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Real social security; real jobs – not bennie bashing

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, March 27th, 2013 - 55 comments
Categories: ACC, benefits, child welfare, families, greens, jobs, labour, nz first, paula bennett, phil goff, unemployment, welfare - Tags: ,

Yesterday, I watched a lot of the speeches, mainly by opposition MPs, in the committee stages (parts 1 and 2) of the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill.  Green, Labour and NZ First MPs highlighted much of the evils of this piece of legislation.

Today on the Daily Blog,  Sue Bradford has posted (“Destroying lives to win votes: National’s anti-beneficiary rampage continues“) an excellent  summary of what the Bill does and doesn’t do.  She outlines the punitive measures included in Social Security (Youth Support and Work Focus) Amendment Act, that passed last year, and summarises the latest Bill as follows:

The second bill going through this week adds to this by (among other things):

• Replacing a number of current benefits, including the Sickness Benefit, with one ‘Job Seeker Support’ category, subject to a wide range of compulsory work tests and sanctions if tests aren’t fulfilled to Work & Income’s satisfaction.

• Introducing a Work Ability Assessment …

• Adding even further sanctions to those who don’t meet Work & Income requirements, including drug testing. …

To add insult to injury, there is zero Government commitment to job creation either – decent jobs at decent wages being the best solution to unemployment and poverty. …

These changes to our welfare system are all about making extra profits for big business while shoring up National’s vote at the next election from people who just need to have a section of society to hate and despise. I hope you will join me and groups like Auckland Action Against Poverty in exposing and opposing this for the vicious game it is.

Jacinda Ardern, whose performances can be patchy, gave a couple of very good speeches for parts 1 and 2 in the committee stages yesterday.  The first speech laid out a lot of the destructive aspects of the Bill, and the underlying government agenda.  In the second speech, she exposed some of the dodgy medical assessment processes.

Ardern is concerned that one of the most important parts of the Bill, on medical assessments, provides no information on how the assessments will work (around 7 minutes in the video).  She refers to a submission from CCS Disability Action, which expresses concerns about the UK-style contracting out of assessments.  Labour has tabled an SOP asking for the processes to be used for medical assessments to be debated in the House before any changes are passed.  Ardern says that “any government who denies our ability to do that, is a government that has something to hide.”

Ardern then refers to the worrying approach of Dr David Bratt, Chief Medical Adviser.  She refers to a recent presentation by Dr Bratt: Ready, Steady, Crook: Are we killing our patients with kindness?   Ardern says:

He openly spreads the notion that access to social security is bad for people’s health.  Do you know what’s bad for people’s health Mr Speaker: an undignified system that doesn’t focus on people’s strengths and abilities to get back into work; a system that doesn’t focus on their wellness; a system that instead allows them to squander (?) in poverty without the means necessary to even ensure they are one day employable again.

She goes on to argue that Bennett’s “cruel to be kind” approach had been tried back in Ruth Richardson’s time, and it had failed resulting in an increase in harm and a rise in child poverty.

Ardern also made excellent points about the way Bennett’s focus is on demonising single mothers, and ignoring the fathers.  She says she missed the memo on immaculate conception.  She exposes the myth of families aspiring solely to a life on welfare, and the destructive impact of the work overload on case managers.

Nevertheless, Ardern continues to focus on getting people back to work, rather than the importance of social security for those unable to engage in paid work for whatever reason.

The Greens focused more on other aspects of the role of social security. Mojo Mathers focused on the barriers to paid employment for disabled people.  She is concerned that the Bill is following the UK’s failed model that focuses on work assessment.  She also argues against the social obligation aspects and their negative impacts on parents of children with disabilities.

xtasy has frequently commented on the TS, about the problems with the medical assessments, and on Dr Bratt in particular.

NB: Phil Goff  showed he can produce some very good speeches.

55 comments on “Real social security; real jobs – not bennie bashing”

  1. One Tāne Huna 1

    The sooner “Dr.” Bratt is hauled before the ethics committee the better.

    • just saying 1.1

      What ethics committee is Bratt accountable to?

