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Damien Grant thinks tax fraudsters are more worthy than beneficiary fraudsters

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, February 9th, 2014 - 238 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, poverty, tax - Tags:

tax evasion vs benefit fraud

Herald columnist Damien Grant has really outdone himself with his latest column.  He think that people convicted of beneficiary fraud should be treated more severely than tax cheats.

Why?  I am not sure.  His column is rather brief at less than 350 words but basically I think he is saying that the rich are good people and the poor should be despised so a difference in treatment is justified.

He starts off by presenting data which suggests that those convicted of tax evasion have been treated far more leniently than those convicted of benefit fraud.

Victoria University lecturer Lisa Marriott last year researched the difference in sentencing outcomes for tax cheats and beneficiary fraudsters.

Tax offenders are less likely to go to prison than benefit scammers. Of those who were sent to prison the average tax fraud was $800,000 and they enjoyed a 25-month sojourn, compared to an average benefit scam of $130,000 in return for a paltry 17-month stint.

Of those the IRD prosecuted between 2009 and 2011, only 39 went away compared with 48 for benefit fraud. Most convicted tax evaders were rorting the system, usually by getting false GST refunds. However, the real cost to the system is evasions that are civil in nature, such as the famous South Island surgeons Ian Penny and Gary Hooper whose creative accounting structures were unwound by the Supreme Court; or Andrew Krukziener who took $5 million from his company as a loan, and not as income.

I had some trouble reconciling this passage with Marriott’s research.  In a Victoria University description of her work the following is stated:

Her analysis of court data on the most serious offending from 2008–2011 shows that 22 percent of people found guilty of tax offences received a custodial sentence while 60 percent of benefit fraudsters were imprisoned.

Dr Marriott’s investigation also shows tax crimes are more costly, with those given custodial sentences committing offences valued at just over $800,000. Benefit fraud averaged $67,000 per offender.

Benefit fraud cost New Zealand $22 million in 2010, or around $5 for each New Zealander. While it is difficult to get accurate figures for tax evasion, the Tax Justice Network estimates New Zealand missed out on more than $7.4 billion of tax revenue in 2011, or around $1,500 per New Zealander.

Grant has apparently chosen to compare the number of people who went to jail, 39 (tax fraud) compared to 48 (benefit fraud), whereas the difference in proportions is far more stark, 22% (tax fraud) compared to 60% (benefit fraud).  The statement also refers to a figure of $67,000 being the average for a benefit fraud offender and it is not clear if this is the average for all offenders or just for those who are incarcerated.  Grant says this figure is $130,000.

Grant reaches his conclusion by comparing his view of the morality of underpaying tax with the morality of defrauding the benefit system.

He reasons that since only 380,000 individuals pay half of all income tax then they should be treated differently.  People earning more than $80,000 are in that group.  He also states that most tax is paid by businesses through corporate tax or receipted GST payments.  This shows an interesting mindset in that businesses paying GST are not paying money out of their own pockets but paying money they collected from their customers on behalf of the Crown.

He then says that since this group are “net contributors” to society and beneficiaries are not then tax dodgers should be shown more leniency. Of course this ignores a rather large hole in the logic in that if your average tax fraudster is engaging in $800,000 worth of tax fraud it is very unlikely that they are anything close to being a “net contributor”.  It is much more likely they are living it up on money that should have been spent on schools and hospitals.

His analysis also assumes that all wealthy people are in the top tax bracket.  The Herald’s own research suggests that two thirds of the country’s richest people are through tax avoidance measures not in the top tax bracket.

Finally he obviously sees nothing useful coming from those forced to survive on a benefit.  With barely disguised bile he says:

Beneficiary cheats, by contrast, are providing nothing to start with and seek to enrich themselves further by deception and dishonesty.

Judges understand this, which is why beneficiary cheats go to jail for longer, as they should.

The complete lack of understanding of humanity and of the difficulties that beneficiaries face as well as an obsequious worshiping of the rich is strong in this column.

238 comments on “Damien Grant thinks tax fraudsters are more worthy than beneficiary fraudsters”

  1. Sacha 1

    “Damian Grant thinks” might be over-stating it. What a nasty little man.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    One law for the rich, another for the poor.

    Good for Damien to just come right out and confess it.

    • adam 2.1

      In Roman days it was the opposite, before the rot set in that is. The rich and well educated were dealt with quite harshly as they were expected to know the law and it was assumed that for them to break the law – was a willful act.

    • Damien Grant 2.2

      thanks.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1

        Your confession is valuable, you see, because it demonstrates the arrogance and hubris that so typifies those riding for a fall, and lends weight to the thesis that your opinions are a disease.

        Time for your medicine.

        • Damien Grant 2.2.1.1

          yep. I expect I will be first up against the wall when the revolution comes. I only hope I go with dignity.

          However, you may want to consider that, on almost all fronts, the socialist/centre-left has won. Even John Key is not unwinding key elements of the welfare state; from WFF to interest free student loans and we do have a very progressive tax and social welfare system.

          It may surprise you, but you and those who think like you are in the ascendency. Libertarians are mocked and scorned as an irrelevance, because, frankly, we are.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1.1.1

            No. The policies you espouse have caused countless deaths in New Zealand and the world over, and yet no-one is advocating the death penalty for you, although I can understand the sentiment.

            Incompetent fact-free drivel has a way of becoming irrelevant on its own.

          • geoff 2.2.1.1.2

            I only hope I go with dignity.

            Haha! you’ve got to have it before you can lose it.

            I see this “the left has already won, what more can they want??” meme is getting thrashed by you ACT wallies. All part of the inverted-reality campaign by the right this election year.
            Pissing on people’s shoes and telling them it’s raining.

            What’s really sad is that 50 years ago, when everyone got a fair lick of the spoon, people such as yourself were laughed at, even by the right. And yet today you get space in a National rag to air your filth.

          • phillip ure 2.2.1.1.3

            vanishing comments..again..

            ..header/white-page..

            ..the usual..

            ..phillip ure..

          • Lee Churchman 2.2.1.1.4

            Q. What’s the difference between Libertarianism and Communism?

            A. We know from experience that communism sort of worked for quite a while, at least enough to keep a society going (and enabling that society to be a military and technological superpower) and produce a tolerable standard of living for millions of people. Sure, it was far from an optimal system and had many problems, but it more or less functioned and bumbled along in its own peculiar way.

            People like you are asking the rest of us to take a punt on a system that has never been proven to work. At least the commies can tell us with confidence that we’ll have bread and toilet rolls, even if we will probably have to queue for them. Libertarianism is a faith based political philosophy by comparison.

            • KJT 2.2.1.1.4.1

              What has been proven to work is socialist and democratic mixed economies where State infrastructure is at least 50% of the mix.

              And regulation ensures cheats do not prosper.

              Only the most successful economies in History.

              New Zealand was one, once.

              “Libertarian” countries do exist. No one is preventing Grant from leaving for Somalia.

              I hope though, he is true to his principles, and leaves behind every dollar of wealth that he has because of our efforts and tax payer contributions.

              “Randian superheros”, like Grant, fondly imagine that they could be successful in a Libertarian society. The truth is, someone as gullible, dissociated from reality, and lacking in practical skills and knowledge, as your average “libertarian” would be as “successful” as Ayn Rand.
              No different from those that wish for a return of feudal society, imagining they would not be one of the serfs.

              • adam

                The libertarian right are full of shit. Seriously you and yours say you love liberty, and yet the economic system you worship is inherently authoritarian. Your all in bed with hard core authoritarian types, indeed in NZ you need to suck on balls of them to get a seat in parliament. Coupled with this, we live in a type of capitalism which is embedded with the state and corporations – some might even call it corporate welfare.

                And do libertarians on the right criticize that? Nope don’t hear the voice of the libertarian right arguing that corporate welfare is against freedom. Don’t hear from the libertarian right on much really that goes hand in hand with freedom. Freedom to privacy, nope, one of yours voted to end that, association, not again one of yours vote to restrict that – what about the freedom to vote, on no wait again, one of yours voted to restrict voting rights – so defenders of freedom – Bullshit!

                The majority of you venture into hate politics, blame the poor, and moan like bloke who’s been kicked in the balls when the evidence is against you.

                You don’t love freedom your lying and you’re lying to yourself. You see, the libertarian left don’t envy you, we just think you’re a bunch idiots who are just like the marxist – paternalist and arrogant. Vulgar marxist is all you are, vulgar.

  3. Flip 3

    What a ridiculous opinion on a MSM website. Do they have no editorial responsibility? Trolling as an article in a national newspaper website. MSM becomes less credible by the hour. And MSM pays money for this tripe.

  4. grant is indeed one of the most loathsome of the coven of rightwing/neo-lib apologists maintained by the herald..

    ..but i wd question the figures in the above graph..

    ..in the bryan bruce doco..a tax-industry lawyer/insider..

    ..estimated benefit-fraud at $21-23 milllion..

    ..and the frauds perpetrated by the wealthy/elites/corporates..

    ..at $3.5 billion…each and every year..

    ..(there’s yr ‘ending-poverty’ funding-solution..in one fell swoop..)

    ..phillip ure..

  5. Tigger 6

    The vileness of the piece is outdone only by its stupidity.

    His conclusion is that the only way we contribute to society is through tax. The rich, therefore, give the most, beneficiaries give nothing.

    Funny, didn’t a beneficiary birth and raise our current PM?

  6. gem 7

    ”He reasons that since only 380,000 individuals pay half of all income tax then they should be treated differently. People earning more than $80,000 are in that group.”

    This is trotted out all the time, including on this morning’s Radio NZ Insight programme on inequality.
    It is usually expressed as the top 10% paying 70% of income tax.
    It ignores GST burden on low income earners. But apart from that, the left aren’t countering this argument with the obvious: That the rich pay more tax because they have too much money.
    A young person I know who went to an election candidates meeting seemed to come away having absorbed this one single ‘fact’, that the rich already pay more than their share; it appeared to have made quite an impression.
    There seems to be a reticence on the left to make this argument for fear of looking extreme.
    The case for equality has to be on moral grounds, or the right wins the argument.

    • mickysavage 7.1

      Agreed gem that we need to do a proper analysis. For instance GST is paid by corporates and the self employed so I presume is counted in this calculation but the reality is that much of it is paid by ordinary people to the corporates who then pay it on to the IRD.

      • GST counted as an income tax? That would be creative accounting. ;)

        But yes, the point needs to be that those who have been successful have a responsibility to ensure our society is set up so that the next generation is able to have as many people with the same degree of success. If the rich don’t pay at least half of all taxes, imagine how much more the poor would have to pay. And we probably don’t want a society where people are forced to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet.

        • mickysavage 7.1.1.1

          I need more coffee and to learn to read slower …

          • gem 7.1.1.1.1

            Yep, income tax and GST are distinct.
            But the main point for me is why the left isn’t making a moral intellectual argument about inequality.
            Puddleglum on Open Mike a couple of days ago wrote an excellent post on this question of why the left needs to make moral arguments, and how they differ from value-based ones. It’s long, but worth reading.

            • karol 7.1.1.1.1.1

              gem, the argument you refer to has been made frequently (repeatedly) by people on this blog.

              ie this one:

              .But apart from that, the left aren’t countering this argument with the obvious: That the rich pay more tax because they have too much money.

              Maybe you are thinking the parliamentary left isn’t making this point, rather than the wider left.

              • gem

                Most people do not interact with the intellectual/activist left, and generally encounter left ideas and policies filtered by the mainstream media, which is focused on the parliamentary left, so I guess that means Green/Labour/Mana.
                The example I used was a young person attending a general election candidates’ meeting in 2011, where it seemed the left candidates had no response to the right’s zippy line that 10% pay 70% of income tax.
                Calling for the rich to pay their fair share is ineffective when it can be countered like that.

            • karol 7.1.1.1.1.2

              I think he ended up kind of agreeing that moral arguments are very similar to ones based on social values.

              And I also think many on the left do use that kind of framing – frequently.

              But, of course, it’s not the sort of thing picked up very often by the MSM.

              • gem

                ‘I think he ended up kind of agreeing that moral arguments are very similar to ones based on social values.’
                Yes, but Puddleglum made a distinction that is kind of crucial when you’re dealing with politicians:

                ”However, one difference I would make between ‘social values’ (as defined in your link) and ‘morality’ – or ‘morals’ – as I understand them, is that values are ‘ends’ or ‘goals’ whereas ‘morality’ is a ‘means’ (the ‘quality’ of action, whether by individuals, organisations or states that is regulated by means of ‘sanction’, which is to say broad ‘approval’ or ‘disapproval’).
                Put simply, it seems to me that ‘social values’ state the goal by which (if the entity is being ‘honest’) people or societies will be judged, or will judge themselves. Morality, by contrast, – and this is what I was trying to say in my preceding comment – concerns how someone actually acts (i.e., not what they claim to value). In politics, morality – as opposed to ‘values’ – is what is manifested in policy and in the laws used to enact it. And that is what concerns me. I’m less interested in what a political party claims to ‘value’ than in what its policies, legislation (should it get the chance to legislate) and its executive actions sanction …”

                We have all seen this at play.
                For example, Labour highly values paying workers a living wage, but this will only happen as conditions allow (provisions for direct government employees in the first budget if possible financially, then later for indirect employees, as conditions allow …)
                In contrast Labour recognises a moral imperative in instituting a near universal best start baby and infant payment – there is a policy with a firm timeline.

                • karol

                  I disagree on the ends vs means differentiation re-values and morals.

                  The Greens are the better example for this – firmly based in values, which not only underly their goals, but their means – collaborative ways of operating etc.

                  Green Party Values:

                  As a party and as members of that party, we aim to:

                  1. Act according to our Charter
                  2. Respect the planet and the web of life of which we are one part
                  3. Take the path of caution in the face of serious uncertainty about the consequences of human action
                  4. Think long term and holistically
                  5. Make decisions by consensus whenever possible
                  6. Engage respectfully, without personal attacks
                  7. Support ideas on their merit, regardless of where they originate
                  8. Actively respect cultural and individual diversity and celebrate difference
                  9. Maintain a community focus
                  10. Enable participation with dignity and challenge oppression
                  11. Encourage new voices and cherish wisdom
                  12. Recognise our duty of care towards those who cannot speak for themselves
                  13. Foster compassion, a sense of humour and mutual enjoyment in our work

                  Charter

        • greywarbler 7.1.1.2

          M Whitehead

          GST is in effect, an income tax substitution in the country’s revenue collecting. The fact that accountants don’t regard it as income tax, is merely using narrow accounting framing and designation. The effect it has is that most people pay a tax from their income. So the specialists may frown but forget that accounting methods are a human construct, not a force of nature.

