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Open mike 24/02/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 24th, 2013 - 86 comments
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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…

86 comments on “Open mike 24/02/2013”

  1. AsleepWhileWalking 1

    Kerre Woodham: It’s silly to ingore dodgy tax dealings of the well off.
    (Well perhaps not…the well off have better lawyers and therefore are more costly to get money back from, not to mention much harder to intimidate into submission).

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10867271

    • North 1.1

      Here’s why the announcement by Associate Minister of Social Development and ex-policeman Chester Borrows – beneficiary fraudsters partners to be targeted – is an absolute crock of shit and nothing more than flagrantly manipulative, dishonest, bennie-bashing:

      Section 66 of the Crimes Act 1961:

      “66 Parties to offences

      (1) Every one is a party to and guilty of an offence who –

      (a) actually commits the offence; or

      (b) does or omits an act for the purpose of aiding any person to commit the offence; or

      (c) abets any person in the commission of the offence; or

      (d) incites, counsels, or procures any person to commit the offence.”

      Further……subsection (2) of Section 66:

      “(2) Where 2 or more persons form a common intention to prosecute any unlawful purpose, and
      to assist each other therein, each of them is a party to every offence committed by any one
      of them in the prosecution of the common purpose if the commission of that offence was
      known to be a probable consequence of the prosecution of the common purpose.”

      I have no argument with fact of the parties provision in the Crimes Act but there is ALREADY law on the books to combat the “dodgy bennies’ dodgy partners” spectre raised by Borrows. Why do we need “new” law ? Maybe Borrows plans to impose strict liability on the partners, in which case the evidential aspects of Section 66 would not need to be proved at all. Simply being in a relationship in the nature of marriage with the offender would impose criminal liability, no questions asked.

      In which case the over-coiffed “Ladies Lunchalot” who cruise up and down Parnell at 11.45 am daily looking for somewhere to park the convertible European motor had better watch out when their partners get done for corporate fraud in the hundreds of millions. Auckland Women’s Prison ain’t a pretty place darlings…….especially being in South Auckland and all that.

      Is there no upper limit to the moral bankruptcy of John Key and his Cabinet with their incessant urging to sections of New Zealand society that we scapegoat and turn on another section of New Zealand society ?

      Goebbels stuff all the more offensive when it’s done with such righteousness and pomposity !

      t liabilty for those who live in a relatinship in the nature of marriage

      • Mary 1.1.1

        “Maybe Borrows plans to impose strict liability on the partners, in which case the evidential aspects of Section 66 would not need to be proved at all.”

        That’s precisely what Borrows is doing. Notice his rhetoric includes “ought to have known”, which is pretty much a strict liability test, so you’re right to say that “simply being in a relationship in the nature of marriage with the offender would impose criminal liability, no questions asked.” Borrows claims to be a lawyer. He should understand the repulsiveness of such a law.

        What’s worse, though, is that there are many many instances where people are wrongly convicted because work and Income fail to understand the correct legal test for what constitutes a relationship in the nature of marriage.

        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0510/S00182.htm

        Work and Income tell people the wrong test (often based on the old “if he stays more than three nights week you’re married”) and say “just plead guilty and you won’t go to jail”. Of course, many people, mostly women, are still jailed.

        This is an extremely serious issue that’s been going on form years and years without anything being done about it. It’s also an issue that nobody seems to want to do anything about because it’s not popular these days to speak out on behalf of the rights of people on benefits. It’s one law for beneficiaries and another for everybody else.

        • aerobubble 1.1.1.1

          If say a Doctor did not ask hard questions of their gang member patient, would they be liable?

          Would the benefit advocate be liable if they were assisting the beneficiary at the time the beneficiary was applying???

          • Mary 1.1.1.1.1

            A doctor merely provides a medical opinion. They don’t have anything to do with making decisions about benefit entitlement. Work and Income then make a decision about benefit eligibility based on the medical evidence. Doctors could only be liable if they supplied medical information they knew was incorrect.

            If a beneficiary advocate was aware of information that meant the beneficiary wasn’t entitled to the benefit being applied for then they should stop representing the beneficiary. If the advocate didn’t withdraw and continued ignoring the information they were aware of then yes, currently they’d be committing a crime. The new Bill introduced this week, however, relates only to partners of people regarded as having committed an offence, but extends culpability to partners regarded as having ought to have known of their partner’s offending. It’s this lowering of the standard to strict liability within the realm of dishonesty offences that’s so abhorrent. This all on top of how so many women who’re convicted of relationship fraud are not in fact and never were in a relationship in the nature of marriage. Work and Income simply do not understand the correct legal test and continue apply it wrongly. This results in huge numbers of innocent women convicted, jailed and wrongly repaying huge overpayments. Now so-called partners of this group will be criminalised for something they had no idea bout because “they ought to have known”.

            Instead of ensuring intention is retained as the crucial touchstone in such cases, and that it applies across the board to for example tax fraud, this government’s broken with longstanding criminal law principles, and targeted just one group: beneficiaries, the poorest of our poor. Charming.

            • xtasy 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Mary:

              “Work and Income simply do not understand the correct legal test and continue apply it wrongly.”

              You may be right on this in the case of some ordinary case managers not understanding the legal test, but in all honesty: Senior Work and Income staff will know the correct legal test.

              Truth is: They (WINZ) often, if not always try to push boundaries, by trying to take advantage of the client’s ignorance and thus get away with demanding things that they should not demand in the particular manner and form it often is demanded in.

              Look at designated doctor referrals (sending clients for medical exams – for second opinions or assessments). Clients often get “told” whom to see, rather than being allowed any input that the law does give them, to at first at least try to “agree” on a medical practitioner or psychologist.

              If a client is “lucky”, they get presented a brief short-list to pick from, but even that is not in the true meaning of the law. The process, even if improper, becomes routine, and it is done so again and again. There are heaps of other cases, where the law is not followed strictly. And because nobody challenges them, they do it all the time.

              • Mary

                If senior Work and Income staff do know the correct legal test, they certainly like hide that fact. A quick read of Appeal Authority decisions regarding living together cases pretty quickly shows that even they more often than not get it wrong. Accordingly, someone in Work and Income, somewhere, must surely be responsible for those cases getting that far. As I say, if senior Work and Income staff do know the correct legal then they’re not letting on that they do.

        • North 1.1.1.2

          Very true Mary and it’s up to people who know the stuff first to enliven the victims with a sense of “Oh, I’m not such a bludging thieving arsehole then…….”. Awhi. Second, to encourage the standing up and saying – “I’m not a piece of rubbish…….fuck off with your attitude !” Hard I know for wannabee, usually racist wee punks who buy into the John Key cargo cult and who fancy themselves, but to hell with them frankly.

          I’ve spent the last eight years as a legal aid lawyer in Kaikohe, where the average income rounds up to about 17 grand, doing criminal work only. I came from nearly 30 years of practise in Auckland as a conveyancing and commercial lawyer. So I’ll gladly debate with the know-alls and wahanui who know how it is, all according to them pig-ignorant selves of course. (Embarrassing!)

          It’s so important that people who know the shit militate when they hear the utter lies of politicians whose sole kaupapa is to keep their fat and ugly arses on green leather parliamentary seats. And guzzling hard out at the trough. Like they actually believe that luminaries (???) like them are “entitled” for Christ’s Sake. Pleeeze ! Almost invariably they have feet of clay. They must be challenged !

      • xtasy 1.1.2

        You are right, North, and I made mention of this in another earlier post.

        But there is another interesting section, which may qualify this a bit:

        http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/DLM328515.html

        Section 71 seems to exclude spouses from being considered an “accessory to the fact” under criminal law. Whether that now directly also applies to section 66, I can only presume as being so, but I would be happy if someone else can shine a bit more light on this.

        In any case, the true motivator behind that proposed law change is, to have legal provisions to facilitate the pressing of money for “damages” from any “partner” to a DPB recipient, who may have known of alleged welfare “abuse”. They are after getting more money out of people.

        If that law change gets passed (despite of discriminating against beneficiaries and their alleged partner), it will be very hard to prove things. So expect more surveillance and dobbing in strategies to be applied.

        • Mary 1.1.2.1

          xtasy, isn’t there also something in the Social Security Act that allows third parties to be prosecuted for assisting or being a party or in some other way allowing a fraud to continue?

          • xtasy 1.1.2.1.1

            Mary – not to my knowledge.

            Benefits are though considered “inalienable”, and thus only intended for the recipient for specified purposes, so if DPB would be granted, it would be for the sole parent and her/his child(ren). That is what section 84 clearly states. So nobody can claim money from a beneficiary for purposes not intended, nor as a person instead of the beneficiary entitled to it.

            http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1964/0136/latest/DLM364489.html

            Section 86 A says this:
            http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1964/0136/latest/DLM364857.htm

            I would think though that this may only be applied where a third party has been in charge of looking after affairs of the beneficiary, is employer of a former beneficiary, or is one paying any income, interest or else to a former beneficiary. It would probably stretch too far, to authorise claiming any money owed (due to overpayment, unauthorised payment or similar) from a “partner” living with the beneficiary. But maybe it does?

            The proposed law change will be so difficult to apply, I cannot get it, why Chester Borrows actually is so keen on getting it introduced. They will have to engage private investigators, their own fraud investigators, possibly police and independent witnesses, which will create a high level of expenses.

            • Mary 1.1.2.1.1.1

              They should sort out applying the test in Ruka properly before they start convicting so-called partners of those who’ve been wrongly convicted in the first place. It’ll be creating one injustice on top of another.

              • AsleepWhileWalking

                For anyone who didn’t follow Mary’s comment, the Ruka case involved a woman in an on again/off again relationship that involved domestic violence. The ministry declined a DPB and the case progressed through the appeals system and finally into court.

                Ruka won, the precedent being that the ministry had to take into account domestic violence when granting a benefit (or words to that effect).

                So, how does this tie in with the proposed new law? Could be that those “men” from the self proclaimed ministry of men’s affairs do have something to bitch about after all – one day a domestic abuser, the next they are liable for half their partners allegedly fraudulent benefit claim. Oh, no!! My heart bleeds for them. First they don’t get their own ministry, and now other men are promoting a law that will penalise them for something their partner didn’t do.

                • Mary

                  Borrows might be a lawyer but he hasn’t got a clue what the implications of what he’s proposing are. We could talk about them now, but do we want to alert government so they it cover them off with SOPs?

        • North 1.1.2.2

          The defence to being held an accessory after the fact under s 71 (2) of the Crimes Act avails ONLY a spouse in legal marriage or a civil union partner.

          It does not avail a common law partner. Furthermore, the use in subsections (1) and (2) of these word – “…….knowing any person to have been a party to the offence, receives, comforts, or assists that person………to AVOID ARREST or conviction” – takes matters dangerously close to the element of “knowing” being satisfied by deemed constructive knowledge. The defence is so strictly circumscribed as to render it non-existent in practical effect.

          Let’s suppose however that it is a practically meaningful and broad defence, for legally married people or those in a civil union. If Borrows’ does intend strict liability, or even an express constructive knowledge test, then any defence available under s 71 (2) would be swept away.

          I don’t believe even this bunch of backwoodsmen and Tea Partiers would attempt that although nothing would surprise me. Like for example the attempt by some nobody National Party backbencher to misrepresent these measures as protecting beaten women. What ???
          On the contrary they would remove any defence the common law already provides for beaten women, rather than protecting them.

          No, this is more in the vein of “Hey, all you good folk out there……..look at those thieving bastards of beneficiaries………let’s bash them up they’re just scum stealing from you and me !”

          Truly, an amoral bunch of liars and bullies they are.

        • AsleepWhileWalking 1.1.2.3

          In the RNZ interview on (Wednesday?? possibly Thursday) the ministry spokesman said that they expect more partners now made liable by the law to report their beneficiary partners to Work and Income before someone else does. Yeah. Right. Somehow I don’t see this as very likely, in fact I think it is more likely that they won’t move in together in the first place.

          • hellonearthis 1.1.2.3.1

            I heard a few RNZ interviews, on question was with white collar crime and the liability of partners in those cases. Borrows said that, because the offending happen away from the home that partners would not be liable. Which overlooks the home office that may of the white collar criminals have (and claim on there taxes).

            The whole “ought to have known” fails if the person receiving tells there partner that they have contacted Winz and that it’s all been taken care of. What should they do, get an accountant in to see where there partners money is and to contact winz to see if the money is more than what it should be.

            It’s a shocking law and a classic distracting boot at the beneficiaries.

            Laws like that should cover everyone in the community and not just a select few.

            At the end of the say it’s peanuts and the money would be better spent on collecting the $1 – $6 billion for the people who have stolen money from the IRD.

            If winz was interested in saving money, then it could save a few million a year just by syncing up there needs for doctors visits to fill in medical certificates and the yearly reviews. It would make no difference to system but would save 61,000 doctor visits at $40 a visit that would be $2,440,000 saved. Not counting the costs of the community service card.

            • AsleepWhileWalking 1.1.2.3.1.1

              Syncing Doctors visits would be awesome. Combine this with
              – avoiding having clients go into branch wherever possible (saves office space, security guard time, stress on clients, travel costs which are in some instances considerable)
              – sorting out their system admin!!! How many millions is THAT each year in wasted printing and posting of letters that don’t apply? Did anyone else read FranklySpeaking, the post that showed the 70 pages of crap when applying for an unemployment benefit?!

    • xtasy 2.1

      Karol: Hone Key is deeply in “denial”, I am afraid!

      That is the worst and strongest symptom of any form of addiction, certainly also that gambling addicts suffer. So the denial keeps him “hooked”, and like an addicted partner dragging the whole family down with him/her, Key is (with his unchanged, sick habits) dragging NZ into the bottomless gutter!

  2. ScottGN 3

    Reading the article on TV3’s site about the Govt giving up any hope of controlling Kauri Dieback Disease I couldn’t, for the life of me, recall who the Minister for the Environment was. Says it all.

  3. just saying 4

    More insightful analysis from Puddleglum:

    http://www.thepoliticalscientist.org/

    On CERA spinning the Christchurch well-being survey – misrepresenting the results to manipulate the increasingly angry populace:

    …This reveals many things but one thing it does not reveal is a ‘positive outlook’. What were Gerry Brownlee and CERA thinking when they framed that media release so positively two days before the second anniversary of the 22 February, 2011 earthquake?

    Is it now politically incorrect to face facts? Is it seen as some sort of public duty to jolly the populace along? Does CERA now see itself as a branch office of Saatchi and Saatchi, the advertising agency that told us all during the 1990s to ‘accentuate the positive’ and ‘eliminate the negative’?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Which post are you talking about? A quick search couldn’t find the quoted text.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          Why didn’t you link to it in the first place? Just linking to the top of the blog as you did won’t point people to the post you think is worth reading and, as blogs happen to be active, the post will get harder and harder to find.

          • just saying 4.1.1.1.1

            DtB, when I click on the link in my post it takes me straight to the blog post I was talking about.

            Do other people have problems following my links?

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1.1

              That’s because the post is presently at the top of the blog but it won’t be there always and you could have been talking about one three or four posts down.

              • lprent

                Case in point is that I just moved the solid energy post off the top of this site after a few days at the top. Put r0b’s hilarious post about Act up.

                After I get back home and do some editing Helen Kelly’s next post will be there.

  4. muzza 5

    Brenton said there were some hopeful technological solutions using experimental geo-engineering to counter carbon emissions.

    Sir Tony Brenton, a British diplomat for 30 years in the Middle East, Russia and the United States, said the threat of social unrest in the big oil-producing Gulf states and the other oil giant, Russia, had put a floor under prices with US$80 ($94.78) a barrel being the new low.

