web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Doing the numbers: benefits & (un)employment

Written By: - Date published: 9:14 am, January 18th, 2013 - 92 comments
Categories: accountability, benefits, class war, greens, Metiria Turei, paula bennett, unemployment, workers' rights - Tags:

Paula Bennett stated yesterday that the numbers of people on benefits had dropped noticeably during the last quarter.  However, the figures are presented in such a way as to mask the reality of employment, unemployment, Bennett’s punitive welfare reforms, and the struggles of those living on low incomes.

The number of people on benefits in New Zealand is the lowest it’s been at the end of a December quarter since 2008.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says the number of people on benefits decreased by nearly 12,000 in the last twelve months.

“But with 339,095 people on benefit in New Zealand, there is much more work to do.”

“We are very much in a transitional phase with the first stage of Welfare Reform currently being implemented and the second stage yet to begin,” says Mrs Bennett.

“There are 13,600 fewer people on benefit than two years ago which means on average, benefit numbers reduced by 131 every week for the past two years.”

Green Party co-leader, Metiria Turei, was quick off the mark yesterday, questioning the reality behind the figures, and how they related (or didn’t) to the unemployment statistics.

A fall in the number of unemployment beneficiaries while unemployment itself is rising raises concerns over whether the Government’s punitive welfare changes are preventing kiwis getting the help they really need, the Green Party said today.

The latest benefit numbers show that, while there was a seasonal increase in unemployment numbers, the number of people on the unemployment benefit is down on last year, despite the number of people who are unemployed being up.

“It’s unusual that at the same time that the number of people who are out of work is rising, the number of people getting unemployment benefits is falling,” Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said.

“It would be extremely concerning if many people who need help because they have lost their job are not getting help because of National’s punitive welfare changes.

“The numbers may also indicate growing numbers of families under stress as one partner loses a job, but is ineligible for the benefit because the other is working.

“It’s no surprise the National Government prefers to tout unemployment benefit numbers over the real number of unemployed which the latest figures state is about 175,00

The biggest concern is the numbers who have come off the DPB, as a result of changes Bennett has made, pressuring mothers of young children to get work:

There was a particularly big drop in the number of people on the Domestic Purposes Benefit (DPB) at the end of 2012 after the Government introduced work obligations for sole parents with older children.

Invest in NZ has also been looking at the numbers:

Unemployment Benefit numbers increased by 3,000 over the quarter driven by large numbers of students finishing their studies just before summer.

The number of sole parents on the DPB dropped 1.6% over the quarter to 95,138 and 3,221 sole parents went off this benefit into work in that period.

However, not all the sole parents that went off the DPB went into work.  According to Claire Trevett on the NZ Herald,

The number of sole parents on the domestic purposes benefit dropped by 5000 last year – a drop Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is attributing partly to her new policy requiring sole parents to get jobs when their youngest child turns five.

Figures released yesterday showed there were 95,138 sole parents on the DPB at the end of 2012 – down from 100,266 the year before.

The figures mix total numbers for the quarter with percentage drops, and other figures show the drop over the year.  So it is hard to work out exactly how many sole parents went off the DPB but did not get work.   There is also no information about how many went into part time work (which is most likely for sole parents with children), or how much these jobs pay.

As Turei pointed out, it is clear that there is a discrepancy between the official unemployment numbers and those on benefits.  This indicates a deterioration in income and living circumstances for many of the people surviving on low incomes, driven by Bennett’s punitive changes to the benefit system.  And this negative impact is being masked by a strategic presentation of statistics that don’t make for easy comparisons, while Bennett keeps playing on the widespread construction of DPB recipients as “undeserving poor”.

[Update: RNZ Summer Report on the “welfare numbers” and poverty:

Opposition parties say the latest welfare figures issued by the Government prove people are being forced into poverty…

However, the latest Household Labour Force Survey shows unemployment has risen.

Council of Trade Unions economist Bill Rosenberg told Summer Report the Government is making it harder for people to receive assistance.

He said says beneficiaries should be encouraged to seek work, but that does not appear to be the case.

And it’s worth listening to the interview at the above link with Rosenberg.  He also comments on the controlled release of statistics from the government, which aren’t in a form that people can make sense of.

92 comments on “Doing the numbers: benefits & (un)employment”

  1. I agree Karol this is not something to celebrate.

    Somewhere there is a Kiwi family whose parents have had to resort to crime or prostitution to get by.

    There has to be a better way …

    • Tom Gould 1.1

      And what might that ‘better way’ be, Micky?

      • McFlock 1.1.1

        not kick ‘em off a benefit they need.

        • TightyRighty 1.1.1.1

          Just let them leech of the productive for as long as they feel like then? the benefit changes were to encourage people into real work. hell if you can’t even keep a job like the benefit you don’t deserve much sympathy.

          • McFlock 1.1.1.1.1

            Well, we could always have a government that keeps jobs in NZ. That “brighter future” is just around the corner…

            • TightyRighty 1.1.1.1.1.1

              they did. you hated that too. How dare the government get such an awesome ROI off $67m by keeping a movie that wouldn’t bow to the aussie unions demand? How dare the government explore fracking? because that wouldn’t create any jobs. you are making the usual idiotic mistake of assuming the government of a country the size of new zealand has control of worldwide market forces. Seriously? get an education. your pontificating on subjects that you know less than fuck all about is disheartening. you can take some of the responsibility for this country being shit, because you are shit.

              • McFlock

                GFC? Get a grip. we’re doing worse than most developed nations and our trading partners, and you still have the idiocy to blame the GFC?

                Funny, though. The only company key was prepared to throw money at (that wasn’t a bankrupt finance company) just happened to be run by a prominent Key supporter. And you call temporary mcjobs in exchange for $67mil “value for money” even assuming the jobs would have gone overseas without it.

                What a fucking mumpty you are. But if it helps you sleep at night (what with supporting a government that kills our kids and all that), call me whatever you want, baby.

              • Foreign Waka

                I think that there is no need to get so aggressive. Mind you it’s great that you feel passionate about the issue – better than being disinterested. Nonetheless, I do not agree with the notion that NZ has to sell its position on the environment to appease Multinationals. I belief some damage was done in the last few days with signing an agreement of sorts to enable GMOfood to enter the country. Now, this kind of business I do not understand a it does not create a single workplace but damages NZ reputation. As to fracking – it has been documented as being harmful to the environment and people -http://www.greens.org.nz/fracking – ground water contamination just being one very good reason to not go down that path.
                Coming back to the heading of the article – we are in an deflationary environment which is worst than the opposite. Kind of a downward spiral and there are people being proud of it ?! This is the kind of climate that precipitated the great depression in the 1920’s. As to Mrs Bennett announcing the statistics as a success says something about the nativity of this minister and the sheer angst her seemingly low education level might instills in every thinking person. It certainly concerns me greatly that this is the level of care we all can expect from a minister of this government.