          And we probably don’t want a society where people are forced to work two or three jobs just to make ends meet.

          Of course we already have the two-or-three job employees. Often it is because they are part time, underemployed, working poor, trying for better. But in our semi-aristocratic (not meritocratic) society, the people have again become serfs to be thrown a ‘coin purse’, not citizens.

          If you are influential in tax circles, and would like to see them become virtuous and not vicious circles, could you prevail on others to remove the secondary tax which I consider is so far outdated it could be from last century, oops back a bit, 19th century. A persistent carbuncle on the hands of the strugglers. It comes from the days when double-dipping was regarded as OTT. Now it is often needed by two-three job VIPs (very imporant parents, and singles too). Bloody ridiculous, stopping people from raising themselves from poverty.

          And if you choose to take on this task, then what about stopping the BUM (Beneficiary Ultimate Maul) whereby benefits, which for decades have been set beneath the amount needed to live at a reasonable level, and then any extra earnings achieved, apart from small earnings, has resulted in the cancellation of previous grants allowed. So ensuring that every effort to raise income and build a better life, results in being knocked back to a little above square one, with expenses incurred that diminish income to below square one. Fiendish charity with a sneer, not individual and family support for self-sufficiency and capacity- building.

          • gem 7.1.1.2.1

            ‘GST is in effect, an income tax substitution in the country’s revenue collecting.’
            Exactly, which is why the meme that the top 10% pay 70% of income tax should not go unchallenged.

            • cricklewood 7.1.1.2.1.1

              In percentage terms I would agree but the reality is the more your earn the more you spend hence the more gst you pay. If you’ve got 200 to spend you’ll pay 30 if you spend $1000 @ 150…
              Unless you speak in % its an argument thats hard to win.

              • Draco T Bastard

                What a load of bollocks.

                If you’ve got $200 and your bills are $200 then you’ll spend $200
                If you’ve got $1000 and your bills are $200 then you’ll spend $200

                Both represent $30 in GST but one is 15% of the total while the other is 3%.

                Huge fucken difference.

                • McFlock

                  and X amount goes into savings, or maybe a company on the side that sorts your house, or something. Not just on retail goods.

                • cricklewood

                  Got more spend more… cant have a herne bay lifestyle on a manurewa budget. Still pay gst on the cleaner the gardener the expensive wine etc.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    That’s an illusion. The spending may, and probably will, go up but it won’t go up by the full amount as you assume. At most it’ll probably double to $400 while the rest is invested and start to add to the exponential income increases that investing allows but, here’s the thing, it only allows it for the rich in the first place.

                    • cricklewood

                      No maybe and probably about it, I work for people that spend $10000 + per month on cleaners, florists, gardeners, lawn care, pool maintenance etc So in dollar terms (not as a percentage of income) they would easily pay a lot more in gst than the average person.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      But it’s the percentage of income part that’s important. Someone paying 20% in income tax and another 10% in GST is paying 30% in income tax – the same as those in the highest bracket and the GST won’t be adding 10% of income to their tax rate – it’ll be more like 3% for those just over the bracket and less than 1% for those on over $100,000.

                      GST was brought in so that top tax rates could be brought down from the 66% that they were at. Essentially, the poor had to pay more so that the rich could get lower tax rates.

            • cricklewood 7.1.1.2.1.2

              In percentage terms I would agree but the reality is the more your earn the more you spend hence the more gst you pay. If you’ve got 200 to spend you’ll pay 30 if you spend $1000 @ 150…
              Unless you speak in % its an argument thats hard to win.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 7.1.1.2.2

            +1 Greywarbler

          • RedBaronCV 7.1.1.2.3

            Secondary tax is not an extra tax it is the PAYE tax on a second job at a flat rate in the dollar (and the IRD will adjust that rate for you if asked) – and at year end square up someone who earns $30000 from one job pays the same tax as someone who earns $30000 from three jobs. Nobody has the number of working hours they do over a year included in their tax calculation.
            If second jobs were not taxed then the high earnrs would be first off the blocks, working two hours in the morning for Coy X and the rest of the time for Coy Y untaxed but of course doing the same job the whole day. it would be far tooo easy for the wealthy to fiddle.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.3

          But yes, the point needs to be that those who have been successful have a responsibility to ensure our society is set up so that the next generation is able to have as many people with the same degree of success.

          Actually, the point needs to be made that it’s the rich that are preventing anybody else from being successful as they accumulate all the nations resources to themselves and won’t let anybody else use them.

    • Olwyn 7.2

      But apart from that, the left aren’t countering this argument with the obvious: That the rich pay more tax because they have too much money.

      Indeed. This shows up clearly if you consider that a group of people who had no money whatsoever would be paying nil tax, while those who had money could then crow that they were paying all the tax.

    • Damien Grant 7.3

      so long as the equity is for those in New Zealand. Equity for the poor in the third world, why don’t you care about the poor in the third world?

      You take my money by force to pay for your health care but you do nothing to help those in third world nations who are desperately poor; and you call me selfish!

      • dv 7.3.1

        >>You take my money by force to pay for your health care but you do nothing to help those in third world nations who are desperately poor

        I assume you choose to live here!!!

        • mickysavage 7.3.1.1

          The heart of a libertarian has no space for the concept of a community.

          • Bill 7.3.1.1.1

            The heart of a corporatist fraud – one who seeks to veil himself with carefully chosen aspects of libertarianism – nah, actually they have no heart at all, and precious little brain.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 7.3.2

        @ Damien Grant

        Oh you really are a moron running on a whole lot of misguided assumptions aren’t you.

        Please could you explain to me how someone on $12 000 per year or even on DPB amounts manages to rip off the system by $130 000 and how that figure of $130 000 is not an extreme case-scenario.

        No, actually forget it – you are likely to be committed to believing your delusions and you are clearly committed to misinforming as many people as possible just so that the small minded thugs you work for can get more profits despite the fact that they have already got extreme wealth.

        What a complete sham this country’s media has become.

        n.b: Usually I am reasonably polite – however I make an exception for you.

        • BM 7.3.2.1

          You claim more than one benefit.
          Some people might use 3-4 different names to claim multiple benefits.

          This is not that uncommon.

          • Bill 7.3.2.1.1

            really.

          • mickysavage 7.3.2.1.2

            Citation needed. Go on BM just a little bit of proof, please …

            • BM 7.3.2.1.2.1

              Just explaining how some one on a benefit can rack up a large amount fraud.

              Proof is just what I’ve read and heard.

              From what I’ve read the DPB is the one benefit where a lot of fraud seems to go on.
              People claiming benefits when they shouldn’t.

          • McFlock 7.3.2.1.3

            “not that uncommon”

            Cite, pls, and compared to tax evasion.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 7.3.2.1.4

            O.k BM, thanks that is a start – now as others have already mentioned – you need to supply some links to show that this is the type of fraud that is being committed – because it is a fairly serious type of fraud and therefore serious accusation to be making

            I, however, provide an article here from Stuff which I quote:

            More than 3000 alleged welfare cheats receiving a total of $33.7 million a year have been caught in the past six months.

            [Calculations: $33, 700, 000 divided by 3, 000 = $11,233]

            This article indicates that the amount of money that the people were allegedly defrauding the system works out to be no greater than $11, 300 per person.

            **Please do keep it in mind that this is probably the amount required to pay back, not what they have ripped off .**

            So your theory doesn’t sound like it would be the most likely form of fraud going on amongst beneficiaries now does it?

            And Damien Grant’s ‘$130 000 average’ is starting to sound like a extreme case-scenario, now isn’t it?

          • freedom 7.3.2.1.5

            I got messaged that BM was spouting rubbish beyond belief, i admit, i got curious

            guess the news is true

            BM
            Yes benefit fraud exists.
            Yes some people work systems to their advantage.
            Sometimes it is legal, what did the PM call it “legitimate tax avoidance”
            Sometimes it is not.

            Often it is proven to be an accountancy error within the departments involved.
            It has also been admitted by the MSD that in some cases the person accused was actually legally entitled to much more assistance than that offered by the department.

            Returning to your comment though,
            “Some people might use 3-4 different names to claim multiple benefits.”

            Have you any idea of what level of ID is needed to receive a benefit?
            Have you considered the cross-checking of data that is involved?
            http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/online-services/apply/index.html#Beforeyoubegin3
            http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/individuals/what-to-bring/financial-assistance.html

            This is not like signing up for a Supermarket give-away programme.

            For multiple benefits, a person must meet the obligations above for multiple identities and consequently defraud at least three government departments:
            The Ministry of Social Development
            The Inland Revenue Department
            The Department of Internal Affairs

            Other departments that are regularly involved in benefit application ID confirmation are:
            The New Zealand Police
            The Department of Justice
            The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

            A person must successfully and repeatedly negotiate this well connected web of multi-departmental fraud to continue to receive any funds.

            It is difficult to accept that even those in possession of the sophisticated personal capacity to manage so layered an activity, can achieve this without some level of direct manipulation of data from inside one or more of the departments involved.

            • BM 7.3.2.1.5.1

              You’re right it’s certainly a lot harder to do the multiple name fraud trick this days especially with the sharing of data etc.

              I should have added that to the bottom of my original post to blue leopard.

              • freedom

                Ok BM, if you say so,
                but just to be crystal in my own understanding . . .

                You want the readers of The Standard to believe you would have voluntarily added information to your original post to blue leopard, that would only have highlighted its inherent implausibility.

                ( if you had only thought of it sooner )

                • McFlock

                  indeed. It’s a “lot harder”, but “not that uncommon”. Shit, it’s as if as soon as one loses their job, they become a moriarty of identity theft and fraud.

                • Bill

                  Hmm. Let’s try it

                  You claim more than one benefit.
                  Some people might use 3-4 different names to claim multiple benefits.

                  This is not that uncommon.

                  it’s certainly a lot harder to do the multiple name fraud trick this days especially with the sharing of data etc.

                  Not sure how that changes the assertion other than to suggest that people claiming entitlements are, not simply criminal, but smarter criminals than in ye olde days. ;-)

                • BM

                  If you look at the original post Blue leopard wrote

                  Please could you explain to me how someone on $12 000 per year or even on DPB amounts manages to rip off the system by $130 000 and how that figure of $130 000 is not an extreme case-scenario.

                  I then supplied a method that people have used to rip the tax payer off and pocket the amount of money Blue leopard was talking about.

                  That was the crux of of post.

                  • Bill

                    Possibly people co-habiting, quite understandably and justifiably claiming separate entitlements. Then they get ‘pinged’ and the entire total of the two benefits + any top ups such as TAS and accommodation costs is multiplied by a large number of years WINZ claim they have been co-habiting.

                    What you did was repeat an old piece of spin about WINZ being ripe for the ripping by people who would have to obtain false identities from the Birth and Deaths register…

                    …not uncommon, according to your comment.

                  • wtl

                    I then supplied a method that people have used to rip the tax payer off and pocket the amount of money Blue leopard was talking about.

                    What a dishonest idiot you are. You have done no such thing, you have merely supplied a highly difficult or implausible method that can only be, as blue leopard originally suggested, an extreme case-scenario.

                    • McFlock

                      at ten or twenty times the average amount, it would seem to be a somewhat exceptional case of benefit fraud.

                      Certainly nothing to indicate that the use of false identities is common amongst the few beneficiaries who are benefit fraudsters.

                    • Bill

                      Oh dear, BM. Do you bother to read the links you provide to back up your arguments?

                      Dudeck defrauded Winz between February 2002 and October 2012 by not revealing that she was not only living with someone, but was also married to them.

                      Throughout period she claimed $78,321.98 from the domestic purposes benefit, $69,769.83 of invalid’s benefit and $31,921.87 from an accommodation supplement.

                      She also received several special needs grants; $1582.75 for a fence and $270 for food, along with $265.05 childcare subsidies.

                      &

                      Dudeck now claims the dubious title of Waikato’s worst benefit fraudster, after overtaking Sandra Epere, 52, who was last year sentenced for claiming more than $186,075 over 19 years after claiming a benefit while married.

                      Notice how the ‘fraud’ is the cumulative total of all entitlements claimed during the period?

                    • wtl

                      Actually, no, as others have already pointed out. You’ve still done nothing more than show that amounts in excess of $100K are at the extreme end. If you can’t read, then the key word in your article is “worst” when blue leopard was talking about the average.

        • RedBaronCV 7.3.2.2

          There have been a couple of very large fraudsters which are no doubt bumping the averages. At one stage MSD uncovered a fraudster who had invested very successfully the large sums he took and actually returned a profit to them

      • mickysavage 7.3.3

        One step at a time Damien. Wanting equity in Aotearoa is not inconsistent with wanting equity throughout the world.

        • Damien Grant 7.3.3.1

          I would disagree here Mickey.

          People around the world vote for social welfare in their nations but never care enough about poverty in their neighbours to do much about it. Think about the hostility to free trade; which benefits the poor workers in third world nations at the expense of labour in the first world.

          If you assume, as I do, that people do what is in their own interests, then this makes sense; it doesn’t matter what people say, only what they do.

          If we really cared about third poverty we would do something about it. We don’t, never have, are not likely to in the future.

          For my money, the best way to help the poor in overseas nations is to trade with them; buy their goods and encourage their governments to knock down their trade barriers and allow their people’s to buy from us.

          • srylands 7.3.3.1.1

            Yes exactly. Most commentators here oppose both bilateral and multilateral trade liberalisation. They therefore don’t care about the poor. Or they think they do but lack the cognitive ability to make the link between policies and effects. The good news is that the world inches towards the correct policies. That includes New Zealand. If we want to remain a prosperous country there is no alternative but to continue an economically rational policy framework.

            A good outcome for New Zealand would be a Labour-National coalition. If Labour loses the next two elections that will be on the cards. But it will require Labour to return to its Roger Douglas roots.

            • McFlock 7.3.3.1.1.1

              Or they think they do but lack the cognitive ability to make the link between policies and effects.

              That’s because we keep comparing it with reality.

              Good luck with the labnat coalition – it’d fuck both parties, leaving NZ1, the greens and mana against act and the cons.

            • Sacha 7.3.3.1.1.2

              “require Labour to return to its Roger Douglas roots”

              Hilarious. More, more.

