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Tales from the underbelly of John Key’s NZ

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, June 25th, 2014 - 114 comments
Categories: democratic participation, election 2014, greens, labour, mana-party, poverty - Tags:

How has it come this?  6 years under John Key’s watch, and the underbelly of the “rockstar economy” still remains in the shadows: too far from the front and centre of media and the government’s attention.  Too many stories of homelessness are still surfacing.

homeless

From the content presented in an article from a local east Auckland newspaper this morning, it looks like the latest stories, are only the tip on the iceberg: “Auckland’s hidden homeless” by Lauren Priestley.

They’re everywhere.

People are sleeping in cars, garages or “couch surfing” at family and friends’ houses all over Auckland because they have nowhere else to go.

And the number of hidden homeless people is rising, housing providers say.

One young mother who spoke to the East & Bays Courier is living in emergency housing provided by Island Child Charitable Trust in Pt England with her two-month-old daughter.

[...]

Her landlord decided to sell her flat only a day after she moved in and the woman moved from couch to couch for about four months.

The 28-year-old has no family to support her and turned to Island Child six months ago when she ran out of options.

This is just one of many: one who decided to tell her tale.  But the numbers of homeless, hidden from the view of most of middle income New Zealanders, is continuing to grow as reported by several agencies that deal with the homeless. Island Child managing director Danielle Bergin says that she,

has helped people who’ve been sleeping in cars at Pt England Reserve and families who’ve been living in garages.

[...]

An Auckland Council report this year shows about 15,000 people in Auckland are “severely housing deprived”.

Lifewise service manager Corie Haddock says the majority of those are unseen.

The number of people coming to the organisation has increased by about 80 per cent in the past year alone, he says.

A growing trend is people sleeping in cars in parking lots with groups of 20 to 30 vehicles at a time, he says.

A spokesperson for Auckland Action Against Poverty says many homeless people are extremely “vulnerable”.  For instance, some people with serious illnesses are losing benefits because of welfare reforms.

 

There are similar stories of homelessness in Christchurch.  This Press article tries to put a positive spin on it, focusing on something positive being done for the homeless.  But within the article, is this:

Mary wakes up every hour to check on her surroundings, and sleeps with her shoes on so she can “get up and go”, should anything untoward happen.

The faces of the homeless in the city were now much younger, with runaways and others unable to afford rents, she said.

And homelessness and attempts to hide it, is not just a problem in Auckland and Christchurch.  This recent story from Hamilton shows how attempts are made to maintain a low visibility of those with nowhere safe and secure to live:

Hamilton City Council has declined the Hamilton Homeless group’s application to serve food in Garden Place.

[...]

However, the council declined this to protect the public from any nuisance, protect and maintain public health and safety, and minimise the potential for offensive behaviour in public places.

What exactly is this “offensive behaviour” that the public need to be protected against?  Surely the most offensive behaviour comes from those in power who have allowed homelessness to continuing growing, while they crow about how well New Zealand’s economy is doing?!

Vote for all the people this election!

yes-we-can-s7n0lc

I suspect this came from some rightie against Obama, but I like the meme, and it can be applied to the NZ context, and a vote for the left.

Labour’s policies for tackling the housing crisis.

Green Party housing policy summary.

Mana Party Housing Policy (scroll down to find it).

Nothing as yet from the Internet Party.

NZ First housing policy.

Good to see an upcoming event to highlight the housing crisis, supported by “influential Aucklanders”.

On the 3rd of July 2014, influential Aucklanders will take a public stand against homelessness at the annual Lifewise Big Sleepout. Stripped of their creature comforts, exposed to the elements and given first hand insight into what it means to ‘sleep rough’, they will have little more than a sleeping bag, pillow and a sheet of cardboard. It’s a no-holds barred approach to exposing what is often an invisible issue.

I will vote for an increase in the state housing supply, and measures that will stop rentiers from profiteering from the misery of others.

Vote for a fair, just, inclusive and democratic New Zealand!

114 comments on “Tales from the underbelly of John Key’s NZ”

  1. Tracey 1

    Karol

    Remember when the prime minister suggested that the salvation army needed to get out and see what he sees? Well, the media see what he sees and it is THEY who need to get out and see what the sallies see, cos john key doesnt give a shit.

  2. Ad 2

    Great writing Karol.

    A good political party would build on this kind of messaging.

  3. ianmac 3

    Quite rightly it makes me uncomfortable to see the plight of others as you describe Karol. I live in a warm dry house.
    Trying to think what the Right and the well heeled will say of those dispossessed .

