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Cuts to our public services to pay for elite’s tax cuts

Written By: - Date published: 10:54 pm, February 8th, 2011 - 68 comments
Categories: class war, public services, tax - Tags:

John Key’s government is just two years old but it is already clearly bereft of ideas. His lacklustre speech yesterday showed no innovative thinking. There was just his usual bile directed at Labour and the same old failed National formula: asset sales, welfare cuts, and public service cuts masked by restructuring to fund tax cuts for the rich elite.

We knew the spending cuts were coming. National has set an aggressive target to get us back into surplus in four years having created most of the deficit through passing nearly $5 billion a year in tax cuts, the lion’s share of which goes to the wealthy. Having strategically created the hole in the government books, spending cuts will now be called for to fill it.

Don’t kid yourself that this will be paid for by sacking a few board members and policy advisers in Wellington. The departments cost just $1.6 billion, or 2.3% of total government expenditure. And it’s not like these people are sitting around doing nothing: their jobs are to design and monitor the policies, and distribute the funds, that  make the over $69 billion of spending efficient. These people are the MFAT diplomats, the CYFS lawyers, the Customs policy designers, the Defence accountants, the (unwilling) National Standards architects, the Crown Law legislation drafters, the DoC planners, the Justice legal aid distributors, the Treasury economic modelers. These aren’t do nothing jobs – they are jobs that need to be done for the public services we rely on to work. The tasks they do don’t disappear if the workers do, instead the burden is passed to the ‘front-line’ and eventually on to us through worse public services.

Merging a few departments (reserving the decentralisation National carried out in the 1990s) won’t really cut spending. Even sacking the who core public service wouldn’t be enough. To fill the hole the tax cuts have created as fast as National wants, the cuts will have to come from the ‘front-line’ as well as from the government’s Kiwisaver contributions. And from benefits, it seems.

Key hinted ominously that welfare ‘reform’ was on its way.

Key’s ruled out changes to superannuation, so that’s half the welfare budget cordoned off. And, despite his call that people who can work should be working, without jobs to go into he won’t get benefit numbers down by beneficiaries going into work.

That leaves cuts to payments and denying people in need access to benefits in the first place, further impoverishing the poorest New Zealanders.

Main benefit levels are already horrifically low, so I don’t think we’ll see a frontal assault. I pick we’ll see an attack on the accommodation supplement and payments for income-related rents. Maybe no extra DPB after the X number kid (‘let the kids starve, it’s their fault they were born to a mother who couldn’t control herself’). And an attack on Working for Families by reducing the Family Tax Credit.

What are we going to do about it? We’re going to spread the word against these cuts to the public services we all use and the benefits that are (barely) supporting the country’s poorest families who are suffering from a recession they did nothing to create. We’re going to fight every cut tooth and nail. And we’re going to make sure we elect a Left government that will make the rich elite pay their share and won’t use the recession as an opportunity to beat up on the rest of us.

Update: Red Alert points us to what Key said regarding public service restructuring to the PSA Congress in 2008

I also want to reassure people – and this is my second point – that a new National Government is not going to radically reorganise the structure of the public sector.Our focus is squarely on delivering services, not on changing the wiring diagram of the state sector to get a tidier conceptual model.

Few problems are solved by significant reorganisations – in fact, many more tend to be created. It is easy to underestimate the amount of energy and inspiration soaked up by institutional change, as well as the loss of personal and institutional knowledge.

Just as Labour has done, we will take opportunities to make changes to some agencies as part of the usual business of government. However, there will be no wholesale reorganisation or restructuring across the public sector.

(h/t seeker)

68 comments on “Cuts to our public services to pay for elite’s tax cuts”

  1. millsy 1

    It goes to show, Labour (supposedly, at least) (and the left), wants the *build* society and institutions, National wants tear them down. That is what they have been about since 1936.

    The concequences will be a reduction in living standards for all except the super wealthy.

    This is war. Its time to take the fight to them.

    Our health and education system is more important than some rich person’s BMW.

  2. Olwyn 2

    Think of all the people hearing that coy announcement with terror in their hearts, like hunted animals in their own country!

