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Christchurch earthquake & moral hazard

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 am, September 9th, 2010 - 94 comments
Categories: Economy - Tags: , ,

Fran O’Sullivan joins us in asking why the Government was so quick to completely bailout the South Canterbury Finance investors and is being so miserly with earthquake victims:

“Just imagine the uproar if the sequence had been reversed [if the earthquake came before the SCF].

Consider: Key goes down to the earthquake zone. Tells Cantabrians the Government will get behind them. But it will not be able to stand fully behind those who don’t have earthquake insurance. As he told TVNZ’s Q&A programme on Sunday: “It’s the 5 or 10 per cent of people that don’t have insurance that have said, ‘Look, I’ll risk it’ … and that’s the moral hazard for the Government because, on the one hand, if we pay everybody out, why would people take insurance. On the other hand, you’re gonna have people with real hardship and deprivation, and it’s getting that balancing act right. It’s not going to be easy.”

His Government has since indicated it will come to the party with a range of social services. But nobody is pretending a bailout is on the way for those who failed to take out insurance.

Consider again: if having already made crystal clear his Government’s view that it was too concerned about moral hazard risks, and the signal that would be sent if the Crown restored the losses of uninsured earthquake victims, Key then turned around a day or so later and said the Government was prepared to overlook moral hazard concerns when it came to South Canterbury’s bond investors and creditors and fully pay them out so it could get full control of the situation.

I suspect the uproar of hatred that has been pouring out against South Canterbury founder Allan Hubbard on far too many uncontrolled websites over the past week would have instead been directed against a Government arguably looking after well-heeled opportunists to whom it did not owe a red cent as they were not covered by the guarantee scheme.

As Maier said on Tuesday last week: “A lot of bets in the casino paid off big time today.”
What we have ended up with is very untidy: the Government has paid out “in the know” bond investors and foreign preferential shareholders who did not qualify for the guarantee.

Forget about moral hazard – the smart money now knows that the Key Government can be “gamed”.

I want to make a point about this moral hazard argument that the government is so concerned about with the earthquake, which it wasn’t concerned about with SCF.

The moral hazard argument is that if the government cover someone’s losses now, it will encourage them to take uninsured risks in the future in the expectation of a government bailout if things go wrong, imposing even more costs on the government in the future and unhinging capitalism by allowing return without risk. Both the SCF bailout and covering the costs of uninsured homeowners and workers could create a moral hazard.

But, in the case of the earthquake victims at least, there’s the social justice argument that you can’t allow families, especially children, to suffer because of the poverty or mistakes of the parents or their parents’ employers. Do people deserve to have their lives ruined because they couldn’t afford insurance? We have a moral duty to help.

It seems to me that there’s a simple solution: help people now, prevent people taking uninsured risks in the future.

How does it work?

Damage insurance: Government extends EQC coverage to all homes and contents affected by this quake, regardless of whether the people had home insurance or not (side question: if you’re a renter, your landlord presumably has the house insurance so gets EQC cover but do you get EQC cover for your contents?)

In future, EQC is funded not out of a levy on home insurance policies but by a levy on residential rates. Every property owner pays rates, so there’s no moral hazard problem of people not bothering to get home insurance – instead, everyone is covered and everyone pays. Bear in mind that you can’t get earthquake coverage from private insurers in Christchurch any more but there are still major earthquakes occurring.

Wages: Government covers the wages of all employers who can’t work due to the quake on top of any private insurance that businesses have. No-one is left out of pocket.

To avoid moral hazard, in the future wage insurance for disasters will be covered by a compulsory public insurance scheme like ACC, funded by a tiny payroll levy. And I do mean tiny – a $100 million pool expected to be paid out once a decade could be funded with a levy of just 1 cent per hundred dollars of wages. Again, everyone gets covered now and there’s no moral hazard for the future because a compulsory and universal insurance scheme has been introduced.

The government can help the people who need help now while avoiding creating an undesirable moral hazard for the future. The question is: will it choose to?

PS. Since my piece the other day, respected business journo Patrick Smellie has written an article dismissing the suggestion that the earthquake could be an economic boon, and Treasury has put damage at $4 billion and the initial output loss at 0.5% of GDP.

94 comments on “Christchurch earthquake & moral hazard”

  1. Loota 1

    One thing which aggravates me no end is how the NATs are willing to come up with in depth schemes, mechanisms and rationale over months and months in order to transfer a shit tonne of money over to their mates and random speculators vis a vis South Canterbury Finance.

    But can’t be assed trying to think through how they can help ordinary NZ’ers. Instead its “Not insured? You should’ve known better. Next.”

    • Marty G 1.1

      Paul Henry saying that uninsured people failed to take ‘personal responsibility’ so stuff them is a prime example of what you’re talking about.

      The ability to double think is amazing – i’ve seen him encourage an unemployed executive to go on the dole and 20 seconds later call a sickness beneficiary a bludger.

