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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 will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • 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...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement 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 vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Vice article on NZ election
    Here is my Vice article on the NZ election....
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • The attempt to kill off Internet MANA
    It’s the last day of campaigning today and the long list of those attacking Internet MANA got longer yesterday with Winston Peters backing Labour candidate Kelvin Davis against the MANA Movement’s Hone Harawira. Davis is now supported by Labour, National,...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • A final word on the election – it’s now all up to you
    Brothers & Sisters, the fate of Aotearoa is now all in your hands. We here at the Daily Blog have thrown everything we can at this bloody Government and have spent every waking hour of this campaign trying to highlight...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – ...
    I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – but then again, I never could...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why Nati...
    TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why National Party is great...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • REVIEW: Royals of Kihikihi
    What an absolutely stunning show.  I had to ask twice to check I’d heard right that this is the first staged production for Samuel Christopher, who also played a raw, real, but vulnerable, Wolf Royal, home from London for his...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • 800 Cops to detain 15 ‘terrorists’ – why Australia’s hysterical Isl...
    I’m sorry but I can’t take this current Australian terror threat seriously. 800 cops to detain 15 people and arrest one of them? A week after Abbot decides to send in Australian forces to the cluster fuck of Iraq, suddenly...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Unbelievable corruption inside Government to attack Kim Dotcom
    The corruption inside this Government just more and more filthy – we now have an ex-Customs Lawyer quitting  after being told to bury information that could embarrass the Government, specifically to do with Kim Dotcom… Curtis Gregorash said he was told...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Everyone Loves A Win-Win That Keeps G...
      Permit me to quote some figures at you… -68% of New Zealanders think political news on television focuses too much on politicians’ personalities and not enough on real issues. This is the key result of a recent UMR survey commissioned by...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of being the most in demand broadcaster in the country...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: Te Tai Tokerau independent poll (44% Hone-27% Kelvin) vs Maori T...
    The Te Tai Tokerau Maori TV poll on Monday this week painted a bleak picture for Internet MANA supporters, and it’s results have been seized upon by Labour, NZ First and even the Maori Party (who seem set once again...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The time for TPPA weasel words is over
    Almost every day of the election campaign there has been a policy announcement that would potentially run foul of what I understand is currently in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA):  more constraints on foreign investment or investors … regulation of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • MELTDOWN – Maori Party turns on their own Te Tai Tokerau candidate – ag...
    The tensions are building in Te Tai Tokerau with the Maori Party on the verge of meltdown. Days out from the election, the Maori Party Executive has tried to heavy their own Te Tai Tokerau Electoral Committee and their own candidate, Te Hira Paenga,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • We Can Change this Government
    We Can Change this Government – Mike Treen at the First Union stop work election meeting...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Election 2014: For and Against
    With the general election tomorrow, we have had a very noisy campaign but little sign that the electorate wishes for a fundamental change of governmental direction. This reflects in part the fact that the economic cycle is close to its decadal...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eye To Eye Uploaded: Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury
    This interview was filmed a couple of weeks ago between Willie Jackson and myself, I was a tad off with my prediction of NZ First....
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair – The Players Revealed
      . . – Special investigation by Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules‘ Speculation that the Beehive office of Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, was behind the release of a letter linking Labour leader, David Cunliffe, with controversial Chinese businessman, Donghua Liu, is...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold NZ d...
    It should read ‘never stop spying’. As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold us down the river to the US by allowing the Southern Cross cable to be tapped… The ability for US intelligence agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work
    The final days of the campaign are ticking down and Labour and NZ First are manoeuvring to kill off the Internet MANA Party by both backing Kelvin Davis for Te Tai Tokerau. It’s a risky gambit that they better pray to Christ...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Bill English’s latest insult to beneficiaries – apparently they are lik...
    National’s hatred towards the poor continues unabated as National desperately try to throw raw meat to their reactionary voter base in the hope to inspire enough hate and loathing to win back their redneck voters from the Conservative Party and from...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eminem ain’t happy with John Key
    Eminem ain’t happy with John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Key claims he did not inhale
    Key claims he did not inhale...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Final prediction on election result 2014
    What an election campaign. The character assassination of David Cunliffe kicked things off with the Herald on Sunday falsely claiming $100 00 bottles of wine, $15 000 books and $150 000 in donations  from a donor that turned out to be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Live blog: Bainamarama takes commanding lead in Fiji elections
      Interview with Repúblika editor Ricardo Morris and Pacific Scoop’s Mads Anneberg. PACIFIC SCOOP TEAM By Ricardo Morris, Mads Anneberg, Alistar Kata and Biutoka Kacimaiwai in Suva WHILE the results are provisional at this stage, it is clear today that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 5AA Australia: NZ Elections Two Days To Go! + Edward Snowden + Julian Assan...
