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Paula Benefit Distractions

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 pm, July 21st, 2012 - 51 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags: , ,

Today’s big announcement from Paula Bennett at the National Party Conference was that those on the run from police will have their benefits stopped.

But the question needs to be asked: how many people on the run are collecting the benefit?  (Even if they’re on the benefit, are they collecting it?  Isn’t that giving the police clues as to where they are?)

How much will this policy change save compared to the amount we spent on Paula & her advisors to come up with it?  The amount it will cost for parliament to spend time passing the law?

So is this really about a serious problem, or is this just another beneficiary-bashing dog-whistle from the Queen of them?  Part of the continued demonisation of beneficiaries, of reducing the moral worth of those unfortunate enough to end up bottom of the heap.

A distraction to give us someone to hate, rather than focus on what National’s doing to our economy, our assets, our country, as they ramp up inequality and the privilege of the few over the many.

51 comments on “Paula Benefit Distractions”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    I heard on the TV news that they were going to unveil a plan for beneficiaries.

    This is it? Seriously? Really, really weak.

    I can’t imagine that the convention attendees would be particularly enthused by this move, compared to the much-touted payment card for groceries etc that they unveiled at their previous convention which at least made some modicum of sense.

    • gnomic 1.1

      The assembled members of the nasty party applauded as the minister tittered after announcing this masterstroke. She appears to be a simpleton with a nasty streak; what the puppeteers needed for their vicious agenda no doubt. Pretty soon there will be no alternative to removing all those cumbersome ‘entitlements’ altogether. The gloomy prognostications from English the wolf spell it out.

    • David H 1.2

      No as usual with Pudding benefit, the devil will be in the details, hidden in the small print.

      • Jim Nald 1.2.1

        She should spare NZ of any rubbish and nastiness she brought back from her six weeks overseas holiday.

    • Vicky32 1.3

      which at least made some modicum of sense.

      What sense would that be then?

    • xtasy 1.4

      Yes, Lanthanide, but more will come soon, in August. That will be their big plan to introduce the new benefit regime, putting sickness beneficiaries into the same category as fit and health “job seekers”.

      Another benefit will replace the present invalid’s benefit.

      Watch out for the detail of those new policies. There is bound to be some pretty nasty stuff.

      They also did get a “message” at MSD, which was the result of a legal challenge. It appears to have been resolved in the form of a “settlement”, but there was some serious concerns that they had about past treatment of sickness and invalid beneficiaries facing medical examinations under the Act.

      As WINZ and MSD have been “training” “designated doctors” since 2008, they appear to have been doing the same as at ACC recently, resorting to at least in some cases “biased” doctors to make the decisions they would prefer, as it saved them costs.

      So it pays to keep an eye on what Bennett will announce next. It seems to have been too early to announce at this conference. Another major upset at the Ministry of Social Development was the sudden departure of the new Chief Executive Grossman, who was hired from the UK, and who left barely a year after taking up her position.

      Rumours have it that she was upsed about Bennett appointing a Social Welfare Board to oversee the implementation of reforms, headed by Rebstock.

  2. Richard Christie 2

    I would have thought a trail of ATM withdrawals would have been helpful to police.

  3. fender 3

    So a single-parent with long forgotten unpaid fines may have had a warrant for arrest issued against them, but because they have moved to another town and couldn’t be found will have their DPB cut when police and Winz records get scrutinised alongside each other ?

    Great work Paula, fine way to create some further disadvantaged children.

    Why didn’t National tell all 400 of their redneck followers that all beneficiaries are criminals, that’s what they want to hear.

    • Dr Terry 3.1

      Fender, that is what was heavily implied, and in effect that is exactly what the rednecks did hear.

