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Family members of traitors of the Motherland

Written By: - Date published: 1:16 pm, February 20th, 2013 - 85 comments
Categories: benefits, crime, families - Tags:

No-one likes fraudsters, whether they’re ripping us off as beneficiaries or as suit-clad businesspeople. National’s announced some ineffectual steps to ‘crack down’ on the minor amount of benefit fraud that occurs (no similar crackdown on white collar fraudsters and tax avoiders). But they’ve gone to far in trying to criminalise people just for being partners of benefit fraudsters.

Here’s what the announcement says:

“Currently there are few options available to prosecute partners who know or benefit from such offending, leaving the entire debt with one partner.”

“The proposal will also extend MSD’s ability to seize assets owned or jointly owned by a spouse or partner under the Criminal Proceeds (Recovery) Act 2009, and to recover some of that debt from the partner who has benefited from the fraud.”

Obviously, if you are party to offending – ie you know about it and benefit from it – you should be prosecuted, and you can be already. But it’s nuts to suggest that people could be made criminals just for having been in a relationship with a fraudster and, as part of a single household, unknowingly benefited from the fraud.

That’s Stalin stuff. He created the offence of being Family Members of Traitors of the Motherland for people who had done nothing wrong except have a family member who was an ‘enemy of the people’.

It’s a basic tenant of our society that you can’t be punished for something that you aren’t responsible for.For example, if your mate takes you out for lunch and it turns out the money came, unbeknownst to you, from him holding up a dairy, should you have to pay back the money or go to the clink? Of course not, you didn’t do anything wrong.

National’s ‘get the wives too’ offence is a daft attempt to do away with that founding principle of our legal system. Where the hell is Crown Law?

From what I can see the other changes look pretty minor (keep an eye on the known crims, share info with IRD) and will do bugger all to affect what is already a tiny problem compared to, say, the huge increase in benefit costs arising from National’s failure to create jobs.

But that crazy familial guilt stuff has got to go.

85 comments on “Family members of traitors of the Motherland”

  1. Rogue Trooper 1

    where will it end

    • Tom Gould 1.1

      This is simply a diversion for the idiot chooks to lead with. Which they will. Works every time.

    • aerobubble 1.2

      A while back there a\was a case where investors investing in a ponsi scheme would have to pay back the profit on their investment since obviously in comes from fraud. And where does that stop.
      I mean if you are getting twice the average return of comparable investments in the market, how can your ignorance of how that money is made be argued (since you recklessness in not knowing) could help your case, it could not, but parties who benefited (say as gifts) would not have known and so should they still be liable? Its still money that is the benefit of fraud. If you receive stolen property then sure you have to give it back, there’s the difference, if however you buy a car that turns out to be stolen, and you did due diligence, then you have a case against those who certified the car as legitimate. so I suppose the question is can the state provide a spouse knew their spouse was telling lies, does depend a lot on whether the state provided information about entitlements, that information was available to the spouse, and they knew it was in error. Like the investor, who needs to be able to do due diligence, a spouse who cannot access their spouses records to check they are telling the truth. Just thoughts.

  2. infused 2

    Is it not the same as receiving stolen property? You get done for that too, regardless of whether you know or not.

    [no you don't, see comments below. In fact, the example of receiving shows that knowledge or recklessness is required for guilt when benefiting from a crime. Eddie]

    • TheContrarian 2.1

      Interesting point.

      • McFlock 2.1.1

        Not really. Crimes Act 1961 s246 Receiving (1):

        Every one is guilty of receiving who receives any property stolen or obtained by any other crime, knowing that property to have been stolen or so obtained, or being reckless as to whether or not the property had been stolen or so obtained.

        My bold.
        So intent applies for receiving, with a certain fudge for folks playing silly buggers with the “oh, but I didn’t KNOW that the stuff bought off the back of a truck for massively cheap prices was stolen”.

        This means that if I fudge my benefit paperwork without telling my partner, they can be pinged for it. Yet another fucked up nact policy.

    • toad 2.2

      Crimes Act, s 246

      246 Receiving

      (1) Every one is guilty of receiving who receives any property stolen or obtained by any other crime, knowing that property to have been stolen or so obtained, or being reckless as to whether or not the property had been stolen or so obtained.