  2. Jenny 2

    My question is, what about those who couldn’t afford mortgages and have had to rent, but have lost their homes?

    If the rental property that housed their family has been damaged and is now uninhabitable, and as a result, they and their family are in a shelter. What assistance is being being given to them?

    Is the Minister of Housing going to break his silence on this issue?

    Is Housing New Zealand going to get the budget to increase their housing stock to meet the need for more rental accomodation?

    • Rex Widerstrom 2.1

      Very good questions, to which I would add one more: What, if anything, will be done to stop landlords who own an intact house profiteering as demand hugely exceeds supply by racking rents? And as a corollary, will a sitting tenant facing eviction on a flimsy pretence so the owner can flip the house and bring in new tenants at a much higher rent have any sort protection (other than the long, drawn-out and unpredictable Tenancy Tribunal process)?

      • Jenny 2.1.1

        Your right Rex to stop the speculators the obvious thing to do, is for Housing New Zealand to buy up the necessary number of suitable and undamaged empty homes from the private sector to add to their rental stock and rehouse all the homeless families.

        Sure this would cost, but it would only be a tiny fraction of the money made available to bail out SCF investors. Even Fran O’Sullivan realises who is the more deserving.

        captcha – “bought”

        • Herodotus 2.1.1.1

          How long do you think that will take, great idea.
          There will be months years depending upon the lenght of after shocks.
          There will be extensive geotech work being undertaken so as not to build on suspect land or to ascertain what geotech requirements are needed to protect the land, also I would imagine that the fault will have to be tracked & mapped.
          Roads that had minor hairline cracks on Monday now due to aftershocks have 1m fracture lines. One reason why it is taking so long to review the damage. So in some cases raoding and other infrastructure initially passde has subsequently required 2nd or 3rd visits to find out that it requires remedial or replacement.
          Making land available, it does not magically appear from a tree. There is extensive town planning infrastructre planning e.g. stormwater, wastewater efects on traffic movements etc. If we fast track then there is a great potential for poor planning and a disaster. this sad event has allowed us the potential to redesign a major city and with wisdom and knowledge to improve on what was there.
          We currently have one major disaster partically caused by haste, poorly designed law and companded by poor decision making. Do we really want to be the authors or 2 really basd decisions within a year?

          • Jenny 2.1.1.1.1

            .
            Herodotus it would only take a matter of days for HNZ to buy up the necessary number of undamaged vacant rental properties.

            My point. There should not be one family homeless while there is one empty house.

            captcha – “fixes”

            • Jenny 2.1.1.1.1.1

              In fact with the political will it shouldn’t take more than an afternoon to ring all the real estate agents and offer them a lump sum for all the vacant properties on the books.

              If there are any families still in shelters by the end of next week it is because someone wants it that way.

            • Jenny 2.1.1.1.1.2

              In fact with the political will it shouldn’t take HNZ more than an afternoon to ring all the real estate agents and offer them a lump sum for all the vacant properties on their books.

              If there are any families still in shelters by the end of next week it is because someone wants it that way.

            • Herodotus 2.1.1.1.1.3

              There will always be a sector of the pop whos actions are detesable e.g. breaking and stealing from special needs school as per TV1 news. You would require a willing vendor, and with this catastrophe so freash that to spend time and valuable resources in this would be taking away from the initial needs. HNZ cannot even manage the properties within Auck that the either own or lease. “My point. There should not be one family homeless while there is one empty house.” agreed, That is if there are any vacante properties within Chch which I doubt.
              But my response was that I think the relief effort re housing and infrastructure will being to slow down for many valid reasons. Yet there will be some incl bloggers & media with their selfish agendas that are more important than those at the coal face working thru the issues that the public will not be aware or have any understanding of as to why. e.g. the results of after shocks requiring extra inspections. I have not heard from media of this, so many will be unaware of such events and the unavailablity in their situation of roading, building inspectors and other staff.
              Whilst there is this immediate need, as a minor feel good for those in Chch when the initial problems are resolved, perhaps a AB game against Canterbury (festival type incase Dan or Richie get injured for next year) at Lancaster Park and free with TV rights and a telthon type assisting in financial support for the area. (A bit like the forest fires in the mid 80’s in Sydney when our cricket team went and played the Aussies in a one dayer)

              • Jenny

                .
                Herodotus, from your comments I gather that you think rental tenants on low incomes made homeless by the quake, are undeserving of any government help to get a roof over their heads. (Well at least, less deserving than the millionaire investors in SCF who were bailed out to the tune of $1.6 Billion)

                Firstly you cynically set the scene with a broad smear:

                There will always be a sector of the pop whos actions are detesable e.g. breaking and stealing from special needs school as per TV1 news.

                Secondly you infer that putting funds into housing the homeless renters will be taking money from more deserving causes, (though you don’t say what, but most of us can guess):

                …to spend time and valuable resources in this would be taking away from the initial needs.

