web analytics
The Standard

Not the brighter future….

Written By: - Date published: 8:46 am, December 22nd, 2013 - 32 comments
Categories: class war, equality, families, greens, housing, john key, labour, mana-party, poverty, same old national, sustainability, welfare, workers' rights - Tags:

The inequality divide in New Zealand is not the brighter future for all Kiwis that John Key promised back in 2008.  It’s a bright future for some, and struggle street for others.

I was planning to post about this article, showing how the summer season is experienced by some of the less well off families.

On Stuff: “Santa’s heartbreaking Christmas wishes

Robert Fisher, 74, who has been a Santa at Auckland’s Westfield WestCity in Henderson for nine years, said at least half a dozen kids a day asked him for a house because their families were sleeping in cars.

“It’s worse this year than what I can remember,” he said.

Fisher said some children would ask for a happier family.

“There’s nothing I can do. You just try and say ‘what would you like for Christmas and I’ll see what I can do’. I give them a couple of chocolates.”

[…]

The Christmas heartache comes as social services report more families than ever are desperate for basic food and housing. The Child Poverty Report, released this month, found one in six children going without basic necessities such as a bed, meal or doctor’s visit.

Children’s Commissioner Dr Russell Wills has called for a child poverty plan to be written into law.

He said child poverty had at least doubled by any measure since he was a child, and that as many as 265,000 children lived in poverty, defined as households with less than 60 per cent of the median income after housing costs.

[…]

About 2500 people will attend the Auckland City Mission’s Christmas dinner. Chief executive Diane Robertson said she felt saddened by the increasing number of families asking for help.

The mission had given out 3000 food parcels this December, up from 2400 last year.

Families were not coming for ham, turkey and cakes, she said, but basics such as bread, milk and baked beans.

“There’s been changes in the last few years. We knew families were struggling and coming to us in emergencies, but this is chronic. I can see people are so worn down.”

Christchurch City Missioner Michael Gorman said up to 100 families each day asked for help with a food parcel in December. “We get people coming into us every weekday saying they are desperate for accommodation.”

Families sleeping in cars were stressed because they didn’t know where to enrol their children for school next year, he said.

In Wellington, the Salvation Army was also experiencing high demand.

“The pressure on our families is huge, and housing is a big issue,” Salvation Army territorial social services secretary Pam Waugh said.

I see Paul has linked to this article on open mike, along with a couple of other contrasting articles.  He says:

A tale of 2 New Zealanders.
30 years of neo-liberalism and the country is reduced to this.
The revolting rich

And the poor

[…]

Shame on New Zealand for letting this happen.

The first of Paul’s links is about flash cars for the super rich.  The second is about a guy who is giving back for the help he got when he was struggling:

A former chef has cooked up a big-hearted scheme to provide free Christmas lunches for the needy.

Solo dad Aaron D’Souza has been overwhelmed by generous offers of donations to his Facebook campaign called Koha Kirihimete Kai – Gift Christmas Food.

D’Souza, from Mangere Bridge, Auckland, said his experiences on the breadline while bringing up his two sons inspired an idea to cook and deliver lunches to less fortunate families.

“My six year old boy Dylan was asking me about the City Mission’s charity Christmas dinner and suggested that we cook a lunch for another family who can’t afford one of their own,” D’Souza, who soon starts work as a food technology teacher, said.

“I intended to do this for one family but we have been offered so much free food, we plan to do a lot more.

“The boys understand we are fortunate compared to some others, and will help me peel the potatoes and prepare the food.”

Thanks to all the people supporting those in need.

However, charity is only ever a band aid, and the medium to long term solution requires both a cultural change from the ground up, and political changes from the government:  for instance from the government, worker friendly employment laws; social security provisions that really DO provide social security for all; progressive taxation; affordable housing including more state housing; democratic public service media; economic policies that ensure these things can happen.

Cultural change that ends beneficiary bashing and dividing the “deserving” from the “undeserving” poor; an end to the selfish neoliberal ideology of greed and promotion of the wealthy as producing the wealth for us all; a recognition of how all of the community contributes to the well being of all, whether through paid or unpaid work.

Opposition parties:

YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU!

32 comments on “Not the brighter future….”

