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Outlawing Begging

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, July 5th, 2013 - 37 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, local government, poverty, uncategorized - Tags: , , , ,

too-many-beggars

Ironically during the week of Auckland’s big sleep out there has been a proposal to change Auckland Council’s by laws to provide for the fining of beggars.  The proposal has been described as overdue by some.  But everyone seems to have overlooked the fact that begging is already banned in Auckland City.

The proposal reminds me of the the famous saying by Anatole France that “[t]he law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich and the poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread”.  Begging is a pretty sure sign of poverty and to fine the poor for begging will only make strained personal circumstances worse.

The John Banks Auckland City Council enacted Bylaw No 20 – Public Places 2008 which included in the definition of “street trading” the “soliciting or collection of any subscription or donation”.  In John Banks’ Auckland beggars needed to apply for a licence before they could beg.  Someone found begging without a permit could be required to leave the area.  Failure to do so would constitute an offence punishable by a fine of up to $20,000.

That particular piece of madness was the brainchild of now National List MP Paul Goldsmith.   He seemed to be particularly upset that the homeless made Auckland look messy, and he proposed changes to the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act so that police officers could pick beggars up and move them on.

That Council budgeted $220,000 for security guards to deal with the homeless.  At the time it was estimated that there were 91 people sleeping rough within 3km of the Sky Tower.  This sum could have gone a considerable way to alleviating their hardship.

More recently Palmerston North City Council contemplated enacting a by law that would allow it to fine people begging on its streets.  The report on the proposal had some chilling content.  The officer preparing the report did an interesting thing and went out and talked to the beggars themselves.  Some were homeless.  Most were on benefits.  All but one had mental health problems.

The report noted that prosecutions are expensive and high handed and require considerable resources.  Why waste resources on lawyers when these resources will do a lot of good in helping the poor?  When canvassing options the report suggested that the “problem” may be capable of social resolution.  Thankfully Palmerston North Council saw sense and followed this suggestion.

In Auckland the New Beginnings Court pioneered by Judge Tony Fitzgerald has shown how effective social resolution can be.  Therapeutic intervention has seen a 60% drop in offending amongst the homeless involved in the pilot.

So I hope Auckland Council adopts a therapeutic approach to begging.  I do not believe it right that the poor and unwell should be open to significant fines for sleeping under bridges or for begging in the streets.

37 comments on “Outlawing Begging”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    I know some council people, and according to them this story is a typical Herald tabloid beat up. AFAIK, this is more about clearing out the increasingly aggressive charity collectors in Queen Street than it is about moving on homeless people. The number of collectors has apparently reached epidemic proportions, with workers actually afraid to go out and buy their lunches such is the level of daily harassment.

  2. Nicolas 2

    Some of the comments on the Herald were pretty shocking. According to their poll, 69% of Aucklanders approved of the banning. The idea that begging is a “lifestyle choice” is so absurd I honestly doubt people truly believe it.

    I suspect criminologist John Braithwaite’s findings, on people’s punitive attitudes expressed in opinion polls, apply here as well. He found that “as citizens get closer and closer to making judgements about particular offenders based on a detailed understanding of the background of the offence, they get less and less punitive.”

    Really, I find it hard to believe so many people are so cold. The “lifestyle choice” BS is probably only shared (truly) by a small minority of the population.

    • Delia 2.2

      New Zealanders did not used to be cold. We have created a dog eat dog environment and the days of many New Zealanders caring about its disadvantaged are well over. We see this with continual beneficiary bashing on comments boards. Most of these commentators never comment on the fact that we have very reduced mental health residential care and chronic unemployment in New Zealand. No, some poor lost soul on the street, has the option of a lifestyle choice apparently. It lies with the younger generations to get some compassion. It is over to them. My generation is almost gone. I am a tail end baby boomer and I have given up on what to do about the hatred many younger New Zealanders express for those on the margins.

  3. karol 3

    Excellent post, micky. I support tackling the underlying causes of begging. And while this government does everything to work against that, I think the council,should not attempt to suppress the evidence of poverty and inequalities on our streets.