    Recorded live on 18/09/14 – Captured Live on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/multimedia-investments-ltd 5AA Australia’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning deliver their weekly bulletin: Across The Ditch. This week, they discuss the latest news as New Zealanders go to the polls on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What has Colin Craig done for his Press Secretary to quit 2 days before ele...
    This is VERY strange.  Colin Craig’s Press Secretary Rachel McGregor, has quit 2 days before the election, allegedly telling ZB that Colin Craig was a “very manipulative man”. I’ve met Rachel many times in the past as Colin’s Press Secretary, she is...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” – A brief w...
    “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” said Key in the final leaders debate. Problem of course is that the 250 000 – 285 000 children living in poverty can not afford steak, milk, butter, eggs...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • National’s final bash of beneficiaries before the election
    On cue, whenever National feel threatened, they roll out a little bennie bash just to keep their redneck voter base happy. Nothing like a bit of raw meat policy to keep National voters focused on the evil threat solo parents...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • With All Of This In Mind, I Vote
    This is my last blog before the election and I really just want to speak from the heart. Right now in this country it seems to me that a lot of people consider the “essentials” in life to be simply...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Left has to vote strategically this election
    The dedication, loyalty, and tribalism of party politics means that sometimes the left lets itself down by not voting strategically. We all want our favoured party to get maximum votes, naturally, but the winner-takes-all approach doesn’t always suit multi-party left...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Dear NZ – as you enter the polling booth, stand up for your rights
    The last days before a NZ general election are a busy time as politicians make their pitch and party activists prepare to get out the vote. It is sort of weird watching from the distance of Europe the strangest election...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What is Waihopai, John, if it isn’t a facility for “mass surveillance...
    John Key assured us on RNZ’s Nine to Noon programme yesterday that “In terms of the Fives Eyes data bases… yes New Zealand will contribute some information but not mass wholesale surveillance.” How does this square with the operation of the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Mass Surveillance and the Banality of E...
    Renowned journalist and intellectual Hannah Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe the normalisation of genocide in Nazi Germany. I thought of her phrase when I was listening to Glenn Greenwald and other international whistle-blowers talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Election. Down. To. The. Wire
    Funny how last week it was John Key winning by 50%, now it’s neck and neck. I have always believed this election would be down to the wire and it is proving so. The flawed landline opinion polls the mainstream...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 3rd Degree uses Whaleoil for story ideas as if Dirty Politics never happene...
    TV3s 3rd Degrees smear job on Kim Dotcom last night doesn’t bear much repeating. It was pretty pathetic journalism from a team who have brought us some great journalism in the past. It is sad to see 3rd Degree stooping...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Live blog: Bainimarama takes early lead in Fiji’s election
    Pacific Scoop’s Alistar Kata reports from yesterday’s voting. By Alistar Kata of Pacific Scoop in Suva Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama took an early lead in provisional results in the Fiji general election last night. With provisional results from 170 out...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Has The NSA Constructed The Perfect PPP?
    Former intelligence analyst and whistleblower, Edward Snowden – speaking live to those gathered at the Auckland Town Hall on Monday September 17, 2014. Investigation by Selwyn Manning. THE PRIME MINISTER JOHN KEY’s admission on Wednesday that whistleblower Edward Snowden “may...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • No way – Key admits Snowden is right
    After claiming there was no middle ground. After claiming there was no mass surveillance. After calling Glenn Greenwald a henchman and a loser. After all the mainstream media pundits screamed at Kim’s decision to take his evidence to Parliamentary Privileges...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Bad luck National
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • The incredible changing John Key story on mass spying – why the Moment of...