  1. Saarbo 1

    “However, charity is only ever a band aid, and the medium to long term solution requires both a cultural change from the ground up, and political changes from the government: for instance from the government, worker friendly employment laws; social security provisions that really DO provide social security for all; progressive taxation; affordable housing including more state housing; democratic public service media; economic policies that ensure these things can happen”

    Hear hear!

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1

      +1

    • Macro 1.2

      In my opinion the very first thing that a government needs to do to ensure near full employment is to make it happen by restricting the amount of cheap goods entering the country. This act alone would make it viable for NZ industries to begin again. You can have all the incentives you like, all the tax breaks and funding packages, but when you have to compete with “slave” labour, there is really no way a business can survive.

      This was one of the first things the 1st Labour Govt did – import quotas and restricting foreign exchange, and the result was the ability of NZ to develop its industrial base. That has now been lost and we fool ourselves if we think we now have the capacity to develop full and equitable employment again until we recreate a strong manufacturing capacity.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        Our hands are tied by all kinds of BS neoliberal trade agreements. Need smart ways around them.

        Three steps I see:

        1) Full employment policy for 25’s and under (focussed on building state houses and public transport infrastructure, also artistic/cultural, caring, conservation and environment work.)
        2) Increase all main benefits by $30 p.w. immediately.
        3) Halfway transition to a living wage of $18.00/hr.

        And get it done in the first 12 months of Government.

        • just saying 1.2.1.1

          CV, $30 per week extra on base benefits is just not enough. I believe the National Super base per single is about $100 per week more than the base single UE/sickness benefits. Home ownership and other kinds of income such as investments, is way higher amongst superannuitants than amongst other beneficiary groups, and yet most superannuitants will tell you they struggle to make ends meet.

          I realise that it is unlikely that you are poor, but honestly, how much difference would $30 per week make to your life, CV? We’re talking about not having the means for adequate nutrition, health care, transport, utilities etc.

          edit: Oh, and why would we have a transition towards a living wage? What exactly would we be waiting for? People to get even poorer?

          • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1.1

            CV, $30 per week extra on base benefits is just not enough. I believe the National Super base per single is about $100 per week more

            I think $30 is a good starting figure, but I agree that it needs to go higher.

            I realise that it is unlikely that you are poor, but honestly, how much difference would $30 per week make to your life, CV?

            For me it’s a pub lunch and a Monteiths – or it’s groceries for a day for a couple. Not too bad, I would have thought.

            This stuff is just a start but it is stuff which can be enacted very quickly in govt to ease the worst pressures off people immediately and boost the economy.

            edit: Oh, and why would we have a transition towards a living wage? What exactly would we be waiting for? People to get even poorer?

            Well, the half way point is $16/hr so I think that’s a good stepping stone. You have a transition so that SMEs can budget for it and not get too fucked up, especially understanding that payroll is often 30% to 40% of an SME’s total costs.

            Of course, government depts, McDonalds, BNZ and Telecom would be able to afford it immediately, but they have resources that small employers simply do not.

            • Wayne 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Interesting point in your post, CV. Are you suggesting $16 ph minimum wage? Given that the $15 campaign is now 3 years old, I can see the logic.

              In contrast the “living wage” is all about people with children. That is why it does not make sense for Councils to implement the living wage for everyone employed by Council as a minimum wage, since at least in theory, the 16 year unskilled grounds assistant would be starting on $18.40 ph, which is $38,272 per year. Now I realize some people would think that would be sensible, but if this became the universal minimum wage, NZ would probably have the highest minimum wage in the OECD, but we are nowhere near the highest income nation in the OECD.

              • felix

                God forbid that a working young person should earn a decent wage. Oh the horror.

                What’s your hourly rate, Wayne?

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Wayne’s concern is that he and others paid over $100k per year will have to take a pay cut. Especially those on over $500k per year.

                  Increasing the minimum wage is the most direct form of redistribution known.

              • Colonial Viper

                NZ would probably have the highest minimum wage in the OECD, but we are nowhere near the highest income nation in the OECD.

                But NZ generates plenty of income. Of course, too much of our nation’s income is going offshore to foreign shareholders who do nothing to work to earn it. Our 5% current account deficit represents a net loss offshore of around $10B pa. This will worsen further as our terms of trade pulls back from multi-decade highs. (And our most profitable public assets are sold).