    • mickysavage 3.1

      Agreed karol. Moving them on only makes their plight worse and makes the rest of us think there is not a problem …

    • dumrse 3.2

      What a fucking cheek. Don’t blame Government, its an Auckland City Council initiative.

  4. Descendant Of Sssmith 4

    If people are feeling uncomfortable about the effects of the policies they support then tough shit.

    Surely they should be happy about the entrepreneurial nature of homelessness and begging.

    Out of bed before lunchtime
    No need for a food grant
    Not living beyond their means in expensive rental accomodation
    Less use of electricity and petrol
    Prefers charity to welfare

    Fuck it’s a right wingers wet dream.

    They should be encouraging them.

    Maybe they are just anticipating the growth coming along shortly.

  5. Rogue Trooper 5

    “I had noticed that both in the very poor and very rich extremes of society, the mad were often allowed to mingle freely”.
    -Charles Bukowski

    “To be ill-adjusted to a deranged world is not a breakdown”.
    Jeanette Winterson.

    “Don’t ask me those questions! Don’t ask me what life means or how we know reality or why we have to suffer so much. Don’t talk about how nothing feels real, how every thing is coated with gelatin and shining like oil in the sun. I don’t want to hear about the tiger in the corner or the Angel of Death or the phone calls from John the Baptist”.
    -Susanna Kaysen – Girl Interrupted.

  6. Mary 6

    Palmerston North City Council’s response in some ways is even worse because it assumes an acceptance of the social and economic divisions between the haves and have nots. The RWNJs keep telling us that begging is unnecessary because we have a social welfare system but this system has co-opted private charity as a “legitimate” form of welfare to address income inadequacy. Charity has been around for centuries and the need for it will always be with us. The difference between the role of charity, say, twenty years ago and now is that it’s not just for those who due to personal circumstances other than income inadequacy, such as for example family violence, addiction, lack of skills etc (traditionally a very small group overall). Your average person who but for income inadequacy is now forced to resort to private charity whether it be food banks or begging on the street because the safety net is no longer there. Unfortunately our responses to date have not been to challenge the real causes of income inadequacy but to accept more and more private charity as a legitimate way of meeting basic needs of those on low incomes. Kicking beggars off the street because members of the business elite think it blots the landscape and putting donation boxes in the street instead will be visual reminders that we’ve accepted our social welfare system as inadequate and that there’s nothing we can do about it. Is this really the kind of society we want?

  7. vto 7

    Fancy outlawing the poor………

    The homeless should get together and issue a remit banning rich wankers from Queens Street.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 7.1

      If the streets don’t belong to the poor then who do they belong to and where do the poor belong?

      • Mary 7.1.1

        While begging on our streets especially the type of begging we see today is a sad indictment on the abysmal state of our current social welfare system, and for this reason it would be preferable of course not to have the numbers of people begging that we now see, I do not think any by-law could ever be strong enough to prevent it. Other offences such as harassment or disorderly behaviour can be used to deal with people who the business elite claim are “intimating”, if in fact this is true to the extent they’d have us believe. What about the person sitting quietly on the edge of the footpath with a bowl and a sign, doing nothing but sitting there? What can be the basis of a by-law that purports to prevent this? I don’t think any by-law that aims to stamp all “begging” out in such a wholesale manner could ever withstand a NZ Bill of Rights Act challenge, and would therefore be easily be knocked over. By-laws surely aren’t the right mechanism that could lawfully remove a person’s right to be in the street. Civil liberties lawyers will be quick to test this as soon as it happens.

  8. s y d 8

    Begging exposes the myths that we cling to..our supposed egalitarian, compassionate, fair society.
    It’s disturbing to have the human consequences of our (in)actions in plain sight, makes you think that maybe something isn’t right…people shouldn’t have to beg in NZ should they? We look out for each other don’t we?
    Much better to pull that curtain closed again, turn up the TV and believe everything is great and good. The brighter future is near, there is a light at the end of the tunnel…

  9. r0b 9

    Welcome aboard MS – an excellent development…

  10. One Anonymous Knucklehead 10

    “Whether it’s attempting to destroy our public transport options, demanding that we build more McMansions, or driving hundreds if not thousands of Kiwis to begging on the streets, this government hates Auckland and Aucklanders. We’ve had a gutsful, but we will not turn our backs on our people.”

    There you go Len.

  11. Winston Smith 11

    Before the beggers I’d start with getting rid of the window washers at lights…

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 11.1

      First they came for the window washers at the lights, but I did not speak out because I was not a window washer. Not at the lights, anyway.

  12. Populuxe1 12

    If someone reformed the welfare system (by which I mean make it better rather than worse for the unemployed and low incomed), I would have no problem at all with banning begging.

    • weka 12.1

      If the welfare system was reformed to truly support vulnerable people, the unemployed etc, then you wouldn’t need to ban begging.

  13. Lefty 13

    During the late 80s I was part of a discussion, with a group of other people who worked in the community sector, about what the likely impacts on future generations the neo liberal programme Labour had unleashed were likely to be.

    Generally we thought that people would eventually see through the nonsense Douglas, Goff, Clark, Mallard, Prebble, King and a bunch of other poisonous bastards were pushing, and their egalatarian instincts would reassert themselves.

    We did worry about ‘Rogers Children’ though i.e. young people who were subject to neo liberal propaganda from the moment they were able to communicate.

    We worried that a new generation would have only one frame of reference and that would make it difficult to imagine a world that was not based totally on dog eat dog principles.

    We actually got it quite wrong.

    While a large percentage of the population is unable to imagine a world organised on lines other than the way it is (just as it has always been difficult for people to do so), in my experience this is not limited to any particular generation.

    Many of those who grew up aware of alternatives seem to have totally forgotten about them and become convinced their is no alternative to what we have, and on the other hand there is a good sized bunch of young people who question the present paradigm.

    So people haven’t fundamentally changed all that much.

    What has happened is worse in many ways, certainly more difficult to turn around.

    What has happened is the public institutions that inform and lead debates, like the press, the universities and schools, churches, social commentators,unions, parliament, political parties and the public service have completely lost the plot and are simply unable to lead, or even participate usefully in any discussion about values, economics, ethics, political ideas or how to bring about any real change.

    This leaves much of the population alienated, frightened and confused: conditions that are easily manipulated into being turned into hatred and disregard for ‘outsiders’.

    The only way forward is a mass rebellion that discards these disgraced institutions and sets a new course – hopefully one that involves the replacement of capitalism with ecosocialism.

    I just hope I am around to see it.

    • weka 13.1

      I think *that* is the comment of the day.

      • Suitably Clueless 13.1.1

        Yes, I want to copy it and hand it out around my area like some sort of mormon tract.

    • mickysavage 13.2

      Thanks lefty.

      Your comment is very perceptive. When I think of my kids (in their early 20s) and their friends and other young people I have the pleasure of dealing with I believe that there is hope for the future.

      The state infrastructure is doing its best to make us all happy compliant consumers indifferent to the plight of everyone else but there is still this thread of dissent that shows up time and time again.

      The institutions may be compliant but new groups and movements appear all the time. You just have to look overseas to see the major revolutions that are happening. NZ is still a sleepy happy country but there is a basic decency amongst most kiwis and once their sense of unfairness or injustice is triggered they will respond.

      As for the post the point I wanted to make is that the economics do not make sense. Auckland could spend huge amounts of money hiding the sight of poverty but could save money by addressing the problem. The most cold hearted accountant would conclude that we should be compassionate to the poor because it will actually be cheaper. The rest of us would be happy to spend the money and satisfied that we did something to improve the plight of the poorest amongst us.

  14. Penny Bright 14

    Hi folks!

    Seen this?

    https://www.facebook.com/events/384259328352958/

    Saturday 6 July 2013
    Outside Smith and Caugheys
    253-261 Queen St Assetkeepers Auckland

    12:00pm until 1:00pm

    Chance of Rain 61°F / 55°F

    Smith and Caughey’s have asked Auckland City Council to ban all beggars from the streets. We’re going to beg Smith and Caughey’s to leave the beggars alone. Bring a sign to beg with, but beware the Millionaires Against Moochers, dressed to impress with top hats or formal gowns who may try to sweep us all under the carpet and out of their sight.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10894464
    ________________________________________________________________________

    I’ll be there. This is not the first time that corporate-controlled Auckland Council has attempted to deny the lawful rights of citizens to what I consider to be ‘freedom of expression’.

    As an Auckland Mayoral candidate – I support those who are amongst the most marginalised of the 99%, who choose to make the world aware of their plight through signage and some container for those who care and are able to make personal donations to help them.

    As one of the two successful Appellants in the Occupy Auckland vs Auckland Council Appeal – I am prepared to help challenge the ‘legality’ of Auckland Council’s proposed by-law, by raising this matter directly with Council.

    From where have Auckland Council been getting ‘legal’ advice on this matter?

    From their, (in my considered opinion) unprofessional and incompetent General Counsel, Wendy Brandon, who has proven to be a LIAR (over the amount of Auckland Council public monies that were spent on Occupy Auckland legal proceedings)?

    http://www.occupyaucklandvsa/ ucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/OCCUPY-AUCKLAND-APPEAL-APPLICATION-BY-APPELLANT-BRIGHT-TO-ADDUCE-

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campaign

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    • Mary 14.1

      I think you’re right about the legality of using a by-law to oust begging. I think the only thing that can do that is primary legislation. Problem with that, though, is whether that’s politically viable for government, or even whether it’d get the numbers when Bill of Rights concerns would be so strong. Would be good to hear what MS thinks of the legality around use of by-laws on an issue like begging.

      Great stuff, Penny. Keep sticking it to them.

  15. Bill 15

    On the bright side of this tripe – next time the banks come a-running….

    Aw, fuck. I forgot. Those whose money has been gambled away are to pay back to the gamblers the money they gambled away. No need for the fuckers to beg next time.

  16. Colinj & Tanz 16

    It’s indeed a sad indictment on the coldness of the council. I agree, too many people blame the homeless rather than having a caring view. If someone has a home, job, income etc, what right do they have to judge the needy and less fortunate? Shouldn’t we do what we can to help? Jesus would not have approved banning homeless people. The gap between haves and have-nots is becoming a widening sea. Does anyone in power/council care?

  17. Murray Olsen 17

    I wonder if Banks ever solicited a donation off Dot Com in a public place. It’d be lovely to see him convicted under Bylaw No 20 – Public Places 2008.

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    Beatcomber are “a crazy, noisy, psychedelic, super-delayed, saturated, gear orientated, band from Wellington.” That’s how guitarist/vocalist Trent Williams describes them anyway. He says that he modelled his sound off surf music, which he was listening to a lot of when… ...
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  • Weekly Reading: Best longreads on the web
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  • Honouring Erima Henare – a lasting legacy
    Tamāki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare is proud to have been the “first Te Kōhanga Reo baby” elected to Parliament. All who follow in his footsteps and all Kōhanga Reo students and their families, past and present owe a debt… ...
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  • Honouring Erima Henare – a lasting legacy
    Tamāki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare is proud to have been the “first Te Kōhanga Reo baby” elected to Parliament. All who follow in his footsteps and all Kōhanga Reo students and their families, past and present owe a debt… ...
    2 days ago

  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling out our homes?
    After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses it’s clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labour’s Trade and Export spokesperson David Parker says. “Labour has… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
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    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    22 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
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    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    22 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    22 hours ago
  • Bennett’s legacy a test for Tolley
    Former Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been thrown under the bus by her successor after its been suggested that Ms Bennett gave the green light to an ‘unethical’ observational study of high-risk children, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Submission to Greater Christchurch Earthquake Recovery: Transition to Rege...
    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Draft Transition Recovery Plan on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party.  It is important that the citizens of Canterbury have a voice in the governance of the next step of… ...
    1 day ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
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  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act
    In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote.… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 days ago
  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
    The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The company has told shareholders it… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
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    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    3 days ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    3 days ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
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    3 days ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    4 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
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    4 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    5 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    5 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    5 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    1 week ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    1 week ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    1 week ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • No more silent witnesses
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    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    1 week ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    1 week ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    1 week ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
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  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    1 week ago
  • Charter school experiment turns into shambles
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    1 week ago

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