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Too many hungry kids

Written By: - Date published: 7:13 am, July 27th, 2011 - 180 comments
Categories: child welfare, national, poverty, welfare - Tags: ,

Kids are the canary in society’s coal mine. They tell us about the health of a country.  Child poverty was reducing under Labour. Now it is rising again under National.

Child poverty is rising because National’s perpetual beneficiary-bashing rhetoric has made it politically impossible to restore benefits to the liveable pre-1991 level (that is the main area where the last Labour government should have been bolder). Child poverty is rising because the economy has stagnated. It is rising because National work to keep wages down (they call it a “flexible” labour market).  It is rising because National’s tax cuts did nothing for the majority, i.e. the low and medium income earners. It is rising because the highest inflation in 21 years (in part caused by Key’s broken promise and GST increase) is punishing those same low and medium earners.  Child poverty is rising, so we’re going to keep getting bad news like this:

Our hungry kids: 40,000 NZ kids fed by charities

School principals say the number of pupils turning up for breakfast is increasing daily, despite the collapse of one of the two main breakfast programmes, a Red Cross scheme which ended this month after Countdown supermarkets withdrew their sponsorship.

A Herald investigation has found that at least 185 of New Zealand’s 256 primary and intermediate schools in the poorest 10th of the nation (decile 1) give their children breakfast or other food during the day, on top of the Government’s fruit in schools scheme.

… the total number of children being fed each week is almost certainly more than 40,000 – nearly a fifth of the 229,400 children in decile 1 to 4 schools. KidsCan is running an appeal for people to sponsor one of the 20,000 children on its waiting list for $15 a month. So far 850 sponsors have signed up.

But in a report being issued today, the Child Poverty Action Group calls on the Government to work with charities, businesses and community groups to underwrite breakfast programmes in all 463 decile 1 and 2 primary and intermediate schools. “It is time to deal directly with childhood hunger,” it says.

Manurewa Intermediate principal Iain Taylor said the problem had become so bad that children were stealing food from the school’s marae where the breakfast club was held. “It’s definitely got worse this year, without a doubt. The poverty is really obvious,” he said. …

KidsCan founder Julie Helson said demand for her programme was growing, mainly because of the rising cost of living. Food prices rose 7 per cent in the year to June, but the average hourly wage rose only 2.6 per cent in the year to March.

Making sure that children don’t go hungry is not the responsibility of charity, it is the responsibility of all of us, of society. It is the responsibility of government.  The National government is failing.

It doesn’t have to be this way.  There are cost-effective things that the government could do.  Some of that tax cut windfall for the rich would have been much better spent on children.  But point that out and you only get accused of the “politics of envy”.  Shame.

(Hat tip to No Right Turn for three great posts recently, all have been linked to above.)

180 comments on “Too many hungry kids”

  1. Craig Glen Eden 1

    The politics of greed literally taking food from the Nations children’s mouths, Keys and National know no shame.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Perhaps there were left overs from that $7000 a head dinner he went to in the Hawkes Bay he could have given to his dog?

      Or the hungry kids at his local school?

  2. tc 2

    Nats have never had a problem with causing or aiding this type of situation, more of those ‘life choices’ sideshow claims are the cause rather than a govt enriching it’s mates and selling the family assets off to fund it’s wealth shifting tactics.

  3. vto 3

    The politics of greed alright.

    A little like the anglican church in Christchurch, through its Christs College, selling off leasehold land in a poorer part of the city to a bunch of rich and unscrupulous Aucklanders who have proceeded to put ground rents up by up to 300% forcing some of these people out of their homes. Of course the now empty homes have greater use in other forms.

    Well done Anglican Church – don’t put the rents up yourself, just sell the whole she-bang to someone else who can do that, and you just take the capital value of that rental increase ability. You effectively shoved those people out of their homes yourself mr anglican.

    Shame on you.

    And shame on the politics of greed that these new owners exhibit.

    It is the same politics that results in hungry children. It also results in homeless people.

  4. Actually, making sure kids don’t go hungry is the responsibility of parents. Society has at best a secondary role.

    • Carol 4.1

      Ha! And if the parents don’t have enough money because there’s too few jobs and/or wages are too low?

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      Actually I quite agree with you Psycho Milt. It is primarily the responsibility of parents.