            • mickysavage 7.3.3.1.1.3

              “return to its Roger Douglas roots”

              That was a mutated bastard of an offshooted root …

            • Draco T Bastard 7.3.3.1.1.4

              If we want to remain a prosperous country there is no alternative but to continue an economically rational policy framework.

              We don’t have an economically policy framework.

              The block of cheese in my fridge is product of NZ, wrapped in Australia and then sold in NZ.

              There’s absolutely no way you can call that economically rational.

          • McFlock 7.3.3.1.2

            That’s because you don’t differentiate between exploitative neo-slavery and legitimate trade.

      • Poission 7.3.4

        You take my money by force to pay for your health care but you do nothing to help those in third world nations who are desperately poor; and you call me selfish!

        You set up a tax haven and you rob the third world countries,you rob the governments of first world countries (the us for instance would be in fiscal surplus if transnational income was fully taxed )

        Most third world countries would also have a fiscal surplus,and dependence on aid would be mitigated.

        The hypocrisy is evident, Macbride (The District attorney in the dotcomcase) law firm set up the offshore trusts for citigroups money laundering activities or Dunne actively resisted change to offshore tax haven legislation.

        http://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/216-global-taxes/52401-how-tax-havens-plunder-the-poor.html

      • One Anonymous Bloke 7.3.5

        Damien Grant, are you a boring slogan machine that shows little capacity for thought or what?

        I don’t think you know the first thing about the developing world, let alone care.

        • Damien Grant 7.3.5.1

          Yes, as it happens.

          I have been there, trade with people there and buy goods and services directly and import their product to New Zealand as well as pay for financial services.

          I will not claim that I care, but I do think that the small amount of business I do there makes a difference to the business owners and their staff in those nations.

      • Stephanie Rodgers 7.3.6

        I can’t put it any better than Elizabeth Warren:

        “You built a factory out there? Good for you,” she says. “But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.”

        Quoted here: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/elizabeth-warren-there-is-nobody-in-this-country-who-got-rich-on-his-own/

        • Damien Grant 7.3.6.1

          Stephanie;

          yes, this is a good argument in favour of a welfare state. I like it because it is not based on the assumption that because one person is poor that the state has the right to come and take my money by force to help them.

          My response, which is by necessarily going to be brief; is this;

          All of those things; roads, education, etc etc; would have happened without the state. You do not need the government to do those things.

          I am a libertarian, not an anarchist, so I do believe in the state providing law and order, but I do not think that the state should be taking my money by force to educate other people’s children, especially if those children’s parents can afford to pay for their own kids study. The fact that they have done this in the past and we have an educated workforce does not mean it is the only way to proceed nor even the best way to proceed.

          Damien

          • dv 7.3.6.1.1

            >> All of those things; roads, education, etc etc; would have happened without the state. You do not need the government to do those things.

            Name ONE state in the world that educate all the people without state involvement.

            • Damien Grant 7.3.6.1.1.1

              Name one state in the world in 1890 that gave women the vote.

              Name one state in the world in 1970 that allowed gay marriage.

              Name one state in the world in 2012 that legalised the sale of marijuana.

              • McFlock

                but today, states have supplied all of those things. And roads, etc.

                Whereas private enterprise has still never provided universal education, or transport infrastructure, without state involvement.

                • Damien Grant

                  yet private enterprise delivers food, develops medicine, water, telecommunications and so much else with ease. Why do you think that education, which isn’t a difficult thing to competently deliver, would be so hard for a profit driven firm to do?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    He’s an education expert now too. Not hard to deliver to the hungry victims of his banal evil? Yeah nah.

                  • mickysavage

                    But Damien that is the point. Private Enterprise does not do these things by itself. It relies on state infrastructures and communities and workers to achieve this. And the quality of education delivered by state action is very good thank you very much. Why do you think that only the mighty market is capable of delivering?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      He doesn’t think. He’s reading from the book of dogma.

                    • Damien Grant

                      Mickey;

                      Agreed, up to a point. I am not saying that only the market could provide these things. The current system works. I am not disputing that; but if the state was not there why do you think that private enterprise would not provide it?

                      Communities, workers, business and families would all continue if the welfare state was rolled back. Parents would still want their kids to get the best education possible. Private firms, in my view, could provide quality education for a lower cost than the state can.

                      There is also a philosophical issue about how taxes are raised. I believe it is immoral to use fore to raise taxes. Despite this; I still think that compulsory taxes is the only way to ensure that there a s state able to protect its citizens against anarchy so for me there is a trade-off; the lesser of two evils.

                      At some level, you are likely to agree with me here; the use of force is immoral; but we diverge on where we draw the line on that trade off. You, if I may assume, think that use of compulsion to raise taxes to provide taxes for the poor in acceptable. I do not.

                    • Sacha

                      “The current system works. I am not disputing that; but if the state was not there why do you think that private enterprise would not provide it?”

                      Because it never has. You’re a fantasist – which is fine if you keep it to yourself, or those nice men in white coats.

                    • Bill

                      You’re a strange brainless creature Damien. That’s the second comment on this thread where you have demonstrated an absolute paucity in understanding with regards libertarianism – or your own positioning.

                      I still think that compulsory taxes is the only way to ensure that there a s state able to protect its citizens against anarchy so for me there is a trade-off; the lesser of two evils.

                      See – what you are stating is that the raising of taxes protects us from ourselves. But not only that, you refer to the philosophy and tradition you (in part) appropriate (and happily wrap around your misanthropic corporatism) as evil?!

                      edit – a sensible position a libertarian can take towards the state is that it protects us from corporatism.

                      edit 2. Only a corporatist would suggest the state be withered with the exception of its ‘law and order’ functions… lest people get a bit uppity about being subjected to the full ravages of corporate rule ;-)

                  • McFlock

                    Firstly, private enterprise only does those things with the active assistance of the public service.

                    Secondly, a firm might be able to run a school, maybe even without fucking it up. Maybe even without backhanded public assistance (although good luck on all three at the same time). But it will never be able to provide univeral education. For all children. Even the ones whose parents can’t pay.

                    • Damien Grant

                      ” provide universal education”

                      McFlock; lets assume you are right.

                      If there are some children whose parents cannot provide for their schooling, and if I am being honest this is a given, then we do have a problem and the problem is larger than the individual child because an uneducated child who disengages from society imposes high externalities.

                      However, in my universe, which I admit is a long way from this one, the marginal cost of private education is going to be very low. If the state wasn’t there uncles, grandparents, whanau, church, businesses, someone will step in. As a general rule there is a huge degree of good-will and protective instincts when it comes to children.

                      As a species we derive a deep level of pleasure from helping children we have an even tangential connection with. Why this is so I am not going to speculate but there is no doubting it is the case.

                      Currently, we can ignore these children because we have abrogated our collective responsibility for them to the state; and I think that this has not worked.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      “Currently, I ignore these children because I have abrogated my responsibility.

                      FIFY

                    • Bill

                      Hey Grant. You going to front up about your corporatist political beliefs?

                      I see your last comment falls back to the default position of ‘washing your hands’ of any social responsibility while making disingenuous appeals to private charity.

                      Your poison – please stop trying to give it an air of respectability by mislabeling it as libertarianism – is corporatism. You are a corporatist. An ideology that forebearers of many people on this blog went to war to halt and roll back. Ironically, it’s likely your own family also had members fighting against the same shit and possibly dying because of it.

                    • McFlock

                      Can you show us a real-world example of any country or society that has >90% of its children made ready for tertiary-level training (incl polytech/trades) using only private education?

                      the problem is larger than the individual child because an uneducated child who disengages from society imposes high externalities.

                      Shit like that is why people think you are a broken, sociopathic failed attempt at being a person. The problem with turning out uneducated people is not the effects on us, the primary problem is because of its effects on them. Even if it had not negative externalities, it would still be a problem.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    yet private enterprise delivers food, develops medicine, water, telecommunications and so much else with ease.

                    No they don’t why else do you think that the government had to step in to get nation’s telecommunications updated?

                    And here’s the real kicker – it was the state that built them in the first place. All that the private sector has done since privatisation is to rip monopoly rents out of the community.

                  • Lee Churchman

                    The answer is that education produces significant positive externalities and counters significant negative externalities. Everyone knows what the standard economic model says about these and market based systems. That’s why Libertarianism is generally regarded as a joke theory among politically sophisticated people these days. It’s as dead as communism, although you don’t seem to have received the news.

                    And it’s only “your money” according to your own dubious set of moral principles. Markets distribute according to supply and demand, not any moral principle of desert.

                  • Rodel

                    Education is not “delivered” It is an interactive process requiring competent trained professionals.. Health also is not delivered..hard concept to grasp for some people.

                  • Flip

                    @Damien Grant 6:25pm

                    Not universally. Only to those who could pay. It was only delivered to those who could not pay by the state and a few morally motivated organisations. Never initially by a profit motive.

              • Poission

                Name one state in the world in 1890 that gave women the vote.

                Pitcairn island a half century earlier

            • Tanenui 7.3.6.1.1.2

              DG is dreaming of old days: SOCIAL OPPRESSION, private schools/teachers for the Bourgeoisie and Monarchs. If you would have studied European history you would know compulsory education was formed by monarchs and governments or do you wish ill-treatment of young children at age of around three who should work on fields and in coal mines. Compulsory schools were introduced 1592 by a monarch, followed by Norway in 1739 and 1882 by other European countries.

          • Bill 7.3.6.1.2

            I am a libertarian (…), so I believe in the state providing law and order.

            No. That belief makes for either a statist or a parasitic corporatist. In your case, taking your other mutterings into account, the latter.

            edit. Now are you going to engage with the issues…or is it time to roll out the barely arse covering deflections and distractions?

          • karol 7.3.6.1.3

            They are all our children. Our society would have no future without them.

            • srylands 7.3.6.1.3.1

              “They are all our children. Our society would have no future without them.”

              Um no they are not. And yes our society would have an assured future without many of them. We (i.e the Government) should be providing no incentives for poorly educated and those on low incomes (they usually come paired – I wonder why?) to have kids.

              Any gap in our desired population can be met through skilled migration. Our future should be (1) children from high income parents who can pay for them and (2) skilled migration.

              There – problem solved.

              • McFlock

                Is that your final solution, as it were?

                By the way, it doesn’t count as a godw;n if you were literally preaching that society would be better off without large numbers of people from a single defineable social group. I mean, that’s just fucked in the head.

                Although in the case of john key, you might have been correct. But that’s about him as an individual.

              • Mike S

                Right, and where are all the consumers going to come from, without whom the entire economic and financial system collapses?

          • One Anonymous Bloke 7.3.6.1.4

            Ann O’Connor couldn’t write decent fiction either.

            But what happens in the real world is that the state comes and takes people’s shelter by force, because Damien helped enable “market” rents. And desperate parents have their children taken from them by preventable infectious diseases, because Damien didn’t want to pay the taxes that he benefits from every day.

            What’s worse is that this drivel he fatuously imagines is a “school of thought” isn’t even his own creation, this preening puffed up parrot to whom, the best response, as with all Libertarian cretins is “Polly wanna cracker?”

          • Stephanie Rodgers 7.3.6.1.5

            Damien, I wasn’t making an argument “in favour of a welfare state”. I was responding to the part of your comment when you said:

            “You take my money by force to pay for your health care”

            (And you’ve repeated that same idea above with reference to education.)

            The point was that you benefit just as much from the state as the rest of us. And one day you may need healthcare. And even if you go private, the private system is dependent on the public system, which means your costs will be lower.

            • Damien Grant 7.3.6.1.5.1

              Ok. I understand. And about health care you are right but you are, however, responding to the system as it currently is.

              If the state did not provide universal health care the health care industry would still exist, but my real objection is about a compulsory regime where I must belong to the single payer system. It is true I may one day rely on the public health system but that is because I belong, against my will, to a collective system that I am unable to leave.

              The US is often touted as demonstrating the evil of private health care but I am unconvinced. Health care in the US is very expensive but that might be a simple matter of a wealthy society where the price of health care can be bid up in comparison to other nations where the standard of living is lover and the demand for health care lower.

              • McFlock

                leaving is as easy as getting on a plane.

              • Stephanie Rodgers

                “It is true I may one day rely on the public health system but that is because I belong, against my will, to a collective system that I am unable to leave.”

                This logic seems a bit weird. Isn’t it true that you may one day rely on the public health system because you may get sick or have an accident? Paying taxes doesn’t make you sick or injured.

                And in the mean time you get to benefit from living in a society where people don’t have to choose which finger they pay to get re-attached, or whether they have to take time off work to nurse a sick child instead of getting them to the doctor for preventative care. That kind of thing has a lot of flow-on effects in terms of productivity, stress, disposable income – and, of course, you yourself may benefit directly from it.

                • Sacha

                  “you get to benefit from living in a society where people don’t have to choose…”

                  If you’re rich enough, that only applies if you believe your personal moral integrity is affected by what’s around you. Oh, and society, it helps to believe in that.

                • mickysavage

                  Precisely. Damien do you think that there actually may be some benefit in belonging to a collective society?

      • greywarbler 7.3.7

        Damien Grant
        Your money is being taken from you. Laugh. It is given to you in return for the job you are lucky enough to get in the society you live in. There are even laws in this society that you can call on if it is not paid to you. And part of a modern, advanced society’s laws and advantages are that it provides health care that everyone can access.

        You think you’re living in a global economy – you talk accusingly of third world conditions. But you yourself live right here while still enjoying the advantages of cheap goods from the third world for which you could well afford to pay full price if made here in NZ.

        Having your cake and eating it too. The way that all selfish right wingers do. You sound like a peevish little boy who has to share some things with his neighbours when they come to play.

        • phillip ure 7.3.7.1

          “..You sound like a peevish little boy who has to share some things with his neighbours when they come to play..”

          best (non-curse-laden) description of grant..to date..

          ..phillip ure..

      • karol 7.3.8

        It’s only YOUR money until after tax is paid – taking back the money gained at the expense of people working hard to earn far too little.

        Why do CEOs get continual bones, pay rises etc, while those slogging on lower incomes barely get any pay rises?

        If people were paid fair wages to start with, the poor would be better off, and the wealthy wouldn’t have so much.

    • srylands 7.4

      “That the rich pay more tax because they have too much money.”

      What a bizarre attitude! New Zealand has about 10 “rich” people. Someone on an income of $200,000 is not rich. If you have 2 or 3 kids to support, and live in Auckland, that doesn’t even leave you enough to buy and maintain a decent boat.

      Stop your obsession with taking OPM. Then you might be taken seriously.

