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Paula Bennett wastes taxpayers money on drug testing

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, January 13th, 2014 - 107 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, national, national/act government, paula bennett, same old national, welfare - Tags:

Paula+Bennett+say cheese

Formerly proud to be a westie Paula Bennett has a particular role in Cabinet.  She is the go to person when there is some sort of political trouble and attention needs to be diverted.  Over the last couple of years she has been used a lot.

One of her more asinine proposals was the random drug testing of beneficiaries.  Apparently the occasional use of recreational drugs was creating a moral crisis and preventing beneficiaries from obtaining employment.  Of course this was all the fault of the beneficiary and had nothing to do with a lack of jobs being available.

Her approach runs counter to reality.  Just before the 2008 election under Labour the unemployment rate was 4.1%.  It is now 6.2% and there is a feeling that the figures are being massaged so that the true rate being under reported.

Of course using National’s world view this must mean that 2.1% of the population have become bludgers under its rule.  If this is the case it should try and assess what it is doing wrong.

In August 2012 Bennett announced that there would be drug testing of beneficiaries.  The same policy was announced 7 weeks before but National are obviously keen to milk bene bashing announcements as much as possible.  According to the official release:

Under the current welfare system an unemployment beneficiary can decline to apply for an available drug-tested job, because they won’t pass the test, without consequence.

“Illegal drug use should not get in the way of getting a job if you are on a benefit,” says Mrs Bennett.

“Thousands of working New Zealanders are in jobs requiring they be clean of drugs; it’s reasonable to expect someone looking for work to do the same.”

Under welfare reforms coming into effect next year, it will be made clear to those on benefits with any work expectations that they must remain drug free in order to be able to take up suitable work opportunities.

This policy only applies to those with a work expectation attached to their benefit and only for available work opportunities requiring drug tests.

“Around 40 percent of the jobs listed with Work and Income require drug tests and it’s reasonable for employers to expect people to be drug free.”

Those on benefits with full or part-time work obligations will be sanctioned if they refuse job opportunities which require a drug test or if they fail a test.

One interesting aspect of this as noted by No Right Turn is that of jobs advertised with WINZ 40% required employer paid drug tests.  Under Bennett’s proposal and the original tender document he concluded that beneficiaries had to pay for the test.  It appears that this requirement may have been changed because a subsequent Stuff article suggested that a beneficiary only had to pay for a failed test the cost of which was put at over $100.

The first batch of results are in and the figures are shocking.  Of 8,001 beneficiaries sent for testing only 22, yes 22, either failed the test or refused to take it.  This is a fail rate of 0.27%.  It appears that the state has paid in the vicinity of $1 million on testing beneficiaries who have given clean results.

Bennett with typical spin says that the result shows that the policy is working.  Not knowing what the figure was before and having done no analysis whatsoever has not stopped her from coming to such a conclusion.

The CTU and beneficiary advocacy groups are calling for the policy to be scrapped.

The scheme is a colossal waste of time and money.  Our taxpayer money is being burned so that Bennett can look like she is being tough on beneficiaries.

107 comments on “Paula Bennett wastes taxpayers money on drug testing”

  1. Nick 1

    I read this interesting article on the Daily Beast the other day. Seems like in America they are getting positive rates at 10 times what we are and still make a case for it being a total waste of money. National is just the same as the Republicans, happy to spend money on the poor if its to humiliate them or punish them. As long as we aren’t actually helping then its money well spent.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/12/31/shorter-gop-spending-on-the-poor-is-ok-when-it-s-for-drug-tests.html

  2. One Anonymous Knucklehead 2

    How far have we come from neo-liberal dogma? These sanctions are in clear breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, articles 7, 12, and 22 (at least), and here we are discussing how much it costs???

    I put it to you that the costs are measured in far more than monetary terms.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Agreed OAK that there are many more things wrong with the policy other than just its cost. I thought I would pitch the argument on a basis on which even right wingers could agree with.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1

        It’s an opportunity to make right wingers explain exactly why they oppose universal human rights, not to treat their disgusting false narrative as though it has some sort of currency.

        Fuck the expense. Who cares how much it costs for the government to treat people as though they are subhuman?

        • Zorr 2.1.1.1

          Because they already treat them as subhuman and are not actually embarrassed by that fact. Economic segregation where anyone who is on a benefit may as well be from another planet for all they care and they need to be consistently reminded of their place in the hierarchy – slaves to our slave owners.

          They aren’t interested in their humanity (for the reasons above) or the tax dollars going towards this. This is because any tax dollars spent on these policies results in less money for other services leading towards a spiral of services declining as money is siphoned in to these policy failures. The rich don’t care – because they can still pay for everything they may dream of but for those of us struggling, it places more downward pressure on us as any “spare” money is now going towards services that used to be provided.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.1.1

            It was a rhetorical question but thanks anyway :)

            • Zorr 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Rhetorical or not, it got me thinking and then I had to have my say… because… well…

              >_<

              Don't mind me, I'll let myself out

          • Crunchtime 2.1.1.1.2

            “Because they already treat them as subhuman and are not actually embarrassed by that fact. Economic segregation where anyone who is on a benefit may as well be from another planet for all they care”

            This is the sort of fighting talk I should be hearing from David Cunliffe, well said Zorr.

            But currently I am not hearing from David Cunliffe at all really, and I’m not impressed.

    • Murray Olsen 2.2

      +100
      Let’s stop letting them frame the terms of the debate.

  3. just saying 3

    Prohibited grounds of discrimination

    Heading: inserted, on 1 January 2002, by section 7 of the Human Rights Amendment Act 2001 (2001 No 96).

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    employment status, which means—(i) being unemployed; or

    (ii) being a recipient of a benefit under the Social Security Act 1964 or an entitlement under the Accident Compensation Act 2001:……………………………………………………………….

    Fat lot of good the HRC does. But it was designed to be a toothless upmarket coffee club I guess.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1

      Then it needs more teeth. Perhaps a dedicated serious crime unit is required. Can we agree that breaches of human rights are serious crimes?

      More teeth, and pepper spray.

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      But what is the context of this? That someone who is employed or is applying for a job cannot be discriminated against by the employer?

      Because I think in this case it is not the employer doing the discrimination, but WINZ after the candidate fails the drug test.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.2.1

        Yes. The individual who makes the decision and any other employees who are aware of it but fail to take action. The managers for failing to properly train their staff, the ministerial employees who fail to prevent such abuses being rejected at a policy level, the minister and cabinet who instigate the crimes against humanity in the first place.

        All of them should be up in front of the beak.

        • Lantahnide 3.2.1.1

          Sorry, what?

          Company A interviews beneficiary B and administers a drug test. B fails the drug test. WINZ C penalises the beneficiary B.

          Beneficiary B has not been discriminated against by company A, which I believe is what the context of the law just saying quoted is about. Beneficiary B has in fact been discriminated against by C.

          Now, I may be completely wrong, which is why I asked what the context is, because what just saying has provided isn’t sufficient to determine whether what WINZ is doing is against the HRA.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.2.1.1.1

            I agree with you. WINZ is discriminating against the citizen in your example, although a case can be made that handing over the results of tests, knowing that this will result in human rights abuses, places some of the responsibility of the companies requiring and performing the tests.

