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Open mike 18/06/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 18th, 2013 - 141 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

141 comments on “Open mike 18/06/2013”

  1. Morrissey 1

    Humbug Corner
    No. 4: MIKE BUSH

    “It’s always an honor to be asked to come and pay tribute to someone with a career as long and distinguished as Bruce’s…. integrity beyond reproach…. It’s a great tragedy and an irony that a man of such great character should have been subject to those accusations.”

    —-Deputy Police Commissioner Mike Bush, speaking at funeral of notorious bent cop Bruce Hutton, April 10, 2013.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/national/news/video.cfm?c_id=1503075&gal_cid=1503075&gallery_id=132106

    Humbug Corner is dedicated to gathering, and highlighting, the most striking examples of faux solicitude, insincere apologies, and particularly stupid recycling of official canards. It is produced by the Insincerity Project®, a division of Daisycutter Sports Inc.

    More appalling humbug….
    No. 3 Dean Lonergan: “Y’ know what? The only people who will mock them are people who are dwarfists.”
    No. 2 Peter Dunne: “What a load of drivel and sanctimonious humbug…”
    http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-09062013/#comment-645811
    No.1 Dominic Bowden: “It’s okay to be speechless.”
http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-02062013/#comment-642288

  2. Morrissey 2

    LIARS OF OUR TIME
    No. 22: Mike Bush

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    “…integrity beyond reproach….”

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Deputy Police Commissioner Mike Bush, eulogizing corrupt cop Bruce Hutton, found by a Royal Commission of Inquiry to have planted false evidence to frame an innocent man for a double murder.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/national/news/video.cfm?c_id=1503075&gal_cid=1503075&gallery_id=132106

    See also….
    No. 21 Tim Groser: “I think the relationship is genuinely in outstanding form.”
    No. 20 John Key: “But if the question is do we use the United States or one of our other partners to circumvent New Zealand law then the answer is categorically no.”
    No. 19 Matthew Hooton: “It is ridiculous to say that unions deliver higher wages! They DON’T!”
    No. 18 Ant Strachan: “The All Blacks won the RWC 2011 because of outstanding defence!”
    No. 17 Stephen Franks: “Peter has been such a level-headed, safe pair of hands.”
    No. 16 Phil Kafcaloudes: “Tony Abbott…hasn’t made any mistakes over the past eighteen months.”
    No. 15 Donald Rumsfeld: “I did not lie… Colin Powell did not lie.”
    No. 14 Colin Powell: “a post-9/11 nexus between Iraq and terrorist organizations…connections are now emerging…”
    No.13 Barack Obama: “Simply put, these strikes have saved lives.”
    http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-27052013/#comment-638881
    No. 12 U.K. Ministry of Defence: “Protecting the Afghan civilian population is one of ISAF and the UK’s top priorities.”
    No. 11 Brendan O’Connor: “Australia’s approach to refugees is compassionate and generous.”
    No. 10 Boris Johnson: “Londoners have… the best police in the world to look after us and keep us safe.”
    No. 9 NewstalkZB PR dept: “News you NEED! Fast, fair, accurate!”
    No. 8 Simon Bridges: “I don’t mean to duck the question….”
    No. 7 Nigel Morrison: “Quite frankly, they’ve been VERY tough.”
    
http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-15052013/#comment-633295
    
No. 6 NZ Herald PR dept: “Congratulations—you’re reading New Zealand’s best newspaper.”

    
No. 5 Rawdon Christie: “…a FORMIDABLE replacement, it seems, is Claudette Hauiti.”
http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-13052013/#comment-632594

    No. 4 Willie and J.T.: “The X-Factor. Nah, nah, there’s some GREAT talent there!”

    No. 3 John Key: “Yeah we hold MPs to a higher standard.”
    
No. 2 Colin Craig: “Oh, I have a GREAT sense of humour.”
    
No. 1 Barack Obama: “Margaret Thatcher was one of the great champions of freedom and liberty.”

  3. Morrissey 3

    Amnesty’s skewed priorities
    by zemblan and Joe Emersberger, Media Lens, 17.6.13

    A revealing snippet from the Guardian‘s ‘Politics Live Blog’ on the G8 Summit:

    3.15pm: ‘Amnesty International are being allowed through the gates of the summit to deliver a letter to Vladimir Putin. As Henry McDonald reports, they will tell the Russian President to release the punk protest band Pussy Riot, two of whom are still in jail. A number of Amnesty activists will wear balaclavas similar to the ones the band don when they go on stage.’

    They apparently didn’t have the mental wherewithal to write a letter condemning the US government’s persecution of whistleblowers like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden. Nor did they have the initiative to condemn the British government’s treatment of Julian Assange.

    Amnesty gave jailed Pussy Riot members Prisoner of Conscience designation within about two months of their incarceration.

    Manning has been jailed and tortued in broad daylight for years and Amnesty has said it has been “investigating” all these years if he really qualifies as a Prisoner of Conscience.

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1371483719.html

    • muzza 3.1

      Sounds like more of the, staged *theatre news*, Mozza.

      Amnesty Intl, simply part of the aparati, designed to subvert, and divert any chance of genuine movements, by creating a faux notion of *caring*.

      Phooey!

  4. just saying 4

    http://bat-bean-beam.blogspot.co.nz/2013/06/the-jonathan-safran-foer-fallacy.html

    Giovani Tiso’s latest.
    It is political:

    “With each generation, it becomes harder to imagine a future that resembles the present…”.

    Teaser:

    …These inventions were not created to be improvements upon face-to-face communication, but a declension of acceptable, if diminished, substitutes for it. I’m almost sure that’s right: a computer is just a more complex telephone. Also, the word ‘declension’: yeah.

    But then a funny thing happened: we began to prefer the diminished substitutes. It’s easier to make a phone call than to schlep to see someone in person. Leaving a message on someone’s machine is easier than having a phone conversation. So we began calling when we knew no one would pick up. Especially our brother-in-law, Frank. How we all hate talking to Frank.

    Shooting off an e-mail is easier, still, because one can hide behind the absence of vocal inflection, and of course there’s no chance of accidentally catching Frank. And texting is even easier, as the expectation for articulateness is further reduced, and another shell is offered to hide in. Each step “forward” has made it easier, just a little, to avoid the emotional work of being present, to convey information rather than humanity…

    • AsleepWhileWalking 4.1

      Not sure about texting being easier. It would be if I could convert speech to text but then I’d have to go to all the effort of searching for an app.

  5. AmaKiwi 5

    It is a crime to conceal a crime.

    Can it also be a crime to reveal a crime?

    Bradley, Assange, and Snowden are accused of revealing crimes committed by the world’s deadliest terrorist organization: the US military.

    “The phrase “war on terrorism” should always be used in quotes, because there can’t possibly be a war on terrorism. It’s impossible. The reason is it’s led by one of the worst terrorist states in the world, in fact, it’s led by the only state in the world which has been condemned by the highest international authorities for international terrorism, namely the World Court and Security Council, except that the US vetoed the resolution.” Noam Chomsky

  6. AsleepWhileWalking 6

    RIP Anti-racism dog @anti_racicm_dog.. nevermore will we hear your barking.

    The account @Anti_Racism_Dog didn’t last long. Twitter suspended it quickly, a fate reserved only for the most aggressive, abusive and hateful users. What could a dog – an anti-racist one, at that – do to deserve it? @Anti_Racism_Dog had one real function: to bark at racist speech on Twitter. The account responded to tweets it deemed racist with the simple response ‘bark bark bark!’ Sometimes it would send wags to supporters but that was pretty much it.

    For the short time it lasted, it was amazing to watch how people reacted to @Anti_Racism_Dog.

    snip

    Colour-blind racists feed on good-faith debate, and engaging with them, especially online, is almost always futile. But when they’re barked at by a dog, one whose only quality is anti-racism, they flip the fuck out. They demand to be engaged in debate (‘Tell me how what I said was racist!’) or appeal to objective definitions (‘The dictionary says racist means X, therefore nothing I said was racist’), but @Anti_Racism_Dog just barks.

    #BringBackTheDog
    http://redefiningbodyimage.tumblr.com/post/52750516768/writeswrongs-girljanitor-ghostdaddotcx

    • AsleepWhileWalking 6.1


      A true troll doesn’t have a position to protect because to establish one would leave it vulnerable to attack, and playing defence takes time. @Anti_Racism_Dog, by fully assuming the persona of an animal, was invulnerable to counter-attack. You can’t explain yourself to a dog and you look like an idiot trying. The only way to win is not to play but this is the colour-blind racist’s Achilles Heel: they’re compelled to defend themselves against accusations of racism. It’s the anti-racist argument that gives them content; theirs is an ideology that’s in large part a list of counter-arguments. After all, white-supremacists are already winning – their task now is to keep the same racist structures in place while making plausibly colour-blind arguments against dismantling them. @Anti_Racism_Dog was empty of anything other than accusation and so left its targets sputtering.

      The account served a second purpose: as a sort of anti-racist hunting dog. @Anti_Racism_Dog quickly attracted a lot of like-minded followers who understood the dynamics at play. Whenever it would start barking at another user, this was a cue to the dog’s followers to troll the offender as well. There’s only so much one dog can do alone. Colour-blind racism is particularly dangerous because it isn’t immediately visible as such. It provokes good-faith discussion from liberals about what counts as racism, muddying the water. But @Anti_Racism_Dog’s strategy draws new lines about what constitutes acceptable discourse on race, placing colour-blind racists on the other side by speaking to them like an animal. What would be taken as totally insane in flesh space can be infuriatingly clever online.