      • freedom 7.4.1

        “Someone on an income of $200,000 is not rich. ”
        The only thing more harrowing than that statement is your [failed satirical] attempt to qualify it

        • srylands 7.4.1.1

          There is no fucking need to qualify it. $200,000 a year to raise a family in a decent lifestyle in Auckland is an inadequate income. That is why most households need two incomes to get ahead. If you get two professionals making $180K each then you are talking comfort.

          And these people DO pay all the fucking taxes. New Zealand has a neutral efficient tax system with high compliance.

          Go find a real social problem to whinge about. Stop acting like a fucking idiot.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 7.4.1.1.1

            Always nice to see an Objectivist get upset.

            Good on you for pointing out that wages are too low, though (well, apart from the fact that you didn’t mean to, it just slipped out when you lost your temper). Ha.

          • fender 7.4.1.1.2

            Great you have finally seen the sense in a large increase to the minimum wage sowrylands.

            Is it ok to be rude today, but not yesterday?

            • McFlock 7.4.1.1.2.1

              robot has incorporated new behaviour mod.

              I prefer it. The fucker can’t jump on the moral high-ground when it’s pointed out he doesn’t know even basic details of the NZ economy, like the gst rate.

          • McFlock 7.4.1.1.3

            kids getting skin infections so bad they need to be hospitalised is not a real problem?
            Because it’s the poor kids who are much more likely to have that happen than rich kids. Not to mention a myriad of other serious medical conditions.

            Now bitch about how uncomfortable someone is on $180k, you fucking tool.

            • Naki Man 7.4.1.1.3.1

              I think 180k is a big income and so is 149k but labour want to turn someone on 149k into a beneficiary when they have kids, what a joke.

          • greywarbler 7.4.1.1.4

            There is no fucking need for you to sit at your computer and turn out this sort of fantastical stuff Wrylands. You are trying to feed us false information or just that which your mind has skewed, so that you think it is correct. Go and do something useful, you just make us swear and you are a boil on the backside, find your own blog and put your peculiar World to rights.

            • Mainlander 7.4.1.1.4.1

              Ha Ha what a cry baby always telling people to get of this blog, why dont you go start your own blog where you can abuse others all day long if their opinion doesnt agree with yours

              • greywarbler

                It wouldn’t be as much fun as doing it here I get such a good crop of spongeheads. So I’ll stay here and I don’t give my accolade of attention to everybody so you don’t need to think I’m going to bother with you again.

          • amirite 7.4.1.1.5

            Yet those families with kids getting/earning $15,000 a year are expected to pay the rent, the health expenses, school fees, food etc etc, maybe save some and invest in sharemarket perhaps ?
            You are a fucking moron.

          • gem 7.4.1.1.6

            ‘$200,000 a year to raise a family in a decent lifestyle in Auckland is an inadequate income.’
            Don’t complain – it is the fiscal and economic policies you champion that radically drove up the price of living to the point where you need a six figure income to have a ”decent” life.
            It is a failure.
            The kind of country where a National government minister recommends people sell their work clothes to feed children.

    • KJT 7.5

      Income tax is only a proportion of total tax.

      Not to mention that over half of the nations wealthiest individuals pay tax on a declared income of less than 70k a year.

      In fact, most of the “total” tax paid, around 60%, comes from those on middle incomes.

  7. dave 8

    its how you do crime and anyway poor people smell , this reporter is a dick. as cunliffe has signalled if your evading paying your fare share watch out!
    we need to get serious about smoking these crooks out tax evasion is theft pure and simple they are criminals and should be treated as criminals .

  8. miravox 9

    Damien Grant has been convicted of dishonesty. There is no point at all in paying any attention to him.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10731661

    • tc 9.1

      Agreed but in the neolib fantasy world granny loves to project this proven dishonesty from a corporate undertaker make him ideal to be given a soapbox.

      Alongside Hide etc its quite a club granny has going, wonder how much longer mccarten will last in election year before a ‘refresh’.

    • mickysavage 9.2

      Maybe he thinks this should put him in the running for a knighthood …

    • and he is that special kind of slime-bag lawyer..

      ..the real carrion-feeders of that dubious trade..

      ..he is a fucken bankruptcy-lawyer..?

      ..raking thru the entrails/profiting from..others’ failures..?

      ..beyond fucken irony..

      ..phillip ure..

    • Sacha 9.4

      “My failure was one of character and personal integrity. People who do not understand the drivers of their own mistakes are doomed to repeat them. My lesson was not to be smarter, but to approach life and myself differently.”

      If what you’re preaching nowadays is your idea of ‘character’ Damien then you really need to approach life rather a lot smarter and more in keeping with what other people have learned over human history about being a good person.

      Tell us about the last time you helped someone (not related to you) without a prospect of gain? And how your own motivation for that action fits with the beliefs you’re espousing publicly?

    • Paul 9.5

      And the Herald gives him a soapbox to spread his venom and poison.
      ACT get under 1% of the vote and this rag gives supporters of their views a significant amount of column inches. He who pays the piper…

    • Rodel 9.6

      miravox
      Yes. How come a convicted crim gets any space in a national newspaper?
      Oh I forgot hes an ACTor. Join the frauds.

      • miravox 9.6.1

        “How come a convicted crim gets any space in a national newspaper?”

        Yeah, i guess every crim deserves a second chance… if he was writing about knitting, gardening, or even straight up news I’d say fair enough.

        But he’s writing about money and linking it to an ideology that promotes greed – and that leads to financial trickery that can often lead to financial ‘dishonesty’ – of which he was convicted. I have a huge problem with him writing about that.

  9. Pascal's bookie 10

    Grant is simply a fuckwit, writing shit for fuckwits. He’s not a serious commentator, he doesn;t believe the shit he writes. The arguments he makes aren’t genuinely held.

    When someone genuinely holds a belief and they change their mind on it, they explain why they have changed their mind.

    At the least, the acknowledge that they have changed their mind and address the arguments that they used to find persuasive, but have now changed their mind about.

    Grant does none of this. He makes shit arguments, because he’s a cheap intellectual bankrupt.

    He he is, arguing that tax cheats should get the book thrown at them:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/fraud/news/article.cfm?c_id=213&objectid=10744938

    I believe in lower taxes and smaller government but once Parliament sets the rules they need to be followed, even if we do not like them.

    Tax fraudsters gain a competitive advantage, hurting honest firms and creating pressure on other taxpayers to follow suit, further undermining the tax base.

    New Zealand’s tax system works on the basis of voluntary compliance and the risk of getting caught is low. If the judiciary takes the view that tax fraud should be treated leniently, then rational individuals could be inspired to take their chances.

    The extent of this fraud is unknown but there is reason to believe it is substantial.

    When the IRD focused its attention on the horticulture industry last year, tax revenue jumped from $88 million to $150m.

    If there is going to be any deterrence it would help if judges and the sentences they imposed sent a clear message that if you are unlucky enough to get caught, the consequences are to be feared.

    You’ll note that he doesn’t address any of that in this piece today.

  10. Bill 11

    Beneficiary cheats, by contrast, are providing nothing to start with and seek to enrich themselves further by deception and dishonesty.

    Is the quiet (assumed?) moral underpinning that these assertions either flow from or are pinned to an example of the arguments/perspectives of Lakoff and Rosado that some have discussed in recent days?

  11. bad12 12

    Yes tax fraud is an ‘industry’ for those who are in business, what is needed of course is an ENABLER, in many of the larger high profile tax rorts it is the Tax Accountants who both enable and gain the lions share of the profits from these often complex tax rorts some of which involve shifting large amounts of cash off shore,

    A classic case of this would seem to be the renowned Graham Mac,(private prosecutor of ACTS John Banks),who enjoyed a years home detention for helping clients defraud the IRD for some 180,000 dollars and according to the Court kept the lions share of the rorting for Himself,

    It’s a classic meat in the sandwich situation where once compromised ‘the clients’ hell bent on not paying tax are in effect taxed by the crooked Tax Accountants who while giving ‘the clients’ a small return of less tax paid keep the biggest wad of cash and dare ‘the client’ complain???,

    ”Lately one or two have fully paid their due”, Wellington accountants David Rowley and Barrie Skinner were jailed for 8 years for running a tax evasion scheme with multiple clients involving millions of dollars, the two tax accountants were said to have kept millions of dollars of the defrauded tax monies for themselves,

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/…/accountants-jailed-for-ird-fraud

    Such tax rorting is in fact, in my opinion, ‘organized financial crime’ and in a 2013 case,(which may be the Rowley/Skinner case i highlight above), an honest tax accountant,(i kid you not),who would not indulge His clients wishes to fraudulently lower their tax liabilities was happy to refer these clients on to a firm of accountants that would showing a high level of knowledge of and organization within the accounting ‘profession,’

    The real question that needs be asked of the Herald jonolist who scripted such a bizaare attack upon beneficiaries would have to be in the vein of ”have you a friend or relative currently facing charges of defrauding the IRD”

  12. Olwyn 13

    The sort of thing this man is spouting is extremely dangerous. Imagine the outrage if his accusation (a lack of contribution) was used to advocate greater punishment based on gender, race, age or such. Yet it could be the case that any of these groups would contribute less if their potential for contributing was rejected. In the main, this is the case with beneficiaries: if they contribute less in the fields that Grant sees as relevant, it is because their contribution in these fields has largely been rejected. There are no jobs for them. It is irresponsible for the NZ Herald to publish articles that declare any group of people to be legitimate targets for victimisation.

  13. Stephanie Rodgers 14

    Grant’s mathematics are pretty interesting, too. Even if you ignore all the other issues with his articles and take him at face value:

    If the average fraudster taking $800k is getting imprisoned for 25 months, that’s 1 month for every $32,000 they took.

    If the average benefit fraudster (who may not actually be a beneficiary at all) is taking $130k and getting a “paltry” 17 months they’re serving 1 month for every $7,600 they took. If they were judged on the same mathematical basis as the tax fraudster, they’d only serve four months.

  14. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 15

    I really don’t understand how this sort of article by Grant is legally allowed to be printed. It really does appear to be full of shit.

    With any article conveying ‘information’ about benefit fraud I am constantly left questioning the amounts cited that ‘beneficiary fraudsters’ are ripping off the system.

    The unemployment benefit is approximately $12 000 a year (including accommodation supplement) how the heck does someone clock up $130 000? – that has to be the most extreme case.

    Is tax fraud and benefit fraud calculated in the same way?

    As I understand it anyone defrauding a benefit has to pay back the whole amount they received while doing so – not solely the amount that they ripped off.

    Is tax fraud the same? When some one is convicted of tax fraud – do they have to pay back all the wages and bonuses that they received while doing so? I don’t think so somehow

    This difference in calculation between Tax fraud and benefit fraud makes the benefit fraudsters appear to be taking a whole lot more off the system than they really are

    (Clearly it is a preventative measure to require benefit fraudsters to pay the whole benefit back (not just the amount that they ripped off ) – and probably an effective one – however to cite these amounts, as I suspect the msm/parliament/etc do, as being the amount of money that was ripped off the system is very misleading )

    • Bill 15.1

      Another facet of this (again, just from my understanding) is that a tax dodger who gets the jail does time in lieu of repaying monies gained. But somebody scamming welfare who gets the jail then has to repay any fraudulently obtained monies to WINZ … which is an inflated calculation (if my understanding is correct)

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 15.1.1

        Bloody hell – the more one finds out the more it dawns on one how much of a rort against those in the most unfortunate circumstances this society has become.

        And this type of article by D’ Grunt leaves people with severely misinformed beliefs cultivating negative attitudes which are solely based on ‘made up shit’.

      • freedom 15.1.2

        let’s not forget that thanks to recent law changes by National the spouse and/or family of the convicted benefit fraudsters can also be charged and have property/income/assets siezed, where as the spouse or family of a tax cheat get sympathy tea and choccy biscuits, usually from the accountants and the lawyers who are grateful to have escaped any liability due to their well organised profit making operation.

        All in all today’s topics are actually making me quite angry, so to avoid falling into rampant abuse cycles, logic dictates … sunshine

        catch you later, have a good day folks

      • Mike S 15.1.3

        The figures for benefit fraud also include fraud committed by winz staff which is a good percentage of the total/ They also include overpayments of benefits which are certainly not deliberate on behalf of the beneficiary aqnd always have to be paid back.

  15. Bill 16

    I could suggest that many people receiving welfare entitlements have a real need to augment their income somehow. It’s a need for many, given the scandalously low level of payments, and therefore morally justifiable.

    Can’t quite see the same moral justification for tax fraud or dodging though. Not that, that stops an inverted moral argument infecting public discourse – the worthy, generally morally upstanding earners and the feckless a-moral or even criminal poor.

    If those on welfare entitlements are scamming to get an extra, desperately needed buck, then isn’t it time for all and sundry to get up in arms about immorally low payment levels? btw – my understanding is that a fraudulent welfare claim results in the entire claim being regarded as fraudulent and then the total of legitimate and dishonest component of the claim are added together to arrive at the total $ amount of the alleged fraud.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 16.1

      +1 Bill

      Yes, while dishonesty is dishonesty and a behaviour I would like to see entirely discouraged and avoided – I agree with you that there are substantial differences between someone with very little ‘working the system’ to get enough to get by on and someone with HEAPs ‘working the system’ so they can have MORE.

  16. Tracey 17

    Mickey

    Your graph needs to be a poster…

    Labour need to be shown it alot. They might finally stand up on behalf of the former workers now unlucky enough to be on benefits. Lets not tar the majority with the minority…. j less we accept all business owners are crooks cos of the tax fraudsters.

    • mickysavage 17.1

      Sourced by the looks of it from Jacinda Ardern and I agree Tracey it should be made a poster. BLiP?

  17. freedom 18

    Should we dare mention to Mr Grant the majority of his large scale ‘benefit fraud’ is actually committed by, or implicitly involves, people employed by the Ministry or its agencies and these crimes involving tens of thousands of tax dollars are rarely crimes committed by beneficiaries of the welfare system?

    When it is a bona fide beneficiary, it has been regularly proven to be involving much smaller figures, often only a few hundred dollars and many of these are simple accounting discrepancies within the ever-changing Ministry processes.

    As we well know, when hate speech is brewing, facts will only spoil the flavour

    • Damien Grant 18.1

      “should we dare mention to Mr Grant the majority of his large scale ‘benefit fraud’ is actually committed by, or implicitly involves, people employed by the Ministry or its agencies and these crimes involving tens of thousands of tax dollars are rarely crimes committed by beneficiaries of the welfare system?”