                Thirdly along with fake praise, you try and infer that there may be no suitable houses:

                “My point. There should not be one family homeless while there is one empty house.” agreed, That is if there are any vacante properties within Chch which I doubt.

                Well on this you can easily be proven wrong;

                Here are scores and scores of recent listings for unsold houses in good condition at reasonable prices in Christchurch, on just one Real Estate company’s website.

                Some are advertised as already tenanted but many are vacant.

                You can wriggle and squirm all you like, but the fact is, that for a small fraction of the cost of bailing out well off investors who bet on a lemon, all the families suffering homelessness from the earthquake could be housed.

                All it will take is the political will. The “Moral Hazard” that Fran O’Sullivan talks about is when apologists for this sort of double standard like your good self, try and argue against any bailouts for the less well off affected by an earthquake but have no problem gifting hundreds of millions of dollars to the well off.

                • Jenny

                  .
                  Herodotus; It is interesting, that in your diatribe against Housing New Zealand taking any role in housing the homeless, you also claim (without citation):

                  HNZ cannot even manage the properties within Auck that the either own or lease.

                  This shows to me that you are philosophically opposed to the state having any role in the social provision of housing even in case of dire emergency. Using the old chestnut that the public sector is inefficient, your argument implies you believe the private sector would be better left to house the low paid homeless, and that state rentals should be abolished, or run as a subsidy for privat landlords. Which is arguably happening now in Auckland where HNZC leases homes from private landlords providing them with a permanent income.

                  I also notice that you think that rather than address the problem, you suggest “feel good” palliatives:

                  Whilst there is this immediate need, as a minor feel good for those in Chch when the initial problems are resolved, perhaps a AB game against Canterbury (festival type incase Dan or Richie get injured for next year) at Lancaster Park and free with TV rights and a telthon type assisting in financial support for the area. (A bit like the forest fires in the mid 80′s in Sydney when our cricket team went and played the Aussies in a one dayer)

                  Your suggested strategy, reminds me so much of the arrogant quote from Roman times in answer to the inequality of that ancient decadent society, give them “Bread and Circuses”.

                  P.S. Another weird thing. When you click on the link to the real estate listings, it it like the Christchurch earthquake never happened. In this alternative universe, middle class suburbia is as immaculate and untouched as ever.

                  capcha – “columns” -Roman maybe? collapsing even? – (Herodotus, like your argument.)

  3. tsmithfield 3

    Can’t agree with the article by Smellie. Something he has overlooked is that substantial amounts of the money will come from overseas insurers via reinsurance by NZ insurers and reinsurance by the EQC.

    Thus a lot of the money coming into the Canterbury, and indirectly NZ economy will be coming out of the bucket of overseas investors. Thus, new money will be coming into the economy. Therefore, it won’t be a zero sum game, so far as the NZ economy goes anyway.

    One interesting thing to note with the effect on Christchurch and its surrounds is the vast disparity of the effect. Many of the houses (including mine thankfully) have been largely unaffected. I went down to work on Saturday morning to check out our building. I was expecting to see the area (Sockburn) flattened. Our building is typical tilt-slab construction. I have always felt a bit nervous about being in that type of building with having great slabs of concrete that could potentially tip over. However, to my surprise there appeared to be little or no impact on the area. We rang around our clients on Monday morning and most of them had little damage as well.

    Given the proximity, shallowness, and strength of the quake, it is amazing that there was not a hell of a lot more damage.

    It appears that the damage is largely limited to eastern areas with sandy soil, and older buildings that weren’t earthquake-strengthened.

    Where rebuilding is required my view is that the government, insurers etc should put money into buying up land that will stand up well to earthquakes for rebuilding houses. I see little point in rebuilding on land that is likely to suffer the same effect next time there is a major quake. The alpine fault is still lurking, after all. In this way some real gains could be made for the city in terms of survivability next time there is a big shake.

    • Marty G 3.1

      ts. your problem is that you’re seeing GDP as a measure of economic wellbeing. The fact is we’ve lost $4 billion of capital wealth and will now be replacing it.

      It’s not just me and Smellie saying this. check out the rightwing economists at The Visible Hand in Economics. The author, Matt Nolan, is regularly published in the Dom.

      As TVHE says:
      ” [People are] confused between the flow concept, which is investment and GDP, and the stock concept, which is capital and underlying wealth. We have lost capital, and we have lost wealth – this negative shock is not just sucky for the people who had to face a disaster, but it IS a “negative for the economy” in terms of measured wealth.

      I mean flip, if destroying a city is “good for the economy” why don’t we send the tanks into Wellington to blow it up right now? Actually, I’m in Wellington – lets make that Auckland instead

      And there was a very good article on yesterday’s morning report.

      I think it’s somewhere here: http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/national/business/morning/2010/09/08/morning_business_for_8_september_2010

      and this ABC article

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/09/07/3004467.htm?site=thedrum

      don’t mistake economic activity for economic wealth.