    While the mainstream media continue to try and make the Moment of Truth about Kim’s last minute decision to prolong his battle against John Key past the election into the Privileges Committee, the reality is that the Moment of Truth...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Themes of the Campaign
    There’s one area of a political campaign that just about everyone, at some point, falls afoul of. The campaign song. I’m not sure quite why it is, but it seems to be almost impossible for political parties to come up...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Denis Tegg – The NSA slides that prove mass surveillance
    The evidence presented by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden on The Intercept of mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB is undeniable, and can stand on its own. But when you place this fresh evidence in the context of...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland
    The Ukrainian civil war discomforts me. It seems to me the most dangerous political crisis since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. And it’s because of our unwillingness to examine the issues in a holistic way. We innately prefer to...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man – the relationship intensifies
    John Key’s love affair with the straw man is now a fully-committed relationship. It’s now the first love of his life. Sorry Bronagh. Yesterday I pointed to Key’s constant assurances that there is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders by...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • A brief word on why Wendyl Nissen is a hero
    Wendyl Nissen is a hero. The sleazy black ops attack on her by Slater and Odgers on behalf of Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich is sick. All Nissen is doing in her column is point out the filth and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • She saw John Key on TV and decided to vote!
    . . NZ, Wellington, 15 September – ‘Tina’* is 50, a close friend,  and one of the “Missing Million” from the last election. In fact, ‘Tina’ has never voted in her life.  Not once. In ‘Tina’s’ own words, politics has...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Eminem sues National Party for unlawful use of ‘Lose yourself’ bhahahah...
    …ahahahahahahahaha. Oh Christ this is hilarious… National Party sued over Eminem copyright infringment US rapper Eminem is suing the National Party for allegedly breaching copyright by using his song Lose Yourself in its campaign advertisements. The Detroit-based publishers of Eminem’s...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Are the Greens about to be snookered by a Labour-NZ First Government?
    I wrote last week that it was smart politics that the Greens pointed out they could work with National, the soft blue vote that’s looking for a home in the wake of Dirty Politics isn’t going to Labour, so the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • BLOGWATCH: Fonterra join 2Degrees and boycott Whaleoil
    In the wake of Dirty Politics, advertisers are pulling their advertising out of Whaleoil. PaknSave, Evo Cycles Pukekohe, Localist, 2 Degrees, Fertility Associates, iSentia, NZ Breast Cancer Foundation, Maori TV, Bookme.co.nz, Dobetter.co.nz and the Sound are now joined by Fonterra...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • PM Key accused of allowing secret ‘spook’ cable sensors to spy on citiz...
    Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald (left) and Kim Dotcom at the “moment of truth” political surveillance meeting in Auckland last night. Image: PMW By ANNA MAJAVU of Pacific Media Watch NEW ZEALAND Prime Minister John Key has been accused of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Daily Election Update #12: NZ First to hold balance of power
    Winston Peters’ NZ First Party will hold the balance of power after tomorrow’s election, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Mr Peters is then expected to back a National-led...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies
    Over the course of this election campaign there has been a lot of focus on dirty politics and spying, and not a lot on policy. With election day looming, Gareth Morgan is calling for people to refocus on the issues....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • The Kiwi FM Alternative Election Commentary
    Saturday 20 September from 7pm on 102.2 Auckland, 102.1 Wellington, 102.5 Canterbury, or KiwiFM.co.nz...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Beneficiary Bashing unacceptable
    Kay Brereton of the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation of New Zealand says “ the comment made by Bill English yesterday comparing beneficiaries to crack addicts is shocking and incredibly poorly timed.”...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • UN Experience Beneficial
    Acclaim Otago representatives have just completed their participation at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability examination of the New Zealand government in Geneva, Switzerland. "It was an interesting two days which we believe has...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Changing face of NZ should be reflected in newsrooms
    With Fairfax Media’s Journalism Intern search closing on Sunday, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging aspiring journalists from Maori, Pacific and ethnic communities to apply. The deadline was recently extended to 10pm, Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • SPCA expresses concern over toxin in waterways
    Ric Odom CEO of Royal NZ SPCA has expressed concern over the toxic poison 1080 entering waterways, but DoC, Council’s and Ministry of Health have colluded to make it legal....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 13-18 September
    Below is iSentia’s final weekly Election Index, covering the period 13-18 September and showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. The methodology used...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Epsom Candidate (Adam Holland) More Liberal Than ACT
