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On Best Start

Written By: - Date published: 10:06 pm, January 28th, 2014 - 95 comments
Categories: Left - Tags:

So Labour has launched the Best start policy and the criticism from National and its followers has been swift and well coordinated. And, like the bulk of National’s attacks on it opponents, it also has no basis in reality.

The criticism of Labour’s Best start policy is essentially falling into two categories.

The first is that it will encourage irresponsible parents to breed children just for the extra $60 per week.

There are many good reasons why this is a bogus argument but rather than wade into that it’s much faster to simply look at the evidence:

Australia has had a similar policy since 2002. The following graph (hattip to pete), of Australian fertility rates, demonstrates that this policy has had a negligible effect on the  population.

NZ Aus fert rates

The graph makes clear that those who claim that the Labour policy will create a tsunami of ‘bene breeders’ are talking complete and utter nonsense.

The other common criticism of the policy is that the cut-off limit ($150k) for the weekly $60 is too high. That it is rewarding those who already have enough money and don’t deserve assistance.

Of course the reality is that in low-wage NZ there will be relatively few families who are in this privileged position and that the vast majority of families that receive the $60 will be low to middle income families who really will find the extra money helpful during what is a very financially strained time.

The high cut-off limit also means that ‘Best start’ is, for all intents and purposes, a universal policy like NZ super. You wont hear the right calling for the end of super because a few millionaires get it. Seems their preference is for kicking poor kids over rich grannies, go figure…

geoff

95 comments on “On Best Start”

  1. mickysavage 1

    Thanks Geoff.

    The criticisms are starting to really annoy me and you have addressed their main criticisms.

    The third one, that Labour has not funded the proposal is also bollocks. Between CGTs and increased tax for the wealthy it and other policies can be funded.

    • karol 1.1

      Then there’s Gower’s beat up on TV3 tonight. As if it wasn’t very clear yesterday, on Labour’s FAQ Best Start page, that people getting PPL wouldn’t get the Best Start payment for new borns.

      • newsense 1.1.1

        That was on TVNZ as well. In a mostly good piece from Corin Dann the line was allowed that Cunliffe was deceiving New Zealanders or something like that and then Dann said that Cunliffe had allowed Key a line of attack, without assessing the validity of that line of attack.

        eh.

        Thick skin time!

        And the “Labour blindsided” from TV3 by National doing its own PPL. Surely that should read champagne corks off for the opposition as National forced to adopt a popular Labour policy in another successful campaign advanced by a Labour-sponsored private members bill.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.2

        “As if it wasn’t very clear yesterday, on Labour’s FAQ Best Start page”

        It might have been very clear on their FAQ. But it was NOT clear from Cunliffe’s speech.

        It would not have taken much to mention it: announce paid parental leave first, then add the $60 payment for those not receiving paid parental leave.

        Simple. But he didn’t do it.

        Yes, the media are way over-reacting, but the point is, Cunliffe gave them an opening.

  2. tricledrown 2

    The funny thing about the Australian baby bonus it was put in place by the right wing Howard govt which makes Nationals criticism Ironic.

    • McFlock 2.1

      … as well as moronic

    • chris73 2.2

      Even funnier it was the Labor party that ended it…

      • Tamati 2.2.1

        Exactly –what was the ALP’s justification for ditching it?

        I think the Aussies also did it better with the one off lump payment. Cunliffe can’t really say that he’s opposed to “nanny state vouchers” but doesn’t trust parents with a lump sum. It would probably be easier to administer than weekly payments too.

      • karol 2.2.2

        Actually, I don’t think it’s been axed (by the Labor government last year) so much as cut back in Aussie – there will be fewer families getting it. But that also gets Family Tax benefits.

        The thing called “Baby Bonus” has been axed, but some families will still be getting some money for their new born children.

        So it’s a more targeted system, with various kinds of benefits for specific groups of families.

        • Tamati 2.2.2.1

          From that article it seems that the Aussies have a lower threshold, despite a significantly higher wage economy.

          I still think a lump sum option would be more appropriate.

      • joe90 2.2.3

        Even funnier it was the Labor party that ended it…

        But not as funny as you being too fucking stupid to use google to find out that eligibility has been tightened but reduction in the bonus will be compensated for by an increase in the family tax credits for those who qualify.

        http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/excessive-baby-bonus-scrapped/story-fnhi8df6-1226642532079

        edit: now this is a baby bonus

        By having two children, a middle-income Singaporean household may receive various incentives which are equivalent to S$166,000.[9]:14 For third and subsequent child, the household will get an additional S$8,000 as Baby Bonus[10] and S$20,000 as Parenthood Tax Rebate

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baby_bonus#Singapore

        • jbc 2.2.3.1

          edit: now this is a baby bonus

          Don’t bring Singapore into this debate. The far right would love a scheme like theirs.

