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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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    Perhaps heightened by the leadership contest in the Green Party, there appears to be a debate going on about where environmentalism fits into the political spectrum. I am not a member of the Green Party (nor any other, for that… ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Inoculating against science denial
    Science denial has real, societal consequences. Denial of the link between HIV and AIDS led to more than 330,000 premature deaths in South Africa. Denial of the link between smoking and cancer has caused millions of premature deaths. Thanks to… ...
    1 day ago
  • A year ago today – Auckland’s first electric trains
    A year ago today transport in Auckland was forever changed as the first electric trains started carrying passengers – although they didn’t start running in normal service till the following day. Electrifying Auckland’s rail network is something that had been… ...
    2 days ago
  • Media Link: Anzac Day panel on future conflicts.
    Commemorations of the 100th anniversary of the ill-fated assault at Gallipoli prompted Radio New Zealand to convene a special panel on the evolution and future of conflict since those tragic and futile days in 1915. I was invited to participate… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Australian cops shut down Aboriginal Anzac Day march
    The article below deals with the erasing of the Frontier Wars in Australia.  Something similar has happened in relation to the Land Wars in New Zealand.  The wars of conquest and confiscation of Maori land are totally eclipsed by carefully-constructed… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • After World War 1: the horrors of peace at home (Australia)
    The small number of people involved in Redline means we simply don’t have the possibility to cover everything we’d like to.  This includes some very important stuff.  For instance, an article about what NZ soldiers came home to, an equivalent… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Anzac Day II
    I spent a couple of hours at our local RSA on Saturday. It was well past the traditional solemnity of the morning, well into the drinking. The old fellows drank like soldiers and the soldiers, there in their uniforms, with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Pony-tails, panic and PR spin.
    How Crosby-Textor propose to rescue Key from the fall out over his casual Pony-Tail stroking.Rumour has it that the Crosby-Textor spin machine that elevated John Key to the leadership of the National Party and thence to Prime Minister of NZ… ...
    the Irascible CurmudgeonBy Alan Papprill
    2 days ago
  • Poor peer review – and its consequences
    See below for citations used The diagram above displays links between the journal, editors and reviewers in the case of the paper Malin & Till (2015). I discussed these links before in Poor peer-review – a case study  but thought… ...
    2 days ago
  • Capture: April Come She Will
    Over the month of April I've started a number of threads, but not quite found the time or inspiration to reach a critical mass.Looking back though, it was a fairly packed month, as we ease our way into autumn.So here's… ...
    2 days ago
  • Has John Key tugged off more than he realises?
    John Key's pony-tail-gate controversy seems to have divided people into two camps. The vast bulk of New Zealanders (to purloin a Key-ism) can agree on the fact that it's weird... and out of order. But then there are those who… ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Rodney Hide: They’re all after me, man…
    The state apparently has me under covert investigation. It all started a couple of weeks ago when I was followed home by some guy in a long coat and dark glasses. It was 27 degrees and cloudy. My friends have… ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • The road to Mike Hosking, vilifier of young women
    Some of us have always seen radio announcer Mike Hosking as a puffed-up little prat. I was there at Broadcasting House when this shortish young guy with a big voice and a very strange manner arrived in the Network Newsroom.… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Hey RaboDirect, if Mike Hosking’s selling you, I’m not buying.
    A nasty side of radio announcer Mike Hosking spilled out into view last week as he ‘bashed’ the victim of John Key’s serial bullying. Hosking, supported by TVNZ’s OneNews, sponsored by RaboDirect, vilified the waitress whom the Prime Minister admits… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Is Auckland boring enough?
    Via Jarrett Walker, I recently ran across a provocative article by Aaron Renn in the Guardian: “In praise of boring cities“. Renn takes his fellow urbanists to task for the narrowness of their vision about what makes a good city:… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago

  • More hype and half-truths from Coleman
    The rising incidence of rheumatic fever has nothing to do with ‘families having a better understanding of the disease’ as the Health Minister wants us to believe but everything to do with his failure to address the root causes of… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Regional air routes must be maintained
    The Government must use its majority shareholding to make sure Air New Zealand cooperates with second tier airlines stepping into the regional routes it has abandoned, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Air New Zealand’s cancellation of its Kaitaia, Whakatane,… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Action needed on decades old arms promise
    Nuclear weapons states must honour the unequivocal promise they made 45 years ago to disarm, says Labour’s Disarmament Spokesperson Phil Goff. Mr Goff is attending the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference at the United Nations in New York. ...
    15 hours ago
  • Worker safety top of mind tomorrow and beyond
    Workers’ Memorial Day, commemorated tomorrow, is both a time to reflect and to encourage a better safety culture in all workplaces, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway.“On Worker’s Memorial Day, working people across New Zealand will remember those… ...
    1 day ago
  • Communities forced to stomach water woes
    Confirmation by Health Minister Jonathan Coleman that he is to wind up a water quality improvement scheme will leave thousands of Kiwis with no alternative but to continue boiling their drinking water, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. The Drinking… ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour calls for immediate humanitarian aid for Nepal
    The Government should act immediately to help with earthquake relief efforts in Nepal, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “The Nepalese Government is appealing for international assistance following yesterday’s massive quake. The full impact is only now being realised… ...
    2 days ago
  • New holiday reflects significance of Anzac Day
    Anzac Day now has the full recognition that other public holidays have long enjoyed, reflecting the growing significance it has to our sense of identity and pride as a nation, Labour MP David Clark says.“The importance of the 100th Gallipoli… ...
    2 days ago
  • Housing crisis hurting export growth
    If Steven Joyce wants to revive his failing export growth target he needs to make sure the Government gets to grips with the housing crisis, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Our exporters are struggling to compete… ...
    5 days ago
  • Gallipoli’s lesson: never forget, never repeat
     A special monument to one of our greatest war heroes should be a priority for the new Pukeahu National War Memorial Park, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “This will honour the spirit of Lieutenant Colonel William Malone, who led 760… ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister for who? Women, or Team Key?
    Louise Upston yesterday broke her silence on John Key’s repeated unwanted touching of a woman who works at his local café, to jump to the defence of her Boss. Upston repeated Key’s apology but, according to media reports “she refused… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Taxpayer bucks backing US billionaire
    Kiwis will be horrified to know they are backing a Team Oracle subsidiary owned by a US billionaire, Labour’s Sports and Recreation spokesperson Trevor Mallard says. It has been revealed today that a Warkworth boat building company, which is wholly… ...
    5 days ago
  • English’s sins of omission: ‘Nothing left to be done’ on housing
    When Bill English said ‘there is nothing left to be done’ on the Auckland housing crisis he had overlooked a few things – a few things, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says.  “He’s right if you ignore: ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate change now hurts Kiwis
    Kiwis have twice been given timely and grave warnings on how climate change will hit them in their hip pockets this week, says Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The first is the closure of the Sanford mussel plant and the… ...
    6 days ago
  • Clean, green and chocolate!
    Like many people I absolutely love chocolate! But until recently I hadn’t given much thought to how it was grown and produced. Fair trade and ethical food production are core Green Party principles, so yesterday Steffan Browning and I were… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    6 days ago
  • National admits loan shark law not up to it
    National has admitted new laws to crack down on loan sharks, truck shops and dodgy credit merchants aren’t up to the task of protecting vulnerable consumers, Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Paul Goldsmith has acknowledged the laws might just… ...
    6 days ago
  • Power and the Prime Minister
    I’d like to acknowledge the young woman* who has publically told her story. It was a very brave thing to do. She kept her story very simple and focussed on her experience of what happened. It told of unwanted attention… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    6 days ago
  • Extra holiday offers time to reflect
    The Mondayisation of Anzac Day provides New Zealanders with an opportunity to spend more time with their families and their communities, Dunedin North Labour MP David Clark says. “This is the first time legislation I introduced, to have Anzac and… ...
    6 days ago
  • More angst and anguish for red zone locals
    Local residents will be bitterly disappointed by the Government’s cherry picking of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding compensation for red zoned property owners, Labour Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “Home owners have taken all… ...
    7 days ago
  • Australia shows why we need a sovereign wealth fund now
    Australia has not managed its great mining boom well, says HSBC’s chief economist for Australia and New Zealand, Paul Bloxham. When times are good, governments need to save for the bad times that will inevitably follow, and this can be… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    7 days ago
  • Pure Water- pure rip off
    New Zealanders’ rights to fresh water must be protected before commercial allocations are given, but the Government is allowing resources to be taken, says Kelvin Davis MP for Te Tai Tokerau.  “The Government needs to resolve the issue of water… ...
    7 days ago
  • Cabinet paper reveals weak case for Iraq deployment
    A heavily redacted copy of a Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s military deployment to Iraq reveals how weak the case is for military involvement in that conflict, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  The paper warns that given the failure… ...
    7 days ago
  • Malaysia’s booty is Kiwis’ lost homeownership dream
    It’s unsurprising the Auckland property market is so overheated when Malaysians are being told they can live large on Kiwi’s hard-earned rent money, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “A Malaysian property website lists nearly 4000 New Zealand houses and… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry’s food safety resources slashed to the bone
    The Ministry for Primary Industries’ failure to monitor toxic and illegal chemicals in red meat is a dereliction of duty, Labour’s Primary Industries and Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI compliance officer Gary Orr today admitted National’s much-vaunted super… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    1 week ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    1 week ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    1 week ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    1 week ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    2 weeks ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    2 weeks ago

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