    Too few people seem to be capable of caring – as a nation we deserve an honorary doctorate in hypocrisy. We brag and show off about how we freed women from being treated as chattels by men, but have voted in yet another government that treats the greater part of the population like chattels. And I do not only mean beneficiaries but also those on low wages, and those who work for the public service as well. Not to mention those who depend on others working to keep their businesses open. Even Hone’s speaking bluntly about the actual plight of actual people is greeted as if he made a colossal faux pas at a dinner party rather than simply stated the truth. Until we stop treating everyone apart from our lower middle class kings that we fancifully call elites as the only variables, we will never find the will to face up to and address our real economic problems.

    The longer this government is in office the more sympathy I feel for the man in Wellington who rang the police in a panic when he realised that National had won the election.

    • ZeeBop 2.1

      Then go to war with yourself then. You’ve immediately lost when you fail to grasp why National are forced by their constituents to slash and burn, plunder and sell. Labour’s conceit is they don’t see what’s going on. They know debt addiction amongst the (few) wealthy that still live here and large numbers of foreign wealthy who own here, is the disease NZ faces. Labour should introduce tax fairness, a CGT and bring us into line with OZ, UK and others. Our economy is diseased, slowly being picked away by speculator parasites, world currency traders who laugh at NZ everyday when they take the wealthy of NZ and pocket it – consistently. You will not get improvements, and you will get a National party that slavishly gives wealth away, until the Labour party finds a backbone and supports a Capital Gains Tax.
      Denying the disease afflicting NZ, trying solutions to rub on that just distract from the disease, isn’t going to cure anything.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        You can’t doubt that we need both heart and brains fully engaged to take on NAT and their parasitic lackeys this year.

        And yeah, LAB remains just a shadow of what it could and should be.

        • ZeeBop 2.1.1.1

          There is just one issue Labour need to sell. CGT. Every other policy decision and platform statement flows from that. Labour will continue to fail to engage middle NZ without a real plan to turn around NZ. And what better way than to start taxing capital gains parking – the whole capital gains farming at the heart of the demise of NZ, its exporting of its talent and lock block fire sale of its assets! Why vote Labour when they won’t do anything different? Might as well wait until Labour realize (like National haven’t yet) that the fundamentals have changed, eating NZ was never all that smart, or economically enriching and could only last as long as new oil kept flowing onto the market. Now we need to shift gear from slow and stupid, into sustainable and resilient. Labour have not yet got a clue.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1.1

            There’s no silver bullet that will correct the economy. A hell of a lot needs to be changed so that the wealth isn’t channelled to the few.

    • Deborah Kean 2.2

      “I feel for the man in Wellington who rang the police in a panic when he realised that National had won the election.”
      Wow, did he? That is so cool… that’s exactly what our family felt like doing! (It’s been the longest 2 and a bit years of my life)..
      Deb

  3. Lanthanide 3

    This makes me really angry. I had hoped we wouldn’t get any of the real National bullshit until the 2nd term, but it looks like they’re going to go early and get it in their 3rd budget.

    Hopefully it’ll back fire and guarantee they won’t get a chance at 3 more.

    I think it’s highly likely I’ll be making some large donations to Labour later this year.

    captcha: dumb

    • fizzleplug 3.1

      If I was going to be making large donations, I’d want them earmarked for something. Perhaps they could be used to pay Phil Goff out so that someone worth electing is in charge?

      What I would love to see to help cut spending? I would love to see interest-free student loans go, and WFF pared back so that those earning large sums are not eligible. I would also like to see that there is no DPB for mothers who cannot name the father of their children. It’s time to make parents (even if only biological) take responsibility for their actions.

      I know it hasn’t been mentioned in this post, but has anyone pointed out to Phil Goff the difference between capital and operational spending? He seems confused over the missile system upgrade.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        I would also like to see that there is no DPB for mothers who cannot name the father of their children. It’s time to make parents (even if only biological) take responsibility for their actions.

        Because a solo mum naming the father of their child is going to save the Govt so much money in DNA testing to prove the claim?