      I have not seen this reported anywhere; this would change the nature of the crime from benefit fraud to something like ‘theft as a servant’. It was not mentioned in the Marriott report.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.1.1

        “I have not seen this reported anywhere”

        I don’t blame you for not reading the papers or watching TV news – I am guessing you, more than most, will appreciate how much misinformation is embedded in these misinformation sources

        http://www.verify.co.nz/news-theftnz.php#FortyFive

        “Forty-five WINZ staff dismissed for $2.2 million of fraud
        20 May 2007

        Between 2001 and 2006, Work & Income dismissed 45 of its staff for frauds committed against the Government welfare agency. In most instances the frauds involved employees claiming welfare benefits for themselves, whilst they were working for WINZ. Some staff colluded with friends and family to pay them benefits to which they were not entitled to. More than $2.2 million was stolen.”

        Also:

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/4839741/WINZ-unit-fails-to-stop-staff-fraud

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/9087915/Home-detention-for-Winz-fraud

      • freedom 18.1.2

        “I have not seen this reported anywhere;”

        Odd, the NZH has printed streams of words about it numerous times, if memory serves, just last year in fact. Though usually the stories have disguised the little details, like how the crime actually transpired. Most often this bit is just left to the readers’ imaginations.

        Tiresome though they be, sometimes facts are buried in the last few lines so as not to offend those who believe headlines are more important. You are correct about the difference in offences. Those who were part of the Ministry or an agency thereof, do most certainly get charged under another crime, but the beneficiaries who were caught up in the crime, often younger family members pressured into the scam, they get charged under the benefit fraud that makes the figures you love look so attractive to those promoting the agenda of beneficiary bashing. Do you see the problem there? Without the upper level assistance, the fraud could not have happened. But to keep the hate speech growing the victims of the fraud get treated very differently than the designers of it. No-one wants to be reminded about well paid employees of the state doing bad things. Not when there are lazy bludgers to …well… bludgeon.

        Can I be bothered doing your job for you and researching the links and delivering them to your plate, frankly no. You can hire me to locate it for you. $1200 a day should do it, plus g.s.t and an allowance of $45 an hour for my computer time. Then, at least for a while I can stop receiving the $223.70 a week I survive on. I estimate a three to five week turn around for the data. In return you will get a well presented openly biased self-opined paragraph, maybe two.

        • Damien Grant 18.1.2.1

          Dear freedom,

          I am unsure that this fact changes the thesis of my column, but in any event, I dispute that there was any hate speech. Contrast that with the ‘fraudster, moron, vile..’ that is used liberally on this site.

          In any event, thanks for your offer of assistance but I may pass up on it for now.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1.2.1.1

            Since you were unaware of this fact, how many other facts have eluded you on the short journey to your opinion? I say “your” opinion, but of course, it isn’t; you’re just another parrot, squawking away.

            Oh, and your self-confessed desire to create a class of legally defined sub-humans is well beyond the day-to-day hate speech that we get around here.

          • mickysavage 18.1.2.1.2

            Damien I would be interested in your response to the contents of the post. Perhaps you could comment on:

            1. Your figures do not seem to match up to the research. For instance the rate of imprisonment for tax fraud appears to be a third of that for welfare fraud.
            2. Can you comment on whether the average for the amount involved for welfare fraud where incarceration happens is $67k 0r $130k?
            3. As noted by Stephanie above it appears that welfare fraudsters get much longer periods of incarceration per dollar involved than tax fraudsters.
            4. How can someone be considered to be a “net contributor” when they have taken such large amounts of money from the state?

            • Damien Grant 18.1.2.1.2.1

              Mickey;

              1 and 2) I got the data from Lisa Marriott’s study so I can’t go further; it is a really nice piece of research; accessible and easy to read and understand.

              http://sydney.edu.au/law/parsons/ATTA/docs_pdfs/conference_papers/Marriott.pdf
              http://www.victoria.ac.nz/research/expertise/business-commerce/fraud-sentencing

              3) does not appear to be a question but a statement and yes, this was the point of the Marriott paper

              4) The debate, raised by Jacinda Ardern and others, goes beyond the obvious criminal tax activity of GST rorts etc and towards creative accounting of the sort that allows Facebook and others to pay very little tax.

              I was arguing that firms like Facebook, even if they pay little income tax, would (I am making an assumption here) pay large amounts of other tax; GST; customs etc. A wealthy surgeon, such as the likes of Penny and Hooper, were paying a lot more tax in absolute terms than the average citizen; so I was arguing that they had not actually taken anything; merely that they had failed to pay what everyone wanted them to.

              Remember; I am from the ‘tax is theft’ school of thought; so not paying tax means avoiding getting robbed. This is very different from the socialist view of the world that prevails here and I accept that; to a sense we are talking past each other because our underlying assumptions are completely different.

              I hope that helps.

              Love the vulture picture, by the way!

              Damien

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                It isn’t a school. It isn’t thought.

              • fender

                “Tax is theft”

                So take the crown to court, like they took you to court (and won). If you fail to win the case, please fuck off beyond the NZ EEZ permanently.

                • srylands

                  Charming

                  • McFlock

                    says the robot that three hours ago typed “Stop acting like a fucking idiot.”

                    Have you switched back to insisting that people only use nice language while you advocate for policies that kill babies?

                  • bad12

                    SSLands you should go with Him, set up a little colony in Vanuatu, i hear they don’t have much in the way of a tax system,

                    They don’t have much in the way of anything else either and it will probably only take you and that other dickhead 10 or so years to make the connection between a tax system paved roads and a zillion other things that make up a functioning society far above the level of the stone-age than one that is barely two steps away…

              • Remember; I am from the ‘tax is theft’ school of thought;

                I quote this in case anyone thought I was being unfair in calling you a libertarian idiot. Actually, I should apologise – based on the above, a more appropriate term would have been ‘naive, narcissistic libertarian idiot.’

              • McFlock

                you’re the ultimate freeloader – you get the benefits of social cooperation but try as hard as possible to avoid contributing.

                And when it comes to the crunch, you’ll be like Ayn Rand and take social welfare assistance.

                A vulture feeds on carrion – dead things. You’re more like ringworm or other parasites.

                I was arguing that they had not actually taken anything; merely that they had failed to pay what everyone wanted them to.

                So they accept the contract to do business in this country, yet refuse to abide by the full terms of that contract, and you think that’s fine.

              • Lee Churchman

                Remember; I am from the ‘tax is theft’ school of thought; so not paying tax means avoiding getting robbed.

                The principle here is “garbage in, garbage out”. If you start with a patently ridiculous principle, you aren’t likely to end up with a sensible political program.

              • KJT

                Tax is payment for living in a functioning and cohesive society.

                If you object to paying for it, then, you are, of course, welcome to leave.

          • Bill 18.1.2.1.3

            Are you capable of engaging in any exchange around the details or substance of the argument you penned? Or is it all you can do to heft throw away lines along the avenue of – ‘didn’t know it – didn’t see it – I deny it – oh, and before I forget, did I say it’s about me, me, me, me!!!’?

            edit – i see ms has offered some concrete starting points

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 18.1.2.1.4

            @ Damien Grant

            Calling someone a moron is not hate speech, you moron; do you get anything correct?

            http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hate+speech

          • McFlock 18.1.2.1.5

            dipshit,
            the only word in your list used against a group of people as opposed to your odious self is “fraud”. Tax evasion is fraud.

            As an accomplished fuckwit, you obviously are incapable of distinguishing “hate speech” (speech designed to encourage hate against a group of people), “abuse” (you fucking dickhead) and “avoiding euphemism” (calling it “fraud” rather than “evasion” or “technically over-reaching the bounds of legitemate minimisation”). You great steaming turd.

          • Paul 18.1.2.1.6

            How on earth does the Herald give sociopaths like you a public voice?

            • McFlock 18.1.2.1.6.1

              Because it’s owned by the rich.

              Anyone who doesn’t believe in class warfare just needs to see that the rich employ this fuckwit to make the poor feel better about being fucked.

  18. Grant’s a libertarian idiot. It’s like Shelley Bridgeman had a sex change and the testosterone made her obnoxious and overly-fond of Ayn Rand.

    • does grant know that rand was a welfare-claimant..(in her words..)..’a leech’..?

      ..and for many many years..?

      ..(kinda like marx taking up white-slavery (or becoming a bankruptcy-lawyer?)..as a later career-option..)

      ..not many rand-ites know that fact about their hero(ine)..

      ..and seeing as grant seems to know s.f.a. about not much..in total..

      ..and even gets those few ‘facts’ he has wrong..

      ..this is offered to him as an act of public-service..

      ..phillip ure..

    • Bill 19.2

      PM He may be an idiot and is probably a corporatist leach. One thing he isn’t, is a libertarian. (Oh, I know that in the US, libertarianism is a label appropriated by the far right. But it’s a solidly left tradition that has fuck all in common with the professed realities and ideas of the Damien Grants’ of this world.)

  19. instauration 20

    Is this the same Mr Damien Grant – director of Waterstone Insolvency ?
    I trust the returns that he furnishes to the IRD are prepared with the same integrity as those to the Companies Office ?
    So what is this directors residential address. ? – the heart of Albany industrial and the same as Mr Khov ?

    • Damien Grant 20.1

      why do you want to know where I live?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1.1

        It’s a pretty straightforward inquiry: if your residential address differs from that supplied, that goes to your credibility, and your trustworthiness. Or criminality.

      • instauration 20.1.2

        I just want to get a measure of your integrity with official returns to Government departments.

        • Damien Grant 20.1.2.1

          Hmmm.

          I think that this has taken a rather unpleasant turn. You are no longer debating this issue.

          Remember, you have the advantage of anonymity, I do not. I would prefer, it is really only my preference, I cannot stop you, that we keep this debate on the matters at hand.

          There is a large difference between looking me up on various government databases and making it known to me that you are doing so.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 20.1.2.1.1

            Things took an unpleasant turn when you suggested making untermensch before the law. Suck it up.

          • instauration 20.1.2.1.2

            We all need to play by the rules Damien.
            Even Dame Sian has made adjustments in this regard. Lulu Zhang was rebuked too, under section 12 2(b) of the Companies Act.

  20. karol 21

    from reading Damien’s stuff, i conclude:

    He only cares about himself, and maybe also his children.

    He doesn’t give a shit if some people are struggling to survive on very little.

    He doesn’t give a shit that he could not be as well off as he is without all the infrastructure of society.

    He doesn’t give a shit about the way businesses (led by the corporates) get people to work for them for too little pay, so the corporate top dogs can siphon off more profits than any one person needs.

    Selfishness and greed.

    • Sacha 21.1

      “Selfishness and greed” – and repeatedly promoting those is nothing but immoral. Fortunately Act’s polling suggests about 99% of New Zealanders agree. Why our major media outlets give such a fringe religion so much coverage, I don’t know. Many people deserve that megaphone far more.

    • Paul 21.2

      And the Herald, now confirmed as a racist rag, publishes the poison he writes.

      • karol 21.2.1

        Instead, the MSM should be publishing more stuff like this blog post; “Who needs a break?’

        It begins:

        So we have two very interesting articles in the papers today. Colin Espiner at Fairfax thinks our minimum wage should be $16 and Damien Grant at NZ Herald we should cut tax cheats some slack because they contribute to society. This divide created between the job creators and the job doers suggests that one is more superior to the others. When Elizabeth Warren in her famous quote said that the so-called job creators didn’t just do it on their own, she was telling the truth that those at the top and their advocates do not want to hear. From the day labourer to the PHD, everyone contributes to society. It’s off the backs of their hard work, their education, their brain, their hands, their words that we as society get to develop, we get to progress, we invent new things, we mass produce those inventions, we come up with new ideas, we get interesting novels, movies, tv shows and songs. Sure the marketplace has decided that laptops are more valuable than chocolate cake and maybe they are, but the marketplace has failed spectacularly when it comes to compensating for ‘hard work’ fairly. Maybe the 85 people who have the wealth of half the world’s population really work as hard as half the world’s population and had exactly the same opportunities as half the world’s population but somehow I really doubt it.

    • Bill 21.3

      Karol, if you read the political belief’s of the 30s coming out of the likes of Germany, Italy or Spain, then you’d see exactly what Damien is channeling.

      Calling him out for being ‘selfish and greedy’ is being far too charitable.

      • karol 21.3.1

        well, as you’ve pointed out above, so called “libertarians” these days talk individual responsibility but treat corporations as individual entities. A strange mix of contradictory beliefs used to justify the wealth and power of the corporate-backed elites.

  21. Paul 22

    Folk like Damien Grant are sociopaths.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 22.1

      Yes, but not all sociopaths become convicted criminals who excuse tax fraud with self-serving sophistry, like Damien.

  22. Damien Grant 23

    Have to go;

    thanks Mr Savage and Stephanie.

    Work to do.

  23. North 24

    There is no such thing as a “libertarian”……….entirely fictional beast. There is however a beast called a “lubertarian”. Think about it. To do with the world readying itself to be fucked by the money man. Grant is the gleefully narcissistic exemplar.

  24. North 25

    Oh sorry, I forgot to mention the expectation of “Thank you, Sir” in the denouement.

  25. irascible 26

    I reckon this piece from The Guardian provides the perfect response to Grant’s assertions that tax fraud deserves praise from the public because by doing so they’re contributing to the economy.
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/05/benefits-debate-politicians-moral-obligations

  26. Murray Olsen 27

    Damien Grant is, at best, an amoral criminal. At worst, he is a creepy sociopath who thinks the answers to any problems can be found in a cute little treatise from Bavaria. He should not be given the time of day. I can only think that he is worried about being investigated by IRD and is preparing his defence in advance.

  27. Philj 28

    Xox
    I reckon Damien is trying the ‘shock Jock’ form of writing (I won’t refer to it as journalism). It’s unbalanced, blinkered and unworthy of a National publication. It also frames the issue in a distorted and mischievous way.