      And the medical assessors hired by the MSoD aren’t accountable either because the medical council will not hear any complaint from a patient, because MSoD is the client, and only the client can complain about mistreatment, negligence, or malpractice

      This is exactly the same barrier that prevents ACC claimants from having complaints about non-treating (ie toady assessor) doctors, heard. The medical council has been aware of the anomaly for decades but has not chosen to review the rule.

      These people are untouchable.

      • One Tāne Huna 1.1.1

        There appear to be layers of corrupt sophistry set up between Dr. Bratt and his kind and normal medical ethics. However, the NZ Medical Association, for example is reviewing its code of ethics and seeks submissions. The new draft document (pdf) adds several clauses to the “Doctors in a just and caring society” section.

        The existing code requires that medical professionals “Adhere to the scientific basis for medical practice while acknowledging the limits of current knowledge.”

        Where is the scientific basis for “Dr.” Bratt’s assertions about welfare and addiction?

        I suggest that “Dr.” Bratt’s methods be subjected to professional scrutiny, and that the opposition parties apply pressure to the medical council and any other appropriate authorities to investigate his activities.

        • xtasy 1.1.1.1

          One Tane Huna: That Code only applies for “medical practice”, but Bratt is an ADVISOR, so he is in that role for his employer (MSD) NOT BOUND by the Code of Ethics of the NZ medical profession!

          • AsleepWhileWalking 1.1.1.1.1

            And the Regional Health and Disability Advisors hide behind that very same cloak, passing judgement over Doctors notes, or that of other registered health professionals while they themselves have no durisdication other than MSD decided to employ them to do this.

            • xtasy 1.1.1.1.1.1

              AsleepWhileWalking “strong”: Yes, you are right, and it has all been designed to be this way, by MSD!!!

              The same will happen with the new regime they will bring in with outsourced “specialist assessors”. They will “merely” make recommendations, and then WINZ staff will make the ultimate decisions, in virtually all cases relying on those recommendations.

              Chicken and egg debates will distract from and avoid pinning down responsibility.

              Trouble is, the assessors may in many cases not be delivering a “health service”, they may only be “advisors” or “assessors” of types. Where the present law in NZ still kicks in is, where a medical practitioner or similarly qualified person under the relevant Act sees a person face to face to assess (not just on papers) for a third party, or their own client, then they are still bound by the ‘Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights’!

              This may be somewhat different with outsourced service providers, as it will depend on how they will set it all up and do the assessments for work capacity or anything else.

              The government is of course NOT HONEST on the planned medical and work capacity assessments, and hence they have not come out with details, still wanting the law with the legal provisions to allow them to outsource and do such assessing passed a.s.a.p., without revealing details.

              Parliament and the public are being conned something big here. The law should NOT be passed and consented to until it is clear what these future assessments will look like, until they will have been scrutinised and debated, evaluated on legality, fairness, objectivity, scientific reason and more.

              Outsourcing and not allowing any legal accountability is contempt of fair process and natural justice. This is a BIG ISSUE.

              • just saying

                Trouble is, the assessors may in many cases not be delivering a “health service”, they may only be “advisors” or “assessors” of types. Where the present law in NZ still kicks in is, where a medical practitioner or similarly qualified person under the relevant Act sees a person face to face to assess (not just on papers) for a third party, or their own client, then they are still bound by the ‘Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights’!

                Actually they aren’t. The H&D commissioner has stated that he has no jurisdiction to hear complaints unless they relate to sexual or physical assault. Because MSD is the client. This issue has been around for a long time.

                • xtasy

                  just saying: This is not quite true! Read this PDF to be found under this link:

                  http://www.mcnz.org.nz/assets/News-and-Publications/Statements/Non-treating-doctors.pdf

                  If there is a face to face encounter during an assessment, the H+D Commissioner is still going to be looking at it. Trouble is, the present one is pretty useless.

                  All the Commissioners that hold office – and the Ombudsman – have been installed to be buffers to keep people from taking issues to court. And they only deal with the tip of the iceberg of issues in the end. I have ample knowledge and experience with this.