        And perhaps I’ve misread you, but you talk about parents taking responsibility yet you let the deadbeat dad’s get off scott free instead threatening the mothers who are actually there and who are stepping forwards every day to raise their children?

        Think for a second before having a bash at vulnerable women, thanks.

        • fizzleplug 3.1.1.1

          It’s should be the mothers responsibility to name the man who fathered her child (because the man won’t do it). At this point, the man/deadbeat dad becomes responsible through child support. If she can’t do that (excluding children conceived through rape obviously), why should we pay for her? What’s to stop her having multiple children by multiple fathers? Currently – nothing. Which is why it happens so frequently.

          Think things through for more than a second before replying, thanks.

          • Deborah Kean 3.1.1.1.1

            “What’s to stop her having multiple children by multiple fathers? Currently – nothing. Which is why it happens so frequently.”
            You know that how? Sometimes a woman is actually afraid of the man, which is why she won’t name him… (I think that happens about as frequently as women having children by multiple fathers (which is what I did, BTW, not because I planned it, but because I am a bad judge of character.) Somehow you seem to think women do that while on the DPB. That doesn’t happen, dude!
            Deb

  4. seeker 4

    This is yet another broken promise

    http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/2011/02/08/broken-promise-no-15/

    Why is a rather unethical person and party running this country? I cannot understand it- or their true blue followers’ delight with them.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Once NAT have sold off our assets, impoverished the people, caused massive social upheaval, created another generation of despondent young NZ’ers what the hell are they going to do?

    Fence off Parnell, Rumera and Epsom so they have somewhere safe to live?

  6. Arthur 6

    Even Hone’s speaking bluntly about the actual plight of actual people is greeted as if he made a colossal faux pas at a dinner party rather than simply stated the truth. Until we stop treating everyone apart from our lower middle class kings that we fancifully call elites as the only variables, we will never find the will to face up to and address our real economic problems.

    Its easy for Hone to start to speak bluntly about the plight of the people now.But where were they back when the longterm plight of the people was needed to be considered,back in the years before the voting of National back into power happened?.Maori and Pakeha were forever always so busy battling it out between each other back then,and from the National party point of view, all this squabbling was just like handing candy to a baby.It played right into National party greasy little hands come time to vote.They will now make all these cuts and start radically reorganising the structure just the same as they have already been doing.With some of our health institutions already in a big mess,a situation of which the long term costs will also soon enough show up somewhere later down the track to bite us where it hurts and remind us once again just how stupid and costly these institutional changes can be if really not appropriate.

    Not that John Keys wealthy friends will really mind so much they still gained big dollars from the deal.Beside it will end up being all the rest of us Kiwis plus all of Hones whānau and friends that will end up paying for the mess.

  7. M 7

    Anyone with half a brain should be scared with this carefully worded agenda as they may be employed now, but what if a job loss looms large in their future?

    I believe a lot of the problem is that people are too scared to speak out for fear of being called out on the prevailing de rigeur views of the right, but speak out they must.

    What passes for news in this country is laughable especially with punks like Garner – I’m sure John Key saves untold sums on toilet paper merely by having Garner stalk the corridors of Parliament.

  8. tsmithfield 8

    A dollar saved is better than a dollar earned.

    Families and businesses seek to reduce their costs when the going gets tough. Why shouldn’t the government do exactly the same? Government is an unproductive cost. If that cost can be reduced without unduly affecting outcomes, it is a good thing.

    So far as governments are concerned, a dollar saved is better than a dollar earned. This is true because a lot of those displaced from the public sector will eventually find their way into the private sector where their efforts can be directed towards producing real income for the economy which can be taxed, and thus increase overall income for the government.

    • Bored 8.1

      So TS, to cut the family costs shall we shove the children out the door, saying goodo go look after yourselves. Is your world view so limited and blighted by an anti social malaise that you would rap heap anything not based upon the profit principle? Ebenezer TS are you? You really need to get a life and have a look at your beloved private sector whose productivity is very much bound up with an integrated relationship with government for the very services it relies upon. Especially when it comes down to transfer costs and rentier behavoir (which you in previous posts have shown absolutley no knowledge of). In short you are an appallingly ignorant bore. Get a life and stop boring us with your pedantic mendacious nonsense.