  28. bad12 29

    The whole thrust of Grant’s argument,(if we can really call such writing that), is that those who engage in an insolvency of a company and later are convicted of fraudulent activity surrounding that insolvency should not by Government regulation be barred from practicing in the field of insolvency for life,

    Grant using the Herald as an advertorial in a fit of naked self interest,

    The second point of note, Grants assertion that those involved in the multi-billion dollar tax fraud industry should suffer little punishment can only be answered via a pointed question,

    Has Mr Grant a relative currently under investigation by the IRD for major tax fraud and if the answer to that query is in the negative, has Mr Grant a close friend or business associate suffering such an investigation by the IRD???,

    Grants, at the least stupid, more likely a smoke and mirrors attempt to hide the real intent of His Herald article, assertion that Benefit Fraudsters should face harsher consequences than Tax Fraudsters rests solely on Grants false belief that Beneficiaries Never contribute to the tax base,

    Such an assertion is patently bullshit as the vast majority of beneficiaries make use of the benefit system for short terms while between jobs thus making the whole basis of the assertion one of abject stupidity,

    But then Grant knows this, which would tend to suggest that the whole reason for penning such an article lies in Grants own naked self interest, being rational i think the ‘wing-nuts’ call it…

  29. Christine 30

    People buying and selling through the shadow economy aka the cash economy is not being included in the extensive conversation about inequality and tax bludgers. The seller benefits because the income earned is ‘tax free’. The buyer benefits because the product or service is cheaper. The taxpayer (all of us) don’t benefit because no tax is paid.

    The IRD probably don’t chase it because its too widespread throughout the economy and because the amount of tax that can be recovered from any single tax payer is too small to warrant the effort to prove.

    Here’s an example from my experience. I got some work done on my house by a painter, I provided the paint. He charged me $500 under the table for his labour or $650 if I needed an invoice. Agreeing to pay cash, I got the job done for $150 cheaper. Interestingly the painter is benefiting as well. Assuming he was operating through a company, had I asked for an invoice, he would have passed on 15% for the GST portion ($84.78) and 28% for the net of GST portion in company tax ($158.26). The painter would have retained $406.96 and the tax payer would have got $243.04. Because I paid him cash, he got $93.04 more than he would have had he put it through his books.

    Think about all the people providing cleaning services, lawnmowing or gardening services, dressmaking etc. who are not operating businesses just doing some work on the side to improve their overall income. In all the discussion about inequality and income comparison, none of us know who is getting what additional income through the cash economy. We can all operate in this economy, we know it is rampart and impossible to stop. Some people will think it is morally wrong others will see no wrong in it because the taxpayer is a faceless ‘person’.

    I think it is wrong that it is not acknowledged and taken into account in the discussion about inequality.

  30. greywarbler 31

    The black economy which I understand is the one where you don’t pay tax, under the table etc. It certainly is tempting when people are short of money, both the one getting the work done, and the one receiving it.

    This is often a personal transaction.

    But businesses are going in for barter. How is that a help to the economy? I believe it is quite big in some places.

  31. tricledrown 32

    Damien Grant
    Democracy has allowed people with different viewd to you selfish trickledown policies to redristribute wealth.
    This has happened in NZ since the Sefdon govt.
    That is why NZ is famous for its caring attitude.
    Damien the Devils advocate want us to Go back to Dickensian days deliberately putting people into poverty to the same level asthird world countries.

  32. NZ Jester 33

    I love how Damien tries to make out that it is the businesses paying all that GST to tip the scales to look like the rich are paying the largest share of the tax collected by the government.
    All the business I know claim all the GST back on all items purchased in New Zealand and so pay no actual GST at all. A lot of those at the top end of a business also tend to pay out a lot less in food bills per year also by having a lot of Dinner and Lunch meeting so that the bill can be booked up to their company.
    With all the tax loopholes most rich people even though they are getting more money per head per year tend to end up paying far less per head in GST and other taxes than the average low income New Zealander has had to pay to the government.
    The majority of the GST comes from people with the least amount of money.

  33. Claris Moses 34

    It is wrong that tax thieves deserve lesser custodial sentences or penalties.

    Thinking about it, they would feel harder done by if they are hit in the pockets.
    Apparently these people contribute the most to society so let them prove that.

    A plan could be that they first repay all of the tax they have stolen.

    Then we match them up with so called benefit fraudsters and they give these people jobs which pay more than the living wage of $18.40 an hour for at least a 40 hours week. The number of beneficiaries given jobs should have a direct correlation to the amount which was stolen by the tax thief.

    That way they could honestly say that both the tax thieves and the beneficiary fraudsters would contribute to society rather than be under the suspicion that they squirrel away any stolen money for a luxurious lifestyle.

  34. minarch 35

    Damien should be careful for what he wishes for

    Under a true libertarian regime there would be no regular police force to protect Damien and his privileged friends. How long do you think that electric gate and ornate high walls you live behind will keep out those bent a VERY rapid redistribution of YOUR wealth ,

    hows that for “trickle down ”

    And yes under a libertarian regime you would be able to keep firearms to defend yourself, but it takes a lot more than ideals to pull that trigger Damian, do you think your actually capable of surviving in that kind of environment, from what Ive seen I doubt it…

    Oh and how long do you think the rent-a-cops libertarians would have replace the police would hang around for when shit gets real ?

    • McFlock 35.1

      Damien thinks the government will supply the cops to protect him. The trouble is that it’s cheaper for the government to lower crime by providing social services than it is to put armed police on every street corner, which is what you need in times of social breakdown. Because when the government does not provide those social structures, other groups step into the vacuum. CF Somalia and the West Bank vs Gaza strip.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 35.2

      +1 Minarch

      I don’t think Damien has the nous to work these things out – just swallows what his masters tells him hook, line and sinker.

      How generous of spirit is was of you to have spelt these things out for him – considering he works in the media – he has probably never heard of such things – they only deal with out-dated modes of dinosaur-like thinking and slogans passed to them from powerful interests as I understand (and observe) it.