            • dave 1.2.1.1.1.2

              liveing wage is only part of the reforms that need to take place workers need there bargining positions strengthened to adress the stagnant wage growth how we got to this point took many years neoliberal reforms have not been kind to the weekly wage . the national dept is the elephant in the room that can derail any reform and we all should be worried http://www.johnpemberton.co.nz/html/total_debt_.html dept has replaced income and in end we will all suffer

      • Chooky 1.2.2

        +1

        ….and stop foreign ownership of our big income earners and exports

        eg wineries and vineyard land
        dairy industries and dairying land
        tourism ventures

        …it is crazy to sell them off to the very countries that would buy these products and services from NZ and NZers

  2. Will@Welly 2

    There has always been an “underclass” in society, and I use that word advisedly. In the 50’s, 60’s & 70’s, you could virtually count all the people who belonged to that group, and you knew where they lived. Not so now, and no matter what help was offered then, they struggled. Often it was a lack of educational opportunities that had held them back. Remember the old School Cert, 50% failure rate, no matter what. We had the working class, of which I am proudly one, then the middle class, to which many aspired, and finally the elite.
    Too many “middle class” people today see themselves as the elite, they have been fooled into believing they are as good as their masters. Most are living on a prayer. Given the state of the economy and many peoples personal debt, they are only one step away from purgatory.
    The elite make deals behind closed doors, and are quite happy to squander your money. Those who think they are rich, but actually aren’t, are fooling themselves. Key & co love them, they’re laughing all the way to the bank.
    For many middle class people, they’ve actually become lower middle-class/upper working class, but with the slide in living standards, they’re destined to become working class in the coming years.
    For most working class people we’re on struggle street, not quite as desperate as some, but the bank accounts getting empty, the minimum wage is catching up to ours, and that’s not the fault of those on the minimum pay rate, it’s the fact since the introduction of the Employment Contracts Act in 1990, and today, employers have not invested in productivity, rather they’ve been happy to close up shop and ship our jobs off-shore to some cheaper form of labour.
    The “underclass” is growing, poverty is entrapment. The dreaded handout is now a hand-up, but that comes with so many fish-hooks, taking it causes more headaches, many wonder is it really worth it. The right uses it as a foil.
    John A. Lee, Michael Joseph Savage, Arnold Nordmeyer, even Norman Kirk, they’d be all turning in their graves to see the society we’ve become today. As for the “left”, the Labour Party abandoned it’s principles a long time ago. It’s time for a sea-change.

  3. Philj 3

    Xox
    Greater tax of double dipping superannuitants. Those that work and get super. Ooh ,nooo!

  4. rich the other 4

    Every thing must be looking up and contrary to what will @welly recons the rich don’t squander , that’s why they are rich, we should all should follow their example.

    This topic started at 8.46am , this is only the 8th reply.
    I suspect people can see a future and things are improving .
    The response says it all.

    Paula Bennett has a good grasp on her portfolio and is steering the ship in the wright direction , a surprise National STAR.

    • karol 4.1

      This topic started at 8.46am , this is only the 8th reply.
      I suspect people can see a future and things are improving .
      The response says it all.

      You wish. It’s a slow time of year. People are doing other things.

      • rich the other 4.1.1

        Yep , Christmas shopping ,it can take all day and plenty of bargains to be found.

      • Tim 4.1.2

        Indeed!
        The “wally of the Year” post went up an hour before this one and so far has less comments.
        “first the Hone bash, then the royals..” 2 days ago and now just over 100.
        They try their bullshit and jellybeans spin any which way they can (brains mismanaged with great skill – they think they have a licence to kill). You’ll note one of them has even taken to doing cut and pastes from an oil slick in desperation.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      Irrelevant. It’s capitalism. Most people who are rich suck in wealth created by the labour hours of others in the form of unearned income.

      A high wealth tax and an estate (death) tax would even the playing field for ordinary people to get ahead.