    • vto 3.1

      They don’t say anything about it ianmac, they think it is some sort of natural order and, you know, those people deserve nothing more….

      they push it out of their minds

      national party supporters should be ashamed of themselves

  4. infused 4

    So you pick an image from America.

    Good one.

    • weka 4.1

      It’s not an image from America, it’s a meme from the internet. Fuck off infused until you can make some comment that is even half way relevant to the suffering of real people.

      • infused 4.1.1

        Look below you dimwit.

        You also might want to lookup the original source of where the image came from.

        [karol: take any more discussion of the use of overseas images in this post to open mike. It's a diversion from the very important issue of homelessness in NZ]

        • karol 4.1.1.1

          You ignore all the other images in the post, and pick on one that’s probably from the US. Many posts on blogs use images from the US. We choose from ones that are available – the one of the homeless woman is from the TS image gallery – I did not know which country it is from.

          You are diverting from the content of the post.

          Stay on topic, or such comments will be moved to open mike.

          PS: What Once Was Tim said below. On sensitive issues it’s often best to use overseas images.

  5. King Kong 5

    There is no excuse to live on the streets in NZ. Most of these people have mental problems and it is a terrible shame that they are in this position but it is of their own making.

    Meanwhile, in the main body of John Key’s NZ, I am off to Europe tomorrow for 5 weeks, upgraded our second car earlier in the year and also refitted our bathrooms. Our children go to a great public primary school and are doing well.

    Thanks John Key.

    • fender 5.1

      “Most of these people have mental problems and it is a terrible shame that they are in this position but it is of their own making.”

      :roll:

      STAY in Europe you wanker.

      • karol 5.1.1

        It’s a bit of a QED to see how righties immediately try to divert form the main issue – lack of sufficient affordable housing and the suffering it is causing – while going into full denial mode: “I’m alright, Jack”.

        • infused 5.1.1.1

          It’s not an instant fix.

          Work is being done, but you’re not going to see any real change for 10 years imo.

          People need to get out of Auckland.

          • karol 5.1.1.1.1

            And Hamilton…. and Christchurch….?

            • infused 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Nowhere near as bad as Auckland.

              Christchurch is a different story.

              No idea about Hamilton. Didn’t know there was an issue.

              • karol

                Getting out of Auckland, or Christchurch, or Hamilton, is not an option for many. First, there has to be somewhere to go, and for many there needs to be jobs where they move to. Second, many people have various ties in the place where they are living.

                People will “get out of Auckland, when there is some significant revitalisation of the regions. Key’s government has been too focused on centralisation and making Auckland a centre of commerce.

                Revitalisation of the regions will not happen over night. Meanwhile, people need somewhere safe and secure to live.

                When there is a significant rise in people being homeless, it is not caused by the individuals and their choices. It points to a wider issue of infrastructure and governance.

              • Once was Tim

                I’d post you photos giving real examples of homeless in Wellington – sleeping under motorway bridges, in bus and railway station shelters, parked up in Alexander Road and parts of Brooklyn in cars BUT for the fact they deserve some dignity. I wouldn’t invade their privacy just to satisfy your feeble attempt at point scoring. Oh … I missed around Te Papa – just some of the places I’ve noticed whilst walking.

              • BM

                There isn’t.

                Like KK said above,the vast majority of homeless live on the street because they’re either alkies, druggies, have mental issues or just enjoy the “street life”.

                I remember a while ago talking to a few people who have lived on the street, most had a place to go to but chose the street because they like the “lifestyle” and it freed up more coin for booze and drugs.

                • bad12

                  So,in BM’s opinion those afflicted with various diseases of the mind are better housed on the street, strongly suggestive that it suffers something similar…

                  • BM

                    No I think people afflicted with various diseases of the mind should be housed by the state in a place that they feel safe.

                • Tracey

                  links please

                • Tracey

                  and kk can be relied upon for facts cos he gets them from john key

                • Once was Tim

                  I actually stop and talk to them and ask them their situation @BM. Let me assure you your feeble attempts at stereotyping don’t fit with the reality. In one case I JUST spoke to, fines for no warrant of fitness or registration was the reason. I.e. $90 per week deducted from the most minimal WINZ allowance possible. THAT is the exception.
                  There are agencies who have a true picture of their reality – WINZ is not one of them.
                  It’s easier for the likes of yourself to stereotype and simply pretend there is no real problem – it doesn’t challenge your comfort zone or conscience

              • Poission

                Christchurch is a different story.