  7. Dv 7

    Re the Media works receivership

    How can the IRD be left out I though the IRD were first in line?

    AND its westpac who put them into receivership and effectively screwing our IRD out of 22 million

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Oh the IRD aren’t going to be taking this passively mate, don’t worry.

    • Pascal's bookie 7.2

      Key’s reckons that tax debt is highly secured, but journos on twitter are suggesting he doesn’t know what he’s talking about:

      https://mobile.twitter.com/MattNippert/status/346733463069675522?p=v

    • infused 7.3

      It’s the same thing Macleans IT did in auckland.

      • Tigger 7.3.1

        How much longer is the public going to continue to prop up Mediaworks? They consider themselves so independent but with this and NZOA funding they’re sucking on the taxpayer teat like a newborn rat.

        • felix 7.3.1.1

          Funny ain’t it? The same Nats who seem happy for the state to fund this private network also want to sell Radio NZ.

          ‘Cos, y’know, the state has no business owning a radio network etc etc.

          Fucking joke is what it is.

    • How can the IRD be left out I though the IRD were first in line?

      If the sale price is only for the amount owing to the banks and the purchaser then voluntarily agrees to pay all creditors except for IRD then it can happen.

      • Herodotus 7.4.1

        There also are the issues of employment contracts, bonuses leave entitlements and howthese fall in the ranking of payments and the ability to transfers these to another entity.
        then there are existing Nzoa grants to programms that are currently under production,( and I understand that many production coys are independent of the tv station that airs them ) there are many avenues that the greater “govt ” can withhold existing funding to media works,ability to transfer the broadcasting license.
        There could also be potential of fraud as there under your scenario a scripted plan to defraud a or some creditors. I am sure that media works have some gifted lawyers that will protect the parent coy yet close investigation could find an t uncrossed or an I that is not doted. The govt has to be seen doing all it can against such a corporate that has displayed such contempt towards this country.
        These are just a few random thoughts ;-)

  8. One Anonymous Knucklehead 8

    Brighter Future™, right this way please.

  9. beatie 9

    http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/details-of-claimants-commitments-emerge/

    ‘Jobcentre advisors will have unprecedented powers to compel claimants to carry out whatever old bollocks they can come up with to waste unemployed people’s time looking for jobs which aren’t there. Those who do not meet their Claimant Commitment could face having benefits stopped for up to three years. For those with children this could be devastating, for those severely unwell or disabled it could mean death.’

    This is the UK model that Paula is following. I have severe rheumatoid arthritis and am on the invalid benefit, soon to become the ‘supported living payment’. I have so far managed to stymie attempts to move me to the sickness benefit, soon to be the jobseekers allowance. But I expect further harassment. I did not choose to have this disease which has cost me two careers, I can cope with living on less than $300 per week but I find it difficult to cope with the harassment from MSD and the ‘bludging beneficiary’ label. Since the Natz, a lot of Invalid beneficiaries have been dumped onto the Sickness Benefit ( a process started by Labour). Many of these people have psychiatric disabilities and stress is the last thing they need. But Johnny reckons he’ll have the welfare bill down regardless and Labour refuse to say different. Meanwhile we wait in fear…..

    • Rogue Trooper 9.1

      …one day at a time.

    • I am so sorry that you have to face this harassment beatie – it is a blight on our society that those who need help get treated the way you are – kia kaha. I can appreciate the fear you feel and the additional stress this is giving you and your family – what a terrible situation to be in for you – all the best.

      • johnm 9.2.1

        Hi beatie and marty mars “I am so sorry that you have to face this harassment beatie”
        Yes it is harassment re John Minto the government want to remove 100,000 off the benefit in the next 10 years:
        “Government’s plan to push 100,000 off welfare with no job plan in place is shameful

        “It’s shameful that the government is pressing ahead with this latest round of welfare changes”, says John Minto, Vice-President of the MANA Movement. “When the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill comes up in the House for its second reading later today there’s only one place it belongs – in the rubbish, because that’s how it treats people impacted by it –as rubbish.”

        The bill marks the second big step in the wave of reforms initiated by Paula Bennett and Paula Rebstock back in 2010, all aimed at getting up to 100,000 beneficiaries off welfare in the next ten years.”

        http://mana.net.nz/2013/03/governments-plan-to-push-100000-off-welfare-with-no-job-plan-in-place-is-shameful/

        This government intends to fit beneficiaries onto a procrustian bed of shame and harassment and distress to save themselves money to give the rich more tax cuts and pay private organisations to do the dirty work like ATOS in the U$K. Shame on them. It’s to be an exercise in sadism to satisfy the propaganda they’ve been spewing for over a decade: People like Michael Laws. Atos in the U$K is a criminal harassment organisation funded by a criminal government that has caused the deaths of many people.

        “In Greek mythology, Procrustes (Προκρούστης) or “the stretcher [who hammers out the metal]”, also known as Prokoptas or Damastes (Δαμαστής) “subduer”, was a rogue smith and bandit from Attica who physically attacked people by stretching them or cutting off their legs, so as to force them to fit the size of an iron bed. In general, when something is Procrustean, different lengths or sizes or properties are fitted to an arbitrary standard.”

    • xtasy 9.3

      beatie – Sorry to hear your distress and concerns.

      Yes, I and a fair few others are equally worried, about what Bennett and her ‘Work and Insult” department will present to us from next month on. I have information that MSD (the Ministry) is already actively seeking requests for proposals for having mentally ill on benefits referred to outsourced service providers, who are supposed to get them into some kind of work.

      It is all still in the process and kept from the public eye and ear, but they are wanting to commission agencies, who may be NGOs or employment agencies, to try placing mentally ill youth in Auckland at least into jobs, for which the providers will be offered “rewarding” fees.

      WINZ will refer clients that are considered “fit” to do certain work to those providers, and naturally they will have expectations.

      Nothing has been published about future assessments in detail, but looking at some policy documents that were released to the media a few months back, there are going to be various “tools” they will use, from self assessments, to targeted interviews with certain WINZ staff, up to the supposed “independent” examinations and assessments that may be done by medical staff, rehab staff or others they will select to do this.

      It is scandalous that the government passed the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Act without informing the opposition parties and MPs, nor the public, about how they will decide who will be capable to do some work, and who not.

      This is again a secret agenda, and I am sure, they will in future be much less transparent in anything they will do, as they got quite a scare when some took them on about unfair, unreasonable and not fact based recommendations by certain designated doctors and their health and disability advisors.

      Yet from what I also hear, it seems they are going to tread more carefully than DWP have in the UK, because having people commit suicide, or harm themselves in other ways, that will not be the headlines Paula Bennett and John Key want here.

      So be mindful, alert and prepared, but do not freak yourself out too much. In any case, prepare by already connecting with advocates, support networks and others, friends and family included, so when they come to challenge you, take witnesses to assessments and else.

      At some stage there will likely be legal challenges on all what they will try, and I expect WINZ and MSD to breach natural justice in many cases. If people get together, pull resources and efforts together, and perhaps find a good lawyer, who may be prepared to take WINZ on, then something will be achieved.

      Apart from all this: I am still furious that WINZ and MSD also always tell clients to use their websites, but it is hard to get to some of their offices, their kiosks and computers are often booked out, and the same applies to public libraries. Internet cafes cost money, so do home connections.

      When do MSD and WINZ live up to the 21st century standards of communication and not only cover phone line costs for sick and disabled, but also internet access, I ask???!

  10. Veutoviper 10

    Two-faced Bridges – tells Parliament one thing and does another.

    Last week he told Parliament that he would be meeting with ILO officials in Geneva to discuss his employment law changes – but now he is in Geneva he is refusing to meet with them.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1306/S00299/simon-bridges-misleads-parliament.htm

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1306/S00216/minister-refuses-ilo-advice.htm

    • Rosie 10.1

      Ugh! The vomit inducing Bridges! He’s a lying sneaky rat, no different to his peers and should not be in the position he is in.

      Perhaps he just can’t face the possibility of being scrutinised and held to account by the ILO. If he has a change a heart and does meet with the ILO maybe they can take up the issue of the 90 day bill while they’re at it. I had thought that the denial of access to legal representation in the case of a workplace personal grievance was against one of the ILO conventions. Not sure which number though. Does anyone know?

  11. Belladonna 11

    I also have rheumatoid arthritis. It is an incurable disease so how can you be taken off an invalid benefit onto sickness benefit. My understanding of invalids is that there is no chance of cure within 2 years and sickness benefit 6 months. Has this criteria changed? RA is a brutal, painful disease and the added stress of worrying about this must be terrible. Do you have an understanding doctor/rheumatologist. I feel for you. Good luck.

    • beatie 11.1

      I went to my GP for a Winz medical cert and he gave me one for 3 months, he said if ‘I could drive, I could work’ and ‘I needed to consider paying back to society the cost of a recent joint replacement’ I’m not kidding! I asked my rheumatologist and he gave me one for 5 years. Now, I think you have to use a Winz ‘designated doctor’ who follows the ‘arbeit mact frei’ Winz line. The idea that the Invalid Benefit is for long-term/incurable illnesses was dismantled by the last Labour govt. I have a friend who has schizophrenia who is on the sickness/jobseeker allowance and will be harassed to find a job and sanctioned if they fail to comply. I think that most NZ’ers don’t have the faintest idea of how these ‘reforms’ will impact on those with a disability.