    • Foreign Waka 4.3

      To Rich the other: People prepare for Christmas and this is a good thing. At least the families come together at one time in the year.
      Paula Bennett does what she has been told and some more. I have no respect for this women whose only ambition is to give less to get more of the taxpayer money handed over in form of personal income. It is in effect showing what the party is all about. Meanwhile, there are reports of a quarter of a million children living in poverty. Given that the population is 4.43 million and every child has at least 1 parent that would mean that 11% live in poverty. I don’t belief that this is something to be proud of. Furthermore, this fact has actually caught the attention now of the international community such as Amnesty International and International Human Rights watchdog. To appear on a record with these agencies means that there is something seriously wrong and not recognizing that as a fact is akin to sanction that some may starve in order for some to get rich.Is this the new improved NZ that Mr Key promised? I belief we can do without that.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.4

      Every thing must be looking up and contrary to what will @welly recons the rich don’t squander , that’s why they are rich, we should all should follow their example.

      Why the rich are rich is because they persuade people to pay them for nothing. They do this through ownership of the expenses that everyone else needs which allows them to make a profit on everything that everyone else spends. Their own expenses are also covered to a great degree by everyone else through tax breaks and other loopholes that have been put their for that very purpose.

      The rich aren’t rich because they’re geniuses or because they don’t squander, but because everyone else pays them to be rich.

    • dave 4.5

      “rich don’t squander” Oh what a statement!Who caused the ongoing GFC 2008 we know the answer!
      i will remind you of another statement “let them eat cake” CHOP CHOP!

  5. Tracey 5

    But wayne surely the economic good news you crow will see incomes leap frogging the oecd scale? Otherwise maybe its not the good news you and national are flogging.

  6. Mike Steinberg 7

    ***The Child Poverty Report, released this month, found one in six children going without basic necessities such as a bed, meal or doctor’s visit.***

    I think that with the technology now available with birth control shots that these need to be made a part of an increased and more generous welfare package. This would provide a better standard of living for those born in poverty, but also ensure that it is sustainable and give the mum’s a better chance of moving out of poverty.

    • Te Reo Putake 7.1

      Personally, I think the poor should be encouraged to eat their unwanted offspring. Nutritious and budget conscious. Win/Win.