    For the past four years I, like 500,000 other New Zealanders, have been illegally smoking cannabis for medicinal purposes and/or even just for the occasional laugh with friends on the weekend. We don't hurt anybody, we don't cause nuisance, we...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Left Coalition Will Save Dolphins
    A left coalition would safeguard both Māui and Hector’s dolphins, as well as revive our inshore ecosystems. Labour, Internet Mana and the Green Party all have strong policies in place for dolphin protection. The Maori Party, and to a certain...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Waihoroi Shortland: Ngāti Hine is not standing alone
    The Chairman of Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi, Sonny Tau is blowing smoke worthy of a Dotcom rally with claims that Ngati Hine is standing alone in its opposition to Tūhoronuku says the Chairman of Te Rūnanga o Ngati...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Oceania voices on environment loud and strong
    While money and energy continues to be spent on global talks about climate change, Pacific islanders are scrambling to build sea walls out of sticks, stones, shells and coral, to protect their lands and homes from erosion and rising sea...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunket – Tonight
    No MPs tonight --- the campaign will be over at 9 30. Instead we will look back --- and possibly forward on what we have learned and what might happen. Listener Political Columnist Jane Clifton Editor in Chief, NZ Herald,...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election fails to address youth financial wellbeing
    Young people don’t feel included in New Zealand’s financial success and believe inequality is a problem, according to a new survey conducted by Westpac’s Fin-Ed Centre at Massey University....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Winston’s Waffle doesn’t hide the facts
    The Conservative Party is celebrating the ASA's finding announced today that rejected all but one of the complaints raised against its controversial “Conservatives or Peters” pamphlet. “Despite pages of complaints from Peters legal team the only...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ Independent Coalition looking forward to tomorrow
    “Our team is looking forward to tomorrow. It is a real opportunity to reclaim politics for the people,” said NZ Independent Coalition leader Brendan Horan....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Insights Issue 35/2014 – 19 September 2014
    Insights Issue 35/2014 - 19 September 2014 In This Issue • RMA reform the golden unicorn of policy | Jenesa Jeram...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Special voting arrangements made for NIWA crew
    One of the most unusual polling stations for this year’s general election is in the middle of the ocean miles from land. NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa, has been doubling as a polling booth for crew and scientists at sea....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Tourism operators urged to vote strategically
    Tourism operators should make sure they know their local candidates’ view on tourism and use their vote to support the country’s second largest export industry, says Chris Roberts, Chief Executive, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA)....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • WGTN: March for free education
    We are students, university staff, and members of the community. Whichever parties form a government after September 20th, we are demanding an end to corporatisation of education....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Evidence of Corruption a National Scandal
    Internet Party leader Laila Harré will take evidence of corruption to international forums if there is not a full Royal Commission to investigate the growing evidence of the systematic use and abuse of democratic institutions and processes for political...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt continues to throw money at charter school experiment
    Official documents reveal the three primary sector charter schools approved last week will cost $2 million to set up as well as divert another $1.5 million of potential taxpayer investment from local state schools next year....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • ACT Final Election Rally
    Elections campaigns are an opportunity for political parties to put candidates and policy to enable voters to choose what sort of New Zealand we want. In this campaign there have been three tests by which you can assess the electoral...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Taxpayers on Hook Again for Solid Energy
    Responding to the Fairfax article that taxpayers are extending another $103 million to keep Solid Energy afloat, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Invermay Petition Tops 10,000 Signatures
    People across New Zealand continue to express their disgust at the downgrading of Invermay, says Dunedin North MP David Clark, as the Save Invermay petition he instigated earlier this year topped the 10,000 signature mark just days before the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • McVicar vows to continue fight for police
    Garth McVicar stated at a public meeting last week that he would fight to retain a 24/7 Police Station in Napier and no reduction in the number of police staff for the Hawkes Bay region, some said he was simply...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Party Vote Our Weapon in Fight Against Government Corruption
    Internet MANA urges New Zealanders to use their party vote to confront corruption in any new government....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Election day is tomorrow – make sure you’re a part of it!
    Tomorrow, Saturday 20 September, is election day, and New Zealanders’ last chance to have a say on who leads the country for the next three years....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Is the Shape of our Government out of the hands of Voters?