    Leaving aside the poor use of the term *social unrest*, as cover for the creation of *social unrest* by the zionists, its interesting that Sir Tony, refers to geo-engineering, , the article does not elaborate further…

    An open admission – That’s for you Weka!

    Edit – Weka, FYI, I appreciate you have not denied geo-engineering, could be going on.

  5. ianmac 6

    Penny must be hoping:
    Act leader accused of finance law breach.
    A judge is considering whether Act Party leader John Banks should face charges this month for allegedly misleading investors.

    The threat hung over Banks’ head as he took the podium at yesterday’s annual party conference.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10867333

  6. hellonearthis 7

    It doesn’t seem right that unemployed are being shipped from a National held electorate into a Labour held electorate to take there jobs.

    • David 7.1

      Care to elaborate? You haven’t even named the electorate in question.

      • hellonearthis 7.1.1

        Unemployed workers are being transported into the Palmerston North electorate from surrounding electorates for work. Palmerston North people should have first go at low skilled jobs in there area and not have to compete with people from outside there area. The people being shipped in are also getting extra funding from MSD.

        So it make the Labour held seat of PN look like it as a worse job problem and the surrounding National electorates have more people in work.

        It’s unfair to the unemployed in Palmerston North and creates a distorted pattern of employment statistics. Plus is was waste of tax payers money transporting people to these jobs when there are locals who could bet taking advantage of that work.

  7. johnm 8

    U$K loses its AAA rating. The Public sector continues to be looted for privatised gain. Like our Public assets are being looted re. Power Companies. The key government is a total corporatised sell out too. 🙁 Key and Campbell are chums remember. “The artistic taxi driver” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7oQDG0Ctjlk&list=UUGThM-ZZBba1Zl9rU-XeR-A&index=1

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      U$K loses its AAA rating.

      Official UK public debt is 230% that of annual UK tax revenues. To source sufficient money to keep running, more money is being borrowed from the private sector all the time.

      The UK has not deserved it’s AAA rating for quite some time.

  8. xtasy 9

    This is the National led goverment’s new plan for mental health and addiction service delivery – presented in the form of the Ministry of Health’s 5-year plan called:
    ‘Rising to the Challenge: The Mental Health and Addiction Service Development Plan 2012 – 2017’.

    http://www.health.govt.nz/publication/rising-challenge-mental-health-and-addiction-service-development-plan-2012-2017 (dowloadable as PDF)

    It was introduced and presented by Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne just before Christmas 2012, which ensured that it got very little, if any media and public scrutiny, and it has indeed gone very much under the radar, as no media and no other forums are discussing the contents of this very worrying “plan”.

    At first sight some may find it “reasonable” what is proposed, but looking at the plan in detail, it is NOT encouraging, yes indeed extremely frightening, what is planned. It contains proposals and plans, on which professional organisations like the Royal College of NZ General Practitioners (RNZCGP), NZMA, NZNO and others have already presented interesting, highly critical and damning submissions. Some were not even properly consulted.

    The core message is in short: The Ministry of Health will expect mental health and addiction sufferers to more or less “help themselves” (see chapter 6 on page 6, and under “Self management education”; and also at the bottom of page 27 of the ‘Rising to the Challenge’ plan). Funding is not available, apart from funds to be taken out of other health services, and then to be re-allocated (see details on page 8 under headline ‘Implementing the Plan’, and Part 1 starting at page 10).

    There is much talk about smart-sounding, catchy policy slogans, ambiguous phrases – about better use of resources, integrating infrastructure and services, “cementing” and building on gains, increased access, better performance and measuring output, effectiveness, efficiencies, ring-fencing of spending, KPIs (key performance indicators), supporting and strengthening the workforce, BUT nothing much of substance or detail. Measures are listed according to “rationale”, “measuring progress” and “priority actions”.

    The plan also clearly states, that it takes a different approach to the health care than the so-called “Blueprint II” documents or plan do. This ‘Rising to the Challenge’ plan rather presents much talk and focus on “prioritised actions”. It appears to provide aligned steps to “motivate” or perhaps rather “force” mentally ill and addicted into some forms of work, as chapter 2 on page 28 of the plan ‘Rising to the Challenge’ reveals under heading “Employment specialists”, who appear to be planned to be employed by DHBs.

    Now this must surely also be seen in view of the presently considered major welfare reforms in the form of the ‘Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Act’, as alongside the legal changes that are proposed, there is much talk about offering “more assistance” to help sick and disabled (naturally including the 32 to 40 per cent of sickness of invalid’s beneficiaries with mental health conditions) to get treatment, so they can be prepared to take up some form of work.

    It also looks as if most treatment will rather be the cheap and easy mass medication of patients by common GPs, who are deemed by mental health experts to often be insufficiently trained and qualified in this area. They tend to rather prescribe endless dosages of neuro-pharmaceuticals (see ‘Rising to the Challenge’, page 25, under heading “Reinforce evidence-enforced prescribing”). No extra resourses appear to be set aside for improving proper health care!