    • joe90 2.3

      Indeed, but if you’re from the top end of town receiving stolen property isn’t a crime.

      http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/fraudster-reneges-590-000-payback-ihc-4951619

      • Colonial Viper 2.3.1

        Yeah I don’t see anyone going after the wives, husbands, partners and children of convicted fraudsters who lived off the proceeds of theft.

        Usual Tory underclass bashing.

        • TheContrarian 2.3.1.1

          Wouldn’t the Crimes Act, s 246 apply in such cases?

          • Colonial Viper 2.3.1.1.1

            And when has it actually been brought to a prosecution.

          • McFlock 2.3.1.1.2

            Bankrupt. And winz docks the benefit for reparations – IHC wouldn’t have that power.

            Interesting the offer of reparation before sentencing and withdrawn afterwards – probably counts as perjury or contempt if it was a plan to get a lighter sentence.

      • TheContrarian 2.3.2

        What do you mean? She went to jail for 3 years

        • Draco T Bastard 2.3.2.1

          Yeah, I was thinking that as well. The proceeds of the sale of the lodge should have gone to IHC.

    • tracey 2.4

      Nope, nothing like receiving stolen property, not that fact will prevent people making the analogy and passing it into the world of memes to justify gross double standards.

  3. TheContrarian 3

    What an odd thing to do.
    I would certainly be keen to see how they define ‘benefited from’.

    Does that include watching a TV which is powered by electricity which was paid from a fraudulent benefit?

    • Colonial Weka 3.1

      And why just partners? Why not flatmates? Some couples share finances in the same way that flatmates do.

      • Tim 3.1.1

        Don’t give them ideas Weka! They’re already short of a couple of brain cells to rub together. We might find that’s stage two in the fascist march forward.

        • Tim 3.1.1.1

          Actually ….. why not incarcerate the children too. They will have benefited given their ‘reasoning’. Then we’ll get Serco to set up workhouses. Perhaps they could even be used as the labour to build Transmission Gully

      • freedom 3.1.2

        beat them to the end zone, just sell the kids and move it all into south american zinc

  4. quartz 4

    I think they should incarcerate the spouses and children of white collar criminals. And any representative of a political party that has benefited from donations from criminals.

    • Tim 4.1

      There’s an easier option. Just incarcerate, or execute the ring leaders of the fascists as they did post-WWII.
      I’m still left wondering why there is this complete and utter reluctance to label some of the right-wing antics as fascist – especially those that are going beyond the realms of moderate behaviour.

      I remember reading, some time back – I think on politicalpendulum, or somewhere, that a better description of fascism is corporatism.
      The misbehaviour of corporate ‘citizenry’ [ fuck me, now there's a joke and an attempt at trying to legitimise their imperative in and of itself! ], the incompetence, the snuggling up, the lobbying, the preference of the corporate over the actual citizen and/or voter leads me to think that politicalpendulum (if that’s where it was) is correct.

      • TheContrarian 4.1.1

        Because fascism, as a political ideology, demands strict nationalism and an attempt to remove class divisions as well as, in most cases an expansionist foreign policy.

        These are key definers of fascism which National doesn’t display

        • Tim 4.1.1.1

          Ah! I see! the kind of ‘get-out clause’. So you can fit all but one of the criteria and satisfy yourself you’re not such a fascist, because you’re not a nationalist (which – in your case “the Contrarian”) I think you probably are anyway.

          • Tim 4.1.1.1.1

            oh btw TC (aka “top Cat”), if I don’t reply forthwith, it’s because there are normal day-to day things on the agenda. It’s not that I don’t want to give you my undivided attention – lest you get ideas of non-engagement.

            • TheContrarian 4.1.1.1.1.1

              This conversation has been had on The Standard before.

              National don’t display the key identifiers of Fascist ideology. A key element of all fascistic parties throughout history has been this mass public mobilization to Nationalistic causes, the the attempt removal of class definitions while appealing to the proletariat as well as expansionist foreign policies. These aren’t ‘get-out clauses’ these are key behaviors associated with fascism.

              I don’t care if you engage or not.

              • ..so it seems, to be precise a new word is required.