          Not available to illegitimate children (Singapore Govt’s terminology) unless the “natural parents become lawfully married before the child reaches 6 years old.” Also: absolutely no welfare and very low tax.

          edit: Colin Craig would love that.

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.3.1.1

            And lots of mistreated poorly paid immigrant workers who keep the place running. Nice little workers riot they had a month or two ago.

            • jbc 2.2.3.1.1.1

              Absolutely. Disneyland with the death penalty.

              I lived there for 10 years and can say that is more than enough to cure anyone of their right-leaning tendencies. Provided of course said person brings some sense of humanity / compassion with them.

              • KJT

                Not sure the right would like the Singapore Governments participation and regulation of business and the economy.

                The land rents, that allow them to charge low taxes otherwise, are worth thinking about.

    • Matt 2.3

      The baby bonus was then revoked when the costs grew to 1.1 billion. Where will the money come from for this policy?

  3. chris73 3

    You wont hear the right calling for the end of super because a few millionaires get it. Seems their preference is for kicking poor kids over rich grannies, go figure…

    – This one from the right thinks super should be means tested…

    • McFlock 3.1

      kids don’t vote. Pensioners do.

    • mac1 3.2

      Considering the amount of people who underdeclare their income to avoid taxation, means tested super would just give another justification for that dishonest and antisocial practice, and add to the bureaucracy for no real benefit.

    • KJT 3.3

      That is because tax fiddling right wingers still expect they will get it when it is means tested.

  4. joe90 4

    Meanwhile, over at the sewer the penguin conducts the mob.

  5. Tamati 5

    You can’t simply compare two time series graphs and claim that this proves a lack of causation. Chances are a few parents will choose to have additional children, because of the payment.

    What the graph does show is that any effect will be minimal.

    What’s wrong with having more children anyway? Someone needs to pay the taxes when we all retire.

    • geoff 5.1

      What the graph does show is that any effect will be minimal.

      Yep, that’s all it needs to do. I’m sure a baby bonus does cause a certain percentage of people to decide to have kids but, as the graph shows, that certain percentage is very small.

  6. Bill 6

    What was it with the b/s being carried on Radio NZ ‘news’ reports today essentially sanctioning peeps on +$150k to rort the whole thing? Anyone care to explain that hypocritical, non-sensical and illogical piece of misanthropy? Have people really internalised the null morality of corporate $$$ thought to such a degree?

  7. The graph makes clear that those who claim that the Labour policy will create a tsunami of ‘bene breeders’ are talking complete and utter nonsense.

    It doesn’t make that clear at all. If we assume the Aus baby bonus scheme was similar to Best Start (which I’m going to do because I can’t be arsed looking it up, and if they aren’t similar the graph would tell us nothing anyway), then what it does make clear is that the scheme had little or no effect on overall fertility at the population level. For all this graph tells us, the Aus baby bonus scheme may have had no effect on birth rates of people on benefits, may have made them fall, or may have made them rise. We don’t know because it’s population-level data, not beneficiary-specific data.

    • geoff 7.1

      Argh, not you again! I spent all day patiently trying to reason with you. Someone else please berate Psycho Milt, I need some sleep.

      • miravox 7.1.1

        “Someone else please berate Psycho Milt, I need some sleep.”

        Many have tried, and all have failed ;-)

        I’m surprised there are people who have argued with venom over they years that the poor don’t take finances into consideration when they decide to have children and with this Best Start policy are at at the same time arguing that the poor will have more children because they can financially afford to do so for several years.

        I think – with just as much evidence as as those who think the poor will have more children – people will have the same number of children, but they will make the decision to have them earlier.

        The decision to have the first child is pretty much done and dusted, it’s just timing that is the issue – almost everyone has one (although childless choices are becoming more popular). Subsequent children are a result of lots of factors with the personal ability (physically and mentally) to manage the next one quite high on the list for women who have social, educational, cultural, financial and relationship freedoms to make that choice.

        Encouraging women to have children earlier (in the 20-30s) is a good thing, imo.

        • Matthew Hooton 7.1.1.1

          The Australian scheme appears to have increased the fertility rate from 1.7 to 2.0 between 2001 and 2008, with the biggest increase among women aged 35-39. For quick summary, see http://mccrindle.com.au/the-mccrindle-blog/the-baby-bonus-generation

          • mickysavage 7.1.1.1.1

            Where is your proof of causation Matthew?

            New Zealand had a similar increase during this time without the benefit of a package.

          • geoff 7.1.1.1.2

            Looked at your link, it’s just opinion without raw data to inspect.

            As the graph above in my post demonstrates, they have merely chosen convenient end points in the data for their analysis, ending it in 2008 and ignoring the decrease and flattening off in fertility rate after that point.

            Essentially they’re trying to say that the noise is the signal. It’s the same bogus trick as the climate-change deniers do.

            Nice try, Matthew.

          • miravox 7.1.1.1.3

            Without further evidence, I suggest the gradual increase in delayed motherhood is largely responsible for the higher birthrate in the 35-39 age group. It will be interesting to see if there was a dip in 20-35 age fertility in the decade previously. The article alludes to this also.

            The trend over the last decade has been increasing fertility rate amongst older women. Over the last decade, the fertility rate of women aged 35-39 has been greater than that of women in their early twenties. The fertility rate of a 32 year old woman is ten times greater than that of a 17 year old!

            otoh hand at least the article provides no evidence that teens used it to ‘breed’ for cash.

          • bad12 7.1.1.1.4

            Hooton, have you an opinion here, do you consider the 03% raise in the Australian fertility rate to be ‘breeding for money’…

            • BM 7.1.1.1.4.1

              The fertility rate rate between 2001 and 2008 increased by 17.5%

              That’s quite significant.

              • miravox

                “The fertility rate rate between 2001 and 2008 increased by 17.5%”

                Although there was an increase in fertility it doesn’t follow that this was a result of the baby bonus.

                For example – were there any other demographic trends that could account for the increase (e.g. increased immigration of women who would be of child-bearing age in 2001? ‘Catch up’ fertility of older women? (the tables suggest it might be), a previous ‘baby bump’ generation reaching adulthood?

                Were the fertility patterns any different to those in other similar countries? The graph on the post suggests some similarities between the NZ and Aust fertility rates, for example.

                • BM

                  Although there was an increase in fertility it doesn’t follow that this was a result of the baby bonus.

                  It does seem a bit of a coincidence that the fertility rate spiked after the start of the baby bonus scheme, but I get what your saying.

                  • felix

                    It might seem “a bit of a coincidence” if you were so dishonest that you didn’t consider any factors other than the ones you wanted to link (like Matthew, above) or if you were so thick you swallowed such an obvious line of bullshit unquestioningly (like you, always).

              • geoff

                17.5% of fuck all is still fuck all.

                So no, not significant at all.

                Just like the drop off after 2008 wasn’t significant.
                Just like the similar percentage increase in NZ around 2009 with no baby bonus wasn’t significant.

                Noise isn’t signal.

                Except in your brain, BM.

          • Chooky 7.1.1.1.5

            @ Possum Hooton …well women aged 35 to 39 will be more likely to be well educated women with careers who have been reluctant to have children because they will lose their economic independence…..if this is the case that some State money goes towards babies and their Mothers well-being then all the better! ….we need well educated financial feminist New Zealand Mothers to bring up future generations….for the sake of New Zealand….well educated Mothers bring up well educated children and young adults

            …..anyone who argues otherwise is a misogynist and a sexist

            …..and as well does not have the interests of children and New Zealand’s future at heart

          • Puddleglum 7.1.1.1.6

            Matthew,

            Have a look at New Zealand’s birthrate as compared to Australia’s and Iceland’s.

            Declining birth rates are widespread in developed economies since the 1960s. Financial incentives vary from country to country but the trend is the same. Something much, much more influential on birth rates is determining that trend.

            It’s hopeless reasoning to conclude that we should fear spikes in birth rates as a result of such a policy.

            Please read the downloadable pdf from this site on birth rates. It includes discussion of birth rates by age, region, etc.

        • geoff 7.1.1.2

          I’m surprised there are people who have argued with venom over they years that the poor don’t take finances into consideration when they decide to have children and with this Best Start policy are at the same time arguing that the poor will have more children because they can financially afford to do so for several years.

          this!

        • Psycho Milt 7.1.1.3

          I’m surprised there are people who have argued with venom over they years that the poor don’t take finances into consideration when they decide to have children and with this Best Start policy are at at the same time arguing that the poor will have more children because they can financially afford to do so for several years.

          I wouldn’t consider myself someone who argues with “venom,” but as the comment is addressed to me:

          The logical inconsistency is in your imagination. Consider:

          We have a proportion of people who are completely careless about or just don’t give a shit about whether they make babies, because taxpayers will pay for the children’s upbringing.

          Two things to note:
          1. It’s a fairly small proportion, because the taxpayer isn’t generous so to become someone who doesn’t care whether they make babies, you have to really have no prospects.

          2. Because the taxpayer isn’t generous, increasing numbers of children results in increasing financial difficulty, so it’s an even smaller proportion that doesn’t find it within themselves eventually to care about whether they make more babies.