      • Rogue Trooper 11.1.1

        this is a really revealing account beatie.

      • Rosetinted 11.1.2

        I have a friend who has schizophrenia who is on the sickness/jobseeker allowance and will be harassed to find a job and sanctioned if they fail to comply. I think that most NZ’ers don’t have the faintest idea of how these ‘reforms’ will impact on those with a disability.

        Harrassment and denigration. It seems that a great number of NZs always middle-class plus those who have moved up the income ladder with social aspirations, never accepted the idea of a social contract and concern for all. See David Bennett Mp comment elsewhere on TS today.

        The stats may very well be that 10% of beneficiaries may be fraudulent, not doing their bit to help themselves and put into society, 10% find jobs which they can manage and live on and are probably helped into at the beginning. The rest are going to have this gang of harpies and witch-hunters after them. What a soul destroying job to have to work for WINZ. It’s likely to produce a resentment that as they have to suffer so they will pass it on.

        • Arfamo 11.1.2.1

          Yep. Sounds like the story behind yesterday’s armed man in wheelchair incident in Auckland, as somebody speculated here might be the case before the perp was taken into custody.

      • weka 11.1.3

        beatie, I would suggest getting a different GP. Unless you are in a really small town, you should have a choice. You don’t have to put up with ideological bullying.

        • beatie 11.1.3.1

          (I do live in a very small town with a doctor shortage, so changing is difficult. However I refuse to see him and see a locum if I need to. He instructed his office staff not to accept beneficiaries onto his books. Unfortunately this attitude underlies Winz welfare ‘reforms’. The chief medical advisor to Winz, Dr David Bratt, (appointed under Labour) believes that being on a benefit is worse than heroin addiction. Those who choose to believe that beneficiaries are rorting the system have no idea and are a huge part of the problem. Try getting on, staying on and surviving on a benefit before uttering such smug fallacies.

          • xtasy 11.1.3.1.1

            “He instructed his office staff not to accept beneficiaries onto his books.”

            This is a breach of the Human Rights Act, for sure!!!

            A doctor has no right and breaches also the Code of Ethics of the NZ medical profession, if he does this. I see the problem you may have to prove this, as his staff will not say what they have been told by him.

            Document everything he does and says to you and perhaps others, and consider making a complaint to the Health and Disability Commissioner, even though that office is also rather useless in many ways.

            A sad state of affairs there is, in especially the more rural areas of N.Z..

            • beatie 11.1.3.1.1.1

              He is a wealthy South African immigrant and he owns his practice. His office worker came to our advocacy organisation with an employment complaint and she told us about the ‘no beneficiaries’ rule. He’s pissed off a lot of local people but so far got away with it. It’s difficult to prove these matters. Incidentally at least one of the local real-estate agents also has a ‘no beneficiaries’ policy. It’s difficult to keep these things quiet in a small town.

              • Rogue Trooper

                That is why the Devil made guns.

                • Arfamo

                  The devil made guns to give Americans the opportunity to obtain them to protect themselves from other Americans who obtain them and make everybody safer. I am reliably informed by sources in Iran that the devil is actually an American.

          • weka 11.1.3.1.2

            How far to the nearest other town with a GP beatie? I think you definitely have a case for claiming transport costs from WINZ to see someone else.

            I would keep notes, with times, dates etc of what is said. You can also ask to have a practice nurse sit in on any consult, or even a Health and Disability advocate. It’s amazing the things some people won’t say when there is a witness. And if he does say them, you have proof.

      • xtasy 11.1.4

        “I went to my GP for a Winz medical cert and he gave me one for 3 months, he said if ‘I could drive, I could work’ and ‘I needed to consider paying back to society the cost of a recent joint replacement’ I’m not kidding!”

        How disgusting a GP that is! Sadly the same people that have been known for pushing the whole agenda, who include ones like Dr David Beaumont (formerly from ATOS) – as advisor for MSD (and others), like Dr Des Gorman, Chief of Health Workforce NZ (in charge of recruitment and involved also in working on training programs for staff in the medical field), who also is now on the board of ACC, who gave some appalling advice on past ACC cases, and possibly still is the top man on the National Health Board, same as of course Dr David Bratt, Principal Health Advisor for MSD (comparing benefit dependence to drug dependence), plus of course Prof. Mansel Aylward (one of the key propagators of “work being the best treatment to get well”, advisor to Paula Bennett, also due to speak to a leading GP conference in Rotorua in a week or so) and “Dame Black” (like Aylward also from the UK), they have all been involved in sending the same “messages” to medical practitioners.

        Doctors are also being lobbied, trained and influenced, to work along the new philosophy, following the perverted interpretation of the “bio-psycho social model” for illness and disability issues, as DWP in the UK and now WINZ in New Zealand are pushing for.

        It goes beyond WINZ’s designated doctors and health and disability advisors now, and some doctors are concerned.

        That GP of yours needs a good reminder of his Code of Ethics, which ensures that the well-being of the patient comes before all else!

        I am glad a more competent, properly qualified professional gave you a better, more sympathetic treatment.

        That is what I tell all affected. Do not just rely on your GP, go and consult a specialist in the very health areas you suffer from, be this a rheumatoligist, an orthopaedic specialist, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, counsellor, or whatever!

        GPs often lack sufficient in depth knowledge, but of course they would never admit it. They like to call themselves “specialist generalists”, what a contradiction in terms, really!

        • Arfamo 11.1.4.1

          I dunno. It’s a mixed bag with GPs. Mine had no problem completing medical certificates for IBs for people who really were not able to work. She had a problem with being abused for not completing them for a small fraction of patients who were fit for work, after WINZ had reportedly told them no problem getting your benefit extended, just get your GP to sign the certificate. Mind you, that discussion took place about 5 years ago. Things are a lot different now, but my GP will still be batting & even battling for genuine cases.

          • beatie 11.1.4.1.1

            Unfortunately yes things are a lot different now. My latest letter from Winz warned me not to jet off overseas without informing them first (so they could cut my benefit). Reality check….today I treated myself to a 3 month car reg (no public transport here).

            • Arfamo 11.1.4.1.1.1

              Well to be fair it is pretty important for the thousands of beneficiaries who regularly embark on overseas shopping trips to let WINZ know they’ll be offshore visiting overseas thrift & pawn shops for a few days.

          • beatie 11.1.4.1.2

            ‘it’s a mixed bag with GPs. Mine had no problem completing medical certificates for IBs for people who really were not able to work.’ Hmmm. I can work, I’d love to work and I think I have a lot to offer, but I would need lots of days off when I’m unwell and I can’t type very fast because my hands are crippled. So whether you can do paid work or not is not the issue. I can work but no-one will employ me, especially when I’m competing withe the able-bodied..I believe the whole point of these reforms is to drive down wages and conditions for those who have paid work.

        • weka 11.1.4.2

          That GP of yours needs a good reminder of his Code of Ethics, which ensures that the well-being of the patient comes before all else!

          I am glad a more competent, properly qualified professional gave you a better, more sympathetic treatment.

          That is what I tell all affected. Do not just rely on your GP, go and consult a specialist in the very health areas you suffer from, be this a rheumatoligist, an orthopaedic specialist, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, counsellor, or whatever!

          GPs often lack sufficient in depth knowledge, but of course they would never admit it. They like to call themselves “specialist generalists”, what a contradiction in terms, really!

          Plenty of specialists who are arseholes too unfortunately. I’ve come across some excellent GPs too. It really comes down to the individual person. And for the beneficiary, what kind of disability/illness they have is critical to who they should see. Some are going to be better off with a compassionate GP rather than an unsympathetic specialist.

          • xtasy 11.1.4.2.1

            weka – as for medical professionals, any of us, whether affected and needing reports on conditions and illnesses from GPs or others, we should never be forced to do something like “doctor shopping”, for those that do their job, or as you describe as being sympathetic.

            All of them have to abide by Codes of Ethics, and if they do not abide by them, they should be exposed, criticised and attacked for it. They may be in the wrong job, if they do not take their code serious.

            Abuse by some “patients” may be attempted and may happen, but I see also that some medical staff are trying to not follow the codes and just do not want to bother with beneficiaries. That is unacceptable.

            It is totally unacceptable to explain bias and prejudice away with “individual persons” acting differently.

            Then you may as well tolerate the application of the Sharia in New Zealand, by those who think that is necessary to keep “order”!

            • weka 11.1.4.2.1.1

              In your previous comment you seemed to be saying that people on medical benefits should see a specialist because GPs are fairly useless. I was pointing out that the qualification or area of specialisation of the doctor is irrelevant, it’s the compassion and politics of the practitioner that counts when it comes to support with WINZ shit. Just because someone is a specialist, it doesn’t mean they will be competent at dealing with WINZ.

              I agree with you that bias and lack of professional ethics is unacceptable. That’s an issue for NZ and medical practitioners to sort out. Advice to beneficiaries… I stand by making the suggestion that they choose a practitioner who isn’t an arsehole and go to some length to do that even if it does mean shopping around. Many people still believe they have to take shit from their doctor because their doctor is their doctor and can’t be changed. That’s just bullshit. I also acknowledge that for some people it is very difficult to be assertive enough to change doctors, esp where there is not much choice.