          • bad12 1.1.1.1.2

            Ok, if i were to feel like answering your little quisle in a sane factual manner i would simply ask you how can these people have moved into real paid work when the unemployment numbers have not gone down,

            It’s a simple enough self evident question that really answers it’self but i don’t, feel like answering your little quisle in a sane factual manner that is,

            So, why don’t you crawl back into whatever sewer or back under whatever rock you just slithered out from because it hurts my head to have to (a) read the utter s**t you post, and (b), an utter piece of s**t such as you obviously are doesn’t really deserve an answer…

            • TightyRighty 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Plenty of jobs out there. Seasonal unemployment? know the difference between that and structural unemployment? I know of six companies hiring. I also know of a company hiring that has tried with beneficiaries, offered a good wage too, and given up as the utter fucking stupidity and laziness of the beneficiaries did there head in. these are the people who you believe “want to work”. So stick up for them some more. “people” really “care” what you think. twerp.

              • bad12

                Name these company’s that are hiring wanker…

              • georgecom

                The old right wing “there are plenty of jobs out there whilst waving arm around in a vague direction” answer. Plenty of jobs around, just not for the several hundred thousand without work. Maybe the jobs are on Planet Key.

              • Wanting to work and being able to work (especially at particular jobs) are different things. We should invest a fair amount into getting people who want to work to the point where they are able to work.

                We’re hardly even trying to do that right now.

          • Schlurps McGoo 1.1.1.1.3

            Yes there’s no solution as elegant for unemployment quite like a job.

            Where are those promised jobs and economic recovery by the way?

    • infused 1.2

      Common Micky, give me a break.

      It’s tough shit. They need to get back to work.

    • QoT 1.3

      Does sex work really have to be your go-to for “degrading demeaning terrible work”, mickey?

      It’s legal employment which many people participate in voluntarily and enthusiastically, despite years of getting crapped on by society, law enforcement, and (these days) local government. And it pays a hell of a lot better than a lot of the other types of “menial” work people will be “forced” into.

      • Te Reo Putake 1.3.1

        You’re the one saying its “degrading demeaning terrible work”, QOT. And you’re right. Prostitution is lucrative, particularly for the bosses, but the job comes with disease, violence, drugs and the almost inevitable mental health issues for the majority in the industry.

        If you can find a better example, let’s see it.

        • QoT 1.3.1.1

          No, I’m not, TRP, I’m summarising mickey’s meaning, so fuck off with your wilful misinterpretation – and your BS dehumanising attitudes to sex work which, for those who are actually harmed by it, just makes things worse.

          • Te Reo Putake 1.3.1.1.1

            Well, they are your words QOT, not MS’s. And why use quotation marks if it’s not a quote?

            As for the other matter, you know I’m right and your feeble abuse doesn’t change anything. But feel free to put up that better example any time you want. China orange to all of Lombard street you can’t.

            • QoT 1.3.1.1.1.1

              There’s this thing called “paraphrasing”, you may have heard of it.

              How many examples do you need?

              You know what I sincerely love about anti-sex-worker people like you, TRP? The way that you seem to believe sex work is the only industry in which people are coerced into working unsafely by exploiting profiteers.

              Oh, but it involves penis, so that makes it different, right?

              • Te Reo Putake

                You’re the one being the penis, QOT. I am supportive of workers in the sex industry, as my first comment makes pretty plain. You apparently don’t know what quotation marks are for, what a quote is, nor what ‘paraphrasing’ means.

                And you really lose it here:

                “The way that you seem to believe sex work is the only industry in which people are coerced into working unsafely by exploiting profiteers.”

                Citation, please! And feel free to supply that better example any time you want. But as I noted above, you clearly can’t.

                • No, you’re really not supportive, TRP, because if you were you would have realised that QOT was actually quite correct that in grouping sex work with criminal activity, Mickey did imply degradation. If you’re such a champion of the rights of sex workers, I’d think you’d have better things to do than to nitpick your peers in that fight.

                  As for your citation, if I can step in…

                  And you’re right. Prostitution is lucrative, particularly for the bosses, but the job comes with disease, violence, drugs and the almost inevitable mental health issues for the majority in the industry.

                  The implication in the fact that you feel this fact is noteworthy only for prostitution (if you really thought sex work was the same as other industries, you could easily have said “one of many industries” somewhere in there) is that there is something special or different involved in providing sexual services. Whether this is an internalised attitude you haven’t yet reconciled with your beliefs or you’re not serious when you say you support the rights of sex workers, I don’t know, but either way, please stop wasting everyone’s time with your nitpicking and do (or at least say) something productive instead.

  2. end o times viper shorts 2

    bout time the media did a story on some of those who’ve no employment nor state support – or are we meant to just pretend they don’t exist

    sad and anger inducing that would be

  3. PlanetOrphan 3

    Meanwhile the MSM are trying to pacify New Zealand by flogging them with Johny Sparkles smile.

    I see Riots coming ! , Maybe Hekia Parata can “Communicate” the Gnats out of it aye Johnny Boy?

    DunnoKeyo running around in circles making throat slitting gestures, and pointing his glittery finger at everyone ….

    “It’s all your fault M8!” :-(

  4. Chris 4

    So, Big Paula has been trundled out onto the parapet to start the year off with her version of success by trumpeting a whole lot of facts and figures, sorry,factless figures that do not obviously have to be substantiated. Where did all these people go?Why does she not have to back these claims with proof of where all these beneficiaries are and how they are living.

    She has obviously been kept in seclusion over the break to be indoctrinated further and to learn her figures,and spinning rhetoric when questioned.

    There will come a time when even The Salvation Army and all others like them will be unable to cope with the fallout of Bouncy Paula’s policies.

    I still shake my head in disbelief that she is still there.keys not so secret weapon.

  5. just saying 5

    I’ve noticed a trend of knowing or knowing of, more and more people without paid work who aren’t on a benefit, but I didn’t join the dots until I read commenters like Bill and Bad12 talking about it.