      • freedom 3.2.2

        Q: If there is no discrimination then why dies the beneficiary have to pay for a failed test and any other interviewee does not?

    • tracey 3.3

      the appointment of devoy showed exactly what national thinks of human rights.

  4. Tanz 4

    Bennett is a huge hypocrite.
    Where is her empathy and understanding towards beneficiaries, since she was once one herself, earning her degree whilst on the DBP.
    Key is behind her on this, as usual. Like he ever cares for the poor.
    He came from a solo mum background, but there is not once slice of feeling for anyone but his rich mates, his gambling friends.

  5. John Minto on TDB nails it too, http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/01/12/on-a-scale-from-one-to-10-how-vile-is-paula-bennett/

    “With her working-class, solo mother background Bennett is a convert to the ruling elite and like most converts she is more rabid against the poor than those born into a life of natural entitlement.”

    Bennett will be going into smasher mode this year and this testing bullshit and the subsequent spin-lies are just a taste of her ‘war on the poor’ – the gnats know they can always get the ‘middle’ to move towards them by scaring them and creating fear around the potential loss of their privilege. I don’t have faith that labour will do much about this (unless they see an advantage for themselves) but Mana will.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 5.1

      There’s an opportunity there to hammer her so hard she breaks. Make her justify herself at every turn.

      “Labour will establish a serious crimes unit to investigate human rights abuses by the National Party and their enablers. All government employees are on notice; if you are found to have breached the UDoHR, whether you were just following orders or not, the incoming government will treat this as a serious matter and you will be referred to the police.”

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        Now that would be awesome – especially if the majority of them ended up in prison.

  6. Tanz 6

    Yes, it would be good to know what Labour’s policy on this is. Labour is always, always far kinder that the hard-hearted Gnats, that is a given.

  7. Will@Welly 7

    It’s not even the principle here that is behind this policy that is at the heart of this matter. National is looking for any reason to belittle and demean beneficiaries. Even just one beneficiary who had some form of residual drug substance in their blood system would see National baying that all beneficiaries are “drug takers.”
    Look at how National treat their opponents when they are confronted with an opposing view, first they sneer and mock jeer at them, then belittle them, by stating that their opponent knows nothing about the topic they are talking about. National are not interested in engaging in any meaningful debate whatsoever – that is the sole domain of the left, even those right-wing bloggers who come onto this site tend to sow dissent, untruths and side-tracking debate by adding scurrilous comments.
    Matthew Hooton was recently quoted in “The Herald” as saying that the current administration is the most interventionist since Muldoon. And they said the last Labour Government was “Nanny State.”

  8. joe90 8

    The Maddow suggestion that the drug testing of beneficiaries in some US states is all part of the plan has me wondering whether Bennett is singing from a tory song sheet.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2014/01/06/rachel_maddow_koch-affiliated_group_pushes_welfare_drug_tests.html

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.1

      “If there’s one thing the Right is really good at, it’s spreading bad ideas nationwide”.

      Brilliant.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      whether Bennett is singing from a tory song sheet.

      She is. If anything, the Tories know how to network.

  9. Molly 9

    Random drug testing happens at my partner’s workplace – with mandatory drug testing in place when incidents occur. That is understandable given the heavy plant and machinery they work with.

    My problem with drug testing is this:

    The premise is that the use of a mind-altering substance impairs judgement and can cause harm, damage and/or injury.

    1. Alcohol – unless it is very apparent is not tested for because it is legal, but is one of the more usual culprits in this regard.
    2. Tests check for residual traces in the blood – not for impairment. ie. Current drug tests at my partner’s workplace will not pick up P after 48 hours, but THC stays detectable for up to seven weeks. It is unlikely that a joint smoked six weeks ago has an impact on someone’s work today, but they will have failed their drug test.

    I’m not a smoker or drinker, but do think that if you have a problem – ie. safety at work, then the solution needs to effectively address that problem. Drug testing in the workplace with these limitations does not.

    As for Paula Bennett – her problem is that the general public might actually start considering the changes she has made to the MSD with some kind of objectivity. She needs to ensure that people continue to denigrate those on benefits.

    Drug testing beneficiaries along with rhetoric that accompanies it does unfortunately address that particular problem. It was never about anything else.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.1

      Do they test for legal “highs”? If not this policy has some very perverse incentives indeed.

      • Molly 9.1.1

        I’ll have to ask. I have talked about this point with my partner but can’t remember the final outcome. We tend to meander off course in some of our discussions….

        • Molly 9.1.1.1

          Yes, they do show up AND as the policy is a vague “impaired at work” this counts as a positive.
          I’m guessing this would be an interesting test case in court.

          Alcohol not tested unless requested.

      • infused 9.1.2

        yes, they show up.

    • tracey 9.2

      alcohol…. Winston peters anyone?

      let’s get all our pollies tested then random testing thereafter. afterall they are the highest paid beneficiaries

      • Molly 9.2.1

        Some hypothetical tests for politicians that would get them automatically kicked out of parliament:
        Unbridled ego – over 70% with no corresponding actual achievements,
        Confuspeak – if over 40% of what you say has no meaning at all,
        Babble - similar to confuspeak but even you don’t understand what you are saying.
        Hypocrisy – for practical reasons this can’t be too low, else it would be a revolving door policy but a benchmark 40% should get rid of the inveterate practitioners,
        Faux colours – pretending to be a completely separate party, but in actual fact being a wing of another,

        … got to stop – this imaginary list just grew exponentially and I have a life to get on with….

      • David H 9.2.2

        Have you not seen, what looks like a very impaired Key in the chamber after a large lunch? Louder than usual, and boorish to the Max. So maybe they should have a breathalyser in the house I bet they’d get a few.

  10. Bill 10

    Hunt the poor. Run them down. Make money from policies that are designed to both exclude the poor and leave them to rot. Private prison shares anyone? Privatised welfare paying tax money to providers on a ‘results’ basis? Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey.

  11. redfred 11

    $45,454.00 per failed test – geez that is a great use of tax payer money.

    15%ish up to 20% regular drug users in NZ population – not including alcohol.

    So beneficiaries are less likely to be drug users, that is probably because they can’t afford to buy drugs.

    But don’t let the facts get in the way or basic economics or reality.

    Lets all piss in a cup we all benefit from the state in some way or form; can’t being doing that stoned!

    Send your Cup of Piss to

    Paula Bennett
    Minister Of Social Misery
    Parliament Buildings
    Wellington

    • vto 11.1

      Yep, the richer consume far more drugs than the poorer.

      • tracey 11.1.1

        my brother aggress with this policy YET has employed his oldest son to work for him in software development while knowing he smokes pot on a daily basis and in his home. The hypocrisy is frightening.

    • “..Send your Cup of Piss to

      Paula Bennett
      Minister Of Social Misery
      Parliament Buildings
      Wellington..”

      (heh..!..i’m sure that’s perfectly legal..?

      ..smoke a joint..pee in a container..

      ..and send it c/o paula..to be tested..

      ..thus showing solidarity with the persecuted..