              • xtasy

                Ok, I suggested seeing a specialist, because MSD and WINZ can also turn around and say themselves (that is their case managers, or the more secretive Regional Health Advisors or Disability Advisors), well, that is what her or his GP says. We think though, the GP may not be the best medical “expert” to listen to, so hey, send the client to a designated doctor, who may have some extra “specialised skills” that appear to be more appropriate.

                Then the client gets sent there and gets assessed by a WINZ trained and picked doctor, who will be less sympathetic.

                In view of such possibilities I think it would make sense to go and see a specialist, who is also perhaps sympathetic at the same time, to cover oneself in case WINZ try to question reports. MSD and WINZ have many tricks up their sleeves, and so getting ones own specialist before they may come with their own doctors for a second opinion, seems advisable from my point of view.

                It would certainly make sense to try and consult a specialist, if the own GP is not very sympathetic. But of course then I would try and also find a new GP.

                I accept your point that some are scared to change doctors. Yes, it is understandable, as it involves looking around and approaching other doctors, whom one does not know. Then there are very private informations involved also. Changing a doctor is not done easily, as any person doing so wants to know that the new doctor can be trusted. Also those living in small towns and rural regions, they will have a very limited choice amongst doctors. I have heard enough feedback from some, who would have to travel large distances to see another doctor. When you are on a benefit such travel may be impossible or prohibitively expensive.

                And challenging a doctor in such scenarios is not easy either, as the doctor may be well respected with others in such more “conservative” places. The media in such places will also not want to write critical reports on a local doctor, who could go and sue them for alleged defamation. Staff working for the doctor will not want to risk their jobs and say what they know.

                I feel for people in such remote areas, as they live under conditions allowing little choice and making it very difficult to challenge unreasonableness, discrimination and what else there may be. So it pays to establish contacts to outsiders, who may be able to raise matters via channels like this forum, to at least raise awareness.

    • weka 11.2

      “My understanding of invalids is that there is no chance of cure within 2 years and sickness benefit 6 months. Has this criteria changed? ”

      IB has become Supported Living Payment. Within that, some people will be assessed to see if they are work ready (either full or part time).

      Sickness benefit has become part of the Job-seeker benefit ie they are in the same general category as unemployed people, but will have different assessment processes, depending on their illness.

      From WINZ, SLP

      Assessing your ability to work

      We may ask some people on Supported Living Payment to do a self-assessment to tell us about the sort of work they think they might be able to do, and how we could help them to achieve that.
      In some cases, we may also ask people to meet with an independent health professional as part of our assessment process.
      These aren’t things we’ll ask everyone to do, as it will depend on people’s circumstances.

      I take that to mean that not much has changed technically (still using designated doctors etc), but they are formalising processes so that it’s easier for them to target IBs for work. But as it says, it won’t be everyone, so anyone on IB should be making sure their GP is competent at supporting them for when the time comes.

      Re SB

      People receiving the following benefits on 15 July 2013 will transfer to Jobseeker Support:
      Unemployment Benefit
      Sickness Benefit
      Domestic Purposes Benefit (Sole Parents with youngest child aged 14 or over, and Women Alone)
      Widow’s Benefit (without children, or with youngest child aged 14 or over).

      New obligations and other changes that apply to you

      To receive Jobseeker Support, there are some new things you must do. These are listed below. At any time, if you can’t meet these requirements, please talk to us. Unless you have a good reason for not meeting them, your benefit could reduce or stop.

      Accepting offers of suitable employment
      If you’re required to look for work, and from 15 July 2013 you turn down a suitable job without a good reason, your benefit will reduce by up to half (if you have dependent children) or stop (if you don’t have dependent children) for a 13-week period.

      If you’ve given us a medical certificate
      There’s no change to what your current medical certificate means for your obligations, or what you need to do when it expires. We may ask you to do a self-assessment. This is an opportunity for you to tell us about the sort of work you think you can do now or in future, and how we could help you back into work.

      Plus some stuff about drug testing.

      I take that to mean that the UB rules will apply to SB, once the SB person has been assessed for work.

      The self-assessment thing should be treated with the utmost caution, because they will be able to use that against people later. eg “I’d really like to be able to do some voluntary work at some point” becomes “they’re capable of working and should be looking for a part time job”.

      As per usual, the people that have good skills at dealing with abusive systems will do ok-ish, the people that don’t will get hammered. Fuck Key, Bennet, bigots, and all the liberal middle classes who are letting this happen on their watch.

      Xtasy’s advice is excellent So be mindful, alert and prepared, but do not freak yourself out too much. In any case, prepare by already connecting with advocates, support networks and others, friends and family included, so when they come to challenge you, take witnesses to assessments and else. I would add, get everything in writing.

      • beatie 11.2.1

        Good advice! I don’t trust Winz and avoid them if at all possible. A lot of people on IB are former ACC clients who were dumped onto a benefit. Meanwhile there is a deafening silence from mainstream disability organisations about this. Hoping to pick up future contracts I guess.

        • xtasy 11.2.1.1

          Beatie – We have an almost undeclared ‘strategic war’ by Minister Bennett and MSD against advocacy groups.

          Those that have been working in advocacy for years know this, and they are confronted by this. Funding is stopped, or limited, or re-arranged, so some, like here in Auckland long running Mangere Budgeting Service had to dismiss staff, others are facing closure.

          They are all over-burdened but get insufficient funds to do their jobs.

          Budgeting services do now have to follow very restrictive operational rules, limiting them to just do what MSD want the to do, to tell beneficiaries to learn to live off the benefit – no matter what, as they will not get more. True advocacy is only possible by doing extra time and putting in extra effort, it is not paid for anymore.

          And the disability advocates do (like many of the advocacy and budgeting services) also largely depend from direct or indirect state funding.

          So they are kept in dependence, which means they do not dare to bite the hand that feeds them. Bennett and her Ministry have the upper hand, they know it, and they lay down the law as they please.

          As there will be much out-sourcing of services, yes, some will be keen to look at what they can sign up for, to “assist” some sick and disabled into open employment, for nice fees that MSD is going to pay for them.

          No surprise there, as that allows Bennett to go around and behave so “cocky” as she often comes across. She earns 5000 or more dollars a week, and she has long forgotten, where she once came from!

          • beatie 11.2.1.1.1

            Until recently I was part of an advocacy organisation in my town. we were volunteers and we assisted people with Winz, Acc, employment and tenancy issues etc. There is a huge need out there for this sort of service.We got a trickle of funding because there is no CAB here. However that dried up and when we queried it we were accused of ‘biting the hand that feeds us’. Meanwhile organisations that say they do advocacy, but don’t got $1000’s. Also those of us on benefits were targeted by Winz because, if we could do voluntary work we could do paid work, couldn’t we? One of us (head injury, ex nurse) and particularly good at advocacy was moved from IB to SB because she pissed our local Winz workers off. There’s some nasty bastards out there.
            I’m disclosing a lot of personal info here but I think that a lot of people are in real trouble out there and others don’t know/care/give a fuck.

            • xtasy 11.2.1.1.1.1

              Thanks beatie, it sounds like you have been through a lot, and you have certainly done the right thing by doing some advocacy for others.

              Yes, I know, there are some mean jerks within WINZ, but then again some are also ok. In the end they are all public servants, and that means, they get instructions, and must follow them, or they will themselves get trouble for not doing so.

              It is the chain of command, and the system keeps us all in some forms of chains of dominance and command.

              That was also what enabled Hitler and the Nazis to do what they did, to exploit the fear of people to step out of line and not co-operate.

              What WINZ do cannot be compared to that, but it is highly worrisome and increasingly inhumane, in some cases criminal. So at some stage civil disobedience should become the duty of those pushed too far to do things that just are not right.

              Raising awareness here and elsewhere is a start to spread the truth about what is going on. Ideally more will wake up and raise their voice of disagreement and protest. That is what we must work for. We need people to ask themselves whether this is right, and come to the right conclusion, and then join us and take action.

      • Puddleglum 11.2.2

        If you’re required to look for work, and from 15 July 2013 you turn down a suitable job without a good reason, your benefit will reduce by up to half (if you have dependent children) or stop (if you don’t have dependent children) for a 13-week period.

        An awful lot hangs on that phrase “without a good reason“.

        Back in 1991 I was unemployed – perfectly timed to coincide with the benefit cuts and introduction of draconian rules just like this one. At the time there was a rule that if you turned down work (not just ‘a permanent job’) you had a strike against you. You had two strikes and then, next time, you had your benefit stopped (I think that was how it worked).

        Well, I lined up for my weekly scouring of the jobs board and chat with the person processing us on the other side of the counter and was told that there were two days shallot picking/digging somewhere beyond the outskirts of Christchurch. It happened that I had been told a few days earlier that I had managed to get an interview for a professional job on the morning of the first day of shallot picking. I said this to the woman behind the counter. She said, deadpan, ‘So, you’re refusing work?’.

        I tried to explain that I thought it was a good reason and it seemed crazy to insist I go for two days shallot picking and miss out on an interview for a very skilled job when there were plenty of others in the line who’d be keen to take the two days work. She wasn’t having any of it and seemed more intent on getting through the day in front of an endless line of unemployed people.

        ‘That’s one strike’ she said (or words to that effect). I left the office feeling like dirt and worried as hell at what they might do to me if something like that happened again. At that very moment I had written away and had in process over 40 applications for positions both in New Zealand and overseas. Part of me wanted to go back in, take the shallot picking and flag the interview – I didn’t want to risk losing what was a pretty meagre benefit because it was the only guaranteed income I had.