      • tsmithfield 8.1.1

        Bored: “So TS, to cut the family costs shall we shove the children out the door, saying goodo go look after yourselves.”

        Stop being a drama queen.

        • orange whip? 8.1.1.1

          Then what do you suggest we do with them?

          • tsmithfield 8.1.1.1.1

            If they are 30 years old, consuming all the food without paying board, and sitting around playing video games all day, then kick them out.

            • Rosy 8.1.1.1.1.1

              No they’re 18 and 20 years old, living at home because they can’t get a student allowance like their rich cousin down the road, and trying to work and do justice to their tertiary studies at the same time.

            • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.1.2

              Yeah 30 year olds should at least own their own house for gawdsakes.

              Oh whoops, I forgot home ownership in that age bracket has collapsed as housing affordability compared to wages has collapsed.

              • RedLogix

                Come off it CV, even in the ‘good old days’ many folk didn’t get into their own first home until their late 20’s or early 30’s. I didn’t until I was 30.

                I do understand that housing affordability right now is very poor. But still not impossible. Over the last 8 yrs of being a landlord for a total of 16 different tenant groups… 5 of them have moved on because they have managed to get themselves into their own home. And good on them. We usually take around a celebratory ‘chardonnay’ or two and congratulate them.

                But noteably they have all been stable households (incl. one lesbian couple) in their 30’s… and without exception have been well organised, reliable people who were meticulous about caring for our property and paying the rent on time.

                • infused

                  I’ve just turned 28, just getting my first home. I haven’t really wanted one until now though.

                  This is what I don’t get. At 20 I started planning my life. I started planning my busines(s). I started them. I knew I was not going to have a kid until I can afford it. Likewise until now I’ve planned everything – and it’s all gone to plan.

                  Why can’t other people?

                  • millsy

                    Why cant you accept the need for publicly funded, health, education welfare and protections for workers, etc.

                    Why do you think you are so better than everyone else?

            • orange whip? 8.1.1.1.1.3

              tsmithfield,

              Perhaps you missed my subtle prod. Fair enough, you’re obviously a busy man.

              Where is “out” in your analogy?

        • Bored 8.1.1.2

          Drama queen? I noticed Mr Ebeneezer TS that you did not object to being described as afflicted by an anti social malaise, nor of being appalingly ignorant, nor of being a mendacious pedant. So be it.

          PS As suggested go and do something useful and talk to your beloved Nats about their proposed attack upon liberty in the Criminal Procedure Bill before they arrest you and make you talk, then ask for your defense prior to trial.

    • Marty G 8.2

      “Families and businesses seek to reduce their costs when the going gets tough. Why shouldn’t the government do exactly the same?”

      Because the government is 30-odd percent of the economy. If it cuts its spending, it kills the rest of the economy (remember the endless recession from 1989 to 1993 as the government cut and cut? – it took until 1997 until GDP per capita had reached its 1989 peak again). The government should run counter-cyclically – removing demand from the economy during the booms by paying down its debt to keep inflation under control and adding demand to the economy during recessions to prop up demand by running deficits.

      “Government is an unproductive cost. If that cost can be reduced without unduly affecting outcomes, it is a good thing. ”

      Wait. In the first sentence, you say government is unproductive, in the second you say it does produce outcomes. Which is it? Clearly the latter. You would have to be a moron to think the government doesn’t produce anything. Every day it supplies education to 1.1 million people, and that’s just education.

      It’s uninformative to say ‘if we can do the same thing cheaper, we should’. That’s obvious and not disputed. The point is that National will do less with less.

      “This is true because a lot of those displaced from the public sector will eventually find their way into the private sector where their efforts can be directed towards producing real income for the economy which can be taxed, and thus increase overall income for the government.”