    • Foreign Waka 7.2

      Some 60 years ago a program with a bit less technology was introduced in a country in Europe, I leave it up to you to guess what I am getting at.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • #RedMyLips: April 28 “Minister for Women”
    Or is she? Sexual violence is not a women’s issue, it is a human issue and affects all of us. The month long ‘RedMyLips’ campaign started in 2011 and aims to raise awareness and much needed discussion on this topic.… ...
    Politically CorrectedBy sleepdepriveddiva
    2 hours ago
  • #RedMyLips: April 27 “Best friends”
    Sexual violence is not a women’s issue, it is a human issue and affects all of us. The month long ‘RedMyLips’ campaign started in 2011 and aims to raise awareness and much needed discussion on this topic. This year is… ...
    Politically CorrectedBy sleepdepriveddiva
    2 hours ago
  • What is Keynesianism in the 21st century?
    After the dismal failure of neo-liberalism to foresee the global financial crisis, let alone have answers to how to fix it, Keynes has made a comeback; but his 21st century acolytes disagree on what constitute Keynes’ key ideas by Michael… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 hours ago
  • Fear and loathing in the UK
    It is now only 9 days until the UK election, and having failed to win any public support for their policies, the tories are trying to frighten the electorate instead. Their core tactic has been an attempt to delegitimise Scottish… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    9 hours ago
  • More on the investment approach
    The Productivity Commission has a report calling for an extension of the government's investment approach to cover education, healthcare, social housing, and other services, in addition to its current use in welfare programmes. I generally like the investment approach… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    10 hours ago
  • State of emergency declared in Baltimore
    Violence erupted on the streets of Baltimore yesterday, hours after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American man who died in police custody earlier this month. Protesters clashed with police, pelting officers with rocks, bricks and bottles. Police fired… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Do parking minimums restrict competition?
    During the Unitary Plan submissions process, a number of retailers and shopping centre owners took a pretty conservative stance on transport. They argued for maintaining parking minimums, replacing maximums with minimums in some areas, and so on. Some argued that… ...
    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    13 hours ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • Climate change: Good news on agriculture
    New Zealand's policy on climate change has been one of inaction, justified by excuses and special pleading. A key plank in this is our emissions profile. Roughly 50% of our greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture. We can't do anything… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • And the OSPAR goes to… the Arctic!
    Yes, that is not a typo. The OSPAR Award. A long awaited Award that the Arctic well deserves.But, what is an OSPAR? The OSPAR Convention is an international agreement of 15 European countries (Arctic and non Arctic states) plus the… ...
    13 hours ago
  • What causes world happiness?
    Jeff Sachs and co-authors have just published the 2015 edition of the World Happiness Report, which presents research into which countries are happier than others, and why. First, nationalistic good news. We’re in the top 10! And we’re beating out… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    13 hours ago
  • Health Sector Needs More User Pays, Less Nanny State
    Some people label ideas like a junk food tax as ‘nanny state’, but ultimately such soundbites are overly simplistic, because we already have a situation where the state interferes in our lives. Are unhealthy people such as smokers or people… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    14 hours ago
  • Productivity Commission sends worrying signal ahead of Budget 2015
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says today’s release of the Productivity Commission’s draft Report Into Social Services sends a worrying signal of the Government’s intentions ahead of Budget 2015. ...
    14 hours ago
  • Power and ponytails
    From the ongoing unfolding issue about the Prime Minister's ponytail pulling, specifically in the case of Amanda Bailey, there's one little bit I want to write about a bit more, and it comes back to this quote from The Nation… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Dunedin talk: After the 1916 Rebellion – the Irish war for independence a...
    Speaker: Dr Philip Ferguson (Phil was a Sinn Fein activist in Dublin from 1986-1994, when he left because he disagreed with the direction the leadership of SF/IRA were taking. He is currently a member of Clann éirígí and he blogs… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    15 hours ago
  • “Get some guts”
    I will not—will not—stand by while... people are out there being beheaded. I am sorry, but this is the time to stand up and be counted. Get some guts and join the right side. That was John Key in February,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    15 hours ago
  • Me on QT
    (Caution! Self-promotion.) I got word the other day that the editorial board of the Journal of Legislative Studies have chosen my piece on question times as the best article in the journal for 2014. Obviously it is humbling to get… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    16 hours ago
  • Submit to the power of authority
    You have until midday today to make a submission to the Council on the Long Term Plan. You may want to make a submission to tell them how you feel about say asset sales, or the arts budget, or cycle… ...
    Rebuilding ChristchurchBy rebuildingchristchurch
    16 hours ago
  • “Casual”
    Key is, of course, right. He really is the most casual PM we’ve ever had. (Maybe if the Lamburglar had more than 9 weeks in the job he could have challenged for the title, but that didn’t happen so it… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    16 hours ago
  • Nepal aid effort intensifies
    Humanitarian agencies are preparing large-scale aid operations to earthquake-ravaged Nepal, with tonnes of supplies being flown into the country. Photo: AFP More than 4000 people are known to have died in the 7.8 quake on Saturday and more… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Cave Creek tragedy marked 20 years on
    Commemorations are taking place today to mark 20 years since the Cave Creek disaster that claimed 14 lives. Thirteen Tai Poutini Polytechnic outdoor recreation students and a Department of Conservation officer died when a DoC viewing platform collapsed into a… ...
    16 hours ago
  • The X Factor NZ: Back to black
    This week was yet another reminder that beneath a thin veneer of order, chaos still reigns at X Factor NZ. X Factor's Steve Broad. Photo: The X Factor NZ With the announcement this week that Dominic Bowden… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Envirologue: Too Big to Fail – Why National will Never Act on Climate Cha...
    Californians, withering in the worst drought in the state’s history, are being exhorted to leave their urine standing in the toilet, to keep their showers shorter than five minutes and to replace their lawns with rocks and cacti. Meanwhile, figures… ...
    17 hours ago
  • More thoughts on Light Rail details
    On the closed session agenda for tomorrow’s Auckland Transport board meeting is an item asking for a decision about Light Rail. Hopefully this will see the project move forward and the public provided with more information. With that in mind… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Questions and Answers – April 28
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk 1. CHRIS BISHOP (National) to the Minister of Finance : What reports has he received about lower than expected inflation in New Zealand?Questions to Ministers Inflation—Reports 1. CHRIS BISHOP (National) to the… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    19 hours ago
  • The “I” factor in political practice