  35. minarch 36

    Damien should really pay more attention to the REST of the worlds media

    http://rt.com/news/argentina-mass-looting-police-021/

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  • Murray McCully’s taxpayer-funded pissups
    Today was the last day of Parliament before the election, so naturally the government used it as cover to dump the quarterly Ministerial expenses reports. The media picked up pretty quickly on Tim Groser's $300 dinner of foie gras, (endangered)...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • STOP BOMBING ALREADY!!! (Leaked White House Transcript. 30 July 2014, EST )
    Gaza, an open-air prison? Israel’s $3 billion-a-year welfare check threatened? America scolds Israel? STOP THE PRESS!!! A leaked White House transcript of a heated phone-call earlier today reveals that US President Barack Obama told Israel’s Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to...
    Snoopman News | 31-07
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #31A
    10 reasons to be hopeful that we will overcome climate change A carbon tax that's good for business? Alaska communities at highest risk from ocean acidification Climate criminality': Australia OKs biggest coal mine IPCC climate change report's findings must be...
    Skeptical Science | 31-07
  • Poll of Polls update – 31 July 2014
    Roy Morgan has just released their latest poll, and finally there’s some relatively good news for the Left! It certainly didn’t take long for Micky Savage at the Standard to have a quick half-gloat… Or Martyn Bradbury at the Daily...
    Occasionally erudite | 31-07
  • Is the Gaza conflict going to resolve differently this time?
    The world witnesses yet another tragic spectacle of the perennial Israel /Palestine war over Gaza. There are the appalling pictures of dead and injured children in schools and hospitals. Enormous explosions are seen on our screens where multi-story buildings are...
    Pundit | 31-07
  • Parliament rises on a good note, thanks to some meddling kids
    The above video provides a good introduction to the slavery conditions of workers on foreign charter vessels fishing in NZ waters, as well as the Christchurch Anglican church’s involvement in it. While the Government took a while to act on the problem,...
    Cut your hair | 31-07
  • Stuart’s 100 #4: Aotea Arts District
    Stuart’s 100 continues: 4: Aotea Arts District What if Aotea felt like an Arts District? The area around Aotea Square is home to a surprising number of performing arts venues. I say surprising because it’s not often that you feel...
    Transport Blog | 31-07
  • The Māori Party and slave-fishing
    In the early C19th, when William Wilberforce was camapigning to abolish slavery in Britain's colonial posessions, he met with strong opposition from the British establishment. Few of his opponents were bold enough to say that they actually approved of slavery....
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • Colin and Jamie walked into a bar …
    A quick couple of points about some typically nutty stories provided by everyone's favourite comic puchlines - the Conservative and Act Parties....
    Pundit | 31-07
  • Our Work and Wages policy
    I want New Zealand to be the fairest, most decent, society in the world. To get there we need to grow the economy. But we also need to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to get ahead. That’s because...
    Labour campaign | 31-07
  • Fishing Bill a major step towards fixing industry problems
    The Maritime Union says the passing of a bill today 31 July 2014 reforming the fishing industry is a major step in fixing serious problems....
    MUNZ | 31-07
  • Labour work and wages policy good for working people
    Labour’s new policy on work and wages, announced today, is good for the working people of New Zealand....
    MUNZ | 31-07
  • Purge! Trotter vs Quin vs Labour
    In the last couple of days there have been two columns looking beyond the election to, in the eyes of the authors, the inevitable internecine Labour blood-sports that follow. Each has a purge to propose. Phil Quin thinks Labour is...
    Polity | 31-07
  • Students’ first-in-family policy needs support
    Free education for the first person in a family to undertake tertiary study is a creative, innovative and transformative proposal from New Zealand students, says TEU vice-president Sandra Grey. Tertiary education is full of...
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-07
  • Fiji: The law means nothing II
    Last month, we saw how Fiji's electoral law works in practice, when the supervisor of elections was instructed to register dictator Voreqe Bainimarama's "Fiji First" party despite the name being similar to that of the wound-up One Fiji - an...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • Unbelievable
    Why didn't Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully act sooner in the Malaysian diplomat case? Because he couldn't be arsed reading his email:DAVID SHEARER (Labour - Mt Albert) to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: Did his office receive an email at...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • The last day
    Today is the last day of Parliament for the term. After spending the morning on non-controversial legislation - including apparently the anti-slave-fishing bill - the House will have its last Question Time and then an adjournment debate. And then they'll...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • Traffic still at 2007 levels
    Gerry Brownlee’s media release yesterday trumpeted up traffic levels in 2013 surpassing those in 2012 – apparently this is a sign of New Zealand’s economic recovery that we’re driving a bit more. Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says increases in vehicle...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Oily pigs at the trough
    We all know that National MP Simon Bridges is a lackey for the oil and gas industry. But what wasn't readily apparent is just how much taxpayer's money the Energy and Resources Minister is willing to throw at his oil...
    The Jackal | 30-07
  • World News Brief, Thursday July 31
    Top of the AgendaRussia Reacts to New U.S., EU Sanctions...
    Pundit | 30-07
  • God Save The People!
    THE WORDS to When Wilt Thou Save The People? were written in 1827 by the "Corn Law Rhymer", Ebenezer Elliott. The refrain, "God Save the People!", is, of course, the radical working-class agitator's rejoinder to "God Save the King!"Elliott's song became the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-07
  • Why ACT always needs to play the race card
    During the 2011 election Don Brash was leader of the ACT Party, and he did something really stupid and crazy, but also rather admirable: Act leader Don Brash is calling for the decriminalisation of cannabis, saying prohibition of the drug has...
    DimPost | 30-07
  • Declan Waugh continues his distortion of Finnish fluoride research
    In my last post (Another fluoridation whopper from Declan Waugh) I described how Declan Waugh (a self-professed “scientist and fluoride researcher”) badly misrepresented data from a Finnish study which had concluded the prevalence of ailments attributed to fluoridation were “likely connected...
    Open Parachute | 30-07
  • The 40 Percent Solution.
    Challenging The Conventional Wisdom: The Labour Right believes the party can only succeed by conforming to the prevailing political and socioeconomic orthodoxy; the Labour Left understands that the whole point of the party is to challenge and change it.PHIL QUIN writes a...
    Bowalley Road | 30-07
  • Who wins the Education Debate ?: UMR and Herald-Digi Polls on Quality Teach...
    Herald-DigiPollThe Herald have just released further results from a Herald-DigiPoll (part of their Mid July political poll), which finds that "New Zealanders would rather money was spent on improving teaching standards" - ostensibly National's position - "than on reducing class...
    Sub zero politics | 30-07
  • Hard News: The crybaby philosopher
    Earlier this week, Act Party leader Jamie Whyte notified the world that he had delivered a speech entitled Race has no place in the law and, it seemed, sat back in anticipation of plaudits for his tremendous argument.Sadly, the next...
    Public Address | 30-07
  • Policymaking in a hyperglobalised world
    Speech to a conference of the Industry Training Federation and Polytechnics, 31 July 2014 First, some context. We are living through a turbulent decade. One element is the coming of age of a disruptive technology, digital technology, which is turning...
    Colin James | 30-07
  • Scientists criticise National Science Challenges
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 25 Radio New Zealand has used an official information request to expose serious unrest among scientists this week over the way the government is handling its NationalScienceChallenges project. The...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • League tables due out this week
    The TertiaryEducation Commission will publish 2013 educational performance indicators (EPIs) this week. The information ranks universities, polytechnics and wānanga institutions on their performance against the criteria, and inevitably morphs into league tables. However, TEU...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Joyce monitoring, not acting, on loan cuts
    The tertiary education minister Steven Joyce dodged a question last week about whether he would exempt medical students from the seven-year limit on student loans. Answering a written parliamentary question from Green MP Holly...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Whanganui prisoners want automotive course back
    Prisoners who want to study at UCOL are the subject of a fierce debate between TEU’s UCOL branch president Tina Smith and Whanganui MP Chester Borrows. Chester Borrows told the Wanganui Chronicle last week that...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Fascinating chart on global income change
    Last year Joseph Stiglitz, Prof James K Galbraith, and Branko Milanovic presented a paper that included the following graph, which set the economics world all a-twitter: It shows the change in income around the world in roughly the first 20...
    Polity | 30-07
  • Nurses celebrate partial victory for new grads
    Nurses celebrated yesterday when they learned their 7000 signature petition had helped pressure the government into funding a further 200 more positions in the nurse entry to practice (NEtP) programme for every new graduate...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Development opportunities after CRL: Will Newton become a second Newmarket?
    A couple of weeks ago Auckland Council quietly released a new version of its Capacity for Growth Study. The CFG study is an important and interesting document – it models the potential for future residential and business development under current...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Novopay Exemplifies National’s Governance
    This National led Government is strong on ideology, weak on process and reluctant to accept responsibility. The Novopay debacle exemplifies all of these well.When questioned about Novopay, National Ministers will never accept full responsibility. Initially the Government blamed Labour because they...
    Local Bodies | 30-07
  • Labour’s living wage announcement welcome news for public servants
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Labour’s commitment to ensure all core public service workers are paid at least the...
    PSA | 30-07
  • Novopay debacle shows danger of contracting out public services
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the Novopay debacle shows core public services are best provided in-house. Glenn Barclay, PSA...
    PSA | 30-07
  • Israel celebrates killing of children
    As the Israeli bombardment and occupation of Gaza intensifies with Unicef estimating that 230 Palestinian children have been killed to date, the international response to numerous Israeli war crimes appears to be floundering. Although an investigation will be conducted, without...
    The Jackal | 30-07
  • A video has emerged showing far-right Israeli protesters celebrating the death of children in Gaza in Tel Aviv this weekend.The protesters, who were picketing a much larger anti-war demonstration in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Saturday night, can be seen...
    The Jackal | 30-07
  • Novopay triumph for government
    Today the National government announced the future plans for the troubled education payroll system Novopay. The system has had a rough ride since it was implemented almost two years ago. At parliament today the Cabinet Minister for Fixing Up Really Bad...
    My Thinks | 30-07
  • Stuart’s 100 #3: Plane Tree Avenues
    Stuart Houghton’s 100 ideas for Auckland continues 3: Plane Tree Avenues Franklin Road, with its historic plane trees, is one of the most loved streets in Auckland. What if plane tree avenues defined all the major city fringe streets? This...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Too Much some recent articles on Inequality
    click here for these...
    Closing the Gap | 30-07
  • From truffle to light crude; oil doesn’t come cheap
    The Governments oil salesman Simon Bridges just can’t catch a break these days. Whether it’s having to admit that he’d never even heard of NZ’s largest forest park (Victoria FP) which he’d just opened up to drillers or getting stick...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-07
  • Submit on the Draft Parking Discussion Document
    Auckland Transport have had their Draft Parking Discussion Document (2mb file) out for consultation over the last couple of months, but this closes at midnight on Thursday. This covers the full range of parking issues around the city, including on-street, off-street and park...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Reaching out to voters
    This is going to be the biggest grassroots campaign we’ve ever run. A couple of weeks ago I shared some of the stats from our voter outreach programme with the media. It’s campaign activity that’s often hidden from view, but...
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Scrapped
    Wellington City Council has scrapped its "alternative giving" campaign. Good. As the article notes, the campaign was an expensive failure, with $40,000 spent to raise just $3,500 for the homeless. But despite that, its architects are still trying to pretend...
    No Right Turn | 30-07
  • Following in illustrious footsteps
    Gaylene Nepia is campaign manager for both the national Māori campaign and for her brother Adrian Rurawhe - Labour’s candidate for the Te Tai Hauāuru electorate. Mr Rurawhe and Mrs Nepia are great grandchildren of Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana, founder of the...
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • Seeing life through a Maori lens
    Meka Whaitiri, MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti, is contesting the seat for the first time at a general election. She entered Parliament through a by-election in June last year, following the death of her predecessor Parekura Horomia....
    Labour campaign | 30-07
  • GC Star supports Beyer +video
    Star of reality TV series The GC, Alby Waititi, has thrown his support behind Mana’s Te Tai Tonga candidate Georgina Beyer. In a short video clip, Waititi announces that he supports “the iconic and the wonderful” Beyer in her bid for New Zealand’s...
    Mana | 31-07
  • Mana supports the Silent Leaders Challenge
    “Tomorrow I will be participating in a challenge to break the silence about hearing loss”, said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “I’m doing it to feel what it is that those who are hearing-impaired face every day”...
    Mana | 31-07
  • ADJOURNMENT SPEECH – MP Hone Harawira
    It’d be nice to be able to say that for all the differences between us and this National government and its coalition partners, the last three years had seen our country come out of the Global Financial Crisis with a...
    Mana | 31-07
  • Evidence refutes doomsday wages predictions
    Minister of Labour Simon Bridges should cut the tired old rhetoric about rises in the minimum wage causing job losses and understand New Zealand has a serious problem with low wages and working poverty that needs to be addressed, Labour’s...
    Labour | 31-07
  • Slow, sluggish, not sweet at all
    Rural communities, frustrated by slow and unstable broadband, have been delivered a two fingered salute by Steven ‘Everything’s Sweet ’Joyce, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Mr Joyce deliberately obfuscated and refused to answer questions on the actual connection numbers...
    Labour | 31-07
  • McCully’s excuses in tatters
    New evidence has emerged today that shows Mr McCully’s excuses for not knowing about the Malaysian diplomat case don’t stack up, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Mr McCully said he had received no information about the Malaysian diplomat...
    Labour | 31-07
  • Poisons Centre 50 years; celebration or wake?
    The Government’s plan to roll a number of helpline services together looks set to proceed with disastrous consequences, Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson David Clark says.  Latest reports suggest Australian company Medibank is the most likely provider....
    Labour | 31-07
  • Green Party statement on passing of FCV legislation
    The Green Party congratulates all parties in Parliament for supporting the completion of the Foreign Chartered Vessel legislation.Legislation passed today ensuring the end of a shameful era of human rights abuses under successive governments and several fishing companies."Human rights and...
    Greens | 31-07
  • Govt must condemn Israel’s killing of civilians in Gaza
    The New Zealand Government must condemn Israel for its indiscriminate bombing of Gaza that continues to inflict massive civilian casualties, the Green Party said today.At least 15 people, mostly children and women, died when the school in Jabaliya refugee camp...
    Greens | 31-07
  • Veterans short-changed by new Act
    National Government reasons for rejecting a recommendation by the Law Commission to give veterans a payment to cover funeral expenses don’t stack up, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs spokesperson, Phil Goff. The Veterans’ Support Bill passed its Third Reading in Parliament...
    Labour | 31-07
  • Labour will establish Centres of Vocational Excellence
    A Labour Government will set up Centres of Vocational Excellence to boost training and innovation in industries that are vital to our economy and our regions, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics play a...
    Labour | 31-07
  • THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira
    “They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off it”, said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira, following comments by ACT Leader Jamie Whyte, Conservative Leader Colin Craig, and NZ First Leader Winston...
    Mana | 30-07
  • Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall
    Moves by the Government to increase the number of training placements for nursing graduates will be seen for what they are – a cynical election ploy, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Health Minister Tony Ryall has just announced the...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels
    Labour is appalled the Māori Party has refused to allow a final reading of legislation to abolish slavery conditions on foreign charter fishing vessels in New Zealand waters before the end of the Parliamentary term, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Ae Marika! 29 July 2014
    It wasn’t till I read John Armstrong’s column in the NZ Herald last week that I realised what a huge impact the Internet MANA tour has had, but the reality is that we achieved what no other political party has...
    Mana | 30-07
  • Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now
    The Israeli response in Gaza is disproportionate and with the firing of tanks and mortars into civilian areas, increasingly indiscriminate, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “Eight children were killed in Gaza last night, they were playing in an...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Novopay’s end must not be bulk funding’s beginning
    The end of the disastrous Novopay system must not serve as a stalking horse for the next big threat National poses to schools - the bulk funding of teacher salaries, the Green Party said today."Today's announcement that the National Government...
    Greens | 30-07
  • Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights
    A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth are shared fairly by all New Zealanders, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “That will put around...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue
    It will be cold comfort to teachers and school staff still struggling with Novopay that the National Government has finally stepped in to rescue the failed payroll system two years after it was introduced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says....
    Labour | 30-07
  • Auckland consents down second month in a row
    National’s housing policy is in disarray with building consents in Auckland falling two months in a row, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Statistics New Zealand’s latest building consent figures show consents in Auckland are down for the second month...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins
    The Green Party today launched its plan to protect the world's smallest and most endangered dolphin, the Maui's dolphin. The plan is the third component of the Party's environmental priority this election: clean rivers and beaches.The key policy points in...
    Greens | 29-07
  • Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media rele...
    The government is fudging the figures over Wellington road project, Transmission Gully, the Green Party said today.The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said today it had let the contract to a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for "a net present cost...
    Greens | 29-07
  • New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders
    New Zealand needs to listen to Pacific Island leaders when it comes to climate change action, said the Green Party today. Discontent with New Zealand and Australia is rife at the 2014 Pacific Islands Forum leaders' summit which commenced today...
    Greens | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government's attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows National will stop at nothing to open up our coastlines to deep sea oil, the Green Party said today.The article outlines...
    Greens | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Gerry Brownlee today tried to poor cold water on the...
    Labour | 29-07
  • Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate...
    At midday tomorrow, Annette Sykes will officially launch her campaign to win the Waiariki electorate seat for MANA in the upcoming general election. “A key goal for MANA this election is to mobilise our people to vote, especially rangatahi, and...
    Mana | 28-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    It seems that Conservation Minister Nick Smith has again been caught out interfering to allow more pollution in our rivers, the Green Party said today. Last year the Department of Conservation submission on the proposed Ruataniwha Dam was suppressed after...
    Greens | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    National's deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says."These parties have no electoral mandate and will return to Parliament only...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative costs are skyrocketing while the level of investment in actual science remains a mystery, says Labour’s Innovation, Research...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built under Gerry Brownlee in the last two years, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove....
    Labour | 28-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    The National Government should allow scientists and businesses to get on with innovation rather than allow Steven Joyce's heavy hand to direct it, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today. Dr Norman was responding to reports today that several...
    Greens | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait for solutions, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Of course CERA officials do need to...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they don’t keep in line with Government’s views, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “Nick Smith...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    “It’s great to have Georgie on board” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP.  ”She’s strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven’t had any – and won.  That...
    Mana | 27-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills
    The Green Party today launched its plan to protect New Zealand beaches from oil spills. The plan is the second component of the Party's environmental priority this election: Rivers clean enough to swim in again, and beaches safe from oil...
    Greens | 26-07
  • Auckland rail use spike shows need to start link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
    The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
    The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “It’s not good enough...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • ACT trying to have it both ways on zoning
    ACT Party candidate David Seymour’s campaign against changes to school zones in the Epsom electorate looks hollow given his party’s commitment to the abolition of school zoning altogether, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It’s disingenuous for David Seymour to...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Jamie Whyte loses the plot and why this is Dame Devoy’s finest hour
    I was a damningly critical voice over Dame Susan Devoy’s appointment as the Race Relations Commissioner, but her righteous condemnation of Jamie Whyte’s farcical statement that Maori somehow have the same legal privilege of 17th Century French Aristocracy is such a courageous stance...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • Latest Roy Morgan Poll: Labour jumps 6.5 points up to 30%, National tumble
    Latest Roy Morgan Poll: National down to 46%, Labour up to 30%, Greens down to 12%, NZ First down to 5%, Maori Party up to 1.5%, Internet MANA up to 2,5%, ACT, United Future and Conservatives stay unchanged. To take into...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • What is the nature of satire? Issues for the Human Rights Commission as the...
    Congratulations to Fairfax media for their detailed coverage of the current Human Rights Commission case being asserted by Louisa Wall that Al Nisbet’s cartoons were racist and deserved censure. Pity Fairfax published the cartoons in the first place however. The Human...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour promises $2 boost in minimum wage