    I know of instances where whanau and their contacts are keeping unemployed members afloat (just) and it worries me how exposed these people are to exploitation and scapegoating. Then there is the black economy, gambling, casual, under the counter work, odd jobs, incurring ever more debt, by various means – and the impossible juggling that goes with that…. all very precarious, and just the sorts of things my grandparents used to talk about happening during the depression.

    One of those rip-off grocery trucks parked on my street yesterday. The ones that exploit those that can’t get to a supermarket. I just felt desolate. Yet another tentacle of the unspoken-of depression has slithered in.

    • Saccharomyces 5.1

      Wow, I’ve seen the clothes/household goods ones, but haven’t seen grocery ones. I’ll bet they’re offering “easy terms credit” too…..

  6. fatty 6

    National stimulating unemployment and attacking beneficiaries should be distressing, but it should not be surprising.
    Labour’s inability to turn score points off this is also distressing, but also, should not be surprising.
    Whenever you’re ready Jacinda Ardern, in your own time

    • Fortran 6.1

      Who is Jacinda?
      Is she in Parliament ?

    • xtasy 6.2

      Jacinda may be lying on a beach somewhere overseas, perhaps.

      Or is she redrafting her CV for a new career in consultancy on social welfare issues or whatever else may come to mind?

      Yes, I am just wondering, was that last speech before Parliament into the summer recess just a bit of another “performance” act not to be taken too seriously?

      • karol 6.2.1

        There is a brief mention to Labour in the RNZ article I linked to in the update to my post. It says:

        Labour agrees the figures will come as cold comfort for job-seekers unable to find work.

        • xtasy 6.2.1.1

          Thanks Karol, not much details there, I suppose, holiday replacement spokesperson perhaps saying a bit or two?!

          • karol 6.2.1.1.1

            xtasy, it just looks like they contacted the acting spokesperson for everything (Chris Hipkins?) and asked for hir response.

            • xtasy 6.2.1.1.1.1

              hippy, hippy yeah! Hippykinskisssy – yet again, megaphone of Labour while the Leader is up north surfing and playing guitar, while Jacinda is exploring exotic environs, or working on a career change.

              I love it. Next week back to normal, or extensive leave for caucus and leadership?

  7. aerobubble 7

    Its innovative, the world needs to hear about this more, that Key has discovered the holy grail of unemployment, that in a time of recession and with little sign of a rebound in the economy, the unemployment numbers are going down! There must be more too it, I’m not seeing foreign world governments suddenly rushing their social security ministers to get some of Key voodoo.

    • karol 7.1

      Actually, it’s not the unemployment figures that are going down, but the numbers of people on benefits. Magically Bennett is saying people are going off benefits into work, while the unemployment numbers are still rising – ghost jobs?

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    After the industrial system collapses completely (almost certainly by 2025) those who have not died of starvation will go back to the natural state of humans -of being hunter-gatherers (as were Maori before white people arrived in NZ to loot the place).. Greece is well on the way to collapse, with the general rate of unemployment of around 25% and youth unemployment of around 60% (and rising). Spain and Portugal are not far behind., with the US running close (48 million of food stamps and the environment collapsing).

    Unfortunately, the road to collapse of industrial civilisation almost certainly travels though overt fascism (as opposed to the covert fascism we currently endure) and/or feudalism, with a few nasty, greedy bastards at the top living off the toil of those they have enslaved, as has been the case for most of history since humans started agriculture..

    If collapse does not come quickly enough the industrial system will render most of the Earth uninhabitable via abrupt climate change that comes with runaway greenhouse.

    Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place.

    Needless to say, the govern, councils etc. won’t have a bar of the solution to this predicament (if there is one) -powerdown and permaculture- because they interfere with the rot system that has been established.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 8.1

      2025 now? Yesterday it was 2015. 12 months ago it was 2013.

      • Lanthanide 8.1.1

        Hunter-gatherers by 2025? Hahaha.

        2075, maybe, if there’s some sort of nuclear war or something.

        Just to clarify, because I’m sure “Afewknowthetruth” won’t understand the point I’m making and will accuse me of not understanding peak oil etc: hunter-gatherers provide for their own food, or within a small community group. I would contrast that to our current distribution model, where people are specialised and buy their food from others.

        To expect us to go to hunter-gatherers, after 2000 years of civilization (they didn’t have oil and gas in 1500AD and they weren’t hunter-gatherers…) frankly shows how uneducated you are.

        • Afewknowthetruth 8.1.1.1

          Lanthanide.

          To imagine that a complex system that is totally dependent on cheap fossil fuels and totally dependent on stable environmental conditions can persist long after fossil fuels have been depleted and the environment has been destroyed shows how away with the fairies you are.

          The peak of extraction of oil was over 2005 to 2008, and the only reason the system has not imploded already is that particularly nasty forms of energy recovery, i.e. extraction from .tar sands and fracking, are being employed.

          Next summer should tell us whether we have triggered a rapid meltdown via positive feeedbacks in the Arctic region At the moment the ice cover is tracking below the level of 2007, the year of the previous spectacular meltdown.

          I knew there was a reason I stopped commenting on the Standard: it is inhabited by uninformed fools who waste my time.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 8.1.1.1.1

            I knew there was a reason I stopped commenting on the Standard: it is inhabited by uninformed fools who waste my time.

            Just the burden you must bear for being one of the few who know the truth.

          • Tiresias 8.1.1.1.2

            Afewknowthetruth? I’ve being trying to remember the name of someone else who scurried around trying desperately to warn everyone that the sky was falling. Who was it now?

            Oh yes, I remember. Chicken Little.

            (Mea culpa – I’ve sounded off often enough in these comments about people who only write to attack others and must admit to being guilty of the same here. And it was lovely.)

          • Johnm 8.1.1.1.3

            Hi AFKTT
            There’s a simple reason why so many don’t or won’t get what you’re saying, it’s because it is downright terrifying to be told your whole World is ending and it causes mental distress. I suppose that makes us cowards while you are certainly not in this area. Yes, resource depletion, Climate Change, a devastated Earth, and the end of the Industrial civilisation are real.

            On the other hand so many people are 100% caught up in day to day activity, paying mortgages and rents and rates, bringing up children, holding down jobs they haven’t the energy to worry about these bigger issues. If you’re worried about those the above issues seem remote.

        • xtasy 8.1.1.2

          No there will not be widespread “hunter gathering” going on like in past ages.

