web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Drug testing beneficiaries; yeah that’s the problem

Written By: - Date published: 2:49 pm, August 17th, 2012 - 65 comments
Categories: benefits, Economy, employment, national - Tags:

I could hardly believe my ears this morning when I heard about Paula Bennett’s plan to drug test beneficiaries and cut their benefits if they fail.  Yeah that’s the problem that’s preventing people from finding work.  Drugs.  Not the 6.8 percent unemployment rate (and it’s higher in the provinces).   It’s hard to imagine a more punitive policy. And yet it’s equally hard to name a single policy that creates work or makes it easier for people to move from the benefit to a real job.  Except for the 90 days trial period of course.

This government stubbornly refuses to use its own economic muscle to employ or contract to Kiwi firms over cheap foreign labour or services (think KiwiRail)  but is willing to waste millions of dollars on this sort of invasive, mean and demeaning nonsense which is only designed to belittle job seekers and appease the righties who are convinced that every beneficiary is a bludger.  It makes you want to weep.

But good on Helen Kelly and the CTU for for doing the OIA which showed that the government has receivedno advice,briefings, papers or reports in the last twelve months about complaints from employers about beneficiaries failing drug tests and is unable to locate the much vaunted complaints from employers about beneficiaries failing drug tests.”

While looking up the figures for this, I read that from 1985 to 2012 unemployment reached an all time high of 11.2 % in 1991 (National) and a record low of 3.5 % in 2007 (Labour). Just saying.

 

65 comments on “Drug testing beneficiaries; yeah that’s the problem”

  1. vto 1

    But drug tests do not test impairment in the workplace.

    Perhaps I’ll say that again so it sinks in…. drug tests do not test impairment in the workplace.

    And one more time …….. drug tests do not test impairment in the workplace.

    drug tests do not test impairment in the workplace.

    Someone should test these tests through the courts as to their legitimacy.

  2. vto 2

    I think drug tests (the non-impairment testing ones referred to) should be compulsory in the finance sector. It is well known that they liberally dose themselves up to attend to their work. Ask John Key about it – he will be well aware.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Test for exposure to occupational exposure to coke and strippers. All Wall St bankers fail instantly.

  3. Johnm 3

    How about drug testing Key’s Goldman Sachs mates who are high on greed and who can’t wait for the next unearned bonus fix! And him and his mates who are drooling at the mouth to have what belongs to the Commonwealth of NZ for their own greedy enrichment our Power company assets!? Basically it’s class war one rule for us no rules apply to them or not justice but just us! :-(

    Oh! I forgot there aren’t any tests they can take to detect the drug greed therefore doesn’t exist? However Morality, Intelligence, and decency is enough to rumble their game which is to continue widening the inequality gap in this land until we’re a banana republic such as the late U$$$ where 50,000,000 former working people languish on foodstamps!

  4. framu 4

    from RNZ “Ms Bennett says the alternative is to do nothing and she does not intend to let people sit on a benefit and take drugs in a receational manner and not be work tested.”

    article

    so does she think all people who take drugs in a recreational manner are unfit for work – regardless of WHEN the recreational activity took place? – or – is it way more likely that shes engaging in opening her mouth before thinking everything through?

    Im with VTO on this one – impairment tests are much better – theres more things than drugs on this earth that can cause impairment issues

  5. Fuzzy Dunlop 5

    I very much doubt the drug testing of beneficiaries will be introduced beyond a few isolated incidents. Think of the much-vaunted crushing of boy racers’ cars. The real purpose of the policy is to distract attention from both the government’s failure to reduce unemployment and the Government’s real agenda – privatisation of state assets.

  6. To be fair to Bennett the policy has been tested on a focus group comprised of members of the KKK and of Grey Power and they thought it was a fine idea. Hell they would even vote for a party that did this.

    So what is everyone complaining about?  Do you expect your Government to be guided by reality or by voter prejudice?

  7. hazza 7

    I’d be interested to know how much money Bennett believes will be saved by cutting the benefits to those who fail a drug test. Not long ago I saw a Daily Show story on how the state of Florida is doing the same thing and, as only 2% were failing the tests, it was costing the Floridian tax payers.

    • North 7.1

      I’d be interested to know whether Paula Pig could swear on oath that she’s never had a toke.

      This is all about applying public money to obtain political advantage by fomenting hatred.

      Corrupt baggage !

      • mickysavage 7.1.1

        Good idea North.  Her support out west would plummet if she said she had never had a toke …

        • David H 7.1.1.1

          Maybe she needs to be tested…..

          Hmmm

          Well she’s rattling on about testing everyone and you just know she’s Gonna spread the name and address of the person that demands it done. And who could you trust to do it properly??

      • Mary 7.1.2

        Maybe some reporter could ask her in a live interview? That’d be good. Imagine that – the driver of the tart cart from out west telling us she’s never had a puff? Could even ask her if she’s ever had a puff while on the DPB and getting a training incentive allowance – the one she got her light-weight BA from (after dropping out of social work) – and then stopped other beneficiaries from getting. Maybe something like this: “Do you think, Paula, that the reason you couldn’t cope with the social work degree and had to drop out to doing a mere BA was because you smoked too much weed? Was that when you were on the DPB and getting the training incentive allowance?”

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      About $14 million to save perhaps $6 million.

  8. chris73 8

    Being that quite a few of us have to pass a drug test to get a job is it that much to expect beneficiaries not to waste the money on drugs?

    • McFlock 8.1

      Yes. Given that there’s no indication that drug abuse is at all responsible for our unemployment levels.

      • chris73 8.1.1

        If you’re unemployed and on drugs and go for a job with drug testing I’m thinking that might be a problem also apparently the unemployed are so hard done by and live hand to mouth why are they wasting money on drugs?

        • mickysavage 8.1.1.1

          Yep why not drug test everyone.  Why worry just about beneficiaries.  While they are not working they do not hurt anyone.  But politicians, doctors, lawyers and company directors if they are on the piss or on drugs they can do a lot of damage.  Why not test them first?

        • McFlock 8.1.1.2

          But the people who pay the benefits have no evidence of that ever happening.
                   
          And maybe they just grow their own. Or get it from friends. Or save up over weeks. It’s not actually any of your business, because there’s no evidence that iot affects their works eligibility and plenty of non-drug users have difficulty making ends meet on the pathetic benefit levels.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.3

          The only time it becomes valid to test someone for drugs is when they’re doing something that’s dangerous and the drugs will impair them. Any other time is just pure authoritarianism.