      ..and bring bennett face to nose (as it were..)

      ..with the physical-outcomes of her ‘vile’ doings..

      ..i like it..)

      ..and of course mp’s must be tested..

      ..especially ministers..

      ..backbenchers it doesn’t matter so much..

      ..as they could as much be bollards..as humans..

      ..the actual use they are..(and actually..that is being a bit harsh on bollards..eh..?..)

      ..but ministers have serious responsibilities..

      ..imagine if they were coke-fiends..?..or something like that..?

      ..and yes..that a joint smoked six weeks previously sees you fail a drug-test..

      ..is enough to make you both laugh and cry..

      ..and only $45 grand per failed-test/’bust’..?

      ..good value for money..there..paula..eh..?

      phillip ure..

    • Murray Olsen 11.3

      Probably not legal to send a urine sample to Paula Bennett. I think it is legal to send samples through the mail to a registered medical practitioner, veterinarian, or testing laboratory. Drs. Bratt and Aylward probably fit the bill, for example.

  12. vto 12

    I suggest a mandatory alcohol-test of the exact same kind as the drug-tests i.e. if you have had a drink at all in the last month or so you will fail.

    What say thee crowds of public? ? ? Fair ? Or too close to the bone ? Where is your backbone nasty right-wingers ?

    • Augustus 12.1

      Don’t give them any ideas, they wouldn’t hesitate to do just that if they could get away with it. Mandatory tests for management only is what you’re after.

      But seriously, why should there be any impairment test at all for minimum wage jobs? By definition, they require no skills, hence one can’t be impaired. Drug testing should be tied to a living wage, as a minimum. And a drug test has to be the one and only thing standing between a job and a person at the time the test is taken, not wholesale “suitability” testing before a decision is made.

    • Lantahnide 12.2

      Alcohol doesn’t stay in your system for months.

      If it did, and it was likely to affect your behaviour for that time, then I’m sure it would count.

      • vto 12.2.1

        pot stays in a persons system for months. It has no “impairment at work” effect after a few hours.

        The tests are a crock of absolute shit, hence creating a similar one for alcohol so that the bullshit can be exposed.

        • Lanthanide 12.2.1.1

          First study I found on google results supports your claim: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9700958

          Found no effects the day after the joint had been smoked.

          So yeah, sounds like a ridiculous beat-up, likely used as an excuse to fire and harass workers.

          Still they are actually testing for a chemical in the bloodstream, and no such equivalent exists for alcohol.

          • vto 12.2.1.1.1

            I know lanth, it is a kind of hypothetical one.

            The drug tests are more than a ridiculous beat-up, they are a lie and a cheat. They are a fraud. They need to be tested in court. The courts would see through this lie in a flash.

            Lying cheating Paula Bennett. She is a fraudster

  13. Brian 13

    Given Bennet’s gargantuan hypocrisy I can only wonder if, she were randomly tested, would she pass – drugs that is – we already know she is a failure in every other arena.

  14. tracey 14

    “Her Labour opponent is not yet known, but the Conservatives are likely to put up former Work and Income boss Christine Rankin. Its leader Colin Craig described the likely contest as a “catfight”.

    “I took a breath and then I thought I’ve thicker skin than that – get on with it and more to worry about,” Mrs Bennett said. “Whatever. I think it’s ridiculous to go up against me – I’m the consummate campaigner. This is what I do. This is what I love. I breathe this sort of stuff and I’m really looking forward to it.” Speaking of ego in the KDC thread….

    • QoT 14.1

      Especially when she only won her seat last time by what, 9 votes?

      (Yes it’s going to be a different seat in 2014, but it still shows she’s full of shit.)

      • tracey 14.1.1

        Another one who never seems to mention the people, or the voters, or those in need. It’s about what she loves, and what she is doing.

  15. scotty 15

    The stats are an own goal, for National and Bennett.

    No more lying to voters ,that the unemployed are not job ready, cos of rampant drug use.

  16. scotty 16

    I don’t expect the MSM will corner Bennett with the fact that,
    the Ministers own stats ,now show ,that the unemployed ,are indeed “job ready.”

    • tracey 16.1

      Very good point.

      How many of the 8001 are now in full-time work?
      How long have the 8001 been looking for work?
      How many interviews have the 8001 attended?

      All of that data is way more important than the data she just collected.

  17. weka 17

    Anyone know how long a gap there needs to be between smoking cannabis and passing a drug test?

    • scotty 17.1

      30 days ish I believe .

      • infused 17.1.1

        Nah. 12-14 days. If that.

        • weka 17.1.1.1

          That’s quite a variation. Let’s say 30 days. How often are beneficiaries being tested, and how much notice do they get? I’m guessing they don’t get tested each time they apply for a job, but then this is govt by stupidity so who knows.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 17.1.1.1.1

            From a some quick reading, the answer is: it depends on the individual, and it depends on the test. Saliva? Up to seventy-two hours. Blood? Two or three days. Hair? Ninety days. Urine, two to five days, up to fifteen days for chronic users. Source, Wikipedia (yes, yes, I know).

            • weka 17.1.1.1.1.1

              I read some of that wikipedia entry too, thought it was pretty interesting.

              I wonder if passive smoking shows up.

    • Zorr 17.2

      I think it is approx 3 months. THC stays in the system a long time

      EDIT: Agreed on the 30 days. Apparently it is all dependent on personal metabolism

      • Clashman 17.2.1

        No it doesn’t and frankly I’m sick of hearing this. The urine tests are for the metabolites of THC.

    • Molly 17.3

      Yep. From the drug testing going on at my partner’s workplace, for cannabis – seven weeks it is still detected and comes back as a positive.

      This has caught out a few guys at his work.

      • McFlock 17.3.1

        was this hair, blood, or urine testing?

        • Molly 17.3.1.1

          Partner has headed off again so the source is unavailable, but pretty sure it is urine testing to start. Don’t know whether they move onto bloods afterwards if that is positive.

          In terms of workplace policy, depending on the circumstances – ie. random test, or accident causing damage or injury, there is some leniency for positive results. And often a grace period of two months is given with another drug test given at the end of that time. Very rarely is the second one positive.

          I understand that most failures come from prospective new employees who don’t know about the long detection period for THC.

          • McFlock 17.3.1.1.1

            Ah well, no worries.

            Personally I’ve long held the belief that the issue is impairment, not drugs – so anyone who works in a very dangerous environment etc should have a standardised five-minute impairment test at the start of each day (and a certain probability of a supplementary test later in the shift). That would pick up people impaired by illegal drugs, legal drugs, fatigue or just being a numpty. It would be easy enough to automate. Not my field, but my guess is it would look for fine motor control, observation, reaction time, peripheral vision, and maybe cognitive tests (like say the colour the word spells, not the colour of the letters in the word).

            Additionally, not so dangerous environments could do less frequent testing, but quite frankly it would also provide a health baseline for any worker it it were done once a year or so.

  18. adam 18

    This is a failed policy globally – Florida is the best example it has even been proven to be at fault via the courts

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/01/us/florida-law-on-drug-testing-for-welfare-is-struck-down.html?_r=0

    It is expanding into single mothers as the new target for drug testing. It is a broken policy which is a waste of money and is just about power and control.