          In light of those, what effect could we reasonably expect a sudden increase in generosity by the taxpayer to have? There’s plenty of room for argument over what level of increase in not giving a shit about making babies would result, but that there’d be an increase? No-brainer.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 7.1.1.3.1

            Ah, logic sophistry. So much more persuasive than facts

          • miravox 7.1.1.3.2

            “I wouldn’t consider myself someone who argues with “venom,” but as the comment is addressed to me:”

            The comment was addressed to Geoff and was a general observation. But anyways…

            From the perspective of a ex-teen mother, I do feel you argue with venom. I also feel I know a bit about the motivations (or lack of) for having children at a young age. Not ‘giving a shit’ is not one of them. Also, a lack of awareness of future prospects does not equal ‘no prospects’.

            We’ve argued this before, so lets agree to differ here, if that’s ok with you.

            Because I don’t agree with your number 1., your number 2. makes no sense at all to me.

            The Best Start package, from my point of view, would have very little to do with the decision-making process about how many babies a woman may bear (however young or unaware of future prospects they may be). There are far too many other factors that take precedence over $60 per week for 1 to 3 years. I do believe, however, that it may have an effect on the timing of pregnancies. That’s the no-brainer, imo.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 7.1.1.3.3

            @ Psycho Milt

            We have a proportion of people who are completely careless about or just don’t give a shit about whether they make babies, because taxpayers will pay for the children’s upbringing.

            Alot of assumptions here Psycho Milt – how about applying some reason?

            The case may be that there are a) some men don’t give a shit about whether they make a woman pregnant or b) some women who don’t consider the consequences of falling pregnant or c) people who fall pregnant unexpectedly and yet there is certainly d) women that get pregnant under such circumstances do give a shit about babies and because of that will have them if they fall pregnant regardless of their circumstances -financial or otherwise.

            Should our economic/political system take reality into account? – or keep bumbling along based on notions on how those with their heads up their arse think people should be?

            I personally think all people should be honest and fair -if this was the case very few laws whatsoever would be needed – yet because I know not everyone is honest and fair I support laws that protect people from others’ dishonesty and poor intentions.

            A grasp on reality needs to be included here – one could outlaw having children if one falls under a certain income level – yet what about people who were in better circumstances – whom have children and whose circumstances degenerate? – and even if such an outrageous law existed there would still be babies born illegally. The problem isn’t solved by such a law. You have to address reality – not ‘the way things should be’.

            The reality, also of this situation is that no such law would ever be passed – because those people running the show here and abroad would know that people would quickly realise that there is something seriously wrong with an economic system that leaves 25%plus of the population not ‘allowed’ to have children.

            “…because taxpayers will pay for the children’s upbringing.”

            This is an assumption. I really believe you are incorrectly concluding causation where none exists . Where do you get this notion of people calculating such a thing? This is pretty pivotal to your argument – yet what evidence exists that there is a connection between a persons choice to have a child and welfare?

            An argument could in fact be made that if there was no welfare in this country – more people in poor/insecure circumstances might actively choose to have more children – there is historical and current evidence (other countries) for this argument – in such circumstances the more children one has the more chances one has of an income that covers living costs – child labour is usually involved with this option.

            Nowhere in this argument, either, is the notion presented that having children is a service to society and just because it isn’t a ‘profession’ it could be considered a most worthy activity

            • Psycho Milt 7.1.1.3.3.1

              Alot of assumptions here Psycho Milt – how about applying some reason? The case may be that there are a) some men don’t give a shit about whether they make a woman pregnant or b) some women who don’t consider the consequences of falling pregnant or c) people who fall pregnant unexpectedly and yet there is certainly d) women that get pregnant under such circumstances do give a shit about babies and because of that will have them if they fall pregnant regardless of their circumstances -financial or otherwise.

              Yes, let’s apply some reason. Reason tells us that the statement

              We have a proportion of people who are completely careless about or just don’t give a shit about whether they make babies…

              specifically allows for other proportions of the population who make a baby because accidents happen or for a range of other reasons, and doesn’t attempt to assess the sizes of the different proportions.

              I really believe you are incorrectly concluding causation where none exists . Where do you get this notion of people calculating such a thing? This is pretty pivotal to your argument – yet what evidence exists that there is a connection between a persons choice to have a child and welfare?

              What evidence indeed? Shit social scientists we have in this country, let me tell you. The evidence is anecdotal, but it could be reasonably inferred in any case from the fact that we now have something like 40% of Maori babies being raised on welfare within the year of their birth.

              An argument could in fact be made that if there was no welfare in this country…

              No doubt, but who’d argue that there should be no social welfare, apart from a few ACT and Libertarianz nutters? I don’t see any need to take them into account.

              • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                specifically allows for other proportions of the population who make a baby because accidents happen or for a range of other reasons, and doesn’t attempt to assess the sizes of the different proportions.

                I really don’t get what you are trying to say here at all.

                What evidence indeed? Shit social scientists we have in this country, let me tell you. The evidence is anecdotal, but it could be reasonably inferred in any case from the fact that we now have something like 40% of Maori babies being raised on welfare within the year of their birth.