    Submissions on the proposed plan by M.o.H. are highly critical and sceptical, especially in regards to lack of funding, detailed commitment and how all this is supposed to be implemented and delivered by the needed professional experts:

    http://www.rnzcgp.org.nz/assets/documents/Standards–Policy/Submissions/2012.11.02-MoH-Rising-to-the-Challenge.pdf

    http://www.nzma.org.nz/sites/all/files/NZMA%20Submission%20on%20the%20Mental%20Health%20%26%20Addiction%20Service%20Development%20Plan%202012-2017.pdf

    http://www.nzno.org.nz/Portals/0/Files/Documents/Activities/Submissions/2012-11%20Mental%20health%20and%20Addiction%20Service%20Development%20Plan,%20%20NZNO%20FINAL.pdf

    http://www.psychology.org.nz/cms_show_download.php?id=1753

    http://www.nzcmhn.org.nz/files/file/338/Rising%20to%20the%20Challenge%20Feedback%20form%204102012.pdf

    http://www.nzma.org.nz/policies/advocacy/consultation-documents

    An earlier submission on Blueprint II by the Aoteaoroa NZ Association of Social Workers:

    http://anzasw.org.nz/documents/0000/0000/0031/Submission_of_Blueprint__MHASP_Final.pdf

    So this is supposed to be the “extra support” the government is talking about “offering” sick and disabled on benefits, is it??? It rather seems like more LIES and smokescreens by a government out of touch and caring nothing much for the mentally ill in NZ.

    • johnm 9.1

      +1 Thankyou for your detailed consideration xtasy. I’m more simplistic: our right wing governments copy and receive their nerve from the draconion measures done in the U$K especially. The process of “shooting the wounded” the artist taxi driver talks of has already begun here. For instance just fail one work test, such as being late to a work seminar, and your benefit can be cut, just like that, to get back on you’ll have to go through a tedious review procedure and you may miss out on a couple of weeks income before you’re reinstated by showing you are work ready, your back money is then paid. The message: conform to the letter or we’ll sanction you.

      http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/Unemployed-man-dumps-20lbs-dog-mess-Hanley-job/story-18078256-detail/story.html#axzz2LlIqULq0

      http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/18.400610-Man-dumped-20lbs-of-dog-dirt-in-a-job-centre

      http://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/

      • johnm 9.1.1

        “Atos Profits Grow by 36% As Disabled People Get Denied Benefits….”

        “Atos it seems is becoming more profitable the more it denies people’s disabilities and sickness. Atos have published a 36% increase in its profits, an increase which was produced through it’s “Disability Denial Factories”, places where you enter as a severely disabled or sick individual only to leave being cured of all disabilities and incumbrances, a place supposedly with the same curing abilities as “Lourdes” but non of the compassion.”

        “More and more people are being victimized, abused, tortured by the government and Atos, I use those terms because that’s the truth, when someone is continually forced to endure humiliating and uneccessary procedures to prove their disability then to me that’s torture and abuse, it cannot be deemed anything else, the problem is that the vast majority of politicians have turned their backs on the problem, no one wants to say “Enough is Enough”?”

        “It seems the more deaths and abuse we hear about the more the Profits of Atos increase, killing disabled people for profit is obviously the coalitions attempts at growing our economy?…”

        http://atosvictimsgroup.co.uk/2013/02/22/atos-profits-grow-by-36-as-disabled-people-get-denied-benefits/

        Message? Profits before people, the inevitable NeoLiberal obscenity. 🙁 🙁 🙁

      • xtasy 9.1.2

        johnm:

        “The message: conform to the letter or we’ll sanction you.”

        Yes, that is the ultimate message and applied strategy on most welfare policies, in the UK and already also so in NZ.

        If more beneficiaries would actually know what goes on, and if more would know and understand their rights, MSD and WINZ would be hit by a “tsunami” of legal challenges. Also this government would be exposed, so that the manipulating, indifferent, non researching mainstream media would not get away with ignoring what goes on.

        Sadly this is not the case though.

        Much more work needs to be done, bit by bit.

        • Treetop 9.1.2.1

          The Work and Income review process for a person on sickness or invalid benefit is so stacked up against a person. A review board of three doctors has the last say.

          • AsleepWhileWalking 9.1.2.1.1

            I’ve won one at the medical appeals board before and I suspect success again later this year. It isn’t impossible, but you do need to know your rights and have good supporting information particularly when you go for arrears.

            Towards the end of last year someone I know phoned me relieved his doctor had signed him on the IB again (mental condition which can make him seem ok…until he clearly isn’t. Exacerbated by stress, such as being constantly harassed to get a job, get a job GET A JOB! We know FFS). I warned him that the RDA/RHA would not necessarily support continuing on the IB.

            Sure enough, W&I inform him that they believe he should go on a sickness benefit. I bribe him to go and see the benefit rights service and offer to meet him there (he gets confused, stressed etc). He makes it but there is a wait time to see someone, during which he manages to convince himself there is nothing he can do about the situation. I try my best to get him to see someone but have to make another appointment elsewhere. No idea if he followed through but I doubt he did.

            >> And that in a nutshell is why the ministry is winning. No review of decision application, no follow through, and the false acceptance that the ministry will win in the end.

            Bring on the tsunami.

            • Treetop 9.1.2.1.1.1

              Good on you.

              I wonder who they are and how the medical appeal board doctors are selected?

              They would have to cover a lot of medical conditions and those on invalid benefit can have multiple conditions.

              Work and Income desk staff are not alllowed to comment on medical conditions, it is not their place to. This is where Work and Income need to be sorted straight away. I recall seeing something about the client’s permission is required for Work and Income to access their medical records as there is a person who can checks up on the GP. I think somewhere in Hamiliton (advocacy) said not to give consent.

              • xtasy

                Treetop:

                “I wonder who they are and how the medical appeal board doctors are selected? They would have to cover a lot of medical conditions and those on invalid benefit can have multiple conditions.”

                In total there are about 290 “designated doctors” that MSD and WINZ have on their books, and well over 90 per cent are common GPs, only some of them with post grad “specialisations”. Yet GPs like to see themselves as “specialist generalists” (a bit of vanity, I suppose). There are indeed very, very few psychiatrists, psychologists, orthopaedic or surgeons of specialisation.

                Since 2008 MSD have “trained” their doctors in special training sessions all over NZ, to make the decisions that MSD “expect”.

                These are the ones that do “examinations” and assessments, and many of them also sit on MABs (but not the same who assessed particular clients before the appeal). Usually they have 2 GPs and one rehab or other “health professional”.

                Some of their doctors and health professionals do a lot of work for MSD, others less so. I know one in Auckland, who made much of his livelihood out of WINZ examinations.

                So since they are expected to look at particular informations, and have to meet WINZ expectations and meet their criteria (“to look at what a client can do, rather than what a client cannot”), the chances are usually stacked against an appealing client, but still a fair few manage to convince an MAB. That has been in past years, it seems to get more difficult.

                For a “designated doctor list” check ACC Forum in comment 5 under this thread:
                http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/13301-what-to-do-if-you-are-required-to-see-a-winz-designated-doctor/page__p__138090__hl__%2Bdesignated+%2Bdoctor__fromsearch__1#entry138090
                (You unfortunately need to log in and join though)

                • Rogue Trooper

                  helps to be mad 😉

                  • xtasy

                    Rogue Trooper: Yes, sometimes I choose that option, not voluntarily, but it is the result of what one has to face. They drive us to madness! It certainly does not offer help and treatment, which is never covered by any disability allowance and the poor health care system in this country. You are left in a catch 22, to opt between medical numbing, suicide or them stuffing you into any other “treatment” that usually never works.

                    Sick really!

    • AsleepWhileWalking 9.2

      Great to have you back X!

      VERY disturbing stuff there. Perhaps worse than the lack of consultation is how National consistently ram through legislation regardless of logical objections – I expect this will be no different unless we can get it read widely.

      Thanks for taking the time to sort through and put it out here for us to check out.

      • AsleepWhileWalking 9.2.1

        When does X get his own welfare column?

        • xtasy 9.2.1.1

          AsleepWhileWalking:

          Hah – it may not be enough yet to fill a regular column, thanks for the thought!

          Maybe it only appears to “much” coming from me, because hardly anybody else is doing much in this regard. Ardern comes to mind, ahem, sorry Jacinda (sometimes it’s good to hear from you, a bit more would be even better).

  9. Morrissey 10

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOUR MORE DAYS

    Following my one month ban, extended by fiat to two months in reaction to the intervention by one of my followers, my time in exile shall finish at the end of this month, and I shall return on March 1st.

    ENDS

    [lprent: Bad idea (like this comment (which i will leave up for the existing comments in reply 🙂 )), it’d be a bad idea to come back so far from the Ides. My notes say that the ban extends until the 6th. You shouldn’t need so much time to organize the backstabs of this dictator. ]

    • Pascal's bookie 10.1

      What are you jesus now?

    • millsy 10.2

      To be honest, when I am banned I dont even go to this site. I just serve out my ban and then come back.

    • felixviper 10.3

      This sort of information is best distributed via a dedicated press release service, perhaps http://scoop.co.nz

      However given that a large number of readers will have no doubt given up using the internet entirely in protest of your ban, I also recommend going directly to traditional broadcast and print media.

      A targeted radio campaign can be less expensive than you might think, and a nationwide flyer drop the day before your much anticipated return should be quite effective.

      However I’d probably wait and see if that deliberate breach of your ban earns you another before spending the big bucks on tv advertising.

      • Colonial Weka 10.3.1

        And don’t forget the invaluable rumour-mongering services available at yournz courtesy of PG 🙂

      • North 10.3.2

        Very gently and respectfully I want to ask what’s all this (what appears to my simple mind) virulent anti-Morrissey stuff ?

        And as to a breach of the ban I would have thought that his actually getting through was an implied, if only a one off, suspension of the ban by the moderator.

        Must say I love Morrissey on Palestine.

        • QoT 10.3.2.1

          Morrissey was initially banned for deciding it’d be really, really funny to use a post of mine to call me a whore. Because, you know, it was totally relevant to him.

          His ban was extended when a “friend” of his decided to subvert the ban by posting a sadly deleted statement on Morrissey’s behalf, and also personally attack me again. Morrissey apparently wasting lprent’s time in email probably didn’t help either.

          You may note an interesting pattern of behaviour, per my comment below. You may not, of course, it’s a free world.

        • felixviper 10.3.2.2

          “what’s all this (what appears to my simple mind) virulent anti-Morrissey stuff ?”

          Only speaking for myself, mine was just “anti-absurd-and-delusional-comment” stuff.

        • lprent 10.3.2.3

          And as to a breach of the ban I would have thought that his actually getting through was an implied, if only a one off, suspension of the ban by the moderator.