      So, a) you think that the public sector doesn’t produce any value? The GDP figures disagree with you
      b) income earned by public sector workers is taxed
      c) the models show that you get a higher economic multiplier from directed government spending than from simply cutting the tax for every over a certain income

      • tsmithfield 8.2.1

        Marty: “Because the government is 30-odd percent of the economy. If it cuts its spending, it kills the rest of the economy”

        You are contradicting yourself, Marty. In your title you claim that government spending cuts are funding tax cuts. If that is the case, then the money saved in government expenditure is being funnelled back into the economy in a way that is more likely, not less likely, to boost growth.

        Anyway, I guess by your argument if government spending was 90% of the economy you would be estatic because the economy would be humming?

        Marty: “Wait. In the first sentence, you say government is unproductive, in the second you say it does produce outcomes. Which is it? Clearly the latter. You would have to be a moron to think the government doesn’t produce anything. Every day it supplies education to 1.1 million people, and that’s just education.”

        Its unproductive in the sense that it is a cost. If the cost can be reduced without greatly affecting the benefits that arise from the cost, then why not cut spending. For instance, in the context of a business, if the business can cut vehicle and petrol costs for sales staff, and at the same time increase sales by directing the staff into more telemarketing, then why not do it, if it produces better results for less cost.

        Marty: “It’s uninformative to say ‘if we can do the same thing cheaper, we should’. That’s obvious and not disputed. The point is that National will do less with less.”

        As pointed out in the example I gave above, it aint necessarily so.

        Marty: “So, a) you think that the public sector doesn’t produce any value? The GDP figures disagree with you
        b) income earned by public sector workers is taxed
        c) the models show that you get a higher economic multiplier from directed government spending than from simply cutting the tax for every over a certain income”

        I certainly believe the public service is a necessary evil. However, I believe there are better ways of doing things that cost less and may well produce better results. The innovations and cost reductions that have resulted from technology are good examples of this. If this sort of outcome can be achieved, then why not?

        • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.1

          I certainly believe the public service is a necessary evil (1). However, I believe there are better ways of doing things that cost less and may well produce better results (2). The innovations and cost reductions that have resulted from technology are good examples of this (3).

          BULLSHIT

          1) The public service is a necessity of civilised social society.

          It recognises that the common good and the needs of communities is not best served by a profit making market system, or a corporate fiefdom, or by making a buck off someone else to put in your own pocket. Business interests did not get rid of child labour or create wages eliminating the existence of working paupers. The public service as the acting arm of local and central Government did. The public service serves the public.

          With regulations, standards and inspections, public service saved Christchurch buildings from being levelled to 1′ off the ground.

          2) The private sector has just destroyed over US$4 trilliion in workers’ savings and hopes in the last three years. Add into that the AOL’s, Enron’s, American Airways, GM’s and Sorry mate the old right wing meme that the private sector knows what it is doing, and can survive without Government hand outs, is just that – an old right wing meme.

          3) Govt funded the development of large swathes of that technology, the private sector got on the coat tails afterwards. (Especially US Govt defense funding – core tech in nuclear power to the 747 to Google originated with public sector funding). Without Governments co-ordinating community funding and creation of airports, ports and roads the private sector could not operate.

          You ungrateful private sector cheerleading sod.

          • tsmithfield 8.2.1.1.1

            CV”1.The public service is a necessity of civilised social society.” We agree. I just think it is an unfortunate necessity that should be minimised if possible.

            CV:”2) The private sector has just destroyed over US$4 trilliion in workers’ savings and hopes in the last three years. Add into that the AOL’s, Enron’s, American Airways, GM’s and Sorry mate the old right wing meme that the private sector knows what it is doing, and can survive without Government hand outs, is just that – an old right wing meme.”

            The big difference is that people willingly risk their own money in private enterprises. With public ones, people have no choice. Their taxes are wasted for them by governments. For every example of private sector failures etc there are examples of public ones. For example, the nonsenses of the Christchurch City Council buying back buildings from Dave Henderson at a ridiculous price. Rate payers had no say in that decision although it was their money that was being poured down the toilet.

            CV: “You ungrateful private sector cheerleading sod.”

            Thanks for the compliment. :smile:

            • Colonial Viper 8.2.1.1.1.1

              The big difference is that people willingly risk their own money in private enterprises.