    • Carol 3.2

      And a similar thing is happening in the UK (and the US, I think)….all working from the same right wing playbook:

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/18/problem-families-poverty

      I believe the ulterior motive is the demonisation of the poor, with the aim, in the long run, of simply slicing off these families at the bottom of what we think of as “society”. Thereafter, terms like “fairness” and “empathy” and “all in this together” can be bandied around pretty freely, because the evidence of their extinction will no longer exist. The problem families won’t count – because they severed the social contract with their criminality and un-neighbourliness.
      […]
      There is plenty of existing evidence that if you want to intervene with families, you do so in a voluntary, unstigmatising way, with a local hub providing many different services, from parenting advice to English lessons.

    • aerobubble 3.3

      It costs mre to put people in prison. So either the cost of capturing will be brought forward, or the individuals will get home detention, and nothing will really change. The jobs aren’t there.

  4. Carol 4

    Bennett shows which party is truly the nasty one. When she says that she plans to “wrap services around” certain beneficiaries, does anyone else cringe? I just feel like running for the door gasping for breath.

    So parents who aren’t doing the best for their kids health and education are going to have their benefits halved? So how is this going to improve things for the children? This will be punishing the parents as well as the children. And then how are they supposed to survive?

    Meanwhile, the real criminals are given free rein – those bludgers who are ripping off tax payers, benefiting from crony capitalism, destroying the environment we depend on for survival, plundering the resources we need to conserve, and siphoning money from the least well-off and channeling it to the already well-off.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/National-outlines-welfare-reforms/tabid/1607/articleID/262127/Default.aspx

    National is starting to flesh out its second round of changes in welfare to come into law next year, called social obligations.

    “We will be introducing social obligations, so they will have to enrol their child in early childhood education and get well checks at the doctor by enrolling the local PHO,” says Paula Bennett.

    So if you’re on the DPB not only will you be expected to go back to work, but from next year you must fulfil these new obligations or you will be punished.

    “If you have kids, then you will lose 50 percent of your benefit,” says Ms Bennett. “That’s the worst case scenario. We hope it doesn’t get to that.”

    And without jobs paying a living wage, the Nats are planning to make survival even harder for the people who are struggling the most.

    Not only the most vicious of nasty parties, but the most cynically punitive, demonising the least powerful, while letting the elite plunder the state and its resources.

    • Agreed Carol.  Every time Bennett says “wrap around” I get the vision of a fist …

    • Dr Terry 4.2

      Carol, why are we not hearing your comments from the mouth of Shearer? I so wish you were there instead of him, but with Labour’s hard to follow new policies on their leadership we can no longer so much as hope that Shearer will be replaced before 2014. We will just have to go on admiring all his self-professed heroics from the distant past.
      As a side-line, notice how in McCarten’s Utopian comments in the Sunday Herald, Norman is yet again featured as ipso facto leader of the Green Party, being the male co-leader of course.

      • Carol 4.2.1

        Thanks, Dr T. Well I certainly wouldn’t make a very good MP, and would be a terrible leader. But I agree that we all have a role in spreading alternative narratives to the dominant “neoliberal” or neocon one.

        I also think Metira Turei is a better leader and has more ideas I can agree with than norman.

    • Vicky32 4.3

      so they will have to enrol their child in early childhood education

      This is what I said to a friend who emailed me about this earlier today “What if the  DPB mum doesn’t enrol her kids in a pre-school because the
      only one in her neighbourhood is a very expensive warehousing ‘child
      care centre’, that she can’t afford? After all, I see 100s of jobs for
      ‘teachers’ at ‘early childhood centres’ which in previous years would
      be honest about just being ‘day care centres’. Now they all claim to
      be pre-schools. Meanwhile, kindergartens are being shut in order for
      the Min of Ed to save money..”
       

  5. David H 5

    And the rank ‘n’ file love it. Makes me wonder what sort of utopia the Nats want. And where’s Labours response to this, and everything else coming out of the Sky shitty Sewer Rats meeting ?? NOTHING, NIX, NADA. Patetic. And the way things are going I should imagine that NZ will only be for the rich ‘n’ shameless.

    • starlight 5.2

      I agree wholeheartedly with you,i too am frustrated and angry that labour are
      in a ‘cone of silence’ over many issues affecting their constituents,this is abdicating
      responsibility for being a party that stands up for and protects the rights of their
      followers.
      I pesonally feel that cunliffe and adhern should be leaders and labour need to rid
      themselves of the ‘old guard’ to make any sort of difference in the next election.
      I heard adhern in parliament standing up for beneficiaries and arguing the affects
      of the policy decisions,but yet are still waiting for shearer to stand up for anyone.

      • Carol 5.2.1

        Jacinda Ardern gave a very good response to Bennett on social welfare in parliament (last week?) – recently. But she seems to have got in with the wrong crowd.

    • Anne 5.3

      Watch parliament next week David H. That’s about the only place where the Opposition can actually be heard. Unless they accuse some Nat pollie of an unspeakable crime – not always a wise thing to do even if it is true – then the MSM have been ‘advised’ to ignore them. You only have to read little blue boy’s piece “For dignity’s sake Key won’t budge on sales” in yesterday’s Herald to figure out what’s going on.

      • Descendant Of Smith 5.3.1

        Only place they can be heard – first they have to have something to say?

        Mouthing the ocassional platitude and saying National have got it wrong isn’t much chop.

        Their policies to increase taxation, to stop profit drifting off shore, their intent to increase benefit rates, their intent to increase the minimum wage etc are all non existant.

        Muldoon was more left than this current crop.

        What about getting off their backsides and saying that New Zealanders as a whole are decent, honest and fairminded, that benefit fraud is only a small problem, that the vast majority of people on benefit are there for a short time and that we shouldn’t castigate the many for the behaviour of a few.

        What about saying that the governments role is to help people and that every nit-picking thing that the government gives a public servant to do takes them away from actually helping someone.

        I said when this government was elected that daddy state would be much much worse than nanny state and it is.

        Daddy chooses which of his kids to favour, which ones to punish, which ones will get the presents and which get to eat bread and water.

        Be good for daddy and you’ll get a little treat.

        We got rid of moralistic charity for good reason. Why oh why are we allowing it to come back?

        Why oh why can’t Labour even articulate some form of approach that has simple common decency and fairness in it.

        The language isn’t that difficult – but I guess you have to believe in it first.

        • Ben Clark 5.3.1.1

          Your point on the Daddy state being far worse than the Nanny one is certainly true, but you’re somewhat misled on Labour.

          increase in tax – CGT would be the most progressive tax in over a generation.
          stop profit drifting offshore – the changes to the Reserve Bank Act, the stopping of asset sales are among the policies there
          increase benefit rates – the plan was to extend the WFF tax credit to beneficiaries – now Labour are looking at different way to achieve the same goal of reducing child poverty of beneficiaries
          Minimum wage would already be $15 if Labour had got in at the last election.

          There’s belief there in all those policies, if you’re willing to listen.

          • Descendant Of Smith 5.3.1.1.1

            increase in tax – CGT would be the most progressive tax in over a generation.

            Yet wouldn’t raise enough revenue to offset the taxes that have gone over the years – not only reduction in rates but gifting, death duties, GST shifting more taxation to the bottom, taxation of the banking sector who shift massive amounts off shore and have the temerity to rip us off as well – although IRD have got some of that back.

            Stop profit drifting offshore – the changes to the Reserve Bank Act

            I’ll have to look for that one but last I looked there was an absence of policies on the Labour Party website

            The stopping of asset sales

            Yep but no policy around what you will do once they are sold

            increase benefit rates – the plan was to extend the WFF tax credit to beneficiaries

            Yeah but what about single people and the cynical putting back of the $20-00 per week on NZS. Cost wasn’t the issue cause there was less people on benefit and super was already higher – care for the poorest – not likely

            Minimum wage would already be $15 if Labour had got in at the last election.

            Yep though it still doesn’t address the employer rort of putting people on salaries that means they earn less than the minimum wage for the hours worked, or the fact that many contracts have no mechanism for wage reviews. Legislate that a minimum salary should be 120% of the minimum wage and that all workers must get a minimum wage increase of 2% per year. That at least will ensure the least empowered at least stop some of the inflationary inroads.

            And your policies on:
            building state housing
            letting people stay in them
            funding schools
            the state employing people to care for the elderly
            industry wage bargaining so firms have to compete on service and quality not low wages
            8 hour working day
            40 hour working week – maybe a 32 hour working week to share the work around
            union access to workplaces
            free dental treatment for people on benefit through health system
            access to contraception va health not welfare

            and so on and so on

            I’m listening just not hearing that much of substance.

            And on your own website you state these things with a supposed sense of pride but with no willingness to put them back in place.

            “For the first time access to health care became affordable for all. The State assumed a major responsibility to provide low cost housing to those in need. A comprehensive social welfare system gave support and security to the elderly, the sick, and those without employment.

            Access was opened to secondary and tertiary education. The New Zealand economy was transformed and unemployment was reduced dramatically. Workers also benefited from the introduction of the 40 hour week, and legislation making it easier for unions to negotiate on their behalf.”

  6. Foreign Waka 6

    If this wouldn’t be so sad I would laugh. Cutting benefit for people on the run from police? Seriously? Does she really think a criminal on the run cares? A break in at the nearest dairy is all they need to top up their need of the day. What innovation, what great thinking. Fantastic.

  7. I am sure the OIAs have been drafted as we read this.

    To the MSD

    Has any work been performed on the likely effects of the proposed policy of suspending benefit payments for beneficiaries who have a warrant for their arrest issued?

    If so:

    1.  How will the data matching be handled?
    2.  What anticipated number of beneficiaries will be affected?
    3.  What arrangements for the children of affected beneficiaries will be put into place?

    • Uturn 7.1

      Dear M Savage,

      No preliminary investigations of this policy have been conducted. There is no record of an official draft being lodged and so your request for information is refused on the basis that it does not exist. Thank you for using MSD helpline.

      Love,
      All Us at MSD.

    • xtasy 7.2

      OIA requests are these days treated in a manner resembling comtempt, that is by MSD, health and other authorities.

      I requested OIA info from MSD last year and the year before. They were last year over a month late to respond and did not disclose much of what I requested, and they did not apologise either for the late reply. A further request was not even replied to, although having been made reasonably and within the required form.

      Fact is:
      If an applicant requests info under the OIA and does not get the response expected, the only way to address this is by making a complaint to the Office of Ombudsmen.

      That office has been so short funded for a long time now (since National came to power), they are about 6 months behind processing complaints. A recent email sent to them had the automated response, which informed me that they will endeavour to respond to any email within ONE MONTH!

      Info requested from Auckland District Health Board in January was refused, leading to a complaint to the Ombudsman. I have been waiting about half a year for a response.

      Also is the Health and Disability Commissioner’s office over-burdoned, so that many complaints to them now take about a year to a year and a half to process and decide upon.

      The government is intentionally capping funding and saving costs in those and other areas, leading to the situation just described. The idea is clearly to also discourage people from making complaints for a start. That is one way of dealing with problems, and Housing NZ introduced the 0800 customer phone line for exactly the same purpose – not so much to “help”, but to “fob off”.

  8. David 8

    You have to wonder how many of these nasty little clampdowns they have up their sleeve, and are going to drop on us one at a time. Clearly their polling is telling them they are on a roll with this, possibly among some Labour voters, who are not always the most empathetic towards the people just behind them. It’s the inevitable slathering of all people who need social security support with the same brush that really turns my stomach. Do they know the damage they are doing to people who really need support? They are giving everyone a false excuse to hate them, to delete them, to harrass them. When people are down and struggling, that is not what they need. When the whole economy is flat and going nowhere, and the haves turn on the have nots out of their own minor insecurities, and start their shrill awful moralising and howling for Hooverite austerity. God Labour need some leadership calling NZers to be better than this!!