          Not usually. There are a lot of moderatorsand it is a fast process. It isn’t abnormal for comments to get through. And the idea is for people who are banned to refrain from commenting rather than us to have to deal with their stupidity.

          If they do get through late in the ban, then my usual approach is to double the ban or to permanently ban them. This discourages people from knowingly writing comments while banned and helps moderators be aware of who is banned. A slow winnowing of people who are dumb enough to waste moderator time also makes our lives easier.

          An alternate approach is to assist in their understanding Of why they were banned in the first place. This usually happens when commentators get in their digs before the offending comment makes it to spam. I read Felix, PB, and decided that the process was underway.

          Afterall what we are mostly interested in is that people do not waste our time. The most effective way to do that is to ensure that they understand what kinds of things make that happen. Personally attacking authors instead of the content of their post and wasting moderator time are very high on the list.

          Incidentally, I was fixing the theme to support threading at Brian Edwards site a while ago. I happened to observe that after being banned here, he was one of the very few people banned over there. I wonder how many other sites this carried on for….

    • QoT 10.4

      1. Feels the need to ignore a ban in order to explain when he’ll be back

      2. Refers to people (who were *totally* not sockpuppets) as “followers”.

      … yeah, draw your own conclusions on that one, people.

  10. Marty 11

    Blubber Boys seems to be all cock-a-hoop about disrupting Helen Clark’s appearance on Reddit. Should I, we?, care enough to turn up and rescue her from those troglodytes? http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2013/02/helen-clark-to-do-a-reddit-ama-early-tuesday/

    • felixviper 11.1

      I wouldn’t lose any sleep over those bogans, I’m sure Helen won’t either.

      The list of questions being proposed includes many thoughtful ones, and the handful from the trogs (YOU DUDNT NEVER PAINT THAT PIKCHUR YOU LIAR) stick out like stupid thumbs.

      Cameron and his friend will sign in early with their multiple accounts and auto-voting scripts and spam the hell out of the board with dumbass questions about her teeth, and Helen will treat them with all the attention they deserve.

  11. xtasy 12

    A 3-wave “tsunami” of comments for a start, not bad!

    Yes, one should never give in, and also inform yourselves well, gather all documentary and other evidence AND take along a SUPPORT PERSON (as witness, to take notes and listen) !!!

    That is highly important, as on your own, it is in many cases like going to the slaughter.

    It is much worse now, with this “looking at what you can, rather than what you can not”. They try to get answers about home activities, hobbies, this and that, which gives them something that can just vaguely imply that there is some “job” a client can do hypothetically.

    The onus now clearly lies on the beneficiary client, and many struggle dealing with that. It is like an accused before court having to prove her/his innocence, without any help (except perhaps some third party documents).

  12. Jane 13

    WTF National up 4.4 in TV3 poll? What’s going on?

    • The Al1en 13.1

      Another month, another ‘rogue’ poll, another bout of left eyed myopia coming up.

    • Pete 13.2

      My reaction exactly. We’re missing something. I consider myself a smart guy. I’ve got a string of letters after my name. I just can’t fathom how the Nats keep on doing it. Except, at present there’s no viable alternative government and Shearer has all the charisma of a fart in a phone box. But even then, there should be a lot of undecideds rather than full on support for the government.

      • Colonial Viper 13.2.1

        They might cut all undecideds out of the polling data, or they might force all respondents to select a party choice.

        No political poll seems to publish undecideds data.

      • gobsmacked 13.2.2

        The undecideds are deleted.

        So the National voters say “National”. The anti-National voters say “Aaaaarghhh!”

        The polls can’t – or won’t – show people saying “Key pisses me off more each day but what choice do we have?”.

        Labour’s “strategy” (a generous description) is that these people will tick Labour on election day. I reckon they’ll stay home, or vote Winston or Hone or McGillyguddy Serious or even Colin Craig. Or Australia.

        The alternative strategy – to, like, stand for something, and be able to communicate it – is there for the taking. But what do we know? Maestros Trev and Grant are in charge, and they delivered the triumph of 2011. Expect more of the same.

        • Anne 13.2.2.1

          The undecideds are deleted.

          Why aren’t Labour and the Greens screaming about this. It amounts to misinformation or worse… an attempt to gerrymander the voters’ perception of the result. Why? Because the majority of people assume it is a poll covering 100% of those who have agreed to take part.

          This is a relatively new tactic. For 40 or more years the undecideds were reported because they actually mean something. If nearly 20% are undecided – and it has happened in the past – then you know the electorate is very volatile and anything could happen at election time if the number of ‘undecideds’ don’t change much. That can have an influence on the way people vote. On the other hand, if the polling companies favour the incumbents – and at the moment I suspect they do – then you are not going to want people to know just how many are undecided. It stinks to me.

          Why doesn’t someone ask the companies why they no longer include the undecideds? The answers could be quite interesting.

          • Anne 13.2.2.1.1

            The undecideds are deleted.

            Why aren’t Labour and the Greens screaming about this. It amounts to misinformation or worse… an attempt to gerrymander the voters’ perception of the result. Why? Because the majority of people assume it is a poll covering 100% of those who have agreed to take part.

            This is a relatively new tactic. For 40 or more years the undecideds were reported because they actually mean something. If nearly 20% are undecided – and it has happened in the past – then you know the electorate is very volatile and anything could happen at election time if the number of ‘undecideds’ don’t change much. That can have an influence on the way people vote. On the other hand, if the polling companies/media outlets favour the incumbents – and at the moment I’m sure they do – then you are not going to want people to know just how many are undecided. It stinks to me.

            Why doesn’t someone ask the companies why they no longer include the undecideds? The answers could be quite interesting.

      • Addison 13.2.3

        It’s simple, Labour could be an alternative Government. A labour Green alliance would be toxic, we need to suck it up, accept another few years on the opposition benches, get our act ready for Government.If we cuddle up to the greens National will be in for a decade.

        • The Al1en 13.2.3.1

          “Labour could be an alternative Government.”
          Not this side of reality.

          “A labour Green alliance would be toxic”
          Clearly the reason Labour are shit is because of a toxic alliance with the Greens.

          “we need to suck it up, accept another few years on the opposition benches”
          Do we, really? There’s no other way, at all?

          “get our act ready for Government.”
          Because 2008 -2013 has just been a practice.

          “If we cuddle up to the greens National will be in for a decade.”
          No-one cuddles Labour. They can’t see the caucus knife coming straight between the shoulder blades.

          I suspect the failure of Labour to present themselves as an alternative government is because they are not one. Not even close. No amount of polishing shines up a turd.

        • bad12 13.2.3.2

          Whats the air like inside your bubble…

    • bad12 13.3

      Lolz an unbiased TV3 political poll featuring Patrick Gower, the first an oxymoron the latter just a simple moron full stop,

      TV3=MediaWorks=$43 million dollar loan gaurantee=Steven Joyce still a shareholder via His ‘blind trust’= everything political said or done by TV3 or it’s head clown Gower can only be laughed at as more bulls**t….

  13. Colonial Viper 14

    Oz Labor Party “conceded the philosophical debate, then lost the political fight”

    Oz Labor Party struggling and struggling. Gillard loses preferred PM spot to Abbott in latest poll, and the Labor Party is sitting on dismal polling numbers vs the Coalition. A 6% swing against the Labor Govt is predicted.

    One writer thinks its a case of the Labor Party no longer having its historical purpose or narrative:

    In short, Labor had bought wholly into the Coalition’s narrative for no discernible reason. It conceded the philosophical debate, then lost the political fight. So now, when it has finally found a Labor story to tell, it sounds convenient and insincere…

    …Once Labor embraced a deregulated, liberal economy, the political landscape was forever changed, leaving a diabolical question for subsequent Labor leaders: what exactly is the point of Labor politics?…

    Labor has been chasing its base ever since. Often it watched helplessly as workers became small business owners and turned into Howard’s socially conservative battlers. Labor cannot offer them industrial protection, and desperately doesn’t want to offend their cultural sensibilities, which is why it says things like ”tough but humane”.

    …Hence the flight to the Greens, the party Gillard so venomously dismissed this week as a ”party of protest”. To which the most devastating reply is surely: ”Fine. But what are you?”

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/labor-has-lost-the-plot-and-the-narrative-20130221-2eua9.html

    • millsy 14.1

      The ALP have been right wing for some time. Probably more historically right wing than our Labour Party, from where I am sitting anyway.

      Some weeks ago, I was reading a transcript of an interview with Bill Hayden, a minister in the Whitlam and Hawke governments (and the leader who lost the 1980 election), and found him to articulate some very right wing viewpoints.

      Other interesting points:

      A Labour government (even the one that will be elected in 2014), would never dream of moving DPB recipients onto the the dole (like the Gillard government did last year), and intervening on the side of the employer in a labour dispute to a degree where even a right wing think tank signalled its unease (like Hawke did in the 1989 pilot’s strike).

      • xtasy 14.1.1

        millsy: They (Labour NZ) do not seem to raise much of their voices here, about the National ACT gang (with that Dunny “Done” guy from Ohariu) moving sick and disabled onto the jobseeker allowance category as a consequence of reforms before select committee now.

  14. North 15

    I’ll say it – don’t ask me for links or some “statistical” proof – this 51.4% claimed for Notional, conducted by whomsoever, is utter bullshit ! Be happy you neo-liberal, right-wing, people-hating arseholes. You’ve got, for now, some figures which buzz you. But even you don’t believe them.

    They are a jack-up knowingly skewed by advisedly limited enquiry. We’re dealing with another wing of the MSM after all. We all know how wannabee, self -interested, and corrupt they are.

    When the tide turns watch those arseholes go for the jugular. Frankly, I’ve got less respect for them than I have for Liar Key. That really is saying something !

  15. James 16

    North – wow you seem all twisted and out of shape.

    yeah – every poll for god knows how long has had the Nats by a large margin. I guess you can keep saying its a rough poll or there is only one poll that matters (election night).

    Truth is – and Im sure in your heart of hearts you know it also – if there was an election today Key would be back in and Labour would get a huge hiding.

    See – the thing is – a lot (hell it would seem most) people either like Key – or think he is better than the alternative.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Labour can form the government on 31%-32% but NZF would probably have to play ball. A lot of Cabinet positions would have to go to the Greens and to NZ First.

      National know this of course and have already started courting Winston.

      It’ll all end in tears I reckon.

  16. Adrian 17

    If the undecided are dropped and the ones that tell them to fuck off are ignored how much does that leave 51.4% of?

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      They don’t release enough information to determine that. Personally, I think political polling should conform to an NZS type standard and provide that information.

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