                Indeed.

                http://www.iht.com/2014/06/06/living-like-kings/

                • karol

                  Yes, in researching this post, I noticed that there are a lot of articles focused on homelessness in Christchurch that talk up the positives as good news stories – as indicated re-the article on Christchurch that I referred to in the post, the harsh and devastating realities are somewhat buried within the articles.

                • Once was Tim

                  Don’t get me started on Chch!
                  I wonder how the likes of BM would cope – I suspect he/she’d have resorted to the most convenient form of escapism by now if he/she had to cope with that bugger’s muddle – headed up by his mate Tzar Gerry.
                  Snot Rock Soince tho’ eh @ BM and most other Ger Brownstuff/Stevie Joiiieee/Obama John apologists. Btw = done any ‘cashy’ stuff lately?

                  (I’m just one of those bleeding heart liberals though eh? …. spare me no time – it’s easier for you that way)

              • Tracey

                “didnt know rthere was an issue” in Hamilton.

                In otherwords you didnt read karol’s post. Very quick to comment though. Funny that.

              • NickS

                Actually Christchurch is far simpler, we have the capacity here to build trailerable 3 bedroom houses that can be built with semi-skilled labour and outfitted quickly and delivered to suitable sites with minimal ground required due to these buildings using surface piles.

                Build time – 2 months for the house, 1 week approx for services and minimal land work to be done + house sited

                Some sites can take 2+, most can take 1, with plenty of non redzoned sites available.

                Combine this with CERA’s powers and in 6 months you could have more than enough housing. They already did it with the linwood park village, plus the designs are easily modified and can be varied, as was done as SIT’s CHCH campus with the project houses.

                Given the human and economic costs of homelessness then, it’s a massive no brainer to do the above and fix the housing problem.

                With other centres – it’s case of building more social housing stock, with a mix of property sizes and densities to cater for the population and create nice places to live, mainly by removing current state housing stock and increasing the housing density in state housing areas. Along with acquiring land on the fringes with good public transport access and other stuff and building mixed low cost state/private housing.

                This isn’t that difficult to do and any empirical cost/benefit analysis run that bothers to include social/economic costs in it would point to it being a very good idea. the problem is the lack of political will and the wilful way the National government continues to ignore the costs of poverty etc.

          • Rosie 5.1.1.1.2

            “People need to get out of Auckland.”

            Perhaps you didn’t read karol’s article about homelessness and insecure accommodation being nationwide. It’s not just an Auckland problem.

            I also don’t how people can think it’s ok, or brush the problem aside because they are doing ok. It demonstrates they exist apart from society in their bubble of ignorance.

            Homelessness is the visible pain that represents 6 years of the Key Government. There is absolutely nothing more upsetting that seeing young men, in their early twenties wrapped in a blanket, with a sign “please can I have some money for food” sitting on the footpath on Lambton Quay. And to see so many of them. This honestly fucking breaks my heart to see. I saw a young guy with that sign that the other day. He looked at me and I had nothing to give him, I only had my bus fare home. I felt a surge of anger and sorrow that he was in this situation and that the people that run our country just couldn’t give a flying fuck about his circumstances. (Sorry for the swears, must be channelling QOT)

            At twenty odd, young men like this should be at uni or at work and going home at night to their flat and doing normal things that young guys do. This should be a promising time in a persons life, when they are getting out in the world and developing a sense of themselves.

            There are women too but I see less of them. I’m guessing some of them are able to stay at the new women’s shelter which is available day and night, or like the example in the post, are moving from couch to couch. That we needed a womens shelter says so much about the society that our govt promotes, a divided and inequitable one.

        • john 5.1.1.2

          Housing affordability skyrocketed 05-08.

          From interest.co.nz
          “It now (April 2014) takes 62.0% of one median income to pay the mortgage on a median priced house purchased in April…. The affordability index reached its highest point of 83.4% in March 2008.”

          Policies like capital gains tax create problems that exacerbate the housing problem, because –
          1/ Landlords will have to increase rents to get the same return.
          2/ It is a huge disincentive to sell, lowering the number of houses available on market.
          3/ It creates “mansion syndrome” as happened in Australia, where people modify and add to their existing houses rather than sell and upgrade, which increases prices.
          4/ It has failed totally to dampen house prices in Australia (and it has also failed to generate much tax).

          However Labour’s house building policy deserves more attention. The problem is I’ve heard little mention of it.

          Something alone those lines, along with Nationals policy to make it easier and cheaper to build houses, are the sort of policies that are needed to address the problem.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1.1.2.1

            If you’re referring to Oravida’s attempt to vandalise the RMA, it is designed to attract political donations from property developers and will do precisely nothing for affordable housing.