      And if parents find that they are unable to provide for their children because society and government are cruel and uninterested, then they should rise up in a show of strength, will and numbers, and change society and government so that it has no choice but to be interested. Be so loud and forceful so that the cowards in this Government know that we will not accept mere drippings from their manor table any longer.

      It’s happened before and under this NACT govt it will happen again.

      • Cadwallader 4.2.1

        Why breed ‘em if you can’t feed ‘em?

        • tsmithfield 4.2.1.1

          Exactly.

        • felix 4.2.1.2

          Why hire ‘em if you can’t pay ‘em?

          • tsmithfield 4.2.1.2.1

            Have you been talking to Mat McCarten from UNITE?

            • felix 4.2.1.2.1.1

              Why? Does he think people should be paid enough to live on as well?

              Fuck me, we must be brothers.

              • tsmithfield

                Nah. Just that he seems to have been having some problems with wages. Well the PAYE component, anyway. Thought you would have been up with that one. :smile:

                • felix

                  Why?

                  Oh I see, you just don’t want to address what I wrote. Silly me.

                  • tsmithfield

                    Perhaps if that particular socialist was actually meeting his social obligations (i.e. paying PAYE) there might be a few less hungry children.

                    • felix

                      How do you figure that?

                      The govt would have to allocate that money to such effect, and all evidence suggests that they won’t.

                      Which brings us – inconveniently for you, I acknowledge – back to the topic at hand.

                      Kids are going hungry in NZ, and National are doing nothing about it.

                    • tsmithfield

                      Well they are doing as much as Labour has ever done.

                      Anyway, do you agree that IF parents in NZ avail themselves of all the help available (WINZ, emergency grants, foodbanks, etc) there is no need for any children to go hungry in NZ. If so, the argument for why the fault is with parents not the government runs like this:

                      1. There is sufficient resources in the system to ensure that no children go hungry.
                      2. Responsible parents would ensure they availed themselves of all available resources to ensure their children didn’t go hungry.
                      3. Children are going hungry.
                      4. Therefore, the reason that children are going hungry is that not all parents are responsible.

                    • felix

                      We should punish them all.

                      Dirty little people.

                    • felix

                      ps You included emergency grants and foodbanks in your estimation of why there is no reason for people to run out of food.

                      Since when should feeding kids be an emergency?

                      If special assistance and charity is needed to make your sums add up you’re just highlighting the problem. Oops.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “We should punish them all. Dirty little people.”

                      Nah. Just that if the problem is parents not being responsible, then simply throwing more money at the problem won’t solve it.

                      “ps You included emergency grants and foodbanks in your estimation of why there is no reason for people to run out of food. Since when should feeding kids be an emergency?”

                      It shouldn’t. But these sorts of facilities are available should the circumstance arise where for whatever reason needy people can’t afford to meet basic needs.

                      But it looks like you agree with my premises, even though you want to quibble about whether “emergency” resources should be taken into account.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      1. There is sufficient resources in the system to ensure that no children go hungry.

                      You go wrong right from the start. Nationals tax cuts for the rich ensured that there isn’t enough resources to feed the children and quite a few of the adults as well.

                    • felix

                      No ts, I don’t agree with your premise at all.

                      No-one goes to a food bank unless they’re desperate.

                      The fact that people are queueing for food parcels and emergency aid totally disproves your premise, it shows that the system isn’t coping with need.

                      If the system was adequately resourced there wouldn’t be such a thing as a food bank.

                      What you’re really saying is that having people desperate, living in a perpetual state of crisis, dependent on private charity to eat should be considered part of the normal equilibrium.

                      That’s disgraceful. You should be ashamed of that line of argument.

          • Tigger 4.2.1.2.2

            Ah, so nice to see this. Congrats right wing – your outrage about hungry children is exactly as expected – place blame but let the kids starve. Very Dickensian though.

            • mik e 4.2.1.2.2.1

              May be John Key should resign and give back all his millions go back and live in his mothers state house and any one else that has had state funding or govt funding give it all back. Only the rich and successful deserve a place on this planet thats called feudalism Tsmith

        • Ari 4.2.1.3

          Perhaps it wasn’t a problem when they first had their children. Perhaps the parents really did make decisions, but I’m not sure that’s as relevant as the fact that the kids themselves don’t deserve to suffer for their parents’ mistakes.