        • Descendant Of Smith 8.1.1.4

          If you go to a job that requires drug testing then the employer should do the drug testing and pay for the cost.

          Why should the taxpayer pay for an employer cost?

          And who are the people who will benefit from the drug-testing?

          It seems to me:

          1. The employer who wants drug testing but doesn’t want to pay for it
          2. The people doing the drug testing who from earlier reports all sound like ex-cops running around trying to generate themselves an income

          Who doesn’t benefit:

          1. The taxpayer cause overseas experience has found drug use on benefits is not as high as the normal population – partly cause they can’t afford it – and the cost has been higher than the savings made.
          2. The taxpayer because of the additional bureaucracy and time this will take up.

          I in no way support drug-taking and having seen many people who are severely damaged as a result of drug taking I am totally convinced of the damage it can cause. I would rather see effort and funding put into drug rehab services and changing peoples enviornments for the better so that they don’t see drug use as an better option than whatever they are going through.

          Drug testing beneficiaries is just as useful as peeing in the wind.

        • Vicky32 8.1.1.5

          also apparently the unemployed are so hard done by and live hand to mouth why are they wasting money on drugs?
           

          So, what evidence do you have that we are?
          When did I last have a toke? 1981, and I wouldn’t now, even if I could afford to.
          But that’s not the point, the point is that the beneficiaries on drugs meme is a very popular one (especially in the US) but that doesn’t make it true!

        • Frank Macskasy 8.1.1.6

          Will Paula Bennett insist that the following underyake drug-testing?

          ANZ; 1,000 redundancies
          Hakes Marine; 15 redundancies
          Telecom; 400 redundancies
          Brightwater Engineering; 40 redundancies
          Pernod Ricard New Zealand; 13 redundancies
          Depart of Corrections; 130 redundancies
          Summit Wool Spinners; 80 redundancies
          Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; 80 redundancies
          Norman Ellison Carpets; 70 redundancies
          IRD; 51 redundancies
          Flotech; 70 redundancies
          NZ Police; 125 redundancies
          CRI Plant and Food; 25 redundancies
          Te Papa; 16 redundancies (?)
          PrimePort Timaru; 50 redundancies (?)
          Kiwirail; 220 redundancies
          Fisher & Paykel; 29 redundancies
          Goulds Fine Foods; 60 redundancies
          Canterbury University; 150 redundancies (over three years)
          Solid Energy; 363 redundancies
          Tiwai Pt aluminium smelter; 100 redundancies

    • David H 8.2

      I take way more potent drugs than pot and shit, and mine are prescribed. I am still allowed to drive (I don’t) and I am still able to do fiddly delicate work with no problems. It’s not the drug use it’s the impairment of some people, when under said influence.

    • “is it that much to expect beneficiaries not to waste the money on drugs?”

      Why do you assume that the unemployed are “on drugs”?

      And why does National get away with blaming the global financial crisis on it’s poor management of the economy – but the unemployed are called druggies by Bennett and National supporters like you?

  9. North 9

    Chris 73 – “being that” it is palpable that unemployment and povety would be seen at present disgraceful levels were the smoking of cannabis unknown in this country, all you are doing is oinking along with Paula Pig. You typify the thicko backwoodsman rump of the National Party.

  10. gobsmacked 10

    Tonight Close-Up (TV One) will be running a “text poll” on this issue.

    Of course those polls are meaningless, but I’ll announce the result in advance … over 75% in favour of drug testing/cutting benefit. Because, you know, drugs are, like bad, and that. And you know, Me like text, Me no like think.

    Now, there’s a choice here for the opposition:

    1) Get the facts out – as covered elsewhere, through OIA etc. The costs, the irrelevance, etc.

    2) Talk about something much more important instead – like jobs and wages. Refuse to play the knee-jerk game.

    3) Say “OMG! Big majority! Look at all them votes!”, then try and outflank National (yeah, the mind boggles).

    I’d suggest 1 and/or 2, but I’m not some genius strategist.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      I’d suggest 1 and/or 2, but I’m not some genius strategist.

      May I suggest you’d do better than many who claim the title currently.

      • gobsmacked 10.1.1

        Cheers, CV … I feel damned with faint praise! ;)

        Anyway, Close-Up txt-fart result … 90%. Gosh, who’d have guessed?

        • mike 10.1.1.1

          90%? How did they phrase the question? Are you in favour of drug-testing filthy, lazy, bong-raping beneficiaries who use your money to lay around on the floor all day smoking huge joints?

          If not my faith in Close Up text polls just died a wee bit. Oh the pain.

        • xtasy 10.1.1.2

          These Close UP “polls”, where a text message costs 75 cents, they are as representative as a general election result would be, if the requirement were, that voters PAY a fee, before being allowed to cast their votes!

          I wonder how many voters would turn out to vote, if they had to pay, say 10 dollars, before being allowed to do so and be counted?

          • kiwi_prometheus 10.1.1.2.1

            Well all the dope heads would drop out, if they ever used to find their way to the polling booth in their drug induced haze in the first place.

            After all $10 contribution to participate in democracy or hand it over to their dealer next drop off?

  11. xtasy 11

    The planned introduction of drug testing beneficiaries is nothing much more than another token gesture to National’s hard-line, right wing core supporters, as well as intended to show the wider public that they are “doing something” about beneficiaries “indulging” in supposed “lifestyles”, while they should be working.

    National was drumming the propaganda about welfare abuse for years, so the media picked it up, wrote about supposed abuse, which may be happening in a minor number of cases, but which was presented as if it is a wide-spread problem. This influenced the public’s perception of beneficiaries, and since the image of beneficiaries has due to large scale misinformation become so bad, they (Bennett and National) now see a need to show they will “deliver”.

    I doubt that it will change much, think it will be hard to implement, lead only to recreational drug users switch to more alcohol and other drug use, and also prove to be so expensive, it will become another idiot measure that will eventually quietly be abandoned again down the line.

    If workers or job seekers use drugs, WINZ, same as employers should also ask themselves: Maybe the jobs and conditions on offer are so crappy, poorly paid and unsavoury, so that workers and prospective workers choose to drug themselves to cope with the idea of having to perform such jobs, paying just enough for accommodation, food and bare essentials, but nothing else?