                Might I suggest Fascionarrowindividualistism-tyrannical-bullshit

              • aerobubble

                Profit is a mass appeal of National, free markets ignore class divisions, expansionist policies of mining, etc, expand and destroy our future.

              • Tim

                Oh really – well apologies – I’m a newcomer.
                …and btw (below). I see no need of inventing a new word, I’d rather describe it as I have.

            • TheContrarian 4.1.1.1.1.2

              A fascist government certainly would not be selling strategic state owned assets and would be trying instead to bring more assets and facets of public utilities under state control.

            • Pascal's bookie 4.1.1.1.1.3

              Tim, not to agree with Contros definition of F, (because it’s rubbish) , when people describe F as corporatism they aren’t talking about modern corporations.

              In Pre-war political theory, corporatism was a political idea that competed with syndicalism or socialism.

              It was about ways of organising economic structures.

              The corporatists weren’t talking about making modern style private business corporates, but rather that that sectors would incorporate. That for example, car manufacturers would get together and carve out co-operative deals and act together strategically. Bread makers and farmers would do the same etc. Each ‘Corporate’ would represent the industry both politically and economically.

              The word has changed it’s meaning basically.

              • TheContrarian

                @PB – it isn’t a definition, it is a characteristic.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  It’s still rubbish.

                  The class stuff isn’t really right at all, and you miss the things that really set them apart, ie characterise, them.

                  Eg. the Nationalsim is of a particular type. It’s about the defining and promoting ‘essence’ of the nation, rather than just ‘my nation right or wrong’. That’s why they spend so much time on defining internal enemies.

                  It’s about action over thought. It’s anti intellectual and anti liberal.

                  • TheContrarian

                    I am aware it is a particular brand of Nationalism – the point was to show that National doesn’t that extreme nationalistic tendency which really sets fascist ideology apart.

                    “Fascism recognizes the occurrence of class conflict, and advocates a resolution to end the division of classes within a nation and secure national solidarity.[9] However fascism publicly favours proletarian culture due to its association of proletarian culture with economic production and claims that the proletariat as producers must have a dominant role in the nation.”

                    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facism

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Try this:

                      http://www.anesi.com/Fascism-TheUltimateDefinition.htm

                      The wiki seems to be based on Mann, but I don’t think he’s that convincing re the proles. What he’s really getting at is producerism (it’s on wikipedia! ) which is a middle and working class populism. The proles are as much a target as the elites, in that proles (such as they exist), in modern societies tend to be made up of ‘outsiders’.

                    • TheContrarian

                      Thanks for the link – I’ll have a gander.

                      There are quite a few competing definitions out there.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      He rambles a bit at the end, fucking libertarians.

                      David Neiwert is good too, just google him and fascism and you’ll be swamped by him beating the shit out of Jonah Goldberg, unless I’m very much mistaken. Which I often am.

                    • TheContrarian

                      You have seen The Wave?

                      http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1063669/

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Yeah, people are shits in a bunch, on the whole.

                    • TheContrarian

                      I hear that.

                    • Murray Olsen

                      Wikipedia is hardly ever reliable for specialist, in depth knowledge, and even less so when it doesn’t even spell the word correctly.
                      Kiwi fascism, if it developed, obviously would not involve expanding the motherland by military force and also would need to adapt to the recent accelerated internationalisation of the world economy. It would represent the national capitalists only in so far as they were integrated to multinational interests. It would be anti-intellectual and promote a type of Kiwi blokeishness which would probably glorify hunting, smashing beneficiaries and lamenting the role of “front bums” in society. It would dispense with the rule of law and any ideas of civil rights or due process. I think we are fearfully close.

                  • TheContrarian

                    “It’s about action over thought. It’s anti intellectual and anti liberal.”

                    I like that – succinct.

              • Tim

                @PB yes I’m aware of that… but @ TC “A fascist government certainly would not be selling strategic state owned assets and would be trying instead to bring more assets and facets of public utilities under state control”.
                That is certainly NOT necessarily so.
                Especially so since Fascists attempt to confuse WHAT and WHO the state actually is.
                Fascists would would be bringing more “assets and facets of public utilities under the control” of a master-class elite that has confused what exactly a ‘public’ is comprised of – in ALL its pluarlity.

