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Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, December 11th, 2012 - 53 comments
Categories: poverty - Tags:

From stuff:

A $2 billion Government overhaul, including more state homes and universal child support, is needed to fight child poverty, a report from the children’s commissioner says.

Russell Wills’ final report into child poverty has thrown the ball back to the Government, recommending 78 changes, including enshrining child welfare in law.

However, the Government has already poured cold water on the report

The proposed changes to help our 270,000 children in poverty include:

Quick, cheap and relatively easy:

A “warrant of fitness” for all rental homes, ensuring they meet minimum standards for health and safety.

Government to work with finance sector to provide zero-interest or cheap loans for struggling families.

An expanded food-in-schools programme for low-decile primary and immediate schools.

Increased focus on keeping young parents in education.

Create community hubs as a one-stop shop for support services.

Longer, harder and more expensive:

Review all child benefits and refocus them on child welfare.

Create a new universal child payment for all children under 5.

Support for older children would be targeted, based on income.

Increase the number of social houses by at least 2000 a year for the next eight years.

Extend free doctor visits over time to cover all children under 18.

It’s all do-able, and $2 billion isn’t much more than the Government spent on South Canterbury Finance without a second thought.  It pales next to the Government’s motorways program.  And indeed one can view it as not a cost but an investment: that poverty costs us $6-8 billion/year.

But despite repeated recommendations by experts National still think such ideas as a universal child payment is silly and unaffordable (and despite its being common and very affordable in most western countries).

Food in Schools, decent rental standards are on the opposition agenda as no-brainers – but they are off National’s agenda despite being the ‘easy’ options.  Instead they cut Adult Education (with its incredible return on investment) which would help young parents.

And don’t get me started on their wrong direction for state/social housing…

Child Poverty is an indictment on our status as a first world nation.  The Government should step up.

53 comments on “This”

  1. One Tāne Viper 1

    Step up? To a guillotine perhaps.

  2. fisiani 2

    A universal child support package means giving welfare to millionaires. Anyone care to explain why that is an essential part of the deal? It simply shows shonky thinking.

    • One Tāne Viper 2.1

      Millionaires don’t have a problem receiving welfare in the form of tax avoidance, police and fire services, roads, an educated workforce, the rule of law etc. etc.

      What’s so different about this proposal? Isn’t it divisive enough for you?

      • Shane Gallagher 2.1.1

        The pension is universal and NZ has one of the lowest rates of elderly poverty in the world.

    • Bunji 2.2

      Universal payments are much more effective than targeted ones.

      Targeted ones generally have to be applied for. And the very poor are too busy or uneducated to know what they are allowed to apply for. The middle-classes hoover up the benefits (see where the housing insulation money has gone – very very little done by private landlords for the poor, the middle class now have warm, dry homes).

      As ever the wealthy who don’t need any help when children are small are a very small part of society. The savings made through not paying them these benefits are miniscule. If those same wealthy pay 0.0something% more tax they’ll cover their own benefits, and the system’s more efficient. Easy, right?

      Also stops the wealthy going: “I pay all these taxes, but get nothing back, what’s in it for me?” if they’re included in all benefits. As they do indeed pay those taxes it seems rude to discriminate against them…

      There’s a new idea of targeted universal payments that Labour are looking at that makes a lot of sense – everybody gets something, but those who need it most get more – that may be able to get the best of both worlds.

    • geoff 2.3

      I find it so bizarre that we have a person called ‘the prime minister’, and this person, more than anyone else in the country, has the ability to help others. The position should really be retitled, ‘job for the least selfish person we could find’. And yet here we find ourselves, with this man, John Key, who time and time again has shown us that he really only cares about himself.

      It’s ridiculous. It’s sort of like appointing Charles Manson to run a daycare centre.

      • bad12 2.3.1

        Unfortunately the attitude to the impoverishment of the children of the poor exhibited by Slippery, the Prime Minister and various members of His Cabinet is also alive and un-well in quite a large tranche of the voting public…

    • jamie prentice 2.4

      No its for Richmond fafaigis

  3. Populuxe1 3

    I think the picture is a bit shameless – impoverished little Maori children in raggedy clothes. Racist stereotypes much? Assumptions about their actual standard of living at home? Guardian’s permission to use image? Jus’ sayin’

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 3.1

      A quick Google Image search shows that the image depicts a pair of poor children in the Philippines, a pair of poor children in Bangladesh, a pair of poor children in “overseas”, and/or a pair of poor children in Peru.

      • infused 3.1.1

        So why link it to NZ?

        • Tom Gould 3.1.1.1

          I just assumed it was taken in that street in South Auckland that Key visited in the 2008 campaign for his ‘we care about poor kids’ photo op. Anyone remember which street that was?

        • Ben Clark 3.1.1.2

          Image changed. Previous image was fom The Standard archives under child poverty, and wanted to quickly get something up. Now have something showing child poverty in New Zealand. The image is hardly the point.

          And indeed the image is not the point. This is blatantly a derail when the issue here is the children sick and dying in Aotearoa who needn’t be.

          Any further comments along this line will be moved to OpenMike.

          • Populuxe1 3.1.1.2.1

            Derail? Get over yourself. The image is obviously a very important part of attracting people to reading the article, hence “illustration”. The tendency to illustrate articles on child poverty with brown children in rags is a racist cliche – especially given all the bitching and moaning that goes on here when the MSM does the same sort of thing. And as you’re talking about child poverty in New Zealand, it might be nice if the illustration bore an actual resemblance to child poverty in New Zealand rather than a third world country.

      • alwyn 3.1.2

        Thank you SHG.
        They certainly didn’t look as if they were taken in New Zealand. I can see I will have to find out how Google image works.

  4. AwakeWhileSleeping 4

    I object to the loans. Work and Income already provide this, but not to the extent to which it is needed. Also they make it difficult to apply thought staff attitudes and policies of shaming clients (that includes through the media).

    I already disagree with clients having to pay back what are living costs, such as the cost of washing machines, dryers etc – to my mind the point of welfare is to provide subsistence living which I object to people having to pay back in ANY way other than taxes. Special Needs Grants should be just that, a grant NOT A LOAN!!

    As for WOF for rental properties, this should be in place for everyone regardless of age. If children can be pivotal in bringing this in then that’s great.

    The provision of food in schools should not be limited to decile. This will mean families struggling with those who are wealthy living nearby are disadvantaged, while other families living in state housing for example will be over supported.

    Increasing social housing by 2000 a year isn’t enough. We are gaining far more people than we have housing to cope with so we need this to be at least 4000 a year.

  5. ass viper 5

    So we take more money off “workers” and give it to the “poor” who don’t look after/feed their children now?

    ….and this is going to help????

    • One Tāne Viper 5.1

      Yes, it is.

      • Sweetd 5.1.1

        How about some older fashion ideas. Keep it in you pants, no sex before marriage, maintain a strong family unit (ie don’t piss off and leave the other partner with the kids), only have as many kids as you can afford yourself.

        While not perfect, these seem a better wat to live than the endless cycle of just asking for more and more money to fix the problems that parents should do themselves.

        FFS, a parent can put two slices of bread in a toaster, and spread some jam on it for breakfast at the very least!?!?!? A lot cheaper than giving them a couple of bucks for a coke and pie!!!!

        • vto viped 5.1.1.1

          For f#&@s sake I been looking at this all day and I can’t take it no more…

          “FFS, a parent can put two slices of bread in a toaster, and spread some jam on it for breakfast at the very least!?!?!? A lot cheaper than giving them a couple of bucks for a coke and pie!!!!”

          FFS, most societies poorer than ours can manage to look after their inhabitants to a healthy and fulfilling level, so wny not ours for petes sake?!?!?! A lot more useless than we used to be in the old days!!!

          FFS, a banker can put two digits into the money printing machine and spread some jam for his colleagues for a champagne lunch at the very least!?!?!? A lot easier than having to produce something people use!!!!!

          FFS, a dumb arse moron can stick his head in a toaster, and come up with a better right wing bigotted point than that at the very least !?!? That’s a lot more inane than a coke and a pie!!!

          • Sweetd 5.1.1.1.1

            And yet you come up with no point yourself, you got some ideas or shall we just throw more money at it while blaming the rich?

            • felixviper 5.1.1.1.1.1

              If the problem is that some have too little because others have far more, then “throw more money at it while blaming the rich” is a perfectly sensible response.

        • felixviper 5.1.1.2

          Aw Sweetd, you think people didn’t have sex until they were married.

          So cute.

      • OneTrackViper 5.1.2

        It will just give no-hoper parents (sic) more money to spend at the pub and the casino. I guess that helps somebody?

        There is more than enough welfare available in NZ so that children don’t need to go hungry. A sandwich or two won’t break anybodies bank. Or is this really just the latest excuse for wealth redistribution, where any excuse is a good excuse? What will be the reason next week?

        • One Tāne Viper 5.1.2.1

          Next weeks excuse reasons will be to redress the massive wealth transfer that has occurred in the last thirty years, thereby boosting the economy and reversing the destructive GINI trend.

          “More than enough welfare available” – you just make this shit up as you go along, don’t you. It makes you look callous, a modern Marie Antoinette. Thank Fuck you for helping me understand the sentiments of the guillotine.

          PS: It’s time for your reality check.

    • muzza 5.2

      Perhaps ask why the billions a year in servicing debt on what is an unaudited debt figure, should not be spent on preventing these disgraceful situation in NZ.

      Then there is the billions being gauged in profits, all food out the mouths of the poorest, while the companies doing the gauging seek being propped up by the tax-payer, and actively avoid tax obligations, along with the wealthy who own/operate these same companies at an individual level.

      Of course there is the lies about schools/hospitals/poverty etc being played off against eachother in a *you can’t have it all because we can’t afford if* , repetative line of deceit.

      We can have it all, we just need control of our monetary supply in order to do so

  6. tc 6

    Come now Ben, keeping people poor, malnourished and ill informed are but a few of the essential tools required by the Hollowmen.

    Next you’ll be expecting due process, democracy, honesty and transparency from the NACT. This is the 21st century equivalent of a dickensian regime with some much better PR and spin deflecting matters.

    Then there’s the high farce being perpetrated by the Mallarfia within your own party to add to the distractions. Is it any wonder blowtorch can’t be put to their bellies over such issues.

  7. geoff 7

    My 2c with this universal benefit stuff is that the $ should be removed from the equation.

    Replace it with physics.

    Take electricity for example. Every person should be entitled to so many kWh of electricity per year.
    NZ’s average residential electricity consumption has been incredibly consistent over the years (Pretty graph 1). The graph shows that, for the last 30 years, on average, every household has used around 7500kWh of electricity each year. Unfortunately the cost of that 7500kWh has risen by 4.7 percent a year over and above the rate of inflation! (Pretty graph 2).

    If everyone was entitled to a standard amount of electricity per yer then we wouldn’t be subjected to these harmful price increases.
    For those who want more electricity than the entitlement provides, that’s fine, they can pay the market rate for it. But the universal entitlement should be in a physical unit like kWh which cannot be manipulated.
    You could administrate it as rebate on your power bill, deducting say 2500kWh per person per household per year.

    This is the kind of policy I’d like to see a political party pushing for but unfortunately even the greens seem caught up in the $ system.

    • Wayne 7.1

      “Free” Electricity – who pays for the generation, would it be taxpayers? Thank goodness not even the Greens endorse this proposal (I hope).

      • fender Viper 7.1.1

        Seems a far more constructive idea than your own. But of course the power generation would need to be 100% state owned to prevent the ticket clipping money skimmers from blowing the cost into the stratosphere.

        • karol 7.1.1.1

          Yes, fender.  Electricity should never have been privatised.  It is a necessary party of society’s infrastructure.  And no-one should have to choose between paying the electricity bill, or buying enough food to survive on.

      • geoff 7.1.2

        Hi Wayne. The taxpayers would pay for it and the users (residential and non-residential) who use over and above the entitlement would pay for it.

      • Macro_adder 7.1.3

        Wayne – FYI every person, including those who pay heaps to accountants so that they can avoid paying, are taxpayers (their tax is the cost of the accountant). If every household is given a standard allocation of electricity per year – then this is an example of the benevolent dictator – which surprisingly is an axiomatic assumption of neo-liberal economic theory redistributing wealth. In practice this never occurs – but hey it’s your economic “theory”.

  8. Its not child poverty its poverty .Its not that this governed has no answer It just does not want an answer that would mean more tax for its rich friends. The answer is a fair wage for workers instead of the unlivable minimum and youth rate wage.
    Have dinner in schools and affordable rents for warm decent houses.A return to more State Houses and a State Advanced loan scheme for working people who wish to buy .
    Where is the money coming from ? will be the bleat from the Right well the answer is a fairer tax system and a crack down on tax dodgers including P.Dunne’s legal tax avoidance.
    The reason I dislike the term “child poverty ” is because the Tory Rednecks use that as an excuse to blame the parents.

    • indiana 8.1

      Perhaps a definition for poverty in NZ is a better start. We have so many welfare programs in NZ, there should be no excuse for people claiming poverty. Most people that have traveled the world especially Asia and Africa will have seen real poverty, where governments don’t help you, have no agencies to help you and have no mechanisms to help you.

      • One Tāne Viper 8.1.1

        The real issue is inequality, not absolute poverty. The more unequal a society, the worse the outcomes. It should be noted that although these negative consequences are borne primarily by the weakest members of society (particularly children) they are felt across all social strata.

        The definition you seek is measured by the GINI coefficient, which is already available.

        Be careful that your demand for more definition isn’t interpreted as a stalling tactic, because that would make you look like a revolting low life, or “Tory” as they are sometimes called.

        • jamie prentice 8.1.1.1

          +1 the right want us to be  like Asia, I thought we were above that, then we could have people who have no hope becoming fanatics, oh sorry they can’t see past their nose or are they holding onto something else. The sign of the civilised is looking after your weakest, be team player not arse h…

      • KJT 8.1.2

        So. Are you saying we should be like them?

      • Dr Terry 8.1.3

        indiana. So this makes perfectly alright the situation in this first world country? As ever, comparisons are odious.

        • indiana 8.1.3.1

          My point is, that how in a country that is considered first world and has had successive governments that have maintained mechanisms and programs targeted at ensuring that citizens do not fall into the trap of poverty, we are now raising the issue of child poverty or even adult poverty? Why hasn’t generations of social welfare prevented this and why are we seeking to pour more money into welfare?

          OTV – inequality is certainly the issue, I would argue that people consciously or unconsciously choose whether they want to be equals or unequals.

          These are poems circulating throughout the nation
          everybody’s bad and everybody’s tough
          but how many people are intelligent enough
          to open up their eyes and see through the lies
          discipline themselves, yourself to stay alive?
          not many
          That’s why the universe sent me today on this stage
          with this to to say
          the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer
          and in the final hour many heads will lose power
          what does the rich versus the poor really mean?
          psychologically it means you got to pick your team
          when someone says the rich gets richer
          visualize wealth and put yourselves in the picture
          the rich get richer, cause they work towards rich
          the poor get poorer, cause their minds can’t switch from the ghetto
          let go, it’s not a novelty
          you could love your neighborhood without loving poverty
          follow me, every mother, father, son, daughter
          there’s no reason to fear the New World Order
          we must order the whole new world to pay us
          the New World Order and the old state chaos
          the Big Brother watching over you, is a lie you see
          Hip-Hop could build it’s own secret society
          but first you and I got to unify
          stop the negativity and control our creativity
          the rich is getting richer, so why we ain’t richer?
          could it be we still thinking like niggas?
          educate yourselves, make your world view bigger
          visualize wealth and put yourselves in the picture!

          Artist: KRS-One lyrics
          Title: 2nd Quarter – Free Throws

          • One Tāne Viper 8.1.3.1.1

            “Consciously or unconsciously choose“? – what witlessness is this? (since we’re quoting lyrics – “The trauma to the infant, be mostly not negatable!”)

            Have you any grounds for this assertion, or are you just too lazy to go beyond the worthlessness of individual “opinion” (yes, I include my “opinion”)?

            Are you talking about the “choice” to be born into a low-income household, for example? Perhaps you mean the “choice” to be afflicted by glue ear. Or the “choice” to be unlucky in some other way.

            • indiana 8.1.3.1.1.1

              I’m not asserting anything.

              • One Tāne Viper

                OK, you got me. You argued that “people consciously or unconsciously choose whether they want to be equals or unequals.”

                Your argument is a groundless right wing smear.

  9. vto viped 9

    So in days and centuries past most societies could provide for their members so they lived healthy fruitful lives.

    Yet today, at a point in time when the world is at its most wealthy, there is not enough to go around. Apparently.

    How has this happenned? Where is all that wealth?

    maybe someone bemoaning lazy bludgers and taxing ‘workers’ would like to explain this ……………

    • Johan 9.1

      vtp viped… I don’t agree with your first statement. The reason why we have had revolutions is basically to address the inequality in the world. The majority of people did suffer with hunger and injustice other wise they had no cause to rebel eg french and russian revolution, as well as the communist take over in China.
      At this time we seem be at a similar stage as the elite (billionaires) are able to keep the majority of people fairly content with crumbs while massive provide are made to line their pockets. In fact the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer.
      Society as a whole is becoming less equal.
      Let me play the devil’s advocate role, and say what the Nats’ message would be,
      “why don’t these poor people take personal responsibility for the plight that they are in?”

      • One Tāne Viper 9.1.1

        “I love you. Say it with guillotines.”

      • vto viped 9.1.2

        Yep plenty times past were cast with the same broken mast. But most of the time the entire community could provide quite easily for itself.

        And today there is more wealth than ever, so why are we unable to provide for everyone?

  10. xtasy 10

    What about Housing NZ for a damned start, to consult all their tenants, and to see, whether those able to, or those having friends or relatives able to, to be allowed to IMPROVE their homes themselves, for a fair, reasonable “reward” in money terms, paying them for the work that may be needed?

    It is something that I learned in continental Europe, where you will find very many amazing and well kept homes and flats all over the place, as the systems there allow, or even expect, the tenants to take initiative to paint, decorate and maintain their dwellings.

    This is something NOT happening in NZ, where many private landlords just frown on tenants, want much rent for no efforts, rent out shit-holes and even complain of tenants make improvements. And Housing NZ does not even provide for any tenants doing much themselves anyway.

    Now, how much money could be “saved” by giving willing tenants some paint, wall paper, tools, other resources, or at least the money for that, if they would be prepared to fix up things? this could be a win win scheme, and I cannot believe no government in this country ever thought of this. Of course such efforts will need to be rewarded, but would it not be much cheaper than bringing in many outside contractors, who all will have primarily profit interests they follow?

    NZ and NZers need to wake up for innovative thoughts and a real chance for all to improve things. Give Housing NZ tenants an incentive, if it is within their means, to improve their homes, give them a bit for that, and this may work wonders.

    That could really do something about POVERTY. Labour’s plan to just promote housing for the middle class who have jobs and some cash, that will not address the real hard poverty, I feel. So think about pro-creative solutions for those already there in state housing, also allow unemployed (after being trained and supervised) to perhaps BUILD THEIR OWN HOMES AND FUTURE?!

  11. bad12 11

    The point i am continually making,(along with the Greens Dr Russell Norman), is that we are still talking the economics of State owned rental housing through the lens of what is essentially a failed economic paradigm,

    We,as a nation, DO NOT need to borrow any amounts of billions of dollars to provide housing owned by the State to be used for rental purposes,

    Such borrowing is in fact the economics of some form of primitive Neanderthal,(also known as international banking),

    Government simply need create a mechanism where the Reserve Bank prints 2 billion dollars and loans that to HousingNZ on the basis that at some future date that ‘loan’ will be written off, the write off would for the purposes of the Governments accounts feature as a loss BUT the State owned rental houses built with the monies would feature in those same Government accounts as an asset of the same value as that loss thereby negating the negative in terms of the Governments accounts,

    There is only ONE codicil to such spending of printed money into the economy and that is that the economic activity of building the houses is accomplished in such a manner so as give full regards to the Reserve Banks inflationary targets,

    It is the economics of the stupidly backward that insist that an increase in production must occur befor an expansion in the supply of money and as far as the balance of the price internationally of the New Zealand dollar vis a vis exporters and importers i would expect for every billion dollars of printed money spent into the New Zealand economy the price of that dollar would ease by 1.5 cents, creating from a social initiative a plus in easing the international price of the New Zealand dollar,

    Obviously, such a build would ‘create’ employment in all areas of the economy and such a build, if sensibly targeting as tenants those who would pay 25% of income to the State those working at or just above the minimum wage would firstly take the upward pressure off of the private market in rents and given an ongoing building program in time relieve the upward spiral in the price of a purchased house as rental investment became a less favorable private investment,

    The further PLUS to the Government accounts would come from those who have employment at low wages would be that although paying the same 25% of income as tenants who are benefit dependent the payment by working tenants would by dint of a higher income be higher in dollar terms which would simply mean that the direct subsidy from Government to HousingNZ would lessen as the ‘working poor’ are given access to such tenancies,

    In terms of global economics what we have now in the number of jobless being far in advance of the number of jobs being able to be created does not markedly improve in out-look simply because Asia does it cheaper than we do, and, for every 100,000 dollars gained from from free trade deals we have or intend to sign up to the downside is another job lost to the New Zealand economy,

    Dreams of higher wages for those who daily toil at or just above the minimum wage are therefor just that,dreams, it is time NOW for a future Government to step up with the creative mechanisms to LOWER the cost of living for those who toil daily for the least….

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    So workers at Masterton’s Night ‘n Day store have had their pay docked when criminals drive off without paying. From the flood of complaints coming from around the country, it’s not a practice that is confined only to Masterton, nor is it...
    Occasionally erudite | 21-11
  • Tearing up Westminster
    The central bargain of Westminster democracy is that the monarch stays out of politics, and in exchange they get to stay in the role, both legally and literally. Prince Charles - already famous for his undemocratic interventions in politics -...
    No Right Turn | 21-11
  • Journalism is not terrorism
    What happens if you're a UK journalist and you campaign for press freedom or report on police misconduct? The police database you as a terrorist:A group of journalists has launched a legal action against Scotland Yard after discovering that the...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • A century of changing transport spending
    Via Donal Curtin, I got wind of a fantastic Statistics NZ visualisation of changes to the Consumer Price Index over the last century. The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, is a tool that statistics agencies use to track inflation over...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Boycott thieving employers
    In the past few days, we've learned of a new employer horror: petrol-station workers, often on th eminimum wage, being forced to pay for the crimes of their customers. Its unfair, immoral, and possibly illegal. So what can we do...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Whiteboard Friday. How NZ’s welfare system traps people in poverty
    This Whiteboard Friday looks at how our current benefit system traps people in poverty, which is another reason we need to replace it with an Unconditional Basic Income. This week has been a big week for the Unconditional Basic Income....
    Gareth’s World | 20-11
  • Income mobility
    Recently Treasury has published a paper showing that most people do not stay at the same point on the income scale for an extended period. That is assuredly true, and is also a good thing in as far as it...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Read out, Xi in, as Hansen makes late change to All Blacks team
    All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has sprung a surprise by picking Chinese President Xi Jinping to start in this weekend’s test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium....
    Imperator Fish | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    The chainsaws stopped in native forest on public land in 1999 after a strong campaign by non-governmental organisations such as Forest and Bird and Native Forest Action (NFA), supported by the Green Party. Immediately after the 1999 election, the incoming...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • Persuasion experiment
    Michael LaCour, a PhD student at the excellent UCLA Political Science Department, along with Yale's Don Green, have a fascinating new paper on what causes people to change their mind on gay marriage. Many people know that a doorstep conversation...
    Polity | 20-11
  • $4.8 billion gone
    As readers know, the NZ Super Fund now contributes around $27 billion to our net position as a country, It will help us pay for the wave of baby boom retirements. Sadly, it is now clear that National's decision to...
    Polity | 20-11
  • Secondary teachers vote IES into collective
    21 November 2014 PPTA members have voted to include two teaching roles central to Investing in Educational Success (IES) in their collective agreement.At paid union meetings held throughout the country over the past two weeks 80.3% voted to include the...
    PPTA | 20-11
  • Labour’s Hercules?
    Hero? Saint? Both? Neither? In making Labour an electable proposition by 2017, Andrew Little faces a challenge of Herculean proportions. Then again, Hercules was presented with twelve impossible tasks. Little can succeed by successfully completing a more modest (but equally...
    Bowalley Road | 20-11
  • Roger Sutton and deja vu all over again
    What to say about the Roger Sutton story? Well, Andrea Vance has done some amazing work setting out the basic facts behind the carefully stage-managed whitewashing of Roger Sutton’s pseudo-departure. And stargazer at The Hand Mirror has responded to the...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • MoT acknowledge changing trends and future funding issues
    Last week the Briefings to government ministers (BIM) were published. I’ve already looked at what the Ministry of Transport (MoT) and NZTA have said about transport in Auckland and so in this post I’m going to look at some of the other points...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
    An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming...
    Skeptical Science | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
    . . Continued from: 2013 – Ongoing jobless tally So by the numbers, for this year, January OceanaGold/Macraes Mine: 146 redundancies Fitzroy Yachts: 100 redundancies OceanaGold: 76 redundancies Tenix: 15 redundancies February Goodman Fielder: 125 redundancies Pacific Steel Group: 70-90 redundancies...
    Frankly Speaking | 20-11
  • Stuart’s 100 #56: More Dignity for Daily Users
    56 More Dignity for Daily Users What if there was a moment of civic dignity outside the Auckland District Court? The Auckland District Court on the corner of Albert and Kingston Streets is I think at last count the busiest...
    Transport Blog | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    frogblog | 20-11
  • The greatest tragedy of our time
    This is going to ruffle a few feathers. We are parasites. Yes you read that correctly – humanity is a giant collective parasite sucking the life juices from dear Mother Earth. I’m not a nihilist. I still believe there’s plenty...
    On the Left | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Proving anecdotes are reliable
    Here’s one to go with Let’s rely on anecdotes instead! Something I picked up on Facebook Similar articles  ...
    Open Parachute | 20-11
  • Class warfare in the UK
    Surprise, surprise! An independent study has shown that the UK's conservative government has been driving a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich:A landmark study of the coalition’s tax and welfare policies six months before the general...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • That didn’t take long
    National's new teabreak law isn't even in force and employers are already abusing it:Yesterday a union member, who prefers to remain anonymous for fear of retribution, emailed Hotel Organiser Shanna Reeder. “This morning in the briefing our manager declared that...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • Justice is more important than international relations
    Yunus Rahmatullah is a Pakistani citizen. In 2004 he was disappeared by British forces in Iraq. The British then gave him to the Americans who rendered him to Afghanistan and kept him there without charge or trial for ten years,...
    No Right Turn | 20-11
  • The Sutton debacle
    Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: it’s not a good thing, except when you’re playing Frank Zappa’s 1988 instrumental album Guitar, in which case ‘Sexual Harassment in the Workplace’ is the opening track, and it’s a stonker. However, setting aside the...
    Occasionally erudite | 20-11
  • The dangers of ignoring context
    Here’s a 22 point plan for peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.Entrench Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands.Never let a chance go by to duplicitously conflate Hamas and some in Fatah with the Islamic State/ISIS/ISIL so as to gild the imperiled-Israeli...
    Pundit | 19-11
  • Rapid transit has passed the acid test
    I recently ran across a New Zealand Herald article from 2000 on the region’s plans to start building good rapid transit infrastructure. (Which, as Patrick highlighted in a recent post, is exactly what is holding Auckland back relative to its...
    Transport Blog | 19-11
  • The week in politics vs. Gilmore Girls
    This week in politics: Andrew Little became leader of the Labour Party. Julia Gillard spoke at the University of Auckland about gender and politics. Gerry Brownlee was fined for breaching airport security. Tony Abbott threw down with Vladimir Putin at APEC....
    On the Left | 19-11
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens | 21-11
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens | 20-11
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour | 20-11
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens | 20-11
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour | 20-11
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour | 19-11
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens | 19-11
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of the...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Greens welcome Xi, but human rights need to be on agenda
    The Green Party welcomes the visit to New Zealand of Chinese President Xi Jinping and wishes to congratulate him on his recent announcement regarding China capping emissions for the first time.The United States and China recently unveiled a deal to...
    Greens | 18-11
  • Backing New Zealanders to get ahead
    New Labour Leader Andrew Little says it is an immense privilege to have been chosen to lead the party and to be given the task of ensuring it once again becomes a powerful force that backs New Zealanders in getting...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Andrew Little Elected Leader of Labour Party
    “The Labour Party congratulates Andrew Little, who has been elected as party leader in a robust and highly democratic process,” says Labour Party President Moira Coatsworth. “Andrew’s leadership will have the full support of the whole Labour Party.”...
    Labour | 18-11
  • Report into Brownlee security breach should be released
    The Government and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) should release the report into former Minister of Transport Gerry Brownlee's airport security breach, the Green Party said today."The actions of a Minister of Transport breaching security at an airport are a matter...
    Greens | 17-11
  • Brownlee must ask CAA to release the report
    Gerry Brownlee must ask the Civil Aviation Authority to release the report that finds he broke the law in breaching airport security, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It is inexcusable for any minister, let alone the then-Transport Minister, to...
    Labour | 17-11
  • G20 climate comment increases pressure on NZ
    The G20 decision to include climate change in its communiqué despite Australia's attempt to ignore it, increases pressure on New Zealand to come up with a credible plan to cut emissions, the Green Party said today.The G20 Leaders Communiqué from...
    Greens | 17-11
  • NZ joins G20 climate problem
    Confirmation this morning by John Key that his Government plans to do nothing to turn around NZ's rapidly rising greenhouse emissions means that New Zealand joins Australia as one of the problem children at the G20 meeting in Brisbane, the...
    Greens | 16-11
  • IRD joins Corrections in Phillip Smith failure
    It is incomprehensible that IRD and Corrections were not able to stop Phillip Smith from rorting the tax system out of $50,000 until it was too late, given that he was a notoriously manipulative prisoner stuck in jail, says Labour’s...
    Labour | 13-11
  • The Government has to listen to Olly
    When even hard boiled property investors like Olly Newland  say first home buyers have been shafted by Loan to Value Ratio lending restrictions, surely it is time for the Government to listen, says Labour's housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  "Auckland landlord...
    Labour | 13-11
  • Key used GCSB for political ends prior to 2014 election
    New documents released to the Green Party show that Prime Minister John Key used New Zealand's intelligence services for the National Party's political ends a few days out from the 2014 election, the Green Party said today.Documents released to the...
    Greens | 13-11
  • Government not meeting its climate target
    The Government must front up to the fact that its own advisors are now saying that New Zealand is off target in any transition to a low carbon future, says Labour’s spokesperson on Climate Change Nanaia Mahuta.  “A briefing to...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Briefing reveals Defence facilities ‘increasingly unfit for purpose’
    The Defence Briefing to the Incoming Minister reveals a deteriorating state in Defence facilities that are no longer fit for purpose, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff.  “The briefing is heavily censored but still reveals that Defence camps, bases and...
    Labour | 12-11
  • New projections show New Zealand missing climate target
    Briefings to Incoming Ministers released today reveal the Government's climate policy is failing with projected emission more than double what is needed to meet National's 2050 target, the Green Party saidProjections released by the Ministry for the Environment, as part...
    Greens | 12-11
  • National’s highways far less efficient
    National’s new state highways have a far lower cost-benefit ratio than motorways built under the last Labour Government, making a mockery of the Government’s bluster that its road building will boost the economy, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “New...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Governor points finger at National on supply
    The Reserve Bank Governor has admitted he had to keep loan to value mortgage restrictions in place because the Government’s attempts to increase housing has fallen ‘a long way short’, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The thousands of first...
    Labour | 12-11
  • Did Collins cover up Slater’s OIA requests?
    Disgraced former Cabinet Minister Judith Collins must explain why she appears to have tried to hide Official Information Act requests she fulfilled for Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “New documents obtained by Labour show Judith...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Reserve Bank’s dairy warning must be heard
    The Reserve Bank’s warning that falling dairy prices are creating greater risks for the New Zealand economy must be taken seriously by Bill English and John Key, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “Dairy prices have nearly halved since February...
    Labour | 11-11
  • National’s housing failure keeps LVRs in place
    The Reserve Bank’s decision to leave loan-to-value ratio mortgage restrictions in place is further confirmation of National’s housing policy fiasco, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank would have lifted LVRs if they had seen any increase in...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Let’s see if it is plane sailing Mr Bridges
    Comments by Transport Minister Simon Bridges that Far North residents' anger over cutbacks to regional flights will be allayed by larger planes and cheaper fares out of Kerikeri, are just pure arrogance, says Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis....
    Labour | 11-11
  • Commerce Commission inquiry needed into building supplies monopoly
    The Commerce Commission must stop dragging the chain and urgently investigate the anti-competitive practices in the building industry that are driving up the cost of building materials, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Competition in the building materials market is...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air New Zealand grounds Far North
    The announcement by Air New Zealand to close services from Kaitaia to Auckland will be an absolute disaster for the Far North, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis says.  “Air New Zealand is sending a signal to the...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Pulling West Coast flights a savage blow
    Air New Zealand’s decision to withdraw its Westport service is another kick in the guts for an already struggling community, West Coast-Tasman MP, Damien O’Connor says.   “Having been involved in the West Coast’s efforts to get Air Nelson to return...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Air NZ cuts economic lifelines to neglected regions
    Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Christchurch on the rent rack
    A jump of 20 per cent in weekly rents in the past year is a disaster for Christchurch, says Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Trade Me Property Rental Price index has rightly described the city as being a ‘...
    Labour | 11-11
  • Past time to act on warnings about palliative care
    Health officials have been warning the Government about a critical shortage of palliative care specialists for years, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Annette King says. A stocktake carried out for the Ministry of Health shows New Zealand’s end...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Report must spur Government into action
    The soaring cost of domestic violence and child abuse highlight the need for the Government to prioritise and act on the issue, says Labour's spokesperson for Social Development, Sue Moroney.“Findings from the Glenn Inquiry that show the problem is estimated...
    Labour | 10-11
  • Family safety paramount, then urgent review
    Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has some serious questions to answer over why a dangerous prison escapee, convicted of further crimes while in jail, managed to abscond while he was on approved temporary release, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“Phillip...
    Labour | 09-11
  • LVRs a failed experiment from Bill English
    Loan to value mortgage restrictions are a failed experiment from Bill English to tame Auckland house prices, that have caused collateral damage to first home buyers and other regions, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The possible end of LVR...
    Labour | 09-11
  • Govt books getting worse as economy slows
    National’s economic credibility is under serious scrutiny with its search for surplus becoming harder due to an economy far too reliant on the dairy industry, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National promised New Zealanders would get into surplus by...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Kiwis in pain because of Government underfunding
    New research showing one in three people needing elective surgery are being denied publicly-funded operations shows the Government must properly fund the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “For almost two years Labour has been warning about the...
    Labour | 06-11
  • National’s promised surplus looking doubtful
    Budget figures for the first quarter of the financial year released today by Treasury show the Government's goal of achieving a budget surplus is looking doubtful, the Green Party said today."National has staked its credibility on achieving a budget surplus...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Gambling Amendment Bill (No 3)
    I rise to give this speech on behalf of Denise Roche, who handles the gambling portfolio for the Green Party. This bill deals with class 4 gambling—pokies in pubs and clubs—and it is the result of changes that were suggested...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Kevin Hague speaks on the Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    I would like to start off where the previous speaker left off, on the issue of balancing rights or balancing harms. All law is in some way a restriction of personal liberty. That is the point of law. When we...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Joyce backs away from yet another target
    Steven Joyce has backed away from two targets in two days, refusing to acknowledge that his Government has an unambitious aim to get unemployment down to 4 per cent in 11 years’ time, says Labour Associate Finance spokesperson David Clark....
    Labour | 06-11
  • Pacific peoples incomes and jobs falling under National
    The Minister of Pacific Peoples is attempting to bury the ugly facts of Pacific unemployment and income levels worsening since National took office in 2008, said Labour’s Pacific Affairs spokesperson, Su’a William Sio. “If the Minister doesn’t acknowledge how bad...
    Labour | 06-11
  • The Block NZ doing a better job than Nick Smith
    Nick Smith should consider calling in producers of The Block NZ with participants in the TV series completing more houses in two seasons than the Government’s failed Special Housing Area policy, says Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Block NZ...
    Labour | 06-11
  • Meridian moves to kill competition from solar homes
    Big electricity companies are using their power to make it harder for families and businesses wanting to go solar and the National Government is doing nothing to help them, the Green Party said today. Meridian Energy announced today a 60-72...
    Greens | 06-11
  • Has John Key done all he could for Pike families?
    It will be forever on the conscience of John Key whether he did all he could to recover the remains of the 29 miners who died in Pike River, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says.  “The Prime Minister...
    Labour | 05-11
  • National further dashes hopes of new parents
    The National Government has once again shown its disdain for working parents by voting down proposals to extend paid parental leave, Labour MP Sue Moroney says.  “The Government vetoed an amended proposal that substantially reduced the cost of extending PPL...
    Labour | 05-11
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2014. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog | 23-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – what are they afraid of: the erosion of democ...
    Today the Hamilton City Council has put on a big party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of European colonisation of the area.  There have been a series of events during the year to mark this event, including a civic ceremony. ...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • #JohnKeyHistory
    John Key has done it again. This week our lovely Prime Minister has showed us how little he knows about the history of the country he is supposed to be running. Apparently “New Zealand was settled peacefully”. Was it really?...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • G20 growth targets and growth model offer more problems than they solve
    At the recent G20 in Brisbane, member countries agreed to accelerate growth to an additional 2% on top of current trajectories. But ongoing public sector cuts, asset sales, and reducing workers’ rights indicate that at least part of the growth...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Bill Courtney – Charter Schools: The Shroud of Secrecy Contin...
    The Ministry of Education yesterday released another batch of information relating to the five existing charter schools and the four new ones proposed for opening in 2015. As we have seen before, the release of such information, often requested under...
    The Daily Blog | 22-11
  • EXCLUSIVE: Campaign reflection, Laila Harré reaching out for radical minds
    Today I’ve announced that I will be stepping down from the Internet Party leadership in December. This will happen once options for the future have been developed for discussion and decision among members. My absolute focus in this election was...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Ebola crisis, capitalism and the Cuban medical revolution
    “Ebola emerged nearly 40 years ago. Why are clinicians still empty-handed, with no vaccines and no cure? Because Ebola has been, historically, geographically confined to poor African nations. The R&D incentive is virtually non-existent. A profit-driven industry does not invest...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • MEDIA WATCH: TVNZ Reveals Insane Deadlines For Māori and Pacific Island Pr...
    Last Tuesday, November 18th, TVNZ requested proposals from producers for the four Māori and Pacific Island programmes they will no longer be making in-house. Marae, Waka Huia, Fresh and Tagata Pasifika will keep their existing names, existing formats and existing...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • The Daily Blog Breakfast Club Ep. 1
    TDB Video, Live from Verona Cafe on K-Rd, Auckland – a weekly current affairs show with TDB Editor Martyn Bradbury. This week’s panel: Chris Trotter & Selwyn Manning.The issues: 1 – What now for the New Labour leader? 2 –...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • Performance-demonstration at Auckland’s High Court to demand justice for ...
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • IES vote may weaken defense of public education
    PPTA announced today that secondary teachers have voted to include the IES (Investing in Education Success) as a variation to their collective employment agreement with the government. At one level it’s an understandable decision by PPTA members because through engaging in a consultation...
    The Daily Blog | 21-11
  • NZ History lesson on Planet Key – the lies white people tell themselves
    John Key’s bizarre claims about our ‘peaceful history’ comes across like the apartheid history of South Africa where white people discovered Africa first… New Zealand ‘settled peacefully’ – PM New Zealand was “settled peacefully” by the British, the prime minister...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Universal Basic Income and Labour Policy
    On Radio New Zealand’s None-to-Noon on Wednesday (19 November), new Labour leader Andrew Little intimated that he would like to put Universal Basic Income (UBI) on his policy agenda (What policy changes will Andrew Little usher in?) Predictably Kathryn Ryan, despite being...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • The New Notes : They Ain’t Mint
    Hulk Queen Angry. Hulk Queen smash.   Yesterday, the Reserve Bank announced its new designs for our banknotes. Now, I’ve historically been pretty sketch about this entire process; variously feeling affronted that the government could find eighty million dollars to fund a...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • MSM under-mining of new Labour Leader already begun?
    . . It did not take long. In fact, on the same day that Andrew Little won the Labour leadership*, the first media reporter was already asking if he would be stepping down  if Labour failed to lift in the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Simon Buckingham – invisible disability voices
    Today I am ranting. The Disability Advisory Group has been announced by Auckland Council. This is the body that represents the interests and views of people with disabilities in Auckland. Whilst I would not have applied this time as I...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Andrew Little...
    The Daily Blog | 20-11
  • Why labelling Little as a ‘Unionist’ is a joke and how he beats Key in ...
    The line being used to attack Andrew Little as a ‘Unionist’ is just an absurd joke, and it comes from people who clearly don’t understand the modern NZ Union movement. Andrew ran the EPM Bloody U, they are easily one...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • 5AA Australia – Labour’s New Leader + China’s President In New Zealan...
    Recorded on 20/11/14 – Captured Live on Ustream.tv. 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.ISSUE ONE: The New Zealand Labour Party has elected its new leader, the vote going to a third round after no clear outright winner was found in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Did Roger Sutton think he was running the Rock Radio Station?
    Visible G-String Fridays? Full body hugs? Jokes about who you would and wouldn’t have sex with? Honey? Sweety? It’s like Roger thought he was running the Rock Radio Station, not a Government Public Service department set up to rebuild a...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • US Politics
      US Politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Amnesty International – The conversation that needs to be had with China
    Caption: Police officer watching Hong Kong pro-democracy march, 01 July 2014 © Amnesty International    Yesterday’s edition of The New Zealand Herald features an open letter to all New Zealander’s from Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China. Along...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • GUEST BLOG: Patrick O’Dea – “Liar”
    LIAR! ‘Privatised social housing to benefit tenants’ English “Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • Too Close For Comfort: Reflections on Andrew Little’s narrow victory over...
    THE TRAGIC SCREENSHOT of “Gracinda” in defeat bears eloquent testimony to the bitter disappointment of the Grant Robertson-led faction of the Labour Party. And, yes, ‘Party’ is the right word. The Robertson machine has now extended its influence well beyond...
    The Daily Blog | 19-11
  • How to defeat child poverty
      How to defeat child poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Little’s Shadow Cabinet
    Now the horror of trying to pacify the factions begins. The only thing Little’s new shadow cabinet must do is create the pretence of unity. The reason voters didn’t flock to Labour wasn’t the bloody CGT or Superannuation, it was...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • A pilgrimage with my sister – Rethink the System
    We’ve both wanted to do a pilgrimage for many years. But, unlike many modern pilgrims, we wanted to be pilgirms in our own country and get closer to our communities, rather than seek greater distance from them. We are both...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Lack of policy ambition is Andrew Little’s main problem
    I’ve met Andrew Little a few times and he’s a pleasant man who will make a reasonable job leading what the Labour Party has become in recent decades. He will preside over a much less divided caucus and will be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Journos, film makers, media freedom advocates join Asia-Pacific political j...
    A candlelight vigil for the 58 victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre – 32 of them media people. Still no justice for them today. Renowned investigative journalists, film makers, academics and media freedom campaigners from across the Asia-Pacific region will...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • And the new Labour Leader is ZZZZZZZZZZ
    The victory lap by Caucus over the members choice of Cunliffe has ended and the new leader of the Labour Party is Andrew Little. Yawn. The dullness and caution of the latest Leadership race will be served well by Andrew,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-11
  • Allow the Facts to Get in the Way of the Neolib Stories
    One of the weaknesses of the political left in New Zealand over the last 30 years has been to allow the neoliberal storytellers to get away with lots of fibs and half-fibs. On TVNZ’s Q+A on 16 November, in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • Defending The Boomers: A Response to Chloe King
    THE BABY-BOOM GENERATION (49-68 year-olds) currently numbers just under a quarter of New Zealand’s population. Even so, there is a pervasive notion that the generation of New Zealanders born between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s exercises...
    The Daily Blog | 17-11
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Waitangi Tribunal ruling enshrines Treaty as a living document...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Key now says SAS will be needed to protect ‘trainers’ behind the wire
    Well, well, well. What do we have here? Government could send SAS to Iraq New Zealand’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) could be deployed to Iraq to protect Kiwi troops sent to train local forces. Prime Minister John Key confirmed...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)
    Do You Want to Build a Meth Lab? (Frozen x Breaking Bad Parody)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Soft soap for the rich – harsh taxes for the poor
    It’s no surprise to see New Zealand has one of the world’s lowest tax rates for the rich and the superrich. A survey by the global accounting network UHY shows New Zealand’s highest tax rates are lower than even Australia,...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • Phillip Smith and the rehabilitation process
    The dominant media narrative in horrible murder cases is that the perpetrator is unlikely ever to be rehabilitated. When it appears the offender may get parole the media turns first to family members of the victim who commonly (and understandably)...
    The Daily Blog | 16-11
  • The Nation review: Finlayson’s terrifying definition of who is on terror ...
    Terrifying Nation today on TV3. Chris Finlayson is on justifying the Government’s Muslim fear mongering and extension of even more surveillance powers. It was jaw dropping. Finlayson says ‘alienated people with a chip on their shoulder’ is the threshold to get...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on The Block NZ
    Is it just me or did The Block manage to sum up everything that is wrong about our culture and economy? Fetishised property speculation as mass entertainment in a country of homelessness & poverty. I wonder if State House tenants...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Waitangi Tribunal ruling
    That spluttering choking sound of a thousand rednecks being informed Maori still have sovereignty is a hilarious cacophony of stupid… Crown still in charge: Minister Chris Finlayson on Waitangi Treaty ruling The Waitangi Tribunal’s finding that Maori chiefs who signed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • A brief word on Phillip Smith
    We can arrest student loan & fine defaulters at the airport – but not convicted child molesting killers? Before we ban manufactured ISIS ‘terrorists’ from having passports, how about we just manage to stop child molesting killers from fleeing first?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Free Me From Religion
          The meeting begins – or at least it’s supposed to begin – but someone interrupts proceedings. She wants everyone to pray with their heads bowed while she can “thank our Father who art in Heaven.” I close...
    The Daily Blog | 14-11
  • Key capitulates on TPPA while big money NZ set up propaganda fund
    So Key has capitulated on the ‘gold standard’ of free trade deals… The primary objective for New Zealand at Apec was to see some urgency injected into the TPP talks and to keep leaders aiming for a high quality deal....
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Why Phillip Smith is the least of our worries
    Well, it turns out Phillip Smith wasn’t half as clever as he thought he was, and he’s been arrested within a week. If the Prime Minister is through with making tasteless jokes, perhaps we can ramp down the media hysteria...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Constraining Credibility
      Most economists and members of the public – on both the right and the left – believe that economies are constrained by resource scarcity most of the time. In this view, economies are supply-constrained, and that the economic problem...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Migrant Labour, exploitation and free markets
    Once more we read about a horror story of virtual slavery for a migrant worker in a restaurant in Christchurch. The silver lining that in this case compensation should be paid is not assured. Often in situations like this the employer winds up...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • On baby boomers who give my generation unhelpful advice: JUST DON’T
    One of my mum’s colleagues recently told her that there is no money in what her daughter was doing; volunteering at a women’s refuge and writing on politics. This guy, dispensing all his pearls of wisdom, told my mother that...
    The Daily Blog | 13-11
  • Morbid Symptoms: Can Labour Be Born Anew?
    THE CHAIRS in the final meeting venue have been stacked away. All that expensive signage, commissioned for the benefit of the television cameras, no longer has a purpose. For the second time in just 14 months, Labour’s Leadership Contest is...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • What’s Small, White, and Having Trouble Attracting New People?
    If your answer was something intimately connected to the person of Peter Dunne … then you’d be right. Last night, P-Dunney decided to bring his comedy and/or hair stylings to the twitterverse; penning a potentially somewhat ill-advised tweet in which he compared...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • LATE at the Auckland Museum review – Slacktivisim: Its not just for Slack...
    Monday night is my yoga night. I’m not really very good it, I don’t really have the bendy, but I made a New Years resolution. This Monday however, I decided to put the yoga on prone and attend a gig...
    The Daily Blog | 12-11
  • Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower
    Domestic violence problem bigger than Sky Tower SKYCITY’s Sky Tower in Auckland will be lit up in white on Monday evening Nov 25th at 10pm, on the eve of White Ribbon Day. The anti-domestic violence network SAFTINET (Safer Auckland Families...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little
    State Services Commissioner ‘unfit for the job’ says Little The new Labour leader Andrew Little has called for the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie to be stood down after his handling of the Roger Sutton sexual harassment case. "The idea...
    Scoop politics | 23-11
  • Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre
    Patrick Gower interviews Laila Harre Headlines: Laila Harre to quit as Internet Party leader by Christmas when the party has completed its review, but would love to return to parliament Says party considering options for its future including winding...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little
    Lisa Owen interviews Labour leader Andrew Little Headlines: Andrew Little says the shape of his front-bench for the 2017 election may not be clear until the end of next year Indicates next week’s appointments may be temporary: “So I may...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Phillip John Smith – statement
    Police and the New Zealand Embassy in Brasilia are aware of a decision from the Brazil Federal Court requiring the deportation of Phillip Smith within 10 days. Further assessment is required to ensure there is a full understanding of this...
    Scoop politics | 22-11
  • Green’s ‘not speaking out about human rights abuses in China
    Right to Life challenges Russell Norman the co-leader of the Green Party to explain why, he was prepared to ask Prime Minister John Key to talk to Chinese President Xi Jinping about human rights abuses in countries bordering China but...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election
    Goodfellow congratulates Key on IDU election National Party President Peter Goodfellow has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on his election today as Chairman of the International Democrat Union (IDU)....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Taxpayers’ Union Congratulates PM on IDU Appointment
    The Taxpayers’ Union is today congratulating Rt. Hon. John Key on becoming the Chair of the International Democrat Union , as former Australian Prime Minister John Howard retires from the role after 12 years. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High demand for Consumer NZ’s “Do Not Knock” stickers
    Consumer NZ has distributed nearly 100,000 “Do Not Knock” stickers since the launch of its campaign to fight back against dodgy door-to-door sellers.The “Do Not Knock” campaign was launched on 3 November 2014. Free “Do Not Knock” stickers...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Phillip Smith decision still pending
    Detective Superintendent Mike Pannett is returning to Washington DC where he will continue to closely monitor a pending decision from the Brazilian authorities on the process to return Phillip Smith to New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • High Court demonstration to demand justice
    People outraged at the lack of justice in the so-called ‘Roast Busters’ case and 99% of other rape cases in this country are holding a visually powerful mass action at the Auckland High Court at 1 o’clock on Saturday. They...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • NZ Society Wins Global Award For Fighting Animal Testing
    New Zealand banning animal testing of legal highs has been acknowledged with an award given in London. The New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) was awarded the 2014 LUSH Prize for lobbying against animal testing. The prize was given at the...
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • Poor govt advice to workers on petrol station drive-offs
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions has raised concerns with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment ('MBIE') regarding their reported advice to workers about the petrol station drive away issue....
    Scoop politics | 21-11
  • New Ombudsman opinion
    The Ombudsman has published his opinion on a complaint concerning the Police refusal to release information about a charging decision....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Kindergarten support staff achieve pay rise in tough climate
    The valuable contribution of kindergarten support staff has been recognised with a pay increase, despite the significant funding cuts that the kindergarten associations are experiencing....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy and Conservative Religion: The Case of Islam
    “Is Islam compatible with democracy?” is a frequently-asked question. Recent rethinking of secularism and democracy have opened up new possibilities to think about religion and democracy. This question is important particularly in the case...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZ fiscal watchdog needed to guard the public purse
    New Zealand needs tighter fiscal rules and an independent watchdog to improve the quality of government spending and reduce the risk of a return to deficit spending as the country’s population ages, if not before....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • NZSMI disappointed ANZTPA proposal shelved
    November 20, 2014: Consumer healthcare products industry body, the New Zealand Self-Medication Industry Association (SMI) says it is disappointed Government has once again shelved plans to create one medicines regulatory agency for both New Zealand and Australia....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Democracy Action Welcomes Tauranga Vote
    Responding to Tauranga Council’s unanimous vote not to establish separate Council seats on the basis of ethnicity, Lee Short, Democracy Action founder says: “The establishment of a Maori ward would have damaged the relationship between Maori and...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’
    Employer caught abusing new ‘teabreaks law’ to exploit workers The government passed the controversial ‘teabreaks’ legislation only a few weeks ago and already Unite Union has caught an employer using this law as an excuse for ill-treating their...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • FGC response to Commerce Commission report
    The New Zealand Food & Grocery Council is not surprised by the Commerce Commission’s findings, given New Zealand’s current legal framework....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Bascand: Brighter Money
    Seeing people’s initial reactions to the new banknote designs is a heartening reminder of what an important role currency plays in our lives, and what a sense of pride and heritage our notes evoke....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • RBNZ releases Brighter Money designs
    New Zealand’s banknotes are getting brighter and better, with the Reserve Bank today unveiling more vibrant and secure banknote designs which will progressively enter circulation later next year....
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • 25 years of children’s rights
    UNICEF and OFC celebrate 25 years of children’s rights with Just Play Sports Days On Universal Children’s Day (20 November) and as part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s (OFC) inaugural President’s Cup, UNICEF will celebrate 25 years of children’s...
    Scoop politics | 20-11
  • Xiamen delegation to Wellington has business focus
    Stronger business, education and cultural ties with our Chinese partners will be the focus when a 20-strong government and business delegation led by Xiamen Mayor Mr Liu Keqing which visits Wellington tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message
    Warriors promote White Ribbon Day message Shine and Orakei Health Services On Tuesday, the Vodafone Warriors will promote the White Ribbon Day message to the community at Eastridge Shopping Centre, Mission Bay. The Warriors are supporting their charity...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Superannuitants to protest unethical investments
    A delegation of Auckland superannuitants will deliver a protest-card petition and protest letter to the New Zealand Super Fund this Thursday afternoon to call on the fund to divest from companies which support the Israeli occupation of Palestinian...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Manukau job cuts ‘running the place into the ground’
    Manukau Institute of Technology (MIT) confirmed to its staff yesterday that 54 jobs will go before Christmas....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Newcore Looks Pretty Rotten for Ratepayers
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that the IT system commissioned by Auckland Council to consolidate the eight systems the Super City inherited from its precursor councils could be facing a budget blowout of $100 million, Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman Ben...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Accountability following quake response inquiry not achieved
    Lessons still need to be learned from the search and rescue efforts following the February 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, a leading New Zealand lawyer, Nigel Hampton QC, says....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them
    Our kids say: We are failing in our duty to protect them More than a quarter of Kiwi kids say children’s right to be safe and protected isn’t being upheld in New Zealand, identifying protection from violence, abuse and murder...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • PARS & Turuki Health Care collaborate on health and services
    Auckland-based PARS (People at Risk Solutions) have partnered with the Turuki Health Care Trust, to offer improved healthcare services to those in need. PARS works closely with former prisoners, providing mentoring, housing, and social services to ensure...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Children’s Plea
    A plea has been sent to all Members of Parliament, regardless of party affiliation, to accord urgency and priority to children's issues. These issues include vulnerability, safety and childhood poverty....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Treasury off track in search for sound policies
    Treasury is unlikely to find the ideas it is looking for to improve outcomes for children while its primary driver is cost-cutting, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Commission calls for answers on handling of CERA harassment
    EEO Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue is deeply concerned about the way in which the State Services Commission has handled sexual allegations made against CERA chief executive Roger Sutton this week and is calling for answers....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Ashley Dwayne Guy v The Queen: Appeal Upheld
    The appellant, Mr Guy, was found guilty by a jury of a charge of sexual violation by unlawful sexual connection. After the verdict it was discovered that, by error, the jury had been provided in the jury room with two...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • Zonta Club to Take a Stand Against Gender-Based Violence
    During the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence (25 November – 10 December), the Zonta Club of Wellington, along with members of the local community, will join nearly 1,200 Zonta clubs in 67 countries for the Zonta Says NO...
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • New UNFPA report links progress and power to young people
    A UN report launched today calls for investment in young people as they are essential to social and economic progress....
    Scoop politics | 19-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: "Only in the public sector do you receive a payout for ‘resigning’....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ must not turn a blind eye to China’s human rights record
    Amnesty International is calling on New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to raise China’s shameful human rights record during President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand this week....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • The Resignation with the Golden Handshake?
    Commenting on the settlement the State Services Commission has reached with former CERA CEO Roger Sutton, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Treasury’s covert & extremely odd welfare consultation
    A report this morning that Treasury is ‘crowd sourcing’ ideas on welfare policy is news to Auckland Action Against Poverty, even though we are currently one of the most active groups in the area....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • NZ invites Pacific peers to review development cooperation
    New Zealand has volunteered to be the first development partner in the Pacific region to undergo a review of its aid programme by Pacific island peers. The review will focus on New Zealand’s development cooperation and will give greater insight...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • EPMU joins Pike River families to mark fourth anniversary
    Representatives of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union are proud to stand with the Pike River families to mark four years since 29 men lost their lives. “This is a particularly solemn day given the recent announcements of Solid Energy...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • 2013 Assessment of New Zealand’s National Integrity Systems
    SPEAKER TUILOMA NERONI SLADE: Former Judge, International Criminal Court in the Hague, former legal counsel at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum 2008-2014. Introduced by Helen Sutch, Victoria University Council,...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Green Party ignoring Waimea’s environmental benefits
    Green Party MP Catherine Delahunty has overlooked the environmental benefits the proposed Waimea Community Dam will bring the Tasman community, says IrrigationNZ Chairperson Nicky Hyslop....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Women’s use of violence in violent relationships
    More than 80 percent of women who live with a physically violent partner will not initiate violence when they are not being hit, according to new research....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health
    Poor credit rating linked to poor cardiovascular health A credit score doesn’t only boil down a person’s entire financial history to a single number and somehow predict their credit-worthiness, it might also be saying something about a person’s...
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • State Services Commissioner on Roger Sutton Investigation
    State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie today said the investigation into Roger Sutton’s conduct was robust. Roger Sutton chose to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) yesterday....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
  • Predator Free NZ project welcomed
    Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy....
    Scoop politics | 18-11
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