  19. wyndham 19

    The really sad thing about the Bennett-led pursuit of the beneficiary is that National Party polling tells their planners what the majority of the great N.Z. public want. These planners are not fools and know exactly the right cards to play. It would seem that, as well as providing a distraction from unpopular political acts, beneficiary “bashing” is a rich source of satisfaction to the general public.

    Who are these people ? Workers who have become more prosperous and resent those now “beneath” them in the social pecking order getting any assistance ? Traitors to “class” ? Racists ?( Since we are given indications that a great number of dole-bludgers are from that oft referred-to group known as ‘lower socio-economic’.)

    Perhaps Ms Bennett belongs to both these groupings; which makes her actions all the more odious.

  20. greywarbler 20

    Could Porky Bennett spend that money on dung testing? She could test beneficiaries to see who is wasting money on fattening chocolate biscuits, who is trying to get a caffeine high to the point of incapacity, and who is eating white bread or cocopoppies for breakfast, a well-known way of pushing up the GI level and encouraging the onset of mid-morning starvation, loss of stamina and acuity of brain, and probably diabetes. All of those are real problems and can be part causation in ill health and Lack Of Producitivity!!

  21. If there’s one thing I regret not doing when I was younger, turning up for a job interview tripping balls just to see what happens would definitely be it.

  22. Will@Welly 22

    Descartes – “I think, therefore I am.” Philosophy 101.
    Bennett – “I snort, therefore I am …………… too.”

    • Gotta love it when judgmental tory troughers prove that beneficiaries aren’t who they’ve been stereotyped as, and the only thing getting wasted and failing to be productive is the budget over at Bennet’s taxpayer funded department.

  23. captain hook 23

    Was she drug tested for her job?
    Where is she now?
    Colorado?

  24. tricledrown 24

    Paula bene basher.
    Should be tested to make sure she’s taking her meds.
    Compulsive dickhead disorder.

  25. tricledrown 25

    This money could have been used to provide job subsidies for long term unemployed people
    Then the govt would have something to crow about.
    Ofcourse they are trying to get all the bad news out Now.
    We should have boot camps and drug tests for right wing fuckups like ladder pauller bene basher.

  26. Intrinsicvalue 26

    “Illegal drug use should not get in the way of getting a job if you are on a benefit,” says Mrs Bennett.

    “Thousands of working New Zealanders are in jobs requiring they be clean of drugs; it’s reasonable to expect someone looking for work to do the same.”

    Makes perfect sense to me.

    • Richard Down South 26.1

      While I agree it shouldn’t…

      1) The drug tests don’t judge impairment of work place capacity, just if you have had X drug within a certain time to be detectable

      2) The drug testing IS discriminatory in its nature (You don’t have to get tested for a job if you’re not on a benefit)

      3) The costs for 22 cases of failure to pass the test (no mention of actual failure rates of tests, so it could be 22 refusals to take the test on the grounds that it breaches peoples rights) is simply stupid

      • Intrinsicvalue 26.1.1

        “1) The drug tests don’t judge impairment of work place capacity, just if you have had X drug within a certain time to be detectable”

        The presence of drugs in your system may well impair your work place capacity, but I’d go further. I simply would not want to employ someone stupid enough to waste their money on addictive, harmful and illegal substances.

        2) The drug testing IS discriminatory in its nature (You don’t have to get tested for a job if you’re not on a benefit)

        Yes you do. Many employers drug test, many conduct police checks….etc etc.

        3) The costs for 22 cases of failure to pass the test (no mention of actual failure rates of tests, so it could be 22 refusals to take the test on the grounds that it breaches peoples rights) is simply stupid

        I disagree. The presence of drug tests is likely to stand as a disincentive to beneficiaries to spend my money on their drug habit.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 26.1.1.1

          Ok, so here we go: here’s a creep who thinks humans rights are only for people with jobs.

          Justify yourself and your disgusting drivel, Intrinsic. Show the evidence that the need for your “disincentive” even exists. This country is going to the dogs thanks to prejudiced fact-free crap just like that. Put up or shut up.

        • Draco T Bastard 26.1.1.2

          I simply would not want to employ someone stupid enough to waste their money on addictive, harmful and illegal substances.

          You had to put the illegal in there didn’t you otherwise everyone who drunk alcohol would be included. Thing is, marijuana is less damaging and less addictive than alcohol and possibly less impairing.

          The presence of drug tests is likely to stand as a disincentive to beneficiaries to spend my money on their drug habit.

          Well, the testing so far has shown that nobody is.

        • McFlock 26.1.1.3

          if they can do the job and the only way you know about it is an intimate lab test, why the fuck do you care what someone smokes?

          Oh, and it’s not your money, fucktard. It’s their money.

        • mickysavage 26.1.1.4

          It would be one thing someone was awarded a job and then tested for drugs and found to have recently used illicit jobs. Then there may be a case for the employer to refuse to employ the person if there is a safety concern.

          But here we have beneficiaries who may have no chance whatsoever of getting a job being kicked off the benefit because if there was a chance they would get a job, which there is not, they may miss out. And there is about a million dollars being spent on these tests which are no matter whichever way you look at it is a waste of money.

        • Murray Olsen 26.1.1.5

          I’d hate to be stupid enough to want to be employed by you, intrinsic lack of value. I suspect you have PERFed out coppers lining up.

        • Richard Down South 26.1.1.6

          So if we strip search and cavity search EVERY person who crosses NZ’s borders, we shall provide a distinctive deterrent to drug smugglers… I’m sure you wouldn’t mind waving your rights for the ‘greater good’, right?

        • David H 26.1.1.7

          But you would hire me who is on LEGAL medication that is way more powerful than Pot or alcohol. Because it’s NOT tested for.

          Jezuz spare me from the moronic RWNJ’s

        • Colonial Viper 26.1.1.8

          I disagree. The presence of drug tests is likely to stand as a disincentive to beneficiaries to spend my money on their drug habit.

          But why are you OK with the massive waste of millions of “your money” (what a dick, that money is the Government’s, not yours) in the hands of private drug testing companies?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 26.2

      Nothing wrong with requiring people to be drug (and alcohol) free at work, assuming their work is impaired by it. I once hosted a US consultant who was vocally offended when the whiskey didn’t come out after midday, requiring hasty scrambling to the bottle store for some harried clerk.

      What’s wrong with this is the denial of benefits to those who fail or refuse the test, not the testing per se.

      It’s discriminatory and in breach of human rights legislation. It also appears to be part of a deliberate campaign of abuse and intimidation by the government on citizens.

      What’s your excuse?

  27. ecossemaid 27

    Ok, drug testing for welfare?
    Lets take our look at our Minister.
    I insist she be tested for drinking her own Urine before she drug tests others!
    Either that or shes taking the Piss!

  28. Red Rosa 28

    Can I suggest a new term for stuff like this? Well explained above, by several more eloquent than I.

    This is not actually a ‘policy’ – it is a TWERB.

    Taxpayer funded dog WhistlE to the Redneck Base.

    The Nats have been sneaking millions into TWERBs recently, as the election draws closer. This is just the latest example. Sending Bolger and McKinnon to the Mandela funeral was a nifty one…nice little reminder of 1981 Nat thuggery. Charter Schools might qualify too.

    And the great thing is….the Party doesn’t pay for it.

  29. tricledrown 29

    intrinsick values
    Tobacco kills 5,000 NZrs a year.
    Alcohol 500 to 600 .
    Hung over people are very dangerous at work.
    The number of companies encouraging binge drinking cultures at Xmas and other times of the year is quiet high.
    Nothing being done their.
    Drugs in the work place is not acceptable.
    This is not a fair law when you have only 2.7 % of unemployed testing positive I would say that is much lower than those in work given they can afford drugs both perscription and illegal and legal the law is an ass just like those who try and defend it.
    Why not test bosses as well the last boss I worked for had an alcohol problem self medication to cover mental disorder he became more and more abusive
    As time went by until one day I got fed up with his BS.
    And left.
    It works both ways
    Intrinsick bosses should be tested everyday so they don’t come to work hungover either.
    In the mines in Australia that happens no second chances any drug including risidual alcohol means instant dismissal no second chances everyone gets tested.
    That’s fair wouldn’t you say.

    • greywarbler 29.1

      In dangerous jobs, it makes sense to test. And those managing dangerous jobs also need to be on their mark. Anyone else no. Being a beneficiary doesn’t make you into a useless dropout, the system does that (no training, no respect for ‘emotional work’, useful volunteer work and child rearing). Paula Bennett wasn’t a useless dropout – she’s a very useful soldier attacking welfare recipients under NACTs banner. She’s an ambitious hard-working woman climbing on the backs of other beneficiaries to reach an extensive patio with scenic views.

  30. Tracey 30

    I ask again… how many of the 8001 are now in full time employment. There is no way bennett doesnt have that stat

  31. Prost 31

    How can having beneficiaries in a condition to work a bad thing? 22 drugged out beneficiaries would be able to spend $ 1,000,000 of tax payer provided payments & health resources rather quickly.

    • Draco T Bastard 31.1

      WTF are you smoking?

      All we know is that some tested positive (some of those 22 refused to take the test) for drugs. We don’t know which drugs nor do we know if they were actually impaired (I doubt it to be honest).

      As for how fast it would take them to go through $1m? About four years. So, no, not all that fast.

  32. tricledrown 32

    Prost
    99.73% are drug free ready for work .
    I bet you anything you like if you tested every National voter for drugs illegal legal and over percribed stimulants painkillers ie opiates 15 to20% would fail.
    They have the money to pay doctors and dealers.
    Over perscribed drugs are the biggest growth area of drug abuse.

  33. Delia 33

    I am sure the drug testing companies are making a tidy profit and no doubt National would have no interest in interfering with that. They like those companies with shareholders making profits.