    • North 11.1

      I daresay there are those among us who will face agonising dilemma if they see certain John Key licking commentator/journalist good ol’ boys/girls go anywhere near rationalising Paula Privacy Pig’s latest bullshit.

      Be strong good people. Fearlessly apply the Fuller Principle. Out them all !

      “Hello……hello, Media ? Ya there…….where y’all gone ? Oh come on. Don’t be silly. The rules are quite different for folks like you…….”

      • John Minnee 11.1.1

        You are showing yourself as rather dim, I’m afraid, by referring Paula Bennett as Paula Pig.
        Do you have to be so abusive?, you are doing yourself no good, and it’s not that funny

        • xtasy 11.1.1.1

          John Minnee: Come on, people did during Muldoon’s times call him “Piggie Muldoon”, and there were a few other unkind nicknames given to Richardson (“Ruthless Ruth”, the term “Ruthanasia”), Shipley (“Jenny Shapely”), Helen Clark (“Helen the Red” or hear about “Helengrad”), and many other cases more, for members from various parties.

          Some here try to add a bit of either humour or cynicism to their comments, so one should be a bit liberal in this respect. Paula Bennett has in parliament also been somewhat abusive to opposition members, as far as I remember. If she would actually be a bit kinder and integre to the people she deals with, and especially whom she should due to her role look after (for their wellbeing), I am sure that she would also get kinder “nicknames”.

  12. Reality dictates that post peak oil (now) everything will go to crap, we are just in the open stages of this shit storm, it will only get worse.The worse it gets the worse it will get. Those were the good old days, and that was as good as it comes. We are all heading for the gutter, 80 – 90 % unemployment …. maybe we could say 100% as money becomes worthless ?
    We are going to have to learn to live without the ‘luxury’ of keeping unproductive humans alive, the rules of nature trump all other rules, you can not create something from nothing … well not something ‘sustainable’ ie a system 100% dependent on limited resources has to end, this is exactly what is unfolding around the planet now.
    It is just that most humans are unable to comprehend this, so not only will we have shortages to cope with we will have fellow humans to fight with over what is left. The fight has started, Bennett is leading the charge, quite simply we need to reduce the population as fast as the energy is declining. Alas we should have started this back in 1989 when the per capita energy/people started to drop, = more humans = less energy = less food = less humans.
    Why not have a discussion on how bloody inconvenient it is that water is wet, fire burns, or politicians lie?
    Sorry to bum ya all out with FACTS

    • ropata 12.1

      We are going to have to learn to live without the ‘luxury’ of keeping unproductive humans alive

      The fact is you are nuts.

      • Robert Atack 12.1.1

        ummmm I wonder what you would have called the Easter Islander that said “We are living on an island if we keep cutting down the trees, and breeding like rabbits, we are going to end up eating each other” ?.

        Calling me names only makes you look foolish, and will not make you or your children’s lives any longer or less depressing.

        • ropata 12.1.1.1

          How does your oracle of doom in any way justify eating each other?
          This is a resource-rich and stable society. I stand by my earlier comment.

          you’ve gone from drug testing to killing the poor to cannibalism!
          great effort. ;)

          • Robert Atack 12.1.1.1.1

            This is a resource-rich and stable society

            At the moment I agree 100% … ignoring all the druggie drop out dole bludgers and the people who ‘choose’ to frequent food banks etc.

            The last time this island was ‘resource rich’ was just before Maori arrived here, once they hit peak Moa it was all on, long pig ring a bell?

            If the idiot PTB can distribute all the food we could produce, without fossil fuel inputs, then we should fare reasonably ok, the main problem will be civil unrest and maintaining law and order.

            When you wake up one morning and discover you only have three days supply of food, and the super market down the road is still smouldering, maybe you will reflect back on this moment of optimism, ignorance and hope are bliss enjoy them while you can.

            Don’t watch this
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOMWzjrRiBg
            or this
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fk9I0peQOmg

            The govt is going to screw ‘us’ down it is all part of the Chicago Club mind set
            Don’t watch this
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iW1SHPgUAQ

            So yeah ignoring the facts at this stage in plunge over the cliff is easy, but we are just about to gain momentum.

            Good luck

          • gnomic 12.1.1.1.2

            “This is a resource-rich and stable society.”

            Got a link for that, or are you just talking out of your nether regions? This country depends on imported fuel, food, and fertiliser. And when the borrowed money runs out, let’s see how stable the mix is.

            • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.1.2.1

              Actually, once the borrowed money runs out this country will be even more stable.

              We may import food but we’re not dependent upon doing so – we can grow everything we need here.

              Fuel, don’t need it.

              Fertiliser can easily come from where the food goes anyway – the sewage treatment plants. Put in proper field rotation and that’ll work fine. Probably better than the artificial fertilisers that are used today.

  13. captain hook 13

    more to the point would be drug testing MP’s.
    the tory ones seem to be going off their rockers but maybe that is a natural high for manic depressives.
    anyway lets have a poll asking which one you think would fail the test!

    • Winston Peters for a starter

    • kiwi_prometheus 13.2

      Most of the Green Party…? LOL

      • xtasy 13.2.1

        I bet you that the Green MPs will show the lowest level of drug or alcohol use if compared with members of other parties numbering more than one MP!

        They are mostly also the most integre, transparent and reliable MPs by my experience.

        If you go on about “drugs”, include alcohol, please, the most widely used drug in NZ.

        That said, I can already visualise a few faces of various MPs who have showed up with strange looks on their faces and a bit of odd, eccentric behaviour in Parliament, coming rather from other parties.

        Your comment sadly shows you know NOTHING about the Green Party, their MPs and members.

        • kiwi_prometheus 13.2.1.1

          Well actually I voted green three times in a row in support of MMP small party counter balances, ending the 2 horse race etc. But their chance of getting control was zero so I could ignore some of their policies.

          I supported Sue Bradfords ‘Child Discipline Act’ as well. One of the few who voted yes anyway to the unfair loaded question “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?”

          Thinking of voting Winnie next time just to piss off the wide open immigration floodgates crowd.

  14. kiwi_prometheus 14

    Its hilarious all the hand wringing on here about how to engage middle NZ and switched off voters.

    Take a look at yourselves, being pro drugs will NOT get you any traction.

