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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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    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
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