              BULLSHIT

              How can you even spit such crap out of your mouth.

              How much of their own money did the executives of Anglo Irish Bank risk??? Before asking for billions of euros of bailout money from the public purse.

              Their taxes are wasted for them by governments.

              Yeah, like preventing the need for poor people to beg on the streets is a “waste”.

              If you want people to have a direct say in all major decisions that their local and central Govt makes, simply campaign for direct democratic government and binding referenda.

              I’d support you. (hahaha end of Bill and John’s asset sales plans)

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.2

        Families and businesses seek to reduce their costs when the going gets tough. Why shouldn’t the government do exactly the same “Families and businesses seek to reduce their costs when the going gets tough. Why shouldn’t the government do exactly the same?

        When the private sector cannot or will not support the people with adequate income, then the public sector must.

        • higherstandard 8.2.2.1

          Ummmmmm isn’t that vote Welfare ?

          • ZeeBop 8.2.2.1.1

            Exactly. Key cannot leave the population starving, growing sicker, and crime rising. Key will attempt to shift the burden onto the many as much as he can but there is a limit to how much more can be squeezed out of the NZ economy. We did not have the massive collapses and stress of the soviegn debt others do because NZ never shined as an economy, it was easier, still is, to make a buck here by farming some capital gain, often just by talking up the prospect of capital gain. Like food spikes NZ on a winner, will quickly crash when governments forced by their population to rebuild food reserve buffers. You see if you spend anytime living here you realize that every cent is best put overseas and out of harms way, and then grow some debt on top just to play the currency and capital gains (but only if you run one of the many small monopolies here). The NZ economy is basically about selling off the arms and paying for it by cutting off your own legs and eating them to stay alive.

    • Akldnut 8.3

      Families and businesses seek to reduce their costs when the going gets tough. Why shouldn’t the government do exactly the same? Government is an unproductive cost. If that cost can be reduced without unduly affecting outcomes, it is a good thing.

      Rodney!…. Is that you Rodney?

  9. I just hope the people who advised the government we would see oil at $25.00 a barrel out to 2025 aren’t still on the payroll.

  10. higherstandard 10

    How many departments and ministries did we have thirty years ago ?

    How many core bureaucrats did we have thirty years ago ?

    How many of each do we have now ?

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Other questions:

      1) What is our population now?
      2) What is our GDP now?
      3) What is the complexity, pace and demands of life like compared to the 1970’s and 1980’s?

    • Marty G 10.2

      the absolute number of departments is irrelevant, whether you cut the government up into little bits or have it as monolithic bodies doesn’t matter too much either way. It was actually the neoliberals who cut it all up in the first place, more efficient they reckoned.

      The size of the bureaucracy has decreased significantly http://thestandard.org.nz/public-service-numbers/ Last time, National cut so deep the public service could hardly run an election (remember 1999?)

    • Sean 10.3

      Not sure how to answer your questions given the Statistic New Zealand data I can source online only go back to 1989.

      In 1989Q1 there were 309,300 public sector FTEs, comprising 31.41% of the total work force.
      Latest figures 2010Q4 identify 290,800 public sector FTEs, comprising 22.12% of the total work force.

      The percentage of public sector workers out of the total workforce has hovered around 20%-21% for about fifteen years now. But if you are looking for a magic period in 1981, when Rob Muldoon lorded over a smaller public sector, I think you would be out of luck Higherstandard.

      • higherstandard 10.3.1

        There won’t be Sean – remember we have NZ rail, NZ post etc during those years so there were well and truly lots of public servants.

        Unfortunately I suspect either side will be able to manipulate figures to produce stats that are suggestive of whatever argument they wish to promulgate.

        I was sent a very good article some time ago that covers some of the issues in a fairly neutral and reasoned manner.

        http://www.mckinsey.com/clientservice/publicsector/pdf/TG_MoG_Issue4_productivity.pdf

        • Sean 10.3.1.1

          Unfortunately I suspect either side will be able to manipulate figures to produce stats that are suggestive of whatever argument they wish to promulgate.