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    Labour | 24-08
  • Labour’s 21st century transport pledge
    The next Labour-led Government will create a 21st century transport system for New Zealand that promotes the most efficient and sustainable combination of transport options, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour will rebalance the Government's transport spending away from...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Housing under National: the facts
    1.       House prices in Auckland Council valuations indicate Auckland house prices have gone up by one-third over the last three years. (Auckland Council) The average Auckland house price has gone up by nearly $225,000 since 2008, up over $75,000 in...
    Labour | 23-08
  • Labour irons out low income tax issue
    The increasing casualisation of work has led to many New Zealand families being disadvantaged through the tax they pay, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. "Many low paid workers are having to work two or three jobs to make ends meet...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Cornered Government comes out swinging
    The National Government is so desperate to keep its dead-in-the-water expert teachers policy alive, it has refused to rule out forcing schools to participate through legislation, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “John Key today attacked the Educational Institute for...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Pacific people continue to go backwards under National
    A report from Victoria University highlights the fact that Pacific people are continuing to go backwards under a National Government, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “The report shows the largest inequality increases were in smoking, obesity, tertiary...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Wellington transport plan needs to keep moving
    The failure of the Transport Agency to properly look at alternatives to the Basin Reserve flyover is not a good reason for further delays to improving transport in Wellington, Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Annette King say. “The Board of...
    Labour | 22-08
  • Labour’s focus on inequality, kids and better job prospects
    Tackling child poverty and removing barriers to people working part time to enhance their prospects of moving into a fulltime job are highlights of Labour’s Social Development policy. Releasing the policy today, spokesperson Sue Moroney said while part-time work was...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Political staff should give answers under oath
    The Inspector General of Security and Intelligence should use her full statutory powers to question witnesses under oath about the leak of SIS information, says Labour MP Phil Goff. “Leakage of confidential information from the SIS for political purposes is...
    Labour | 21-08
  • High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue
    The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale community, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The company’s inability to compete in international markets...
    Labour | 21-08
  • National’s flagship education policy dead in the water
    National’s plan to create executive principals and expert teachers is effectively dead in the water with news that 93 percent of primary teachers have no confidence in the scheme, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The fact that teachers are...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Dunedin will be a knowledge and innovation centre under Labour
    Dunedin will become a knowledge and innovation centre under a Labour Government that will back local businesses, support technology initiatives and fund dynamic regional projects, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Nowhere has the National Government’s short-sightedness been more apparently than...
    Labour | 21-08
  • Inquiry into SIS disclosures the right decision
    Labour MP Phil Goff says the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has done the right thing by launching an inquiry into the disclosure of SIS documents about a meeting between himself and the agency’s former director-general. “This inquiry is necessary...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Labour – supporting and valuing carers and the cared for
    Placing real value on our elderly and the people who care for them will be a priority for a Labour Government, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. Releasing Labour’s Senior Citizens policy today David Cunliffe promised that a Labour Government would...
    Labour | 20-08
  • By Hoki! It’s Labour’s fisheries policy
    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Catching a fish from the rocks, beach...
    Labour | 20-08
  • Mighty River – Mighty Profits – Mighty hard to swallow
    Mighty River Power’s profit increase of 84 per cent is simply outrageous, says Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer. “Demand for electricity is flat or declining yet the company has made enormous profits. It is the latest power company to celebrate...
    Labour | 19-08
  • Collins’ actions were wrong, not unwise
    John Key’s moral compass remains off-kilter as he cannot bring himself to declare Judith Collins’ actions outright wrong, not simply ‘unwise’, said Labour MP Grant Robertson. “Under pressure John Key is finally shifting his stance but his failure to condemn...
    Labour | 19-08
  • The Press Leaders Debate – proof a newspaper can kill the internet
    No more beersies for you Mr Key. Seriously – was the Prime Minister drunk during this debate? I am so sickened by what passed as a Leaders debate, I will make this review short and vicious. Everyone involved in putting...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • Voting starts tomorrow!
    On the telly, in the papers, on the Net, billboards on almost every street corner – it’s hard to miss the fact that there’s an election coming up. Everyone’s trying to win your vote on Election Day, September 20, (this...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • Collins inquiry a whitewash before it has even started
    The farce whitewash that Key is trying to push through here for the inquiry into Judith Collins role in a hit on the SFO should enrage any NZer, regardless of how they vote. Whaleoil won’t be forced to appear, it’s...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • Press Leaders Debate – Round 2 – 7pm tonight
    This debate is live in a Town Hall, Key has done well at these in the past, but since the hate politics exposed in Dirty Politics, expect real fury directed at Key. My guess is that Key will attempt to use whatever he...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • MANA hit speed wobbles – why Annette Sykes will win Waiariki
    MANA are my favourites. But of late, their transition from crawling to sprinting has hit some speed wobbles. Hone’s and Pam’s aggressive attitude towards the media recently is very understandable in light of how connected many of the media were to...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • Soz Cam – PaknSave boycott of whaleoil continues – time to start a boyc...
    Cam is so carcinogenic now, not even his mates in the Tobacco Industry are talking to him any longer. I suspect only the Israeli Defence Force propaganda department are paying for content on whaleoil now. Cam says that PaknSave have dropped their problems...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • The Rock Fuels NZ Roastbuster Rape Culture
    This is making me feel pretty uncomfortable. Here we have an instance of Jono and Ben posing like “exposed celebrities”. But do you know what I’m seeing? I’m seeing two dudes who basically “roasted” a woman online (exposed pictures of...
    The Daily Blog | 02-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – Why beneficiaries need advocacy
    There are times when I am wrong. I was wrong recently when someone suggested to me that AAAP should be eligible for government funding to continues its advocacy work. That was before. Before dealing with advocacy on a weekly basis...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • TheDailyBlog September Political Poll Has Been Kicked Off
    The Daily Blog’s August poll has concluded and the September poll has been kicked off, asking readers: What party will you likely vote for at this year’s General Election? You will see this month’s poll in the right-hand sidebar of...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Jamie Whyte, leave that poor seal alone!
    Worse than showing mere lip service to Rainbow inclusion, ACT leader Jamie Whyte showed stunning arrogance when appeared at a candidates debate on rainbow issues hosted by the Auckland University Students’ Association last Thursday. The stunning hypocrisy was evident as...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Right wing can’t help but use scum
    Some people have been shocked that the traditional right wing party in New Zealand politics is so deeply embedded with scum like the blogger Whale Oil. We need not be so surprised. It takes a certain type to support the...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: National’s Ohariu candidate admits contact by Simon Lusk
    . . Wellington, NZ, 31  August – At a meet-the-candidates public meeting in the Rongotai Electorate, National’s Ohariu candidate, Brett Hudson, confirmed that he had been approached by “a mate”, who passed on a message from  National Party operative, Simon...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014
    Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Petition for Governor General of New Zealand to Investigate all the allegat...
      Now we see the inquiry will be a whitewash, that is secret, won’t be consulted with the Opposition, will have limited scope and will ignore Nicky Hager’s book, we must demand the Governor General step in and demand an...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Ashburton, 1 September 2014
    I NEVER WENT BACK to Aramoana after the killing. I had been a frequent visitor to the tiny seaside village back in the late 1970s and throughout the 80s. Its tall cliffs and broad beaches providing a colourful backdrop to...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Checkmate in 1 move – how could Slater have known what was in OIA request...
    And now we get down to the final few moves before checkmate. If the following investigation is right, how could Slater and Collins have known what was in the Secret Intelligence Service Official Information Act request that hadn’t been released...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • The Edge Posts Naked Photos Of Jennifer Lawrence Without Consent
    Today the Edge website – owned by Media Works – published fully naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence without her consent. It is not OK to publish naked media of any woman without her consent, full stop. It is absolutely disgusting...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Bomber, Laila and Maggie – a highlight from Auckland Broadcasting Debate ...
    Bomber, Laila and Maggie – a highlight from Auckland Broadcasting Debate 2014...
    The Daily Blog | 01-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, how good was I i...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Maggie Barry slags Laila Harre & blogger, audience erupt
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting held their public meeting in Auckland last night and it became a fiery shouting match when Maggie Barry decided to slag Laila Harre and me off. 250 people packed into the Pioneer Hall off High...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • It has to be a full independent public inquiry and Key MUST front
      You know things are bad when images like this start appearing in the media.  It isn’t a ‘left wing conspiracy’ to point out the over whelming evidence of what is clearly a right wing conspiracy! If it looks like a conspiracy, sounds like a conspiracy...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Political Party social media stats – National playing Dirty Politics on s...
    Interesting data from friend of the blog, Marty Stewart, on social media likes and it shows an interesting question that post Dirty Politics should probably get asked…   …it’s interesting that Key has so many personal followers.  One wonders if...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • The depth of the National rot and the compliance of our news media
    I’m so tired. Aren’t you? I don’t want to read the news anymore. It’s awful and I feel ashamed of it. We live in a country that people all over the world would give an arm, a leg; their life...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Conservative Party candidate links smacking ban with suicide, sexually tran...
    If Chemtrails, faked moon landings and climate change denial weren’t enough, welcome to your new Minister for Spanking,  Edward Saafi... The anti-smacking law is to blame for youth suicide, youth prostitution and even sexually-transmitted infections, a leading Conservative party candidate...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word on the canonisation of Matthew Hooton
    Before we all start the canonisation of Matthew Hooton, let’s consider some home truths here shall we? While the Wellington Ruminator Blog, the blog who was previously mates with Judith Collins, now seems to have a crush on Matthew Hooton… …I...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word on undercover cops in bars
    Dunedin police booze operation labelled ‘creepy’ Undercover police officers drank in Dunedin bars as part of an operation targeting liquor licensing offences. While police said the inaugural operation was a success — with most bars found compliant — the Hospitality...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Judith Collins press conference
    Judith Collins press conference...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Angry Lawyer – Collins, Odgers, Williams and legal ethics
    We deserve better lawyers than Judith Collins Three of the worst offenders exposed in Dirty Politics are lawyers: Judith Collins, Cathy Odgers, and Jordan Williams. What Nicky Hager exposed them doing would be out of line for anyone, but from...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Necessary Defence
    Increasingly climate change is becoming the main fracture line between political parties. Where political parties stand on climate change defines political parties and movements like no other issue. The Mana Movement like the Maori Party it sprang from, came out...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Why it is all over for John Key
    Image: Melanie D I’ve been confident that National will lose this election and that our focus should be on what a progressive Government needs to establish as its agenda in the first 100 days. Past that point, the establishment pushes back...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • A brief word to everyone who voted National in 2011
    I received this interesting email from a National Party supporter today… …let me say this to anyone who voted National last election – you should be ashamed by what has been revealed and what your vote ended up enabling but...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Déjà Vu All Over Again: John Ansell confirms his participation...
      THE MAN BEHIND the Iwi-Kiwi billboards that very nearly won the 2005 election for Don Brash and the National Party has confirmed his involvement in businessman John Third’s and former Act MP Owen Jennings’ campaign to drive down the...
    The Daily Blog | 31-08
  • Public Broadcasting Auckland debate 6.30pm tonight now with Colin Craig &am...
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting debate on public broadcasting happens tonight at 6.30pm in Auckland at the Pioneer Women’s Hall, High Street, Auckland City.  In the light of Dirty Politics and the manipulation of the media, public broadcasting is more important for...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Winners & Losers in Collins sacking plus what’s the latest on Slater...
      Make no mistake, there was no way this was a resignation, it’s a face saving way out for Collins, she was sacked.  My understanding is that National internal polls are haemorrhaging and that the powers that be within National...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Third party propaganda attacks incoming Labour-led government
    . . Further to a report by Daily Blogger, Chris Trotter, on receiving information regarding planned attack-billboards, the following billboard is highly visible to traffic on the southbound lane of the Wellington motorway, just prior to the Murphy St turn-off....
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Labour wins the Internet
    I’m sure I’m not the only one who tried to vote online for the leaders debate and couldn’t because the website was down. The next option was the txt vote, 75c a pop of course. So I’m not surprised that...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Rotherham and the need to challenge willful bl...
    I haven’t been following the events in Rotterham too closely.  I’ve read about the basic issues and the culture of silence that stopped action been taken even after complaints were made.  That culture of silence is incredibly familiar, and described...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Review: Hairspray
      Oh Hairspray! What fun! Somehow I managed to miss the movie when it came out, I had no idea really what it was about though I felt it had a vague relation to High School Musical. In retrospect, that...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • Mounting global pressure against Timor-Leste’s ‘death sentence’ media...
    East Timor’s José Belo … courageous fight against ‘unconstitutional’ media law.Image: © Ted McDonnell 2014 CAFÉ PACIFIC and the Pacific Media Centre Online posted challenges to the controversial ‘press law’ nine months ago when it emerged how dangerous this draft...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Spies, Lies and When Campaigns Are Fried
    Like most of the rest of the nation’s political classes, I was eagerly affixed to TV One from 12:30 on Saturday afternoon to witness the downfall of Judith Collins.Whenever we witness the crumbling of a titan of the political landscape...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Whaleoil crushes Crusher
    Judith ends up shooting herself A new email has been released suggesting that Collins was attempting to undermine the head of Serious Fraud Office with the help of far right hate speech merchant Cameron Slater. Unbelievable!   She has been forced...
    The Daily Blog | 30-08
  • BREAKING: Rumours Judith Collins gone at lunchtime
    Brook Sabin first of the mark with rumours Judith Collins is about to resign – PM announcing a statement at 12.30pm… …Paddy follows… …Vance confirms..   …if Collins is gone by lunchtime, it will be because the PM understands the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • BREAKING: UPDATE on DIRT ALERT!
    Thanks to the information passed to Chris Trotter by “Idiot/Savant” from No Right Turn it is now possible to identify at least some of the persons involved in this latest example of attack politics. What follows is Chris’s response to Idiot/Savant’s timely assistance: Well done...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Comparing burning puppets, hip hop lyrics and drunk student chants to black...
    Watching the mainstream media try and obscure Cunliffe’s surprise win in the leaders debate  is a reminder the Press Gallery is in depressed shock. The current spin line from the Wellington bubble media in the wake of Dirty Politics is that...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Why has it all gone quiet on Charter Schools?
    They’re one of ACT’s flagship policies and the National Party have been gung ho in supporting them. So how come we’re not hearing Hekia Parata, Jamie Whyte, Catherine Isaac, et al singing from the rafters about what a resounding success charter...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall
    Moment of Truth – September 15th – Auckland Town Hall...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • EXCLUSIVE: Dirt Alert! Are the Greens and Labour about to become the target...
    WE’VE SEEN IT ALL BEFORE. In 2005 pamphlets began appearing all over New Zealand attacking Labour and the Greens. For a couple of days both the parties targeted and the news media were flummoxed. Who was behind such an obviously...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: the Press Council’s decision
    . . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • The difference between Cunliffe & Key in the debate
    It was with much interest that I watched the leaders debate on Thursday night.  I watched with an open mind, always happy to have my opinion changed.  Maybe John Key is all the wonderful things that many say about him,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – When Did We Agree To Our Data Being Shared with ...
    New shocking evidence has emerged from Edward Snowden’s trove of documents about a program called ICREACH under which data collected by the GCSB is shared with 23 US spy agencies. Under new sharing agreements which appear to have commenced immediately after...
    The Daily Blog | 28-08
  • Independent Epsom Candidates ‘One Strike’ Crime Policy
    Best wishes to all of those who live in Epsom, Mount Eden, New Market, Remuera and of course the rest of New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Large majorities of NZ First voters would prefer Labour deal
    67% of those who voted for New Zealand First at the 2011 general election would prefer Labour to lead a coalition government if one is needed after September 20’s general election....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Jointly owned urban development agency for Christchurch
    “Given the strategic importance of the Canterbury rebuild, it is logical that the transition from emergency governance arrangements is overseen by the Prime Minister’s office, but to maintain momentum in the city centre an expert development agency...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Collins inquiry at best a Band-Aid, a permanent fix needed
    Collins inquiry at best a Band-Aid, a permanent fix is needed The Public Service Association (PSA) says the inquiry into Judith Collins’ behaviour must be accompanied by a process to restore the lost trust between Ministers and public servants if...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Association welcomes new Chief Executive
    “The New Zealand Police Association is pleased to announce the appointment of Heather Verry to Chief Executive. Heather picks up the mantle from Chris Pentecost, who recently retired from this position,” Police Association President Greg O’Connor said...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Young Voters Want Politicians to Grow Up
    Young voters want answers to the questions that directly affect them – but it seems as much as anything, they want politicians to grow up....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Climate Voter election debate to get big audience
    Auckland, 2 September 2014 - Tickets to tomorrow night’s first-ever Climate Voter election debate have sold out but an online audience will also get to see the event live....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • The Edge show disregard for consent
    The Edge has shown complete disregard for consent, for women’s bodies and in doing so has contributed to the wider issue of rape culture in New Zealand says specialist sexual violence prevention organisation, Sexual Abuse Prevention Network. Yesterday,...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • The Rock is Fuelling New Zealand’s Roastbuster Rape Culture
