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How austerity is destroying Britain… coming soon near you

Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, April 1st, 2013 - 79 comments
Categories: activism, benefits, child welfare, class war, Conservation, democracy under attack, equality, health, infrastructure, jobs, labour, paula bennett, poverty, Privatisation, same old national, uk politics, unemployment, welfare - Tags: ,

A raft of Tory policies have been dismantling what is left of the British welfare state (after Thatcherism set them on this destructive and inhumane path). This includes the so-called “Bedroom Tax” which will cut the amount of benefit people can get if they have a spare bedroom in their home.  In today’s NZ Herald Toby Helm and Tracy McVeigh report that this has been called “bad policy and bad economics”:

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said the tax – which will cut the amount of benefit people can get if they have a spare bedroom in their home – would harm the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

It comes into force this week alongside a range of other tax and benefit changes.

On Saturday  (UK time) there was a protest against this tax. On Saturday, opponents to the tax

… launched nationwide protests against the tax which will hit 660,000 households with each losing an estimated average of £14 a week.

Crowds gathered in Trafalgar Square yesterday to protest against the measure and simultaneous protests were being held in towns and cities across the UK.

Protester Sue Carter, 58, said: “I’m a working single parent with a tiny boxroom and now I’m faced with the choice between food, heat or paying the bedroom tax. People have looked after their homes, improved them, why should they be turfed out?”

Among the other changes happening this week is the stealthy privatisation of the National Health Service, largely ignored by the UK MSM.   The website, Liberal Conspiracy has extracts from an interview, originally published in the British Medical Journal, about how the privatisation of the NHS begins this week.

LUCY REYNOLDS: We’re not going to have a big bang privatisation for the NHS. We’re going to have a very quiet one.

What has happened is that all of the rules that control health financing have been gradually changed since the New Labour times. Overall, we now have the NHS reorganised in such a way that it can be relaunched as a mixed market, so not just the public health sector service, but also a healthcare industry. The rules are structured in such a way that there will be a gradual transition between those two groups. The public sector will shrink away, and the private sector will grow.

But because there will never be an announcement in parliament that the NHS is privatised, and because the private providers will be allowed to use the NHS logo for anything that they are getting NHS funding for, it is very likely that the general public will not be aware that the private sector has in fact come in and taken over whatever bits of the NHS it finds profitable until probably service provision gets fairly bad.

This kind of stealth is similar to the NAct government’s sly dismantling of NZ’s conservation protections, as I argued in that post.  Both the NZ and UK governments seem to be approaching their anti-democratic and unpopular agendas by quietly setting up a range of seemingly small and unconnected provisions, which will eventually amount to a comprehensive and major change with huge social and economic impocts.

And very often the changes to social security and other public provisions that NAct are bringing in, are modeled on ones already in play in the UK, as, for instance was argued by opposition MPs debating the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill.  During the 1st reading, Jacinda Ardern said:

The use of outsourcing of assessment of work capacity and the ACC-style model of vocational independence assessment process bears striking resemblance to that used in the UK. The Department for Work and Pensions in the UK made use of contractors like Atos to perform work capability assessments, at a cost to the State of ₤300 million. Since that time an estimated 500,000 people have been wrongly assessed. People with terminal cancer have been found fit for work, and people with mental health issues have been ignored. Not only should we not lose sight of the lessons from abroad but also we must apply our own values around the role of social security in our country.

During the 2nd reading, Phil Twyford said:

We remain concerned that the Minister has signalled a UK-style medical assessment regime for people who are on a sickness benefit or an invalids benefit. …

We have seen a huge increase in the use of sanctions under this Government in the social development area. There is no assessment in place, there is no evidence that the increase in sanctions has had any kind of success, and we should see an assessment regime that actually looks to measure the harm or benefit that families have received as a result of the sanctions regime.

A recent survey in the UK shows how poverty is increasing under the “austerity” regime.

The Poverty and Social Exclusion report, the biggest survey of deprivation across the UK, found that a third of adults now suffer from some form of financial insecurity, with more than a quarter admitting they can neither save £20 a month nor put money away for a pension.

Just under one in ten households say they are unable to heat the living areas of their homes, up from just 3 per cent in the 1990s. People now say they consider around 33 per cent of Britons to be suffering from a lifestyle of “multiple deprivation”.

In his on-going series of posts on poverty, Anthony Robins has been monitoring the way poverty is damaging so many lives in NZ.  This week he focused on the impact of poverty on Kiwi children.

First Britain and the US, then NZ: so goes democracy, social security and a fair and functional economy and society.

79 comments on “How austerity is destroying Britain… coming soon near you”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    A recent survey in the UK shows how poverty is increasing under the “austerity” regime.

    That’s what it’s supposed to do. It will drive down wages and force people apart as they fight for their own survival. The right are trying to get it so that the people cannot combine against the rich.

    • aerobubble 1.1

      People with boarders are hardly likely to buy the latest gadgets,etc, and take longer to replace items, harming the consumer culture, yet there is an upside, govt pushing people together in housing will produce stress and so anger against the state (and making new networks of people).

  2. Sanctuary 2

    The point of neo-liberalism as a political project is to restore the power of the economic elites and re-establish the conditions for capital accumulation by those elites.After the fall of the USSR across the Anglosphere the capitalist ruling elites first lost their fear then (with the opening of China, that totalitarian corporate capitalist nirvana) lost their use for the bulk of their domestic populations. It follows that the philosophical utopian aspects of neo-liberalism, such as they were, are being quickly disposed of in favour of totalitarian measures from an increasingly fearful elite to keep their domestic mobs closely controlled.

    The Tory attack on the poor is simply another illustration of this siege mentailty in the British ruling elites. Another example was the savage punitive response of the judicial establishment to the spontaneous and angry mobs that roamed the streets during the London riots.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/18/full-picture-of-riot-sentences

    Establishment cruelty and savagery of the order of this post is born in profound fear and hatred, and it shows how much the British ruling elites regard themselves as under siege from a dehumanised untermenschen in their midst. It is fear and hatred of the poor that feeds the current Tory mentality and drives their policy.