          True, that’s why I went with Statistics New Zealand. Given they are a government body, which has a history stretching back over a series of name changes for over a century, I feel their data would be at least consistant.

          I imagine we might disagree about what the term “core bureaucrats” means, and while I thank you for the article linked, I can say in response to it that the public sector has not been in status quo since the 4th Labour Government. There is constant change.

  11. Craig Glen Eden 11

    Things are really bighting now, any more cuts in Government spending and the economy is going to go into reverse National are clowns, no answers no vision.Bring on the election, 2012 polling will show John Key is still the most popular Prime Minister but he want be in Government.

  12. Afewknowthetruth 12

    New Zealanders are getting exactly what they asked for at the last election: daylight robbery by a gang of self-serving looters, followed by slow annihilation via the starvation that comes with climate catastrophe and oil depletion.

    http://www.countercurrents.org/glikson070211.pdf

    Most people couldn’t care less.

    .

    • O2B 12.1

      Exactly, those that voted National at the last election are getting exactly what they deserve. One of my oldest friends – true blue from the heart of Fendalton – couldn’t get a job and left for Australia. The problem is trying to convince our friends and family to vote for a more inclusive party. I am doing my bit, hopefully everyone else that sees the left in a positive light will be doing the same.

      I am sick to death of the current mob. But Labour has to be a bit more proactive and build more of a presence than they’re doing if they want to swing the polls and win.

  13. I hate to simply throw in a link to an article I wrote, but it’s relevant. I am a middle class, white, working male who supports social welfare. After many years of simply getting angry about poor stereotypes and prejudices directed at beneficiaries, I have finally explained why I support social welfare and am more than happy to pay tax on the money I earn when that tax is used to support it:

    http://frank-ritchie.com/post/3167802474/why-i-support-social-welfare

    If we rip the guts out of welfare, we are ripping the guts out of what can truly make our country great.

    [lprent: We don't mind links that are relevant to posts (or in OpenMike) - in fact we like them. It is only irrelevant links (you should see the ones that spambots try to add) or putting in links with no explanation about why people should read them that attract moderators. There is nothing better than a good link with a explanation of why it is interesting because it keeps the cut'n'paste away. ]

    • Olwyn 13.1

      A timely piece of writing Frank, and good on you for coming out and stating it. I realise that your article is not party affiliated, but is is the second piece along these lines that I have read this morning, the first was from Metiria Turei of the Green Party, in reference to her father:

      http://www.greens.org.nz/speeches/my-father-address-reply

      I refuse to use the pejorative term “underclass” favouring “the dispossessed” instead.

      • Frank Ritchie 13.1.1

        Thanks Olwyn.

        I watched the opening day of Parliament yesterday as it is relevant for my job to know where the parties are heading in an election year. I had the privilege of hearing Metiria’s speech and thought it was great to actually hear a politician finally honouring the support (through social welfare) that led her to where she is. Since I had written my piece before parliament started, it helped validate my approach.

        It’s a pity other politicians don’t publicly honour the system that helped them in the same way as they cripple that support.

        • Lanthanide 13.1.1.1

          John Key and Bennet like to trumpet their rags to riches story all the time. But I don’t think they really mean it.

    • KJT 13.2

      Thanks for the link. You have said what I wanted to say much better than I could.

      Even though I am not religious nice to hear a real Christian following the Christian principles which much of our society was founded on.

      • Frank Ritchie 13.2.1

        KJT – it often saddens me that much of the Christian voice has been co-opted by the ‘right’… though I think the terms ‘left’ and ‘right’ are very inadequate.

        Historically Christianity (since Rome made it the official religion of the empire) has always faced a struggle between mixing with power (and making all the compromises that go with it) and challenging it. The Christian church should be the voice of conscious for our country on how we treat those at our margins… the Christian community should have a focus on social issues rather than issues of sexuality which some have been very vocal about in our recent political history. No matter what people may think about the Bible and the messy story within it, it gives more emphasis to how the poor are treated than it does to sexuality – but that’s a whole other discussion ;)

        • Craig Glen Eden 13.2.1.1

          Good post and article Frank R, its interesting to see how right wing politics has saturated many in Christian circles particularly Pentecostal Church’s its so easy to say Jesus loves you its a bloody lot harder to show just how much.

    • Deborah Kean 13.3

      Your article is brilliant Frank, and it’s good to see you here!
      Deb

    • Armchair Critic 13.4

      Well said Frank

  14. Deadly_NZ 14

    Election 2012???? Fuck we can’t afford another year of the NACTS! 2011 please.

  15. Arthur 15

    Cuts to our public services isnt the only option to save money.Refining public services to preform the duty far better could save lots of money too, and lets face it some of our publc services performances sure are shocking.For instance cuts to public services are already costing us money in the health system as the awkward inappropriate set-up fail to take care of patients needs.The total cost of these situations will play out more in the longterm,when people who should have got well dont end up getting well, dont return to work plus end up needing more extra ongoing health care that by then has also escalated immensely in value.

    Only through good planning and refining toward better efficency, can the real savings be made.Cutting and slashing wont achieve it.All this does is drive more people overseas where they can hopefully get some better treatment all round.And this also strips NZ of all the people we need creating a brain drain.Meaning Government money is also being lost training people who in the end simply cant afford to even stay here.

  16. Arthur 16

    I personally know of somebody in the Wellington area at this present moment of time who has all the doctors certificates saying his health is such that he simply cannot work at present and will need to be on a benefit.Its been weeks already and he`s even had great trouble getting appointments sorted with WINZ,he cannot pay his rent and the landlords ended up going through the process of taking him to tenancy tribunal which will also cost somebody more money and time .To top it all off at the very same time WINZ is also sending him mail warning him that he is behind on payments he needs to keep making to repay what he owes them.All this when WINZ system already knows his situation.This person has mental health issues and over the past few years did return to the work force.However his health situation has now changed for the worse.But im not sure how putting him through this hell is supposed ? to be so helpful in the long run for his mental health.This silly situation only makes matters more costly.

    What i really cant understand is evidently Trevor Mallard has also already been made fully aware of this particular situation.So why is it we dont even see more of these type matters being pushed further forward into public view. If Labour isnt going to look like they will be really bothered about it all, then what good reason is there for people to bother returning to vote for them again either?

    Ive voted Labour all my life.But sadly i have to say these days i cant help feeling maybe Labour is all washed out and has really lost something.They sure do need to return more to their roots.Get back out there amongst the people,find out more about all these problems the people are dealing with and push them forward.And show they are actually honestly even interested.

    Until they do that.Why should your average Joe blogs really have reason for having much faith in bothering placing their vote with Labour ?. Many people wont even bother to vote.Making John Keys job in fleeacing this country a complete breeze

    • oscar 16.1

      Labour are irrelevant in todays society. Populated by ancient relics who have no real world experience and don’t know how to listen.
      If you really want to change the country, vote tactically. Give labour your electorate vote, but party vote green.
      If we can get all the disenfranchised labourites to do this, then we could end up with a green pm, assuming the greens get a higher percentage vote share than labour.

      • Craig Glen Eden 16.1.1

        Yeah Oscar you have obviously never talked with Dr Norman then, some irrelevant bloke at the Greens. When the Greens have achieved what Labour has for the worker come back and we will chat.

  17. KJT 17

    I can think of some savings already.
    Just replace treasury with a walking talking Roger Douglas doll.

    • Pascal's bookie 17.1

      There are synergies all over the place.

      Combine Defence with IRD, give defence 10% of all penalty payments from evaders and defence will be self-funding inside a year. Guarantee it. People love to support the troops, and they like to see where their taxes are going.

  18. Oscar 18

    So pushing for rental standards, home insulation, higher wages, child safety, clean tech, and significant welfare reform isn’t doing anything?

    By any chance, you don’t think that in the greens 10 years in Parliament they’ve done nothing?

    Pfft, they’ve done far more to highlight the serious causes of our inequality than any other party in living memory. The greens are the best placed to drive our inequality levels down being the only true party for social justice and equality.

    Labour: Tomorrows National.

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    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
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • 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
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • 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
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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