            • john 5.1.1.2.1.1

              So you think making housing affordability better, is really all about some benefit for Oravida.

              Obviously you don’t realise how pathetically weak that argument sounds.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Oravida, National, what’s the difference?

                • john

                  So an exporter of top quality New Zealand beef, lamb, fruit, vegetables, dairy, fish and seafood to China, has got what to do with building houses?

                  Your desperation is palpable.

          • framu 5.1.1.2.2

            while those are all good points you do know that housing affordability has very little impact on helping the homeless dont you?

        • fender 5.1.1.3

          Yes it disgusts me that heartless fools can read a post such as the one you have written here then blame people with mental health and other problems for their predicament. To then boast about how “I’m alright, Jack” as if it is of any relevance really is a poor reflection on their selfish, narcissistic, and inhumane personality.

          Great post Karol, as per usual.

      • Rosie 5.1.2

        +1 fender

        • Rosie 5.1.2.1

          That +1 was actually to your suggestion to King Kong “STAY in Europe you wanker” but it is a fortuitous double up +1 response to “Great post Karol, as per usual”.

          Nice one.

          • fender 5.1.2.1.1

            You are a sweet flower Rosie, the empathy expressed in your 5.1.1.1.2 is heart warming.

            • Rosie 5.1.2.1.1.1

              Thanks fender. I wasn’t feeling particularly floral that day I saw that guy, felt more like a thunder cloud full of rain. There are lots of people, increasing numbers of them that I have seen living on our streets in Wellington, and I wonder about them and their health when I see them.

              There was just something about the youth of this person, their polite well written cardboard sign and the visual exchange between us that me made feel at first useless but then so sad and angry.

      • travellerev 5.1.3

        So what you are saying is: They brought it on themselves?

        How callous and narcissistic and lacking in empathy.

        Ever heard of the expression: There but for the grace of God go I?

        It is my sincere hope that one day you remember that saying and think why didn’t I for a moment even consider that one day I might find myself in their position.

        From my own experience I know how close I have come and how only help from family for me and my husband prevented us from ending up on the streets. Because of ourselves and making bad choices? Nope. Just shit in life that happens and damages you to the point of having no fight left.

        I am sure that most homeless suffer from Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or other sad mental injuries due to events in their lives. I am sure that some of them due to that damage sadly feel safer living on the street than with family or in homes even. I am sure some people made bad choices but all of this can happen to all of us.

        You are a disgrace for even suggesting that these people don’t deserve compassion, love, food and some warmth once in a while.

    • Skinny 5.2

      Well good for you safe travels obviously your in a position to up your tax obligations by paying more tax after the Sept 20 election. It will be important for the Left and therefore the Country to expect the raising of high income earners tax to happen swiftly. This along with the introduction of a capital gains tax needs to be done under urgency.

      Just think the likes of yourself will be able to sleep better at night knowing your no longer leeching off the rest of Kiwi society.

      • King Kong 5.2.1

        Leeching? People like me are the ones who pick up all the bills in this place.

        • karol 5.2.1.1

          “People like me are the ones who pick up all the bills profits in this place”

          FIFY

      • infused 5.2.2

        And that is the left in a nutshell. Good work Skinny.

        • You_Fool 5.2.2.1

          Yes, they care about other people and are not all self-absorbed narcissistic morons… The right on the other hand….

        • Skinny 5.2.2.2

          Hey wingnut it called a social conscience! I am on a tidy income and pay my share and donate to a decent charity 5 % of my income, so fuck off with your admonishment!

    • Derek 5.3

      So if they are schizophrenic or bipolar or whatever it is of their own making? Fuck you. Troll.

    • Tracey 5.4

      that is the top 5% covered

    • freedom 5.5

      Dear King Kong

      “Most of these people have mental problems and it is a terrible shame that they are in this position but it is of their own making.”

      Maybe you should consider writing a quick retraction for your ignorant abusive and insulting comment that is not only one of the most vile things you have ever written on these boards but whose concept is mind buggeringly wrong. I live with mental health issues and am not far off being homeless and it is only the good nature of my landlord and the generosity of good friends that I mange to survive month to month. A job would certainly help but my not insignificant skill set seems to be no longer required in this world and the more menial jobs I go for are staffed by teens on 89 day turnstile contracts.