        I was gobsmacked but stuck to my guns and went to the job interview. About a week later I ended up hearing that I got the job. In the meantime, I’d taken another ‘job’ picking apples and took the job offer call in the apple orchard office.

        I’ve never forgotten that experience.

        Who knows, maybe the woman I spoke to was applying the rules incorrectly and just thought I was a lazy, con-artist or something who was spinning her a line. Part of me still wants to believe that it couldn’t possibly be what was intended – counted as ‘refusing work’ because you had to go to a job interview.

        But it happened, intended or not.

        • Arfamo 11.2.2.1

          Maybe just that the form said – agreed to do work offered – Yes … No and had no other option.

          Government bureaucracies work like that, especially when they’ve just been gutted or restructured by bean counters and been told to find ways to work smarter to get through the same amount of work. Basic checklists soon abound on front desks to slash the time previously “wasted” applying rational thinking when the situation is even slightly more complex than the simple interactions the academically qualified policy designers or the contracted trainers envisaged.

  12. Arfamo 12

    FFS. No wonder people despair the msm. This is stuff.co’s headline front page photo item.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/beauty/8808621/Miss-Utahs-words-fail-her-and-everyone-else

    • Bill- I didn't go to the Sky Box 12.1

      This outwardly attractive person’s inability to form a coherent answer reminds me of David Shearer.

      What is the difference between David Shearer and Miss Utah?
      One is young, inexperienced and has plenty of time to develop skills.
      The other is old, experienced and is incapable of developing skills now.

    • karol 12.2

      Unfortunately Stuff often self-promotes using images of young attractive women in that photo slot – sometimes it has more serious news items there, and sometimes images of young celebrity males, but young women are most often seen in that slot.

      • Rosetinted 12.2.1

        karol
        Are pretty women used as tokens to be put into the paywall slot?

        Perhaps they will get a special rate for their citizen images of themselves, as is offered in some bars because of their magnetic abilities.

        • Rogue Trooper 12.2.1.1

          “Pretty woman, I don’t believe you
          You’re not the truth
          No one could look as good as you
          Mercy”
          (Oh Noze, they air-brushed my face). 8-)

  13. Rogue Trooper 13

    Deprivation and Double the density around the Tamaki estuary.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10891194
    only one Tamaki resident on the board, chaired by a former property developer, Merchant Banker.

  14. xtasy 15

    Now it is all coming out bit by bit. There are new revelations by the week now, if not by the day.

    Edward Snowden, NSA intelligence staff member turned “whistle-blower”, in hiding in Hong Kong, has answered questions via the website of ‘The Guardian':

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/17/edward-snowden-nsa-files-whistleblower

    AP have come out with a story, revealing that apparently PRISM is just the tip of the iceberg, when it comes to wide-scale internet and communications surveillance by US agencies:

    http://bigstory.ap.org/article/secret-prism-success-even-bigger-data-seizure

    Have a read of this for “enlightenment”:

    “Deep in the oceans, hundreds of cables carry much of the world’s phone and Internet traffic. Since at least the early 1970s, the NSA has been tapping foreign cables. It doesn’t need permission. That’s its job.

    But Internet data doesn’t care about borders. Send an email from Pakistan to Afghanistan and it might pass through a mail server in the United States, the same computer that handles messages to and from Americans. The NSA is prohibited from spying on Americans or anyone inside the United States. That’s the FBI’s job and it requires a warrant.

    Despite that prohibition, shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush secretly authorized the NSA to plug into the fiber optic cables that enter and leave the United States, knowing it would give the government unprecedented, warrantless access to Americans’ private conversations.”

    Also:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-surveillance-architecture-includes-collection-of-revealing-internet-phone-metadata/2013/06/15/e9bf004a-d511-11e2-b05f-3ea3f0e7bb5a_story.html

    So George Orwell’s 1984 ominous future visions have in some ways already materialised!

    Does anybody trust GCSB, the SIS and Key’s assurances that New Zealanders have nothing to fear?

  15. Rogue Trooper 16

    Queensland power prices rise 20%
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/17/australia-electricity-prices-queensland
    more free-market fu$k-ups.

    The ghost of Edward carpenter
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/jun/17/millthorpe-derbyshire-edward-carpenter
    gay rights activist and socialist.

  16. Rogue Trooper 18

    oooh Government books WILL NOT return to surplus in 2015; wait patiently till 2016 instead now.oooh.- RNZ
    she’ll be coming round the mountain, she’ll be coming round the mountain, she’ll be coming round the mountain when she bombs. (I knew an old lady who swallowed a fly). :-D

  17. Winston Smith 19

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8809801/Job-revealed-in-Rebstock-appeal

    Well, well, well wouldn’t it be interesting to know who person A is…

    • Arfamo 19.1

      Yep. But no worries if I never find out. I’m more interested in knowing who GCSB spied on, and why.

      • Winston Smith 19.1.1

        Yeah I kinda figured it’d be like that…

        • Arfamo 19.1.1.1

          Would be kind of good for us all to know what exactly is being surrendered in the TPPA negotiations, too. You know, the 1-2% doing on-the-quiet-selling-your-sovereignty-deals with the other 1-2% in the US.

          Look forward to learning more about what the NSA’s been up to from Snowden as well. A lot of guts, that bloke. Seems to doubt people can trust Corporate-led – or maybe any – Governments with private information:
          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10891334

          He might be on to something there.

          • Winston Smith 19.1.1.1.1

            yup pretend its not happening or point to something else thats the ticket

            • Arfamo 19.1.1.1.1.1

              Well no, I’m still interested in finding out who the leaker was in MFAT, but just not that interested. People needed to see what a thick prick McCully is. Public servants have endured years of bashing from the arsoles they have to work for. Its inevitable some will defend themselves and retaliate by whatever means available.

              • Anne

                Public servants have endured years of bashing from the arsoles they have to work for. Its inevitable some will defend themselves and retaliate by whatever means available.

                Can attest to that. I worked for a government agency that tried to rip off another government agency in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I had to put up with bullying and intimidation because they knew I had a few senior political contacts at that time and they were afraid I might spill the beans. In the end I did exactly that, and they had no-one but themselves to blame. A contract they were dead keen on getting signed ended up being scrapped. It served them right. Not surprisingly, that management didn’t last much longer…

                But the details of the case were swiftly covered up and never the light of day.

                • Arfamo

                  Yep. Similar experience. Legal Services assisted in the cover up so we were stuffed trying to do anything about it.

                • Tim

                  Aye! Not to mention covering up financial mismanagement, lying, leaking cabinet papers, troughing, and generally thinking that quaint old code of conduct doesn’t apply to them.
                  Thankfully (as you suggest Anne), some of them eventually come a cropper

  18. FYI

    (Information you won’t find on the ‘Truth’ or the ‘Daily Blog’ :)

    “How to get ACTION taken to help stop this Auckland DAFT Unitary Plan!”

    BACKGROUND:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10891017

    NZ Herald Monday 17 June 2013 Bernard Orsman

    “The Auckland Council is talking up another one million residents in the city by 2041, but it is taking a prudent line when it comes to providing transport, water and other services.

    The council has adopted a Statistics New Zealand’s high-growth scenario of a million more residents by 2041, but its water body is using a medium-growth scenario of 700,000 more residents.

    The mismatch has raised questions, but council chief planning officer Dr Roger Blakeley says it is prudent to provide for the highest likely population growth and to be cautious to avoid over-investment.
    ………………..
    Councillor Cameron Brewer has called for an independent review of the most likely population growth, saying the council’s projections are out of kilter with the Government’s national infrastructure unit’s mid-range projections. …..”
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    STATEMENT BY 2013 AUCKLAND MAYORAL CANDIDATE PENNY BRIGHT:

    Did YOU know that the following Petition 2011/64 has already been presented to the House?

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Presented/Petitions/5/0/5/50DBHOH_PET3157_1-Petition-of-Penelope-Mary-Bright-requesting-that.htm

    Petition of Penelope Mary Bright

    Requesting that Parliament declines to proceed with the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill until the lawfulness of the reliance of Auckland Council on the New Zealand Department of Statistics’ “high”population growth projections, instead of their “medium” population growth projections for the Auckland Spatial Plan, has been properly and independently investigated, taking into consideration that both Auckland Transport and Watercare Services Ltd, have relied upon “medium” population growth projections for their infrastructural asset management plans.

    Petition number: 2011/64
    Presented by: Holly Walker
    Date presented: 30 May 2013
    Referred to: Social Services Committee
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    – with the following ‘Supplementary Evidence’ ?

    http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Housing-Accord-and-Special-Housing-Areas-Bil-Supplementary-Evidence-13-Juna-2013.pdf

    This is an ‘Item of Business’ before the Social Services Select Committee.

    The next meeting of the Social Services Select Committee, is scheduled for Wednesday 26 June 2013.

    If YOU support this Petition, you can send an email / letter to this Select Committee, in the following way, using this as a guide:

    (EMAIL TO THE CLERK OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES SELECT COMMITTEE : tracey.rayner@parliament.govt.nz

    MAIL TO THE CLERK OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES SELECT COMMITTEE : Tracey Rayner

    Private Bag 18041, Parliament Buildings, Wellington 6061 (No stamp required).
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    To Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, Chair of the Social Services Select Committee.

    RE: Petition 2011/64

    Requesting that Parliament declines to proceed with the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas Bill until the lawfulness of the reliance of Auckland Council on the New Zealand Department of Statistics’ “high” population growth projections, instead of their “medium” population growth projections for the Auckland Spatial Plan, has been properly and independently investigated, taking into consideration that both Auckland Transport and Watercare Services Ltd, have relied upon “medium” population growth projections for their infrastructural asset management plans.

    I, the undersigned, request that you and ALL members of the Social Services Select Committee please support the investigation requested by this petition.

    I am particularly concerned, that the LAW which covers the Auckland (Spatial) Plan, which the Auckland Draft Unitary Plan is supposed to help implement, appears to have not been followed:

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2009/0032/latest/DLM3338660.html

    79 Spatial plan for Auckland

    (1)The Auckland Council must prepare and adopt a spatial plan for Auckland.

    (4)The spatial plan must—

    (c) provide an evidential base to support decision making for Auckland, including evidence of
    trends,opportunities, and constraints within Auckland;
    ____________________________________________________________________________

    The recommendation from the Department of Statistics, in their ‘customised’ advice to Auckland Council on 28 March 2011 – stated:

    http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/AUCKLAND-GROWTH-PROJECTIONS-FOR-SPATIAL-PL-AN-DEPT-OF-STATISTICS-SNZ-letter-2.pdf

    “Population Projections for the Auckland Spatial Plan

    Development of the Auckland Spatial Plan requires that an evidential base is provided to support decision making for Auckland. Furthermore, it requires the identification of the existing and future location of residential activities within specific geographic areas within Auckland.

    Population estimates and projections clearly form a good source of information for these purposes.

    Statistics New Zealand were asked to produce customised population projections for a new growth model for Auckland. Under the medium series, this resulted in a projected population of 2,160,700 for 2041

    (the low series projected 1,832,100 people and the high series projected 2,467,500 people).

    Statistics New Zealand has been asked by the Auckland Council

    “is a projected population for the Auckland region of approximately 2.1 million people a reasonable basis for planning?” While there is no certainty that the births, deaths and migration assumptions in the population projection will be realised, Statistics New Zealand agrees that a projected population of approximately 2.1 million at 2041 is a reasonable basis for planning at this point in time. We would reiterate that it is important to consider the range of projections, including the low and high scenarios. ..”

    Why was this arguably ‘expert’ advice from the Department of Statistics apparently then ignored?

    I look forward to your exercising ‘due diligence’ as a Members of Parliament for New Zealand, the ‘Highest Court in the Land’, and doing your part to ensure that ‘justice is done and been seen to be done’, and the ‘Rule of Law’ prevails.

    NAME ADDRESS SIGNED
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    A copy of this ‘sample’ letter can be found here:

    http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz/?p=171

    If YOU want to sign something which ‘has teeth’ and can help make a difference to stop this Auckland ‘democracy for developers’ / ‘market madness’ – this, in my considered opinion – is IT.

    Yours sincerely,
    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campaigner

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    • xtasy 20.1

      Penny,

      Isn’t the agenda to get those up to a million extra “Aucklanders” into the city first, to get them sweating – while working hard, and to have them earn some money in a future, more “sweat-shop” like NZ economy, and pay taxes from that, and with that pay for the additional infrastructure?

      That is what it seems to me.

      It has been the agenda for decades, well probably from the day the first settlers came here, to bring in more, to create growth in a “primitive” way, by simply “growing the market” and labour pool by immigration, to justify all the great nice new projects the “leaders” of cities and central government like to talk about.

      Once those additional people are here, oh my, ah well, we never expected that, we need yet more, to pay for the additional costs that “unexpectedly” arose in the meantime.

  19. bad12 21

    The ‘Hairdo’ makes a stand for His rehabilitation announcing today that He will not support the private members bill that would allow ‘scab labour’ to be used by employers to break strikes…

  20. Rogue Trooper 22

    “And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
    Little boy blue and the man on the moon…”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tZmN7eHYFU
    “But there were planes to catch and bills to pay.”

  21. Rogue Trooper 24

    now, here is a ‘parent’ that could do with ‘the bash’
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10891298
    …john patiently waits…

  22. Rogue Trooper 25

    What a great roundup
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10891362
    Race, Religion and politics.
    Hats off to Bryce Edwards.(and Roy Harper).

  23. FYI

    My ‘Open Letter /OIA request to Professor Sir Peter Gluckman :”Upon what ‘science’ are you relying to support fluoride in water?” should get a reply before 5pm, Wednesday 10 July 2013.
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Dear Penny

    Thank you for your request under the Official Information Act 1982 dated 12 June 2013, which has been forwarded to me.

    We will respond to your query as soon as is reasonably practicable within the 20 working days allowed,

    (before 5pm 10 July 2013).

    Yours sincerely

    ……………………………….
    Communications Officer
    Office of the Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Committee
    PO Box 108-117, Symonds Street
    Auckland 1150, New Zealand
    _______________________________________________________

    12 June 2013

    ‘Open Letter’ / OIA to Professor Sir Peter Gluckman from Auckland Mayoral candidate Penny Bright:

    “Upon what ‘science’ are you relying to support fluoride in water?”

    OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER’S SCIENCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE

    Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, KNZM FRSNZ FMedSci FRS
    Chief Science Advisor

    Dear Professor,

    I read with interest your following ‘Media Release':

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/GE1306/S00035/sir-peter-gluckman-statement-of-flouride.htm

    “Media release
    12 June 2013

    “The science of fluoride in water is effectively settled. It has been one of the most thoroughly worked questions in public health science over many decades,” says Sir Peter Gluckman, the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor.

    In a statement released today on the issue of fluoride in public water supplies, Sir Peter reiterates the scientific facts, saying “it is absolutely clear that at doses used in New Zealand to adjust the natural level to one that is consistent with beneficial effects (0.7-1.0mg/litre), there is no health risk from fluoride in the water.”

    So why is there any issue at all?

    Sir Peter points to the importance of the values debate around fluoridation, but warns that this should not be misrepresented as a scientific debate. …”

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Can you please provide the information which confirms you have read the following research:

    1) http://www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/2013/439490/

    “..chronic effects of fluoride involve alterations in the chemical activity of calcium by the fluoride ion. Natural calcium fluoride with low solubility and toxicity from ingestion is distinct from fully soluble toxic industrial fluorides …”

    “Industrial fluoride ingested from treated water enters saliva at levels too low to affect dental caries. Blood levels during lifelong consumption can harm heart, bone, brain, and even developing teeth enamel.
    The widespread policy known as water fluoridation is discussed in light of these findings. ….”

    2) http://www.slweb.org/50reasons.html

    50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation
    Dr. Paul Connett
    Professor of Chemistry
    St. Lawrence University, NY 13617

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    FYI – I have spent some hundreds of hours researching the decisions of the Ministry of Health and Watercare Services to use Waikato river water as a ‘raw’ source of drinking water supplies for the Auckland region.

    I respectfully suggest that you read the following document which I prepared for a meeting of the Auckland City Council Finance and Business Committee back in October 2002, so that you can understand why a number of persons, such as myself, do NOT trust either the Ministry of Health, or Watercare Services Ltd, when it comes to safeguarding public health and drinking water supplies.

    http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Waikato-Amended-ACC-Presentation-18-10-02.pdf

    FYI – as a 2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate, I do NOT support the fluoridation of public drinking water supplies.

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campaigner.

    …………………………………………………..

    http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz/?page_id=152

    • UglyTruth 26.1

      James Corbett on Margaret Sanger’s Planned Parenthood & Eugenics.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=UU7TvL4GlQyMBLlUsTrN_C4Q&feature=player_embedded&v=QOmRk26jrNo

      Dr. W.L. Hutton was the head medical officer of health in the first Canadian city to fluoridate their water supply. Dr. W.L. Hutton was the president of the eugenics society of Canada from 1930 – 1938 [he became Brantford’s head medical officer in 1937].

      “Using the fluoride in the water supplies in their gulags (concentration camps), to make the prisoners stupid, docile, and subservient.”
      Ref : The Crime and Punishment of I. G. Farben by Joseph Borkin

      http://canadianawareness.org/2012/03/water-fluoridation-directly-linked-to-eugenics/

      “At the end of the Second World War, the United States Government sent Charles Eliot Perkins, a research worker in chemistry, biochemistry, physiology and pathology, to take charge of the vast Farben chemical plants in Germany. While there he was told of a scheme which had been worked out by them during the war and adopted by the German General Staff. This was to control the population in any given area through mass medication of drinking water. In this scheme sodium fluoride occupied a prominent place. Repeated doses of infinitesimal amounts of fluoride will in time reduce an individual’s power to resist domination by slowly poisoning and narcotisizing a certain area of the brain and will thus make him submissive to the will of those who wish to govern him. Both the Germans and the Russians added sodium fluoride to the drinking water of prisoners-of-war to make them stupid and docile.” (Reference: Victorian Hansard of 12th August 1987).

      http://fluoridationfacts.com/education/propaganda/870000_perkins.htm

      • Daveosaurus 26.1.1

        Are you sure your tin-foil headgear is wound tightly enough?

        • UglyTruth 26.1.1.1

          … as the fluoridation campaign gained steam, the Public Health Service was headed by another top Alcoa official, Oscar R. Ewing, who in turn was aided by Edward L. Bernays, the father of modern public relations and author of the book “Propaganda,” who sought to portray fluoride’s opponents as wackos.

          http://www.dkosopedia.com/wiki/Mellon_family

          • McFlock 26.1.1.1.1

            obviously didn’t have to try to hard, though

            • Colonial Viper 26.1.1.1.1.1

              West Germany ditched mass water fluoridation after a brief trial in the 1950’s. Probably the idiot Americans pushing them to try it.

              After West Germany unified with East Germany, they ordered the East Germans to ditch water fluoridation too.

              Did that prove to be the predictable dental disaster for East German children??? Nope.

              Oh and just for the pedantic amongst us McFlock

              http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11014515

              In contrast to the anticipated increase in dental caries following the cessation of water fluoridation in the cities Chemnitz (formerly Karl-Marx-Stadt) and Plauen, a significant fall in caries prevalence was observed. This trend corresponded to the national caries decline and appeared to be a new population-wide phenomenon.

              • Arfamo

                Very interesting abstract. Thanks.

                • Colonial Viper

                  You’re welcome. How about this one:

                  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Mendoza-Schulz%20A%5BAuthor%5D&cauthor=true&cauthor_uid=19619626

                  Our results show that biologically relevant concentrations of fluoride are capable of increasing cell migration in tumour cells, suggesting that exposure to fluoride could stimulate tumour invasion.

                  Note that the investigators noted altered cell migration behaviour at a level of just 2.4 micromol/L of human serum fluoride concentration.

                  This was a level several times less than what the investigators considered typical for persons “chronically exposed” to fluoridated water.

                  • McFlock

                    and how did they define “chronic exposure” in relation to, say, the <0.7-0.8ppm levels used in artificial fluoridation in NZ?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Dunno…but they regard (0.23 and 1.2 micromol/L) as below normal human serum concentrations.

                      And just 2 micromol/L above that, evidence was found suggesting increased migration activity in malignant brain cell behaviour.

                      Come on Mr Scientist, open your eyes and consider a few facts from outside your doctrinal orthodoxy

                    • McFlock

                      ffs.

                      Every single chemical on the planet is dangerous at some level, from hydrogen to uranium. The entire point is that there is a dose-response relationship for good effects as well as bad. Were they talking about NZ fluoride levels creating actual harm? Experimental science dovetails with epidemiological evidence – just show the relevance of the article you provided to the discussion of fluoridation in NZ.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      hey mate keep sucking it up

                      I’m sure your serum F is ok

                    • McFlock

                      eeep! I am suddenly scared for no reason, and will therefore completely reverse my position!

                      Oh, wait, that’s not how science works. Phew, you almost had me there for a moment.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You’re a follower of the doctrine mate, science is merely your scripture. And you don’t like looking at the verses which don’t suit you.

                      Wait a sec I have to go brush my teeth with Colgate Total now, got that yucky furry feeling from enamel destroying plaque

                    • McFlock

                      science is merely your scripture

                      Science is a methodology. Scripture is unquestioned assertion. Basically, you’re now in the realm of creationists who say “the Theory of Evolution is just a theory”.

                      Edit: And I read your links more carefully than you did.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Nice how like any fundamentalist you like to judge and denigrate other peoples belief systems by your own specific orthodoxy’s unassailable criteria for truth and validity.

                      Yes you did read the links more carefully, good you have full access to those papers thanks for the extra info

                      EDIT

                      Science is a methodology.

                      It is far more than that, and sometimes it is not that at all.

                    • McFlock

                      Damned dirty trick I played, asking you to show how your randomly-selected article (butbutbut it contained the word “fluoride”) was at all relevant to the fluoridation levels used in NZ. /sarc

                      It’s actually really easy to understand: if fluoridation had negative effects at NZ levels, your tinfoil support sites would point to the studies that show it. Not some dime-doctor who says that’s what the studies say, they would link to the actual studies that show detectable harm from the 0.7-0.8ppm levels. We have seen detectable benefits linked to before in this debate, and the study you presented to say that maybe those benefits no longer apply was indeterminate and difficult to translate directly to NZ conditions (the entire “Berlin Wall and lifestyles” thing).

                      You want to call it mass-medication? Okay, then let’s go to “first, do no harm”. Where’s the harm?

                      EDIT

                      Science is a methodology.

                      It is far more than that, and sometimes it is not that at all.

                      well, that looked profound while saying fuck all.
                      I mean, you have the balls to accuse me of judging by unassailable criteria, but at least I don’t come up with pseudo-profundities like that.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You want to call it mass-medication? Okay, then let’s go to “first, do no harm”. Where’s the harm?

                      Where’s the harm? Nah fuck that mate. Instead, for starters, let’s go with consent to treat.

                      You don’t have it. The harm is in you taking away my ability to consent to take a medication or not take a medication. And I do not consent.

                      Where’s your medical bioethics now, hotshot? You gonna say that you know best and the patient should just follow doctors orders?

                      Except, Christchurch has just decided to turn down fluoridation yet again, and roughly half of NZers do not receive fluoridated water supply, Taranaki and Hamilton ditched it pretty recently, so whatever.

                      I mean, you have the balls to accuse me of judging by unassailable criteria, but at least I don’t come up with pseudo-profundities like that.

                      Oh look thee to thy scriptures for revelations

                    • McFlock

                      It’s called a “water filter”. And has a friend called “find an alternative source”.
                      Nobody forces you to drink tap water.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      yeah, that’s what I already figured about the ethics of your compulsory mass medication programme.

                    • McFlock

                      yeah, that’s what I already figured about the ethics of your compulsory mass medication programme.

                      awwww, you thought you’d learned how to support a scientific argument with actual evidence and now you’re just flailing about back in the familiar territory of making bioethical mountains out of trace-element molehills with a few semi-godwins thrown in.

                      Much as you like to call science a religious doctrine, the fact is that without at least a little bit of science you’d be singing the praises of “invisible good-teeth water magic”.

                      Anyway, I’m off to bed now. Remember to check under the bed for boogeymen and NSA bugs before you go sleepytime. And try to figure out the difference between “as low as” and “greatly increased from”.

              • McFlock

                oh that’s sweet, CV’s learning how to provide evidence.

                If you’d looked beyond the abstract and read the article, you’d have read the confounding factors in East Germmany at the time:

                O A greater utilisation of dental services. A large
                number of subjects visited the dentist once per
                year (90.7%) or at least once per half-year (50%);
                a high FT-component (90%); a high proportion
                of children with orthodontic treatment (47.9%);
                387
                O The adoption of a preventive approach by dental
                practitioners. Fissure sealants were placed in
                40.3% of subjects with 3.6 molars/person, combined
                with F-topical and oral health instruction/
                motivation;
                O An increased use of F-toothpastes from 10–15%
                (up to 1990) to 88% in 1993. Toothpaste consumption
                in 1993–95: 4 to 5 tubes containing 75
                mL/pCY½270–330 g/subject;
                O Fluoridated salt became available after 1992;
                market share in 1993–1995 ,15%;
                O Ninety percent of all children receive vitamin D3
                combined with NaF (0.25 mg F/die)½222 Mio
                DDD (½Defined Daily Dose) for rickets prevention
                during their first year of life;
                O There was no longer any positive correlation between
                annual sugar consumption and the caries
                levels. The sugar consumption of 1993 was as
                low as 1980–89 (35.1 to 40 kg/per capita/year)
                and the availability of products with sugar substitutes
                was increased (1993: 7795 tons);
                O The pattern of food consumption changed due
                to the introduction of Fast Food chains and possibly
                increases in the presence of food preservatives
                should also be considered;
                O The provision of antibiotics for medical treatment
                (463 Mio DDD) was twice as high as in
                1985. Annual consumption of antibiotics in Germany
                1995½2.160.601 dt½0.027 kg/per capita/
                year.

                And you might have even bothered to read the last line of the article, after the general discussion of the results and other studies (some with similar results):

                From our point of view, water fluoridation would still seem to be reasonable in all heavily-populated industrial areas with high or increasing caries prevalence.

                Didja see the bit about feeding babies sodium fluoride in their first year of life? And the massive increases in antibiotic use? Of course you did, because you didn’t just rely on the abstract, did you…

                • Colonial Viper

                  Wow, that’s really impressive. Thank you.

                  The German government massively resourced their people to improve dental care, made sure fluoridated toothpastes and salt were available, but as part of the dental health programme saw it fit to REMOVE mass water fluoridation.

                  Cheers mate.

                  you’d have read the confounding factors in East Germmany

                  Yeah I think you’re the one “confounded”.

                  EDIT you might want to explain to me how Vit D for rickets and antibiotics for all reasons plus greatly increased fast food and sugar intake is supposed to help with the incidence of dental caries across the entire population?

                  Further, greater use of dental care and surveillance should mean an increase in caries found, not a decrease.

                  btw I am for the availability of fluoridated salt, milk and topical toothpastes in retail stores.

                  From our point of view, water fluoridation would still seem to be reasonable in all heavily-populated industrial areas with high or increasing caries prevalence.

                  Hey I could agree with that mate. But the researchers conclude fluoridation is NOT REASONABLE for areas with lower or decreasing caries prevalence.

                  • McFlock

                    oh, but you’re the scientific researcher, even if you might not know what a confounding factor is. You’d know all about things like oral antibiotics interacting with oral bacteria (maybe even the ones that cause tooth decay).

                    plus greatly increased […] sugar intake

                    awwww, you mixed up “The sugar consumption of 1993 was as
                    low as
                    1980–89″ with “The sugar consumption of 1993 was greatly increased from 1980–89″. You gotta start reading what’s written, rather than what you agree with.