        • mik e 4.2.1.4

          The stats show the better educated you are the less children you have.Those who think only logically and without emotion in these situations are just abusive bullies , they can easily separate feelings from thinking not unlike Breivik!

        • pollywog 4.2.1.5

          Why breed ‘em if you can’t feed ‘em?

          …so those Maori who are killing their kids in ”record” numbers should be applauded for seeing the error of their ways in having them in the first place, considering they were to poor to feed ‘em to start with.

          Why aren’t the nutjobs celebrating this fact ?

          …instead we get Cactus KKKate, the childless barreness of empty cyber wasteland crying over poor dead brown kids and championing poor live asian kids cos ‘hey… white people look after their own first eh ?

          Maori child abuse disproportionately high: Minister

          Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says although new research shows child abuse is also a Pakeha problem, nine out of the last 12 children killed by abuse were from Maori families.

          New research by Eastern Institute of Technology social work lecturer Raema Merchant found Pakeha kill as many of their children as Maori, although Maori were the “face of abuse” in the media.

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5338700/Maori-child-abuse-disproportionately-high-Minister

          Seriously though, Maori do need to own that shit and let iwi rangatira exercise sovereignty and benevolence over the welfare of their own less advantaged whanau first.

          Iwi letting their whanau go hungry is an abuse that needs to be put back on them to own up to, ‘cos it wasn’t like this back in the day.

        • Ianupnorth 4.2.1.6

          Because there is always the slight chance that once they could; last time I looked people developed chronic diseases, were laid off, had industrial injuries or similar.
          People do plan families but nature has an awful habit of screwing up peoples plans!

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.7

          Why breed ‘em if the kids are wealthy upper class dole bludgers exactly like their tax avoiding parents?

          • KJT 4.2.1.7.1

            Actually it is the rich that should be made to stop breeding.

            Their off-springs consumption of resources is much greater than that of poor kids. Their children’s contribution to society is often negative, as they consume without returning a proportionate amount of work..

            Any one who believes, in the eugenics idea, that the children of the rich are genetically superior, has not met many.

        • mik e 4.2.1.8

          Maybe we should drown all males from poor families at birth Cad. ie like the pharaohs did.Oh no the poor are already killing and abusing their kids only few rich do it so we, ll carry on blaming the poor. Abdicate any responsibility for being part of this society , stay aloof and critical.absolve your self of all participation except self indulgence!

      • Unfortunately, Viper, there have been recent examples of people who have stood their ground against this government – and got smacked down fairly hard.

        Case in point; Natasha Fuller and Jennifer Johnston. These women had their private details released to the media by a vengeful, nasty-minded little woman – Paula Bennet – and they were both crucified in the public spotlight. It gave every redneck and misogynist an excuse to spout their hate-crap.

        http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/newsdetail1.asp?storyID=160832

        It would be a brave and bold welfare beneficiary who stuck his/her head above the parapets in this climate.

        Unfortunately, this kind of demonisation is common when conservative/neo-liberal governments are in power. It gives “permission” for right-wing misfits to be more public in their vitriol (though they still usually do it anonymously).

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      Wrong. It’s societies responsibility to ensure that all of it’s people have a good living standard. It’s the peoples responsibility to ensure that their society can do that.

    • And dont forget the “Smoking and drinking bit ,you satisfied dick head.

  5. Lazy Susan 5

    “Let the charities deal with it” is akin to Cameron’s “Big Society” in the UK. It’s spun as handing back control yet is nothing more than abdicating responsibility.

    The trouble with this approach is that only the people that care pay and the collection cost is often high.

    We are a first world country with plenty of wealth and no-one should go hungry. Tax cuts for the wealthy while kids go hungry – what a sick little society we’ve become.

  6. battleheed 6

    Lots of envy going on there, did I miss Labour MPs taking a vow of poverty?

    • Zetetic 6.1

      big difference between being envious of someone’s wealth and wanting kids to not go hungry. Big fucken difference.

      • battleheed 6.1.1

        Oh really so while Helen had investment properties all over the show, not a single kid went hungry when she was in government did they?