    Skip the Helengrad Regime, which cultivated the biggest property bubble in NZ history, and when was the last time a genuine Left got power? 1000000 BC or there abouts.

    Hmmm, I wonder why?

    Sure rich people do drugs, presumably with their own ( maybe ill gotten) gains.

    Drug testing would be good. Why should my hard earn money subsidise someone’s RnR or habit?

    I don’t care if it cost more than it saves directly.

    Does that calculation include the gains from a lot of young people kicking their habit when they see the writing on the wall? At least they would be getting some message that drugs are wrong, because they aren’t getting it from their useless ( stoned? ) parents or pro drugs supporters like you lot.

    “Drugs are harmless!” – bullshit. I’ve been around the block a few times, the early rave scene etc. A bit of youthful experimenting, fine, whatever. I’ve seen what drugs do, the way it alters behaviour, attitudes and interpersonal relationships, even by “recreational occasional users”.

    • xtasy 14.1

      kiwi_prometheus:

      “Drugs are harmless!” – bullshit. I’ve been around the block a few times, the early rave scene etc. A bit of youthful experimenting, fine, whatever. I’ve seen what drugs do, the way it alters behaviour, attitudes and interpersonal relationships, even by “recreational occasional users”.

      Yes, by reading your post, I see some of the adverse results of “experimenting” with various drugs right before me.

      So it was good enough for you to find out “what drugs do”, but as the alwasy the wiser in retrospect thinking lecturer of twisted ideas of morals, you want to deny others the freedom to do what you did?

      This thread is not about legalising or justifying drug use, it is about the sense or rather nonsense of drug testing beneficiaries, while many who may hold jobs and drug at the same time, get off without facing such treatment. In common understanding that is discrimination.

      • kiwi_prometheus 14.1.1

        “while many who may hold jobs and drug at the same time” = paying for them with their own money not mine

        Why should I subsidise someone’s weed use?

        If you are on the unemployment benefit then I think you have some basic obligations to the tax payers who are supporting you.

        I don’t think it is unreasonable that they be expected to actively seek work or new skills.

        I don’t think it is unreasonable that they be expected to stay clean.

        The majority of them will not have a problem with this. Its a fairly easy non invasive test. I don’t think drug testing should apply to those only briefly or temporarily on the unemployment benefit.

        “Yes, by reading your post, I see some of the adverse results of “experimenting” with various drugs right before me.”

        Predictable cheap shot.

        “So it was good enough for you to find out “what drugs do”, but as the alwasy the wiser in retrospect thinking lecturer of twisted ideas of morals, you want to deny others the freedom to do what you did?”

        Only the ones doing it with taxpayer money.

        So what are you saying, if someone took drugs at some point in the past, they can NEVER NEVER take a anti drug stance the rest of their lives?

        You got the twisted morality there, eccy.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1.1

          “while many who may hold jobs and drug at the same time” = paying for them with their own money not mine

          It’s not your money.

          • TighyRighty 14.1.1.1.1

            You always pop up with this particular comment. As if repeating ad nauseum somehow makes it true, thereby denying anyone the right to decide on their choice of representation in exchange for taxation. Isn’t that bennys “pay” tax an underlying argument for why they deserve a vote?

            • McFlock 14.1.1.1.1.1

               thereby denying anyone the right to decide on their choice of representation in exchange for taxation 

              The “taxation / representation” relationship isn’t a transaction. One is a right, the other is a duty. 
                    

               

            • xtasy 14.1.1.1.1.2

              Tight a*** Righty, if I may divulge a little, do we all not pay some “taxes”? And how much of YOUR supposed taxes, that you have failed to disclose to us in nominal figures, are you actually paying toward the “choice of representation” or being denied such instead? The benefit is a bottom line support payment, for those struggling to survive in a contry full o f milk, honey, meat and high level output also with fruits, vegetables, wine and the list goes on.

              So you rather wish to introduce an austerity society, so that the bottom line may be something along the system they have in rural Myanmar, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the remote corners of Paraguay or else? Let me know, please, I have friends there also, they OBJECT to being abused as an excuse for cheap labour and low standards in other areas, as they would love to work together with a more sensible and responsible NZ government, striving to advance ALL participants.

            • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1.1.1.3

              And the RWNJs always pop up saying that the money is theirs. Unfortunately for the RWNJs, reality is my side and not theirs as all the wealth belongs to the community. People just get to use some of it for a short time in any way they choose no matter how they got hold of it (as long as they didn’t get it through criminal action or are using it for criminal purposes).

            • Vicky32 14.1.1.1.1.4

              Isn’t that bennys “pay” tax an underlying argument for why they deserve a vote?

              Yes, we do pay tax, but that’s not why we ‘deserve’ a vote. We vote because we are citizens. Simple.

        • xtasy 14.1.1.2

          “Prometheus” has a connection with the God of Fire, was he not? Where is your “fire” or for that sake “spirit” for human kind?

          You should at least come clean and clear on what you have done, what you stand for, and how you treat other people!

          Going on about having indulged in drugs and then lecturing others is a bit of a poor showing, mate.

          A beneficiary has his or her benefit, tightly regimented for needs, so if she or he decides, maybe for ill health reasons, like not addressed addiction, to spend it on alcohol or drugs of another kind, what is your argument to go on a bout this? Offer the services to help addicts if they are, and otherwise allow a beneficiary, who is NOT an addict, to choose between going downtown and spend near to 30 bucks for bus and movie ticket, or to rather stay home one night and have a bit of beer or wine?

          You need to get your own life, dear, otherwise you would not be so angry and hateful, spending your night here, which needs more enlightened comments by more intelligent people, who are usually frequenting this forum. Take a nap or nip, have a toke or sip, take it easy, roll off, hug your girl or boy, phase out and bloody well cruise down into the night. We have no issue with you the issue is your own.

  15. Anna 15

    If we are to be testing beneficiaries, then we should be testing all the workers that work in government departments, all social workers,politicians especially, there are hardly many jobs to go round with all the migrants working here taking all the work leaving the rest with part time work here and there, and wagesnot much more than the benefit, the rich keep getting filthy rich and the middle to low income workers, are struggling to make ends meet.

  16. This has been tried elsewhere, and it costs more to implement than it catches, like most punitive benefit policies do. The simple fact is if you’re on a benefit you’d have to be a masterful budgeter or need very little in the way of food in order to actually afford drugs even once a year.