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 8.1

      “Labour need some leadership calling NZers to be better than this!!”

      Ditto the Greens.

  9. ’20 hrs’ the NEW full time hours folks, how is this going to work?
    Creation of a new lower level of poverty in nz.
    The old 30hrs full time was a poverty level.
    Paula Bene is now costing tax payers more by including her
    new husband in air fares,accomodation allowance,holidays
    etc,so who is the beneficiary of the tax payers?
    Also the injustice is that she only has to serve 2yrs, (which she
    has done) and she is entitled to a life long benefit provided by
    the tax payer,also free air travel for life and if she leaves this
    earth her new husband will be entitled for all of the above for
    the rest of his life.
    Fair,absolutely not,so who are the real beneficiaries in nz?
    The nats could’nt give a monkey’s about the desperate poverty
    they are prepared to create and their party faithfull and key
    himself ignore the perils of such policies, any resistance is
    taken by key as disent and he says ‘bring it on’

  10. Kay 10

    Bennett’s bombshells are classic scapegoating, and nothing innovative whatsoever. This is what New Zealand was like in the 19th Century, when charitable aid had a punitive, moralistic character (well documented in Margaret Tennant’s 1989 book, Paupers and Providers: Charitable Aid in New Zealand). The current government’s welfare reforms are simply reheated versions of Ruth Richardson’s and Jenny Shipley’s social welfare policies of the 1990s.

    Internationally, both neoliberals and neoconservatives have been banging the same drum since Charles Murray published his 1984 tract, Losing Ground,which asserted a causal link between welfare receipt and crime by selective use of statistics. What gets me is that these ideas are often simply regurgitated by the mainstream media, with no reference to the vast amount of research or debate on such topics in other countries. It’s great that there are still a few critical New Zealand journalists writing on the internet, people who link to the experiences of other countries from which we could learn, but the majority of New Zealanders don’t see this and are poorly informed.

  11. aj 11

    Paula Bennett and the Nats are espousing exactly the same agenda that has been featured and satirised perfectly in the last two episodes of Shameless on UK TV.

  12. Tigger 12

    This is all well and good but how can the police catch anyone when they’re all guarding that nice Mr Key from those evil protestors?