                  The whole system is designed to stifle any efforts by aggrieved to get justice.

                  In some ways, it may be better to have the US system to be able to sue and get the shits out of so many poorly performing, and harm creating medical and other practitioners, and also engaging in consultancy.

                  It does indeed stink to heaven what goes on in NZ. I have had to deal with a mental health flatmate, who was totally treated like crap, and the ADHB used Privacy Act and more to cover up. Sadly she was in an abusive relationship, so the abuser was on good terms with her psychiatrist, working for ADHB, so they all covered up, she in “co dependence” and as a “disempowered abused”.

                  NZ is a SHIT SOCIETY, for standards, and I have volumes of records proving this. So the “nationalists” here can stick this SHIT up their noses about NZ being world class and so. It is a total dirty lie, like so much about this country.

                  • just saying

                    Yeah I’ve read this before.
                    It says the non-treating doctor must comply with the code, not that the patient may complain to the H&D if they have a genuine grievance about their treatment (outside of assault).

                    I know of more than ten people who have been told by the H&D that their complaints about assessors are outside of the H&D jurisdiction, and to take their complaint to the “client” whether MSD or ACC.

                    I agree with you about the real role of these so-called watch-dogs. However with a well put together case and decent legal representation a minority of patients can get some vestige of justice. I’ve won a case, though, of course, not against a non-treating doctor.

                    But even this slim chance is denied patients of non-treating doctors.

                    • xtasy

                      just saying:
                      “I know of more than ten people who have been told by the H&D that their complaints about assessors are outside of the H&D jurisdiction, and to take their complaint to the “client” whether MSD or ACC.”

                      Well, that is interesting.

                      I know of a case where an examining doctor (technically “assessor”) for a third party is being investigated by the Commissioner at present.

                      It may have depended on how those people presented their case.

                      Using the wrong choice of words and explanations can lead to a swift fob off, and the Health and Disability Commissioner does not seem to be obligated to assess and examine each complaint of such nature, but the paper from the Medical Council says at least, that he may or can.

                      So it may depend on how well a complainant words and argues her/his case. I agree though, that there is far too little scrutiny, and there is a lack of redress that can be ensured and enforced.

                      Few will even succeed to file a case before the courts, get legal aid perhaps, or have the brains, knowledge and skill to argue their own case successfully. MSD and WINZ have Crown Law, paid for by the taxpayer by the way. They can get the best lawyers if they want or need to, and a person representing her-/himself or with a newbie legal aid lawyer will have a shit show. Justice does exist in theory, and seldom in practice.

                • xtasy

                  The Commissioner will not look into complaints about 3rd party assessors, if they only did the assessment “on the papers”. That means if the assessment was done without a face to face encounter and interview, then the Commissioner will not bother with it, as it is considered outside of their scope.

                  Yet when there was a face to face examination and interview, which was done as part of an assessment, then the H + D Commissioner may actually look at it, as that is within the scope of his/her office.

                  • just saying

                    Xtasy,
                    I know of a case where an examining doctor (technically “assessor”) for a third party is being investigated by the Commissioner at present.

                    That’s interesting. Let me know how it turns out.

                    I was told (face to face) by the commissioner, in a crowded meeting, that the office would not investigate any complaints about doctors commisioned by third parties unless sexual or physical assault was alleged.

                    In the cases I know of, which the commission refused to investigate, the complainants were explicitly told that the office had no jurisdiction to investigate complaints about “third party assessors”. The cases were in regard to face to face assessments.

                    I will be delighted if there has been a change of policy.

                    And please don’t patronise me Xtasy, as I said, I have taken a case against a doctor and won. So I know every step of the process

                    They can get the best lawyers if they want or need to,…

                    No, they get who the medical council appoints – been there tried to get someone else.

                    • xtasy

                      “MSD and WINZ have Crown Law, paid for by the taxpayer by the way. They can get the best lawyers if they want or need to, and a person representing her-/himself or with a newbie legal aid lawyer will have a shit show.”

                      I am not sure, whether you misunderstood the above, perhaps, just saying?

                      With that I meant the “third party”. But you will be right with lawyers representing the assessor, getting a lawyer appointed by the professional organisation (Medical Council).

                    • just saying

                      They can get the best lawyers if they want or need to, and a person representing her-/himself or with a newbie legal aid lawyer will have a shit show.

                      Sorry, I misread and thought you were talking about the complainant in the whole sentence, not just the second half.

                      When the medical council decides to prosecute, they appoint (and pay for) a lawyer for the plaintiff. The doctor chooses his or her own lawyer. Usually a QC if the charges are serious. Inevitably a better representative than the lawyer appointed for the plaintiff.

          • One Tāne Huna 1.1.1.1.2

            I think that “advisory” status should be properly tested by a court of law.

            He took an oath. Just because some wingnut government passes a law doesn’t absolve him.

          • Mary 1.1.1.1.3

            I understand that currently this is accepted as the way things are, but surely this could be challenged? Surely a medical professional, with a current practicing certificate or not, is subject to the prevailing ethical rules? For example, the disciplinary authorities certainly have jurisdiction over those who try to practise after being struck off, whether it’s doctors, nurses, lawyers, etc. Surely if Bratt is dishing out medical advice, to whomever, this potentially brings him under the scrutiny of the relevant ethical complaints body? Perhaps this needs to be tested?

            • xtasy 1.1.1.1.3.1

              Sorry, Mary, Dr Bratt is not performing a role in delivering “medical services” in his role as Principal Health Advisor. Only a medical practitioner or other professional registered under the Health and Competency Assurance Act (I believe that is the right name) AND performing medicine, or delivering medical or health care and treatment services, is bound directly by the Code of Ethics, NOT any person, practicing or not, who is merely giving “advice” to another party, not receiving such health care or treatment services.

              And the Health and Disability Commissioner’s code will not apply to advisors either.

              Other codes for psychologists, counsellors and the likes have their limitations also.

              The law would need to be changed, or a new law brought in, to cover advisory activities. Naturally the agency, department or company that employs or contracts with such an advisor, has means to discipline for breach of contract.

              BUT have WINZ or MSD done anything to even raise some warning words to Dr Bratt and his bizarre claims and comparisons in his presentations (comparing beneficiaries with drug takers)??? NO, and that speaks for itself. Bratt’s master is apparently condoning what he is doing (using WINZ and MSD symbols and their names on his presentations)!

            • xtasy 1.1.1.1.3.2

              What comes to mind re his misdeeds is perhaps “discrimination” based on employment status (being unemployed, which in NZ usually goes hand in hand with being a beneficiary). So the Human Rights Act may be of some use there. But someone would neet to take it up. And then, is he strictly “discriminating” after all? Well we know he does in his peculiar ways, but the words he uses are “pseudo-science” and bizarre, largely unproved claims, not necessarily intended to discriminate.

              He does after all arrogantly pretend to “do good” and “want to rescue” clients from “suffering”.

      • Olwyn 1.1.2

        That is something I did not know, and I find it shocking. The DoS may count as “the client” but the DoS is not a person getting assessed by the doctor. This is extremely fishy, since it means that people who are not medical experts are in the position to determine whether or not a complaint made on medical grounds is worthy of further action.

        • just saying 1.1.2.1

          I, amongst others, have tried. I suspect it would require political intervention.

          Btw it is worth mentioning that Labour set this direction, and have always been aware of the injustice and inquity in patients’ inability to complain. This suited their purposes just as well.

          Unfortunately it is very seldom that anyone “important” is adversely affected

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.2.1.1

            Setting up torture rack mechanisms which the Tories can then crank up real tight in a subsequent term.

            Thanks Labour! Just fucking brilliant work, as usual.

        • One Tāne Huna 1.1.2.2

          I wonder whether this corrupt arrangement would survive judicial review.