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Labour promises $2 boost in minimum wage Labour leader David Cinliffe From the New Zealand Herald By Derek Cheng Wednesday July 30, 2014 A $2-an-hour boost to the minimum wage, scrapping the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira Posted on July 30, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labours policies a step change for working people
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Labours policies a step change for working people “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labours...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Novopay’s end must not be bulk funding’s beginning
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Novopay's end must not be bulk funding's beginning Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | Press Release Teachers have endured two years of hell, never knowing from one week to the next if they’ll...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | Press Release The Green Party today launched its plan to protect the world’s smallest and most endangered dolphin,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • USA: One year after her conviction Chelsea Manning must be released
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: USA: One year after her conviction Chelsea Manning must be released Exactly one year after Chelsea Manning was convicted of leaking classified government material, Amnesty International is renewing its call on...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • EU must close all loopholes in the torture trade
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: EU must close all loopholes in the torture trade The European Union (EU) must urgently strengthen its laws to enable member states to immediately ban the trade in new devices and...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Swaziland: Deplorable sentences against journalist and lawyer stifle free s...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Swaziland: Deplorable sentences against journalist and lawyer stifle free speech The sentencing of a newspaper editor and a human rights lawyer to two years in prison on charges of contempt of...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall Moves by the Government to increase the number of training placements for nursing graduates will be seen for what they are – a cynical election ploy,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels Labour is appalled the Māori Party has refused to allow a final reading of legislation to abolish slavery conditions on foreign charter fishing...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now The Israeli response in Gaza is disproportionate and with the firing of tanks and mortars into civilian areas, increasingly indiscriminate, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer....
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue It will be cold comfort to teachers and school staff still struggling with Novopay that the National Government has finally stepped in to rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Auckland consents down second month in a row
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auckland consents down second month in a row National’s housing policy is in disarray with building consents in Auckland falling two months in a row, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Statistics...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • A brief word on why Murray McCully’s email didn’t work in New York
    Ummmmmmm. What? An email to Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s office about former Malaysian diplomat Muhammed Rizalman bin Ismail invoking diplomatic immunity remained unopened for weeks – allegedly because communications were limited as the minister travelled to New York. So Muzza...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The infallible NZ Police
    You would think 44 years after one of their own framed an innocent man by planting evidence that the NZ Police would admit they got it wrong. Not so. The whitewash report yesterday into the Crewe murders does the usual...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Just how crazy is ACTs Whyte Supremacy?
    Two reasons why Jamie Whyte’s claim that Maori are as legally privileged as 17th Century French Aristocracy is possibly the most stupid thing anyone has ever said. 1 – That easy-Maori-University-entry chestnut is one of the worst examples the right...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour Commits To An End To Factory Farming
    Revelations that the Pigcare Accreditation scheme is still failing animals despite protestations from the Ministry, resulted in a day of national action across the country last Saturday. Thousands rallied in the centres against factory farming for a historic outcome for animals. For the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Has Apartheid Israel committed war crimes?
    Last week 29 of the UN Human Rights Council’s 47 members voted to set up an inquiry into possible war crimes committed by Apartheid Israel during it’s latest bloody purge of the Palestinian people. It’s interesting to note the only member...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Mr Fixit is broken – Novopay becomes Neverpay
    There are deals so poorly agreed to with the barest amount of oversight green lighted for ideological reasons so mangled and damaged that not even Steven ‘Mr Fixit’ Joyce can dress it up beyond the turd cake it is. Novopay is one...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The Right-wing – strong on crime!
    . . National, ACT, and the Right, generally, are renowned for being “tough on crime”. What follows are just a few examples,  to illustrate National/ACT’s “toughness”. . . Ms Hauiti isn’t the first MP to mis-use tax-payer’s money, and most...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The 40 Percent Solution: Chris Trotter responds to Phil Quin.
    PHIL QUIN writes a mean political column. His long-standing connections to the right of the New Zealand Labour Party are extensive and strong. When he writes about politics, especially electoral politics, it is from personal experience and with considerable authority....
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour’s new worker policy – $16.25 minimum wage
    Labour’s much anticipated worker policy has been released. It’s a mix of the aspirational and the smart. $15 minimum wage by Christmas this year, bumped up to $16.25 next year while banning the 90 day right to sack laws and...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The Liberal Agenda: 30th July- 3rd August
    Wednesday GAZA: Setler colonialism, apartheid and resistance panel discussion Want to know more about what’s going down (and has been going down since 1948) in Gaza, and by extension the Palestinian territory?  Come along to this panel discussion. No boring...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • NZIFF: New Zealand’s Best
    Eleven   Saturday night was New Zealand’s Best at the New Zealand International Film Festival. The collection of 6 short films are selected from over a hundred and are all of very high quality. They compete for a number of...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “The Government needs to come clean. In fact, the cost is $125 million per...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “John Key and his government need to step up and take climate change seriously.” New Zealand needs to...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • So where are the Taxpayer’s Union on Simon Bridges luxury oil dinners?
    So where is David Farrar’s astroturf fake union, the Taxpayer’s Union, to criticise the quarter of a million spent on luxury wine and food to woo the oil industry then? Luxury oil summit during Rugby Cup was an ‘investment’Energy Minister...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • ACT show their true racist colours
    ACT Party conference in Epsom last week At some point ACTs low poll ratings were going to have to force ACT to stop pretending to be some free market under grad fantasy and get them back to their true purpose...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Broken English, broken government, broken climate
    Bill English’s unguarded statements on climate change demonstrate just how out of touch the National Party leadership really is, and how important it is that they should be forced to face facts. A couple of weeks ago finance minister Bill...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Privilege Lost
    Elton John didn’t get it wrong when said that sorry was the hardest word. It’s a word whose mere utterance can be seized upon as a sign of weakness and topic of ridicule, while simultaneously expressing understanding and opening the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST POST: Curwen Rolinson – A Vote For NZF Is A Vote For NZF – For Na...
    I’m loving this “Duelling Banjos” thing me and Bomber have got going on at the moment - he writes a piece castigating NZF for imminent existential failure due to Cons, I write a refutation setting out why we’ll be back. He writes a...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, holidays
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Laila Harre to run against Key in Helensville
    Another full house in Rotorua as part of Internet MANAs road trip Another day, another full house for the Internet MANA road trip. John Armstrong understands the energy now swirling around Internet MANA, and the latest announcements of Georgina Beyer...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Waiting for Gower’s Twittering of indignation…
    .   . Key has made his call; deals with ACT and Peter Dunne are in – a deal with the CCCP (Colin Craig’s Conservative Party), is out; . . Now we can look forward to TV3′s political commentator, Patrick...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government’s attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Owner of Kiwis’ favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action
    MIL OSI – Source: Oxfam NZ – Headline: Owner of Kiwis' favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action The maker of Old El Paso tacos, Betty Crocker cake mixes and Haagan Daz ice-cream has today committed to industry-leading measures...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood: Weekend at Bernie’s lll – ACT in Epsom
    While no one will be surprised by yesterday’s deal to prop up ACT in Epsom, the audacity of it is still astounding. ACT is a political corpse. Their sole MP has been found guilty of electoral fraud and bides his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • So how’s all the ‘ Labour Party man ban’ hysteria working out for you...
    Remember all the screams from the media at the so called ‘man ban’ of the Labour Party? Labour’s attempt at gender equality was really just more evidence of Labour’s man hate,  feminists were taking over, heterosexual red blooded men burnt at the stake....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Paul Henry; the issue is you, not flag-burning
    There will always be reductive, dangerous and reactionary responses to different forms of oppressive violence by our western, often biased, mainstream media. These reactionary responses purposefully distract from the real issues and those who are at the root and the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Oh now John Armstrong and Vernon Small want to talk about policy?
    The audacity of the mainstream media seems to know no end. This week both John Armstrong and Vernon Small had the hilarity to demand a focus on policy and not ‘gotcha’ politics… John Armstrong: The ‘gotcha politics’ disease is afflicting...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Burning the flag or accepting the evil Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesBurning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid” Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesJordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches te reo Māori policy  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press Releases, Te Hamua Nikora“MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Seafood NZ Says Kaikoura Conservation Legislation a Template
    Seafood New Zealand has hailed the passage of the Kaikoura (Te Tai-o-Marokura) Marine Management Bill by Parliament today as a template for seafood and environment conservation measures throughout New Zealand. Parliament passed the bill into law on the last...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Whale Watch Kaikoura Welcomes Third Reading of Bill
    Whale Watch Kaikoura General Manager Kauahi Ngapora today welcomed the third reading of the Kaikōura (Te Tai ō Marokura) Marine Management Bill....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • NZ performers welcome Labour Party proposal
    NZ performers welcome Labour Party proposal to restore fairness and certainty for NZ workers Equity New Zealand today welcomed the announcement by the Labour Party that if elected, it would restore the right of film and television workers to collective...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Tear Fund’s Obsession: Food And Sex (Trafficking)
    Food and sex have always been kindred bedfellows; both are sensory experiences that ignite the passions. For TEAR Fund, however, the relationship is less savoury and more complex. We work in the darkest brothels of Southeast Asia where young girls...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Poll July 14-27: Nat 46% Lab 30% Gr 12% NZ1 5%
    National (46%) lead over Labour/ Greens (42%) cut significantly as Key rules out deal with Conservative Party but says National would consider a deal with NZ First (5%)...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Study could be used to counter high suicide rates
    Should social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter be subject to moral obligations with regards to their customers' mental health? In the wake of the furore following the “Emotional Contagion” study carried out by Facebook themselves, the question...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Labour’s Minimum Wage Proposal a Backward Step
    Democrats for Social Credit finance spokesperson Chris Leitch has attacked Labour’s proposals to increase the minimum wage labelling it ”a backward step for low and middle income earners”....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Sealord applauds passing of Fisheries FCV Bill
    Sealord Group has welcomed the passing of the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels) Amendment Bill as a move that will safeguard workers and protect New Zealand’s sustainable fishing reputation....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Liam Butler interviews Hon David Cunliffe
    With older Kiwis comprising a growing proportion of New Zealand's population we all need to recognise the significant contribution they make to society - not only as taxpayers and consumers, but as employers, paid workers and volunteers....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • GC Star Supports Beyer
    Star of reality TV series The GC, Alby Waititi, has thrown his support behind Mana’s Te Tai Tonga candidate Georgina Beyer....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • New ACC Executive appointments announced
    ACC Chief Executive Scott Pickering today announced appointments to the ACC Executive Team effective from 1 September. The new Executive, which contains new roles and responsibilities, contains five members of the existing Executive and two new appointments....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Ministry CEO Hides in Office for Award Ceremony
    Following this morning’s coverage of the extravagant expenditure by Pauline Winter, the CEO of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Porky the Taxpayers’ Union mascot visited the Ministry’s Wellington Office to present the Union’s first “Troughing...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Students’ first-in-family policy needs support
    Free education for the first person in a family to undertake tertiary study is a creative, innovative and transformative proposal from New Zealand students, says TEU vice-president Sandra Grey....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Fishing Bill a major step towards fixing industry problems
    The Maritime Union says the passing of a bill reforming the fishing industry is a major step in fixing serious problems....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Waikato-Tainui marae to receive $15 million top up
    Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui marae are set to receive a one-off grant worth more than $15 million. Following the call from Te Kauhanganui, sixty-six marae will receive a base grant of $150,000 and an additional per capita grant based on the...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Outdoor Council Backs Fish and Game in Minister Smith Stoush
    A national outdoor recreation council has backed Fish and Game in the wake of an argument with Conservation Minister Nick Smith over the organisation's advocacy role for cleaning up New Zealand's rivers from a deteriorating state....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc. – Closing the Gap
    Simon Bridges says increasing the minimum wage will cost us at least 6000 jobs, hurt businesses and reduce growth. Rubbish, says Peter Malcolm National Secretary of Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Call on Pauline Winter to Front up Or Resign
    Responding to the Fairfax report that taxpayers are footing the bill for the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs’ Chief Executive and to fly to Auckland most weekends, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Petition generates progress for new nurses
    Last week the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) launched a petition to get a nurse entry to practice (NEtP) programme for every new graduate nurse. This week, and more than 7,000 signatures later, we are very pleased to hear the...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • NZ Parliament backs media freedom in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland applauds the decision of the New Zealand Parliament to give its backing to genuine media freedom for local and international journalists in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Wellington protest rally to march for Gaza
    “Marchers from Wellington Students for Justice in Palestine intend to lay memorials at the Rabin memorial in Harris Street during a protest rally on Saturday. The names of some child victims of the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip will...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte calls Dame Susan Devoy to resign
    Dame Susan Devoy has responded to my speech calling for racial equality by publicly condemning it as “grotesque and inflammatory"....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • WW1 anniversary: Peace vigils on 4 August
    Monday, 4 August, is the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One, "the war to end all wars". Peace Movement Aotearoa, in association with Quakers, is coordinating nation-wide candle-lit vigils on 4 August, in conjunction with peace...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Making It Easier for Disabled Voters to Have Their Say
    The Electoral Commission is making it easier for disabled New Zealanders to enrol and vote, with the confirmation that telephone dictation voting will be in place for the 2014 general election....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • AA welcomes lower drink-driving limit
    Lowering the adult drink driving limit is one good step forward in making our roads safer, says the Automobile Association. Parliament voted last night to reduce the blood alcohol limit to .05 for drivers aged 20 or over. The AA...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • RSA welcomes Veterans Support Act
    The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association welcomes the passage of the Veterans Support Act into law tonight. RSA National President, Don McIver, says that while it has taken a long time to get to this point, and there...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Political debate Thursday July 31st at Whanau Centre
    Waipareira will host a political debate on Thursday at Whanau Centre, Henderson, starting at 7pm. Hosted by broadcaster Willie Jackson, candidates will be asked the tough questions about Whanau Ora, the future of the Maori Seats, Housing, Child Poverty...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • They Can’t All Win Off the Race-Card
    “They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off it”, said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira, following comments by ACT Leader Jamie Whyte, Conservative Leader Colin Craig, and NZ First Leader Winston...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • New Zealanders Being Gouged by Electricity and Liquid Fuels
    New Zealand consumers of electricity are being price gouged to the tune of about $1.388 million while the companies pocket the profits, a new economic analysis released today by the Iwi Leaders Forum reveals....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Push For Gender Confusion In Schools
    Family First NZ is warning schools about an agenda to bring gender confusion in to schools in areas such as changing rooms, sports teams and school uniforms....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour work and wages policy good for working people
    The Maritime Union says Labour’s new policy on work and wages, announced today, is good for the working people of New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Joint Statement on EU-New Zealand Partnership Agreement
    Joint Statement on EU-New Zealand Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation (PARC) by High Representative for EU Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Time to lift unliveable wage rates
    The Service and Food Workers Union has welcomed Labour’s determination to lift New Zealand’s unliveable wage rates. The Labour Party today announced their Work and Wages policy....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Judith Collins and Women’s Refuge – ‘Doing a Katie Bradford’
    In Rethinking’s latest blog; http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/07/judith-collins-and-womens-refuge.html Kim Workman suggests that Ms Collins treatment of the Women’s Refuge in a recent Q and A interview, could spark a new slang term in the national lexicon – ‘Doing...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Independent candidate advocates monetary paradigm shift
    Waikanae veterinarian Dr Amanda Vickers is standing as an independent for the Otaki electorate, with a view to modernise monetary policy....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Review of Radiocommunications Act 1989
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has today published a discussion document reviewing New Zealand’s Radiocommunications Act 1989. The discussion document looks at issues including competition regulation, technical parameters on...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Unite Union welcomes Labour Party increase to minimum wage
    Unite Union welcomes the announcement today by the Labour Party to increase the minimum wage by $2 per hour by early 2015....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Taxing Struggling Families to Boost Bureaucrats Shameful
    Responding to Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement that a Labour Government would ensure public servants would receive at least the Living Wage, significantly more than their private sector counterparts, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour reforms show commitment to tackling inequality
    The NZ Labour Party’s just-announced industrial relations agenda demonstrates a clear commitment to tackling the growing inequality in New Zealand and restore democracy to our workplaces, according to FIRST Union....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Debacle shows danger of contracting out public services
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the Novopay debacle shows core public services are best provided in-house....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Public servants welcome Labour’s living wage announcement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Labour’s commitment to ensure all core public service workers are paid at least the living wage will be welcome news to thousands of hard working New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Commission urges politicians to stick to the major issues
    In the run up to the general election Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging politicians to “do the right thing and stick to those major issues that will help make New Zealand a better place for all our...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Statement on behalf of Rochelle Crewe
    Rochelle Crewe has lived a life of anonymity. The tragic killing of her parents in 1970, when she was only 18 months old, has understandably been the subject of much media attention in this country in the four decades since....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • All parties need to help save Maui’s dolphins
    Forest & Bird is urging all political parties to adopt the recommendations of scientists - and the International Whaling Commission - in order to save to save the Maui’s dolphin from extinction....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Navigating Our Future Conference: Leaders’ Dialogue
    As pre-election positioning heats up and the environment has emerged as a key issue, the Leaders’ Dialogue at EDS’s annual conference next week will be an opportunity to interrogate the main parties....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour’s policy promises a return to fairness at work
    Workers across New Zealand will benefit from the Labour Party’s work and wages policy, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union. “Labour’s policy is a comprehensive package which will lift wages, lower unemployment, and build a...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour’s policies a step change for working people
    “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labour's Industrial Relations policy package,” CTU President Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Tear Fund Launches Emergency Appeal for Gaza
    As the death toll surpasses 1000 in Gaza, TEAR Fund has launched an appeal to help civilians caught up in the conflict between Israel and Palestine. TEAR Fund CEO and chairman of the NGO Disaster Relief Forum Ian McInnes said,...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Democrats for Social Credit Party celebrates 60 years
    Monetary reformers from across New Zealand will celebrate the Democrats for Social Credit Party’s (DSC) 60th anniversary at its annual conference at Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • 100-Gun Salute to Commemorate Beginning of WW1
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), with WW100, New Zealand’s First World War centenary programme, will commemorate the beginning of the First World War for New Zealand next Monday, 4 August....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
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