    Even if you believe in principle that beneficiaries should not be taking drugs, this is a stupid policy with no logical reason backing it up, it’s all about emotional appeal to benefit-bashing.

    • xtasy 16.1

      Maybe legalize after all, so marihuana can be grown commercially, create jobs in horticulture, processing and refining and so forth, creating a whole new industry? Hemp clothing, hemp high quality paper for the rich Asian market, a bit of medicinal purpose type organic “medication” and boosting tourism, just as Uruguay in South America is about to do it. Maybe that will become the Holland of Latin America down there?

      Put a little tax on it, the coffers will fill, and NZ will be “rolling” day and night, in high delight and pleasure, plus added economic output.

      “kiwi_prometheus” may also choose to revisit his abstinence and re-join the new economic boom to earn a little extra?

      It is not my priority and choice, but some may find this good?! Dear Paula, have a chat with Stephen Joyce, maybe create a whole new industry, “earning” money, rather than creating further costs with no pay-off.

  17. gnomic 17

    What this is really about –

    1/ Gratifying all the sad sour bastards on talkback radio who have to be drug tested according to their masters so they can sex chickens or drive forklifts or work on roading projects driving rollers or carry clipboards around sites wearing their hardhats and hi-viz jackets. Sod off killjoys.

    2/ Making sure the underclass have no alternative to trimming trees in the pine forests of the provinces on the minimum wage (or fill in any other laborious repetitive task, say milking cows) while free of any residues of THC. The insurance companies said so.

    3/ Fulfilling the objectives of the Wisconsin project on oppressing beneficiaries as programmed into the Bennett creature during her paid holiday in the US

    4/ Drugs are bad, unless they come from big pharma. Cannabis could not possibly have any medicinal uses. Alcohol of course is OK because people like us use it.

    5/ Smoking pot makes you think you can fly. The addicts immediately become incapable of walking in a straight line and knowing what time it is or of operating any kind of machinery. Except perhaps musical instruments, even then at a severely debased level.

    6/ It’s well known that straight people never have accidents. Rumours that a rigorously drug-tested mine site in the South Island exploded killing many workers must be false. Likewise drug-tested truck drivers never crash their vehicles.

    Need I go on?

  18. captain hook 18

    The national party is intoxicated with fantasies of omnipotence and it wants to deny anybody else the same pleasure.
    they want to bash up the poor and weak.
    so much easier than attacking the stupid rich.
    and if you want to know what God thinks about money just look at the sort of people he gives it to.

  19. Roy 19

    Problems with drug-testing beneficiaries include (1) that you can get enough THC in your system to fail the test just from side-stream smoke, and (2) you can fail the opiates test just by eating a poppy-seed bun. Furthermore there is negligible information on how THC in urine or saliva correlates to any degree of impairment. THC in particular has a long half-life so you could fail the test during the week because someone else was smoking a joint at a party you went to on Saturday night.
    I suppose the wowsers will tell me that beneficiaries should not be going to parties and should definitely not be able to afford poppy-seed buns, right?