    The city financial elite that the entire British state has now been bent to serve doesn’t pay enough tax to fund much or provide any sort of real jobs engine except for itself. The oil that has paid for everything from Trident to welfare is almost gone. Britain is now a hugely over-populated and resource depleted island. The ruling class is desperate to atomise, demoralise, demonise and control the masses. So they’ve created a huge, dictatorial and corrupt police force and combined it with a massive surveillance network (there are 11,000 cameras on the tube network alone).

    Eventually, their will be another explosion like the last London riots as politically unorganised mobs vent their frustrations. And then another crackdown, and another explosion and another crackdown… Until one day either a dystopian surevellance police state will exist in the UK, or some sort of new, quasi-communist doctrine will emerge that will overthrow the state.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      V for Vendetta

      My question is – what is the way to breakthrough this, to not only avoid the worst social and political economic outcomes, but to get to a point where real progressive change is made for the vast majority of people.

      I can’t see a plausible road ahead at this point.

      • muzza 2.1.1

        I can’t see a plausible road ahead at this point.

        There are various roads which can be taken, but there are not enough people who have any idea whats going on. They might be feeling the effects, or they might not, still too many are in the dark.

        Plausible roads ahead are blocked off ,until such time as NZ’ers become very visible, and vocal!

        Kiwis going down, no sign of a fight, hardly a punch thrown as yet!

        • tc 2.1.1.1

          +1 Muzza, we’ve never been well informed or thoughtful when it comes to how we vote, if we vote at all. Key winning in 08 speaks volumes for the atitude and gullibility of even the bluest of followers and yet they still think him and his henchmen have our best interests at heart.

          The frogs don’t even know the waters becoming warm with a fire and momentum under it that will take a huge groundswell to affect.

          Their greatest tool is having the MSM onside, I bet they never thought they’d be able to bully the lower levels and dismantle democracy in the way they have and plunder as easily also with SCF and ECAN being the most obvious examples.

          Depressing to think Key probably wouldve be cut to pieces over Tranzrail, blind trusts and his other lies by a half decent 4th estate and they would be ripping them apart over GCSB, TPP, solid energy, Tiwai and the power generator flog off revelling in all this great material supplied by Collins, brownlee, Bennett, etc.

          All of that and a toothless opposition led by the hollowmens first choice….ditherer DS.

          • red rattler 2.1.1.1.1

            No point bemoaning the MSM, they are the corporate media.
            Raising consciousness is the duty of the left, on blogs, rallies, marches, occupations etc.
            The big problem in NZ is to convince people that there is no way out with capitalism.
            The opportunities to become self-employed and then rich, the kiwi dream, is foreclosed except for a few in high tech who spin out of the unis or silicon garages but for how long?
            The system is going down and taking the planet with it. The only question is how long will it take?
            My pick is that the present divisions manufactured in the working class, and between Maori, Asians and the rest, is the biggest barrier to overcome, but that will happen when The NACTs devotion to profits at all costs drives us all up against CC.
            I don’t think that a slide into barbarism and extinction is inevitable.
            Once the majority loses its fear as we have seen happen many times in history, there is nothing standing between it the few parasites clinging onto power but a few mercenaries.

            • Ugly Truth 2.1.1.1.1.1

              The big problem in NZ is to convince people that there is no way out with capitalism.

              There’s a difference between capitalism and corporatism. Capitalism has a level playing field, but with corporatism you get taxpayer funded bailouts and emphasis on the master-slave model for employees.

        • xtasy 2.1.1.2

          muzza:

          “There are various roads which can be taken, but there are not enough people who have any idea whats going on. They might be feeling the effects, or they might not, still too many are in the dark.”

          People do not get information about what goes on. I recently spoke with my GP, who should bloody well have known a bit about the welfare reforms that are being pushed through under this National led dicta-government.

          In all honesty, he had NO idea, about 57,000 sickness beneficiaries going to be turned into “job-seekers” at the stroke of a pen (when the law will be assented). He had no idea about the reforms at all, not in detail, he had no information about the future harsh and to be outsourced assessments in UK style (ATOS Origin Healthcare).

          His comments shocked me, but ask anybody out in public, who is not that seriously interested in politics and in social issues, they also will not be able to tell you what is being passed through the Parliament as ‘Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill’.

          The reason is: The media have NOT at all reported on it, not since the bill was introduced last September. There is NO reporting, NO informing about what is involved, NO discussion, NO debate, NO mention in current affairs programs, NO articles in the print media.

          Last week right wing talk-back host Michael Laws only metioned briefly the welfare reforms, and all he mentioned was “drug testing”, “social obligations”, and nothing else. So this mischievous piece of human being did not even enlighten his listeners what else there was involved, after an email about this (sent to him) informed him of this.

          The key persons in the media are not interested, and those that make decisions, they do not even want to report on it, as they all are soft on Key and government, are mindful of the prejudice they themselves nurtured against beneficiaries over so many years.

          And without media informing we have uninformed public and voters. Hence nothing will change as long as this goes on.

          • Mary 2.1.1.2.1

            Yes, and for the same reasons very few people have really bothered to familiarise themselves with the same sort of reforms that Labour pushed through. The difference here, though, is that the general public, importantly including your average run of the mill Labour voter, never got see what Labour, their “party of the Left”, was really capable of. Large numbers of traditional Labour supporters still think Labour is the party for the poor. How wrong they are.

      • Jenny 2.1.2

        I can’t see a plausible road ahead at this point.

        Colonial Viper

        I can

        CV you ask; “what is the way to breakthrough this”.

        CV, The only hard part is deciding where to start. There is so much good stuff in Karol’s post.

        An opposition party only need to pick up on any one part of it to make gains.

        For instance, this bit;

        …..the biggest survey of deprivation across the UK, found that a third of adults now suffer from some form of financial insecurity, with more than a quarter admitting they can neither save £20 a month nor put money away for a pension.

        I would say, that it not that different here. (probably, for even more than a quarter)

        The Labour Party for instance could make a public announcement that they are planning to dump their controversial neo-liberal plan to raise the age of retirement.

        Will they do it?

        Not likely, as people like Rob and yourself all fall into line behind this policy coming down from the top.

        What about the environment. Here is another good piece of policy direction in which the opposition parties could differentiate themselves from the government and pick up votes. Karol points out, rightly; That the piecemeal nature of the government attacks on DoC are similiar in strategy to how the British Tories are breaking down social provision everywhere. That this attack is all part of a whole. National is actually waging an undeclared war on the environment on behalf of those who wish to despoil it.

        Labour could make a stand here as well. Publicly denouncing National’s war on the environment. And declaring that they will reverse the cuts in DoC that have resulted in the current (and previous), round of lay offs.

        At the same time also announce that a Labour led administration will reverse the repressive anti protest laws that are nothing but another part of National’s assault on civil liberties on behalf of the polluters which is all part of the National Government’s undeclared war on the environment.

        Just these two simple things would create a huge uproar in the media and the blogosphere. That would clearly differentiate the opposition from the government in the public’s eyes.

    • Plan B 2.2

      A fantastic post, well argued. I even bothered to look up ‘untermenschen’

      Untermensch (German for under man, sub-man, sub-human; plural: Untermenschen) is a term that became infamous when the Nazi

      Would question this point. about overpopulated, as I think the place looks overpopulated because the masses are kept in vast city ghettos rather than there being a real problem of space.

      • xtasy 2.2.1

        Plan B:

        If you want more info and enlightenment on mental “Untermenschen”, just tune into Radio Live between 09 am and midday, when a Michael Laws “entertains” a fair number of such specimen. He is the “Untermensch” Leader and manipulator, par excellence. Never ever would you dream of the lowest levels of human thought, emotion and views to be found, that are there, until you start listening in to his show!

        • gnomic 2.2.1.1

          In fresh news to hand I’m afraid ‘Lawsie’ has left the building to follow a new career path. And the replacement is … tada! Sean ‘I’m Significant Me’ Plunkett, formerly of National Radio. Where he was rather annoying at times with his relentless attack dog approach to the art of interviewing. So far I have learned that Sean is by his own description “a charming drunk.” Fascinating. As opposed to a belligerent drunk you see. Ah well, something else not to listen to. Except perhaps once in while to briefly sample the thoughts of the mighty mainstream.Some predict Sean will take listeners from National Radio with its Nine to Noon offering. Only time will tell on that one.

          As for Lawsie, at least that’s over. It was occasionally interesting as a study in abnormal pyschology. Where do all these legends in their own lunchtime come from? Maybe the reason why so many of the radio commentariat are asshats is that only an asshat would want to do it. You can always tune to 1ZB if you need an egotistical ignoramus for your listening pleasure.

  3. johnm 4

    The Artist Taxi driver:
    SNOW; Tory/Coalition Britain like a bewitched Narnia always Winter but never Christmas :-( :-( :-(

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GI6hzlcyQtE&list=UUGThM-ZZBba1Zl9rU-XeR-A&index=6

    Plenty money for the private predatory banks taken from the Public’s commonwealth. :-(

    “They can afford to waste billions of tax payers money yet they can’t afford to feed the poor or the sick, the disabled and the elderly!, this government is not for the people, they are for themselves the Nazi Swines!!!!!”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3uAPwn3t9Y&list=UUGThM-ZZBba1Zl9rU-XeR-A

  4. RedBaronCV 5

    The tipping point like Margaret Thatcher’s poll tax?

  5. johnm 6

    “Big London Protests Against Austerity”

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=9018

    “”Are such mobilizations enough to stop the cuts?”Good question.
    In my view, no.
    Until enough people recognize the necessity for a simple, clear, focused solution to this crisis, then the resistance will continue to drift between a hundred different “solutions” which will ultimately prove to be no solution, (as the conditions for a radical swing of the masses to the right gathers steam).
    Yet the solution to this social crisis, (and practically all others for the last 100+ years) has always been the same: arrest the top 1% and confiscate their wealth; take back the monetary system from the banksters, and cancel the public debt for the fraud that it is.
    Simple concept that near-everybody understands; but very hard to implement because of the well-armed and financed Elite that would oppose it tooth and nail, and because the vast majority is not prepared to face the full implications of reality, (including most “progressives” it seems).
    “We” are not yet prepared to give up our lives, (non-violently) to the cause of truth.
    Alas, those not prepared to face reality are destined to have reality imposed”

  6. Phil 7

    http://youtu.be/pFCkG9UJGjc
    Max and Stacy, telling it like it is…again

    • kiwi_prometheus 7.1

      Max is my hero.

    • xtasy 7.2

      So fuck the beneficiaries, having to cut and tighten the belts, to go and look for non existing work and jobs, and otherwise commit suicide, while property owners in debt get offered government bail-outs of a questionable nature.

      Welcome corrupt right wing, Anglo Saxon, bull-shit finance and economic policies.

      And Kiwis vote for the same bullshit kind of government here, damned, what a disgusting ignorance!

      • kiwi_prometheus 7.2.1

        What choice have they got?

        Its either Slimy Keys or the equally ideologically bankrupt Marxist/Socialist/Lesbian Liberationists.

        So of course they are flocking to Keys.

        Sigh.

        • Ugly Truth 7.2.1.1

          They have the choice between civil government and the law of the land aka common law.

          • Mary 7.2.1.1.1

            “They have the choice between civil government and the law of the land aka common law.”

            What are you trying to say? What does “civil government” mean? “Law of the land”, whatever you mean, isn’t just common law. It includes all “law of the land”, including statute law. So what do you mean when you say people have a “choice” between what ever “civil government” means, and law (i.e. statute and common law)? Enlighten us.

        • xtasy 7.2.1.2

          KP – a bit of a ridiculous cop out argument you deliver. What about voting Mana or Greens, what about starting a NEW, real progressive, NEW LEFT PARTY???

  7. Dv 8

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Salisbury-School-Closure-in-disguise/tabid/367/articleID/291882/Default.aspx

    Here is a disgraceful example

    The Govt lost a legal battle to close Salsburry

    BUT

    The committe to recommend pupils now only has MOE members

    AND

    There have been no recommendations for enrolment this year.

    Closure by starvation.

    Disgraceful.

    • Yes, it’s stealth bombing in the political sphere – under the radar stuff.

      As I mentioned in another post, Colin James has claimed that Ministers are already privately boasting about this tactic.

      It is a form of ‘radical incrementalism’ dressed up as pragmatism. All the supposedly ‘pragmatic’ decisions just happen to head in the same ideological direction, cumulatively producing the desired result. In addition, the size of the ‘increments’ has been ramped up over time to accelerate the process while still not ‘scaring the voters’.

      Clever, but a very deceptive approach to politics when you don’t make clear the destination you have in mind and that you hope becomes locked in by your incremental, structural and technical changes.

      As well as being morally repugnant it undermines the very idea of democracy as an open and transparent debate over fundamental ideas and values.

      The current government has attempted to make this tactic an art form.

      • aerobubble 8.1.1

        One way to create consent is to reverse the timing of events. For example, Austerity policies in the UK preceding rather than following the UK riots would have had a whole different outcome.

        Now imagine the newsspeak media doing that to real events, say the attack by N.Korea on a boat, is brought forward to after N.Korea’s declaration of war. It could be used as documented proof of an attack, to garner massive public support for a war on N.Korea.

        This is why we can’t trust the media, Murdoch papers played with the truth about Saddam’s WMDs to invade Iraq.

        The west is no longer free in the full sense of the term while media-government-industry work together for their interests at the expense of the people. Poverty should not be happening in the world, starvation, diseases long since cured running rampant, etc. We gave our economy to bankers and they sowed up compliance of the media-govt-industry with lavish cash hordes.

    • johnm 8.2

      Hi DV
      This government is hell bent on ruining the public commonwealth in all respects and substituting a privatised predatory bank funded profit oriented system where they’ll just sit back and watch without any responsibility to the people of New Zealand, until finally NZ becomes N$Z, a money grubber’s paradise. :-(. Salisbury is an example. They really have 100% loyalty to the business shark side of things people don’t matter.

  8. millsy 9

    I have always thought that Thatcher had her limits and knew where to stop.

    Cameron doesnt.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Thatcher had very powerful political enemies eg the mining unions. Cameron doesn’t have that constraint.

    • xtasy 9.2

      The loss of an empire and privilege make for a nasty mix of resentment, and here we have it, the upper class and privileged in the UK, once again, dishing out against the weak and poor, to show they can “survive”. For damned shit sake, start another LONDON BURNING!

      • The Al1en 9.2.1

        “For damned shit sake, start another LONDON BURNING!”

        Or give the leaderless someone to follow and their votes will burn much brighter and longer than any lawlessness ever will.

        And loss of empire as a motive for bene bashing, do they teach that in the colonies? Is that why the nats and Shearer do it?
        As always it’s about money, who owns it, who wants to keep it and who wants more of it.
        Just greed and an easy target to scapegoat all the way to the bank.

  9. big bruv 10

    “so goes democracy, social security and a fair and functional economy and society.”

    Lol….

    A fair and functional society would be one where every member of that society took personal responsibility for their actions. A fair society would be one that took the attitude that to be on a benefit is something to be ashamed of, something that made the beneficiary strive to get off and find there own form of legitimate income.

    The trouble with the left is that you people keep telling the bludgers that it is their right to be on a benefit, that they have “entitlements” when the only entitlement that society should expect from parasites is for them to work, pay tax and contribute to society.

    • One Tāne Huna 10.1

      The trouble with wingnut trash is illustrated perfectly by the likes of Capill, Garrett and Banks.

      Look at this creep, calling fellow citizens “parasites”. What a low-life.

    • kiwi_prometheus 10.2

      “the only entitlement that society should expect from parasites is for them to work, pay tax and contribute to society.”

      LOL

      big bruv it is the ultra rich and the global corporations who don’t pay their tax contributing to public deficits.

      Is engaging in criminal activity like laundering Mexican drug cartel proceeds considered ‘work’ by you? If not, none of the ultra rich banksters like JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon are working.

      Is collapsing entire economies with financial manipulation, shoving 100 000 000s of people into financial hardship or poverty “contributing to society”?

      big bruv, the ultra rich seem to think it is their right to trash democracies and economies.

      And all you right whingers can come up with is benefit bashing.

    • xtasy 10.3

      big bruv or “big bluff”?

      “A fair society would be one that took the attitude that to be on a benefit is something to be ashamed of, something that made the beneficiary strive to get off and find there own form of legitimate income.”

      You should be bloody ashamed for bludging off the public of NZ by ripping them off as a selfish workaholic on a too low tax rate, who wants to make sick and disabled suffer and be pushed to self harm and suicide.

      Here you go on again about your paranoia, phobia and madness, “parasites”, “parasites” and more “parasites”. The biggest parasites there are is people with a mindset you propose.

      Have you not phoned the help line to see a counsellor yet, as I strongly advised you to do?

    • Plan B 10.4

      big bruv
      where to start? Of course you are right, when will we get the bludgers off welfare. Why did we bail out South Canterbury Finance? Why did we bail out leaky home owners why all this fuss about the red zone. Why vcan’t these people stand on their own two feet. If they can’t stand up to predatory insurance companies with deep pockets then that is there problem. It has nothing to do with us.

      Why do we allow a complete lack of real competition in sector after sector of our economy. Why is the side show of people on benefits allowed to dominate all discussions about welfare. The welfare they get is a pittance when contrasted with welfare for insiders?

      Do you know that 60 ‘insider firms get 30 million a year from NZTE that the funds are handed out in such a way that makes it almost impossible to find out who got what and why?

      In sector after sector you see , low or zero competition sanctioned by government. in each of these areas you get, low competition, low innovation, low investment, and high profits for those inside the tent.

      NZ is being squeezed to death not by people on benefits that we can see but by corporate interests on benefits that we can’t see. People are on benefits because it suits some people to keep them there. To keep wages down at the margin. To help us live in fear of a feral underclass.

      Take your brilliant statement.

      The trouble with the left is that you people keep telling the bludgers that it is their right to be on a benefit, that they have “entitlements” when the only entitlement that society should expect from parasites is for them to work, pay tax and contribute to society.

      If you only aimed that statement at the real bludgers you would gain a lot more from the insight.

      People on welfare need an economy that needs them. We have to invest in our own people. If we do not then what is the point of democratic capitalism? Our only purpose in life is to tend and nuture the next generation. The fact that in modern society parasitic, sociopaths can prey on the population at large is something we have to recognise and act against in our own best interests.

      Our investmenst as a society should be in our own, through our school system, our sport, our parks, our local environments, our health system. We have to over invest in areas that many people have trouble investing in for whatever reason.

    • millsy 10.5

      There was nothing to stop you from drawing up a private members bill to chop the social safety net when you were in Parliament, David. Why didnt you do so? Would have had a better chance for getting public support than posting on here…

    • Brian 10.6

      It has always amazed me, why it is that when Tories hate benificiaries so much, they always end up creating thiousands more.
      As for your parasites comment it merely demonstrates what a twat you are.

    • Ugly Truth 10.7

      A fair and functional society would be one where every member of that society took personal responsibility for their actions.

      Personal responsibility has strings attached, it implies that an obligation is owed to the state, which isn’t always the case. A just society would be one in which every member was responsible for their own.

      • karol 10.7.1

        In my view, a just society is one where people are socially responsible; ie have some responsibility for the way others in the society are treated.

        • Ugly Truth 10.7.1.1

          I agree that it benefits society when there is some kind of mechanism to assist the less well off. What I’m wary of is this mechanism being overused or hijacked for political ends.

          I’m wary of assumed responsibility, it’s too easy to abuse IMO.

          • karol 10.7.1.1.1

            I’m wary of a focus solely on self-responsibility – too easy to become just about a selfish, “what’s in it for me? – damn the rest of you” approach: one that ignores the fact that humans are social beings in societies that require extensive collaboration with those beyond the home fire.

  10. kiwi_prometheus 11

    The UK IS MORE BANKRUPT THAN CYPRUS.

    EVERY BANK (aka crime syndicates) IN THE WEST INCLUDING THE RESERVES IS INSOLVENT.

    Even Marx couldn’t have dreamed this up in his wildest dialectical materialist wet dream!

    EXTEND AND PRETEND, it is just a matter of time…

  11. johnm 12

    ‘I could live on £53 a week’: Iain Duncan Smith defends welfare cuts claiming new system will let people ‘break free’ of benefits

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2302343/I-live-53-week-Iain-Duncan-Smith-defends-welfare-cuts-claiming-new-let-people-break-free-benefits.html

    ‘Not with the lifestyle you expect you pompous prat and it’s not just one week it’s every week. God I despise these rich idiots they truly have no idea.’

    ‘Yes —–He probably could live for ONE week on £53—just for show—— Let him try to live for TWO YEARS on £53 a week ——That would soon shut him up.’

    ‘Really? What rubbish, he has no idea of what a struggle it is. I would love to see him try. My husband has just got a job earning £18k per year, he comes out with just over £1k a month which is not enough to cover our mortgage, bills, food and our old car. I can’t get a job, have been trying for over 6 months but only one interview, because of my age and medical history. My ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) has been stopped because my husband works over 24 hours per week so I now have to ask him for money for my sanitary towels. It is like going back to Victorian times. I hate the smug arrogance of politicians like IDS and Clegg who think they can live on the breadline or stay at home all day caring for children. They never had to and thus they have no idea.’

    ‘”But when challenged on whether he could live on £7.57 per day, Mr Duncan Smith replied: ‘If I had to, I would.”, But you and your parasitic cronies don’t have to! Not when as well as collecting your high salaries you continue to take, take take, from the taxpayers funding to pay for your second/third mortgages, food, fuel, dog food, holidays, pay for your parents, children’s pretentious lifestyle leaving the poor and vulnerable to go hungry, cold and without any life!! Time to remove these parasitic, freeloading sc+m from office!! Stand up and be counted!!!’

    ‘Why do people lump everyone together who are benefits has scroungers, drink and drug users! I lost my job and can’t get another I volunteer 16 hours a week to contribute back into society! I get sick of being called horrible names because a few give the rest a bad name!’

    ‘Another rich boy plonker living in cloud cuckoo land.!!!! Prove it, but then I don’t suppose you have the courage to. Ridiculous little man, paid far too much.’

    ‘Fine, Mr Smith. Give me a job now – I desperately want one! I speak languages, I have degree and certificates as well as years of experience, I work as a volunteer for over 30 hours a week so I am not afraid of work, I am smart, reliable and hard working. Where is the payed job you are telling me someone does not want, Mr Smith? I am here and ready to start this job tomorrow morning at 8 am.’

    ‘Seems a rather strange comment to make from a man who was embroiled in a scandal years ago when the charge against him was that he was fleecing the public purse when paying his wife to carry out so called “secretarial ” duties.’

    • millsy 12.1

      Hmph.

      Cabinet ministers always say “I can live on that” when they cut benefits.

      Earlier this year, the Australian families minister, Jenny someone or rather, she said that she could live on 240-something a week, and our own Katherine O’Reagan, back in the dark and horrible 1990′s, reckoned she could live on a newly slashed DPB.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.1

        As long as they’ve stocked their fridge up with Veuve the week before

        • xtasy 12.1.1.1

          As long as the wealthy or at least employed rellies and mates are around to chip in, to keep the courage up, to lobby for a job through the network. Those that are up the top have those damned networks and also old boys and girls ones, they would never have to suffer longer term benefit dependence.

          Have you heard of any MP for instance, who has ended up on the scrap heap, in a Housing NZ house to be taken off them at some stage, struggling on UB, SB or IB, or also DPB for any longer period?

          No, the only one who may have some real life experience on benefit life and survival is Sue Bradford. She though takes a stand, no others do, not even the left of the Labour brigade or of the Greens!!!

      • aerobubble 12.1.2

        With savings and some assets (a home), and no car, freeze in winter, its entirely possible without any outgoings like friends, family, or hobbies, to live on the benefit. Its not a life unless you are a hermit whose self identity comes from things intellectual, so no politician could survive as they are noted social people who crave attention. And as anyone, anyone but a politician, would recognize, we live in a society where money is necessary for social activity. A human right, to food, housing, health AND social connection. But hey, lets just turn a sector of society into a open concentration camp, deprived of basic human needs.

        • Colonial Viper 12.1.2.1

          An open concentration camp? Shit dude, why not make it an actual concentration camp? You know, with poor people in their own isolated suburbs etc. Oh look, that’s happening in AKL right now…

      • Colonial Weka 12.1.3

        “Katherine O’Reagan, back in the dark and horrible 1990′s, reckoned she could live on a newly slashed DPB.”

        It was Jenny Shipley, and she lived on the DPB for two weeks, just to prove that it could be done. Unfortunately she failed to realise that she had proved just that – that one can live on the DPB for two weeks :roll: The media seems particularly dense as well.

    • rosy 12.2

      Who’s the National MP from the 90s who wrote up menus to show it was possible to feed your kids properly on a benefit?

      Said she’d live on it for a month but then reneged because she was ill and it wouldn’t be good for her health.

  12. Russell 13

    Austerity? When did the government stop borrowing billions a year to fund existing spending?

    • karol 13.1

      Austerity for the least well off, more money for NAct’s cronies.

    • trickldrown 13.2

      from 2000 till 2007 Russell and even Cullen managed to save money by taxing the well off!
      Austerity has forced chancellor Osborne to admit that his borrowings have gone up as opposed to going down as he had promised when he started his austerity program!
      Even Osbourne backers big business have lambasted Osbournes failings!
      Reagans chief econmic adviser has taken to G W Bushes shambolic destruction of the US economy during his reign (huffington post )

  13. johnm 14

    Monbiot comments on the U$K Austerity class war on the poor. :-(

    “With a most inhuman cruelty, they who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them of their blindness.” This government, whose mismanagement of the economy has forced so many into the arms of the state, blames the sick, the unemployed, the underpaid for a crisis caused by the feral elite – and punishes them accordingly. Most of those affected by the bedroom tax, introduced today, are disabled. Thousands will be driven from their homes, and many more pushed towards destitution. Relief for the poor from council tax will be clipped; legal aid for civil cases cut off. Yet at the end of this week those making more than £150,000 a year will have their income tax cut.

    Two days later, benefit payments for the poorest will be cut in real terms. A week after that, thousands of families who live in towns and boroughs where property prices are high will be forced out of their homes by the total benefits cap. What we are witnessing is raw economic warfare by the rich against the poor.”

    Seventy years ago, in the United Kingdom, the transformative idea was freedom from want and fear through the creation of a social security system and a National Health Service. It swept a Labour government to power which was able, despite far tougher economic circumstances than today’s, to create a fair society from a smashed, divided nation. This is the achievement which – through a series of sudden, spectacular and unmandated strikes – Cameron’s government is now demolishing.

    “A basic income removes the stigma of benefits while also breaking open what politicians call the welfare trap: because taking work would not reduce your entitlement to social security, there would be no disincentive to find a job: all the money you earn is extra income. The poor are not forced by desperation into the arms of unscrupulous employers: people will work if conditions are good and pay fair, but will refuse to be treated like mules. It redresses the wild imbalance in bargaining power that the current system exacerbates. It could do more than any other measure to dislodge the emotional legacy of serfdom. It would be financed by progressive taxation: in fact it meshes well with land value tax.”

    http://www.monbiot.com/2013/04/01/the-spark-of-hope/

  14. johnm 15

    ‘Millionaire Tories take benefits from millions: How Dare They’
    ‘A blizzard of cuts is set to rob billions from people on benefits this month.

    Ministers with spare mansions think they can punish poor people for having spare bedrooms.

    The MPs who fleeced their expenses say disabled people are scroungers.

    “I’m actually afraid to sit down and figure out the impact the bedroom tax will have on me,” said Marion Nisbet in Glasgow. “My benefits are being cut while my rent is going up.’

    http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=31016

    The NHS under privatisation attack:
    http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=31029

    A simple fact about the market: The market that John Yankee subscribes to doesn’t give a flying fuck if YOU end up in the workhouse. :-( That is the market’s history.

  15. johnm 16

    ‘The Tory offensive on benefits enrages poor’

    ‘The millionaire Tories running the government are on the rampage.

    This week they launched the biggest offensive in generations against the welfare state and the lives of working class people.

    They declare this is not solely about saving money. In fact Tory millionaire and baron George Osborne has the gall to claim that benefits “trap people in poverty” and that the cuts will help them.

    So what’s his answer to the trap of poverty? To cut welfare and make the poor even poorer.’

    http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=31018

    The Artist taxi driver http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-4NYsPJN_8&list=UUGThM-ZZBba1Zl9rU-XeR-A&index=21

  16. johnm 17

    Margaret Thatcher’s Legacy

    “”We understood the Conservative government’s determination to use the state machine against us. In order to dismember the welfare state, they had to break the trade union movement and they needed to break the miners first.” – Mick McGahey, Vice President of the National Union of Mineworkers 1972-87.”

    Confer John Yankee’s attacks on what’s left of our own unionised workforce: The teachers and Port Workers.
    ‘With an economy no longer underpinned by manufacturing, but by finance capital, speculation, hedge funds, credit derivatives and all manner of secretive dodgy dealings that eventually hit the fan, ordinary folk are now being saddled with paying off the debt incurred by covering the losses of those who indulged in such criminality. What price a sound manufacturing infrastructure and decent wages and jobs now? ‘

    ‘During the Thatcher years, as Britain de-industrialised, mass unemployment kicked in. Britain witnessed a spiraling gap between rich and poor. Thatcher’s legacy is a banking crisis coupled with a vulnerable and weak economy, worklessness, unemployment, consequent social breakdown and a pervasive greed culture of me-first acquisitive individualism, the effects of which are so graphically witnessed in our towns and cities today: a descent into drugs, alcohol, crime, community breakdown, fear for personal safety, youth offending and a range of other social problems. According to a study by York University in 2006, British children were among the unhappiest and unhealthiest in Europe. A UNICEF report came to similar conclusions: children growing up in the United Kingdom suffer greater deprivation, worse relationships with their parents and are exposed to more risks from alcohol, drugs and unsafe sex than those in any other wealthy country in the world.’

    Basically a country that doesn’t look after its own people eventually goes to sh*t . That is the route asset stripper John yankee is doing here: he can retire to Hawaii. :-(

    Thatcher’s destruction was covered up by the oil bonanza of the North Sea. Now that’s going going gone the sh*t is hitting the fan in ole U$K.

    • aerobubble 17.1

      Riots bad. I noted when the UK riots took place that they seem odd, almost as if some group had needed to back burn social unrest. Now people know the consequences of rioting there is less likelihood of them taking place. Which is good. But it does chime into the new government timetable of introducing austerity.

  17. johnm 18

    “British people are committing suicide to escape poverty. Is this what the State wants?”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2117718/British-people-committing-suicide-escape-poverty-Is-State-wants.html

    “Anxious wait: Thousands of sick and disabled people are waiting to hear whether the DWP considers them fit to work – even though some have been given mere months to live”

    “it is very clear that Cameron and Co are guilty of mass genocide to the amount of 11,000 deaths. will he learn when millions take to the streets, there is going to be civil unrest on a scale that has never been seen in the uk before, with every tory and libdem council, mp, atos and dwp the brunt of uk citizens anger. the queen needs to remove these fools now. they are not fit for purpose. she is the only one that can do so. Has everybody forgotten that mad woman thatcher wrecked this country and cameron is going to completely destroy it”

    “Unfortunately I’m one of these unlucky people. I use a crutch at all times and I have nerve damage and a twisted knee cap and I’m still under the hospital, I have been advised another operation is needed. Yet, somehow I’ve been deemed fit for work, yes I’d love to work but I suffer with mobility problems – which quite frankly wasn’t assessed at my ATOS assessment. I’m unable to socialise and the only means of socialisation I have is with close family and the internet, however, this is one of the causes why I’m apparently fit for work – how do I get there? And the DWP have cut my finances by £150 a fortnight. I study online, and now I’m going to struggle to access my study needs as I won’t have the financial support I had previously. This is another reason why I gained zero points, for studying – but it’s in my own home, on a computer and I am unable to attend tutorials. Well, I thought proving that I actually do something proactive would go in my favour, how wrong I was. ”

    “My benefits are due to stop at the end of April. I have received a phone call to confirm this. I have done this before, but this is my list of medical problems. How can I work? There’s no possible way I can. I did for 22 years until I became too ill to. This government is casting aside the sick and disabled, it is cruel and evil. DIABETIC AUTONOMIC NEUROPATHY (GASTRIC, CAUSING UNPREDICTABLE AND SEVERE DIARRHOEA), GASTROPAERESIS (CAUSING UNPREDICTABLE AND SEVERE BOUTS OF VOMITING), DIABETIC RETINOPATHY, PARTIALLY SIGHTED (LOSS OF PERIPHERAL VISION IN BOTH EYES AND SOME CENTRAL VISION IN LEFT EYE), NEWLY DISCOVERED HEART CONDITION (NEEDS TO BE INVESTIGATED WITH ANGIOGRAM SO IT CAN BE RIGHTED), CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE- Egfr – 11 (BEING PLACED ON LIST FOR KIDNEY/PANCREAS TRANSPLANT), VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY, ANAEMIA, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, HIGH CHOLESTEROL, UNDERACTIVE THYROID, CHRONIC TIREDNESS DUE TO COMBINATION OF MULTIPLE MEDICAL CONDITIONS, ASTHMA”

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      It’s only a matter of time before people self-immolate in UK town squares and in front of government buildings

  18. johnm 19

    “Fine, our IDS petition is a ‘stunt’ – a stunt to shame the oblivious aristocrats

    So far 350,000 have challenged Iain Duncan Smith to show he really can live on £53 a week. No wonder he seems rattled”

    “While I really would like to see Duncan Smith trying to live as he obliges others to live, I suppose you could call our petition a stunt, if you mean an act whose purpose is to draw attention to something. It highlights the hypocrisy of a government of millionaires which arraigns the profligacy of the poor. It dramatises the character of a government which, insulated by inherited wealth, accuses people living on a few pounds a day of suffering from a “culture of entitlement”.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/global/2013/apr/03/iain-duncan-smith-petition-ids-stunt

  19. johnm 20

    “There will be much more of that soon. You can only kick people so far till they turn and hit back. …even if the target for revenge are not really the ones to blame.
    I know it’s irrational to attack people just because of their accent, but the class war being created by this government and the Daily Mail means millions of people are being attacked for simply being, unlucky, poor and disabled. They will hit back!
    Welcome to the world the rich and privileged have created, best book your place in a gated community asap.”

    Don’t get mad about the Mail’s use of the Philpotts to tarnish the poor – get even

    Thirty years of widening inequality stoked by post-2010 rhetoric have built a Tory Narnia riven by distrust. It doesn’t have to be like this

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/apr/03/dont-get-mad-about-use-of-philpotts-tarnish-poor

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2303120/Mick-Philpott-vile-product-Welfare-UK-Derby-man-bred-17-babies-milk-benefits-GUILTY-killing-six.html

    • karol 20.1

      It is very disturbing to see how the class war is developing under Cameron’s Tories.

      I don’t think the class war was created by them, but they are certainly intensifying it. From the 50s – late 70s, the working classes made inroads into decreasing the inequalities and animosity between classes. But even when I was living there, up to the mid 90s, speech was still a significant marker of class that people attended to.

      For the less well-off classes, their language was often embraced as a marker of class solidarity, while the upper classes used it to reinforce their sense of entitlement. Those of us born and raised in non-England, English language countries, often fell outside this division – Kiwis, Aussies, Scots, Irish, Welsh, etc. Though for the upper classes, the Aus & NZ accents were often seen as being a bit uncouth like working class accents.

      The Philpott case, and the way it is used to demonise all beneficiaries, is chilling.

      Thanks for the links, johnm.

  20. Mike S 21

    More on UK austerity, possibility of general strike? (not likely but would be awesome)

    Sorry if link already posted, didn’t have time to read through all posts.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/britains-biggest-unions-put-weight-behind-plan-for-general-strike-8559027.html

  21. Walter 22

    The only party to vote for is the National party, because all labour governments sell the hard working tax payers out to dry while providing every thing from housing to food for the non working. no wonder every country thats had a labour government was broke at the end of their term.

    People should get ahead by there own actions not on the tail of the tax payer.

    • lprent 22.1

      Unfortunately, you have just revealed yourself as being a political moron about NZ (and probably everywhere else.).

      The 4th Labour government stopped the ever rising debt level caused by Muldoon and his National government who’d raised so much debt that the country was in danger of defaulting on debts to the IMF.

      The 5th Labour government dropped the debt down to virtually nothing, but has been followed a pack of spendthrift bozo’s who are raising the countries debt by millions of dollars per day.

      But don’t let reality get in the way of your fantasies. I’m also *sure* that sure that the image you’re watching on the screen is really in love with you and really is sighing at the size of…..

      Ummm. Fantasy addicts – whatever will they think of next eh?

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    Public Address | 17-04
  • Judith Collins: guess who’s coming to dinner?
    Judith Collins, Justice Minister, is playing dumb in parliament at question time and avoiding media. Her patronising responses, or non-responses, to allegations of corrupt influence is not becoming of a Cabinet Minister.  Her abuse of the House by criticising questions...
    Tumeke | 17-04
  • Can fracking save the climate?
    Blogging is a great way MPs can communicate and engage with citizens about the issues facing us. I have joined The Daily Blog blogging team and have so far posted on Anadarko’s failure to find oil and a piece outlining...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • New Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Labour’s manufacturing plan
    David Cunliffe has launched Labour's policy to get more manufacturing jobs back in New Zealand: Labour leader David Cunliffe launched the policy to an Auckland business audience this morning, adding the depreciation and procurement policies to the known suite of...
    Polity | 17-04
  • Easter PT shutdown
    It’s Easter weekend and that invariably means the rail network is shut down for works. Auckland Transport advises the rail network will be closed for Easter and there are changes to timetables for buses and ferries during the holiday break....
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • Another perspective on the postgraduate allowance cuts
    I have already shared two stories from psychology students about how the postgraduate allowance cuts have affected them. These stories demonstrate the widespread impact the changes are having. Here is yet another story I have received, this one giving the...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • Against secret "justice" in NZ
    Last year, in response to a series of court cases challenging its control orders or claiming compensation for human rights abuses by its intelligence services, the UK passed the Justice and Security Act 2013. The Act introduces a "Closed Material...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Massey chancellor sets up company in opposition to university
    Massey Chancellor Chris Kelly will chair the board of a company that intends to be New Zealand’s largest private training provider (PTE)...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Gibbs, Hayek, Canterbury and the free market for degrees
    The New Zealand Herald notes that philanthropist Alan Gibbs is about to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury today. One of the many institutions Alan Gibbs has donated his money to...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store Day
    As readers will know, I have long embraced the internet music revolution. The ability to discover and download new things pretty much as they're being made has reinvented and refreshed my lifelong relationship with popular music. But I still really...
    Public Address | 16-04
  • Great Sorkin Parody
    Aaron Sorkin (SportsNight, The West Wing, The Newsroom) makes a very particular style of TV. Some good parts to that, some really silly parts. Amy Schumer' Comedy Central parody of Sorkin is pitch-prefect and hilarious. Enjoy: Inside Amy SchumerGet More:...
    Polity | 16-04
  • Photographic proof
    Deborah asked for a picture of my bicycle, after I wrote about it, and there is now one in existence which even includes me riding it along Mt Albert Rd, thanks to a dear friend who drove past me and...
    The Hand Mirror | 16-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive politics should work in the post global financial crisis environment....
    Labour | 20-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Why Easter holidays should always be mandatory and retail free
    The moaning from retailers that they can’t open the cash registers and worship the consumer culture of consumption over Easter bores me immensely because I’ve always believed that public holidays should be mandatory. It’s not that I really care about...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Tariana Turia: Labour doesn’t deserve our vote
    Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that Labour doesn’t deserve the Maori vote. ‘I don’t believe they deserve our vote any more....
    Scoop politics | 20-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
    Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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