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Poverty Watch 1

Written By: - Date published: 8:46 am, September 1st, 2012 - 100 comments
Categories: national, poverty - Tags: ,

The extent of poverty in NZ condemns us as a country. The way that poverty is growing under the Nats condemns them as a government. For once I agree with something that John Armstrong has to say:

Child poverty report must not be ignored

Yet another damning report on child poverty; yet another announcement of a further piece in the welfare reform jigsaw to draw attention away from that report’s bleak contents. How much longer can National keep pulling that particular rabbit out of the hat every time the political going gets a little rugged?

The answer is for as long as the tactic works.

Exactly. And it won’t stop working until the media calls them on it – as Armstrong has here.

Forget civil liberties. Cutting the benefits of the unemployed if they refuse or fail a drug test when that’s a requirement of a job offer hits all the right buttons with the wider electorate. It’s something National was always going to save for a rainy day.

You would, therefore, have had to come down in the last shower to believe it was mere coincidence the Government confirmed that drug testing would go ahead on the same day a major report on child poverty was released.

This crude attempt to stifle the work of an expert advisory group reporting to the Commissioner for Children, Russell Willis, was particularly cynical. But National was on a hiding to nothing.

Before winning the 2008 election, John Key tramped up and down McGehan Close, a street in a lower socio-economic part of Auckland, talking about providing “the ladder of opportunity”. According to the advisory group’s report, child poverty has since risen to near the 25 per cent mark. It’s still less than the nearly 30 per cent level of the early 2000s before the introduction of Labour’s Working for Families income assistance programme. But it is an increase, nonetheless. …

The report’s impact is intensified by being part of a mini-avalanche of both official and unofficial reports on child poverty and inequality currently in the public arena. …

Without an official measure, politicians can pick and choose figures to deny there’s a problem. Without an official measure, they are less accountable. They can avoid, as National has done, setting targets for a reduction in child poverty.

Under its “Better Public Services” banner, National has heavily promoted its five-year targets for ministers and their respective departmental chief executives. These include supporting vulnerable children by increasing the participation rate in early childhood education, increasing infant immunisation rates and reducing the incidence of rheumatic fever, and reducing the number of assaults on children. Glaringly absent is a target for reducing child poverty. [my emphasis] …

Go read the full piece, it is excellent.

Right – announcing Poverty Watch. I (or perhaps some other Standard author) am going to post every Saturday morning on poverty in NZ. We’ve written many times about poverty, but I want to make it a weekly reminder of the issues, and the government’s response, or lack thereof. Posts will review and discuss the issues and the evidence. Sometimes they’ll be short, sometimes they’ll be long, but they will always end like this, with a list of the government’s response to the issue of poverty at time of writing.

National government’s response to rising poverty in NZ:

• National has not yet set any target for reducing poverty
• ?

100 comments on “Poverty Watch 1”

  1. just saying 1

    I’m glad you’ve taken this up Anthony because it can’t be said too much -real people hurting, no end in sight.

    With all of the turning away it can be hard to not become disheartened and feel powerless in the face of such a big problem overlaid as it is by a veritable fortress of fear and loathing in so many of those who are, so far, not personally affected by it.

  2. lenore 2

    “Before winning the 2008 election, John Key tramped up and down McGehan Close, a street in a lower socio-economic part of Auckland, talking about providing “the ladder of opportunity”.

    Insteady this government has provided endless snakes to slip down to even more poverty. We do need more ladders and less snakes

  3. Meh. The child poverty rate will keep going up as long as the sole parent rate keeps going up. And one thing absolutely guaranteed is that in the vanishingly unlikely event an NZ govt did come up with proposals to try and reduce the sole parent rate, authors on this blog would be absolutely opposed to them.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      The child poverty rate will keep going up as long as the sole parent rate keeps going up.

      The “sole parent rate” isn’t going up and even then we should be ensuring that they don’t live in poverty either. Poverty is a proof of the failure of our present socio-economic system.

      • Psycho Milt 3.1.1

        Maybe you should inform Statistics NZ of their egregious errors, then:

        “In particular, the number of sole-parent families has grown rapidly over recent years. ”

        And:

        “In 1996, 189,900 children (defined as those under 15 years of age) were living in sole-parent families, an increase of 57 percent since 1986. The proportion of children living in sole-parent families has also grown over the past decade, from 16 percent to 24 percent.”

        24%, huh? Just a coincidence, I’m sure…

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1

          Ok, my bad. Still, not an excuse to continue to allow them to be living in poverty.

        • Psycho Milt 3.1.1.2

          It would be nice if we could simply not allow children to be brought up in poverty. But that’s largely a question of how we simply not allow 24% of children to be living in sole-parent families, ie not simple at all.

          • fatty 3.1.1.2.1

            “But that’s largely a question of how we simply not allow 24% of children to be living in sole-parent families, ie not simple at all.”

            So, since that is almost impossible…we could just ensure that those children from a sole-parent family are not in poverty.

            • Psycho Milt 3.1.1.2.1.1

              Could we? That’s an enormous number of children. According to Stats NZ, it’s currently 24% of the country’s children and there’s no reason to assume the steady increase in that proportion is about to slow down, let alone stop. I could picture the country’s taxpayers volunteering to pay extra for all the children fathered by wasters who won’t put a bag on it if there were some prospect of the number of those children decreasing over time, but the likelihood of them volunteering while that number is increasing rapidly with no measures whatsoever in place even to try and slow the growth? Ain’t going to happen, whoever’s in govt.