          Instead we will have a selected elite and pampered “upper” middle class of sorts continue living a life of exploitation of nature and the newly created class made up of an ever growing under-class of working poor, living a meagre life by working 24/7, sleeping in poor-houses, factory dormitories, or in slum like shacks in certain parts of urban centres.

          The environment will be destroyed further, resources will be fought over with war-machinery and the already mentioned working slave foot-soldiers, and “social welfare” will be a “model” that will be unheard of then.

          Sick and invalids will also be “employed” in some form (assembling ball-point pens if need be), or they will be forced to sit at street corners with emply bowls, begging for a few morsels to survive on.

          That is more like the future, and I can already see it happen here in NZ also, as this whole garbage propaganda of “a Kiwi can”, “we are all in this together” are losing meaning by the day. NZ is a very, very divided society, where one lot (especially the top per centages of the populace, that is not all of them of course) love shitting on the rest, particularly the “bludgers” down the very bottom.

          Any unrest will be dealt with by way of brute police and military force.

    • kiwi_prometheus 8.2

      “(as were Maori before white people arrived in NZ to loot the place)”

      Maori were already doing a good job of looting the place – hunting the moa to extinction for example.

      Good example of the reverse racism that others on here have proudly and openly embraced.

      Being white is not evil, Western Civilisation has achieved so many great things its hard to know where to even begin.

      • fatty 8.2.1

        Being white is not evil, Western Civilisation has achieved so many great things its hard to know where to even begin.

        Good point…but it is also true if you switch the words ‘evil’ and ‘great’

        Being white is not great, Western Civilisation has achieved so many evil things its hard to know where to even begin

        • Foreign Waka 8.2.1.1

          Ahh, just what NZ needs now, racism at its finest, highly educated people being “mislead” into falling over each other. Ok, where did I read about such happenings before? hmmmmm

      • Tiresias 8.2.2

        “(as were Maori before white people arrived in NZ to loot the place)”

        Cue, of course, for the classic:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExWfh6sGyso

      • Northshoreguynz 8.2.3

        But it will probably end it.

      • ak 8.2.4

        Maori were already doing a good job of looting the place – hunting the moa to extinction for example

        So keeping your tamariki alive by the only means possible is “looting” in your book. Ah, and reverse racism…….

        Just fuck off, you boring, racist piece of shit. If you’re lucky you’ll grow up one day, but in the meantime spare us your need for attention.

      • There is no such thing as ‘reverse’ racism. Racism is the formation or reinforcement of a racial heirarchy.

        Being under the false impression that life was somehow more idealistic* for other cultures before white europeans colonised their lands is just another form of privilege- depending on your point of view, either the ignorane of history, or the aggrandised delusion that only white people are smart enough to invent self-reinforcing negative behaviours.

        Or in short: Ignorance of people below you in our invented racial heirarchy is in fact a very important part of that heirarchy, because you can’t realise how fake it is until you realise just how ordinary people of other races are.

        *Obviously there was the lack of racial oppression, but at the same time, indigenous cultures had their own social problems.

  9. Outofworkkiwi 9

    Bennett has instructed Winz to take a punitive attitude of cutting anyone’s UB who are considered to not be cooperating with their obligations. Take me for example. Over about two weeks I was contacted by landline about 10 times, two or three times I spoke to them and agreed to be put forward for various jobs. Then I got another call from them saying the employer had spoken to me, I said no!? They said ok clean slate. Some of the calls from them I was out and my flat mate heard them but they didn’t hang on for the 6 rings for the answerphone to start up.

    Next without a notifying letter of a revue of my benefit and an appointment to explain whatever to them they cut my benefit! (Winz procedures say they must send out a letter). I made an appointment to see them and they told me it’d been cut as I couldn’t be contacted!!! I’ve been flatting at the same address for 20 years! They still resisted putting me back on the UB.

    I then went to benefit rights who immediately spotted their procedural misbehaviour, putting it mildly! and another revue went through and the UB was reinstated with arrears. It caused me a hell of a lot of stress and worry and took weeks as often you can’t get an interview for 10 days at a time. Their HO sent the office numerous emails to them to contact me as to the urgency but they did not contact me.

    next I went to a job seminar and the organiser warned anyone failing a drugs test when going for a position requiring it would have their UB cut no questions asked. the attitude is cut the UB and ask questions later. :-(

    My opinion the right to shelter and food and a minimum income is a human right in a civilised country, we are going to see a lot more social distress if this Government continues to get its way. :-(

    Getting back on the UB was an uphill and frustrating business of being ignored and attempts to politely brush me off. I got the impression the person who made this decision under section 81 got a bit of a sadistic thrill out of it. Maybe after after a week of successfully cutting some beneficiaries incomes they get a pay rise? I can well imagine some poor stressed out souls at the end of their tether wouldn’t have the morale to go through all the hassle of challenging this cruel behaviour.

    OK kiwis Key’s American style welfare is coming, I hope they don’t lock up the dumpsters at the back of supermarkets. :-(

    P.S.
    I was lucky I had a few hundred saved otherwise I could have ended up on the street homeless, not paying the rent, and hungry as well. The landlord here is a bastard if you don’t pay the rent, he’s still paying a mortgage on the place, plenty of others will take your room. :-(

    • Lanthanide 9.1

      “I got the impression the person who made this decision under section 81 got a bit of a sadistic thrill out of it.”

      It’s possible, but what I think the more likely cause is that your case was passed through many many different hands, probably many of whom had only a small part in the picture. The person who ultimately made the final decision simply made it on the information that they had presented to them, where it looked like you were not eligible.

      • Tim 9.1.1

        “The person who ultimately made the final decision…..etc”,
        …..and the first – is of course Paula Bennett – her that took advantage of the benefit (and every available add-on going) when she was practising to cart her ample load around in a wheel barrow; refining her sales-speak and “dukshun”; and then availing herself of every parliamentary perk going.
        If EVER there was a horror story – Puller Bent is it. Ferral in nature, ferral in mind. The sadest thing is shoi ekshly believes her own hype “kos she pulled hersef up boi her own bootstreps” (or so she believes). Shoi dud it – so ken evrywun ess

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 9.1.2

        “I got the impression the person who made this decision under section 81 got a bit of a sadistic thrill out of it.”

        This comment about Section 81 gives food for thought.

        In the 80’s this was a rarely used piece of legislation that I never came across being used in a way like this. The only occasions I can recall it being used was when someone had applied for the wrong benefit and rather than make them apply again the correct benefit was paid or in the process of an investigation into working or being in a relationship someone was required to answer questions.

        Section 81 is thus:

        81 Review of benefits

        (1) The chief executive may from time to time review any benefit in order to ascertain-

        (a) whether the beneficiary remains entitled to receive it; or
        (b) whether the beneficiary may not be, or may not have been, entitled to receive that benefit or the rate of benefit that is or was payable to the beneficiary-

        and for that purpose may require the beneficiary or his or her spouse or partner to provide any information or to answer any relevant question orally or in writing, and in the manner specified by the chief executive. If the beneficiary or his or her spouse or partner fails to comply with such a requirement within such reasonable period as the chief executive specifies, the chief executive may suspend, terminate, or vary the rate of benefit from such date as the chief executive determines.

        (2) If, after reviewing a benefit under subsection (1), the chief executive is satisfied that the beneficiary is no longer or was not entitled to receive the benefit or is or was entitled to receive the benefit at a different rate, the chief executive may suspend, terminate, or vary the rate of the benefit from such date as the chief executive reasonably determines.

        (3) If, after reviewing a benefit under subsection (1), the chief executive considers the beneficiary is more appropriately entitled to receive some other benefit, the chief executive may, in his or her discretion, cancel the benefit the beneficiary was receiving and grant that other benefit commencing from the date of cancellation.

        I’ve scrolled through the unemployment benefit policy on their website

        http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/manuals-and-procedures/income_support/main_benefits/unemployment_benefit/unemployment_benefit.htm

        and can find no policy about using Section 81 in the way you describe.

        The advocacy group you went to might be able to get some more detail about how Section 81 is being used. It’s clearly separate from the normal work-testing process and the lack of public information available about how it is supposed to be used I find concerning.

        It’s difficult enough to challenge decisions when the policy is available – it must be near impossible when it’s not there.

        • xtasy 9.1.2.1

          DoS

          I have regrettably come across a fair number of decisions by WINZ case managers over the years, which have been very “flawed” or at least overly “rushed” – without proper consultation!

          This is sadly nothing unusual anymore, it happens more often than ever before.

          Staff are in some cases also struggling to keep up with high work volumes, high expectations, and they always have a fair bit of a staff-turnover. So some may not be sufficiently familiar with the details of the law and proper processes.

          For good reasons I will not give an example here, as certain issues I had resolved made clear to me, if biting the hand that feeds you, they can also turn quite “nasty”.

          Letters they send out often are days late. They also send wrong letters out at times. Some stuff gets printed automatically (review and reporting reminders and similar), which at times is beyond control of the case manager or team leader.

          In many ways, it is often a bit like the left hand not knowing what the right one does. Hence bringing in such draconian reforms like drug testing, social obligation enforcement, stopping benefits for persons against whom an arrest warrant has been issued, that will create an admin nightmare, it will make the department unworkeable, short of resources for doing what they usually would be doing.

    • xtasy 9.2

      Outofworkkiwi:

      Thanks for sharing this. I must say, this is becoming a more frequent occurrence, that is at least what I have been told. Benefit advocates will know the same. They are sadly facing an uphill battle too, like the food-banks, trying to cope with assisting needy people, who are ever growing in numbers, while they themselves are often forced to “ration” or cut their services, given funding cuts, also by MSD, who in at least many cases actually also “fund” the budget advisory and advocacy services.

      It is all-out warfare on the poor and powerless now, and I can only appeal to all affected, get organised, join groups of advocates and activists like here in Auckland the ‘Auckland Action Aganist Poverty’ (AAAP), Waitemata Unite group or whatever.

      Be also “mindful” with your vote next election, there is a highly suspicious “quietness” on too much of this from Labour at present!

      Best of luck!

    • infused 9.3

      “next I went to a job seminar and the organiser warned anyone failing a drugs test when going for a position requiring it would have their UB cut no questions asked. the attitude is cut the UB and ask questions later. ”

      Seems you were quite worried by the drug test?

      • Anne 9.3.1

        That’s your unsubstantiated and quite stupid assumption.

      • xtasy 9.3.2

        infused idiocy, judging without evidence and thus just being a back-biting gossiper, I am afraid, that is how this comes across, dear matey.

  10. xtasy 10

    The truth behind the figures presented by Bennett and the government is their new draconian, punitive approach in the benefit regime implemented by WINZ and the MSD now!

    There is no doubt about it, since Future Focus was introduced since 2010, sickness beneficiaries have been work tested, sole parents have in increasing numbers been forced to take on any kind of “suitable” jobs, whatever that means in detail, and if they fail somehow, they get denied support in too many cases, forcing them to resort to emergency support from relatives, friends and non government social services, like CSS (Combined Christian Social Services) today announced.

    Food banks and other emergency end of the bench services have so much to do, as they never had before!

    WINZ is also cracking down in “special needs grants” for food and so, and after two applications for that people get sent to budget services. They are instructed to work along the lines MSD expect them to also. Some budgeting services are also financed by MSD. So increasingly people end up with Citizen Advice Bureaus for help. When food grant entitlement from WINZ runs out, people are expected to “apply” for a letter stating this, which they then must take to food-banks, otherwise they get no help there.

    It is a damned audacity for Bennett to now present herself and her in many cases absolutely INHUMANE policies as some great “achievement”, when numbers for those claiming benefits (particularly UB) go down, while the Household Labour Survey last reported a marked increase in those seeking work.

    Now, I wonder, how will the crime figures look like, once the next, even more draconian reforms, will have been implemented?!

    Also – where is Jacinda Ardern? I respect the Greens to make a comment, but I have heard NOTHING from the main “opposition” party as yet. It seems we presently get no opposition from the Shearer caucus camp. Philosphical “Grand Coalition” between Labour and the Natz perhaps???

    • Foreign Waka 10.1

      I can’t help noticing that these stories bear similarities of hose I heard from the forma Russia in the 70’s. Very peculiar I have to say.

      • xtasy 10.1.1

        I lived near there for years, and that was before the fall of the wall.

        Yes, propaganda is kept going, until the last bastion falls. Let us hope the “last bastion” of lies, deceipt and corruption of Natzy -ACT rule will soon fall, brick for brick, like the Berlin Wall.

  11. xtasy 11

    “ARBEIT MACHT FREI” –

    in English “WORK SETS YOU FREE”

    was the writing across a huge arch above the entrance to Auschwitz concentrationcamp, established by the NAZIs in the time they ruled Germany and occupied large parts of Europe, and where they ended up forcing tens of thousands of jews, gypsies, political dissidents and other “anti social” elements to forced labour, later mass extinction.

