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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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    Labour | 19-08
  • Public servants behaving with more integrity than their masters
    The State Services Commission's new report on the integrity of our state services reflects the yawning gap between the behaviour of public servants and that of their political masters, Labour's State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “This report, which surveyed...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Phil Twyford Speech to NZCID
    "Labour's plan to build more and build better: how new approaches to housing, transport and urban development will deliver cities that work" Phil Twyford, Labour Party spokesperson on housing, transport, Auckland issues, and cities.  ...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Labour commits to independent Foreign Affairs and Trade
    “Labour is committed to New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs and Trade policy being independent and proactive, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “We are a small but respected country. Our voice and actions count in international affairs. Labour will take a...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Key must sack Collins over abhorrent actions
    The latest revelations that Judith Collins sent the contact details of a public servant to WhaleOil in a desperate attempt to divert media attention from a bad story is abhorrent, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key and Judith Collins...
    Labour | 19-08
  • It’s downhill from here under National
    The forecast drop in exports and predicted halving of growth shows that it’s downhill from here with National, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Growth under this Government peaked in June and halves to two per cent in coming years....
    Labour | 19-08
  • John Key loses moral compass over Collins
    John Key has lost his moral compass over Judith Collins’ involvement with Cameron Slater and lost touch with New Zealanders’ sense of right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Whoever is Prime Minister there are expectations they will not...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Mana Movement General Election 2014 List confirmed
    The MANA List is now confirmed with all the candidates as below (the numbers are the respective Internet MANA rankings). Candidate, Electorate, Internet MANA List Position Hone Harawira, Te Tai Tokerau (1) Annette Sykes, Waiariki (3) John Minto, Mt Roskill (4) Te Hamua Nikora, Ikaroa-Rawhiti...
    Mana | 18-08
  • PREFU likely to confirm dropping exports
    National’s economic management will be put under the spotlight in tomorrow’s PREFU given clear signs the so-called rock star economy has fallen off the stage, with plummeting prices for raw commodity exports, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Under National,...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Record profits while Kiwis face a cold winter
    The record profits by two of New Zealand’s largest electricity companies will be a bitter pill for New Zealand households who are paying record amounts for their power, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “No doubt the Key government will...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time for John Key to answer yes or no questions
    John Key’s train-wreck interview on Morning Report shows he is no longer capable of a simple yes or no answer and has lost touch with what’s right and wrong, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “John Key has become so media...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Key must clarify who signed out SIS OIA
    Yet again John Key is proving incapable of answering a simple question on an extremely important issue – this time who signed off Cameron Slater’s fast-tracked SIS OIA request on Phil Goff, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “John Key’s claim...
    Labour | 18-08
  • Time to invest in our tertiary education system
    A Labour Government will fully review the student support system – including allowances, loans, accommodation support and scholarships – with a view to increasing access and making the system fair, transparent and sustainable, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says....
    Labour | 17-08
  • Labour will facilitate regional Māori economic development agencies
    The next Labour Government will facilitate the creation of regional Māori economic development groups lead by iwi and hapū to work in partnership with business and public agencies as part of its Māori Development policy. “Labour is committed to working towards...
    Labour | 16-08
  • PRIME MINISTER’S DENIAL AT ODDS WITH NATIONAL PARTY STATEMENT
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has today released an email from the General Manager of the National Party that directly contradicts recent statements from the Prime Minister in relation to the 2011 breaches of Labour Party website databases. In his stand-up...
    Labour | 16-08
  • Labour committed to a healthier NZ for all
    A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says. Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said...
    Labour | 15-08
  • Time Key took responsibility for Collins
    It is well past time for John Key to take some responsibility for the misuse of power and information by his Minister Judith Collins, and follow through on his last warning to her, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “The evidence released...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Dear John, time to answer a few questions… – Harawira
    “When Cameron Slater says about Kim Dotcom ‘I have lots on him…death by a thousand cuts…wait till you see what comes out in coming weeks on that fat c***t’, you have to ask whether this is the same Cameron Slater...
    Mana | 14-08
  • MANA CANDIDATE FOR IKAROA RAWHITI OPENS UP ABOUT SUICIDE
    “This week suicide has claimed yet more lives in whanau and communities in Ikaroa Rawhiti, and my heart goes out to those who are dealing with such a tragic loss”, says MANA candidate for Te Ikaroa Rawhiti, Te Hamua Nikora....