                You have come some way in this paragraph to accepting that there is a certain proportion of children in poor circumstances – albeit with a racial slant.

                So, what do we do about it? Sterilize them? [exaggerated argument not to be taken seriously!] Or deal with the reality – ensure that these parents have a bit more to provide for these children so these children get more of a chance to grow up without a feeling of alienation – that they feel a welcome part of society - this is important re alienation and then do we follow through with a better economy that actually encourages the creation of jobs and better wages & working conditions – things that Mr Cunliffe’s speech has mentioned is the intention.

                Or do we simply watch what is going on from our moral and idealistic high-ground wishing others weren’t ‘more like us’ (i.e. perfectly correct in everything we do and our lives are perfect – all due to our own marvellous characters and let us not forget to mention hard work) and berating those that come from different backgrounds and make different choices to those ‘we’ do (I mean, diversity isn’t a strength in the world – we really must all be exactly the same).

                We can create the world we wish for as long as we are realistic and can separate our ideals from reality enough to find the path toward making our ideals into reality – there is more chance for this occurring with what Labour have proposed than Key’s create-more-small-groups-of-highly-paid-bureaucrats-who-will-vote-Nat-and-create-a-self-perpetuating-already-failed-approach-to-politics proposal.

                No doubt, but who’d argue that there should be no social welfare, apart from a few ACT and Libertarianz nutters? I don’t see any need to take them into account.

                You have been arguing the point specifically against welfare – it appears you do not want the DPB to be raised –

                [Ask yourself what is the point of welfare that does not ensure that those on it with children are able to raise their children in a manner that puts their children in good stead to get the opportunities that everyone else has, rather it perpetuates a cycle of welfare dependency - due to the payment being too low.]

                • I really don’t get what you are trying to say here at all.

                  Then I’ll put it more simply: you seem to imagine I’m saying that all DPB (or whatever the fuck they’re calling it now) recipients are people who are careless about contraception or simply don’t give a shit; I’m not.

                  So, what do we do about it?

                  1. Give them more money. (Cunliffe seems to have figured this bit out.)
                  2. Take steps to discourage carelessness about contraception or just not giving a shit. There’s no end of options, varying in feasibility, usefulness, expense, compliance with basic human rights etc – I don’t recommend any particular one, but then I’m not running for office. (Cunliffe seems to have missed this one, which is a problem).

                  You have been arguing the point specifically against welfare…

                  Not so. A comprehensive social welfare system is an essential feature of a modern democracy, and I’d never argue we shouldn’t have one. I’ve spent a lot of time here arguing against inviting and encouraging the abuse of welfare, though.

                  • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill)

                    @ Psycho Milt

                    O.k, I hadn’t realised that you were merely objecting to the strength of strategy being applied toward National’s fake-arguments. You could have made this a lot clearer.

                    This ends up being like shadow boxing, Milt – attempting to argue fallacious points with someone who when pushed doesn’t actually agree with the arguments – yet somehow argues these fallacious points anyway – yet believes the spin enough to not accept any of the arguments saying there is no causation between giving people $ 60 of welfare support with people choosing to have more babies – there are plenty of other factors that lead to people having babies and ending up on welfare that contribute to this outcome

                    How many times does someone have to be given free contraceptives to satisfy your particular concerns?

                    How many times does someone have to say that the problem with high levels welfare in this country is not due to the victims of it?

                    It is due to the policies that successive governments have been following which have had zero focus on 100% employment and all the focus on interest rates so that people already in debt don’t have to pay so much on the houses that they haven’t noticed they actually can’t afford because work conditions have got horribly bad – specifically wage rates – and this being because of governmental policies that only focus on interest rates and not a bigger picture [please go to start of paragraph if you wish to experience an infinite loop].

                    How many things did Mr Cunliffe say in that one speech alone that directly addresses your concerns – in reality – if you weren’t playing chase-the-Nat-created-delusions- and – shadows-of-distraction?

                    In that speech I heard raising wages, creating a job focussed economy, redistribution of wealth, and a move to curb price-raising speculation to name a few – all these things will discourage unemployment and poverty – i.e. welfare. All these policies will lead to less people being forced to lead lives dependant on government hand-outs – and to belabour a point this joblessness and ensuing welfare has been created by government approaches to our economy that omits to take into account the effects these have on peoples’ livelihoods and how missing this point effects society as a whole.

                    Is THAT enough to allay your Nat-spin-created-fears Psycho Milt? Or are you really like the right-wing spin creators and fearful that these policies of Labour might actually work?

                    • geoff

                      This ends up being like shadow boxing, Milt – attempting to argue fallacious points with someone who when pushed doesn’t actually agree with the arguments – yet somehow argues these fallacious points anyway – yet believes the spin enough to not accept any of the arguments saying

                      And you’ve come exactly to the place I got to with him, BL.

                    • It feels like shadow boxing for you because you’re starting from the principle that there’s no such thing as wasters, or people who don’t give a shit about contraception because it doesn’t matter if they make a baby. Given the non-existence of such people, arguments based on their existence seem bizarre and unreal to you, and arguments that increasing the payments made to such people is likely to increase their number just deranged gibberish. That’s OK, though – there are plenty of people out there who get the point.

      • McFlock 7.1.2

        According to the psychomilt-blatter beast of traal, if it refuses to look up and see if its assumptions match reality, then it’s nightmare of an outbreak of peonic reproduction might still be true.

      • Ross 7.1.3

        Actually Psycho is correct. There may have been a sharp increase in Aussie beneficiaries having kids after their baby bonus scheme, but maybe there are so few beneficiaries relative to the population that it doesn’t show up on the graph. The point is that the graph doesn’t tell us a lot.

        However I do agree that we’re unlikely to see a massive increase in the fertility rate if Labour’s policy is implemented. It costs about $250,000 to raise a kid to the age of 18. Labour’s policy will alleviate that cost by about $10,000. It’d be a dumb decision to spend $250K to get $10K.

    • Blue 7.2

      Why would you need beneficiary-specific data? The graph clearly shows that overall, there was little to no effect on fertility. Unless you have some reason to assume that rich people stopped having as many kids in response to the baby bonus, thus compensating for the imagined increase in poor people having kids.

      A much simpler explanation is that people who were going to have kids anyway had them, and those who weren’t, didn’t. The baby bonus had little to no effect on their decisions. As you would expect. Human reproduction isn’t about spreadsheets for most people.

      Even if you try to be a totally cynical asshole about it and assume that some people have kids solely and specifically to con money out of the state, the introduction of a baby bonus would not be expected to have much impact on their decision, because those people would be aiming to collect the DPB. The baby bonus would be nice for a few years, but that’s icing, not cake.

      The idea that a $60 per week payment for a maximum of three years of a child’s life is going to lead to a dramatic increase in the birth rate is totally illogical.

      • geoff 7.2.1

        Exactly.

      • Rosie 7.2.2

        “The idea that a $60 per week payment for a maximum of three years of a child’s life is going to lead to a dramatic increase in the birth rate is totally illogical.”

        Indeed Blue. The freak out line coming from the Right is head scratchingly inane in it’s assumption. I’m not sure how tard you have to be to think a parent would benefit beyond providing the basics out of $60 extra per week. Geez, the two of us can barely look after ourselves on one good income so I take my hat off to parents who must budget like fiends to make their children’s live’s healthy and happy. Children deserve more than the anger and jealousy that is being directed at them by the squawking “adults” that would deny them just a little more in life.

        As Cunliffe said “Paddy, no ones going to make a profit out of it”

    • If I’m reading Milt correctly – “then what it does make clear is that the scheme had little or no effect on overall fertility at the population level” – then he’s actually saying that Labour Best Start policy won’t encourage people to have more children. At least, not for the “princely” sum of $60 a week…

      Am I getting that right, Milt?

      • Psycho Milt 7.3.1

        I said nothing beyond the fairly obvious point that the author’s conclusion about what this graph demonstrates is unjustified. It does seem to provide evidence that paying people to have children didn’t significantly affect the overall population fertility rate in Australia, and I’d expect the same outcome here, as you say.

        However, that’s of little relevance to the policy’s weakness of being open to attack for the incentive effect on children being raised on benefits – it tells us nothing about that, contrary to the author’s claims.

        • geoff 7.3.1.1

          Why would the incentive to breed only effect the beneficiary population and not the rest of the population? Surely the incentive effect would have an equal effect on non-beneficiaries and we would see a rise in the overall population rate, which we do not.

          Why not just admit that you don’t like people who are on benefits? It would save us all a great deal of typing.

          This sort of policy is always going to come under spurious attack from bigotry on the right. That doesn’t mean the policy is flawed, it means the bigots are.

          • Lanthanide 7.3.1.1.1

            geoff, you can come up with whatever justifications you like for why the policy does or does not encourage specific segments of the population to have or not have babies, but the simple fact is, as Psycho Milt is pointing out, the data you are relying on is for the entire population, not any specific segment of the population.

            The graph simply does not support the claim you are making.

            You may still make that claim based on other evidence, logical deductions, suppositions, whatever you like, but the graph does not (by itself) support what you are saying.

            • geoff 7.3.1.1.1.1

              Be specific Lanth, which particular claim that I am making? That I said the graph shows the policy won’t create a tsunami of bene breeders?

              Perhaps I should have used less florid language, perhaps I should have not used the kind of rhetoric that the tories themselves are using in their attempts to smear this policy.

              Perhaps I should have instead said “The graph makes clear that those who claim that the Labour policy will create a significant increase in the fertility rate are talking complete and utter nonsense.”

              Would that have satisfied the pedant in you? :roll:

        • Frank Macskasy 7.3.1.2

          I agree; ” It does seem to provide evidence that paying people to have children didn’t significantly affect the overall population fertility rate in Australia, and I’d expect the same outcome here, as you say. “

          I think you’ve sussed that bit nicely.

          By the way, despite not agreeing with you on many issues, I unreservedly apologize for referring to you in the past as a Right Wing Nut Job. Your views are more diverse to merit such a simple label.

          We will have to debate each issue on it’s merits.

  8. Mr Tank 8

    5k a baby was the lump sum in Oz. Yes it did lead to some poor and/or too young people having babies, I know as I knew some of them. It was an example of the typically thick headed blunt instrument approach of the likes of John Howard. Labour’s $60 a week is a helping hand not an invitation to intergenerational stupidity. It’s a wonderful policy that will mean a lot to many of us. I look forward to more of Davo’s clever and compassionate policy making and politicking. Go hard comrade!

  9. Philj 9

    Xox
    I enjoy the rationality of some thought. We should have kids to pay taxes in the future! Hahaha

  10. vto 10

    Cut the superannuation to those on over 50k per year.

    Greedy wankers.

  11. Ad 11

    Oddly I don’t mind if there’s a bit of a lift in fertility, because of this policy. Most of New Zealand’s regions are depopulating.

  12. bad12 12

    i was more than happy with David Cunliffe’s announcement of ‘Best Start’, the breeding for money whine from the wing-nuts has been more than answered by the graph attached to this post,

    As a committed Socialist i had initial disquiet about how far up into the income levels ‘Best Start reached after all Socialism would demand that those with the least receive the most help,

    Such disquiet has been put to rest by the unveiling of the actual ‘nuts and bolts’ of the ‘Best Start’ program, the system of ‘claw-backs’ involved ensures that those with earnings below $50,000 annually will benefit the most,

    For a better explanation of how such ‘claw-backs’ will work the Herald online has an entirely innapropriately headlined article: ‘Labour’s baby bonus may produce less work, more babies:economist says’,

    In answer to such a piece of fatuous bullshit that ‘Best Start’ will produce less work, said to be the quote of an ‘economist’, if anyone moves from the work-force in order to have a baby and considering that She would have had to be producing something in a job of work that was ‘necessary’ then any reasoning person would have to assume that someone else previously not in employment would of necessity have to be hired albeit on a temporary basis to do that job of work,

    Considering the carefully targeted nature of ‘Best Start’ benefitting those with the least the most i have to give a round of applause to David Cunliffe and Labour for a great start to this election year…

  13. fisiani 13

    Labour will just try to bribe voters with a $60 baby bonus. Cash in hand. Not vouchers for baby food or baby shoes just cash in hand. A fair chunk of the $60 will obviously end up on the pokies, the booze, the fags and the the dope. Another typical Labour bribe. Throw my money and other peoples money at voters and expect them to tick Labour. How does that help a single child? The borrowed money puts up interest rates and that shoots up mortgage rates and rents.
    Notice how National do not fritter away public money. National are happy to target spending whilst Labour just throw money away.

    • felix 13.1

      “A fair chunk of the $60 will obviously end up on the pokies, the booze, the fags and the the dope.”

      “National are happy to target spending “

      Really? I’m relieved to learn that when National “targeted” 1.8 BILLION dollars of my money to the wealthiest people in the South Island, none of it was spent on gambling drinking smoking and drugs.

      Phew.

      :roll:

    • Hayden 13.2

      A fair chunk of the $60 will obviously end up on the pokies, the booze, the fags and the the dope.

      Citation needed.

      • fisiani 13.2.1

        The sun rises in the East. The Pope is a Catholic. Citation needed?

        • Hayden 13.2.1.1

          So you don’t have one then? About how many new parents are currently splurging on “the pokies, the booze, the fags and the the (sic) dope”?

          Hardly surprising.

    • Chooky 13.3

      @fisiani re: “Notice how National do not fritter away public money. National are happy to target spending whilst Labour just throw money away.”…..This is bullshit !

      Labour should AXE the super toll motorways proposed by John Key ( no one wants them except John Key and his ‘ Chosen’ cronyist Capitalist mates….to line their pockets

      …eg from what I have heard at least one of these motorways is proposed to be constructed by an Australian company ….AXE them !

      …….. and and put the money into:

      1.) free university education for young New Zealanders up to and including PhD level ( these young people are NZ’s future!)

      2.)…..reinstating Continuing Education around the country( a great way for adults..from school leavers to 90 year olds….from Maori to Pakeha….from country to city….from new- comer immigrants to generational NZers to learn new skills and meet people…. and make life -long friends)

      ( John Key’s NACT axed Continuing Education!….. and gave the $90 million dollars directly to private schools… SHAME ON THEM!)

      3)…..Free polytech education, apprenticeships and internships ( we owe it to our young to look after them and help them into employment…before allowing in workers from overseas)

      ( Hear that Winston….no dirty deals with the Key NACT desperate Banksters…as John Armstrong suggests!)

      4) pour money into our starved STATE SCHOOLS ( better pay for All teachers not just John Key’s Ponzi few bullshit so called ‘excellent’ Principals)…Bring back the State School Inspectorate with very little extra cost ….Make all NZ schools genuinely run and funded by the State! ….not done on the cheap by unqualified, struggling and stressed parents

      ….Teaching is a Profession like Law and Medicine …..TREAT EDUCATION and TEACHERS with the RESPECT they deserve.!!!!!…this will raise education attainment levels to world class as in Finland)

      These policies would be a huge vote winner for Labour/Greens from young New Zealanders ( our future) and their parents….as well as every other New Zealander who values education and social cohesion.

      New Zealand has a proud record in Education which has been undermined by monetarism , Neo Liberal economics and John Key and his mates who would split it, undermine teachers and unions ……and privatise it a la USA charter school businesses and religious organisations…..This is not the New Zealand way! Hands off our New Zealand State Secular education system for ALL New Zealanders! ( the unions should be fighting for this)..

      • KJT 13.3.1

        “3)…..Free polytech education, apprenticeships and internships ( we owe it to our young to look after them and help them into employment…before allowing in workers from overseas)”

        Plus 10. About bloody time someone on here mentioned that tertiary education is not just learning 10000 new words and an arrogant attitude, at university.

    • miravox 13.4

      That’s the funniest bit of rubbish I’ve read all day, fisiani. I bow to your awesome evidence-free shill skills.

    • Chooky 13.5

      Note fisciani’s use of the words and concepts ‘TARGET’ and ‘WASTE’ when applying them to Labour or the Greens policies

      fisiani’s NACT friends TARGET :

      …. their own wallets ……and Trusts and Bank Balances and Property aquisitions, developments, speculations, companies …..and businesses (now they want to get into the education ‘business’)

      …..with New Zealanders hard earned cash and assets.

      ….They are spending our NZ birthright and bankrupting our New Zealand financially and morally

      for fisciani’s NACT friends WASTE :

      ……is spending any State money on New Zealand babies , children , youth, Mothers , families , the elderly …in education, health care, social welfare , employment and retirement

      In Government and NACT they are the weasels , stoats and ferrets …..without compassion, ruthless , determined and plundering…..they should be exposed and thrown out !

    • bad12 13.6

      fisiani, i refrain from calling most ‘wing-nuts’ that appear here on the Standard ‘Dick-Head’, but, your comment is just that, the words of a dickhead without a single shred of evidenc to back up such stupid assertions,

      National not frittering away public monies, that’s a pretty sad pathetic f**king joke with Slippery the Prime Minister being quoted in news reports today that 1 billion dollars of the proceeds of the sell off of State assets will be spent this year,

      National cannot yet say exactly how they intend to ‘blow’ that 1 billion dollars presumably because in the face of David Cunliffe and Labour’s ‘Best Start’ policy they only decided as early as last night to use the proceeds of the asset sales as,(in your words), an election bribe…

  14. Pete 14

    For a more in-depth analysis on the Austalian baby bonus and fertility rates, this article will help (pdf).

    The results from the logistic regression model (Table 2) show that the effect of the changes which coincided with the introduction of the Baby Bonus has almost certainly been very small: the coefficient is very small in magnitude and not significantly different from zero. (p.228)

    Parr, N., & Guest, R. (2011). The contribution of increases in family benefits to Australia’s early 21st-century fertility increase: An empirical analysis. Demographic Research, 25, 215-244. doi: 10.4054

    • miravox 14.1

      Thanks Pete, spot on.

      Quite a bit of talk about delayed fertility of educated, professional women and national economic prosperity in the conclusion. This seems to fit with international trends.

    • geoff 14.2

      Pete, you’re a fucking treasure.

      • Pete 14.2.1

        I aim to please :)

      • KJT 14.2.2

        Well, as you would expect, extra money for parents changes the timing of having children, not how many.

        I would have thought RWNJ’s would like “breeders” getting having children out the way, before, their “prime” earning/contributing to RWNJ’s fortunes, years.

  15. geoff 15

    And here’s a 2013 article from that old tory, John Howard, lamenting that the baby bonus was being reduced.

    http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/wheres-the-national-aspiration-howard-20130516-2jo0m.html

    As part of a response to a question about benefits to middle class in terms of the economy he said he was critical of the decision to reduce the baby bonus.

    Just shows how rabid the right are in NZ when they make John Howard look like a raving socialist in comparison.

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    Greens | 21-10
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    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
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