                If you’d rather we call it neo-fascisim or other newly invented label in order to fit some exact category, or to make you sleep better at night without the taint – so be it. I’d say that this current gubbamint is the closest thing to fascism I’ve ever encountered in this country, and what’s worse – there are a couple of dominatrixes in it that appear to actually get off on it. The only thing that I see that’s different is that they’re not quite as clever as Nazis were, though they’re certainly as underhand and devious.

        • Tim 4.1.1.2

          Oh…. (btw as they say in the connected world) … I don’t necessarily agree that Fascism demands strict nationalism. It may well have in a mid-20C definition of nationalism when a majority associated nationalism with statehood (a la nation-state), but that was always going to be primitive at best. Those creators only ever envisaged an area of turf with a majority that shared common belief. Hence anything foreign was just that. WORSE than that, anything that deviated from an ‘assimilated norm’ should be conquered. Hence ….. some of the most aggregious attrocites ever – South Africa, Rwanda/Berundi, Australia’s White Poicy, and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on and so on ……
          I see a state as a legal definition (which surely you’ll agree with – after all I’m sure you don’t disagree with the very legal definitions that you use to perpetuate your agenda do you?). Whereas I see nationhood as a shared affinity and culture regardless of boundary. I’m sure most tribal affiliations and the nomadic would agree. Possibly even Hitler would agree, except that he could not understand that multiple affinities might, people with more than one cultural understanding, and could co-exist.
          The arrogance of someone to come along and impose their definition is just that – and incidentally – a characteristic INDEED an essential characteristic of fascism. Sound familiar? It’s what we’re seeing now – better make sure you’re on the ‘right-side’ aye? Mussonilini didn’t quite get it.
          We might see a Maori Nation, or indeed a LGBTI Nation, an Anglican Nation, a Nation of Islam (oops…we already have!), an Immigrant Nation all trying to coexist under a NZ Nation(S)-State.
          Anyway – it’s been duscussed before.
          Jah Vol Herr Commandant

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    ugh spambot

  6. In a way I see it is fair enough that partners, who benefit from illegal acts are required to experience the consequences of such.

    What I see as the real problem this issue raises and the thing I find it questionable with welfare distribution is the way our welfare treats those in relationships.

    I fail to understand why people are not paid as individuals and why one receives a different amount (and lesser) when one is in a relationship.

    Now I know the pat answer that Winz workers are trained to address this query “Two people living under one light bulb costs less”

    I find this questionable, it is clear that two people can make savings, however, in order to make the substantial saving that is assumed, requires that the two people ensure they stay in the same room at the same time at all times. (Otherwise “two lightbulbs” are involved….) Two people have two separate costs, such as health, transport and such things requiring two separate outfits per day…..
    Yes, there may be savings, coming out of a joining of two lives, however largely, these savings are very similar to the amount of savings one experiences from flatting in the same house with others, and flatmates are not given lesser rates of assistance.

    This appears to be a human rights issue.

    21. Prohibited grounds of discrimination
    (1)For the purposes of this Act, the prohibited grounds of discrimination are—
    (a)sex, which includes pregnancy and childbirth:
    (b)marital status, which means being—
    (i)single; or
    (ii)married, in a civil union, or in a de facto relationship; or

    I daresay, due to the system being one of welfare this form of discrimination is allowed for (has been exempted from the requirements), however, if people were simply paid as they should be, as individual members of society regardless of their marital status, I believe it would clear up a lot of complications and ensuing costs of calculating married people’s “entitlement” and also the vast costs that must go into investigating this type of “benefit fraud”. It would also clear up the issue that this post raises.

  7. quartz 7

    I think it’s simply a ghastly unprincipled diversion tactic.

    • Yep the nats are on the ropes over Sky City and what happens …

      Some more bene bashing!

      They are so predictable. Someone should do a correlation between embarassing times for the Government and the announcement of social welfare reforms. I suspect the correlation will be startling high.

  8. alwyn 8

    I think that it was a very great shame that the USSR, after Stalin introduced the policy, did not enforce it strictly.
    Included in the people whose families were to be punished, and in that period this meant being killed, were soldiers who had surrendered to the Germans. These included Stalin’s son and the law should therefore have applied to him and his father, Stalin himself.
    It is hard to see how the world could have been worse off from the absence of that maniac.

  9. Aww 9

    Next, they will be going after the hookers (as in the Steven whatshisname case from ASB) and the drug dealers who sold a good or excellent service to the fraudster, … and themselves for benefiting from the GST on any money spent. (Holy heck, can’t believe ASB went after the hooker! She earned it and may have even paid income tax on it.)

    Here is an idea: Make sure all low income earners receive their full and correct entitlement under the current system. That way you remove much of the desperation out there, combat child poverty and improve overall standards of living.

  10. aerobubble 10

    The government has back down on stripping prisoners of any civil rights windfall court payments and giving the money to a general victim fund. Seems someone finally realized that plaintiffs have the need when they win to actually receive a remedy for wrongs done to them. Even criminals.

    This current government has real problems with understanding that the legislator only write the laws, laws actually come effect in courts of law, and if they over reach their power government have the tendency of losing in the courts, costing tax payers. All government decisions can be appealed in courts and so be tested for their lawfulness.

    Key has a problem with fair impartial consultation, look at schools closures issue, etc, so court can and do look at the character of both sides of an action to access the truth of their statements, like govt dealt in good faith.

  11. vto 11

    This disgusts me.

    Why not make it a generic criminal offence, that would catch all fraud, such as the massive white collar and tax-dodging fraud?

    Why restrict it to beneficiaries?

    Why restrict it to beneficiaries?

    Why restrict it to beneficiaries?

    Why restrict it to beneficiaries?

  12. johnm 12

    The Market Pimp’s Government strikes again. :-(

  13. QoT 13

    National’s ‘get the wives too’ offence

    I find this really interesting because my own first assumption would’ve been more “get the boyfriends” – as in, this targets male partners of hetero women receiving the DPB. Funny how different perspectives work, of course it targets male or female partners of DPB/unemployment/sickness etc beneficiaries equally.

    • the pigman 13.1

      I think it is pretty obviously “get the boyfriends”, because the vast majority of this very low-value fraud is mums on the DPB with live-in boyfriends/on-off abusive relationship partners, who are concealing it from their case workers either because they are afraid of having to exist on even less than they already have to, or their relationship is volatile and unpredictable and they don’t want CYF on their backs so they “ended” that relationship.

    • tracey 13.2

      exactly, which is why we dont have a hunt down the white middle class men cribbing their child care cos the new wife and new kids deserve it more campaign… and when we do, it is hijacked by the “men are not allowed access by their evil ex-wives” campaign.

  14. Tigger 14

    Great post Eddie.

  15. tracey 15

    welfare something is always rolled out as a diversion. Usually Ms Bennett fronts it to take the heat off (in the past education)… and here we go again.

    At least TV3 actually said what benefit fraud costs each year (39m). It failed to point out the percentage perpetrated by employees.

    National announced this morning that the public love it. How could they know so quickly? Or do they just mean the section of the public which they pander to who are less informed on these topics than the politicians will swallow it. Shame on the MPs who KNOW the facts and lie or mislead. The people relying on their representatives to be truthful about this kind of thing are duped again.

    Even infused who is informed has an excuse/justification already on the go … it’s like receiving stolen property.”

    So why aren’t bank robbers wives and partners charged? Why aren’t the wives of directors found to have been fraudulent charged? Why arent parents whose kids are rorting the student loan scheme (with full knowledge of the parents) charged or hunted down?

    And where is the heavy handed effort to chase down unpaid child support????? If a man or woman doesnt pay their child support, but has had a second family, we charge the partner, and put their children into care (afterall we are paying for their children anyway, what’s a couple more)? The answer is because most unpaid or underpaid child support isn’t from beneficiaries… it’s from demographics more likely to vote…. National. And yes, I say that from experience of the area of family law.

    I have never heard as much squealing about the awful and unfair welfare “nazis” as from middle class men who have started a second family and resent paying for the first. The same men who at dinner parties applaud the govt for getting tough on bludgers.

  16. tracey 16

    “The evidence for the existence of widespread benefit fraud is paltry to non-existent – despite the fact that a special fraud intelligence unit was set up in the Social Welfare department in 2007 to detect it. Last year, the department checked 29 million records, and found the benefit fraud rate (as a proportion of the total benefits paid) was a miniscule 0.10 per cent. A declining number of prosecutions – from 937 in 2009 to 789 last year – resulted.

    Of the $16 million in benefit fraud detected last year, a proportion was carried out by social welfare staff – ten of whom were sacked last year for ripping off the system – and not by beneficiaries themselves”

    The exact figures will be known to both labour and national MPs who choose not to share the percentage committed by employees. I can’t wait for Mr Shearer’s timid response being ever so careful not to upset the misinformation being perpetrated for fear of losing voters he never had or will have.

    http://werewolf.co.nz/2011/02/ten-myths-about-welfare/

    I will happily read updated or replacement statistics from those who wish to disagree?

    • xtasy 16.1

      tracey – this talk about “fraud” is also misleading.

      In the strict eyes of MSD a client dependent on a benefit is already committing a “fraud”, if such a person takes on a job and waits a week or two to inform WINZ about this.

      I know many people who took on jobs and waited a week or two to tell WINZ staff about this, because they were nervous and unsure about whether the job may work out. So they waited to see that it would work out for them. If they had told WINZ staff immediately, they would have had their benefit stopped immediately, and in the case of a job not working out, they would be sitting without money to pay for rent, power, food and anything else for a week or two.

      Such overpayments are in some cases treated as “fraud”, well at least included in figures about supposed “dishonesty” or about “claiming a benefit without justification”. Of course hardly any such cases would be prosecuted, but MSD do not look kindly on not declaring changes of circumstances straight away.

      Given there are close to 360 thousand people on some form of benefits, it is riduculous to use the very low number of proven “fraudsters” or “cheats” as justification to introduce new laws that will bring fear and suspicions into the lives of so many on benefits.

  17. Akldnut 17

    So we’ll be seeing Mary English being held to account soon?

    • tracey 18.1

      “The RNZ report also includes this incredible segment:

      The Social Development Ministry says that in 95^% of benefit fraud investigations, the person involved does not provide the necessary data, delaying enquiries by “ at least” 25 days. It estimates this delay costs $3 million a year, and gives the person time to cover up the fraud and destroy any evidence.

      One hardly knows where to start with this insanity. Safe to say, with no other social group would a department tot up its ordinary administrative costs and then – in paranoid fashion – blame them on a plot by the people it is supposed to be serving. Clearly, the Ministry expects all of the information it wants from the very moment it asks for it – because judging by the above, the meter is running from the very moment the Ministry mails out its letter or lodges a call.

      Let’s look at that. Lets assume the Ministry has got the right address, can express its needs clearly and that the information it asks for can be readily obtained. All very big assumptions. Even so, people are getting back to the Ministry in 25 days. In just over three weeks. That sounds pretty good, right? But no, the Ministry doesn’t think so. Because from the moment they send out their request they assume the person is playing for time “to cover up the fraud and destroy any evidence.” Even though 84 % of the time, it is the department that has got the wrong end of the stick, and not the beneficiary.”

      architects, builders, certifiers, plasterers, roofers, developers all had about ten years to destroy their evidence in the leaky home debacle. So often the High Court demands, at the behest of the defendants that an owner provide the evidence of their claim against so-and-so. BUT many owners weren’t the original owners so had no access to documentation… the mantra of these defendants is we destroyed everything after seven years like the law says we can. BUT the Courts accept this lame excuse. Lame, because it is only tax records you DONT have to keep after 7 years. It doesn’t say you MUST destroy invoices after seven years and it says nothing about building contracts etc.

      Everyone of the people in this defendant group knows their liability under the building act is for ten years, and they all would have known within the 7 years given for keeping tax records, that they may have built or inspected or developed a leaky home YET they destroy ALL records… That’s not to count the “floods” and “fires” (undocumented) that mysteriously destroy these kinds of records.

  18. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 19

    This beneficiary crackdown is built on the notion that there is huge fraud going on. There is occasional huge fraud by some inventive trickster, the rest are struggling, trying to manage with obstacles placed in their way by a punitive, hating government. It is the same vicious approach used when men dockworkers went on strike way back. The public were ordered not to help families with food and many disgraceful edicts. .There is a pretence of caring about morality that comes out in the NACT approach. Stop fathers running off, forcing them to accept responsibility etc.

    It’s just another way of making the public suffer as a result of the deliberate running down of the economy, jobs and wages by various governments. Then blame the losers from this process and refuse to see people as of value but just units of welfare and cost to the government.

    This new policy is an indictment on police thinking as Chester Borrows comes from that background and must be following attitudes learned there.
    With a history in policing and the law, Chester’s policy interests are around Law and Order and Welfare.
    He was raised in Nelson and attended Nayland College before entering the Police in 1975 as a 17-year-old Cadet. For 24 years he worked as a uniformed and CIB officer in cities, provincial towns and rural stations before leaving the Police to stand for Parliament in 1999. He attended Victoria University, obtaining an LLB between elections and campaigned again in 2002.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      WINZ cheating beneficiaries out of money must be considered fraud too, right?

      • xtasy 19.1.1

        Good point CV!

        Add to that also the fact, that over years, MSD and their largest department WINZ, have resorted to “assessing” and “re-assessing” many sickness and invalid’s beneficiaries – by using their selected, preferred, actually specially “trained” and thus influenced doctors (mostly GPs), and also by having “trained” staff members like Regional Health and Disability Advisors make the recommendations they expect, which in itself is a breach of NATURAL JUSTICE.

        The doctors that are under the Social Security Act supposed to “examine” clients with health issues and conditions are according to that Act supposed to be INDEPENDENT.

        Now, how “independent” are doctors that conduct examinations and make assessments according to criteria set by MSD and that follow expectations by MSD to look rather at anything a sick or disabled person hypothetically “can do”, rather than “cannot do”?

        I would say there have been thousands of decisions by such doctors, that break the law – in particular natural justice!

        So dear Ministers, when are we going to have WiNZ and MSD adhere to the law?

    • tracey 19.2

      it also makes it look like NACT is doing something, when in fact whatever they are doing in this policy is not addressing the billions they have borrowed since 2008, some of it for tax cuts… and for a stagnating economy. The earthquake was terrible but it is also providing this govt with a lifeline

  19. xtasy 20

    “National’s ‘get the wives too’ offence is a daft attempt to do away with that founding principle of our legal system. Where the hell is Crown Law?”

    Crown Law appear to not be consulted all that much these days, and when the government does it, it seems to pick the advice from probably a number of Crown Law experts that suits their intentions and goals.

    This proposed law change and measure is clearly discriminatory, same as a number of proposed law changes under the presently considered Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill. It breaches the Bill of Rights Act and Human Rights Act, as it is only targeted at partners of beneficiaries, who may commit some alleged fraud.

    Also is this another proposed law change, which is clearly intended to “appeal” to many in the public, as the mainstream media has over years already prepared the ground for bashing beneficiaries, by reporting only about the very few fraud cases that involve high amounts of dollars, by reporting about other supposed failures, about dishonesty and supposedly “easily” chosen “lifestyles” at the expense of the taxpayer.

    So this is intended to distract from National’s failures in economic and social areas, and National knows, that large parts of the public have a dim view of beneficiaries. Hence many will “welcome” this.

    It is the “collective guilt” approach being applied here, and that raises yet more legal questions, and those are right who ask, why single out beneficiaries and alleged “partners” who “know” about the partner’s benefit receipt, and not tax fraudsters – or any other fraudsters there are.

    I would think that the present law also makes it possible to prosecute a partner, if she/he knew of the fraud being committed by the other. But it seems that MSD and the government really are after pressing monetary compensation out of those partners, who may be guilty of condoning and indirectly participating in such alleged “fraud”. Hence an addition to the law, to make things more convenient to do so. But I expect that there will be problems introducing the law change as it is.

    Anyway: Welfare fraud is peanuts compared to other fraud and to tax evasion or avoidance.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 20.1

      At one level this could be seen as a way of helping relieve the directly offending partner of the total burden of the debt when the predominantly male partner had the benefits of the relationship without needing to provide any of the support.

      Put that way it could be seen as reasonable.

      Put that way it could be seen as a desire to help the offender.

      Of course it’s not. If Winz was really concerned about the debt burden they would allow the judges in their court cases to consider restitution. It was evident in the 80’s that DSW as it was then was finding that judges were not ordering restitution or if they did only to a small proportion of the debt owed.

      We noticed a trend then not to request restitution and that has no doubt continued. As a result the offender gets sentenced and still has to pay every cent back – unlike many many white collar and other fraudsters.

      It’s another way in which beneficiary criminals are generally treated differently to other criminals.
      If there was truly some desire to help the offender with her debt burden they’d let the courts decide appropriate restitution in line with any other sentencing.

      Put as above it looks like a good intention in reality it’s a road to further hell.

      In many of these situations there’s a strong power imbalance between the male and the female receiving the DPB – I can’t see in any way how this helps women in those situations one little bit. I can see how it puts them at more risk than they are now.

      There’s no protection here for the most vulnerable.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 20.1.1

        And I wonder how much National have thought this through in terms of cost:

        Two prosecutions, two imprisonments, children in CYFS care, two appeals.

        The partner charge will require different evidence.. Certainly when I was in banking you saw couples applying for loans with one person working and the second getting DPB but based on detail in court cases in the paper usually there are no assets to speak of I’m thinking for many the evidence will be minimal or witness based.

        It does seem that the cost of prosecuting will be higher than any gain in collecting money back and the disruption to families even greater.

        I don’t condone any fraud whether benefit or otherwise but this law simply seems poorly thought out, costly and just simply bad law.

        Just waiting now for Labour Greens Mana Maori Party to say they will repeal it.

  20. xtasy 21

    What is the reason and justification for this proposed law change, in view of section 66 of the Crimes Act 1961 already providing for the prosecution of known participation in such alleged “fraud” by a beneficiary???

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/DLM328506.html?search=sw_096be8ed809832a0_parties_25&p=1&sr=10

    The only reason I can detect is, that the law as it is does not necessarily give MSD the means to get a “partner” as a “party” to committing benefit fraud, to get that “co-offender” pay for damages.

    It seems they simply want to have access to the partner’s funds, income and so forth, to recover the money that was lost due to “alleged” fraud. There is no other reason and justification for this measure, that I can find. And as stated above, it is discriminatory and thus illegal, what they propose.

    • aerobubble 21.1

      I’m guess because its not clear. But seems that some girlfriends with kids where harassed to lie to WINZ to get more benefit, then when caught they declared they were in an abusive relationship and so lawyers could no longer argue the girlfriend was in a relationship. And in order to catch those being abused by their boyfriends WINZ also want the ability to closer scrutinize the lives of those who are have been manipulated into lying to them.

      Now the question is will they abuse their power, and will individuals (as in any part of society) in WINZ who abuse their power be open to over sight. What checks and balances, what fairness is there in comparable crimes like white collar fraud who do not lose as much as a benefit fraudster.

      Remember also not everyone on a benefit is eligible for legal aid (as its asset tested).

  21. Murray Olsen 22

    From my uninformed layperson’s viewpoint, this law has to be in violation of the Bill of Rights. It also will have the effect of making it harder for beneficiaries to start or form relationships, so that the family values so beloved of NAct will be denied them. It really rams home just how little humanity exists in government and especially in people like Paula Bennett. She might not have been able to form a stable relationship until she had a ministerial salary – I really don’t know. But why is she so keen to deny the opportunity to everyone else. It’s a bill to promote quickies in the back of a Corolla and to take any love or humanity out of beneficiaries’ lives. A South African friend suggested to me that it’s the sort of law she would have expected back in their bad old days, when they had people who tested sheets for bodily discharges in an attempt to snuff out interracial relationships. NAct are sick, sick people.

  22. Mary 23

    The whole thing’s obviously fraught with difficulties, not the least being the criminalisation of people who have no idea of the alleged offending, on top of, of course, the fact that so many people are wrongly convicted because of MSD telling people that if they plead guilty they “won’t go to jail” – completely ignoring the requirement to apply the proper test for what constitutes a relationship in the nature of marriage.

    One thing, though, that many people haven’t mentioned is that as soon as a spouse (or alleged spouse) gets done for fraud they didn’t know about what do you think will happen? I’d say it’d be curtains for any chance a relationship may have had therefore removing all doubt over whether the person is entitled to a benefit. These changes are guaranteed to make more people entitled to a social welfare benefit.

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    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
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    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
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