    Mana | 14-08
  • Offshore betting in Labour’s sights
    A Labour Government will clamp down on offshore gambling websites that deprive the local racing industry of funds, Labour’s Racing spokesperson Ross Robertson says. Releasing Labour’s racing policy today, he said betting on offshore websites is a major threat to...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Key has serious questions to answer on Dirty Politics
    John Key must answer the serious questions raised in Nicky Hager’s new book which reveal examples of dirty politics that New Zealanders will be deeply concerned about, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Many people will be disturbed by the evidence...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Creating an inclusive society for disabled people
    A Labour Government will provide free annual health checks for people with an intellectual disability, Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth Dyson said today in announcing Labour’s Disability Issues policy. “We will also employ another 100 additional special education teachers and...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA name change
    This is to advise all media that on the 24th of July the ‘Mana’ party name was officially changed to ‘MANA Movement’ under the Electoral Act 1993.  The inclusion of the word ‘Movement’ in our name shouldn’t come as a surprise...
    Mana | 13-08
  • New Zealand must help in the growing Iraq crisis
    The humanitarian crisis in Iraq looks certain to get worse before it gets better,” said David Shearer Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealand should urgently pledge increased humanitarian assistance to United Nations agencies and NGOs present on the ground....
    Labour | 13-08
  • Allegations of migrant worker rort should be investigated
    Labour is calling for an investigation into the alleged exploitation of workers at Hutt Railway workshops, hired to repair asbestos-riddled DL locomotives. Hutt South Labour MP Trevor Mallard has written to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment asking that...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Medical and dentistry students get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour Government will restore the right of medical and dentistry students to get student loans after seven years of study because it is the right thing to do, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Hard on the heels...
    Labour | 13-08
  • National must stop meddling with ACC before the election
    The redesign currently occurring at the Accident Claims Corporation (ACC) for sensitive claims needs to be put on hold immediately, said the Green Party today.The Green Party is concerned about work currently underway at ACC involving the sensitive claims service...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Markets slow but first home buyers still hurting
    First home buyers are hurting more than ever as the supply of affordable houses in the market dries up, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank will be happy LVR minimum deposits and rising interest rates have dampened...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Green Party celebrates MOU win on contaminated sites
    The Green Party is celebrating the announcement of a national register of contaminated sites today, and $2.5 million to start cleaning two sites up. The Green Party and the National Party agreed to include toxic site management work in their...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Emergency staff at breaking point
    The Southern DHB is so cash-strapped it is failing to fill nursing rosters, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson David Clark says.  “Every day emergency department nurses arrive at work knowing they are likely to be carrying more than their recommended workload. ...
    Labour | 12-08
  • ACC minister fails in mission to change culture
    The latest damning report by the Auditor General shows that the ACC Minister has failed to fulfil her mission to fix the sick culture at ACC and real change will not come till a new Government is elected, the Green...
    Greens | 12-08
  • Labour’s regional development fund to support Palmerston North
    Labour will consider a proposal to develop an inland port at Palmerston North, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The Palmerston North community has developed plans for an inland port which will bring jobs and economic growth to a region which...
    Labour | 12-08
  • Green Party announces priorities for Christchurch
    The Green Party has today announced its plan for a fairer, smarter and more democratic Canterbury rebuild, with a focus on smart transport solutions, restoring local democracy, and keeping Christchurch's assets.The plan sits across all of the Green Party's priorities...
    Greens | 11-08
  • Rock-star economy unplugged by China log jam
    The collapse of log prices due to oversupply in China threatens to wash the gloss off what remains of National's so-called rock-star economy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Already this year the price of milk solids has plunged by more...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Young job seekers dealt a poor hand
    National's "keep 'em poor" card for young people on a benefit is a sorry substitute for job training, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says.  The Government today announced it would extend its payment card scheme to all teen parents...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Labour – achieving change for Kiwi women
    Working towards being a world leader in eliminating violence against women and children will be a priority for a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Women’s Affairs policy today spokesperson Carol Beaumont said while Labour had a proud track record of achieving...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Accessible healthcare also affordable
      It is obvious from Tony Ryall’s hasty attack of Labour’s plans to extend free GP visits to older people that he hasn’t bothered to actually read the policy, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. "Mr Ryall’s response to Labour’s...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Full details of oil execs’ junket revealed
    Full details of a $237,000 taxpayer-funded oil executives' junket in 2011 have emerged.National paid the nearly quarter of a million dollars to wine and dine 11 oil executives in New Zealand during the World Cup.The trip included yachting, wine tasting,...
