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Considering newborns

Written By: - Date published: 5:00 pm, May 29th, 2014 - 43 comments
Categories: babies, benefits, child welfare, cost of living, families, paula bennett, welfare - Tags:

I’ve blogged before about some of the issues with our social welfare system which have been getting attention, thanks to great people like Sarah Wilson at Writehanded.

Labour and the Greens have been fighting these fights too – though this being an election year, they’re getting even less traction than they normally would. Unfortunately, our only hope of a real change in the way the state treats beneficiaries depends on a strong progressive turnout at the election in September.

Take this revelation from the Greens: after hammering the Prime Minister in the House about the lack of support for newborn babies – if their parents are silly enough to be on a benefit in a time of 6% unemployment, that is – they found a directive had been issued to MSD ordering its Chief Executive (and thus its staff) to “consider” whether a person had a newborn when applying for hardship assistance.

It’s a classic National manoeuvre. Ask them a straightforward question like “is there support for all newborn babies in New Zealand?” and get a straightforward “Yes” – with several significant caveats that altogether add up to No.

The obvious point: having your child’s needs “considered” when you’re applying for additional assistance is a very long way from the straight-up cash-in-hand parental tax credit everyone else gets. It’s a maybe. It’s just part of another process which has nothing specifically to do with supporting children.

But more insidiously, I think you can make the case that telling WINZ staff to “consider” newborn babies’ needs makes things even worse.

No social security net worthy of the label should have to have it spelled out that newborn babies create extra stress and greater need for families who are already struggling. Even in the purest, most generous of systems, supporting newborn babies and their families isn’t an optional thing.

And we know very well – because everyone seems to know someone who’s got a terrible WINZ story or two – that our system is far from pure and generous.

This is a callous box-ticking exercise by a government which really, really does not seem to care if you’re struggling to feed your children. I just hope that people will start to see that those in our communities who are on benefits deserve every bit of support we can give them.

And even if we can’t shake off all the myths and misconceptions and prejudices, at least we can say that babies deserve a decent start in life, however poorly we think of their parents.

43 comments on “Considering newborns”

  1. Philj 1

    xox
    Callous, targeted and soo National.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    …if we can’t shake off all the myths and misconceptions and prejudices, at least we can say that babies deserve a decent start in life…

    No, the National Party cannot say that. Personal responsibility means other people’s children are not my problem.

    • Delia 2.1

      Tell that to Paula Bennett. I maybe a leftie, but I worked as a trainee nurse at 17, I did not drop babies on the state. I would have died. So who are the hypocrites here?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1

        That comment is so bad it’s not even wrong. Duped by malicious right wing narrative much?

        • weka 2.1.1.1

          Funny. I couldn’t actually make sense of the comment.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.1.1

            “Dropping babies on the state” comes through loud and clear.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.2

            Neither can I.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.1.2.1

              Tell that to Paula Bennett = Paula Bennett as the M for SD owns the problem. A facile and frankly false observation.

              The middle bit = “I’m a self made woman” :roll:

              The hypocrites I’m not sure about, but I’m tending towards incoherent levels of English comprehension and a desire to imply hypocrisy because it sounds good.

              • weka

                Yep it was the bit about dying and the bit about who are the real hypocrites.

          • emergency mike 2.1.1.1.3

            At a guess I’d say that to ‘drop babies on the state’ is hip hop slang for shooting rival teenage drug pushers in New York. Hope that helps.

  3. srylands 3

    There will be no end to this crap. The answer is to repeal the Social Security Act, and introduce a Universal Basic Income of (say) $10,000 per year for everyone over 24. 18-24s get $5,000. Flat tax of 25%. Problem solved.

    No social welfare system. No benefits. No high EMTRs.

    No WINZ.

    No parental tax credits.

    Add on policies:

    Free tertiary education for three years FTE up to NCEA L7, (i,e a Bachelor Degree) with full fees after that.

    National Super at age 70

    Capital gains Tax of 10% on all real, realised, gains from all assets including family home.

    There you go. Get Labour to run those policies and I’ll vote for them. They would also win the election.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1

      Won’t address built-in fish-hooks cf: Piketty.

    • weka 3.2

      and the people that need more than $10,000 to live on?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2.1

        Should have chosen to be born into wealth. Bad choices you see, Weka.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.2

        ie, everyone.

        • weka 3.2.2.1

          the assumption is that some people will work and earn more money that way. But in srylands vision, it seems like everyone can do that, which of course is not true.

          (his education and super policies are a bit daft).

    • Tracey 3.3

      Given all of that just who did you vote for in 2011 and which party has your votein 2014

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      I find it amazing that people believe that young people can live on less than what adults live on.

      They need the same food, the same level of clothing, the same transport, the same housing, etc etc and yet we always get governments and people insisting that young people be paid less because they’re young.

      • TheContrarian 3.4.1

        You got it backwards Draco. An adult can live on the same as young person, provided said adult wants to live in shared accommodation in a run-down flat (which was fucking fun when I was young lad). Generally an adult will want to earn more and level up.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.4.1.1

          The amount an adult is paid on welfare isn’t enough to live on. This means that they get to live in run down shared accommodation – just like the young people. The fact that the young get less for doing the same thing is nothing but discrimination.

          • TheContrarian 3.4.1.1.1

            “The fact that the young get less for doing the same thing is nothing but discrimination.”

            On welfare yes but in the workforce you generally don’t find a young person performing the same role as someone with 20 years experience.

    • vto 3.5

      That’s a start srylands, well done….

      but far from complete

      anything which adjusts the current wealth distribution model (and which takes too much of my money to give to the wealthy who don’t earn it – bludgers) so that it is more evenly spread is good.

      keep it up gosman.. I mean srylands

    • McFlock 3.6

      what does there need to be an end to: people getting the support they need?

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 3.7

      Make it the same rate rate as the single rate NZS and remove the age discrimination would be a better option.

      NZS has been shown to give us a very low poverty rate for the elderly – it can surely do the same for those younger.

      Then up the tax rates to pay for it.

      Can’t agree with a flat tax rate though unless we tax all businesses at a flat amount on gross income i.e, before expenses. Tax income from interest, dividends etc the same way and all overseas purchases of products by consumers.

      I’ve modified my thoughts recently on this to remove tax on working completely to remove the tax disincentive of employing people that businesses have. In reality my employer pays my paye so I have some sympathy for the business who actually employs staff competing against those who do not. net everyone’s salary off at the point you change to gross taxation so all business pay the same rate of tax without any other hidden taxation. GST buggers off as well and a myriad of other taxes.

      ACC levies for both workers and businesses however would remain.

    • Crunchtime 3.8

      This is most of an excellent idea.

      Trouble is, you’re missing the bits that are relevant to this article: newborn babies.

      I’d be inclined to:

      $3000 per year for children 0-18 – from the moment they are born paid to the parents or guardians.
      $6000 per year for 18-21 year olds
      $12000 per year thereafter – this is closer to the rate of NZ Super

      Plus MSD would still have to provide additional help for invalids and those with special needs.

      Even if that meant income tax of 30%, that’d be worth it.

      Nobody should be left begging on the street.

      Give all the incentive to work by removing all penalties for working, ie abatement of supplimenary income.

      Remove all penalties for NOT working because they are no longer necessary (not that they were ever necessary).

      • Pasupial 3.8.1

        Isn’t NZS set to a proportion of median wage? The problem with round numbers such as your $3/ $6/ $9K or the original [3.0] comment’s $5/ $10k proposal is that they’ll be wiped out by inflation. Srylands’ talent lies in his ability to make even a good idea (eg UBI) sound terrible (eg his rigid presciption at comment 3).

        The Green Party’s policy “emphasis on sufficiency, simplicity, universality” is one of the many reason’s I support them.
        https://www.greens.org.nz/policysummary/income-support-policy-summary

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 3.8.2

        A: Sorry elsewhere in the past I’ve argued for the return of universal family benefit.

        Totally support additional payments for children.

        B: I like Greens policy. Particularly the removal of the moralising approach the current government policies take.

        People need help not opprobrium. They need support not state paternalistic direction.

  4. Tracey 4

    Yup, the greens had the pm misleading the house again last week when he answered that newborns were taken into account and things were in place to account for them… Good work by Turei.

    Within a couple of days the ministry was sending directives to winz telling them to take into account any newborns.

    iow key talked out his arse again in parliament.

    But the speaker focuses on twitter rather than members misleading or lying to parliament.

  5. Lanthanide 5

    because everyone seems to know someone who’s got a terrible WINZ story or two

    There are large swathes of the population who don’t know anyone that deals with WINZ at all. They typically vote National.

  6. Will@Welly 6

    Its 2014. 100 years ago, the founders of the Labour Party were starring down similar problems.
    Roger Douglas/Richard Prebble et al, in one foul swoop have taken us back almost 100 years.
    Key is only finishing off the job. He sat there in amazement and watched, dumbfounded, that Labour swallowed so many fish-hooks between 1984 – 1990. Its credibility was shot.
    Karitane and Plunket were the first ports of call for most new mums. Children – babies – were the focal point of our society. We cared. We would sweat blood for our children, and not just our own children, but for all the children in our society.
    Can any Government be more depraved? John Key and his cohorts treat the future of this country as mere playthings, disposable. What sort of country have we become? A country ruled by the $$$$ !
    One can imagine Paula Bennett standing atop a hill, half crazed, stirring a pot, throwing babies in one at a time, all the while taunting their mothers. Nothing personifies genuine evil than Ms. Bennett!

    • weka 6.1

      it’s pretty scarey to consider that we’ve let this happen. We are a pot of frogs on the way to a slow boil.

    • Crunchtime 6.2

      I think you meant “Nothing personifies genuine evil LIKE Ms Bennett”, or “MORE than Ms Bennett”.

      I’d disagree, she’s just a sock puppet. Geniune evil would be forked-toungue Key, not to mention the owners of the media outlets that pander to the Nats and quote Key without reporting on or critiquing what he says.

  7. The real kicker is in the Green’s press release (linked from the post):

    “…there was no particular financial assistance designed to help families of newborn babies who were on a benefit, who make up at least 60 per cent of all babies in poverty.

    The big question is how to reduce the numbers of newborn babies being raised on benefits – that matters a hell of a lot more than whether the people producing them get extra money to cover their costs.

    • Pasupial 7.1

      PsychoM

      Green Party Work and Employment Policy Point 2 addresses:

      Working towards a shorter working week; including the establishment of a taskforce to:
      investigate the economic and social effects of a 35-hour working week in New Zealand; and
      address barriers to a 35-hour working week, including the issues of over- and under-employment in a transition process, and suggest strategies to move those earning below average wages to a living wage.

      https://www.greens.org.nz/policy/work-and-employment-policy

      With a 12.5% reduction in hours worked per person (nominal 40 to 35 hours), even if the actual flow-on is only 50% then this should lead to a 6.25% increase in people employed; which in turn might lead to full employment.

      The basic principle of spreading the load appears sound to me, and would integrate well with a UBI. Governmental or other mediation would be required and there are some major hurdles to be overcome in implementation which is why Point 1b is:

      Establishing a high level commission into the future of work (integrating the development of vision and policy with respect to work (including paid and unpaid), income support and taxation).

      My point is that Green Party policies don’t exist in isolation of each other, and it is disingenuous to suggest that our compassion for those doing it hard means we have no plan to “reduce the numbers of newborn babies being raised on benefits”.

    • Lloyd 7.2

      If all beneficiaries got a living benefit, they would spend more. The economy would boom and there would be more jobs for beneficiaries to change their status to. Trickle up works. Pay beneficiaries enough and the total number of beneficiaries will decrease.

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    Two pieces of news that are kind of a big deal, for me. Firstly, I’m ditching my landline! I’m not a student and I’m not in a low income band, so make of that what you will. Secondly, after 10… ...
    GrumpollieBy Andrew
    2 days ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    frogblogBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    2 days ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    2 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    2 days ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
    Whistleblowers are a ‘check’ on government, corporate or organisational secrecy and malfeasance. I recently read Tim Shipman’s preview of the Chilcot report into the origins of the Tony Blair-led UK engagement in the US’s invasion of Iraq, which looked at… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Spend and Tax
    As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    2 days ago

  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    14 hours ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    15 hours ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    15 hours ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    16 hours ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    18 hours ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    3 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    3 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    4 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    6 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    6 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    6 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    7 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    7 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    7 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago

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