    In the last stuff.co.nz / Ipsos Political Poll before Saturdays election, National is down 5.1% to 47.7% and Labour up 3.7% to 26.15%. These results are remarkably similar to the 2011 election where National received 47.3% of the vote and...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Spirit of Suffrage a Call to Action for All Kiwi Women
    Internet MANA is drawing on the courage and integrity of New Zealand women on Suffrage Day – Friday, September, 19 – to encourage them to pay tribute to the spirit of their foremothers who gained women the vote....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Live Election Night Coverage on TV And Online
    Māori Television’s KOWHIRI 2014 – ELECTION SPECIAL kicks off at 7.00pm this Saturday with a five-hour broadcast focusing on the Māori electorates....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Judge’s Decision Disappoints Fish & Game
    Today’s decision to give a Temuka man 100 hours of community service for selling sports fish to the public has disappointed Fish & Game, which believes the sentence handed down was “too lenient and will not go far enough to...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Cutting-Edge Graphics Fire up TV3’s Election Night Coverage
    TV3’s Election Night coverage, hosted by John Campbell, will be enhanced by cutting-edge graphics that will showcase the night’s results....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt rushes to open charter schools in New Year
    The government’s decision to approve four new charter schools last week to open in January next year goes against the Minister of Education’s own advice that the schools ought to have at least a year’s preparation time....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • 7 Days And Jono And Ben at Ten Hijack Election Weekend
    The 7 Days and Jono and Ben at Ten (JABAT) comedians are running their own version of election coverage, with a schedule of entertainment and comedy across TV3, Kiwi FM, the web and social media this Friday and Saturday under...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Fewer Prisoners Equals Less Crime
    In its latest blog, ‘Abolishing Parole and other Crazy Stuff’,’ at http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/09/krill-and-womble-independent-policy.html , Rethinking Crime and Punishment urges government to rethink its approach to releasing prisoners. “The public expectation is that the excellent reductions in the crime...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • McVicar slams his political opponents
    I want a safe and prosperous society and that can only be achieved if we have strong and vi-brant families – McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Falling economic growth – wage rises overdue
    “The lower GDP growth in the three months to June is further evidence that growth has peaked. New Zealand’s economy is on the way down to mediocre growth rates,” says CTU economist Bill Rosenberg. “Yet wage rises are still weak...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Get Out and Vote campaign a success
    Tens of thousands of workers from all around New Zealand have embraced the Get Out and Vote campaign and have created their own personalised voting plan, the CTU said today. “With three days of voting left in the 2014 General...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Animal Research Failing – So Do More Animal Research?
    Victoria University of Wellington is about to host a lecture on why the success rates of pharmaceutical development is so low and what can be done about it. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) welcomes discussion on this important...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • ALCP welcomes Prime Minister’s cannabis comments
    Mr Abbott's comments came on the same day as New South Wales and Victoria states announced they would be doing clinical trials of cannabis....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Conservative Party Press Secretary Resignation
    The Conservative Party is given to understand that this morning Press Secretary, Miss Rachel Macgregor resigned althought no formal advice of this has yet been received....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • By ACT’s logic, Epsom should vote for Conservative Candidate
    “Polling released late in the campaign shows that ACT is a busted flush and that by ACT’s own logic, centre-right Epsom voters should vote for the Conservative candidate”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • New online medical system
    Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is seeking registrations of interest for a new onshore panel physician network to support an online immigration health processing system....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Students, You Have a Choice, Vote!
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) is imploring students to ensure they make their voices heard this election, and join the many thousands who have already heeded the call....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Party vote ACT for three years of stability.
    Voters who are concerned that on the latest polls we may be heading for three years of instability have it in their hands to deliver a decisive result....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Women’s Suffrage Movement – Get Out and Vote!
    Tomorrow, Friday 19th September, MANA Movement Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes, will cast her vote at 12 noon at the Zen’s Building, Rotorua. This will follow a march through Rotorua that will assemble at 10am at City Focus, Rotorua. The...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • iPredict Daily Update
    David Cunliffe and Labour have made gains over the last 24 hours, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict, but John Key’s National is still strongly expected to lead the next...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Conservative’s Proposal to Abolish Parole Fatally Flawed
    The Conservative Party’s proposal to abolish parole doesn't stack up, however which way you look at it, concludes Kim Workman in Rethinking Crime and Punishment latest blog, ‘Abolishing Parole and Other Crazy Stuff’ at http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/09/krill-and-womble-independent-policy.html...
    Scoop politics | 17-09
  • Special Edition : The letter 18 September 2014
    Dr Jamie Whyte has been giving thoughtful speeches largely unreported. So we thought we would put out an edited version on the speech he gave yesterday. The full speech is on the website....
    Scoop politics | 17-09
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