    The Rock are still displaying without-consent images of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities online. They are making fun of this without-consent action, saying that she was "asking for it", etc. They appear to be supporting this kind of...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • HRLA Condemns Murder of Filipino Human Rights lawyer
    Attorney Rodolfo R. Felicio, a member of the National Union of Peoples Lawyers , was gunned down while working on a land dispute in Rizal, east of Manila. Two caretakers of the disputed land were also injured in the attack....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • SFO lays charges for procurement fraud
    Two individuals have been charged in the Auckland District Court today with Crimes Act charges laid by the Serious Fraud Office for alleged fraud against Mighty River Power Limited relating to procurement for the Company’s Southdown power station....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Commitment to lifting wages good for New Zealand
    The Service and Food Workers Union has applauded the Green Party workers’ policy announced today....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Sykes: There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Winston Peters Shown up by the Civilian Party
    Even the satirical 'Civilian Party' has now offered the Taxpayers’ Union more credible figures for the ' Bribe-O-Meter ' than Winston Peters’ New Zealand First. The Taxpayers’ Union Bribe-O-Meter now includes, National, Labour, the Greens,...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Further criminal investigation into CTV Building collapse
    Police has today confirmed it will be advancing the criminal investigation into the collapse of the CTV building in February 2011....
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Greens policy to restore link between effort and reward
    The Green Party’s new workers policy articulates an alternative to wage repression and job insecurity based on restoring the link between effort and reward, according to FIRST Union. The core tenets of the policy include implementing an $18 minimum...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Greens workers policy supported by union movement
    The CTU is supporting the Green Party’s policy launched today focused on improving life for working New Zealanders. “This policy shows the Greens commitment to collective bargaining as the best and fairest way to improve workers terms and conditions. It...
    Scoop politics | 02-09
  • Research Scholarships for Cannabis Treatments
    Medical cannabis research will be boosted by $140 million if the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party is elected on September 20. Pediatric epilepsy treatment will be one of the main priorities for the research scholarships....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Ngai Te Rangi Change to Tribal Elections
    Ngai Te Rangi has begun a postal vote of beneficiaries to change the way representatives are elected to the two Ngai Te Rangi tribal organisations....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Greens’ commitment to pay equity welcomed by workers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the 58,000 workers they represent will benefit from the announcement by the Green Party of a commitment to pay equity and to a living wage for core public servants and contractors....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Real People Powering Real Policy
    New Zealanders from all walks of life have helped the Internet Party create a full platform of strong, progressive and realistic policies that will create a better future for everyone, says leader Laila Harré....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • University of Canterbury to help with forestry safety
    The University of Canterbury is to launch a new research project to make sure New Zealand’s new forestry roads are safe and are established with minimal environmental impact....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Time to get serious about ending homelessness!
    New Zealand needs a comprehensive set of policies that address the housing and support needs of homeless people as well as significantly increasing the supply of affordable, good quality houses and flats....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Hundreds to join domestic, sexual violence march
    Several social service providers from across New Zealand have come together to call for an end to the epidemic level of domestic and sexual violence in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Students helped with debt repayments
    New Zealand students now living in Australia are being reminded not to ignore their student loan debt as Inland Revenue expands its latest tool to help with repayments....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Launch of GenderNeutral.co.nz website
    GenderNeutral.co.nz are excited to announce the launch of their new website, GenderNeutral.co.nz ....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Factory farming debaters to look chicken in the eye
    MPs participating in a panel discussion about factory farming will come face-to-face with a real live hen, rescued from the claws of the intensive farming industry. Hettie the Hen will demonstrate to the MPs what little space is afforded to...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Personal Statement by Matthew Hooton
    Personal Statement by Matthew Hooton 1 September 2014 For Immediate Release “This morning I made comments on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon programme about an attempt by staff in the Prime Minister’s Office to interfere in the appointment...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Worm turns down for John Key
    John Key struggled to coax The Worm above the line in Thursday’s Leaders Debate, according to Roy Morgan’s Reactor, the original Worm. John Key struggled to coax The Worm above the line in Thursday’s Leaders Debate, according to Roy Morgan’s...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Edge Posts Naked Photos Without Consent
    The Edge website, owned by Media Works have published fully naked photographs of Jennifer Lawrence without her consent....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Statement from the Governor-General on Ashburton Shootings
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, has expressed his deep shock following the shooting of three people in Ashburton today....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Update on IGIS inquiry into release of NZSIS information
    In recognition of the public interest, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, took the unusual step of providing an update during the course of an inquiry and confirmed today that she would be summoning a number of individuals...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • An Open Government Plan developed in secrecy
    The State Services Commission sent NZ’s Open Government Action Plan to the international Open Government Partnership (OGP) Secretariat on 31 July. The countries involved in the OGP since its inception - from the UK and US to Indonesia and Brazil...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • KiwiRail; another year older and deeper in debt
    That is a lot of money and there are lessons that need to be learnt before we pour in another $1 billion....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Fonterra China Deal Demands Safe Supply Chain
    The future success of Fonterra’s deal to sell infant formula in China [1] requires all milk it uses be safe and for Fonterra to secure its supply chain from contamination by GE DNA and pesticide residues. There is now significant...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • HRC praises Auckland mum for speaking out
    Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy has praised an Auckland mother of four who went public after humiliating treatment by staff at The Warehouse....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Southern DHB refers disputed issue to Serious Fraud Office
    Following advice from forensic investigation firm Beattie Varley Limited, Southern District Health Board has referred the expenditure at the centre of its long running dispute with South Link Health to the Serious Fraud Office. The parties have been...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • The Letter 1 September 2014
    Last night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts the left and right 60 MPs each. United and the Maori Party say they will go with the side that gets to 61 MPs. ACT just needs just 1.3% or 28 thousand Party...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Shopping Giveaway Harmless Fun For Kids
    Family First NZ is rubbishing claims by critics including Gareth Morgan that the New World ‘Little Shop’ promotion is harmful for kids, and says that kids should be allowed to be kids. “Children love acting like their parents and pretending...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Red Cross launches employment service for former refugees
    New Zealand Red Cross is encouraging employers to give refugees a fresh startwith the launch of Pathways to Employment, a nationwide work assistance service....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • EDS welcomes Labour’s Conservation Policy
    The Environmental Defence Society has welcomed Labour’s Conservation Policy including the key objective of halting the current pattern of indigenous biodiversity decline within ten years....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Poverty is falling and income inequality is not rising
    “A Roy Morgan poll shows that the issue people are most concerned about is income inequality. This just goes to show how the persistent repetition of a lie bewilders the public. Income inequality is not in fact rising. And the...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Rotary NZ responding to Fiji water and sanitation issues
    Clean water and sanitation are vital to health. In Fiji Rotary New Zealand have been targeting 22 communities that are experiencing severe hardship mainly because they don’t have access to clean water for their drinking, cleaning and cooking needs....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Work & Income shooting a Tragedy
    Kay Brereton speaking on behalf of the National Beneficiary Advocacy Consultancy group says; “Two people shot and another wounded, this is a tragedy and our deepest sympathy goes out to the family and whanau of the victims, as well as...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • 1080 Poison Deer Repellent not Effective – Farmers
    Four deer have been found dead within a farmer's bush block, after an aerial 1080 poison drop applied with deer repellent. The drop was part of a 30,000 hectare drop across the Northern Pureora Forest Park....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Employment Charter will strengthen migrants’ rights
    Establishing an Employment Charter for construction companies is a critical step to strengthening the rights of migrant workers that are fast becoming the face of the Christchurch rebuild, according to an alliance of union groups. The charter has...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Global March For Elephants and Rhino
    It’s a trans-national business that funds terrorist organisations, fuels conflict in Africa, and poses environmental, development and security challenges. The illegal wildlife trade is also a lucrative business, generating an estimated USD$20 billion...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • New series of videos aimed at disengaged youth
    From the people who brought you 'NZ Idle' (NZ's favourite web series about an artist on the dole) comes a new series about election time: Choice Lolz....
    Scoop politics | 01-09
  • Picket Of Leaders Christchurch Debate
    KEEP OUR ASSETS PICKET OF LEADERS CHRISTCHURCH DEBATE TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 2nd, 6 p.m. ST MARGARETS COLLEGE, SHREWSBURY STREET, MERIVALE...
    Scoop politics | 01-09
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