        • Ari 6.1.1.1

          I’d be perfectly happy if the government spent government funds to help out hungry kids. They’re allowed to be privately wealthy, so long as they stop privileging it in their policy decisions.

        • bbfloyd 6.1.1.2

          cheers bottlehead,,, show the world what we need to remove before we can get on with being civilised humans. dross like yourself… you, and your laughing pack of curs are the impediment that is stopping us from becoming anything like a mature responsible society that actually deals with it’s problems without resorting to mindless scapegoating…

          so spew your poison far and wide… you succeed brilliantly in turning people away from the kind of politics more suited to a troupe of chimpanzees than anything remotely human. go for broke!!!

          • battleheed 6.1.1.2.1

            Nothing like a bit of hate speech from the left to show that you’re all peace loving people who just want the world to get a long aye.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      Yes battleheed, that hungry 5 year old you are dismissing out of hand is ‘envious’ that you managed to have breakfast this morning and she didn’t yet again.

      Either that or you are a sociopath. I wonder which?

    • Wanting our children to be properly fed and looked after – you call that “envy”?

      What a strange little person you are…

    • Draco T Bastard 6.4

      It’s not envy you psychopathic, illogical fuckwit. It’s anger and disgust about how little this government and it’s supporters care for this country and it’s people.

    • Ianupnorth 6.5

      Miss the first line did you?

      Child poverty was reducing under Labour. Now it is rising again under National.

  7. Peter 7

    I get a little sick of the “envy” smoke screen and saddened to recently hear stories of kids smoking to suppress hunger.

    Can’t help but feel that a lack of paid work for many families is a fundamental underlying issue.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Don’t worry mate, most people can tell the difference between the politics of envy and the politics of cruelty and greed.

      Battleheed for instance thinks that people freezing in broken houses are ‘envious’ that he can keep warm at night while they risk hypothermia.

      Reading up on the French Revolution, it seems to me that their ruling classes were equally out of touch with the sentiment of the masses. Inequality now is not as bad as then of course; but the ruling elite have also set income and material expectations much higher than then.

      It’s very interesting indeed.

    • felix 7.2

      This “envy” cry from the right is often a useful sign that they have no way to respond.

      (Or more accurately, no way to respond out loud)

    • tsmithfield 7.3

      “I get a little sick of the “envy” smoke screen and saddened to recently hear stories of kids smoking to suppress hunger.”

      Doesn’t it seem a little ironic that these kids can find money for smokes but not food?

      • felix 7.3.1

        Kids can’t buy smokes you dickhead.

        • tsmithfield 7.3.1.1

          Not officially. However there are easy ways around the rules, as I am sure even you can work out.

          • felix 7.3.1.1.1

            It’s also not irony.

            What is ironic is that you’re trolling in a thread about children not having enough to eat, and people are feeding you.

            Joking aside. I think we’ve all seen this argument from you before, so it’d save us all a bit of time if you would just cut to the part where you say that poverty exists because inferior people smoke and drink.

            Then we can all just move on without you.

      • bbfloyd 7.3.2

        displaying your ignorance again ts….not really sure why you need to advertise your abysmal lack of taste, unless you are so mentally impaired that you havn’t realised just how utterly devoid of relevant information your worldview is endowed with.
        i have to assume you just like to laugh at those less well off than you… which at least gives your comments some kind of logical rationale…

        • tsmithfield 7.3.2.1

          It would have been helpful for Peter to provide a link for the story he referred to.

          However, why shouldn’t we question the contradiction of children smoking because they don’t get food. Smokes are expensive. Where are they coming from, and why are smokes being preferred over food?

          • Puddleglum 7.3.2.1.1

            My dad said that when he was a boy (from age eight) they’d all collect the fag ends and smoke them – that was in the days before welfare but not before poverty. He didn’t mention smokes and hunger but I imagine it was a useful side effect for him. Mainly he smoked because it was in the ‘media’ (i.e., the films).

            Also, he was very resourceful at working out rackets (and jobs like two paper runs) to get money. When he left school at 14 to get a full-time job he actually took a pay cut. The money he made when, technically, he was at school went onto the things that kids thought were ‘cool’ (though the word hadn’t been invented then) – just like today. If you want to get moralistic about the purchasing habit of kids I guess that’s just your kick.

            In the real world, children don’t always make economically rational decisions – more fool them, eh? