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‘Mind the Gap” – the way forward

Written By: - Date published: 11:06 am, August 30th, 2013 - 75 comments
Categories: benefits, child welfare, class war, cost of living, david cunliffe, democratic participation, grant robertson, greens, housing, jobs, labour, mana, Metiria Turei, poverty, tax, uncategorized, unemployment, Unions, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

Last Night TV3 showed a very important documentary by Bryan Bruce: important because it put before the general population the damaging impact of income inequality in a clear and straightforward manner. Preview:

At the moment the documentary, Inside New Zealand: Mind the Gap:A Special Report on Inequality  is available onemand on TV3’s website.

Zombie economics

As I have already commented:

The doco didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know. But I think it’ll be news for a lot of Kiwis. It’ll be news many Kiwis will either not accept, or forget about once they get back to their daily activities.

However, it’s the steady drip that changes cultural attitudes. The doco explained the issues clearly and in terms that are easy to understand. It supported the argument with visual images that are more likely to stay in people’s minds than words alone: the family living in tents, the guy keeping a record of his household’s budget, the graphs of wealth being sucked upwards while the middle-class is under pressure, the figures of benefit fraud compared with tax evasion, etc.

The doco needs to continue to be widely available so people can continually be reminded of the reality of a large income/wealth gap, the damage of a “me” society, and a need for a “we” society.

A 1 hour TV programme cannot present all the facts and evidence without sending people to sleep. The experts interviewed and stats presented indicate solid evidence behind the claims made in the programme:

NZ world leader in inequality

Inequality a New Zealand Crisis, Max Rashbrooke (ed)

Closing the Gap (NZ) on the evidence and claims in the book The Spirit Level.

Last year, Te Papa hosted a couple of forums on closing the gap between rich and poor.

Forum 1 September 2012:

At the beginning of Forum 2, Kim Hill summarises the ground overerd in the first forum October 2102:

A quick recap which Max Rashbrooke will flesh out in a moment. It’s simple really. The rich have got much richer, the poor have got much poorer. All the panel at the last session, traced the expansion of that gap back to the 1980s.  The directory of the Downtown Community Ministry Stephanie MacIntyre explicitly blamed what she called Rogernomics and Ruthanasia and she spoke about how complicated managing life is when you are poor.

Phillipa Howden Chapman health researcher reckoned that  former Telecom head Paul Reynolds earned (and I haven’t checked these numbers) 342 times the average income.  In Japan CEOs earn, she said, around 4 times the average income there, hence they have a more egalitarian society.  [?] Political journalist Colin James identified the problem as inter-generational and embedded disadvantage and he suggested considerable investment if needed to enhance social mobility.

Hill quotes a British columnist, Caitlan Moran, who said being on a benefit means you are always scared: scared that that your benefits will be cut or taken away.  Kaplan explained the main difference between being poor and being rich, which Hill quotes, thus,

When you’re poor you feel heavy: heavy like your limbs are full of water.  There is a lot more rain in your life when you are poor, she said, cheap [?], cheap houses go moldy, your cars break down you’ve got to walk, But really the heaviness comes from what she called the sclerosis of being broke, because when you’re poor nothing ever changes.  for generations passed down, like a drizzle or a blindness.

Forum two looks at solutions:

Professor Nigel Haworth, economist, (41 minutes) covered ways to address labour-market driven inequalities: beginning with the fundamental issue of economic policy settings that underpin a fairer labour market policies.  He ended talking about the need to (re)build a broad consensus to underpin a more social democratic solution to poverty.

Associate Professor Mike O’Brien (begins 53 minutes) from the University of Auckland, stressed the need for a shared community solution, especially in ending child poverty. He looked to policies of Nordic countries and said it was especially important to mend poverty for families on benefits.

The solutions clearly need a shift away from Rogernomics, towards policies that support, not undermine workers, as with the fairness at work campaign: to strengthen not undermine collective bargaining.  They require a more progressive taxation system.  And they require a reconstruction of the social security system, based on the notion that we are all responsible for those struggling in our society.

Both Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe commented on the Mind the Gap documentary on their Facebook pages:

Robertson:

Did you watch Inside New Zealand tonight? Inequality is holding us back socially and economically. Our economy must start working for all. That’s not a platitude – that’s a promise.

Cunliffe (focuses on work and wages):

Who else is tuning in to watch Bryan Bruce’s doco ‘Mind The Gap’ at 7:30 on TV3?

Remember the days when families could live off one income?

The graph shows a market failure which has made this near impossible for most families. We’re working harder and longer than ever before, but wages have remained flat. The failure of wages to keep up has meant many families are living in poverty. It hurts me to think that 270,000 kids live in poverty in this country. Part of the solution is a Living Wage for all Kiwi workers, and fairer workplace laws.

I’ll lead a government that is prepared to tackle this injustice head on.

Green MP Denise Roche blogs for the Fairness at Work campaign.

Metiria Turei leads the Green Party on their major policy plank: Mind the Gap.  This focuses on:

Fair Tax, Addressing Energy Poverty, Income Support (changes to, but not a massive overhaul of benefits),  and Housing (including increasing state housing).

The main focus of the Mana Party is on improving the lot of those on the lowest incomes.

Of all the possible solutions, I think building a new broad consensus is one of the main underlying ones, and the Mind The Gap documentary is one step in that direction.

75 comments on “‘Mind the Gap” – the way forward”

  1. Sable 1

    The real problem that many don’t want to face is that government in NZ is not benign. The main parties have been co-opted by the wealthy and greedy corporations which has led to declining standards of employment and not surprisingly, poverty.

    Worse still these same people are now engineering laws to silence opposition and monitor protesters/activists because they know damn well that opposition to this kind of behaviour is inevitable and will continue to grow.

    What I still find astounding is support still exists for these old, corrupt political parties.I wonder what it will take for people on the left and right of politics to see what is happening and change their minds?

    • johnm 1.1

      Sable
      100% right. :-)

    • aerobubble 1.2

      In a nutshell what happened was Saudi Oil started flowing after the 70s oil crisis, this massive amount of wealth could have flowed into building a sustainable future proofed world, going to Mars, building the next generation of energy, but instead the politics rejigged the western nation states to funnel that oil wealth into the hands of the finance sector. Who then declared that the wealth creation that was created from the ubiquitiousness of cheap high density fuels was actually their genius, their management of the economy, and here was a list of what next they needed to make us all rich… …privatization, deregulation… etc. Trust them.

      And then just as the markets realized that the era of cheap oil was over (and franking barely keeping us from the slump) the finance delusion collapsed, go figure. And left was the mess, badly run governments, deregulated to the bone, rent seekers taking unearnt profits from basic commodities, water, housing, food, etc.

      Now we enter the era reregulation, the renationalize (LabGreen energy fair energy prices), where those industries who fail to act responsibly in private hands will be taken back into government hands. So when the energy industry squawk how unfair Lab-Greens policy is, they are proof they are still deluded by neo-liberal eno-conservative hocus pocus, now-you-see-massive-wealth-now-here’s-the-debt-thank-you-for-playing.

      How do we change, well governments will target those in privated industry who promised to deliever better out comes but failed, like the Banks, and we will renationalize them fast and harder the more stupid their management think they are owe genius status. Those private companies that wise up and deliver on the promise that we will all get wealthier will keep the government dogs off for a while, and they hope long enough.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      +1

    • Polish Pride 1.4

      seriously – to effect real change that doesn’t simply rely on taking from one group and giving to another….who else is there!?!
      Their should be an option on ballot forms that says lost faith in the system or they’re all muppets so none of them thanks very much.

      • quinnjin 1.4.1

        @Polish P. There you are like a broken record PP, got anything else to say? Actually one group have been taking from everyone else for quite some time, and are as a result responsible for the shabby state of things the world over… it’s a bad joke, a bit like your mindless corporate propaganda drone comments. What we are concerned with here, is preventing a very small group taking from the vast majority, a million times more than they need or could ever reasonably want, via legalised theft legitimised by a corrupted political system, which is what they’ve been spending there ill gotten gains on. This is fact. Now deal with it, face reality, get your head out of your arse and quit your whining.

  2. johnm 2

    One clip really struck me in MtG, Bryan holds up a ten dollar note and shows how much wealth the top 10% have sucked up, he folds it in half! 50% is their share. Then he asks how much wealth has the bottom 10% got? He screws up the note to nothing, they have nothing! Meaning the other 80% are struggling over the remaining 50%.
    Another clip: there is $5,000,000,000 in tax evasion every year! Now if I’ve got this wrong please inform me.
    We have political leaders who are part and parcel of the problem and so bought in to this greed system they’re incapable of acting against it. NZ is a business not a community and business is profit obsessed.
    The 10% who have nothing are being attacked with a punitive sanctions regime to reduce the undeserving to destitution and begging on the streets.
    We have followed the NeoLiberal U$’s example, though not totally,that unhappy land is on the point of economic and social collapse and has only serf (service) sector low paid jobs to offer even its graduates.
    The ordinary struggling middle class Kiwi family, the backbone of our society in terms of cohesion and decency, is struggling to pay huge mortgages for houses whose value is outrageously inflated by a housing bubble generated by get rich by capital gain speculators, some of whom could have up to 10 rental properties. We have Governments who refuse to countenance a CGT to stop this madness and deflate the market to an affordable level.
    This mortgage finance comes from Australian banks and has caused an immense outflow of kiwi dollars in principal and interest into their coffers.
    The social wage for the poorer kiwi is relentlessly eroded, State housing entitlement, right to a benefit, job security, in a phrase community and decency replaced by greed for profit and wealth.
    One example of the looting of the public sphere I noticed is when a newsreader, Judy Bailey, was being paid a $1,000,000 a year for reading from a prepared script.
    The Commonwealth of all is being robbed blind with asset sales at the moment Power Companies.
    The next trick will be: now we’ve trashed the public treasury we can’t give you the services you always had in the past. e.g. shortages of nursing staff where family have to come into the hospital and wash patients themselves.
    The 10% are parasites, overpaid,overinflated, self important rentiers supported by the political class.

    • Sable 2.1

      Of course like trusts John the chief tax fiddlers are those at the top so they are not going to want any tightening up of tax laws that may see their fat asses land in jail or worse still might require them to pay their fair share.

    • geoff 2.2

      Morally, they don’t have a leg to stand on. The excuse is ‘everyone else was doing it’.

  3. Half Crown 3

    All excellent comments here so far, and thanks again Karol for your efforts

  4. Bill 4

    Like many, I wasn’t really told anything I didn’t already know. And I agree that the presentation was clear and accessible – which is a good thing. But whereas I had no problem with the analysis, the prescriptions are problematic.

    For example, micro-finance doesn’t work. All it does is kick-start tomorrow’s market advantage for some at the expense of others. In other words, it eventually recreates the problem it is seeking to overcome.

    Now sure, social democratic governance can certainly legislate to ameliorate some of the more damaging aspects of the market economy, so… it can develop fairer distribution through progressive taxes and it can ‘close the gap’ by setting up more equitable employment legislation.

    But at the end of the day the market’s internal dynamics, the ones that promote gross inequality and encourage/reward ‘less than desirable’ human traits, will continue to be asserted. And the day will come around again when they are elevated and ‘let loose’. A quick look at the Glass Steagall Act is kinda instructive. It took the banking industry and its lobbyists 60 years or so to overturn that limiting piece of legislation. It will not take them 60 years the next time.

    The old adage, that if one continues repeating the same actions while expecting a different result indicates madness, holds with economic actions as much as it does with any other. From the late 1800’s (or thereabouts) we have run our economy on market principles. Sometimes it’s been more regulated and sometimes less regulated. But the same old problems persist to some degree or other, regardless.

    If the market economy produces given problems, then it seems a no-brainer to understand that the market economy will not and cannot deliver a solution to the very problems it creates. We need a new economy – an economy based on different premises to those of the market economy. Anything less, as I’ve said above, will simply allow a situation to persist, where the worse aspects of the market economy will constantly seek to reassert themselves.

    • karol 4.1

      Yes, I can’t disagree with that, Bill. But in order for a total change, there needs to be a total change in the dominant attitudes. And while we are waiting for that to happen?

      I’d work on short and long term change at the same time.

      Rather a social democratic government than a zombie “neoliberal” one.

      Democratic socialism looks a long way off.

      • Bill 4.1.1

        I’d work on short and long term change at the same time

        Absolutely agree with that sentiment. I know that what I’ve said above is somewhat ‘ahead of the curve’ in terms of what is ‘permissible’ thought. Doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be said though. And meanwhile, of course I’m supportive of the changes and the break with neo-liberalism that David Cunliffe, as the next PM of NZ, will make. ;-)

      • Macro 4.1.2

        We have to change the way we measure “progress”. We have to re-evaluate just what we expect from our economic system. What is it that most people want? Is it more? Or is it Happiness? Mill and Bentham suggested a long time ago that the purpose of good government was to ensure the “greatest good for the greatest number”. I think we can all agree that that is what it is all about, and would add an inter-generational amendment – “for the longest time”.
        At present the conventional wisdom is that the purpose of Government is to grow the economic pie. Media, Economic Commentators, and Politicians from the left and the right worry about GDP growth. A dip is bad news and sends the markets into a spin, The hint that the number has gone up brings a smile to the news readers face. GDP has doubled and trebled over the years – but are the majority better off? The documentary shows that we aren’t. There is only one conclusion one can draw – the measure of economic success (GDP) is a flawed measure. At some point growing GDP ceases to improve the lives of the majority and becomes a burden just like any indulgent god.
        Bhutan has given up the goal of chasing GDP and instead has chosen to seek increasing Happiness for its citizens. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gross_national_happiness Obviously underlying true happiness is security, good food, shelter, and freedom from want and oppression.
        Whilst is important to chip away at the unfairness of our current system of growing inequality, we need to have some alternative in mind, and to that doesn’t mean BAU but just more so. To continue on our present path will not give us the results we so desperately want. We must also chip away at the prevailing conventional wisdom that continuing to grow the economic pie will result in bigger and better slices for all. Because it hasn’t!

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.3

        Democratic socialism looks a long way off.

        Actually, it doesn’t, when you think of how it can be practically applied. Bill’s favourite of housing co-operatives for instance.

        Financial, trade, shopping and farming co-ops and mutual organisations have been around in NZ for a very long time. Slightly modified structures which give employees meaningful democratic decision making in the business produce workable scales of “democratic socialism” immediately.

  5. TightyRighty 5

    all the people you’ve quoted couldn’t equalise a spirit level if their life depended on it. Now those in power are supposed to listen to their ideas on how to fix an economy that isn’t broken.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1

      The Lancet has got it all wrong. TightyRighty says so so it must be true.

    • beGone Craven SpyBill leopard 5.2

      @Tighty Righty,
      “An economy that isn’t broken”

      That is a seriously odd thing to say when we are having ongoing financial crises world-wide.

      How can you justify that comment?

    • Paul 5.3

      Zzzzz

  6. captain hook 6

    Have to agree.
    Most people in New Zealand need money to go to makoo peekoo or buy a new chainsaw or leaf blower.
    They aint poor at all really.
    Just mentally impoverished.

    • karol 6.1

      So, there’s plenty of evidence provided in the documentary, the Te Papa forums and other links, and all TR & the captain can say is, “It ain’t so”.

      Got any evidence to back that up?

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        It must be that we are all middle class now.

      • TightyRighty 6.1.2

        Yawn. Really? it’s not really evidence. It’s assertions by these people as to what the stat’s mean. Anyone who has studied stats knows that opposing opinions can be formed by the same statistic. it’s what gives us the joke, ask an economist for definitive answer and all they’ll say is that the sun may or may not come up tomorrow.

        You just happen to agree with the assertions.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.1.2.1

          Then it will be easy for you to take those same data and use them to show the opposite, but until you do you’re just a bag of air, eh.

          Come on, put up or shut up. Don’t let the fact that a rabble of rightwing fuckwits just like you have failed miserably to rebut a single data point undermine your optimism.

          • quinnjin 6.1.2.1.1

            +1 like… I tell what really makes me yawn, right wing zombie group think drones like righty whitey up there who have nothing but the empty slogans they learn from the b grade intellectually enfeebled blogs they read, and can do nothing but repeat ad nauseum.

            Pull your head out of your ideologically blinded arse moron, or, come up with the goods.

            You don’t have the goods do you, yo ignorant twat, because the evidence is in, and you lose.

            Now suck it up and open you goddamn eyes you grovelling boot licker.

        • Murray Olsen 6.1.2.2

          “Anyone who has studied stats knows that opposing opinions can be formed by the same statistic.”
          What does that actually mean? My opinion is that you know nothing about statistics and are just trying to channel Key. I expect any reply to make this even more obvious.

          • beGone Craven SpyBill leopard 6.1.2.2.1

            @ Murry Olsen

            I predict there will be a deafening silence from Tighty Righty who is simply supplying a [hollow] narrative for doubt, yet would be hard pushed to substantiate their claims because it is very hard to wangle statistics to say that there is not a widening gap between rich and poor and it is very hard to establish how this isn’t a complete failure of governance by successive governments here and abroad.

          • QoT 6.1.2.2.2

            I’m reminded of Bill Hicks’ routine on the Rodney King trial.

            “Well, if you play the tape backwards you can see us help Mr King up and send him on his way!”

        • Macro 6.1.2.3

          “Anyone who has studied stats knows that opposing opinions can be formed by the same statistic”

          Obviously you haven’t…

    • emergency mike 6.2

      Captain Hook sez “Harden the f*** up New Zealand!”

      Boom.

    • quinnjin 6.3

      You’re a fucktard, and you don’t know “most people” in NZ. Obviously. Don’t pedal your zombie group think neo liberal drone bullshit here… we’re not interested in mindless regurgitation of apologist slogans for failed economic theories.

  7. Sosoo 7

    The only solution is to smash the Tories once and for all.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 7.1

      “Once and for all”

      Stupid people continue being born; I’m afraid right wing drivel is here to stay.

      • Sosoo 7.1.1

        They aren’t the problem. It’s these loons:

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

        Quietly cutting them out from any form of political influence is necessary. Stop them and you stop all of it.

        We won’t have a decent society until such people are held by the majority to be the moral equivalent of paedophiles, or are genetically engineered out of existence.

        • geoff 7.1.1.1

          Cut the balls off them. (I’m only slightly joking)

        • Dem Young Sconies 7.1.1.2

          Completely agree. We wont be able to achieve lasting societal change if neo-liberal evil is left to act against it. The 10% must be “genetically engineered out of existence”, but I’m not sure NZ society as a whole has the stomach to do what is necessary to achieve it.

    • jcuknz 7.2

      Sossco/Geoff ….. Mindless Left wing crap LOL

  8. amirite 8

    Until there is a Labour politician who is determined to move away from neoliberal policies, I can’t see not one of those 800 k lost votes going back to Labour.

  9. Mary 9

    Robertson’s and Cunliffe’s words are hollow. How can they suddenly say that after Labour has spent the last 14 years dealing the dirt on the poor? First it was between 1999 and 2008 by abolishing the special benefit and ousting meeting need as the stated primary purpose of social security, and then from 2008 until now by not once saying that their policy on benefits has changed. They’ve been asked constantly since 2008 about what it is but say nothing. Even yesterday Labour supported the Social Security (Fraud Measures and Debt Recovery) Amendment Bill to the select committee, which pretty much suggests it’s going to business as usual for beneficiaries under Labour. Ever since the 1991 benefit cuts every single positive announcement Labour made about helping beneficiaries they’ve reneged on. There is absolutely nothing that shows anything has changed since Labour’s last stack of attacks on the poor and until this changes we must treat what Robertson and Cunliffe say as pure and utter bullshit.

  10. beGone Craven SpyBill leopard 10

    Yes, bravo to Bryan Bruce and the team that made that documentary, thank you! It was extremely comforting to see this information made it to mainstream TV. I am very curious how they managed to achieve this.

    I found the beehive graphic where the classes were changed (middle class = struggling class) particularly powerful and as someone who has experienced a benefit and poorly paid jobs I have witnessed how the arrows supplied are absolutely accurate. (The money ‘subsidising the poor, is going directly to the wealthy and enabling employees to continue with attitudes that think it o.k not to pay a living wage).

    No wonder nothing is being done to address wages, work conditions and joblessness when this con is benefitting those best placed to have the governments’ ears (and fill their election campaign coffers to spread the misinformation as to what and who is the problem).

    It is about bloody time things changed. I do not understand us continually following these strange economic approaches that are such proven failures.

  11. bad12 11

    The problem with a documentary like ‘Mind the Gap’ is that it has to compress all the complex issues into an hour of TV time, what is needed as an education for those who cannot or will not see what has occurred to this country under the auspices of 30 years of Failed neo-liberalism is for a series of documentaries which explore these complexities bit by bit, issue by issue all the while bringing each strand together to weave the full picture,

    Sorry to say i actually fell asleep while watching this one, just after the woman with 3 kids exposed her living conditions as being 2 tents in the backyard of a relatives house, i assume that they get to use the house during the day and the tents are their ‘bedrooms’,

    Where can a discussion start so as a logical outlining of first the problem and then the ‘fix’ can be shown in both terms of economy and society to be effective economically and the ‘right’ thing to do in terms of societal outcomes,

    Simply ‘taxing the rich’ isn’t going to do it as the ‘problem’ is far deeper than just ‘the rich’ and requires the changing of a whole societal attitude to gain the acceptance of the majority first of the existence of the disease that attacks our society and secondly the acceptance of that majority of what is necessary to provide that fair, that decent society will take far more than simply one documentary, but it is a start…

    • Plan B 11.1

      The tents are in Christchurch – it is very cold in Christchurch in the Winter- these are children of a first world country we are talking about.

    • Plan B 11.2

      actually taxing the rich is the answer or one of two key answers, theother being reduce the income of the elites
      and it does work.
      here is why
      really cool stuff is done by people not for money but because that is what they do- they cannot actually help themselves

  12. Appleboy 12

    I really wonder what right whingers like BM feel when theyt see this? Or do they just tune out, don’t want anything pricking their little bubble of no social conscience.

    • beGone Craven SpyBill leopard 12.1

      @ Appleboy,

      Same question arises for me.

      On a similar vein, based on the type of information in this documentary, I really can’t fathom how the governance we have had, and continue to have, inflicted on us can be referred to as good governance in the manner that the Herald, in the last few days, did??

  13. Enough is Enough 13

    The steady drip, as you describe it, is turning into a waterfall as Kiwis are waking up to the fact that Government has deserted them since 1984 and pandered soley to the interests of the wealthy elite.

    There is nothing more certain than the fact the occupy and other poverty motivated movements will grow if Natioanl is returned to office next year.

    Those who have been living in abject poverty for three decades will not put up with this any longer. Anger will boil over. We are coming to a point in time when the glass towers of wealth in downtown Auckland will become a traget and riots on the streets will become a common thing.

  14. grumpy 14

    Perhaps the answer is to just shoot all the rich, seize their property and distribute to the needy.

    A novel thought, anyone would think it might have been tried before…..oh, wait….

    Just a coincidence that The Greens are run by an unreconstructed Marxist communist…

    • quinnjin 14.1

      @grumpy Throwing around a term you don’t understand like it’s an insult is meaningless, you’re backs are against the wall and your mindless sound byte slogans, regurtitated like zombie drone moans from the rotting throats of the undead, won’t change the fact that when Marx said capatilism would eat it self, and some form of democratic socialism would be inevitable, appears to be true… So suck it up. Losers.

      • quinnjin 14.1.1

        Scuse the grammar an typos, let me rephrase that : ahem ” @grumpy Throwing around a term you don’t understand like it’s an insult is meaningless, you’re backs are against the wall and your mindless sound byte slogans, regurgitated like zombie drone moans from the rotting throats of the undead, won’t change the fact that when Marx said capatilism would eat it self, and some form of democratic socialism was inevitable, he appears from all REAL WORLD evidence to have been correct… So suck it up, or take your b grade novelist Rand , your invisible hand, and your tin foil hat and go play in the traffic.”

    • Macro 14.2

      “Perhaps the answer is to just shoot all the rich, seize their property and distribute to the needy.”

      Nah a waste of bullets – just tax the fuck outta them!

      • Half Crown 14.2.1

        “Nah a waste of bullets – just tax the fuck outta them!”

        I like that solution better

  15. bad12 15

    There are a couple of points made by ‘Mind the Gap’ that i would take issue with, the first being the ‘Absolute’ it presented as where the wealth is distributed in this country,

    Obviously trying to move the middle class into a position where they do not feel threatened by the documentaries conclusions and thus perhaps have that middle class become more amenable to any proposed solutions, the documentary ascribed to that middle class the title of ‘the struggling class,

    When it comes to the ownership of rental property in particular and believe me, structurally this question of ownership of multiple property’s strikes to the very heart of the ‘real’ struggle for the bottom 50% of the economy, in 30 years of Neo-liberalism 100,000 homes have been transferred from being the sole home and property of the individual family to being part of the burgeoning rental property portfolio held by members of that middle class right across the income spectrum of that class,

    Flick back to ‘Mind the Gap’ and we find a young family paying what was it, 90% of the family income in rent, and do not for a minute think that this is an isolated worse case scenario, i am immediately confronted by another in the same ‘trap’ as Mene Mene, a low waged worker, Him His wife,and 3 children, confined by the wages and hours of work to one room in a boarding house,

    Mene Mene and those like Him are mere slaves to the Neo Liberal economy, the literal difference between the life of Mene Mene and a cotton picking slave of the American South being Mene Mene’s chains that bind Him to His master are not made of steel but instead economics, and slave owners of the old American South had the common f**king decency to provide the slaves houses,

    i then am moved to ask how did the 10’s of 1000’s of Mene Mene’s in our economy became so trapped into a situation of master and slave, low wages of course, but the ‘trap’ is far deeper than simply low wages,

    Are your eyes tired, shall i simplify the ‘trapping of Mene Mene into a Master/Slave trap for you,

    It is simple, governments of all hues, both Labour and National have within the ritual of ‘the vows of silence’ decided that they will restrict the provision of the numbers of available State Houses, at a time when the population rose from 3.3 million souls to 4.4 million, the number of State Houses fell from 75,000 to 67,000,

    The population rose by a million and all that million were in a position financially where they did not desperately need the protection of a State House??? look at any graph or statistic which shows the wage rates and the distribution of wealth in this country in the past 30 years and such graphs and statistics will paint you a picture which screams in red ink, THEY DID, and ‘they’ still do,

    And there, right there, is where the real rot in our society was put into place, in what looks from where i sit, governments both Labour and National have decided to put into place a ‘protection racket’ for those spread right across the spectrum of the middle class who see rental investment housing as their nirvana, the path to wealth in their dotage,

    i am, with deliberation here, missing out the role of the Banks and how that spectrum spread across the middle class are mere ‘workers’ gathering for the Banks a nice chunk of the small profits of production which the Mene Mene’s of our economy gain as reward for their labor, that can be addressed later,

    The difference for Mene Mene and that whole demographic of low waged workers in our economy between a State House and renting off of the middle class???

    25% of income, 25% of household income is all that Mene Mene would pay in rent, if Mene Mene worked more hours or got a pay rise, His and His families rent would rise but still be 25% of His income,

    Is the ‘fix’ to the disease which ails our society really that simple??? in a word and remembering that this is simply my opinion, YES, the whole demographic of low waged workers in our economy should have State Houses built for them, and, the tax system should be adjusted so as to provide the monies necessary to build and fund them…

    • srylands 15.1

      ” YES, the whole demographic of low waged workers in our economy should have State Houses built for them, and, the tax system should be adjusted so as to provide the monies necessary to build and fund them…”

      Good thing you are lobbying for all those new State houses in the air space above Paraparaumu railway station :-)

      • Pasupial 15.1.1

        @ Shill-lands

        It’s not your economy. You live in Australia (or at least you know their GST rate), unless you’re spinning a different lie today? I generally scroll past your comments so I’m not fully up with the state of your BS.

        • bad12 15.1.1.1

          Yes my bad for engaging with this particular ‘it’ in another post, ‘it’ has decided to stalk me in this one with more of ‘it’s inane TR0LLING,

          Mental not to self: must do far better in ignoring such wastes of space…

    • srylands 15.2

      “then am moved to ask how did the 10′s of 1000′s of Mene Mene’s in our economy became so trapped into a situation of master and slave, low wages of course,”

      Because they have low skills? And with globalisation prices move to world levels. Like butter, milk powder, and unskilled labour.

      Raise productivity and we can fix the problem. Oh we could whinge and bitch and tax the rich too I guess.

      • quinnjin 15.2.1

        @ srylands Sorry to call BS on your little comment there, as you do seem so pleased with yourself, like a pompous ass, but I’m afraid the results are in, productivity is up, my friend, but not wages, only the wealthy and privileged have reaped the rewards of the extra productivity they have rinsed out of those who actually DO THE WORK. And if you’d ever worked an honest days “unskilled labour” job in your life, you’d quickly learn that most of them are pretty skilled actually, they’re just not respected. Or paid what they’re worth. I think it’s the neo liberal apologists who are whinging and bitching about thte fact the REALITY is that their policies are an outright, undeniable, proven, UNMITIGATED FAILURE. But “Oh we could whinge and bitch and bury our heads in the sand, carry our bible of Ayn Rand, and worship the invisible hand, I guess, while we’re living in la la land.
        Mentally enfeebled, self-righteous greed worshipping, evidence ignoring, troglodyte ideologues. Pathetic..

      • Muzza 15.2.2

        Raise productivity is equal to what, in your mind fraud-lands ?

        What is productivity, in your eyes?

      • Macro 15.2.3

        You know how we raise productivity in the banking sector? – get everybody to internet bank and ATM’s
        Fire lots of tellers.
        How about supermarkets?
        Get people to pack their own groceries
        Fire the checkout operators.
        How about petrol stations?
        Get people to pump their own gas – pay for at the pump using eftpos.
        Fire court attendents
        You see a pattern here?

        Oh some get mighty rich…

      • KJT 15.2.4

        We did that.

        Didn’t work.

        We raised productivity 84%.

        Wages went up 18%, which compared with inflation in necessities, means they went down in reality, and welfare dropped even more.

        Like the Greeks we work some of the longest hours, for the least money, in the OECD.

        Name me one country were the Neo-liberal prescription of cut costs, cut taxes, cut social welfare, cut wages has worked? Srylands. Just one country, where your heroes ideas have resulted in a higher standard of living for the majority, anywhere?

        Hell I will make it easier. Name me, one country, where the prescription has been tried, which has even stood still?

  16. quinnjin 16

    Will the right wing trolls hanging around this site with nothing better to do please accept that your theories have been given thirty years to bear fruit. After 30 years of stagnating and worsening wages with exponential rises in the cost of living, and the 2008 financial crisis, the results can be said to be well and truly in, and they are FAIL. NOW FACE GODDAMN REALITY AND STOP REGURGITATING YOUR MINDLESS ZOMBIE CRAP PLEASE. I think we’ve all had enough of your petulant mewling. Time for some fresh ideas or just bugger off if you’ve got nothing useful to add.

    • emergency mike 16.1

      So you’re asking th tr0lls to see the error of their ways? I sympathise brother but methinks you don’t quite understand the naute of tr0lls. Hint: not gonna happen. Best advice: don’t feed them.

  17. Poem 17

    There is a documentary Shock Doctrine on youtube that gives a great insight of the elitist ideology founded by the American economist Milton Friedman of which Ronald Reagun and Margaret Thatcher were disciples, as too were the likes of Rodger Douglas, Ruth Richardson and its this that right wing parties like national, base themselves on.

    If you haven’t watched it, when you can, take a look, its well worth it.

    • Half Crown 17.1

      And don’t forget the biggest disciple of Friedman was Thatchers lover boy Pinochet

      • Pasupial 17.1.1

        O yes – Pinochet and his “economic miracle”: In 17 years of brutal military rule; at the cost of thousands of tortured and disappeared citizens (many of whose bodies are still missing), they just about got the economy to where it was before the coup. If you ignore the tripling of national debt (courtesy of the IMF and World Bank).

  18. tracey 18

    Remember how national say its too tough for businesses in nz. How theres too much red tape and tax is too high.

    But Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce said he wouldn’t be losing any sleep over Mr Davidson’s investment opinions.The World Bank ranked New Zealand as the third-easiest country in which to do business, and other wealthy Americans, such as Hollywood director James Cameron, had invested in Wairarapa and elsewhere quite happily, he said.”But we are old-fashioned – we like people to pay their mortgages.”

  19. Swan 19

    Is there any evidence that the loose correlations developed in the spirit level are causative?

    • Pasupial 19.1

      @ Swan

      It’d be difficult to get ethical clearance to conduct an experiment which sought to establish a causative link (or lack thereof) between social equality and health outcomes. Not that I expect you to have any concern for ethics of course… It’d be expensive and time-consuming too.

      • KJT 19.1.1

        It took 30 years, and cost us the NZ economy, and the standard of living for 100 of thousands, but we have proved correlation.

        • Colonial Viper 19.1.1.1

          Can someone please call the damn experiment off now, before 98% of the subjects die and the top 2% run out of Bolly.

    • McFlock 19.2

      read the book. Take your time.

  20. johnm 20

    There’ll be a point where those who know will write off NZ as a terminally stupid backwater ceasing to protest against the scum that infest this once decent country. Most bought off by greed and self-interest, Bye-Bye stupid mean suckers of the Key BS. 150,000 young people have voted with their feet to go to Australia during the Key darkness.

  21. jcuknz 21

    And now they are coming back dis-illusioned. I went o’seas way back and quickly realised the grass wasn’t greener over there and stayed back in NZ.
    That socialistic PM in the guise of a rightwing party said people going to aussie raise the IQ of both countries.

  22. quinnjin 22

    Well anyway, ignorant trolls with nothing useful to add, who find reality distasteful and prefer to leave there heads inserted up their ideological arse holes in the face of all evidence to the contrary, I’d just like to take this opportunity to call BS on the Heralds neo-fascist boot licking coverage of this doco.

    What’s with the quotations? Corporate boot lickers much?

    ‘Middle Nz [and the labour of the working poor] “subsidises” the rest’ like the the Earth “revolves” around the Sun, and neo liberal “economic” theory is a load of corporate “snake oil” propaganda “bullshit”.

    Bryan Bruce lays the truth absolutely and indisputably bare regards NZ history and the utter failure of neo liberal economic policies; and the herald fall all over themselves to pull this slate job, transparent, and criminal.

    Gotta roll out the propaganda when it looks like your corporate owners might have to face the fact that the lies they’ve been peddling for decades have been torn to shreds and they might have to pay decent wages and a bit more tax…

    If the vast majority of NZ MSM did its job and weren’t mindless, biased, profit driven “whores” to big business, this doco would be completely redundant, as anyone with an interest in politics and economics, who doesn’t have their head inserted firmly in their rectum, knows the story already, it’s blindingly obvious.

    As usual, national party gimptard responses equate to ” Don’t confuse me with the facts, not listening not listening na naa na naaa na….” pathetic.

    I see they haven’t left this one open for comment, they know they’d get eaten alive….

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11113927

  23. Some Jerk 23

    Disappointed to see no discussion of the universal income – in a discussion of equity, surely it should be the first possible solution raised.

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    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Wild West culture a result of gung-ho government
    Successive employment law changes over the last six years that have taken away work rights have led to a Wild West employer culture in many workplaces, Labour’s workplace relations spokesperson Andrew Little says. A government audit of 23 Christchurch building...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Dr. Kennedy Graham’s speaks in the 2014 Ministerial Statement –...
    I have listened closely to the Prime Minister's statement this morning and to this debate over New Zealand's engagement towards the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). In my contribution I want to focus on the broader aspect...
    Greens | 05-11
  • Catherine Delahunty speaks on the Paid Parental Leave Bill
    He mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Thank you very much for allowing me to speak on this bill. As a grandmother, it is very close to my heart. I know there are many parents, uncles, aunties, and others in...
    Greens | 05-11
  • Pacific unemployment still hurting
     All New Zealanders will be bitterly disappointed that the Pacific youth unemployment rate (aged 15 to 24 years) is now 26.7 per cent, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.  “Our young people are the future workforce of...
    Labour | 05-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared
      This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Real reasons to fear Government’s new approach to child poverty
    Now  I really am worried.  Selling state houses is bad enough but a taking a ‘social investment focus’ to deal with child poverty? “The Treasury will issue a Request for Information inviting submissions from people who work with vulnerable New...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Power to the people!
    With all the huffing and puffing of the election out of the way and the right-wing still in ascendancy after 30 years of community-sapping neoliberalism it was a pleasure to attend a strike by workers at Carl’s Jr in Lincoln...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: OIA reveals WINZ trespassing 400 people a year
    W.I.N.Z is broken and it’s breaking my heart. Every year WINZ issues trespass notices to just under 400 people. 2008 / 418 2009 /  382 2010 /  347 2011 /  411 2012 /  373 2013 /  384 And this year...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • So David Farrar and the Government were wrong on gangs after all?
    Oh the predictability of this… Ministers acted on inaccurate gang data Cabinet signed off tough new measures to tackle gangs on the basis of inaccurate information which over-estimated the scale of the crime problem. The briefing paper told ministers 4000...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Why lifelong prisoner surveillance is evidence of our failing prisons
    The intrusion of more and more State surveillance is easier to implement if the State begins with groups the populace are frightened of. Muslim radicals, Maori radicals, environmental radicals and prisoners are all easy fodder for ratings chasing media to...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • REVIEW: The Blind Date Project
    The Blind Date Project Silo Theatre 4-29 November The Basement  Part of the excitement of a live performance, be it music or theatre or a circus with trapeze artists and lion tamers, is the risk that it could all go...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Good News For The Left!
    EVER SINCE the debacle of 20 September 2014, the New Zealand left has been hanging out for some good news. Today, thanks to Stephen Mills, the Executive Director of UMR Research, it has finally got some. UMR Research has for...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • The SIS won’t use 48 hour warrantless spying for ‘evidence’
    Let’s just slay one of the myths the Government are trying to use right now to justify the SIS 48 hour warrantless search fishing expeditions shall we? The Government has been telling all who listen over the weekend that the SIS...
    The Daily Blog | 09-11
  • There’s a better way of discouraging would-be jihadists
    The Prime Minister claims there is a growing threat from New Zealanders attracted to Islamic State and he wants to increase state powers to watch such people and take away their passports. I believe there is a better way to...
    The Daily Blog | 09-11
  • Nationwide Day of Protest Captures Public Attention on TPPA
    . . NZ, Wellington, 8 November 2014 – Wellington basked in a beautiful summers’ day with nary a breeze and only a few clouds in a clear, blue sky. The sort of summer day that we keenly await after months...
    The Daily Blog | 09-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Right to Life Congratulates the new Labour Leader
    Right to Life congratulates Andrew Little MP, on being elected as the new leader of the Labour Party. This is a very important election as Andrew Little is now a Prime Minister in waiting His election follows a line of...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Reply to open letter on earthquake repair in Christchurch
    You raise many points and I acknowledge the frustration some people are experiencing when their homes are still not repaired or rebuilt. We have consistently said that the scale and complexity of events has always meant that it will not...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Andrew Little New Labour Party Leader
    In a press conference held on Tuesday in the Labour Party Caucus room at Parliament, it was announced Andrew Little had been voted in as Leader of the Labour party....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Liam Butler interviews Professor Jay Kandampully
    Jay Kandampully is Professor of Consumer Sciences in the Department of Human Sciences. He also serves as a visiting professor at University of Innsbruck, Austria; Nanjing University of Science and Technology, China; and Furtwangen University, Germany;...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Judge joins calls for tourist driver tests
    A district court judge has joined the growing number of professionals calling for tourist driving tests....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU congratulates new Labour leader
    The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union congratulates Andrew Little on his election as Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party. “I have worked closely with Andrew and know he will be a strong and successful leader,” says Bill Newson,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Andrew Little elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • WHO Highlights Devastating Global Impact of Drowning
    The global drowning report released today by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 372,000 lives are lost each year to drowning. Safekids Aotearoa, as a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, has joined the worldwide effort to focus more attention...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPA must refuse phosphate mining application
    Text of the Press Release issued by KASM (Kiwis against Seabed Mining), Greenpeace and Deep Sea Conservation Coalition on 17 November 2014: “EPA must refuse phosphate mining application” The New Zealand Environmental Protection Agency should refuse...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Compulsory smoke alarms needed in rental accommodation
    The tragic deaths of three young people during a house fire in Hamilton, hot on the heels of a 3 year old dying in a house fire the previous week, point directly to the need for compulsory smoke alarms in...
    Scoop politics | 17-11
  • CAA fines Minister for security breach
    The Civil Aviation Authority has completed its investigation into an alleged security breach at Christchurch International Airport by then Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee and two aides on 24 July, 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-11
  • Pacific climate funding must prioritise the poor
    Caritas supports the government’s prioritising of the Pacific for direct climate change related funding, rather than making a major contribution to the global Green Climate Fund....
    Scoop politics | 17-11
  • Stopping drink driving will take more than just lower limit
    Stopping drink driving will take more than just lower limit Stopping drink driving crashes is going to take more than just reducing the adult drink driving limit, says the Automobile Association. The adult (20 and older) limit will lower to...
    Scoop politics | 17-11
  • “Smacking” legal opinion hides real problem
    In seeking to challenge and clarify the legal interpretation of section 59, the conservative political lobby group, Family First, are once more attempting to deny the very real psychological impact of physical discipline on our children....
    Scoop politics | 17-11
  • Sutton Quits … The sorry saga of CERA
    President Truman described the MacArthur speech as horses..t. History has been kind to Truman on this issue....
    Scoop politics | 17-11
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