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Why red-zoning provincial New Zealand will never be an option
    If you follow the logic of some economists this week who tell us to ‘red-zone’ small towns in New Zealand, then presumably the same logic should apply globally. New Zealand is too small, too far away, with too many old...
    Pundit | 23-07
  • Hot Air: the sorry tale of climate policy in New Zealand
    This guest post is by Alister Barry, producer and co-director of the new documentary Hot Air, which will be premiered in Wellington next week. Hot Air is screening in the New Zealand International Film Festival around the country over the...
    Hot Topic | 23-07
  • Laid-back Tennis Court – Lorde (Diplo’s Andre Agassi Remix)
    ...
    The Paepae | 23-07
  • Paula Bennett highlights some “loopy rules”
    Hello everyone. I’m Local Government Minister and chief National Party sass-machine Paula Bennett. I’ve been asked by MyThinks to write more about our plans to review and reject all of those stupid and loopy rules that many of our tiny...
    My Thinks | 23-07
  • Election news. Where is it
    So where’s the election news? Main stream media seems more obsessed about David Cunliffe’s holiday than the policies that his party is promoting. If I want to read about where he is vacationing and why, then let’s read it in...
    Closing the Gap | 23-07
  • Sorry – it’s a complicated word
    The art of saying sorry – it’s a tough one. Apologise like Lou Vincent, and win plaudits left, right and centre. Apologise like Aaron Gilmore, and everything just gets worse. It’s been an odd time lately for apologies. David Cunliffe of...
    Occasionally erudite | 23-07
  • Robert Ellis’s apocalyptic vision of Auckland
    This blog has often written about Auckland’s 1950s-era motorway development plan, which transformed the city in fundamental ways. New Zealand painter Robert Ellis was one of the first to grasp the significance and character of that transformation. His Motorway/City series,...
    Transport Blog | 23-07
  • Dear LEGO employees…
    Hi. My name is Ian and I'm a campaigner with Greenpeace. I'm also a new dad and a big fan of LEGO. She's a little young now, but I know that in a few years my baby girl will be...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-07
  • Feed: Fulminating and fermenting
    Longtime readers of this site may be aware of my occasional bursts of fulmination about overhopped stunt beers -- and my calls for New Zealand craft brewers to produce more sessionable brews in the classic best bitter style I think...
    Public Address | 23-07
  • More stat-juking
    There were more allegations in Parliament today that the government is juking the stats, with Andrew Little pointing at a report from the Taranaki Daily News that a Crown prosecutor had claimed:"There was one occasion in 2012 when it was...
    No Right Turn | 23-07
  • A cleaner, fairer, smarter New Zealand
    Russel Norman- General debate speech, 23 July 2014   Together, it is possible to build a cleaner, fairer, smarter New Zealand. A New Zealand in which our rivers are clean enough to swim in and our precious beaches are safe...
    frogblog | 23-07
  • Using Ministerial Inquiries to Close Down Debate
    As a young MP in the British House of Commons in the late 1970s, I rapidly became aware that half the political stories in Fleet Street originated with the Press Association’s indefatigable political correspondent, Chris Moncrieff. I was regularly button-holed...
    Bryan Gould | 23-07
  • Prison hulks
    In the 18th and 19th centuries, Britain pioneered a new type of atrocity: the prison hulk. Faced with a shortage of jail space, they turned to imprisoning convicts on former warships. The prisoners were subjected to appalling conditions in an...
    No Right Turn | 23-07
  • Challenging Britain’s panopticon
    Last week, the British establishment rammed through new "emergency" surveillance and data retention laws, with the collusion of all three major parties. Now those laws are being challenged in the courts:Two leading Westminster civil liberties campaigners, David Davis and Tom...
    No Right Turn | 23-07
  • Systemic Realignment.
    The chaotic state of contemporary international affairs demonstrates the serious limitations of constructivism and idealism as theoretical frameworks for the analysis of global macro-dynamics. The former claims that the construction of international institutions helps universalise common values and mores, thereby...
    Kiwipolitico | 23-07
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the last of the Parliamentary term. But thanks to government filibustering over the past few months, instead of seeing the third reading of Sue Moroney's Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months' Paid Leave) Amendment...
    No Right Turn | 23-07
  • Socially helpful photoshopping
    This one is close to my heart. It involves a man who lost his infant daughter Sophia to severe disease. She was only 6 weeks old. Sophia’s father Nathan had never seen her face free of wires and tubes. So...
    Polity | 23-07
  • Why are the electric trains so slow?
    In the first week or two of the Onehunga Line’s switch to electric trains there were major issues with the trains keeping to timetable, apparently due to overly conservative speed restrictions being put in the trains as part of their...
    Transport Blog | 23-07
  • Dairy Farming in Brazil :Nitrogen Management
    With the challenge New Zealand is facing with increased nitrogen leaching that has come with intensifying of dairy, there is understandably a tendency to ‘look over the fence’ and see how we compare with others. New Zealanders have applied our...
    Gareth’s World | 23-07
  • Gamechangers
    Updated the tracking poll. For variety’s sake this one goes all the way back to the start of 2005. It doesn’t correct for bias and the large circles intersecting the vertical lines are election results : Josie Pagani wrote a ‘what...
    DimPost | 23-07
  • Understanding the 2014 election campaign
    If David Cunliffe decided one day to redecorate his kitchen, they would call it a décor flip-flop....
    Imperator Fish | 22-07
  • Shuttling diplomacy between the bombs
    The mounting death toll in Gaza has spurred an intensified flurry of diplomacy (again), and finally a stated acknowledgement that this time the terms of any ceasefire (which will eventually come) need to differ from those of the past three...
    Pundit | 22-07
  • National Government Running Regional Health Services into Oblivion
    I am amazed anyone outside of Auckland will be voting for National this election.  They have shown only one intent in regards to regions outside of Auckland, and to a slightly lesser extent Christchurch, everywhere else  is considered a last...
    An average kiwi | 22-07
  • The MH17 blame game
    No matter who's side you're on, it's a terrible day when innocent lives are lost in another countries conflict. As questions still need to be answered as to why exactly flight MH17 was flying in controlled airspace in the first place, many headlines...
    The Jackal | 22-07
  • Hard News: Te Reo Māori in schools: let’s just start
    I was born 52 years ago today, on a date that seems unnervingly close to the 1950s. I caught the end of the free school milk years (they really did just leave it out in the sun) and I like...
    Public Address | 22-07
  • World News Brief, Wednesday July 23
    Top of the AgendaIsrael-Hamas Conflict Continues Despite International Pressure...
    Pundit | 22-07
  • The Regions and Stuff
    Yesterday Labour announced a boost for the regions, with at least $200 million available for large-scale projects that promise to give some of our struggling regions new economic opportunities. Dredging harbours, re-opening rail-lines, strategic procurement decisions, that kind of thing....
    Polity | 22-07
  • Disgraceful
    John Key’s refusal this week to apologise to Tania Billingsley is nothing short of disgraceful. Even worse is the reason he gave for ignoring Ms Billingsley: I don't make apologies unless there's a serious reason for me to do that....
    Polity | 22-07
  • Basin Bridge Bowled
    In stunning news yesterday the Board of Inquiry hearing the case for the Basin Bridge bowled out the NZTA by declined consent for the project.  This is what it would have looked like had it been approved: All up the...
    Transport Blog | 22-07
  • iPredict 2014 Election Update #27: Nats back in ascendency
    Press Release – iPredict Inflation and interest rate expectations fall ahead of OCR announcement tomorrow Forecast fiscal surplus again falls sharply, and growth marginally down Greens fall and Internet-Mana strengthens, as Sykes gets closer in Waiariki No feasible …IPREDICT LTD...
    Its our future | 22-07
  • Government Planning on Ditching Group Special Education?
    As Parents who have a child with a learning disability and/or behavioural problems at school will know, Group Special Education (GSE) have the Specialists to assist staff with the best way to support those children. I have been told by...
    An average kiwi | 22-07
  • DOWNING OF MH17: A FALSE FLAG OPERATION?