          • xtasy 1.1.2.2.1

            Judicial review is possible if a decision by a Medical Appeal Board can be seen as in breach of the law (e.g. natural justice). Otherwise judicial review is only possible for certain administrative, legislative or executive decisions made. A decision or recommendation by an outsourced assessor will not fall under a category where judicial review may be sought. Also a simple administrative decision by a WINZ case manager will not necessarily do so. But within the Social Security Act there are steps for reviews and appeals that can be taken.

            If a “statutory” decision seriously restricts or denies a person a right, then JR may be an option though.

            For medical appeals section 53A is relevant!

            If a decision by a “judicial” kind of administrative body, like such a Medical Appeal Board, does not comply with the law, then judicial review is an option, indeed the only further legal step that is possible. It has to be filed at a High Court, but one should get a lawyer (not easy to get for such “civil” cases under legal aid).

            There the issues continue for the average beneficiary, not having the means to pay a lawyer themselves.

            See some basic info on judicial review:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_review
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_review_in_New_Zealand
            http://www.vuw.ac.nz/staff/dean_knight/Cassie_Knight_Scope.pdf

    • xtasy 1.2

      As a “Principal Health Advisor” Bratt is NOT offering medical SERVICES, that is the problem. He is not employed as a GP (which is his qualification), as a doctor to perform and deliver services in the health area.

      He is “merely” an advisor (a damned biased, bizarre and poor one for that sake, but still accepted “advisor” for his employer, MSD), and that does enable him to get away with this, as only “practicing” doctors or other registered medical staff under certain Acts are accountable to standards in law and the Code of Ethics for the NZ medical profession.

      So Bratt is like a smart eel, getting through all the gaps, and he knows he can get away with all these bizarre claims and comparisons.

      The one who could make a difference is his employer, and guess, who that is.

      The MSD cannot pretend they do not know that he presents such one sided, scandalous presentations on pages bearing Work and Income logos.

      They do apparently condone this, there is NO other answer, and that is the bloody scandal. MSD are ultimately responsible for letting a staff member get away with using biased, unqualified, unscientific information, and by making absurd, unfounded claims, which also pressurise and “blame” clients that are supposed to be looked after by MSD!

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Goff is a strong, passionate speaker once he gets going. Good off the cuff, and able to talk through opposing static from the government benches or from a journalist.

    I’ve only met Sue Bradford once, and she impressed me with her insight into beneficiary issues.

  3. Rogue Trooper 3

    WINZ are already “overloaded”; heard it from case-managers directly.
    Bennett / MSD ignored numerous MOH advice that these reforms (sanctions in particular) are going to cause as much harm as they attempt to alleviate. Watch and see.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Usual strategy; if the Nats can’t undo something they don’t like, they underfund it until it is crippled.

      • Ennui 3.1.1

        That is standard Nat practice BUT what if there are no funds?

        PS I could get a short term extra 10% budget saving plus out of the Public Service if the executives were put into a set pay scale the way it used to be. Around Wellington I still see far too many fat cat bloated “public servants”. And you and I are paying for them.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.1

          It’s a problem. And they’re followed around by a younger set who aspire to be exactly the same, if not fatter. Striving for the wellbeing of the nation and serving the public good? Don’t be stupid.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 3.2

      Some of the workload of CM’s is self inflicted – declining assistance that the beneficiary is eligible for leading to a review of decision creates massive increases in workload in a very short time.

      Do this enough and the system starts to collapse. Today I spoke with a benefit rights advocate and was told that because MSD are obstructing review of decisions, I should try writing the words, “I want to review your decision not to assist with _____”, as opposed to, “I am reviewing the decision not to fund____”.

      I can’t see a hell of a lot of difference, but apparently it is designed to prevent the ministry from saying that:
      – they haven’t made a decision yet (this can drag out months or forever)
      – they are waiting on information about _____
      – they are waiting to see if there is a cheaper option (even when multiple quotes are already provided)

      My advocate warns me that MSD will still likely run obstructions. It’s what they do.

      These are common phrases they use to usurp the legal process. Does the minister know this is happening? I doubt the minister cares.

      And in the meantime who is paying for the costs or going without? The client’s who are being disentitled on a daily basis.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 3.2.1

        My son’s having issues at moment so I’ve had to put my advocate hat back on for him.

        The advice I gave him applies to all:

        Always fill out an application form – do not accept any verbal no we can’t do that
        Always ask for a decision in writing before you leave – most letters are computer generated and can be printed off
        Food grant declines have a 24 hour review period if declined – while it’s a review by staff it must be by a manager
        If you have used your annual food entitlement and the reason for needing food is outside your control e.g. Paid for an ambulance to go to hospital then managers have the authority to go over those limits

        http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/manuals-and-procedures.html

        If you have access to the internet somehow understand the policy and what you can and can’t get. Print it off and take it in with you if you think it will help.

        Policy is here:

        http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/manuals-and-procedures.html

        The better informed you are about entitlements the less difficulty there should be.

        Keep receipts and provide evidence such as payslips and bank balances – yeah it can be a pain to keep em and I’m hopeless at it myself and as it turns out so is my son but to be honest you shouldn’t put anyone in the position of trying to work out if you are telling the truth or not.

        One issue I’m hearing about from my kids friends is around the non-telling to people than you can still be paid a benefit when you have left your job/ been fired.

        While you might get a 13 week stand down you should be told you can be paid if you do what they call recomply.

        http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/manuals-and-procedures/income_support/main_benefits/unemployment_benefit/unemployment_benefit-269.htm

        Too many kids in my view just get told that they will get a 13 week stand down without an application even being taken, let alone being tod about this other info.

        Also if there was good reason for leaving your job e.g. Sexual harassment, employer not paying your wages, being paid less than minimum wage, bullying etc then no stand-down should be imposed.

        Some things the staff can’t do anything about such as if you spend your six weeks holiday pay by paying off all your bills or if your income is too high to get any help.

        I’d also suggest if you can, fill out an application on-line if you lose your job / seperate, etc

        This gives the clearest date for seeking assistance and if you get delayed in getting an appointment there’s a application in place.

        There’s a few others that post here who probably have more current knowledge who might be able to add more but hope this is useful.

  4. Ad 4

    Imagine if those kind of measures were applied to those seeking to become directors on banks, or public companies, or other entities with public scrutiny like Fonterra …

    … at the other end of town, South Canterbury Finance cost the taxpayers $805 million. That’s our taxed money yours and mine. Surely such company directors are New Zealand’s most damaging beneficiaries.

  5. Ennui 5

    Nice post Karol, BUT I have one major issue.

    It is not the speeches and well placed opposition to the governments “reforms” which are basically designed to “save money” and in the words of the Dead Kennedys “kill the poor”. I totally believe that benefits are there because we cannot rely upon the public or private sector to create jobs.

    So Karol, where are these jobs coming from? Let me give you an employers viewpoint.

    We as employers need infrastructure and legal services etc from the government so we pay taxes. These we expect will create or maintain positions which we benefit from, which is fine so long as we are making profits and paying the tax to support this. At the moment we have a severely constrained economy, so there is no extra tax to create government jobs.

    We could of course “create” credit to pay for these jobs but all we are doing then is creating debt to be paid by tax in the future. Which worked fine when economies could grow, but as an aggregate economic growth ended with peak energy and peak resources, and will now decline (permanently). So that wont create sustainable public sector jobs. Did I forget we also have a financial crisis ongoing since 2008 based around debt.

    Now us employers….we stick our necks out on the basis that we invest some cash on the principle that the extra work performed will pay for the employee and leave a profit (otherwise why do it)? We don’t do this as a charitable act, we do it for private gain. The cash we invest is “ours” (or a debt we personally incur). And when times are tough we don’t take the risk. When it gets tougher we retrench (or go bust), lay off staff, cut wages.

    Times are tough now. So where are the jobs going to come from? Where are the taxes going to come from?

    • ghostrider888 5.1

      and then there is “Too Drunk To F*ck” (Punk is not dead, only just having a snooze by the Marshall).

      • AsleepWhileWalking 5.1.1

        We don’t need jobs as much as we need to mobilise people into business IMHO. It is easier and quicker for people to find something needed and turn it into a business than it is to try and re-suss the job creation model.

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1

          BEEEEP! Well intentioned but wrong, I’m afraid to say.

          The real economy is being deprived of cash, aggregate demand is down, and foreign corporates are siphoning money out of NZ. Expect small business failures to climb and jobs to be destroyed. Yes a few people will do well in niche markets that they identify, but the investment capital is not available for this to occur on a wider, bigger scale.

          The other nasty truth of our money system: large scale job creation can only happen with large scale debt creation.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      So where are the jobs going to come from?

      The public sector. Build more wind turbines (lots of ship building and heavy engineering in that), upgrade existing rail to electric and extend the lines, start building up the infrastructure to run trolley buses in towns and cities. Buy up enough farms that the country can be fed no matter what happens to the international markets.

      Where are the taxes going to come from?

      Don’t need taxes first – just print the money. This money can also be loaned into the private sector at 0% interest. A lot of those government services carry a user charge and so that’s one part of the taxing system, income tax is another and land tax a third. There’s probably more that can be done.

      Under the scenario of the government printing money at 0% interest the government will always run at a deficit (it’s not really a loss, after all, it’s only money and the society gets the social good of whatever the government spent money on) due to the dead weight loss of profit. The trick there is to make it so that accumulating money won’t be of any benefit.

  6. johnm 6

    John Yankee represents the market and money both of these categories are amoral.The Market and Money know no Motherland and hence come before the persons who have no money but only New Zealand as their motherland. Can you not see the cruel immorality of that attitude? :-(

  7. Ennui, this is why capitalism is an outmoded system.

    It relies on the profit motive which is killing us. The market is no good at matching supply and demand because goods will only be supplied when profitable and then at the expense of destroying the planet.

    Instead we need to socialise production.

    We would do this by regulating business to make it pay the true costs of public subsidies plus taxes. Then we would offer to socialise those companies that can be made to produce something useful. Instead of privatising public assets we socialise private assets and take the risk out of business.

    As collective shareholders of productive assets we all decide what is to be produced to meet the needs that we also decide as consumer collectives. We decide to create jobs for all who want to work by spreading all the now ‘social’ labour around at reduced hours.

    For the time being everyone would get back what they put into work, minus a surplus that becomes a public fund for social and economic development.

    This is all very straightforward and rational, and the first stages regulating and nationalising strategic business could be done by a left social democratic government. This assumes that NZ workers wake up and vote in a left government that breaks with neo-liberal orthodoxy and introduces a full frontal nationalisation program.

    However, monopoly capital would unleash a thousand dotcoms on us, capital strikes and Rimpac marines to protect their private property rights. So any plans to socialise the NZ economy would have to be based on a powerful social movement capable of defending NZ from US and/or Chinese invasions. Even then we would only get away with it if US and Chinese workers kept their military occupied at home.

    • So, job creation is a simple matter of completely changing everyone’s political views, putting a left-wing govt in total control of the economy and fighting a desperate war against the rest of the western world? Sounds great – when do we start?

      • red rattler 7.1.1

        People’s political views are conditioned by capitalism so they think that individual competition is natural.
        But possessive individualism came only with capitalism.
        As I said above when they ‘wake’ up to the con the solutions will seem very obvious.
        Workers cooperate when they produce.
        Workers produce the wealth.
        Without bosses cooperation will become the norm.
        Workers can run the economy and cooperate with workers in other countries to swap their products. There is no need for rapid industrial growth dependent on fossil fuels.
        Socialism today has nothing to do with growth as such but rather production for need.
        Our survival depends on using technology to conserve nature and sustain our existence without destroying the planet.
        The transition from capitalism to socialism is mainly a technical problem solvable by cooperation.
        The only difficulty is that the rich ruling class will not give up without a fight.
        But when it comes to a fight, they are few and we are many.

        • Psycho Milt 7.1.1.1

          Well, there is also the difficulty that so far, every time it’s been tried it’s resulted almost immediately in the enslavement of the population by a murderous totalitarian dictatorship. Oddly enough, commos never seem to mention that one…

    • Ennui 7.2

      Quite frankly the socialist model comes out of the same stable as the capitalism of neo liberalism. Both of them depend upon industrialism, and centralized banking control. Both follow materialist constructs, both doom us to ecocide and resource depletion. Both are control freaks which enslave individuals.

      The good news is that neither are any longer possible as the tools required utilise vast energy resources that are on their way out. We will be building on a strictly local scale within the forseeable (and probably on foot).

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1

        oth of them depend upon industrialism, and centralized banking control. Both follow materialist constructs, both doom us to ecocide and resource depletion. Both are control freaks which enslave individuals.

        One has moved on, the other hasn’t.

  8. David H 8

    But at the end of the day, a bankrupt NZ would suit the rapacious thieves in big business around the world. And John Key is delivering it to them on a plate. They are setting us up to become another Greece or Cyprus.

  9. xtasy 9

    Karol:

    “Ardern then refers to the worrying approach of Dr David Bratt, Chief Medical Adviser. She refers to a recent presentation by Dr Bratt: Ready, Steady, Crook: Are we killing our patients with kindness? Ardern says:

    He openly spreads the notion that access to social security is bad for people’s health. Do you know what’s bad for people’s health Mr Speaker: an undignified system that doesn’t focus on people’s strengths and abilities to get back into work; a system that doesn’t focus on their wellness; a system that instead allows them to squander (?) in poverty without the means necessary to even ensure they are one day employable again.”

    I heard a bit of Jacinda’s speech re this, and I was for once SO PLEASED, to hear this come from her lips. I felt, my much persistent efforts to raise awareness on all this appalling stuff, that already has been going on since even before the start of Future Focus, ARE FINALLY PAYING OFF! The messages are reaching the ones in Labour and other parties, and advocacy groups, who have all been informed about this, to take it up and challenge the existing process, certainly also the new processes to be put into place soon, kept secret so far.

    The FIGHT must go on!

    Good on you, writing about this again!

  10. Jenny 10

    $2 billion to well off SCF investors and speculators.$1billion to an insurance company that wouldn’t pay up, and not even the slightest suggestion of misappropriation, or fraud. And the directors of AMI are still taking people’s home and contents insurance and collecting their bloated salaries.

    Not to mention a number of other less heralded bailouts and pay offs.

    These are the biggest Social Welfare bludgers in the country.

    Roger Kerr already one of the richest men in the country was gifted $100 million by the taxpayer. There were no suggestions made in parliament on how he should spend it.

    The war on beneficiaries is needed to pay for all this largess for the rich.

    Honesty in Advertising

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 10.1

      Aye.

      Someone worked out once that the money Faye Richwhite had to eventually pay following the wine box enquiry was equivalent to what had been saved by the benefit cuts.

      If they had paid their proper dues at the time then the cuts needn’t have happened.

      It a sad indictment of course that our much vaunted left wing labour government of 9 years never reversed those cuts except for vote catching baby boomers on super.

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    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
    Scoop politics
  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
    Scoop politics
  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
    Scoop politics
  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
    Scoop politics
  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
    Scoop politics
  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
    Scoop politics
  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics
  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
    Scoop politics
  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
    Scoop politics
  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
    Scoop politics
  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
    Scoop politics
  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
    Scoop politics
  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
    Scoop politics
  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
    Scoop politics
  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
    Scoop politics
  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
    Scoop politics
  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
    Scoop politics
  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
    Scoop politics
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
    Scoop politics
  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
    Scoop politics
  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
    Scoop politics
  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
    Scoop politics
  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
    Scoop politics
  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
    Scoop politics
  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
    Scoop politics
  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
    Scoop politics
  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
    Scoop politics
  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
    Scoop politics
  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
    Scoop politics
  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
    Scoop politics
  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
    Scoop politics
  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
    Scoop politics
  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
    Scoop politics
  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
    Scoop politics
  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
    Scoop politics
  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
    Scoop politics
  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
    Scoop politics
  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics
  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
    Scoop politics
  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
    Scoop politics
  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
    Scoop politics
  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
    Scoop politics
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