if it doesn’t have one, or if you do buy it “as is” you can’t rent it until it complies.

    • mike e 9.1

      And if the landlord can’t make a profit it will be sold on the market to a young family taking the bubble out of the housing market.

  10. bad12 10

    What an ugly little man that Slippery little Shyster really is, i watched this sniveling little apology of a Statesman we have as our Prime Minister on the Parliament TV tonight,

    Pinned upon the issue of child poverty by the Greens Metiria Turei all’s He could do is lament in a plaintive whine that children of parents couldn’t have the ‘in work tax subsidy’ if they didn’t have a job,

    The slithering little snake knows the economy which He is in charge of managing is short 200,000 employment positions and STILL the Slippery little Charlatan cries the same lament,

    By the look and sound of the Government Benches today even they have little stomach for listening to the ongoing litany of lies emanating from the lips of that used-car-salesman…

  11. Tracey 11

    Not a peep out of Mr Dunne on this report yet, and the implications for the “family” he claims to be so supportive of

  12. Tracey 12

    I don’t have children, never will. Have recently informally adopted an 18 year old boy. Am by no means an expert in parenting.

    However I can see the benefit to ensuring all children are housed in warm dry shelters, with three healthy meals, and with parents who love them and support them. I also see that it’s not always possible, especially when two parents have to work shifts to pay their bills. If Mr Key wants to target, then he should fucking well get on with the targetting. To say not targetting is dopey as though that is an answer tot he problem is shallow and mischievious.

    All the information is available, through Inland Revenue, through Husing NZ through every bloody agency. Now, the $120m being paid to the brokers et al for these asset sales, how could that be better targetted to needy children???

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    I have already shared two stories from psychology students about how the postgraduate allowance cuts have affected them. These stories demonstrate the widespread impact the changes are having. Here is yet another story I have received, this one giving the...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • Against secret "justice" in NZ
    Last year, in response to a series of court cases challenging its control orders or claiming compensation for human rights abuses by its intelligence services, the UK passed the Justice and Security Act 2013. The Act introduces a "Closed Material...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Massey chancellor sets up company in opposition to university
    Massey Chancellor Chris Kelly will chair the board of a company that intends to be New Zealand’s largest private training provider (PTE)...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Gibbs, Hayek, Canterbury and the free market for degrees
    The New Zealand Herald notes that philanthropist Alan Gibbs is about to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury today. One of the many institutions Alan Gibbs has donated his money to...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store Day
    As readers will know, I have long embraced the internet music revolution. The ability to discover and download new things pretty much as they're being made has reinvented and refreshed my lifelong relationship with popular music. But I still really...
    Public Address | 16-04
  • Great Sorkin Parody
    Aaron Sorkin (SportsNight, The West Wing, The Newsroom) makes a very particular style of TV. Some good parts to that, some really silly parts. Amy Schumer' Comedy Central parody of Sorkin is pitch-prefect and hilarious. Enjoy: Inside Amy SchumerGet More:...
    Polity | 16-04
  • Photographic proof
    Deborah asked for a picture of my bicycle, after I wrote about it, and there is now one in existence which even includes me riding it along Mt Albert Rd, thanks to a dear friend who drove past me and...
    The Hand Mirror | 16-04
  • Our future lies in science
    This is not a column on global warming, climate change or whether humans are or aren’t having an impact....
    Pundit | 16-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive politics should work in the post global financial crisis environment....
    Labour | 20-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Why Easter holidays should always be mandatory and retail free
    The moaning from retailers that they can’t open the cash registers and worship the consumer culture of consumption over Easter bores me immensely because I’ve always believed that public holidays should be mandatory. It’s not that I really care about...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Tariana Turia: Labour doesn’t deserve our vote
    Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that Labour doesn’t deserve the Maori vote. ‘I don’t believe they deserve our vote any more....
    Scoop politics | 20-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
    Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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