    Or: Why Didn’t the Flight-booking Computers say ‘No’ to a Flight over War-zone? MH17 vs Ukrainian SU-25? Russian Defense Ministry claims a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet was within 5-10 km of the Malaysian aircraft.  Snoopman, 22 July 2014   Genuflection...
    Snoopman News | 22-07
  • Green party statement on Gaza
    Today, the Green party's Kennedy Graham made a heartfelt speech concerning the immediate cease fire in Gaza and called on Israel to withdraw it's military forces. The Green party MP also read out the names of children already killed in...
    The Jackal | 22-07
  • Seal of approval – How marine mammals provide important climate data
    Understanding what is happening in the oceans is crucial since 90% of global warming is going there and attempts to measure temperatures at various depths go back to the 1960s. But, what does this Weddell seal have to do with this...
    Skeptical Science | 22-07
  • Taskforce to Tackle Loopy Rules
    The National Party have announced that if they’re re-elected they’ll form a taskforce to tackle loopy rules and regulations. Local Government Minister Paula Bennett today announced the establishment of a new Taskforce to rid New Zealand of loopy rules and...
    Transport Blog | 22-07
  • Manufacturing dissent
    So, it turns out that almost all US "domestic terrorists" are created and directly incited by the US government:Nearly all of the highest-profile domestic terrorism plots in the United States since 9/11 featured the "direct involvement" of government agents or...
    No Right Turn | 22-07
  • Minimum wage rises don’t lift unemployment, analysts agree
    More than 600 US Economists, including 7 nobel laureates, assert that increases in the minimum wage have little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum wage workers ...
    Closing the Gap | 22-07
  • The NZ First conference: policy highlights
    What were some of the policy announcements that came from the New Zealand First conference?...
    Imperator Fish | 22-07
  • Saved
    The Basin Reserve has been saved: Controversial plans to build a flyover next to the Basin Reserve in Wellington have been killed off by a board of inquiry. In a stunning move today, four commissioners declined resource consent for the...
    No Right Turn | 22-07
  • Not serious
    That's John Key's assessment of his government's failure in the Tania Billingsley case:"I don't make apologies unless there's a serious reason for me to do that." Except apparently it is serious enough to justify an independent inquiry (though one which...
    No Right Turn | 22-07
  • Vote Choice: John Key – the Fence Sitter
    Welcome to ALRANZ’s Vote Choice series, where we offer you our views on candidate’s opinions on abortion and reproductive justice, so that you can make an informed decision on 20 September. We encourage members to go along to candidate forums...
    ALRANZ | 22-07
  • Barry Brill and Anonymous: U R A Fraud
    People send me things. Brightening my email inbox last week was a pithy little email, headed U r a fraud. It didn’t have much to say. Here it is, in its entirety, exactly as it appeared: Please take down your...
    Hot Topic | 22-07
  • Access: Power to (all) the people!
    The society we live in today has been shaped by many struggles, social movements, and revolutionary forces, most aiming to create a more egalitarian existence.  Women, indigenous peoples, LGBT communities, and even animals have secured hard won recognition of their...
    Public Address | 22-07
  • Up Front: Tomorrow Lives Forever
    A while back, I promised you that next time I wrote, we'd have more fun. In that time, the world in general and my life in particular have become much grimmer. Therefore, in my opinion, the Fun is even more...
    Public Address | 22-07
  • More Australian torture
    Successive Australian governments have systematically dehumanised and demonised asylum seekers as part of their war on refugees, and the results have been predictable: torture, murder, and ill-treatment. And now they're torturing refugees to cover up their crimes:Two asylum seekers in...
    No Right Turn | 22-07
  • Petrol price elasticity, and supermarket vouchers
    As we all know, when the price of something goes up, we buy less of it. For some products, we’ll change our behaviour significantly (holidays or books, perhaps). For other products, we just grit our teeth, hand over the credit...
    Transport Blog | 22-07
  • Claudette Hauiti doesn’t wait for a third strike
    National Party list MP Claudette Hauiti has this morning announced her retirement from politics. It’s safe to say that since she came in to Parliament as Aaron Gilmore’s replacement, back in May last year, her career as a backbench MP...
    Occasionally erudite | 22-07
  • Who Shot Down MH17?
    Killing Fields: The tragedy of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 is amplified by the Western news medias' refusal to either contextualise the airliner's destruction, or provide its global audience with any explanation other than Russian guilt and perfidy. As if historical events have...
    Bowalley Road | 22-07
  • Good riddance
    Last week we learned that National MP Claudette Hauiti had been stealing from the taxpayer by rorting her expenses. Today, she decided to quit:National list MP Claudette Hauiti has decided to withdraw from the election and politics altogether. She has...
    No Right Turn | 22-07
  • Those Left Standing: The Town Hall
    It depresses me to be writing this piece again. I thought we had put all of this to bed last year. Unfortunately, after the council suggested that the project was on hold, the opinion pages of the Press were once again...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 21-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
     The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    Mana | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation's efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, the Green Party said today.The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has made a...
    Greens | 21-07
  • INTERNET MANA ROAD TRIP- LEG 2
      WAIKATO / TARANAKI / MANAWATU-WANGANUI  Tuesday July 29th, 6pm | RotoruaDistinction Hotel, Fenton Ballroom, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua  Wednesday July 30th 6pm | HamiltonWaikato University, Price Waterhouse Coopers Lecture Theatre, Gate 7, Hillcrest Rd Hamilton  Thursday July 31st, 6pm |...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008...
    Labour | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Universal KiwiSaver is an essential part of Labour’s...
    Labour | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.The Green Party will make a series of policy...
    Greens | 20-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were served with trespass orders from their  local swimming pool in new market. With no warning or explanation from the pool staff Police ordered...
    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • New President for MANA Movement
    Lisa McNab, MANA President, and Annette Sykes, outgoing MANA President and candidate for Waiariki Lisa McNab was officially passed the mantle of MANA President in a special ceremony at Potahi Marae in Te Kao this week, following her unanimous election into the...
    Mana | 20-07
  • Te Reo Māori a doorway to opportunity
    A Labour Government will ensure more of our children have the opportunity to learn te reo Māori by encouraging the learning and use of it in schools, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says....
    Labour | 19-07
  • Work numbers not all they’re cracked up to be
    The Government's figures on the numbers of beneficiaries don't add up, Labour's Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says."Paula Bennett keeps saying 1500 people are going off the benefit into work every week, yet today she announced just 16,000 fewer people...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Flood relief for National voters first
    “The flooding in Tai Tokerau has hammered the north and impacted hundreds of families right across the region,” said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “It’s bitterly disappointing to see that the first response from this National government...
    Mana | 18-07
  • Don’t contract out your loyal cleaners SkyCity3
    SkyCity should put aside its proposal to contract out its cleaning staff and not be lured by the prospect of washing their hands of these essential jobs and leaving them to the world of third party contracting, Labour’s Associate Labour...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Green Party statement on tragedy of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17
    The Green Party conveys its condolences to the families of the victims of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.The Ukrainian Government has accused pro-Russia rebels in the east of the Ukraine of shooting down the Malaysia Airlines jet with a ground-to-air missile,...
    Greens | 18-07
  • Gaza ground offensive can only result in more deaths
    Israel’s decision to continue with a ground offensive into Gaza can only result in more civilian deaths and push a ceasefire further beyond reach, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “There is no such thing as a surgical strike...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Tackling childhood obesity is not rocket science Minister, but it is scienc...
    The Government's latest snub of scientific evidence - this time about its failure to address childhood obesity - is another example of National's reliance on 'tobacco science' to justify its denial agenda, the Green Party said today. An Auckland University...
    Greens | 18-07
  • Paying patients to go away not a solution
    A voucher system being used by emergency departments in Southern DHB - which pays patients to see a GP – is designed to skew figures to meet Government targets, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson and Dunedin North MP David Clark says....
    Labour | 18-07
  • Common sense a better response
    The actions of two police officers who walked into a marae's wharenui in the early hours of the morning to search and photograph a group of children in their pyjamas are deeply concerning, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says....
    Labour | 18-07
  • Taxpayer cash to plug Chorus copper hole
    The Chief Executive and Board of Chorus must be held accountable for striking a deal that uses taxpayer money that was intended to build a new fibre network to instead plug the company’s revenue gaps, says Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare...
    Labour | 18-07
  • Labour won’t abandon regional New Zealand
    Labour will ensure no regions in New Zealand are ‘red-zoned’ by tailoring Regional Growth Plans for each province as part of our Economic Upgrade, Labour’s Finance spokesperson and Deputy Leader David Parker says. “The Royal Society of New Zealand’s Our...
    Labour | 17-07
  • Minister must come clean on amalgamation
    The Minister of Local Government is telling porkies to its supporters on local government amalgamation, says Labour’s Local Government spokesperson Su’a William Sio.   National’s arrogance on amalgamation was all too clear when the Minister shut down Napier’s deputy mayor...
    Labour | 17-07
  • Labour sends condolences to families of MH17
    ...
    Labour | 17-07
  • IPCA report proves need for full review of spy agencies
    A report into the Police decision not to prosecute the Government Communications Security Bureau over its unlawful spying of 88 New Zealanders proves the need for a full review into our security agencies, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant...
    Labour | 16-07
  • New Zealanders will never get justice over spying saga
    New Zealanders who were illegally spied on by the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) will probably never get their justice, said the Green Party today.The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) today released its findings on whether the Police were negligent...
    Greens | 16-07
  • National issues mineral mining permits in Maui’s sanctuary
    The Government has issued mineral mining permits in one third of the endangered Maui's dolphin sanctuary, the Green Party has revealed today.This follows revelations that permits have also been issued for oil exploration in the sanctuary.There have been 254 Maui's...
    Greens | 16-07
  • No cosmetics tested on animals under Labour
    A Labour Government will help protect animals from harm by prohibiting the sale of cosmetics that have been tested on animals.  Labour’s Animal Welfare spokesperson Trevor Mallard today launched the initiative at an event organised by Labour’s Ōhariu candidate Ginny...
    Labour | 16-07
  • Bridges cannot argue with the CPI –electricity prices are up
    Today’s CPI gives the lie to Simon Bridge’s claim that power prices only rose by 2.3 % in the last year. Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Its official; the CPI index says power prices increased by 4.2% in the...
    Labour | 16-07
  • Parata ploughs ahead with anti-democracy plan
      Hekia Parata is ignoring overwhelming opposition by ploughing ahead with plans to gut the political independence of the teaching profession and stifle democracy on tertiary institution councils, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is no surprise a massive...
    Labour | 16-07
  • Greens announce $1 billion additional investment in R&D, including busi...
    The Green Party has announced today that its economic priority for the election is building a smarter greener economy that benefits every New Zealander.In the Party's headline economic announcement, the Greens have launched their plan to build a smarter, more...
    Greens | 15-07
  • Families under more pressure as power, food prices rise
    Higher power prices, housing costs and food prices are behind today's inflation rise, putting already stressed families under renewed pressure, the Green Party said today."Families are facing rising costs from food, power, and mortgages, or rents; and most are getting...
    Greens | 15-07
  • Goverment drops recreational river reporting
    The Government pulled the plug on cleaning up our dirty rivers so they are safe for swimming, and now it has given up on annual reports about the problem, the Green Party said today. Two weeks ago the Government released...
    Greens | 15-07
  • Ae Marika! 15 July 2014
    It ain’t over by a long shot, but I can’t help feel good about Northlanders response to the week from hell. This last week has seen the worst weather over a larger region of the north, for a longer period...
    Mana | 15-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime a...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Israel/Gaza: Attacks on medical facilities and civilians add to war crime allegations The continuing bombardment of civilian homes in several areas of the Gaza Strip, as well as the Israeli shelling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties fo...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Central African Republic: Brazzaville talks should not lead to amnesties for war crimes Amnesty International called on delegates to the Central African Republic (CAR) National Reconciliation talks due to take place...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Russia increases stranglehold on dissent as five more NGOs named ‘foreign agents’ The Russian Ministry of Justice today registered four more Russian human rights organizations and one environmental group as “foreign...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Nigeria: World Bank panel turns its back on forcibly evicted community The decision by a World Bank Inspection Panel to refuse to investigate a complaint about forced evictions linked to a...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: National out of touch with the regions John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Labour will revive the regions with new fund The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Speech to Local Government New Zealand Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Chris Perley – Confessions of an ex-Public Servant watching t...
    Back in the 16th century, good Queen Bess said to her Privy Council of advisors something along the lines of: “I want your free, frank advice, without consideration of fear or favour.”  In other words, tell me what you think,...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The rise of the Internet/Mana phenomenon
    Commentators seem surprised at the popularity of the Mana/Internet phenomenon. The ultimate ‘odd coupling’ is doing reasonably well in the polls at over 2% support, and Right Wing pundits are guessing that the Party might even reach 5% by the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Which Party Would (not) Walk Away from a Crap TPPA?
    Trick question.  Any TPPA would be crap. But a future government will try to sell it to us anyway. It is clear that there won’t be any deal until well after the election and the new government is installed. So...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Te wiki – Maori Language Week
    Maori Language Week has become an entrenched feature of New Zealand.  New Zealanders have come to accept that for one week a year the normal institutions of the white settler society will make some attempt to engage their stakeholders using the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • A brief word on Cunliffe saying sorry for a 3 day holiday
    I’m not sure who the bloody hell is advising Cunliffe to apologise about a 3 day holiday, but it’s stupid. If you want to know what angry white reactionary NZ thinks about anything, go to a stuff.co.nz poll. Here’s their...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Seven Sharp – The day public broadcasting died
    I rarely watch Seven Sharp because it’s bullshit and sums up all that is wrong with current affairs in NZ, but even I can’t believe that Seven Sharp have stooped to being an apologist for Cameron Slater on this evenings show. This...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • ….except Israel
    ….except Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • NZIFF Review: The Dark Horse – 6 stars
    This year’s opening New Zealand International Film Festival offering was a couple of nights ago, and I still feel this incredible NZ movie reverberating inside me. The Dark Horse is heartbreaking, heartwarming and terribly raw. Director James Napier Robertson has...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07