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    Yesterday the Māori Affairs Committee reported back on the Hawke's Bay Regional Planning Committee Bill. The bill looks relatively uncontentious, establishing a joint Regional Planning Committee with Hawke's Bay iwi to decide on regional plans and policy statements under the… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • National’s Bulldozer Lurches Onwards
    The National Government barely paused after their humiliating by-election loss in Northland. In his normal cavalier and dismissive manner Key shrugged off the defeat, "so I got it wrong on that one, but that's the way it goes." He he… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Feeding the watchdog?
    The Officers of Parliament Committee reported back today on the annual appropriations for the Ombudsman, and have recommended a significant increase in funding. There's additional funding to help it cope with its duties under OPCAT and the United Nations Convention… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    19 hours ago
  • Another World is Possible Essay Competition
    I'm sure lots of readers (and my fellow-bloggers) could contribute something really awesome to this competition.***********For the second time, the Labour History Project is running an essay competition to inspire debate on alternative futures.In December 2014, an OECD report ranked… ...
    20 hours ago
  • “Fair-weather” scepticism
    My old man used to label us kids as “fair-weather sailors” when we bitched about working outside during bad weather. That phrase comes to my mind sometimes when I come across people who claim to be “sceptics ” (“Skeptics”)… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Legal Beagle: Compensation for Teina Pora?
    Teina Pora is innocent.The Government, having considered the matter, apparently agrees he should not be re-tried. It is not clear whether the Government agrees he is innocent, but I suspect they don’t.With no re-trial ordered, Pora’s involvement with the criminal… ...
    20 hours ago
  • No freedom of speech in Singapore
    Lee Kuan Yew is dead, but his legacy of oppression lives on:A teenage boy who posted a video describing late founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew as a “horrible person” has been arrested by Singapore police. YouTube blogger Amos Yee… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • Up Front: Mind Your Language
    I have to admit, I had some mixed emotions when I heard Clean Reader had been taken off the market. Delight, because the app was ridiculously stupid. Sadness, because it was hilariously stupid. I still think it's worth talking about… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Labour and the moral high ground
    Since Andrew Little began his tightrope walk regarding whether Northland voters should or shouldn’t vote Labour, there has been much philosophising as to whether a “dirty deal” did or did not go down. To my mind, quite clearly, no deal… ...
    Occasionally eruditeBy jononatusch
    21 hours ago
  • Another day, another IGIS investigation
    One of the most significant changes John Key made to the Government Communications Security Bureau Act in 2013 was to weaken the protection for kiwi's communications. Previously, the Act forbade the GCSB from doing anything to intercept the "communications" of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • Next stage of Beach Rd Cycleway underway
    Auckland Transport yesterday started the second stage of the Beach Rd cycleway which when finished should finally help to make the first stage as well as the Grafton Gully cycleway useful. The Beach Road walking and cycling project begins its… ...
    21 hours ago
  • QOTD: anonymous ex-TSA manager on behavioural profiling
    As reported in The Intercept, a refreshingly frank take on a facet of modern “security” measures in airports: A second former Behavior Detection Officer manager, who also asked not to be identified, told The Intercept that the program suffers from… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    22 hours ago
  • Should you get your child immunised?
    In the book, Health Cheque, Geoff and I found that in terms of health, prevention is more effective than cure by a factor of four to one. So the Morgan Foundation retains an interest in the issue of prevention, which led… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    22 hours ago
  • Should you get your child immunised?
    In the book, Health Cheque, Geoff and I found that in terms of health, prevention is more effective than cure by a factor of four to one. So the Morgan Foundation retains an interest in the issue of prevention, which led… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    22 hours ago
  • Speaker: The Power of N – Nutrient Caps and Peak Dairy
    Chris Lewis quickly backed down from the suggestion of a dairy moratorium in the Waikato, but environmentalists won’t let it go so easily. The Waikato Federated Farmers president now insists he merely raised the notion as a “straw man” at… ...
    22 hours ago
  • At The Centre Of Attention
    Help Is On Its Way: Winston Peters storms home in Northland, but his historic by-election victory has raised a whole new flurry of political questions. IT WAS WINSTON’S FINEST HOUR. The sheer scale of his Northland by-election victory had the… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Weekly Listening: Rihanna, Jamie xx, Hudson Mohawke and more
    A revolving cast of contributors from the Music 101 and Wireless teams showcase some of the best new music releases from the past week. Rihanna's 'BBHMM'. Rihanna - 'Bitch Better Have My Money' Is there any other pop… ...
    24 hours ago
  • Bloody Bureaucrats
    David Graeber may be best remembered for coining Occupy Wall Street’s ‘We are the 99 percent’.read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago

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  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    17 hours ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    21 hours ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    5 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    6 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    6 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    6 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    6 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    7 days ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour looks to put the tea back into entitlements
    Labour is moving to restore the rights of Kiwis to take tea and rest breaks, Leader Andrew Little says. “Within months of the Government’s Employment Relations Amendment Bill becoming law we are already seeing some of our largest companies, including… ...
    7 days ago
  • Desperate money grab to keep Ruataniwha afloat
    The Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company’s decision to borrow $4 million to keep the Ruataniwha project afloat is a case of throwing ratepayer’s good money after bad, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri and Napier MP Stuart Nash.   “This bridging… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

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