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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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    Gordon Campbell | 16-04
  • Revealed: Steven Joyce’s select committee submission
    Dear Education Select Committee, Well, there are less than two weeks for people to get their submissions in to you on my proposals to remove staff and students from university and wānanga councils. You...
    TEU | 16-04
  • World News Brief, Thursday April 17
    Top of the AgendaTensions Rise in Ukraine’s East Ahead of Talks...
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Northern Europe looks to end fixed-term agreements for academics
    Long strings of fixed term employment agreements are not just a problem here in New Zealand but Sweden too, according to Education International. But the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) has a plan to solve this. It is turning...
    TEU | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 17, 2014Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today.The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company, Christchurch Yarns, go into...
    First Union Media | 16-04
  • Collins: More contemptible lying
    Yesterday, Judith Collins treated New Zealand's media and people as if we were all complete fools. Here is what she said (via this morning's Herald): Ms Collins said she was unaware Oravida was having any problems getting its products into...
    Polity | 16-04
  • The Downside of Park and Ride
    Flicking back through older Atlantic Cities posts led to one from last year about Park and Ride catching my eye. It’s a fairly well reasoned cautionary tale which highlights the pitfalls and potential perverse outcomes from something that would appear...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, ...
    This is a guest post from Narahani.   Or is happening and is good for you, or has stopped happening, or is caused by CO2 but only a little, or is about to reverse due to lots of yet-to-be-discovered negative...
    Skeptical Science | 16-04
  • Submission
    Below is my draft submission on the Environmental Reporting Bill. I'm primarily interested in the freedom of information issues; I expect other groups to be focused on the reporting itself. I support the aims of the Environmental Reporting Bill of...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Government’s ‘rock star economy’ throws hospital staff ou...
    The Public Service Association says administrative staff at hospitals around the country are missing out on Bill English’s ‘rock star...
    PSA | 16-04
  • Lip service: it’s all climate action ever gets from Key & Co
    As expected, the New Zealand government’s response to the IPCC’s Working Group 3 report on mitigating climate change pays lip service to the science, while maintaining that NZ is doing all that can be expected. Climate change minister Tim Groser’s...
    Hot Topic | 16-04
  • Progress of FCV “slave ships” Bill is good news – but much work remai...
    The Maritime Union of New Zealand says the progress of the “slave ships” Bill in the New Zealand Parliament is good news – but much work remains to be done....
    MUNZ | 16-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke
    Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke Hugh Pavletich Performance Urban Planning Christchurch New Zealand 16 April 2014 The Housing Accord entered in to today between the Government and the Christchurch City Council, can only be described as a joke. Christchurch...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
    Infographic from Charities Aid Foundation World Giving Index 2013 A Global View Of Giving Trends (click to see full size version)...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tranter questions CEO’s assurances
    “There is a bizarre notion among bureaucrats, politicians and others that if they say something then it must be so - despite all evidence to the contrary” said David Tranter, Health spokesman for Democrats for Social Credit....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
    In its oral submission to the Health Select Committee today, UNICEF NZ expressed its strong support for the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill as a measure that will help reduce the uptake of smoking, and urged parliament...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
    Waikato-Tainui, local marae, councils and agencies are working together to better manage whitebait fisheries at Port Waikato following the compilation of a new report....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
    The Smokefree Coalition is disappointed Imperial Tobacco did not win the Roger Award for Worst Trans-national Company operating in New Zealand, despite manufacturing products that kill 5000 New Zealanders every year....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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