    Greens | 10-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter responds to Paul Buchanan
    WHEN ACADEMICS take to blogging the rest of us best be careful. And when they offer comment on the subject of dirty politics we should all pay attention. I will always remember my history lecturer, Dr Michael Cullen’s, confident dismissal...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Interview Between Selwyn Manning & Sean Plunket Over SIS Release of OIA...
    During a RadioLive interview between host Sean Plunket and managing director of Multimedia Investments Ltd, journalist Selwyn Manning, a fiery exchange developed after Plunket attempted to “wet flannel” the issue of whether the Prime Minister has been truthful over what...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • “Even though my hours are being cut, my rent doesn’t get cut to compens...
    Fast Food = Slow Pay   Lola is a manager at a major fast food chain. Last year her employer arbitrarily cut her hours from 32 hours to anywhere between 18 and 26 hours each week. “I said I can’t...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Hate Politics has no place in NZ Politics
    I wasn’t going to write about Nicky Hagar’s ‘Dirty Politics’.  There are plenty of policy issues to discuss. Then I read the book, and what it reveals strikes at the very heart of our democracy. My overwhelming feeling is one...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Pak’nSave pull adverts from Whaleoil
    Pak n Save have replied to complaints that their adverts were appearing on hate speech site Whaleoil by deciding to block their adverts from appearing on the site. Their reply… Congratulations for Pak’NSave on making this type of ethical stand. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Herald Poll – Why the Greens will hit 15%
    The biggest problem for John Key is that there are swathes of National Party voters who are educated and decent people whom will be forced to read Dirty Politics out of intellectual curiosity and will be horrified by what National...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Dirty Politics and Dirty Media
    The Nicky Hager book is mind blowing on so many levels. The revelations of government ministers and their staff colluding with vile and hateful schemers to attack other people, is truly ugly. When the dust settles on the illegalities, immoralities...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • “You just have to keep on fighting” – an interview with Metiria Turei
    We’re meeting in her office. It’s austere, though she does have a nice teapot. The view is startling. One can map the Bowen Triangle, though the teapot is still more interesting. A group of pink faced men are running across...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Taxation and Real Estate – turning housing debate on its head
    The debate about property prices in New Zealand is disingenuous. It is clear that there is a global process in which speculators are using massive amounts of unspent and borrowed money to blow bubbles in the world’s major asset markets....
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Faith and politics
    In a week which has seen our collective focus shift to those who see politics as a great game to be manipulated for their own ends, it is timely to reflect on the fact that many people are in fact...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Government’s Own Guidelines Show John Key Would Have Been Informed Of SIS...
    Analysis by Selwyn Manning. INFORMATION THAT I HAVE ACQUIRED, sourced from the State Services Commission, states in black and white the tight guideline requirements that must be followed whenever the SIS informs a Prime Minister of any pending release of...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Simply Not Credible: Dr Tucker’s “clarifications” are only making thi...
    THAT DR WARREN TUCKER, Director of the Security Intelligence Service in 2011, agreed to the release of politically sensitive material – thereby intervening in an on-going contretemps between the leaders of the National and Labour parties – without receiving the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: Evidence of Collusion between the NZ Herald and Imm...
    . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the Herald...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Dear Canon NZ – Malevolence should induce revulsion, it shouldn’t be ce...
    Giovanni Tiso’s analysis on Slater is possibly the best in NZ… It’s been a good week for some of us. A week of feeling vindicated, offeeling galvanised. Where it goes from here will depend on several factors, some of which are largely...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • 5AA Australia: After Dirty Politics Can National Provide Stable Government?
