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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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    Skeptical Science | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Contact’s big solar buy-back drop bad news for Kiwis with solar
    The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for...
    Greens | 01-11
  • John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister
    National needs to come clean about the motivations behind selling state houses after Paula Bennett's asset sale admission, said the Green Party today.On Saturday, Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Housing admitted, in a televised interview, that the sale of...
    Greens | 01-11
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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