    • lprent 3.2

      It is pretty obvious. It is a negative to zero sum game. At the end you don’t have any better abilities to generate wealth than you did before the quake. Sure a few people will be better off because they’re doing construction, but others will take a hit.

      Unconsolidated (compaction) or weathered sediments (slips) are always the big issue in earthquakes and probably cause more damage than the actual shaking. One of the issues with trying to pick winners in house siting is that you really can’t be too sure about what sites are ‘safe’ until after the event that destroys some. Even then, a slightly different other event may cause a destruction that the first didn’t. You can only really estimate and guess. It is simpler and more effective to simply over engineer.

      These local shallow earthquakes are far more dangerous to ChCh than the alpine fault. That will have dissipated most of its high yield energy through distance and won’t affect the local sediments as strongly.

      • Mr Magoo 3.2.1

        Rod Oram spoke exceptionally well (again) on the topic on national radio. (podcast available)

        It is worse than that. The foreign money rebuilds the old assets and it is true that all those working on this are extra stimulus. Note also that the industry it will be propping up is in serious trouble and looking at laying off 20k people at the moment.
        However those overseas insurance firms are going to want to recoup that money and thus premiums for the whole country are going to go up to cover that – so we pay in the end anyway.
        He also noted that the rebuild will not increase productive capacity at all.

        The way I see it this just ends up being the short term stimulus the nats failed to give us in the first place. What is better is that this foreign money it is coming from greedy insurance companies. Sure we have to pay it back but in the interim it is stimulus and if the government borrowed it for stimulus we would have had to anyway.

        He was saying he hoped that CHCH and the government would use this as an opportunity to rebuild the city and make it better rather than just rebuild what was there.

        Fat chance there of course. Between the greedy insurance companies wanting to do the min possible and this no-ideas government that will never happen.

    • Lazy Susan 3.3

      substantial amounts of the money will come from overseas insurers via reinsurance by NZ insurers and reinsurance by the EQC

      This is a specious arguement as insurance payouts are not “free” – they are paid for with past and future premiums. Had there been no insurance or EQC then the money saved on premiums would have been available to invest in the economy.

      Captcha: faults!… is this software really that smart?

      [lprent: Nope. It just has a very long list of words and a pseudo random number generator. Humans are good at reading meaning into almost anything - tealeaves? entrails? captcha? ]

    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      It’s always a zero sum game no matter how hard the economists, RWNJs and other idiots try to believe it isn’t. When there are limited resources (real resources, not money as money isn’t a resource) then it is always an either/or option. You either put the resources into doing one thing or the other. In this we are now putting resources into rebuilding Christchurch rather than doing the 1001 other things that the community needs.

      And yes, as has been pointed out, the loss will be increased by the deadweight loss of profit.

  4. tsmithfield 4

    “your problem is that you’re seeing GDP as a measure of economic wellbeing. The fact is we’ve lost $4 billion of capital wealth and will now be replacing it.”

    Depends on how we rebuild. The earthquake has shown us what stands up and what doesn’t.
    To that extent what we have lost was going to be lost at some stage anyway. So, a fair degree of the damage could be described as a contingent liability. That contingent liability has been effectively offsetting the asset values in Christchurch for decades.

    If we rebuild in ways that mitigate future problems we will have eliminated a fair degree of the contingent liability for the future, so there will be an effective net gain in assets over the long term as there will be less loss in future events. Therefore, even from the perspective you are arguing real wealth will have improved because the spend will reduce future liabilities, not just replace what has been lost.

    • Marty G 4.1

      We’ve lost $4 billion of physical capital. Now we have to expend financial assets to rebuild that. It is not a wealth gain. It is a wealth loss. The rebuilding will boost GDP but that just shows the limitations of GDP as a measure of economic or broader human welfare.

      • Bunji 4.1.1

        GDP is just cashflow. Any analysis of a balance sheet for the economic wealth of a person or business is going to look at assets as well as cashflow, as it needs to for a country. Yes, your cashflow has increased, but your assets have been wiped out. The bank isn’t going to look at your mortgage more favourably if you get a pay rise but the house it paid for has been destroyed.

        (and GDP certainly isn’t even trying to be a measure of broader human welfare…)

    • Loota 4.2

      If we rebuild in ways that mitigate future problems we will have eliminated a fair degree of the contingent liability for the future,

      If you can tell me how Key and Brownlee’s ‘retroactive building consents’ i.e. ‘build now and get it approved against current standards sometime in the future’ system will get Christchurch to improve their buildings and “mitigate further problems” I will be really impressed.

      Basically the only improvement I see happening is that old weaker buildings have been taken out of the stock. But the earthquake did that, not the Government.

  5. The dilemma seems to originate from a misplaced expectation of consistency.
    Welfare for the rich has never been a problem for National and ACT.
    It’s only abhorrent to them when it’s welfare for those who actually need it.

    • F.Y 5.1

      true. I’d say it’s not entirely “welfare” but the passing of potential to influence power structures in the future. Poor people/non-company investors are outside the group/culture and could believe/do anything. Why give them anything? They’re impossible to control/predict.

      By giving money to SCF investors but not specifically people who have lost in the quake, the balance of power goes to those with the financial resources to influence Christchurch in the rebuild/allocation of work/livelihoods.

  6. BLiP 6

    I see that premiums are going to rise for all of us because of that luckless lot in Christchurch – its something about “spreading the risk” – fucking socialist insurance industry!!

    • Loota 6.1

      I propose that we put a 100km ring around Christchurch and legislate so that insurance companies must draw their increased premiums from within the radius.

      After all, why should I have to pay for someone else’s frakked up property with my insurance money when I chose to live in a property sitting on top proper bedrock and they took the risk of living on swampland?

      Teach them some individual frakkin responsibility for their bad choices.

      • Mark M 6.1.1

        Your all class Loota. (NOT)
        cantabrians dont complain when regular North Island floods push up premiums , when overseas Earthquakes and Tsunamis push up premiums.
        thats because we have compassion , something you, on whatever planet you live on seem to be lacking.

        Im sure if the shit hit the fan in your area you would be the first one whining for help.

      • Puddleglum 6.1.2

        I’d go further Loota – I don’t think I should provide a subsidy to all those who build on hills, near the shore, in wet areas, etc., etc.. In fact, I think it should be illegal for insurance companies to charge any two home-owners the same premium – why should I pay for my neighbours’ bad decisions on how they situate their house on their property, the kinds of materials they use, etc.?

        And don’t tell me the transaction costs for insurance companies (who would no longer be able to operate from actuarial tables at all) would go through the roof. So what? Why should I subsidise the insurance companies doing business by having them walk all over my economic freedom NOT to have to pay for others’ mistakes??? Of course, that would mean that all our premiums would probably go up astronomically as the cost of the insurance business goes up but at least we’ll all be FREE and unconstrained by our fellow human beings’ choices!

        Bliss!

  7. jbanks 7

    You buy a house, you buy insurance.

    That is all.

    • BLiP 7.1

      You invest with a finance company, you take the risk, that is all . . . oh, hang on

      • jbanks 7.1.1

        There was a Guarantee Scheme in place that both Labour & National supported. The Govt. is obligated under this guarantee to pay out the investors. The Govt. is under no obligation to pay out home owners who choose not to insure.

        It’s really not that hard to comprehend.

        • Blighty 7.1.1.1

          no legal obligation, no. But that’s not the test of whether a government is doing what’s right. If it was (Godwin alert) then everything that the National Socialists did was OK because it was within the law of Germany at the time.

          the question is what is morally right, not whether the government is doing the bare minimum that it legally must.

          • jbanks 7.1.1.1.1

            What’s morally right is what is best for the survival of the group. Paying out house owners who undermine our vital insurance system will only benefit them at the determent of society.

            • r0b 7.1.1.1.1.1

              I’m just curious jbanks – who do you think makes up “society”?

              • jbanks

                A collection of individuals.

                • r0b

                  Individuals, like, say, house owners?

                  • jbanks

                    House owners are a part of society. But as I said, paying out those minority uninsured individuals would be at the expense of society as a whole.

                    • r0b

                      I don’t think it’s so easy jb to distinguish between the health of society as a whole and the health of the individuals who make up society,

                    • jbanks

                      “I don’t think it’s so easy jb to distinguish between the health of society as a whole and the health of the individuals who make up society,

                      Imo if people choose to risk not to have insurance then that’s their responsibility. Giving people without insurance the same benefits as those with is a dangerous precedent to set.

                    • r0b

                      Imo if people choose to risk not to have insurance then that’s their responsibility.

                      Imo one of the defining features of a society is how it chooses to take care of its weakest members.

                      Gotta go for now…

        • BLiP 7.1.1.2

          Can you please show me where in the DoG it says New Zealand has to pay back foreign investors, with interest?

        • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.3

          The government is only obligated to do so if the finance company hadn’t broken the terms of the agreement. This government didn’t even wait long enough to discover that before paying out.

    • Blighty 7.2

      like BLiP said but also, what do you say to the children of parents who lost their jobs, couldn’t afford insurance, and now have wrecked houses? Do you say ‘thems the breaks, kid’?

      • jbanks 7.2.1

        What on earth are you on about? Welfare is still available after the earthquake. There’s even Earthquake Support Subsidies & Earthquake Redundancy Payments.

        Also there’s no such thing as ‘couldn’t afford insurance’. You buy a house, then insurance is part of this process.

        Wtf is the point of people getting insurance if the state will bail them out if they choose not to fork out all that money for it?

        • Pascal's bookie 7.2.1.1

          So you object to the 350/week/employee subisdy being paid to SME owners who failed to get insurance?

          • jbanks 7.2.1.1.1

            Morally I object. But I think that it’s a pragmatic thing to do temporarily.

            Forking out tens to hundreds of thousands to people I object to.

            • Pascal's bookie 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Why is one pragmatic and the other not?

            • mickysavage 7.2.1.1.1.2

              So Social Welfare for employers and wealthy investors is OK but Social Welfare for income poor landowners is not?

              • jbanks

                You got it. It’s about viable investment.
                Not paying out irresponsible landowners will not be detrimental to our economy. Not paying out employers and SCF investors would be.

                You own a house, you have insurance. No exceptions.

                • F.Y

                  Not paying out irresponsible landowners will not be detrimental to our economy. Not paying out employers and SCF investors would be.

                  LOL You’re taking the piss, surely. Are the implications of the statement due to self parody or mental retardation?

                  • jbanks

                    You not speeka da finance fool?

                    SCF’s collapse would have damaged the economy a whole lot more than the cost of paying out investors.

                    • BLiP

                      You’ll have some evidence to back that up, then?

                    • jbanks

                      Finance Minister talks of ‘minimal disruption’ to wider economy from South Canterbury collapse.

                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/video.cfm?c_id=3&gal_objectid=10670273&gallery_id=113600

                    • bbfloyd

                      not forgetting, of course, that the nats encouraged a rash of high risk investment by extending the guarantee scheme earlier this year. one wonders how this would have played out if they had played it straight.

                      if you were capable of pulling your head out of your arse, then wiped your eyes with a clean rag, you might see the timeline that goes back to that decision creating a huge money pit for the wealthy nat backers.

                      btw, how big will your payout be?

                    • BLiP

                      That’s it? A New Zealand Fox News Herald puff piece – reporting the words of Blinglish – without one specific?? I’m going to assume you’re in Christchurch and waiting for your primary school to re-open. There’s the indelible odour of young troll about you. Tell me, what’s your favourite iwi?

                • Blighty

                  or, to put it another way: ‘fuck you poor peps ,more taxpayer money for the rich!’

  8. Richard 8

    I think that there is absolutely a moral argument to provide for the uninsured in CHCH. Yes, it would be better if those people had insurance, but due to some combination of being either poor, stupid, or misinformed, they don’t. We should be helping them out of their situation, not blaming them for their situation.

    In some ways, the same argument applies to SCF. If somebody who invested in SCF lost so much that they could no longer avoid housing, clothing, or food, then the various social mechanisms that we have (dole, etc) should have looked after them. And that would be good. Such people (if there were any) were obviously stupid, greedy, or misinformed, but we shouldn’t blame them for this, we should help them out of their predicament.

    The problem with the SCF bailout is that it didn’t just target those who really needed help, it targeted those who had only lost a bad “investment” (which is likely the majority of investors) and also those who invested at the last minute in the anticipation that they would be bailed out. Neither group actually need rescuing by the tax payer from the poverty line.

  9. disengaged 9

    One thing (of the many) that I am finding interesting about the SCF Vs Quake debate is that most people seem to be assuming that the SCF investors were all greedy fat cats taking advantage of the taxpayers to feather their own nests, whereas the uninsured quake victim is a worker poor, hard done by victim. I actually suspect that they may in fact both be very similar people.

    Most of the people who I know that have been effected by SCF (which granted is a limited subset) are retired people who have invested large portions of their lifesavings into SCF for two reasons: 1. Because of that nice Mr Hubbard man and 2.Because it was covered by the Govt Guarantee Scheme and therefore the risk of them losing their lot was greatly reduced. They weren’t greedy or looking for quick returns, but because they are living off of the interest of these investments even a 1% increase on return would make a big difference to their life. So if they had lost their savings they more than likely would be left pennyless at a time in their life where it is impossible for them to recover (not a great deal of employment opportunities for octogenerians).

    Turning to the uninsured quake victims, If you have a mortgage then normally it is compulsory to have your house insured (not the contents), in fact if you don’t do it yourself in many cases the bank will do it on your behalf and add the premiums onto your payments. So the people most hurt are likely to be the retired people who are asset rich (paid off their home many years ago) but are cash poor (living on a pension) and have cut their expenses to the bone. They will have no means to rebuild and many may be forced to give their independance and move in with family, retirement homes etc.

    Either way it’s not a pretty picture and I’d like to think that New Zealand is the type of country that will work to help those in need.

    I like your idea of compulsory EQC cover being included in rates (I’d also like to see third party car insurance added to registrations too, but that’s for another debate). As at the moment the only benefit I see from EQC is to the insurance companies, not to the insuree.

    • Pascal's bookie 9.1

      Either way it’s not a pretty picture and I’d like to think that New Zealand is the type of country that will work to help those in need.

      This.

      • jbanks 9.1.1

        Providing welfare such as Earthquake Support Subsidies & Earthquake Redundancy Payments – YES

        Spending tens of thousands on fixing or hundreds of thusands on replacing your home –
        NO

  10. Bill 10

    Why is the industry of vultures (private insurance) allowed to exist in a civilised country?

    People making profit out of the misfortune of others, or those peoples’ fear of misfortune, while condemning those who didn’t buy into the fear or who couldn’t afford to, is beneath contempt.

    In the earthquake situation, the existence of private insurance is about to lead to a whole raft of class ridden aftershocks that wouldn’t exist if the state controlled the entire insurance market.

    Time to shut out the private insurance companies.

    • clandestino 10.1

      Insurance is one of the most brilliant and fair concepts ever conceived by man. Get your head out of your ar$e

      captcha: ‘market’…this thing IS rigged

      • Tigger 10.1.1

        Cland – that’s the stupidest generalization I’ve read in ages.

      • Vicky32 10.1.2

        Oh yes – do you remember that before Fire Brigades existed, competing insurance companies would literally fight so that their crews could sign up a desperate home-owner while her house burned around her ears, and only then would the winner extinguish the flames? Brilliant – yeah.
        Last night on Fair Go I saw again the story of Sovereign’s refusal to pay out for a man who’d had a mortgage protection policy, and who had lost a leg, on the grounds that he needed to have lost *two* limbs in order to qualify! Brilliant for Sovereign, yes, but fair? Get *your* head out of your bank book…
        Deb

        • Loota 10.1.2.1

          Come now Vicky, I am pretty sure the guy who got maimed had an insurance policy which stated very clearly, somewhere in the 30 pages, in 7.5 point arial, as part of a footnote, that the insurance company could only pay out in the event of losing two limbs and a simultaneous martian invasion. Look that’s fair and square, buyer beware.

          Yeah thank you Sovereign, you bunch of ***holes.

          • Vicky32 10.1.2.1.1

            The worst thing is that the insurance was through ASB who insisted on it as a condition of his mortgage – he hadn’t even wanted it, then was thankful he had it after the horrible trauma of losing his leg.
            I know what company(ies) to avoid! I’ve noticed that most insurance companies always go out of their way to not pay out – except I must say good on you State who paid without question when some tosser stole my son’s bag at the IMAX cinema in Auckland in 2008…
            Deb

        • clandestino 10.1.2.2

          What about all the times insurance has worked for those who bought it? The stolen stereos, the broken windows? As a fair measure of risk and value it is proven.
          I suggest you watch less TV….or get a job

          • Loota 10.1.2.2.1

            Frak the stolen TVs and the broken windows, we are talking about a man maimed for life here and a corporate which has walked away; not replacing BS material possessions.

            • clandestino 10.1.2.2.1.1

              What about the straw-man in the hayfield??? You’re gonna have to do better than that emotional blackmail…show me something endemic

              • Maynard J

                How about this. Two Christchurch homeowners face houses in ruins. One will get all their money back, and be well looked after in the mean time. One has no idea what their future holds and can do nothing tohelp their situation now. The first, of coruse, took out home insurance, the second did not. The first, in paying for insurance, forfeited the fourth week of a European holiday. The second, in not buying insurance, chose not to forfeit new shoes and school uniforms for their children, home heating and repairs on a washing machine.

                How is that brilliant and fair? Simple example, but the idea that those who don’t take insurance out are being cowboys with risk is absurd, inaccurate and simplistic. It’s easy to spend a little extra money if you have a lot to spare, once your needs have been met.

        • infused 10.1.2.3

          How about they read their policy… It’s the same as investing… for gods sake, do some research first. Almost a darwin award.

          • Maynard J 10.1.2.3.1

            Yeah, the dumb bastard should have known that they were going to lose one limb in a few months and looked for a policy that would have covered it. But then perhaps they did, and the two-limb policy didn’t cover a scalping while using a go-kart and they couldn’t afford both policies, and their crystal ball got it wrong, they lost the limb and didn’t get scalped. ffs mate are you really stupid enough to believe what you wrote there?

            If that’s how dumb you are, no doubt you’ll be up for one when you decide to chop your arm off with a chainsaw to win a bet or something that’s actually stupid.

            • infused 10.1.2.3.1.1

              The one arm/one leg/two arm/two leg is quite comonly known. People should read their policy.

      • Puddleglum 10.1.3

        I can see how insurance is brilliant, in the sense that it’s a brilliant device for leveraging money from anxious people in individualistic societies where they are left to manage risk in isolation from each other.

        But how is it ‘fair’?

        • Bill 10.1.3.1

          It is fair insofar as we are all fair game. No?

          I mean, seriously. My peers (as expressed through societal norms) expect me to get life insurance!

          ie Society expects me to pay money to get money for when I no longer exist? And if I don’t then I’m selfish…not that insurance agencies are shameless profiteering bastards?

          • clandestino 10.1.3.1.1

            The money’s for your kids (if you have any). Why can’t some people just accept some things are here to stay coz they are simply too good to throw away??