    AS WE ALL KNOW New Zealanders and Australians do not like political parties that are unstable, or can no longer assure us that they are able to provide stable government. And the big question for Kiwis as we prepare to...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • SIS letter means it’s over for Key
    It’s over. I may not agree with all of Phil Goff’s positions, but you can’t question his integrity the way Slater did in Dirty Politics and not be deeply concerned that our Secret Intelligence Agency is being used for political...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • who to vote for in Epsom
    who to vote for in Epsom...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • The Rise and Fall of John Key – who will be the next leader of National P...
    . . It was all set to go: Teamkey would be the cult of personality that would do Stalin, Mao, Reagan, Thatcher, or any of the Nth Korean Kim Dynasty, proud.  National and it’s “Teamkey” propaganda strategy   would cash-in Big Time...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Who said Kiwis couldn’t get a fire in their bellies over an arcane intern...
    An amazing team of activists has taken the campaign on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to local governments throughout the country. Their latest triumph came last Monday when the Dunedin City Council endorsed a resolution expressing concern about the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National’s Dangerous Education Agenda Exposed
    Putting aside the dirty politics coming out of the Beehive and the right-wing blogisphere, there are some very strong signals that another term of a National Government would do even more serious damage to the public education system. The Education...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • We can have clean politics and get our democracy back.
    Something is rotten in our politics and it stinks. Dirty politics has sadly become one of the defining features of this election campaign. In the light of recent revelations about the extent of nasty and disingenuous political strategies, it would...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Book burning copies of Hager’s book? The next generation of National Part...
    It seems we are getting the next generation of National Party Dirty Politics now. There are claims the Young Nats in Hamilton are buying up copies of Dirty Politics and burning them. One witness was contacted by the Waikato Times...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National Party Poetry Day Haiku
    Key’s inbox and Cam’s poison most foul, there he blows hoist by own harpoon...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Why Cunliffe will be the next PM
    David Cunliffe will be the next Prime Minister of NZ. Labour’s inclusive and positive TV adverts… …are in stark contrast to National’s team of white people powering away from the rabble of the ‘others’… …the messaging is vital and crucial...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • From smiling assassin to grumpy butcher – on giving Judith Collins a last...
    After #dirtypolitics Key isn’t the smiling assassin, he is the grumpy butcher. When he said Judith had  a ‘last chance’ he meant 1 second after voting closes on 20th September. Key would love nothing more than to cut Collins loose and end...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • If the National Party rowing advert was real….
    If the National Party rowing advert was real there would be more blood in the water. If the National Party rowing advert was real it would be Cameron Slater calling the strokes. If the national Party rowing advert was real,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Cameron Slater: Zionist and political pundit
    It is hard to know where to start with right-wing blogger Cameron Slater (Whale Oil), especially after the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics. This confirmed everything many of us thought Slater to be: a snivelling pundit who serves...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Bryce Edwards stood down from Herald for election season??? Are the editors...
    I only found this out via twitter last night and I am still in shock. Bryce Edwards, easily the best critical thinker and news analyst the NZ Herald has has been stood down by the NZ Herald ‘for the election...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • So who’s a “conspiracy theorist” now?!
    . . As the media storm over Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“,  and allegations over smear campaigns continue to swirl,  National’s spin doctors have given Key, Collins, and other National Party ministers a string of  phrases to use in all...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Momentum shift
    When you are deeply immersed in a local campaign sometimes it can be difficult to see the helicopter view.   I don’t know how accurate the political polls are and have always known that things can change quickly in politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Dear Toby Manhire. Bad call on backing Farrar
    Oh dear. I say this as someone who regards Toby Manhire as one of the smartest journalists/commentators/columnists this country has, and I think Toby has made a terribly dumb call here. Let’s see if Toby is still singing Farrar’s praises...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Radio NZ apologise to me for getting it wrong
    Radio NZ have contacted me, reviewed the claim by their host that I had an advance copy of Nicky Hager’s book and they have concluded they got it wrong, they have called me and apologised and will make a statement...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Reclaim UoA – Students’ Message to Steven Joyce
    Tertiary Education – we’ve been sold a lemon  A group of 30 students attended an event on Tuesday evening about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which the Minister of Tertiary Education Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Can someone in the media please ask the PM of NZ to categorically deny any ...
    Now we see the MO of Slater & Co, the setting up, the digging for dirt, the use of staff to dig that dirt, can the Prime Minister of NZ categorically deny any National Party staff worked with Cam Slater...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Panic setting in for National as they realise what’s about to happen
    And the terror starts to set in. I’ve never seen blind panic like this before  and it’s spreading as the enormity of what’s about to happen starts to sink in. Hager’s book is a mere entree, Nicky’s personal ethics wouldn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics: what the book ultimately reveals is abuse of powe...
    Guide to the many faces of John Key Nicky’s book is now doing what I suspected it would do, create a shockwave of revulsion. Andrew Geddis over at Pundit Blog sums up this attitude best, and it’s reverberations build with every...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Fancy taking children seriously
    Let’s see why all political parties should pay close attention to the Green Party’s policy for children. First, it is a comprehensive attempt to put children, not ideology, at the heart of family policy. Wow, children at the heart of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Amnesty International: Dear Azerbaijan, Stop Torture, Love Kiwi Kids
    This is a world where many adults often underestimate Generation Y. Being only a few years out of being a teenager myself, I feel I can make this statement with certainty. However, I have been the Youth Intern at Amnesty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GCSB meetings today in Christchurch 1pm at Uni 7pm at Cathedral
    The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. 1pm at Canterbury University bottom floor James Height Building: Chair: Bomber Bradbury Ruth Dyson – Labour Party...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about
    Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Guide to when Key is lying
    Guide to when Key is lying...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The State of the Student Nation …or is just Al...
    Students politics are dead and our student media is in terminal decline. The most disappointing thing about university is the politics, or should I say lack of? I was raised with the idea that students held the power.They were the...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Love Lifts Us Up: Thoughts from the Green Party’s campaign launch.
    Author Eleanor Catton wants people to give their party vote to the Greens.Photo by Peter Meecham NO ONE WAS QUITE SURE how he did it. Somehow Bob Harvey had persuaded the owners of the rights to Joe Cocker’s Up Where...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Test Stream
    width="600" height="400"> archive="http://theora.org/cortado.jar [3]" width="600" height="401">...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • LIVE STREAM: You, Me and the GCSB ChCh Public Meetings
    LIVE STREAM EVENT here at 1pm & 7pm: The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. PLEASE NOTE: TDB recommends Chrome and Firefox...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today,
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • How @whaledump might destroy the popular vote for National
    Dirty Politics is now creating a meltdown and National are in danger of a total vote collapse. The real threat to for National was if Nicky had all the emails released via the anonymous hacker who took them. That danger is now a...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Open letter to Radio NZ – you need to make a retraction now
    I have just sent this off to Radio NZ right now Dear Radio NZ Firstly, what a great interview by Guyon Espiner this morning with the Prime Minister. Great to see such hard hitting journalism. Unfortunately I am not contacting...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Radio NZ are lying about me
    I am getting this all second hand at the moment as I don’t bother listening to Radio NZ (except for that wonderful Wallace Chapman in the weekends) but there is a claim that Suzie Ferguson just insinuated on Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Farrar’s fake claim of being invaded + Slater’s claims of death threats...