    It seems we have a Minister and government that has now embraced with passion a more moderate form of “Work Sets You Free”, by adopting an ideological model for assessing sickness and invalid’s beneficiaries for benefits in future. The Minister, Paula Bennett has already made it very clear, what the new regime will be once the ‘Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill’ will have been passed and implemented. The whole business of having a select committee listen to and read over 700 something submissions is just pure “theatre” and will not significantly bring about a “re-think”.

    READ Paula Bennet’s speech she held to “medical professionals” already on 26 September 2012:

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/speech-medical-professionals

    You will find clear references to the new “scientific findings” and “reforms” in the same area in the UK a few years ago (following previous reforms since about 1994 – under Thatcher, and happily continued under Tony Blair’s ‘New Labour’, now pushed further by the coalition government of Tories and Liberals there).

    To get an understanding what really is behind all this, read this, please (a MUST READ):

    http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2012/05/31/a-tale-of-two-models-disabled-people-vs-unum-atos-government-and-disability-charities-by-debbie-jolly-dpac/

    and …

    http://blacktrianglecampaign.org/2012/10/31/government-use-might-of-american-insurance-giant-to-destroy-uk-safety-net-by-mo-stewart-update/

    http://includingallpeople.org.nz/?p=385

    A former Department of Work and Pensions Senior Medical Officer (fr. the UK), Sir Professor Mansel Aylward, has been advising Bennett and MSD already last year, and he is already involved in advising even Counties Manukau Disitrict Health Board on health reforms here in NZ. A supposedly “independent” panel was set up by him and CMDHB to work out ideas and plans as a kind of “think tank”. Prof. Aylward is even a “Board Chair” there. See this:

    http://koawatea.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Ko-Awatea-white-paper-02-Independent-Commentator-Panel.pdf

    There is much more that can be presented, and MSD and WINZ have already been using biased doctors that Principal Health Advisor Dr David Bratt and Dr Rankin trained since 2008:

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/12615-dr-david-bratt/

    I never dreamt in my wildest nightmares, that NZ would adopt quasi “Nazi philosophy” when it comes to sick and disabled!

    • Naturesong 11.1

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

      If ending this thread was the purpose of your post, you failed xtasy.

      • xtasy 11.1.1

        Naturesong:

        Hah, it never was my intention to “end” the thread, far from it.

        And this “Godwin law” is not really relevant here, as my reference is to the term and attached philosophy of “work sets (you) free”, which is practically going to be applied in an admittedly “moderate” form in the new welfare approach that Bennett and Natzies intend to bring in this year.

        • rosy 11.1.1.1

          IMO if a policy matches a 1930s policy there’s nothing wrong with calling it like it is. The ideological model that is being used to push ill people into destitution fits the bill. It’s not that they’re opening work camps, it’s the constant belief that people are skivers and there are distinguishing features of the worthy and worthless poor.

          Call it as you see it xtasy, others can call it differently if they like.

  12. kiwi_prometheus 12

    The great thing about self confessed Deconstructionist like Karol is that they can be deconstructed.

    Why does she throw stat figures out there when deconstructionism says there is no objective reality for those stats to actually attache too?

    Why does Karol even try to wield stats as a weapon when deconstructionism says that science is just another “discourse” – a biased, relative, social construction – no more valid or invalid than astrology or radical feminist “science”.

    Karol needs to explain how she holds to a post structuralist philosophy while simultaneously making truth statements about the world.

    • fatty 12.1

      Didn’t this happen the other day? She answered this and you disappeared from the conversation here

      • McFlock 12.1.1

        Funny, k_p seems to have done the same thing with yesterday’s open mike, too. Must not be able to carry a thought past a day. That would be when the ideology chip reboots, I guess.

        • QoT 12.1.1.1

          He’s clearly an escapee from This Is Not My Life. He goes to bed and the network reboots his brain to the original settings of his fantasy life, where he’s an awesome, cutting debater who slays all who oppose him with his massive wit.

    • karol 12.2

      You need to get away from labels, K_P, and rigid following of selected theories.

      You’re the one telling me I don’t recognise science and material reality. I most certainly do.

      But I also think it’s necessary to be careful how the science and statistics are used, and the way they are represented through socially constructed discourses. The contradiction is only in your mind. I don’t see you backing up your claims. You just throw around some theoretical labels.

      Now, do you, being such a strong left winger, have anything to say about Bennett’s manipulation of statistics, and the struggles of people on low incomes? Anything to say about Outofworkkiwi’s experiences? Or about the arguments and links provided by xtasy? Or are you trying to run a distraction and divert from these?

    • QoT 12.3

      Why you gotta squeeze people into pigeonholes, k_p? You don’t need to be in constant battle mode, with this us vs them mentality. It’s clearly just leaving you exasperated and confused.

  13. Afewknowthetruth 13

    You need to learn the read properly, Gormless.

    By 2015: breakdown of current economic arrangements.

    By 2020: most things people currently take for granted become unavailable.

    By 2025: complete collapse of the industrial system.

    By 2060: the Earth become largely uninhabitable for humans. (Could be as early as 2035).

    • ropata 13.1

      2012 Quetzalcoatl
      2013 Flying Saucers
      2014 Antichrist takes over
      2015 Jesus shows up to smite everyone (except Israel)
      2016 Cthulhu??
      2017 Morgoth??

    • Olwyn 13.2

      Let us suppose AFKTT, that everything you are saying is correct, and that we are doomed. In the meantime, it is still worthwhile to challenge injustice, to give a hand to those who need it, and to practically address the problems that lie within our present capacity. If we are just going to let go and surrender to our basest instincts because we are doomed, the earth will be glad to see the back of us. Do not forget after all that individually each of us are doomed, but we still try to do what we can with the time that we have.

    • One Tāne Huna 13.3

      AFKTT: 18th May, 2011:

      “The government-rigged official numbers are concealing the truth for the moment (does anyone actually believe the official unemployment, deficit, or CPI numbers?), but there will soon come a time when all hell will break lose … around 2013 the way things are looking.”

      12 January 2011:

      “…partial or full economic collapse (2012-15) followed by complete collaspe (sic) of western-style civilisation (probably 2016-20)

      Tick tock :D

  14. dave 14

    “So it is hard to work out exactly how many sole parents went off DPF”

    heh.