              • blue leopard

                @ Psycho Milt

                Hint: it used to be that people were better off the more children they had, these children would eventually go out and get jobs and make it easier to feed all the mouths. So what’s changed?

                Following your lead and indulging in a bit of “fast and furious analysis” based on the quote below, I shall come to the quick conclusion that low wages, poor job availability and the developing inequality in income are the cause of the problems. I suggest that if our successive governments would start focusing on encouraging the lifting of wages, creating jobs, developing self-employment-and-small-business-friendly policies and closing the disparity in income, this would make huge inroads into fixing this problem, and more likely to work than asking people not to have children.

                (An economic/political approach should be based on human nature, rather than it asking human nature to change so that the economic/political approach will “work”, no, sorry this is simply a sign that the economic/political approach is dysfunctional if it requires people to STOP REPRODUCING; this is laughable.).

                “Child poverty rates rose sharply in the late 1980s and the early 1990s. During this period, inequality rose more in New Zealand than in any of the 20 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries for which comparable data is available. The key drivers were low wage growth for many working families, high unemployment and reductions in welfare payments.”

                “This situation is not inevitable. UNICEF’s 2005 report on child poverty in rich nations concluded: ‘Variation in government policy appears to account for most of the variation in child poverty levels between OECD countries’ (UNICEF, 2005).”

                http://www.occ.org.nz/home/childpoverty/the_report

                Further I add that the late 80s unemployment is likely to be the results of the neo-liberal experiment conducted on NZ in the early 80s (what is the point of conducting experiments, when the results are never analysed?) and suggest that the NZ population educate themselves on the effects on this anarchic political approach and desist in voting for well-dressed idiots promoting such rubbish.

                • it used to be that people were better off the more children they had, these children would eventually go out and get jobs and make it easier to feed all the mouths.

                  That hasn’t been the case for wage-earners during my lifetime. It also assumes the existence of a family, rather than a DPB recipient and various sperm donors.

                  • fatty

                    “That hasn’t been the case for wage-earners during my lifetime”

                    …that’s what blue leopard goes on to analyse in the rest of his/her post.

                    “a DPB recipient and various sperm donors” & “fathered by wasters who won’t put a bag on it”

                    Where do you get this derogatory and essentialist view on single parents? A NZHerald article? And even if these nasty accusations were true, maybe you could challenge the root causes that blue leopard has given?
                    Or you could continue to ignore them and stick with the Paula Bannett mantra…

                    • OK, you got me, they don’t exist. The news media makes them up, the court cases are all fictional, and I never met any of them. And if they did exist, it would be das Kapital’s fault.

                    • weka

                      Most kids I know in single parent families don’t have parents who are wasters. The parents are often responsible, creative, caring and strong people.

                      Your argument would hold more water Milt if you didn’t talk in stereotypes, esp inaccurate ones. You seem to be under the impression that all solo parent kids started life in that kind of family simply due to the man not putting a bag on it. What about the ones where their parents were a couple and split later? What about contraceptive failure rates? 

                      We are easily a wealth enough nation to raise kids above the poverty line. We simply choose not to.

                       

                    • Yeah, maybe I’m just that colossally ignorant and prejudiced. Or, it could be that those people aren’t mentioned in my comments because they aren’t the subject of them. But go with ignorance and prejudice if that’s your choice, it’s all the same to me.

                    • fatty

                      “The news media makes them up”

                      No, they’re real, there are a few instances, but it appears as if you think its the norm. That’s why I questioned whether you buy into the media’s portrayal of poor people…hmm

                      “And if they did exist, it would be das Kapital’s fault.”

                      Lame answer…sidestep with a dad-joke…Donkey would be proud

                    • weka

                      “Yeah, maybe I’m just that colossally ignorant and prejudiced. Or, it could be that those people aren’t mentioned in my comments because they aren’t the subject of them. But go with ignorance and prejudice if that’s your choice, it’s all the same to me.”
                       
                      Dude, you’re the one making the gross generalisations.

                    • So, to recap: child poverty’s been increasing. The proportion of kids in sole-parent families, which tend to be poor families, is increasing at a suspiciously similar rate. I believe this correlation is causal and therefore poverty is likely to be made only worse by the kind of measures the post author would like to see. This makes me a Bad Person.

                      It’s not much when you look at it – we could make these threads a lot shorter if we tried.

                  • blue leopard

                    @ Psycho Milt

                    The hint was pointing to the lack of jobs around rather than fixating on the negative consequences on this lack. Focussing on the effects of faulty political approaches and trying to stamp them out without addressing the faulty political approaches will simply lead to exactly where we are now-because that is what we’ve been doing for long enough

                • jcuknz

                  The answer is to stop reproducing the cannon fodder and menial labour for wars and jobs that are no longer around but to take simple precautions like contraceptives and stop being so wishy washy about abortion. Make it a privilege to have a child not a ‘biological right’.

          • McFlock 3.1.1.2.2

            You missed the bit where childhood poverty was up to 30% ten years ago.
                 
            So unless the sole parent rate spiked at 30% ten years ago and is back down to 24%, maybe you should rethink your bias. 

            • Psycho Milt 3.1.1.2.2.1

              The bit where Labour lowered the number of working poor by extending social welfare to cover them, rather than by helping them force wages upwards, you mean? Yes, I do know about that, but I’m concentrating on the beneficiary poor, who are the main component of that remaining 25%.

              Also: the working poor are people the govt really could do something to help, by dropping their efforts to help employers by keeping unemployment high and wages low. However, Labour’s ideas so far seem to be centred around creating even less income difference between having a job and being a beneficiary – that won’t do anything beyond increasing the number of beneficiaries.

              • McFlock

                So are you attributing child poverty to beneficiaries, or sole parents in particular? Because not every beneficiary parent is a sole parent.

                • I’m not “attributing” child poverty to sole parent families – attributing it to any one thing would be stupid. What’s the point in dispute here? Are you under the impression that single-parent families on a benefit aren’t likely to be poor?

                  • McFlock

                    No.
                    I don’t agree with your assertion that  “The child poverty rate will keep going up as long as the sole parent rate keeps going up.”
                               
                    Eradicating child poverty is the objective. This can be achieved regardless of whether 20% of children are in sole parent families, or 80%. Family structure does not determine poverty – but how society treats different family structures might.

              • blue leopard

                @Psycho Milt

                “The bit where Labour lowered the number of working poor by extending social welfare to cover them, rather than by helping them force wages upwards, you mean? Yes, I do know about that, but I’m concentrating on the beneficiary poor, …”

                There is some truth in what you say here-why are Governments not putting policies in to encourage better working conditions? Perhaps it was a case that the poverty situation was getting so bad, they “brought in the ambulances”.

                You appear, however, to be fixating on those affected by poor policy (“beneficiary poor”), rampant unemployment and low wages, rather than the cause.

                I suggest that you read the next paragraph and try and redress your belief that the effect is the cause. I posit that the beneficiary poor and working poor are the effects of the inability of our successive governments to address low incomes/poor working conditions and the disparity in income issues that are hounding this country.

                “After 1998 however, as economic conditions improved, median incomes again rose, WHILE INCOMES FOR MANY LOW-INCOME HOUSEHOLDS WITH CHILDREN DID NOT, resulting in a rise in relative child poverty up until 2004. ” [Emphasis added]

                http://www.nzchildren.co.nz/child_poverty.php

                • Sure, successive govt’s helping employers hold wages down has increased poverty – that’s not in dispute, and the fact that present and future govts could do something about that is also not in dispute.

                  As to the rest, see below at 3.1.1.3.4. There’s a simpler explanation.

          • LilaR 3.1.1.2.3

            The only reason sole-parent families (and other beneficiaries) live in poverty is that the benefits are far too low to allow anything else. Benefits need to be raised to a level that allows a decent life for recipients and their families. And, for those who feel it’s important to maintain wages at a higher level than benefits, the basic wage needs to be raised as well. Starving beneficiaries and low-wage earners of a decent life is not an answer to anything – it just creates much more costly social and health problems further down the line. And if those on high incomes need to pay more tax to allow this, they should be pleased to be contributing to a better society!

        • Olwyn 3.1.1.3

          Has it occurred to you that causation might run in the other direction; that poverty causes more relationship breakdowns, which result in solo parents? It seems likely to me that if there was less poverty, there would be less sole parents. My grandmother had a saying that went, “When the wolf knocks on the door, love flies out the window.”

          • Olwyn 3.1.1.3.1

            That was in reply to Psycho Milt

          • muzza 3.1.1.3.2

            Govt policy has created this situation, and only government policy can stop the continuation of worsening poverty, and widening inequality.

            The government of this country, which ever parties make up that govt, will NOT change this unless the people begin to get very loud, very soon.

            What chance I wonder….

          • seeker 3.1.1.3.3

            +++100 Olwyn- just what I was thinking myself on reading Psycho M.’s dismissive, smug and ‘empty of any understanding’ comment. Just the type of mindset Barnardo and Shaftesbury were battling in 19th century Britain. Unfortunately it appears to still be alive and just as unwell in 21st century New Zealand. Try and mentally mature Psycho and please try not to live up to your unsavoury comment name.

          • Psycho Milt 3.1.1.3.4

            Has it occurred to you that causation might run in the other direction; that poverty causes more relationship breakdowns, which result in solo parents?

            It has, but there’s a better explanation: parents tend to raise children to be much like themselves. Suppose you have a proportion of children whose upbringing involves one parent, siblings they’re only half related to, foetal alcohol syndrome, poverty, neglect, abuse, poor nutrition and low educational achievement, and for whom the only adults they encounter who have a job are hated authority figures – social workers, teachers, cops. Now suppose these children go on to bear or father upwards of half a dozen children themselves with a generation gap of 15 years, while the people paying the taxes to fund the process are producing one or two children with a generation gap of at least 30 years. Is child poverty going to increase over time, or reduce? Take your time…

            • Olwyn 3.1.1.3.4.1

              Firstly, the scenario you have put up is a wild exaggeration; if a family was so ill favoured as you suggest some of them would be infertile. People do, however, largely respond well to improved circumstances, even people who have suffered in the ways you have listed.

              • I’m entirely happy for you to tell yourself such people don’t exist, and if they did all they’d need is for someone to give them more money. Just don’t expect me to share the delusion.

                • Olwyn

                  I do not say such people don’t exist. However, it is true that their numbers magically reduce when they are no longer condemned to poverty, permanent anxiety, or the inertia that sets in when their bodies can no longer take the anxiety levels. You even see the change when people go from wretchedness here to a modest job that pays a living wage in Queensland: suddenly they become people who take their kids swimming, have Sunday afternoon barbecues and take part in a community.

                  The people you describe are largely a media construct with a glancing relationship to reality. It is a construct that gains the traction it has from the psychological tendency to think that if we are punishing people, then there must be something wrong with them. It is comparable to the way chickens turn on a wounded chicken.

                  • That would be a very compelling point, if not for the fact that the increase in sole-parent families proved impervious to low unemployment under the last Labour govt.

                    • Olwyn

                      Now we are back to where we started, and it is possible that we can only argue in circles because neither of us will surrender our central position. I say that solo parenthood would very likely reduce if there was less poverty, because freedom from abject poverty allows people to plan, and the challenges couples face and not so likely to be insurmountable. And I do not think that solo parenthood actually increased under the last Labour government. It may not have decreased much, but I don’t think it increased. I also think that the property boom undermined some of Labour’s good work. It put home-owning out of the reach of many, while generating a lot of lay landlords, thus making renting more precarious as well. Precariousness, by its very nature, undermines the ability to plan.

                    • blue leopard

                      @ Olwyn 8.22am & 11.48am

                      I think the argument and points you make are very very relevant to this issue

                    • Olwyn

                      @ Blue Leopard; thanks :-)

                    • mike e

                      p milt so how come the numbers receiving the DPB have gone from 80,000 to a 114,000 under nactional.
                      blaming poverty on the impoverished very simplistic from a sick minded person
                      when research shows that long term unemployment expensive housing(A stable affordable family home going back to the 70’s and earlier it was easy for a family to buy reasonably priced home ) are the main cases why poverty is getting worse even brashes productivity commission identified this problem.

    • mike e 3.2

      Pmilt labour did do something reduced the numbers by nearly 30%!
      Milt you should be berating national for increasing the numbers by 24,000 in 3 years.
      Get your facts right you idiot.

  4. Johnm 4

    Nor will they do anything: Poverty is part of their world view in both senses of the term! :-(

  5. prentsdoosh 5

    Personally, I can’t see a National government enacting policy which does any other than further marginalise the poor. Nonetheless, I look forward to reading the weekly columns.

  6. Blue 6

    So far, the most popular response to child poverty in NZ is telling the parents that they shouldn’t have had children when they couldn’t afford them.

    Leaving aside all the issues with that, telling people they shouldn’t have had kids has so far proven completely ineffective at dissolving these children. They still exist, and they are still in poverty, and no one seems to have any idea what to do except for the usual ‘whatever, but I’m not paying for it.’

    NZers are poor in a way that has nothing to do with money.

    • blue leopard 6.1

      @Blue
      “NZers are poor in a way that has nothing to do with money.”
      +1 So beautifully succinct

    • Dr Terry 6.2

      Blue, that last sentence is extremely and devastatingly true. Well, we are poor money-wise, but it has little to do with this nation’s real poverty in thought, intelligence, lack of compassion and sensitivity, greed, plain boorishness (and plenty more!)

      Among all world nations, we are one that should hang its head in shame.

    • LilaR 6.3

      Blue, you’re absolutely right. And I dare say quite a few of those living in poverty with ‘too many’ children weren’t in poverty when they had them, and had no reason to believe they ever would be. People’s circumstances may change for reasons quite beyond their control (Chch earthquakes are a good example). While no doubt there are some who are irresponsible, their purported numbers are always vastly inflated by those self-righteous types who enjoy pontificating about how others should live their lives.

  7. I agree Rob it was a very good column.  John Armstrong has gone up in my estimation.

    He neatly highlights how ludicrous the situation is.  His comment that “[t]his crude attempt to stifle the work of an expert advisory group reporting to the Commissioner for Children, Russell Willis, was particularly cynical” is the most scathing comment that I can recall him making about this Government.

    And it is utterly appalling that the Minister would make her priority drug testing of beneficiaries even though there is no hard data on the issue yet ignore child poverty even though the Government has had a well researched, written and presented report with screeds of data.

    This Government is more interested in dog whistling its political support than doing something about child poverty.

    Utterly disgraceful. 

  8. gobsmacked 8

    Another tick here for John Armstrong’s column.

    He shows very clearly why the report on child poverty must be taken seriously.

    But the comments underneath the column also show why it will take leadership, courage and communication skills, in order to challenge the myths and make an impact.

    It’s a pretty basic choice – pander to prejudices, or offer an alternative vision and plan. Low road versus high road. Child poverty in NZ is – as David Shearer said – a ‘bloody disgrace”. If those are not just words, then it’s time for the opposition to step up.

    We know exactly what National will do (distract, divert, deny). Take them on and tear them apart.

    • Dr Terry 8.1

      gobsmacked, the report certainly does clarify why child poverty must be taken seriously, but with a callous leader like Key, I am sorry to say that there is no “must” about it.

  9. gobsmacked 9

    Also check out Radio NZ’s Focus on Politics: broadcast 5 pm today, or here –

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/focusonpolitics

    • Dr Terry 9.1

      gobsmacked. Well worth a listen! Key can only be likened to whatever preceded Neanderthal man.

  10. muzza 10

    The multi tier society has been with us for a very long time, its just that with the gap becoming so wide, and the numbers so high in NZ, it is now becoming a crisis if its not already. As more and more people drop to the next level, so the problems our country already faces will escalate.

    Its at the stage now where the question is begging….

    Is there an appetite to address the core issues which are going to end life in NZ as we know it!

    The answer in my opinion is a resounding NO, and unless the people prevent it, there will be no turning back!

  11. seeker 11

    Thankyou Anthony, ‘Poverty Watch” is an excellent idea. Agree totally that John Armstrong’s column was very good. I was utterly amazed that he had penned such an article, but then thanked whoever had inspired him to do so as we have waited long enough- and so have our children.

    Maybe “times are a’ changing” ? ? Here’s hoping.

  12. Someone mention Das Kapital?
    Well there is nothing new about poverty and the growth of the surplus population
    note especially point 3
    http://readingcapitalsydney.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/capital-i-chapter-25-the-general-law-of-capitalist-accumulation/

  13. xtasy 13

    Poverty, what an interesting topic to discuss!

    Having done a bit more research on what the Ministry of Social Development is up to, especially now under Bennett and the National led government, some VERY REVEALING FIGURES have been found!

    There is a kind of agenda now implemented since “Future Focus” was introduced a couple of years back, and the attack has started on sick and disabled, to cull them and get the numbers on sickness and invalid’s benefits reduced, no matter what. This is not widely publicised, but Bennett already likes to present some “successes”.

    By looking at figures about Medical Appeal Board hearings, which are usually the result of WINZ clients appealing unacceptable decisions by “designated doctors”, but also other types of appeal under the Social Security Act 1964, there has now been a recent, very worrysome trend.

    Of course the “mainstream media” have “no knowledge” of this, maybe see this as “not important”, and admittedly the information is extremely hard to find now, since MSD appears to have made great effort to wipe links and info from the open internet access. But nevertheless, some good, solid work got the following out:

    Below are links to website pages with relevant documents containing interesting information.

    Check these LINKS for statistical data about Medical Appeal Boards:

    http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/corporate/annual-report-2004-2005.pdf
    (see page 173 re MAB cost and case data)

    http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/corporate/annual-report-2005-2006-2.pdf
    (see page nr. 137 for MAB costs and meetings details)

    http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/corporate/annual-report-2006-2007-appendices.pdf
    (see page number 129, actual page 2, re MAB costs and meetings data)

    http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/corporate/msd-annual-report-2007-08.pdf
    (see page 132 for MAB costs and meetings)

    http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/corporate/annual-report/annual-report-2008-2009.pdf
    (see pages 121-122, for MAB costs and meetings, increasing)

    http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/corporate/annual-report/annual-report-2009-2010.pdf
    (see page 120 for MAB costs and meetings explosion in these since year before!)

    http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/publications-resources/corporate/annual-report/2011/annual-report-2010-11.pdf
    (not that NO details about MAB costs and meetings published now!)

    It is obvious, that the information from annual reports by MSD since 2004 and up to 2010 shows, that there has since 2009 been a kind of “EXPLOSION” of costs for Medical Appeal Bord hearings, as there was an increase from the 2008-2009 year to the 2009-2010 year of over 200 per cent!

    Clearly under the National led goverment and under Paula Bennett there has been a substantial increase in appeals and hearings, which shows that more clients are dissatisfied with the decisions by designated doctors and Regional Health and Disability Advisors! Also does it appear that there has been a large increase in designated doctor examinations and assessments, which naturally would lead to an increase in at least some decisions based on them being disputed.

    Anyway, the figures speak for themselves!

    MSD have now apparently stopped publishing figures re MAB hearings conducted since 2010! There is apparently NO mention of them in annual reports anymore, and MSD seem to be keen to not disclose details, which should not surprise, as the “explosion” in numbers and costs has probably continued to date, which in itself could give reason for the interested public questioning what has been going on over recent years!

    I can find no other information about MAB hearings, costs and numbers, let alonge outcomes, which all appears to be kept very confidential.

    So what does that tell us about honesty and transparency of the public service, which has become so “corporatised”, dominated and controlled by government ministers, it resembles little what you would expect from a truly transparent, legally accountable and honest government.

    Enjoy your analysis.

  14. xtasy 14

    I am disgusted and feel ashamed that we live in a country, that belongs to the most productive food producing countries on this planet, yet now 21 or more per cent of children live in “poverty”.

    We have a government going on about “moving in and out of poverty on a daily basis”, seeing the economic solution in selling off the few remaining assets this country has, allowing foreign corporations to buy land, companies and so forth at discounted rates, and living standards for most are dropping.

    Then we have ACC cull hundreds or thousands off their claims, force them onto WINZ benefits, and then the next round of slash and burn sets in, by Bennett to cull the number of people with serious illness, incapacities and disabilities on invalid’s benefits, so they are with more or less questionable force moved down onto “sickness” benefits.

    Now I know quite a few on that benefit, who should actually be on the invalid’s benefit, due to permanent and severe conditions, but they are NOT.

    The system is now designed to do all to stop people from getting a fair go and to pay them less, force them to struggle to make ends meet, and to get them to go out looking for jobs, which do not exist.

    I am waiting for the next, second phase of “welfare reform”, which National had announced on their website to be made public in August. That thankfully has not happened. So something is holding them up. I presume it is intensive legal debates about details in the backrooms.

    Now more and more are driven into poverty, children and adults, while the economy is flat and NatACT have no answers. It is time to expose the unfair, unreasonable policies they are implementing already, and the worse that will come soon.

  15. BernyD 15

    The Labour party should simply start Asking for an appropriate amount of money for each child to alleviate the poverty, it should include “Statutory” management of the funds so the child does indeed benefit.

    And for the younger beneficiaries, Allowances should be made for their age and level of education, young people will make mistakes that is an observed fact in our society today.

    Whilst I can understand the lead by example style of benefit from drug testing, I think those people are taking drugs for a reason, simply saying no wont help them, they need professional help, whether they realise it or not.

    • weka 15.1

      Berny, what is wrong with taking drugs? I don’t mean abusing drugs, I mean taking them recreationally like alcohol. Why should beneficiaries “say no”? Are beneficiaries not entitled to pleasure?

      • BernyD 15.1.1

        Nothing bud, that’s what I keep saying, their simply addressing a need, it makes them feel better, so they keep doing it. It’s a reaction, not a cause.
        The cause is Divorce from the society/civilisation they live in.
        No future, makes drugs much more attractive, from the hype they ruin memory, and divorce you from society, if they believe thay are “Already there” then drugs become an “Answer” to them

        The “Right Wing” answer to this is prohibition, which divorces them even more and forces them into the work house, these days called prison.

        The “Left Wing” (Theoretically at the moment) would rather keep those people feed and keep them believing they have a place in our civilisation.

        They absolutely have a right to enjoy their lives , just like anyone else in our civilisation.

        And professional help means a “Qualified” and pertinent system for them to use, of course a Psyc h degree would help, Wins are more than capable of addressing this, they have walked this stuff for generations now.

        • weka 15.1.1.1

          Berny, it’s true that some people use drugs to self medicate, for either their personal pain or the pain of living in a fucked up society. But some people take drugs simply because it is fun. It feels good. They enjoy it. Like playing sport or having sex or reading a good book.

          I’m asking you what is wrong with that, why beneficiaries should be denied that, and why on earth they would need to see a qualified person for that.

          • BernyD 15.1.1.1.1

            Self medicate = fun bud, it’s different words for the same action.
            And a professional at Wins would understand that fun is a worthy thing in life.

            • weka 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Recreation = self medication? You have a strange view of life Berny.

              Ok, so I assume you are one of the people who believes there is something wrong with drugs per se, rather than how they get used. 

              So will beneficiaries need to see a professional when they watch a film too? Or have sex. Or go for a walk. Or engage in any of the myriad of other activities that are recreational?

              And why beneficiaries specifically?

               

              • BernyD

                Not sure I can answer u, my view on life is an personal observational one.
                And no I don’t believe in Prohibition at all.
                And in a sane world, they could see someone if they felt the need, not just beneficiaries but everyone.

                • weka

                  I’m not talking about prohibition. I’m talking about believing the taking drugs means something is wrong. Some people take drugs because it is good. It’s a shame you’ve never observed that.

                  • BernyD

                    I’ve been saying that all along, back at you

                    • weka

                      You still haven’t answered this: why do people need to see a professional when they engage in recreational activities?

                      It’s a pretty straight forward question.

                    • BernyD

                      Yes I did, and they don’t

                    • weka

                      Care to explain what this means then? That’s what has been confusing me:

                      Whilst I can understand the lead by example style of benefit from drug testing, I think those people are taking drugs for a reason, simply saying no wont help them, they need professional help, whether they realise it or not.

                       

                       

                    • BernyD

                      Drugs are bad for you, if used in excess or without thought

                    • weka

                      Ok, well I wish people would be more specific when they talk about drugs, not just lumping them altogether as one bad problem. 

                    • BernyD

                      Yes exactly, labeling it a “Problem” will always cause division

        • mike e 15.1.1.2

          benny D while the right keep saying the left hand money over to people (benes the rights dehumanizing speak) the left acshually put people in jobs thats jobs.
          National Can’t be bothered so they put more out of work then bash them and all other poor people and anyone who sticks up for them.

      • BernyD 15.1.2

        I should add that the “Lead by Example” means all those kids and families on the borderlands of hell need to hear a message like that , even though it may break the hearts of those who have crossed the border

        They need “Paths away from Hell”, so they can find a future.

  16. captain hook 16

    this issue is too big for this government so the government in waiting better have its policy spot on.

    • BernyD 16.1

      Very true, I sound like an 80 year old, I’m surprised I don’t get flamed more.
      But I still like hearing it …. better than talking to mylself

  17. Some answers .A more effective tax system including capital gains.
    Lower the obsene salaries of the CEOs and directors .Then raise he disgusting low wages of the mininum wage earners,Start meals in schools
    and bring back the Plunket type nurse visits,
    Find a way of using the shocking waste of food from super markets and food outlets. Finally throw out this government of rich uncaring slobs.
    Arrest and charge people who exploit vunerable people and that includes the three Nats who let out slum lile houses to the poor as reported todays Herald.

    • blue leopard 17.1

      @pink postman
      +1 Such changes would benefit the whole of society

    • Anne 17.2

      pink postman… there’s more commonsense in your little finger than many wide-eyed wannabes have in their whole bodies.

  18. blue leopard 18

    I note that this thread contains a discussion on the viewpoint that people need to stop reproducing in order to resolve child poverty- which admittedly is one way of approach which might alleviate some of the issue on a personal, small scale, yet I question why there are not 100’s and 100’s of posts expressing how our world at present is full of people in positions of privilege and power who are rorting the system a great deal more; and thus causing a great deal more problems for a great deal more people, than Mr or Mrs J Blogs do, up there painting the roof, while finding themselves unemployed/able. Whom find themselves in such conditions fairly well created by Mr or Mrs I’ve-got-an-important-position-of-power-and-priviledge-and-do-not-consider-for-a-moment-that-I-hold-ANY-responsibility-for-the-damage-I-cause-to-others-or-the-organization-of-society-in-general-by-acting-in-a-way-bereft-of-any-morality-or-honesty-if-I-can-get-away-with-it-AND-I-CAN-(so-it-must-be-alright)

    To belabour a point: Those who are having children and discovering that their partnerships are breaking down, are not causing the low wages, lack of opportunities, nor the innumerable large losses of income, savings and quality of life for those who have lived honest lives and conscientiously worked and saved all their lives. They are not causing this phenomenon of poverty and there is no merit in conveying the message that they are; people who are unemployed or in sole parent positions are simply NOT THE CAUSE of this mess that is the western-global-financial/political-series-of-scandals-and-rorts-near-anarchy-conditions.

    Why are the people, who are in positions of power and influence whom are encouraging lack of job creation to continually be left unaddressed and encouraging the disparity between incomes out of the ideologies of narrow self interest that they hold (and that “work” for them while causing immeasurable damage to many others) not being called to account?

    How about a call to action and a bit of accountability from those in a better position to effect a positive and greater change for more people?

    • Well, in theory we have a Labour Party to take care of exactly that – promote policies that support the people who provide the labour – but the practice doesn’t seem to match the theory.

      Certainly the poor aren’t the people responsible for low wages and high unemployment, which are significant contributors to poverty. However, the inconvenient statistics remain; and the inconvenient fact remains; that fact being: if you are someone with no education, no job and no prospects, and you’re having sex without contraception (for whatever reason, the reason matters jack shit), at some point you – not “society,” not “the capitalist system,” not “the 1%” or any other scapegoat you nominate, but you, personally and individually – will quite literally create poverty.

      • ak 18.1.1

        but you, personally and individually – will quite literally create poverty.

        Oh of course. Because they’re the ones who set the benefit rates, aren’t they.

        Keep on bashing those victims Milt, fits well with your intelligent “Christian” image.

      • xtasy 18.1.2

        Of the NZ Labour Party in its present state I expect less of than from some bizarre, idiotic Pope in the Vatican, living in a different mental age of history. Population growth is though a major issue, but it is not a prime issue in NZ these days, I must assess and say.

  19. AC 19

    I am disgusted with this governments hypocrisy towards poverty and education. I have unfortunately seen through a source the blue print of the direction they want to take education in NZ. We are going to have a third world public education system to match the third world living conditions some of our most vulnerable children have to live in. I do wish NZ media would focus more on the underlying policys that have been designed to create a greater gap between those that have and those that don’t. I have never seen so many lies intentionally dressed up, disguised and presented with a positive spin on them, with the purpose of deceiving NZers.

    • blue leopard 19.1

      @ AC
      Thats so sad to hear…and even sadder that the large majority of people who are open to voting for them are basically honest-and because they are basically honest-believe them :(

      • xtasy 19.1.1

        I honestly doubt that most people in NZ are so decent and “honest”! Most have their own priorities and agendas on mind, as I found proved in the last election. I ran into two people desperate to vote, they were both staunch National Party supporters, wanting to make sure the country does not “fall” into the “wrong hands”. So they wanted to ask me for the nearest polling booth, living in my area. They were apparently new residents in the area, but it is a popular area, where rents and house prices are sky rocketing.

        I am dismayed about the naivety of some people posting here, thinking seriously, all NZers are so well mannered, honest and have the welfare of the whole country at heart. It is NOT the reality, I am afraid. This country is very severely divided, as it never has been before, not just in poverty and wealth figures, also in mentality and voting behaviour!

        I am yet to find that “large majority” of voting members you talk about!

        • blue leopard 19.1.1.1

          @ xtasy

          Yes, I have to say I have had my doubts about the quality of NZ ethics, including dishonesty, racism, lack of compassion/empathy, red-necked harsh and narrow-minded judgementalism, however if one takes a step back, I believe it is reasonable to acknowledge that our society would have collapsed long ago were it not for the majority being decent, basically honest people. (As is the case with all of the Western world).

          A concrete example of this is the statistics regarding how if everyone who was doing voluntary work stopped doing it, then our economy/society would grind to a halt (or be in trouble). These people deserve recognition: more than we give them.

          We can get too focussed on those displaying negative traits-and boy are they splashed all over our media, (for obvious reasons)-and forget the good being expressed and displayed hundreds and thousands of times every day.

          I’m fed up with giving the nasties all the focus.

          My comment was based on the thoughts I have had when trying to explain to myself why it is that people cannot see through the obvious, to me, disingenuity of our current government’s approach. What on earth possessed people to vote for a party displaying such nonqualities?

          The conclusion that made the most sense to me was that it is because when people are fairly decent it is very very hard indeed for them to fathom that others’ may be less well intentioned.

  20. rosy 20

    An interesting commentary from Will.i.am about growing up in poverty and how he escaped it in the Financial Times He came from the stereotypical single mother black ghetto part of Los Angeles, but his mother got him on a programme that bussed kids to better schools

    If there was a poster child for the success of the Magnet [cultural exchange]programme, I would be that kid. …

    …He credits his mother with keeping him away from temptation in his youth, but he says the odds were stacked against him. “There’s a family of influences that dictate behaviour. In the ghetto, there’s a liquor store, a cheque-cashing place and a motel. What that tells you psychologically is: get a cheque, cash it. Take a couple of steps. Buy some liquor and get drunk, go home and get kicked out of your house. And here’s a place to sleep along the way.”

    …but if you live in a good neighbourhood, you drive home and there’s a bank, there’s a grocery store and big houses – but there’s no motels. What that tells you psychologically is: you protect your money and buy good things for your family to eat in your nice big house. So it’s a different system. You go to the ghetto and it’s full of billboards. You go to nice neighbourhoods and there are no billboards. These brands are marketing to people that can’t afford the products. You don’t see big billboards in Beverly Hills. They market to people who don’t have money.

    Upshot for him is that it takes societal planning and individual work to get out of poverty. It doesn’t matter how hard his mother worked for him, if that programme was not available he’d be in the ghetto, and the ghetto environment is not conducive to getting ahead. At all.

  21. xtasy 21

    As I gave some very revealing info above, same as in other comments, raising how MSD and WINZ treat applicants and clients, I see again proved: Much indulgence in petty issues and no substantial interest in commenters here wanting to really address matters of concern, let alone change anything.

    Yet I got a ram down treatment for raising the concern that a focus on gay and lesbian marriage rights is not a priority.

    I honestly think some here need to take a deep breath, stand in front of a mirror and seriously ask themselves what they stand for!

    Some will be Labour supporters of course, so raising facts that Labour was and is responsible for never will go down well with such. But looking at the greater picture of politics in NZ, the more I see the more I get dismayed, disinterested and can only consider it a laughable, ridiculous and not serious affair.

    Sorry!

  22. xtasy 22

    Further to previous comments: I have recorded evidence of having challenged the Labour and Green Party spokespersons of certain areas re what is going on:

    NONE have bothered to dig into matters, so to me, they are as untrustworthy as this government and should not deserve the trust voters put into them. They should NOT be sitting in parliament and get paid what they are.

    They are nothing but TRAITORS to the people they are supposed to represent in this country.

    Maybe Mana is making a difference there, but most NZers are not receptive of truth, integrity and honesty, as it compromises their own crap agendas!

  23. xtasy 23

    What an utterly screwed up society NZ has become, it is a disgusting state of affairs, resembling anything but the country I once came to. Yet most are not seriously taking any steps to change things. Too many pre-occupied with individual agendas and enforcing division in one of the most divided coutries in the OECD. This is NOT a unified, fair, educated, sufficiently informed and caring society anymore. I advise any prospective migrant: DO NOT bother to come and try your luck here! You are likely to be severely disappointed. Largely it is an incapable populace, not able to make the decisions that need to be taken.

  24. Roy 24

    To my mind there is no period of life more important than childhood (including prenatal life) for establishing physical, mental and social health, and the country’s goal should be to have this demographic have the lowest level of poverty. Instead, the demographic with the lowest level of poverty is the over-65s (5% or less). While not wanting to see the retired starving in the streets, I think this is completely ass-backswards. We need to reverse the tax cuts for the rich, introduce CGT, means-test superannuation, and make medical care for the over-80s palliative-only unless they can pay for it themselves. Reintroduce death duties, on a sliding scale so that over about 1 million/heir, the state gets the lot. Raise the minimum wage, raise benefits for those caring for children, and cut the ridiculous salaries of CEOs. Introduce free breakfasts and lunches at school for children from households below the poverty line (and make them optional for all other kids, to avoid stigma), and establish a program to ensure that all children showing up at school have adequate footwear and winter clothing, because kids who are cold or hungry can’t be expected to learn anything.

    • BernyD 24.1

      Nice to hear some “Old School” logic, you and the Pink Postman above understand where I’m coming from.
      We are not alone, we just need to get up and speak a bit more :-)

    • Carol 24.2

      I agree with the idea that there should be much more focus on eradicating child poverty in NZ.

      I agree with most of Roy’s suggestions, but disagree with a couple. I disagree with means-tested benefit for the elderly – or for children. Universal superannuation should stay, and a universal child benefit introduced.

      As being stated right now on RNZ, means-tested super is simple to administer, cuts out a lot of bureaucracy and intrusive surveillance, and stops the poorest slipping through the cracks. This happens in countries like the UK that don’t have universal super. Also, when there is means-testing some people are very good at hiding their wealth and some will spend up big just before their retirement age.

      It’s better to have universal child and age benefits, and to equalise things by taxing the most wealthy people at a higher rate.

      Better still to ensure that all people have a living wage during their productive adult years. And the cost of safe and healthy housing needs to be far more affordable to all.

      In other words – there needs to be a comprehensive progamme to turn back the ever-increasing wealth-income gap, and to move towards greater equality.

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    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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