      I live with PTSD and chronic depression. I do not collect a sickness benefit by the way, but after my redundancy last year and seven months of somehow getting through week to week, I had to sign on for assistance. I am registered as a normal everyday jobseeker because the policies of this government would have meant even more pressure would be put upon me by having numerous repetitive criteria lumped upon me that would have exasperated the already difficult day to day thing called life. Not to mention the enormous personal financial costs these criteria dump on the ill.

      My depression is a life long condition that was not diagnosed when I was a child so unfortunately was not treated and by the time life got to a point where it was diagnosed, in my early thirties, the damage had been done and behaviour was learned, despite issues with alcohol (now gone) I did my best to cope. I deal with it. I did not come from a wealthy family and regardless, back then in kiwiland, people like you were even more common and mental health was looked on as if the person had the plague.

      The PTSD however is a whole other story and occurred after an illiterate dangerous violent recidivist drink driver who the state repeatedly failed to imprison because his info was too useful decided one night that I was useful in his plan to kill a woman and her children.

      I was working at a school teaching art to primary kids
      and heading towards being a qualified teacher at the time.

      He assaulted me late one night in my studio, when he turned up drunk and uninvited. He forced me to drive twenty km whilst holding a knife to my throat. After I had considered driving off the rural road a number of times to stop the potential homicides, we arrived at his stated destination. I then had to witness him get attacked with a machete because it transpired that the father was home, and this was not in this guy’s plan. I then had to take my kidnapper, who was needless to say no longer in a good state, off this guys property before he did the same to me. I had no choice but to rescue my kidnapper or be hacked up with a machete.

      What happened after all that involves more bs than you could imagine but let’s just say meeting the prosecution lawyer only minutes before the first of two trials began (both hung and the judge stated as no one died the costs of a third trial would be excessive) and being refused anything resembling adequate trauma treatment by every agency that exists was only surpassed when my attacker got off scot free only to kill someone else a year later.

      So please King Kong, you obsequious pile of faeces,
      tell me how my mental health problems are my fault?

    • framu 5.6

      “Most of these people have mental problems and it is a terrible shame that they are in this position but it is of their own making.”

      excuse me?! – its their own fault they have mental health issues that have lead to them being homeless? – is that what your saying?

      • King Kong 5.6.1

        Of course not. I am saying that it is the mental health issues that make these people shun the assistance that is available.

        I am including junkies and piss heads as those with mental health issues.

        • Tracey 5.6.1.1

          as opposed to the junkies and pissheads on your plane. Such a better class of degenerates

        • framu 5.6.1.2

          ” the mental health issues that make these people shun the assistance that is available.”

          so their mental health issues lead them to shun assistance aye? – Never mind that your so wrong its not funny but damn offensive – you actually ARE blaming this on their mental illness!

          If ever a godwin made sense its here

          • King Kong 5.6.1.2.1

            Why? Because it doesn’t fit with the lefty “poor pimping” rhetoric that you have swallowed hook, line and sinker?

            So much languishing in misery. Cheer up things are on the bounce.

            • framu 5.6.1.2.1.1

              if you cant see it theres no point really

              you just keep showing your disgusting attitude to the mentally ill champ

          • King Kong 5.6.1.2.2

            Of course I am blaming it on their mental illness. Just like I would blame the mental illness when someone starts shouting incoherent profanities in the middle of the street.

            • NickS 5.6.1.2.2.1

              :roll:

              Because low wages, lack of fulltime work and cheap rents so totes have nothing to do with it. Nope, them homeless must surely be crazy.

              Instead of all the current evidence pointing towards them not being.

              Oh and frankly, shut the fuck up on mental health issues, you’ve shown here you have absolutely no understanding of what it’s like to live with mental health issues, nor any clue on on the fun with treating and managing long term mental illness.

            • framu 5.6.1.2.2.2

              you, you disgusting little creep are doing the following

              you are blaming the fact they are homeless on the fact they are mentally ill

              didnt realise people chose to be mentally ill – fuck off and come back when youve learnt some basic humanity and logic

        • Draco T Bastard 5.6.1.3

          I am saying that it is the mental health issues that make these people shun the assistance that is available.

          What assistance?

          From what I can make out, NZ’s mental health services aren’t even close to being adequate.

    • NickS 5.7

      Most of these people have mental problems and it is a terrible shame that they are in this position but it is of their own making.

      Fuck you.

      Dealing with mental health is not fucking simple, it’s not straight forward, often we who live with mental health issues have to navigate multiple pitfalls that wont be seen until they’re run into and all to often end up paying a high price. For fuck’s sake, we often have to fight ourselves just to stay semi-functional, sometimes even with medication and therapy.

      Case in point – I didn’t expect to become severely depressed this year, instead I’m having to deal with near constant suicidal ideation, low mood, crap motivation and high-ish levels of fatigue that are fucking everything up. And unlike every other time I have no firm idea what the hell is causing it and so it’s much more difficult to deal with.

      If I were in a similar situation to the people in the articles I would probably have to commit myself to avoid killing myself due to the shear stress of it.

      Also – the current surge in homelessness isn’t from the mentally ill you contemptible idiot, for most of them it’s a case of not enough work and rents that are too damn high combined with the failure of successive governments to provide adequate social housing. Which you would have picked up if you’d bothered reading the fucking links.

      • BM 5.7.1

        Have you looked into Adrenal fatigue?

        • NickS 5.7.1.1

          It’s not that, as in 2012 the fatigue disappeared once I was put on nortriptyline. Went from just being able to do a 8k bike ride and struggling to do an easy walk up the Pot Hills to being much more capable (20k+ round trips + short swims in waimak). Did a 40K tramp in March with no issues either and could have kept up with mid-pack but was on tail end duty keeping an eye on the lone straggler.

          Now? Can’t do a 5k bike ride without feeling crap and faint afterwords, no matter how much caffeine, simple/complex sugars I’ve had before hand.

      • Tracey 5.7.2

        Plus one to your last sentence.

        Keep up the struggle

        • NickS 5.7.2.1

          Cheers :D

          I’ve got an appointment with mental health services in July so just need to keep myself sane till then.

          • freedom 5.7.2.1.1

            keep comedy in your life, Nick, lots and lots of comedy,
            and let friends know the truth when the black dog is biting

            • NickS 5.7.2.1.1.1

              Well I do have every single discworld novel on my kobo and all of Warren Ellis’s Transmetropolitan sitting on one of my hard drives :twisted:

      • NickS 5.7.3

        And of course KK is ignoring this post, because how dare one of those mentally ill people show up and call him out on his bullshit…

        • freedom 5.7.3.1

          I’m not expecting the coward to respond to mine either :cool:

          • NickS 5.7.3.1.1

            He got banhammered: http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-25062014/#comment-838409

            Hehehehehe. Gone till august.

            • weka 5.7.3.1.1.1

              Gone til Sept! And given it was a 3 month ban, and today is the 25th…. ;-)

          • Rosie 5.7.3.1.2

            To NickS and freedom, not surprising the ignorant coward known as King Kong didn’t repsond to either of you. It would be just too much shocking “real” for him. His radar only swivels towards a source of comfort seeking pleasure. You have shown to him the tenuous and frightening side of life, and both spoken from your experiences .Kia Ora

            If he stepped into the shoes of some one experiencing suicidal ideation, depression and fatigue day in day out and the kind of grief that comes from a sense of a loss of self, then he’s most likely piss his pants in five seconds.

            You, comrades not only show incredible strength and resilience you show humour, intelligence and sharp insight. and I’m sure I can speak for other standardista’s, I really appreciate reading your thoughtful, knowledgeable and wise contributions.

    • Vicky32 5.8

      That’s nice for you, but what makes you think that your situation is representative?
      Vicky

    • Mike the Savage One 5.9

      So they homeless with “mental problems” are simply born “inferior”, I suppose?

      Sadly this view by a “named kind of monkey” – believing to be a human – is not so isolated these days, and society is divided along many lines, the result of decades of social dismantling, asset sales, privatisation, undermining of labour laws, and pressuring all individuals to rather see each other as competitors, even as likely “burdens”, and as not to be trusted, unless being of the same “trusted”, ideologically loyal right-leaning background.

      The flown in prodigal son type bankster and his mates have a lot to answer for, to produce mindsets like that of this commenter. But the material “perks” and gains of such persons (as KK) seem to give them a sense of justification, that they belong to the “worthy” lot, who can conveniently detach themselves from any responsibility, as the “untouchable” poor are by “natural order” meant to be where they are (i.e. can only blame themselves for their fate).

      Society has been befallen by propaganda on a large scale, and the affected do not see the evil they are caught up in.

  6. Russell Belding 6

    First time here. Thought I would find some intelligent comment from a left leaning perspective. I found some. Also found KAROL to whinge excessively because state agencies have not paid all persons a living wage to lift them out of poverty. Repeating stories about persons in poverty does little to change their circumstances. There are problems. “Diagnose before operating” is preferable to whinging away for the left.

  7. GeeStream 7

    Are you seriously suggesting that the homeless number are a direct result of the John Key Govt ? All of sudden after Helen conceded defeat, a bunch of people decided, “bugger trying to look after myself I’, going to live on the streets”? Really ?

    • Tracey 7.1

      are you seriously saying that if a party from the left didnt solve a problem then

      A. Parties from the right are excused and
      B. Different parties from the left cant work to change stuff

      The mindset of some who post here is frightening

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.2

      GeeStream is determined to preserve the reputation of right wingers as delusional, amoral, callous and profoundly ignorant.

      Also seems unable to distinguish between Fairfax Media and Karol.

    • framu 7.3

      does the ideology of john key and the nats exist in a vacum devoid of history?

      its the continum of the anti social ideas that key prescribes to, (and the labour party to certain extents) not the existance of the key govt all by itself

      what general political ideology have we been following the last 30 years? – especially in regards to social policy and economics

  8. ianmac 8

    Thinking onwards I am trying to think precisely what cause people to vote for this or that Party. I am sympathetic to so many issues around poverty, welfare, health, justice, environment, income, jobs and so on. But just what would cause me or my neighbour to vote accordingly.
    I suspect that for most people it would be that which directly affects me and mine rather than all the issues above.
    Which leads me to think that those big issues like for instance global warming, or poverty will not garner votes. Sad but a job, money, my house would be more relevant for voting. Wouldn’t it? And then away from an election address those big issues.

    • karol 8.1

      Is it inevitable that people think first about and vote for “what’s in it for me?”

      Or is it because that’s the way it’s been framed by politicians and the media for way too long?

      What about people voting for the kind of society they want to live in?

      • Russell Belding 8.1.1

        I too would like to live in a just and caring nation. As you would “karol”. How can such a goal be achieved? We need more “people action” than relying on politicians and state agencies. “What’s in it for us?” is good to think about. “What can we all do?” is good to think about.

        • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1

          small detail – no need to put ” ” marks around peoples pseudonyms as we all know that they are pseudonyms.

          Otherwise I agree with your points entirely – until mass movements re-organise and put pressure on politicians and the state machinery to do the right things, we’re going to keep being disappointed on the policies churned out for us.

      • ianmac 8.1.2

        I totally agree that we should be voting for the kind of society that we want and that which we want for our kids and our grand-kids. We should but the harsh reality is I fear the “what’s in it for me. Or vote for that funny man with the big grin.
        For example what would the homeless person in your picture vote for? Save the Maui? Mining? Three Strikes? How about those people who are on minimum wages and both parents work and cannot afford a house and can just scrape through on rent and basic food?
        ((I think I am a social democrat but a pragmatic approach to what will influence voters, especially disenchanted voters, matters.)

      • Tracey 8.1.3

        i think alot of people vote on the basis of a better society.

        • ianmac 8.1.3.1

          Yes Tracey. I do you do. We do. But there are many who vote for more immediate concerns. What can we do to resonate with those potential voters. Idealism is not enough.

          • Tracey 8.1.3.1.1

            for some reason politicians have come to believe that showing compassion and caring loses them voters x. Sadder still, the voters prove them right.

            • ianmac 8.1.3.1.1.1

              There are not any issues that bring the passionate population out in their thousands. The Government knows this and banks on no big uniting issue will appear.Think back to the masses who had beliefs about the right/wrongs of apartheid. (Except J Key.) There are no uniting issues that will cause huge numbers to feel compelled to act. Mauis won’t do it. Mr Liu won’t do it. I am afraid that compassion will not make it.
              So what will?

              • karol

                I do think inequality and poverty have been gaining momentum in the public arena. Witness Mapp’s attempt to defuel the debate on Pundit yesterday.

                The MSM are doing their best to keep a lid on it. But there is disquiet in my part of Auckland among many middle income people I talk to.

                Part of the problem as a focus on broad ideals have been undermined by the “neoliberal” revolution. It’s time we stood up and said these are important value – ones we will make a stand for.

                It’s time for an end to neoliberal appeasement.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    Norway about to ban begging

    http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2014-06-20/give-the-beggars-a-break

    What the wealthy and powerful are embarrassed about, and what is a moral stain on their rule, they will try and hide away. Treating the poor on the streets like stray dogs to be moved on.

    • King Kong 9.1

      So this is a problem in state owned, wealthy and very socialist Norway? Maybe you utopian disillusionist’s might take notice of the fact that “bums gonna bum”

      • framu 9.1.1

        Norway, one of the world’s richest nations, is about to ban begging in a move some see as a sign of rising anti-immigrant sentiment. Whatever the motivation, it’s the work of misguided people who want to hide what they can’t understand.

        A recent government-commissioned report says there are between 500 and 1,000 foreign beggars on the streets of Oslo. The city estimates it will spend 5 million kronor ($824,000) this year just cleaning up after them. Locals believe most of them are Roma, a group commonly known as Gypsies who arrived from Romania and other east European countries in search of free food and clothes in the oil-rich country, which was largely unscathed by the global financial crisis and boasts one of the world’s highest incomes per capita. Local charity organizations are relatively generous, but no one will rent housing to the beggars, so they are forced to squat or live rough, which in Norway often means sleeping on the ground in sub-zero temperatures.

        you didnt even read it did you?

        • King Kong 9.1.1.1

          Why would you travel to a country with a reputation for being fucking freezing, with no money and no where to stay.

          Sounds quite Darwinian to me.

        • grumpy 9.1.1.2

          I have travelled to Norway many times and the reaction to unchecked immigration is very severe. Anders Breivik was an extreme example of that.
          For “beggars” read “immigrants”.
          Also, for a feel of the underbelly of Norway, read anything by Jo Nesbo.

  10. freedom 10

    Thank you karol for a well written piece of work that highlights some of the crucial factors facing far too many in new Zealand.

    Only as a nation working together can we overcome the numerous complex issues that divide us.
    The rich just need to take a little less and care a lot more.

    It really is that simple.

    • Weepu's beard 10.1

      Well said but as is evidenced by the now banned King Kong, the far right (and the near right to a certain extent) believe that every person is built the same way and only factors fully within each person’s control lead to where they find themselves in life. People like King Kong and Mike Hosking believe that everyone should be able to achieve what they have and there is no excuse for poverty and if the poor don’t like it well, that’s just Darwinism.

      That sort of thinking does not contribute to a healthy society imo.

      • greywarbler 10.1.1

        Darwinism – As I understand it, it describes how the individual and small group adapt to the environment around them. I think it is not the strong over the weak as a simple example. It could mean that poor people subsist in conditions that wealthier people would die from, making nutritious food out of herbs and potato peelings, and learning how to store heat in stones to keep warm at night and not freeze etc. So if I am right then the attempt of the well-off to indicate that they are a better example of the species and imply that the poor are suffering an inevitable fate and that is natural selection is indefensible.

        • Skinny 10.1.1.1

          Yes Grey Warbler, As things stand this current evolution of mankind is set to fall over just like many other empires have previously. Our generation maybe ok however the same can not be said with certainy for the next.

  11. karol 11

    Question 1 from Cunliffe in Qu Time today:

    Does he accept inequality, including asset inequality, is increasing in New Zealand?

    Will be interesting to see how Cunliffe (and Key) handles this. Housing is the leading element of asset inequality in NZ.

  12. Michael 12

    Labour has no credible plan to address homelessness. It’s fiscal policy rules out the necessary expenditure in order to appease the markets. Homeless people will continue to pay the price of neoliberal dogma.

  13. dimebag russell 13

    like the national mp who closesly resembles the female bloodsucker in DEATH RACE the gnats think the underclass are there pure and simply for them to amuse themselves.

  14. SPC 14

    The proposed changes to MP allowances includes an extra $80 a week for accommodation.

    An increase from 24 to $28,000.

    How does that compare to any increase off the accommodation supplement?

  15. Populuxe1 15

    It would seem that National is oblivious to the fact their dream of a low wage casualised workforce is not what landlords are looking for in tenants. Much of the drama in Christchurch sould also be aleviated if the government came down on the artificial rent bubble created by loss of housing stock, temporary EQC relocations of people who are insured and can afford ridiculous rents, and a mass influx of highly paid foreign workers pricing low income people out. There needs to be a rent cap and a crack down on shonky rent gouging landlords.

    • freedom 15.1

      “National is oblivious to the fact their dream of a low wage casualised workforce is not what landlords are looking for in tenants. ”

      Well said Populuxe1,
      sums up National’s inability to fathom the basic realities of the society they are meant to serve.

  16. Sable 16

    One projection from the UK states that the middle class in that country will effectively cease to exist in the next 30 or so years if the current economic and social trends continue.

    May sound far fetched but given the focus of wealth in the hands of a small group of people I suspect it might be closer to the truth than anyone knows. Homeless is spreading here in the UK and USA (and elsewhere).

    Its happening not only to the uneducated but to capable people who find the work is longer there as big business looks to outsource to the cheapest locations whilst at the same time stifling innovation and bottom up business growth though monopolistic practices, aided and abetted by sell out governments.

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