  15. Richard Down South 15

    The trouble is, the economy… when the Government’s main concern, is slashing costs NO MATTER the cost, which private employer is going to look at the Government’s leadership, and go ‘OH, WHAT A GREAT TIME TO EXPAND AND HIRE MORE STAFF’

    Most businesses are at best, battening down the hatches, cutting costs where possible, and if people leave, they think twice as to whether they need to replace them, and spread the workload between current staff. Many are laying people off or cutting hours.

    My work place, currently for my shift is down at least 2 people (that quit/were fired) and they arent expected to be replaced any time soon

  16. Blue 16

    Getting benefit numbers down is easy.

    Step 1: Make some new rules designed to get rid of as many people as possible.
    Step 2: Done.

    Oh, you wanted an actual solution? National doesn’t do those.

    • kiwicommie 16.1

      How National’s welfare works:
      1. No benefit for two-three months after losing job. This way they can hide rising unemployment figures for that period.

      2. Unemployment benefit is well below poverty line, unless you are on forced training courses.

      3. Training courses last at most for a year, for university students at most a year. These are used again to hide unemployment figures.

      4. Once training courses are used up the government offers no more assistance i.e. your benefit is cut and you are forced out on the street.

      5. Forget getting help, there is none. The welfare system no longer pays for medical or health treatment. You are on your own.

  17. Macro 17

    What it all boils down to is that there are now more and more people sleeping on other peoples couches.
    To ensure that people don’t cotton on to this sad fact – Bennett has taken the step of only releasing the figures that are positive to her cause, and withholding all the other information that was normally released, so that a true analysis of the state of affairs cannot be made. Further more she now releases these cherry picked figures in an untimely fashion (ie now every 3 months rather than every month). Any RWN who thinks they know the truth of the matter is sadly being misled by propaganda of the most hideous kind.

  18. AC 18

    Are the unemployed moving to Oz? Are they getting their airline tickets paid for? This government is disgusting with their cover ups and lies. They just play with the numbers to suit their purpose. Performance pay for politicians would fix this. If they were penalized for the amount of lies they said during a term, most would be living out of the back of their cars.

  19. xtasy 19

    And this will be the new kind of “set of tools” that will be used by NatACT in government, and likely also taken over as “somehow suitable intruments” by a possible new Labour led government, in order to ensure that benefit numbers will go down even further!

    The ESA214 Work Capability Assessment, designed for and required by DWP, and applied by Atos Healthcare (doing the assessing) in the UK already.

    It will be pretty hard to be classed as “not fit” for work or work related activities while going through this one.

    http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/@disabled/documents/digitalasset/dg_177366.pdf

    It is not quite was some mad folk did in the mid to late 1930s in Central Europe, it looks much more “humane”, but I am sure, it may for some reason not be a “coincidence” that over 1,100 lives were lost as a consequence of disabled and seriously sick being classed as “able to work” in the UK between January and August 2011.

    Some ended their lives themselves, others could not cope and broke down or whatever, leading to fatalities there. Yes, there are some commenters here, who would just love this being introduced into NZ, right??!!

    Now this one may be the slightly changed and “improved’ version, but still, you have to be without legs, otherwise similarly seriously incapacitated or terminally ill, to pass this as not fit for work.

  20. I am on a benefit but I think the amount that I get is a rip off and I want a pay increase by at least 10% by the end of January 2013.

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Saturday playlist: new Labour leader
    It was difficult, but we managed to restrain ourselves from only posting songs with “Little” in the title … Add your (nice) suggestions below!...
    On the Left | 21-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #57: Grow your own
    57: Grow your own What if supermarkets could grow their own? Supermarkets, like service stations, are in that category of activities that are of such necessity and ubiquity to our daily life that they cumulatively have a very large footprint...
    Transport Blog | 21-11
  • The best of Neetflux (so far)
    A selection of our favourite Neetflux posters to date. Here’s to more awesome political satire to come! (Click through for full-size on Neetflux’s Tumblr)...
    On the Left | 21-11
  • Chipping away at police unaccountability
    Traditionally, our police have enjoyed a wide discretion over who to prosecute and how. Sometimes, this is a good thing - it means that the time of the courts is not wasted on minor crimes. In other cases, its use...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    frogblog | 21-11
  • CTU disappointed by poor government advice to workers on petrol station dri...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (‘MBIE’) regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue. Photo:  ...
    CTU | 21-11
  • Charging petrol station workers for drive-offs
    So workers at Masterton’s Night ‘n Day store have had their pay docked when criminals drive off without paying. From the flood of complaints coming from around the country, it’s not a practice that is confined only to Masterton, nor is it...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-11
  • Tearing up Westminster
    The central bargain of Westminster democracy is that the monarch stays out of politics, and in exchange they get to stay in the role, both legally and literally. Prince Charles - already famous for his undemocratic interventions in politics -...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Journalism is not terrorism
    What happens if you're a UK journalist and you campaign for press freedom or report on police misconduct? The police database you as a terrorist:A group of journalists has launched a legal action against Scotland Yard after discovering that the...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • A century of changing transport spending
    Via Donal Curtin, I got wind of a fantastic Statistics NZ visualisation of changes to the Consumer Price Index over the last century. The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is a tool that statistics agencies use to track inflation over...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Boycott thieving employers
    In the past few days, we've learned of a new employer horror: petrol-station workers, often on th eminimum wage, being forced to pay for the crimes of their customers. Its unfair, immoral, and possibly illegal. So what can we do...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Whiteboard Friday. How NZ’s welfare system traps people in poverty
    This Whiteboard Friday looks at how our current benefit system traps people in poverty, which is another reason we need to replace it with an Unconditional Basic Income. This week has been a big week for the Unconditional Basic Income....
    Gareth’s World | 20-11
  • Income mobility
    Recently Treasury has published a paper showing that most people do not stay at the same point on the income scale for an extended period. That is assuredly true, and is also a good thing in as far as it...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Read out, Xi in, as Hansen makes late change to All Blacks team
    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has sprung a surprise by picking Chinese President Xi Jinping to start in this weekend’s test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium....
    Imperator Fish | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    The chainsaws stopped in native forest on public land in 1999 after a strong campaign by non-governmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action (NFA), supported by the Green Party. Immediately after the 1999 election, the incoming...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • Persuasion experiment
    Michael LaCour, a PhD student at the excellent UCLA Political Science Department, along with Yale's Don Green, have a fascinating new paper on what causes people to change their mind on gay marriage. Many people know that a doorstep conversation...
    Polity | 20-11
  • $4.8 billion gone
    As readers know, the NZ Super Fund now contributes around $27 billion to our net position as a country, It will help us pay for the wave of baby boom retirements. Sadly, it is now clear that National's decision to...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • The week in politics vs. Gilmore Girls
    This week in politics: Andrew Little became leader of the Labour Party. Julia Gillard spoke at the University of Auckland about gender and politics. Gerry Brownlee was fined for breaching airport security. Tony Abbott threw down with Vladimir Putin at APEC....
    On the Left | 19-11
  • Whither the class line?
    In 1995 I published a book that explored the interaction between the state, organised labor and capital in the transitions to democracy in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The book was theoretically rooted in neo-or post-Gramscian thought as well as the...
    Kiwipolitico | 19-11
  • This video shows the pain caused by NZ’s current benefit system
    Darryn bravely talks about the stigma that comes with being on the benefit, and how that has affected his life. This stigma is just one of the many problems our current benefit system creates. These problems would be removed if...
    Gareth’s World | 19-11
  • Climate change: The cost of past inaction
    For the past 20 years, New Zealand's climate change policy has been one of inaction and delay. While we've seen no less than four failed attempts at putting a price on carbon (including the current ETS), we've never really tried...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • Policy of fear
    Community groups have a vital role in New Zealand. In addition to speaking out on social problems such as poverty, mental illness and addiction, they also often have a direct role in fixing them via government funding. Unfortunately there's an...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47A
    A carbon tax could bolster wobbly progress in renewable energy A dam revival, despite risks Congress is about to sabotage Obama’s historic climate deal David Cameron urges Tony Abbott to do more on climate change G20 pledges lift Green Climate...
    Skeptical Science | 19-11
  • ‘Consult on promotions policy’: TEU to Auckland VC
    TEU is asking the vice-chancellor of the University of Auckland to engage in a process of consultation on the university’s Academic Grades, Standards and Criteria policy and other policies so the two sides can avoid further litigation. Earlier this month the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Asia-Pacific plans for gender equality
    New Zealand is one of the few countries who have not sent a government minister to an Asian and Pacific conference on gender equality and women’s empowerment in Thailand, but it has sent TEU women’s officer Suzanne McNabb.  The conference...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • TEC, Ministry and Treasury want new funding model
    The government should consider a radical shift in tertiary education funding policy according to advice from the Tertiary Education Commission, the Ministry of Education and the Treasury. All three agencies advise the government to shift tertiary education funding away from...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • The awkward question of New Plymouth
    It’s rather common knowledge that Andrew Little wasn’t exactly a star in New Plymouth. He stood in the former Labour Party seat in 2011 and 2014, losing ground in both the electorate and party vote on each occasion. Overall, the...
    Occasionally erudite | 19-11
  • Academics say academic freedom getting worse
    Nearly two-fifths of academic staff say that their level of academic freedom is worse than when they started work, according to a survey on the state of the tertiary education workforce. AUT’s Work Research Institute undertook a State of the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Academics say academic freedom getting worse
    Nearly two-fifths of academic staff say that their level of academic freedom is worse than when they started work, according to a survey on the state of the tertiary education workforce. AUT’s Work Research Institute undertook a State of the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas. Staff and South Auckland community members had been campaigning to turn around the polytechnic’s proposal for mass redundancies since they were announced last...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Proud’s Britain
    Alex Proud has a very good long piece in the Telegraph that is as disturbing as it is accurate. The subject? Baby-boomers, and the way they have blindly robbed the generations that came after them. He is writing about Britain,...
    Polity | 19-11
  • This year’s (super) model: visualising atmospheric CO2
    Here’s a superb high resolution supercomputer visualisation from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center of the flows of CO2 in the atmosphere around the planet. Apart from being beautiful to look at, it shows the major sources of CO2 emissions in...
    Hot Topic | 19-11
  • Public Service Announcement: Advice to Andrew Little
    Over the last 48 hours absolutely everyone and his/her dog/cat has been publicly advising Andrew Little what he should with his front bench and much else decides. Good for them. Free speech is super. I won't be joining the chorus,...
    Polity | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared
      This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Real reasons to fear Government’s new approach to child poverty
    Now  I really am worried.  Selling state houses is bad enough but a taking a ‘social investment focus’ to deal with child poverty? “The Treasury will issue a Request for Information inviting submissions from people who work with vulnerable New...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Power to the people!
    With all the huffing and puffing of the election out of the way and the right-wing still in ascendancy after 30 years of community-sapping neoliberalism it was a pleasure to attend a strike by workers at Carl’s Jr in Lincoln...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: OIA reveals WINZ trespassing 400 people a year
    W.I.N.Z is broken and it’s breaking my heart. Every year WINZ issues trespass notices to just under 400 people. 2008 / 418 2009 /  382 2010 /  347 2011 /  411 2012 /  373 2013 /  384 And this year...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • So David Farrar and the Government were wrong on gangs after all?
    Oh the predictability of this… Ministers acted on inaccurate gang data Cabinet signed off tough new measures to tackle gangs on the basis of inaccurate information which over-estimated the scale of the crime problem. The briefing paper told ministers 4000...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Why lifelong prisoner surveillance is evidence of our failing prisons
    The intrusion of more and more State surveillance is easier to implement if the State begins with groups the populace are frightened of. Muslim radicals, Maori radicals, environmental radicals and prisoners are all easy fodder for ratings chasing media to...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Right to Life Congratulates the new Labour Leader
    Right to Life congratulates Andrew Little MP, on being elected as the new leader of the Labour Party. This is a very important election as Andrew Little is now a Prime Minister in waiting His election follows a line of...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Reply to open letter on earthquake repair in Christchurch
    You raise many points and I acknowledge the frustration some people are experiencing when their homes are still not repaired or rebuilt. We have consistently said that the scale and complexity of events has always meant that it will not...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Andrew Little New Labour Party Leader
    In a press conference held on Tuesday in the Labour Party Caucus room at Parliament, it was announced Andrew Little had been voted in as Leader of the Labour party....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Liam Butler interviews Professor Jay Kandampully
    Jay Kandampully is Professor of Consumer Sciences in the Department of Human Sciences. He also serves as a visiting professor at University of Innsbruck, Austria; Nanjing University of Science and Technology, China; and Furtwangen University, Germany;...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere