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Security: social, financial, personal, digital

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, April 10th, 2013 - 17 comments
Categories: accountability, benefits, child welfare, class war, david cunliffe, democracy under attack, families, jobs, Judith Collins, labour, paula bennett, poverty, public services, unemployment - Tags: ,

Yesterday more planks in the NAct raft of small changes, were before the House.  These small changes add up to major changes that whittle away the rights of individuals, undermine democracy, and increase hardship and insecurity for those on low incomes.  Meanwhile the government is failing to fulfill it’s responsibilities, and gaining more dubious powers over people’s lives.

In the debate on the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill, Third Reading,* Jacinda Adern began by saying that this year was the 75th anniversary of NZ Social Security.  Ardern’s speech highlights the main problems with Bennett’s punitive investment approach, in which all the responsibility is on the claimant.  Ardern then goes on to outline Labour’s vision for the re-instating of Social Security as it was originally intended; a system that does not divide people into the deserving and undeserving poor; a system based on the social contract, in which the state also has responsibilities.

She said that the Social Security system needs to be changed, but not in the way this Bill is doing.  Ardern argued, that if we want to rebuild it so that it is,

… one that acts as a dignified transition for those who need it for a short time; and a dignified support system for those, for reasons of terminal illness or significant disability, will need it for a longer period of time, we no longer need to have the political games that are ocurring around welfare.  It is Labour’s vision that we rebuild the foundations of what we built 35 years ago.  We first must start by remembering the social contract and that is that the state has a responsibility too.

Ardern goes on to identify ways in which the current government is failing to meet it’s responsibilities for instant by not ensuring there are sufficient jobs available.  She argues that this government have produced “these punitive welfare reforms” at a time of high unemployment, and “massive job losses”.  Ardern then outlines all the hurdles of appointments people need to go through to get some support, all without limited individual support from a case manager.

“This  is the investment approach that the minister speaks of.  This Bill tears up the idea of a social contract.

… The government’s job is simply to sanction you when to fail.

Then Ardern outlines Labour’s vision of a proactive system for the 76th year of social security.  It is one that will recognise the major and tough job of case managers, who must be supported.  Labour’s vision will incorporate returning dignity to the system.  Labour will take a long term view, for instance through provision of genuine investments in decent training and employment opportunities.

It may not be glamorous or something the minister can stick a ribbon on and sell to the media. But these are the families that need long term intervention, and not just by a work broker.

This is a significant and important promise on the part of Labour, and many of us will be watching to see that they do not deviate from such a vision.

Another Bill before the House yesterday was Peter Dunne’s Child Support Amendment Bill Third Reading.  In this Cunliffe explained why Labour would not be supporting it.  he describes it as a missed opportunity, by (Dunne) “the little engine that couldn’t”.  He asks why the minister didn’t write into the Bill that the interests of the child come first. This is also the best for society, because it is more likely to produce people that grow up to be productive members of society.

Around the time the government changed, in 2008,

… there was $1.3 Billion of uncollected child support debt and penalties. 4 years later, under this ministers watch, this has doubled to $2.7 Bilion of  unpaid child – it’s doubled in 4 years.

Cunliffe quotes Judith Collins who said, “Writing off debts gives the worst possible message to absent parents.” However, in contrast, this Bill rightly writes down penalties. But why did it take the government 4 years to do it?  There is an inflexible, non-transparent “formula change”, with limited range at the heart of the Bill.  It is likely that it will result in less money going to the mothers, who are usually the main carers.  Meanwhile, the costs of administering these provisions will rise “$1000 million of red tape, to wrap a bow around a debt mountain that’s doubled on its watch.” This is fiddling with the system, not fixing it.  This Bill needs to go back to the drawing board.

Labour is also concerned that the strengthening of IRD’s ability to make automatic deductions without consent.  Cunliffe notes that today, on the same day as this reading, Dunne has “issued a press release suggesting that IRD should be able to share for the first time, personal and private taxpayer information with other government agencies, for the purposes of crime fighting.”  This when there is a poor record of emailing private information to the wrong individuals.

And Cunliffe concludes his speech by needling the government benches on issues of privacy, PM shoulder tapping, and general lack of trust.

These Bills are all part of the way that our current government is whittling away democracy, government responsibility and trust, and increasingly taking away people’s rights to privacy, social security, and access to fair and transparent systems.

* I have previously posted about the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill – here, and here.

17 comments on “Security: social, financial, personal, digital”

  1. dpalenski 1

    Arden speech brought tears of hope to my eyes is Labour fighting for history now that Thatcher is dead I hope so

    • Colonial Weka 1.1

      Here’s the problem though. Adern sounds good, until you start listening for the detail. The feeling and intent is good, but Labour still haven’t fronted up with policy that will make much of a difference to welfare recipients.

      eg

      It is one that will recognise the major and tough job of case managers, who must be supported.

      Nice, but WINZ doesn’t use a case management system at the moment. If a beneficiary wants to talk with someone about their benefit etc, they make an appointment, and then they see the first available staff. ie someone who may never have met the beneficiary before, and probably doesn’t know anything about their situation or benefit entitlements. This is an incredibly inefficient way of working, and it is demeaning to beneficiaries because it puts them in the position of having to fight for their entitlements every time they engage with WINZ. It is such a poor way for WINZ to be working (and it’s been done before this way), that I can’t believe that NACT are doing this for any other reason than to undermine beneficiaries and the system in general (most likely to prepare it for privatisation).

      Even before this round of fucking with case management, back when beneficiaries did have an actual case manager, the system was pretty dysfunctional. Including under Labour.

      What I want to see from Labour is a statement that outlines how they will expect WINZ to run case management effectively, including how the new case management system will support beneficiaries and frontline staff, and the ways in which frontline staff will be trained in different benefit areas (eg Medical, DPB etc) so that staff understand the specific issues involved.

      Until Labour start putting policy detail on the table, it’s all just emotionally satisfying rhetoric. Sorry, but given Labour’s history, they just can’t be trusted until they say what they will actually do.

      • karol 1.1.1

        The context of Ardern’s quoted statement was that she was critical of the way, at the moment, people are put through loads of hurdles without any contact with a case manager – they are just sent through processes with a large group of others (eg job training workshops).

        I am pleased that Ardern has shifted away from a Shearer type focus on the “undeserving” poor. She is no longer just focusing on work readiness, but the importance of supporting those who need long term support for whom paid work may be inappropriate.

        However, I agree, weka, that pressure needs to be kept up on Labour to honour, and flesh out the vision Ardern outlined yesterday.

        • Olwyn 1.1.1.1

          I agree Karol, that speech did have a tone of commitment. Adrern did call National to account for vilifying the people one social welfare while at the same time asking people to employ them. She also made the distinction between welfare and social security.And I agree that the pressure needs to remain on Labour not to renege in this area, especially while it remains under Shearer’s leadership.

      • NickS 1.1.2

        Until Labour start putting policy detail on the table, it’s all just emotionally satisfying rhetoric. Sorry, but given Labour’s history, they just can’t be trusted until they say what they will actually do.

        And under Shearer I get the feeling that it will not happen :/

        Mainly because PR hacks will claim it wont attract “the centre” away while Labour bleeds support from it grass roots.

  2. Dr Terry 2

    God for Ardern! Cunliffe may not in fact be the Leader, but he sure acts as the Leader should!

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    there was $1.3 Billion of uncollected child support debt and penalties. 4 years later, under this ministers watch, this has doubled to $2.7 Bilion of unpaid child – it’s doubled in 4 years.

    Yeah and there’s probably a good reason for that and it’s probably the legislation. Anecdotal story:

    My nephew is a building contractor (otherwise known as a carpenter) and before the GFC was on good money. After the GFC he wasn’t with his gross income dropping from 130k+ to less than 30k. In the first year after the GFC he got a large bill from ACC – something like $5k. After some discussions with ACC it turns out that ACC base a contractors present ACC levy on what the persons income was two years ago.

    I suspect that child support payments from absent parents is the same – and we’ve had a lot of people become unemployed over the last few years and then getting charged with child support payments far in excess of what they can pay due to the system being far out of date.

    • Rogue Trooper 3.1

      when I was paying support for my daughter (in addition to informal contributions),the same approach applied; liability assessments based on previous years earnings and for a review to be permitted the change in income had to be greater than a certain %; anyway, when one goes from 70K to part-time gardening, or has time off for illness or study mid financial year, on and on it goes and the penalties were certainly cumulative back then.

    • RedBaronCV 3.2

      Er No. Wage and salary earners have their income based on the 10 months ending Dec 12 for the assessments that go out in Mar 13. The self employed have their’s based on the last tax return filed plus I think a CPI %. Self employed can file up to 12 mths later if they have a tax agent. Mar 12 has to be filed by Mar 13 so if they hurry up and file their income is more recent.

      At $130,000 your nephew had about $40,000 that was not included in any calculation so he would have been paying for say 2 kids, around $17,000, about 10% of his gross salary and for that he gets the free childcare and all the kid’s bills paid. She’s probably using all her income.

      The taxpayer stumps up the rest by way of DPB and WFF even though he could afford more.
      Catastrophic drops are catered for – a current earning level can be used.

      With that income why wasn’t he saving for a rainy day and why was he not paying more to let the taxpayer off the hook?

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        You did see the bit where I mentioned that my nephew was dealing with ACC didn’t you?

        With that income why wasn’t he saving for a rainy day…

        He was – it was wiped out pretty quickly after the GFC hit. Several months without an income will do that to people.

  4. RedBaronCV 4

    Yes, no income does wipe people out like – umm women on benefits and their kids that live in poverty but somehow we have systems that do not cut them any slack. Like the Legislation passed today.

    So yes I feel for anybody who takes a large hit in their income but is it permanent, or somewhat temporary as there was quite a lot of slack given by IRD etc around the GFC and Child support can be brought down quickly. Also are these people pulling there weight in good times? $130000 is about um $75000 in the hand for a single male after tax and child support.

    • felix 4.1

      How are you calculating that, RB?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      So yes I feel for anybody who takes a large hit in their income but is it permanent, or somewhat temporary as there was quite a lot of slack given by IRD etc around the GFC and Child support can be brought down quickly.

      Would you please read what I’m writing?

      I said that my nephew was dealing with ACC. It had nothing to do with child support as my nephew doesn’t have any children.

      I was using it as a story to show how legislation could be the cause of the blowout in unpaid child support.

    • Dr Dan 4.3

      You have obviously never been involved with child support. Draco is right, the IRD are usually intransigent and will not usually allow re-estimation if they can help it, The excuses are things like there is no proof (although there are penalties to catch out false estimates) and the old crock of “potential earnings” (even if you have no income you could potentially earn $200k).
      Why do you feel it is fine for men paying child support to be wiped out, what effect do you think it has on their children when they top themselves as hundreds do?
      This is a vile piece of legislation and it’s about time it was rewritten with an eye to fairness and achieving the best outcomes for all parties. Dunne Nothing unfortunately is not the man for the job.

  5. Michael 5

    I think Ardern’s speech was empty window dressing – designed to pander to middle class sensitivities about increasing poverty (and growing risk of downward social mobility) but without actually telling them they will have to pay more tax to restore the welfare state. With Labour, the devil is always in the details, compared to NACT, which is upfront about its desire to shaft the poor. There was a noticeable lack of support for Ardern from Labour’s heavies, with supporting speeches left to the backbenchers. I see no commitment from Labour to repeal the provisions in this Bill, if it ever forms a government again; neither do I see a commitment to enact decent social welfare legislation appropriate for the needs of New Zealanders in the 21st century. This should be an absolute priority of any “Labour” party worth the name, IMHO.

    • karol 5.1

      I agree that Ardern’s statements seem out of step with the basic values of Team Shearer. However, I think it’s interesting that Ardern has moved from Shearer apologist and implicitly supporting his undeserving poor line, to explicit support for a full reinstatement of social security as it was intended in the 1930s.

      This is a bit of Kremlinology on my part. But I will be watching with interest to see where it (and Ardern’s politics, lead.

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    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    1 day ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    1 day ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    1 day ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    1 day ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
    Whistleblowers are a ‘check’ on government, corporate or organisational secrecy and malfeasance. I recently read Tim Shipman’s preview of the Chilcot report into the origins of the Tony Blair-led UK engagement in the US’s invasion of Iraq, which looked at… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    1 day ago
  • Spend and Tax
    As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of the far right, and battle bots
    In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Why Corrections prevented Tony Robertson from getting treatment in prison
    Tony Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison for indecently assaulting a five year old girl in 2005. He was considered a high risk prisoner and the parole board declined to release him on four separate occasions.  He was… ...
    PunditBy Roger Brooking
    2 days ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Climate denial arguments fail a blind test
    As we saw in the recent legal ruling against Peabody coal, arguments and myths that are based in denial of the reality of human-caused global warming rarely withstand scientific scrutiny. In a new study published in Global Environmental Change, a team led by Stephen Lewandowsky… ...
    2 days ago
  • Palmerston North librarians gather to support UCOL colleagues
    At 5pm today at the UCOL Library, representatives of library staff from the City Library, Massey, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and local schools will meet in a show of support for UCOL Library staff whose jobs are threatened. “We all… ...
    2 days ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Not Quite But Getting There
    It seems that Labour might have finally gotten the memo about getting it’s A into G but perhaps not quite digested the content. Still it’s a start. The last month has seen a steady stream of both Labour and Little… ...
    2 days ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate change: The latest inventory
    The annual inventory report [PDF] of our greenhouse gas emissions was released on Friday. The headline data: emissions are still increasing: There's been another "recalculation" in the last 12 months, making year-to-year comparisons difficult. Naurally, this seems to have shifted… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Australia lets kiwi detainees literally rot
    What are our "closest friends" Australia doing to kiwis awaiting deportation? Letting them literally rot away in prison due to substandard medical care:A New Zealander held at an Australian immigration detention centre will find out today if his leg has… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago

  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    21 mins ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    41 mins ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    4 hours ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    21 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    23 hours ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    23 hours ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 day ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    3 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    5 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    7 days ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    7 days ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Mega media merger is bad news
    Some people call newspapers “tomorrow’s fish and chips” but this week’s news around a mega media merger is not an issue we should discard. Media giants Fairfax and APN News & Media announced they were in discussions to merge their… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 weeks ago

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