    When is a Prime Minister a political person and when the voice of the nation? Opening the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington on April 18, John Key said: “I feel proud of the decision to make Pukeahu… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    21 hours ago
  • A Programme of Phased Cuts in Company Tax
    Column – ACT New Zealand Over-taxing mobile capital is not a good idea not if you want jobs and higher wages anyway. Last week the ACT Leader announced a plan for a programme of phased reductions in the company… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    22 hours ago
  • Trade Minister Cheers Big Corporation Over Ordinary People
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party Trade Minister Tim Grosers cheerleader role for the United States to speed up the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement is worrying, says New Zealand First Trade Spokesperson Fletcher Tabuteau.Trade Minister Cheers Big Corporation Over… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • My other grandfather
    I have been stuck at home for several days, and so the build-up to Anzac day has been reduced for me to a series of media impressions. Fragmentary ones at that, as I actively tried to avoid the coverage. The… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    1 day ago
  • US: the state’s systematic violence kills another young black man
    Freddie Gray: brutally murdered by Baltimore cops by The Spark A young man is dead in Baltimore, killed by six murdering cops. In the same week, a murdering cop goes free in Chicago when a prosecutor and a judge tie… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Questions For Oral Answer April 28
    Press Release – Office of the Clerk 1. CHRIS BISHOP to the Minister of Finance: What reports has he received about lower than expected inflation in New Zealand? QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS 1. CHRIS BISHOP to the Minister of Finance: What… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Hobbling Democracy: TPPA and The Covenant of Secrecy
    Opinion – Binoy Kampmark The TTIP and TPPA, both sounding like ominous injections of political disaster, continue their march towards belittling, and corroding the democratic content of its participating countries. The holder of the needle remains US President Barack Obama,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • The Decline and Fall of the United States | David Swanson
    Opinion – David Swanson After a speech I gave this past weekend, a young woman asked me whether a failure by the United States to properly surround and intimidate China might result in instability. I explained why I thought the… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Fearing the loss of Hegemony: The Concept of US Retreat
    Opinion – Binoy Kampmark Nothing upsets those drunk on imperialist virtue than the fact it might end. Such romances with power do have a use-by-date, going off like old fruit. Eventually, the crippling contradictions will win through in the end.… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Strong Support for Clarification of GMO Council Jurisdiction
    Press Release – GE Free NZ On Friday, 24 April GE Free Northland and the Soil & Health Association of NZ with 19 other 274 parties sought clarification in the Environment Court on whether there is jurisdiction in the Resource… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Should Environmentalists Care About Poverty?
    Perhaps heightened by the leadership contest in the Green Party, there appears to be a debate going on about where environmentalism fits into the political spectrum. I am not a member of the Green Party (nor any other, for that… ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Inoculating against science denial
    Science denial has real, societal consequences. Denial of the link between HIV and AIDS led to more than 330,000 premature deaths in South Africa. Denial of the link between smoking and cancer has caused millions of premature deaths. Thanks to… ...
    1 day ago
  • A year ago today – Auckland’s first electric trains
    A year ago today transport in Auckland was forever changed as the first electric trains started carrying passengers – although they didn’t start running in normal service till the following day. Electrifying Auckland’s rail network is something that had been… ...
    1 day ago
  • Media Link: Anzac Day panel on future conflicts.
    Commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the ill-fated assault at Gallipoli prompted Radio New Zealand to convene a special panel on the evolution and future of conflict since those tragic and futile days in 1915. I was invited to participate… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Australian cops shut down Aboriginal Anzac Day march
    The article below deals with the erasing of the Frontier Wars in Australia.  Something similar has happened in relation to the Land Wars in New Zealand.  The wars of conquest and confiscation of Maori land are totally eclipsed by carefully-constructed… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • After World War 1: the horrors of peace at home (Australia)
    The small number of people involved in Redline means we simply don’t have the possibility to cover everything we’d like to.  This includes some very important stuff.  For instance, an article about what NZ soldiers came home to, an equivalent… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Anzac Day II
    I spent a couple of hours at our local RSA on Saturday. It was well past the traditional solemnity of the morning, well into the drinking. The old fellows drank like soldiers and the soldiers, there in their uniforms, with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Pony-tails, panic and PR spin.
    How Crosby-Textor propose to rescue Key from the fall out over his casual Pony-Tail stroking.Rumour has it that the Crosby-Textor spin machine that elevated John Key to the leadership of the National Party and thence to Prime Minister of NZ… ...
    the Irascible CurmudgeonBy Alan Papprill
    2 days ago
  • Poor peer review – and its consequences
    See below for citations used The diagram above displays links between the journal, editors and reviewers in the case of the paper Malin & Till (2015). I discussed these links before in Poor peer-review – a case study  but thought… ...
    2 days ago
  • Capture: April Come She Will
    Over the month of April I've started a number of threads, but not quite found the time or inspiration to reach a critical mass.Looking back though, it was a fairly packed month, as we ease our way into autumn.So here's… ...
    2 days ago
  • Has John Key tugged off more than he realises?
    John Key's pony-tail-gate controversy seems to have divided people into two camps. The vast bulk of New Zealanders (to purloin a Key-ism) can agree on the fact that it's weird... and out of order. But then there are those who… ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Rodney Hide: They’re all after me, man…
    The state apparently has me under covert investigation. It all started a couple of weeks ago when I was followed home by some guy in a long coat and dark glasses. It was 27 degrees and cloudy. My friends have… ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • The road to Mike Hosking, vilifier of young women
    Some of us have always seen radio announcer Mike Hosking as a puffed-up little prat. I was there at Broadcasting House when this shortish young guy with a big voice and a very strange manner arrived in the Network Newsroom.… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Hey RaboDirect, if Mike Hosking’s selling you, I’m not buying.
    A nasty side of radio announcer Mike Hosking spilled out into view last week as he ‘bashed’ the victim of John Key’s serial bullying. Hosking, supported by TVNZ’s OneNews, sponsored by RaboDirect, vilified the waitress whom the Prime Minister admits… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Is Auckland boring enough?
    Via Jarrett Walker, I recently ran across a provocative article by Aaron Renn in the Guardian: “In praise of boring cities“. Renn takes his fellow urbanists to task for the narrowness of their vision about what makes a good city:… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago

  • More hype and half-truths from Coleman
    The rising incidence of rheumatic fever has nothing to do with ‘families having a better understanding of the disease’ as the Health Minister wants us to believe but everything to do with his failure to address the root causes of… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Regional air routes must be maintained
    The Government must use its majority shareholding to make sure Air New Zealand cooperates with second tier airlines stepping into the regional routes it has abandoned, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Air New Zealand’s cancellation of its Kaitaia, Whakatane,… ...
    12 hours ago
  • Action needed on decades old arms promise
    Nuclear weapons states must honour the unequivocal promise they made 45 years ago to disarm, says Labour’s Disarmament Spokesperson Phil Goff. Mr Goff is attending the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in New York. ...
    13 hours ago
  • Worker safety top of mind tomorrow and beyond
    Workers’ Memorial Day, commemorated tomorrow, is both a time to reflect and to encourage a better safety culture in all workplaces, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway.“On Worker’s Memorial Day, working people across New Zealand will remember those… ...
    1 day ago
  • Communities forced to stomach water woes
    Confirmation by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman that he is to wind up a water quality improvement scheme will leave thousands of Kiwis with no alternative but to continue boiling their drinking water, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. The Drinking… ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour calls for immediate humanitarian aid for Nepal
    The Government should act immediately to help with earthquake relief efforts in Nepal, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The Nepalese Government is appealing for international assistance following yesterday’s massive quake. The full impact is only now being realised… ...
    2 days ago
  • New holiday reflects significance of Anzac Day
    Anzac Day now has the full recognition that other public holidays have long enjoyed, reflecting the growing significance it has to our sense of identity and pride as a nation, Labour MP David Clark says.“The importance of the 100th Gallipoli… ...
    2 days ago
  • Housing crisis hurting export growth
    If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Our exporters are struggling to compete… ...
    4 days ago
  • Gallipoli’s lesson: never forget, never repeat
     A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760… ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister for who? Women, or Team Key?
    Louise Upston yesterday broke her silence on John Key’s repeated unwanted touching of a woman who works at his local café, to jump to the defence of her Boss. Upston repeated Key’s apology but, according to media reports “she refused… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Taxpayer bucks backing US billionaire
    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    5 days ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    5 days ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    5 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    5 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    6 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    6 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    6 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    6 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    7 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    1 week ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    1 week ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere