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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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    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • Contact’s big solar buy-back drop bad news for Kiwis with solar
    The Green Party are calling for a law change to establish an independent umpire to set fair and reasonable buy-back rates after Contact Energy announced, from today, new small scale solar and wind generators will receive 50 percent less for...
    Greens | 01-11
  • John Key’s asset sales outed by his own Minister
    National needs to come clean about the motivations behind selling state houses after Paula Bennett's asset sale admission, said the Green Party today.On Saturday, Paula Bennett, the Minister for Social Housing admitted, in a televised interview, that the sale of...
    Greens | 01-11
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • The Final Fifth: The Last Great Task for Progressive New Zealand.
    MOST OF NEW ZEALAND’S social problems are concentrated among those living at the margins of what is otherwise a relatively wealthy society. Recently released international data on child poverty has exposed an acutely stressed social strata encompassing roughly 20 percent...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Myth Busting Rape Boasters
    In just one week a case that galvanised a nation into discussing rape culture is now being reframed as mischievous teen hi-jinx. One year ago the Roast Busters case came to the attention of the media and the public. This...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • Workers rights weakened by new laws – fightback needed
    The government’s changes to the employment laws are designed to weaken workers bargaining power – at both the individual and collective level.   30-day rule The old law required an employer with a collective agreement in place to employ new...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – Where are Labour Candidates on disability?
    For the few people who know me (hello Mum), I am proudly New Zealand’s first Autistic Spectrum Lawyer, as well as being the very bottom Candidate on the Labour Party List. (64 out of 64). Being honoured like this is...
    The Daily Blog | 31-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Patrick Gower interviews Social Housing Minister
    Bennett says National could sell off “thousands” of state houses but Housing NZ will still be the “dominant force” in providing social housing in NZ....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • The Nation: Lisa Owen interviews Mike Moore & Chris Liddell
    Lisa Owen interviews NZ Ambassador to the US Mike Moore and corporate high-flyer Chris Liddell about the US midterm elections....
    Scoop politics | 01-11
  • David Parker event – the future of work, Sun 2 Nov
    Labour leadership candidate David Parker, an experienced lawyer and businessman as well as a former senior government cabinet minister in the Helen Clark Government, will join three prominent New Zealanders in a panel discussion on Sunday to address...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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