            • Loota 10.1.3.1.1.1

              Yeah, you’ll see this argument come back to haunt ya.

            • Bill 10.1.3.1.1.2

              No, you idiot. The money’s for the recipients (the insurance companies) to invest and make a profit from.

              You’re just the expression of the fear factor that provides them with their cash flow.

              • clandestino

                Riight…it’s idiots like you that are gonna cost us all a fortune…we’ll see how that comes back and haunts us.

  11. Treetop 11

    I have been doing a comparison with the Christchurch earthquake residents and South Canterbury Finance. I have asked myself the following questions:

    1. Christchurch earthquake magnitude?
    2. Government assistance for the Christchurch earthquake residents?
    3. Source of resources for the Christchurch earthquake residents?
    4. Level of trauma for the Christchurch earthquake residents?
    5. Duration of trauma for the Christchurch earthquake residents?

    Substitute the word Christchurch earthquake for South Canterbury Finance.

    My fifty years of life has taught me to look at my own resources first.
    Read the fine print when signing a contract.
    Experience is something you get after the event.
    Anger is an emotional response to discomfort.
    What goes around comes around.

  12. Jenny 12

    Fran O’Sullivan worries that the Christchurch Earthquake is a “moral hazard” for the government.

    The answer must be that:

    The Christchurch Earthquake has split open this government’s caring facade’ and revealed a very serious deficit in their ability to address the problem of those on low incomes made homeless by this quake.

    The Minister of Revenue has put out a statement on the earthquake here.

    Yet dispite the homelessness caused by the earthquake the Minister of Housing is still keeping silent about what the response from his department will be.

    In Fact yesterday in Hon. Phil Heatley’s first Media release since the earthquake. It was like it never happened.

    Media Release – 08 Sep – Hon Phil Heatley

    Has the Minister and his Government Department been caught flat footed by this disaster, because Housing New Zealand has been turned from a Social Service provider, into a cash cow provider for landlords and developers?

    In my opinion there is no excuse for even one family to be homeless by the time of the Mayoral election. If any suitable and undamaged property on the market is left empty by the inaction of the Ministry of Housing then serious questions need to be asked.

    I hope both candidates are lobbying central government for a proper response, from the Ministry of Housing. If not the voters of Christchurch need to ask why?

    Is this silence from the Ministry of Housing trying to hide a deliberate and callous decision made by the Minister and his advisers not to make a response to the Earthquake?

    Is Housing New Zealand trying to increase their rental stock Christchurch to meet the demand?

    Will the Minister allow them to?

    captcha – “actions” how we will know them.

    • Jenny 12.1

      With Minister of housing Phill Heatley still crouched under his cone of silence. Now might be a good time for the shadow minister of housing to speak up.

  13. Where have we seen this before, oh yes big banks baled out while subprime homes abandoned for c
    carparks.

    antispam: pause (between aftershocks)

    • Bill 13.1

      Indeed Dave.

      I live a ways south of Christchurch and am about to put up my first refugee…a renter who has lost their home and is touring the S. Island on the fly buying time. (Anybody want to claim that such people are not refugees…internally displaced persons?)

      In two weeks my home opens to a Cantabrian seeking temporary respite. And I very much suspect the fact it is temporary is only down to the fact that their connections are just a bit too deep for them to feel able ( at this moment) to tear up their roots and walk away for good.

      There are going to be significant numbers of people flooding out of Christchurch in the not at all too distant, adding all types of additional pressures to already barely adequate social provisions in NZ.

  14. Augustus 14

    The more risk cover can be taken away from private insurers the better. A universal levy through rates is a far better option. That would also not give insurance companies an excuse to increase premiums, after all they’d cover less risk. Maintaining the insurer’s profit margins was not part of my insurance policy contract when I signed it, but it seems to be their all overriding concern. They must spend more staff time on finding loopholes than on helping clients.

  15. prism 15

    I was unsure of tenants responsibilities for insurance as I had read about a demand for reimbursement for house damage against a tenant by a landlord. It seems that a tenant can be found liable if a landlord can make a viable case against him/her. If there was to be an absence of moral hazard to both parties, it seems the tenant needs to pay a compulsory minor insurance cost to cover the risk of negligence etc. I think people would not know the extent of tenants’ liability – at present the dwelling insurance situation seems inadequate.

    I found this – on the NZ Dept of Building and Housing info under landlord’s obligations : link
    Pay rates and any insurance taken out by the landlord. (Any insurance taken out by the landlord is unlikely to cover the tenant’s liability for damage.)

    This is expanded further on the Otago university site :
    What insurance should I have?
    The landlord is responsible for insuring the building. As a tenant you need to have your possessions adequately covered by an all risks policy. It is also advisable to take out liability cover in case of major damage to the landlord’s property (eg a fire caused by cooking or by an electrical fault in an appliance owned by the tenant).
    Otago link

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    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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