    The counter spin to avoid focus on the series allegations made in Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics continues. David Farrar’s ridiculous hysterics that he was invaded and his privacy has been blah blah blah has all been reduced from computer hacking to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-08
  • Te Kuiti man imprisoned for images of young children
    A Te Kuiti man caught with pictures of children being sexually abused has been sentenced to ten months imprisonment. Sickness beneficiary Daniel James Parry, 35, appeared for sentence in the Tauranga District Court today (Friday) after pleading guilty...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Japan Maritime Training Squadron visit – Open Day, Band
    • The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Training Squadron will make port in Auckland from Wednesday 3 September to Saturday 6 September...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • MP Perk Transparency Needed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the increase in taxpayer-funded entitlements for MPs and their families published on the legislation website this afternoon . Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Debating the future of Auckland’s housing
    With only weeks until the General Election, Auckland’s mounting housing crisis will be put under the spotlight in an Election Debate hosted by the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland. The debate’s topic “Market forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Let’s sort this out – Human Rights Commission
    A Whangarei woman allegedly censured for greeting customers with Kia ora can get in touch with the Human Rights Commission says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. “We really need to resolve these kinds of issues. I had thought that...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Aged Care Association welcomes Labour’s wages policy
    The New Zealand Aged Care Association welcomes the Labour Party’s announcement that if elected, it will raise the minimum wage for aged care workers within its first 100 days in Government....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Honorary doctorate for Secretary-General of the UN
    An Honorary Doctor of Laws degree is to be bestowed on His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, by the University of Auckland on Wednesday 3 September, both in recognition of his role as an international statesman...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya
    The New Zealand Bar Association joins the International Bar Association (IBA) and other Law Societies and Bar Associations worldwide over the reported surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Bob Parker, China State Media and Tibet Forum
    Former Christchurch mayor was signed up to position statement without his knowledge; observed “happiness” in Tibet as Tibetan protesters elsewhere shot by security forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • “Walk the talk to reduce the wage gap”
    There’s just a few weeks left to convince the candidates of all political parties that reducing the wage gaps makes good sense....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Digital Currency on the Drawing Board
    Government policies and digital currency ideas and issues will come together at three public workshops next week....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • NZ Cycle Trail welcomes $8 million fund
    Government funding of $8 million to maintain and enhance the Great Rides of New Zealand will help ensure the trails are delivering the best possible visitor experience, says Evan Freshwater, Manager Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. (NZCT)....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Judges Comments Bonkers – McVicar
    Napier Conservative Party Candidate Garth McVicar is accusing a Judge of forgetting that he is the gate-keeper for the community and not a benevolent caregiver for law breakers. "The comments by this Judge are not just alarming, they're completely...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Oxfam: World must suspend arms sales to protect civilians
    As the New Zealand Government prepares to ratify the global Arms Trade Treaty, and after ceasefire talks collapsed and violence erupted yet again in Gaza yesterday, Oxfam is calling on all states to immediately suspend transfers of arms or ammunition...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Degrees in Picking up Rubbish
    Responding to the Fairfax media report of a University of Otago survey of Wellington’s street-connected walkways, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Another Union row
    “ The teachers union the NZEA is getting ready for another industrial dispute. These disputes now only occur in the government sector. National has no one to blame but themselves” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Whyte: Speech to Grey Power
    National’s failure to increase the age for super and reform health is a threat to every New Zealander’s security....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Local Govt should not go into business
    “No one should take any comfort from the fact that “Infracon”, a roading company in Tararua and Central Hawke's Bay, is to go into liquidation. This puts the future of more than 200 jobs in doubt. ACT sympathises with those...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Join the hikoi to end child poverty in New Zealand
    CPAG is calling on people across society to join a march from Britomart to Aotea Square in Auckland to demand action on child poverty in Aotearoa....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Ngapuhi Chair Says Enough of the Political Sideshow
    Time for side-shows to end so we can focus on future of our nation – Raniera (Sonny) Tau, Chairman, Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Commissioner of Police v Kim Dotcom And Ors
    An order is made extending the duration of the registration of the restraining orders issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on 10 and 25 January 2012 and registered in New Zealand on 18...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Labour Announcement on Future of Hillside Workshops Welcome
    Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement in Dunedin today that a government led by his party would re-open Hillside Railway workshops was welcomed by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU). ‘Since the workshops were shut down in late...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Primary teachers and principals vote to put kids first
    Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunkett: Educating for Success
    In all the turmoil stirred up by the "Dirty Politics" revelations, the real issues that the campaign should be about have been put to one side....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Dirty Politics – Number One Bestseller and Back in Stores
    An exposé of the hidden side of New Zealand politics, Nicky Hager's book, Dirty Politics , has been in hot demand since its release last Wednesday....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Epsom: profiling NZ’s most controversial electorate