                    Further, greater use of dental care and surveillance should mean an increase in caries found, not a decrease.

                    Because all a dentist does is put fillings in and count caries, nothing else at all /sarc

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Oh McFlock, look how much effort the new German government put into improving dental care yet they yanked water fluoridation preferring to use fluoridated toothpaste and salt instead.

                      This is a policy that they continue to this day, 20 years on.

                      And once again thank you for the researchers’ conclusion from the paper:

                      From our point of view, water fluoridation would still seem to be reasonable in all heavily-populated industrial areas with high or increasing caries prevalence.

                      But, as I said before, the researchers conclude fluoridation is NOT REASONABLE for areas with lower or decreasing caries prevalence.

                    • McFlock

                      Basic logic, boyo:

                      “reasonable for areas with high or increasing caries prevalence”
                      does not equal
                      “NOT REASONABLE for areas with lower or decreasing caries prevalence”,
                      but it does equal
                      “NO COMMENT ON areas with lower AND decreasing caries prevalence”.

                      As for “the germans did it so we can” argument, well – that’s pretty stupid.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Do you hear that sound McFlock? It’s the sound of scientific schism.

                    • weka

                      “But, as I said before, the researchers conclude fluoridation is NOT REASONABLE for areas with lower or decreasing caries prevalence.”

                      Do we know why? Could it be financial? How much does it cost to fluoridate water (including monitoring)?

                    • McFlock

                      Do you hear that sound McFlock? It’s the sound of scientific schism.

                      lol
                      keep using big words you don’t understand. It’s funny.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      not sure but the article wasn’t an economics cost/benefit analysis, it focussed on factors affecting dental effectiveness.

                  • weka

                    “EDIT you might want to explain to me how Vit D for rickets and antibiotics for all reasons plus greatly increased fast food and sugar intake is supposed to help with the incidence of dental caries across the entire population?”

                    Vitamin D affects calcium metabolism (amongst many other things), and is necessary for bone health (and probably dental health). I would expect that increases in antibiotic use would have a negative effect on dental health due to poorer absorption of nutrients.

                    Anyways, the list of confounding factors just points to we probably have no idea what is really going on (which was the point at the end of the abstract, for those of us not lucky enough to access to the full article).

                    • Colonial Viper

                      If this F stuff was simply added to some brands of toothpaste and salt and milk, and I could choose to have it or not, fine. Put it out there.

                      But since people insist that you need to mass medicate everyone with it in all areas of the country all the time in all their food and drink, I think that a far higher standard is needed. (By the way, I’m about to go brush my teeth with a tube of Colgate Total, so I’m not a fundamentalist about this stuff)

                      And what I do know is that Germany yanked water fluoridation after unification, despite taking great pains to ensure that dental care in East Germany was improved, and has kept it that way for the last 20+ years.

                    • weka

                      If you think that ingestion of fluoride might be a problem, why do you use fluoridated toothpaste?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Well I get enough F from toothpaste (and there the action is mostly topical anyways); I don’t also compulsarily need it in all the food that I buy, all the meals I make and all the drink I consume.

  24. Rogue Trooper 27

    one can empathise, regrettably, with the position of the NRA sometimes; the only thing these Authoritarian pricks seem to understand is the barrel of gun.Seen any good movies lately? like Death Race?.

    • Arfamo 27.1

      Nope, haven’t seen Death Race. America has arrived at the robocop corporate government & policing style though. I see no prospect of Americans giving up their guns. They really should be concerned. I read somewhere recently there are 14 separate state security organisations there now, not including the countless military and security contractors. Eisenhower would be incredulous.

  25. Paul 28

    ACC story on Campbell Live no link up yet

    • xtasy 28.1

      Yes, Paul –

      Campbell Live is kicking off investigations into ACC’s off-loading of complex claimants – to shift them onto welfare benefits.

      http://www.3news.co.nz/Is-ACC-cutting-off-people-too-early/tabid/367/articleID/301917/Default.aspx

      Yes, about time, that this gets raised again, and looked at closely again! It all kind of went under the radar again, after Minister Collins took over the files and promised to have her staff look into things, when the scandal broke and become public last year.

      John Campbell did invite other ACC claimants that had similar experiences to contact them. So more is likely to come.

      How bloody disgusting, them putting pressure on a man who lost one arm, to go and look for work, even in a car-yard. And also expecting a woman with serious back pain, due to serious damage, to work full-time, when she cannot and is not ready for that.

      Nothing has changed, really!

      I wish Campbell and his team would also open their eyes and ears and examine WINZ designated doctor recommendations, decisions by WINZ and their appallingly biased Principal Health Advisor Dr David Bratt, comparing benefit dependence to drug dependence.

  26. Descendant Of Sssmith 29

    The UK might be concerned about tax havens (not really) but they are connected to many of them

    http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/interactive/2013/06/201361613599895885.html

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    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • The week in politics vs. Gilmore Girls
    This week in politics: Andrew Little became leader of the Labour Party. Julia Gillard spoke at the University of Auckland about gender and politics. Gerry Brownlee was fined for breaching airport security. Tony Abbott threw down with Vladimir Putin at APEC....
    On the Left | 19-11
  • Whither the class line?
    In 1995 I published a book that explored the interaction between the state, organised labor and capital in the transitions to democracy in Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. The book was theoretically rooted in neo-or post-Gramscian thought as well as the...
    Kiwipolitico | 19-11
  • This video shows the pain caused by NZ’s current benefit system
    Darryn bravely talks about the stigma that comes with being on the benefit, and how that has affected his life. This stigma is just one of the many problems our current benefit system creates. These problems would be removed if...
    Gareth’s World | 19-11
  • Climate change: The cost of past inaction
    For the past 20 years, New Zealand's climate change policy has been one of inaction and delay. While we've seen no less than four failed attempts at putting a price on carbon (including the current ETS), we've never really tried...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • Policy of fear
    Community groups have a vital role in New Zealand. In addition to speaking out on social problems such as poverty, mental illness and addiction, they also often have a direct role in fixing them via government funding. Unfortunately there's an...
    No Right Turn | 19-11
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47A
    A carbon tax could bolster wobbly progress in renewable energy A dam revival, despite risks Congress is about to sabotage Obama’s historic climate deal David Cameron urges Tony Abbott to do more on climate change G20 pledges lift Green Climate...
    Skeptical Science | 19-11
  • ‘Consult on promotions policy’: TEU to Auckland VC
    TEU is asking the vice-chancellor of the University of Auckland to engage in a process of consultation on the university’s Academic Grades, Standards and Criteria policy and other policies so the two sides can avoid further litigation. Earlier this month the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Asia-Pacific plans for gender equality
    New Zealand is one of the few countries who have not sent a government minister to an Asian and Pacific conference on gender equality and women’s empowerment in Thailand, but it has sent TEU women’s officer Suzanne McNabb.  The conference...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • TEC, Ministry and Treasury want new funding model
    The government should consider a radical shift in tertiary education funding policy according to advice from the Tertiary Education Commission, the Ministry of Education and the Treasury. All three agencies advise the government to shift tertiary education funding away from...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • The awkward question of New Plymouth
    It’s rather common knowledge that Andrew Little wasn’t exactly a star in New Plymouth. He stood in the former Labour Party seat in 2011 and 2014, losing ground in both the electorate and party vote on each occasion. Overall, the...
    Occasionally erudite | 19-11
  • Academics say academic freedom getting worse
    Nearly two-fifths of academic staff say that their level of academic freedom is worse than when they started work, according to a survey on the state of the tertiary education workforce. AUT’s Work Research Institute undertook a State of the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Academics say academic freedom getting worse
    Nearly two-fifths of academic staff say that their level of academic freedom is worse than when they started work, according to a survey on the state of the tertiary education workforce. AUT’s Work Research Institute undertook a State of the...
    Tertiary Education Union | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared
      This weeks Waatea news column – Nanaia Mahuta – the Princess who roared...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Real reasons to fear Government’s new approach to child poverty
    Now  I really am worried.  Selling state houses is bad enough but a taking a ‘social investment focus’ to deal with child poverty? “The Treasury will issue a Request for Information inviting submissions from people who work with vulnerable New...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • Power to the people!
    With all the huffing and puffing of the election out of the way and the right-wing still in ascendancy after 30 years of community-sapping neoliberalism it was a pleasure to attend a strike by workers at Carl’s Jr in Lincoln...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: OIA reveals WINZ trespassing 400 people a year
    W.I.N.Z is broken and it’s breaking my heart. Every year WINZ issues trespass notices to just under 400 people. 2008 / 418 2009 /  382 2010 /  347 2011 /  411 2012 /  373 2013 /  384 And this year...
    The Daily Blog | 11-11
  • So David Farrar and the Government were wrong on gangs after all?
    Oh the predictability of this… Ministers acted on inaccurate gang data Cabinet signed off tough new measures to tackle gangs on the basis of inaccurate information which over-estimated the scale of the crime problem. The briefing paper told ministers 4000...
    The Daily Blog | 10-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Stock rustling set to continue under lax laws
    The theft and illegal slaughter of farm stock can only be expected to continue if tougher laws are not introduced, said ACT Leader David Seymour today....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Visit of President Xi Jinping to New Zealand
    As president Xi Jinping of China pays short visit to New Zealand, of Friends of Tibet (NZ) has called upon Foreign Minister Hon Murray McCully and the Prime Minister Rt Hon John Key to raise the issue of Human Rights...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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