    Welcome to the wealthy inner Auckland electorate of Epsom: home of coat-tailing, the Tea Tapes, a convicted outgoing MP... and heavy newspaper and magazine readership....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Families Free From Violence campaign and website
    We are pleased to announce the launch of our Families Free From Violence campaign and our new Families Free From Violence website. This website has been created to encourage people to take responsibility for ending family violence by seeking help...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • PSA And DHBs Reach Settlement on Five Collective Agreements
    The 20 District Health Boards are pleased to reach settlement via mediation on five Multi Employer Collective Agreements (MECAs) with the Public Service Association for 12,000 mental and public health nurses, allied, public health and technical staff,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Refusal to complete census results in 46 convictions
    Failing to fill out a census form has resulted in the convictions of 46 people, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Council Amalgamations Still Bad Deal
    Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington ratepayers should not be seduced into accepting the amalgamation of their Councils by a recent amendment to legislation allowing for local boards not community boards, Chris Leitch, Democrats for Social Credit...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • DHB industrial action withdrawn
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at District Health Boards (DHBs) across New Zealand, after progress was made in mediation....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Aged Care Pledge Needs Better Target, Says Care Agency
    Labour’s pledge to set up an aged care working group to address industry concerns is good to see, but appears to skirt the obvious issue of a looming lack of beds and carers for our rapidly growing elderly population, says...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Social inequality still rife in New Zealand
    Social inequality has worsened over the past decade in New Zealand, a new study from Victoria University of Wellington shows....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Working towards a living wage and more Māori in paid work
    The Māori Party will build on the gains it has already achieved in Government and accelerate job opportunities particularly for young Māori....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Deepwater Group Supports Changes to Catch Limits
    The Deepwater Group says the increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for hoki shows the benefits of a long term commitment to build biomass in this major New Zealand fishery....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Ohariu candidate Sean Fitzpatrick
    “Our Ohariu candidate will be Sean Fitzpatrick. Sean has strong ties to the region and I’m glad to hear he will be doing his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Tauranga candidate Stuart Pederson
    “Our Tauranga candidate will be Stuart Pedersen. Stuart has strong ties to Tauranga and I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the electorate,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party scores massive own goal
    Green Party scores massive own goal as their own policy auditor criticises their fiscal plan...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party’s own Auditor of their Budget finds it dodgy
    “The Alternative Budget released by the Green's does not even stack up in the eyes of their chosen auditor – Infometrics” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • New shark finning laws fall short for threatened species
    Environmental groups are welcoming some aspects of a raft of law changes announced today in relation to shark finning, but say that overall the chance for New Zealand to catch up with international efforts in shark conservation is being missed....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Promoting Labour’s Positive Policies
    General Secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party, Tim Barnett, today launched Labour’s television advertisements for the 2014 election. The advertisements help tell Labour’s positive story for a better New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug Court: Rare Insight into New Alternative Justice Model
    Māori Television’s latest New Zealand documentary presents a fascinating look inside a new alternative justice model – through the stories of convicted criminals....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Political parties pledge to increase overseas aid
    A survey of political parties looking at how much New Zealand should spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA) shows the overwhelming majority of parties are committed to raising the bar according to the Council for International Development (CID)....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Top Kiwis backing Tip the Scales campaign
    Sir Graham Henry, former All Black Kees Meeuws, singer-song writer Jamie McDell and fishing guru Matt Watson have pledged their support to Tip the Scales, a pre-election campaign generating public support for rebuilding New Zealand’s depleted inshore...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Maritime Union continues to press over dirty politics
    Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says Ports of Auckland management is trying to get off the hook from its involvement with extreme right wing bloggers during the Ports of Auckland dispute....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • No end in sight to overwhelming human cost of conflict
    Two ceasefires have brought some respite to civilians in Gaza and southern Israel, amid hope that a durable cessation of hostilities might occur. In Gaza, these breaks in the fighting have barely given people enough time to seek medical care,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Young Kiwi speakers to represent NZ at Gallipoli 2015
    The RSA is delighted at the announcement made by Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse today, that all eight regional finalists of the 2015 ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition will be included in a group of 25 Youth Ambassadors...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • “Bromance” Marriage Stunt Insulting Says LegaliseLove
    A promotional competition asking two best mates to get married in order to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2015 Rugby World Cup is insulting, marriage equality campaign LegaliseLove Aotearoa claims....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Cannabis Party first to register for 2014 General Election
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party became the first party to register for the 2014 General Election today, when it meet with the Electoral Commission in Wellington at Midday....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • PGA: Addresses NZ’s ratification of Arms Trade Treaty
    President of Parliamentarians for Global Action and New Zealand MP Ross Robertson today addressed a celebration to mark New Zealand’s imminent ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which is expected within the next few weeks....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
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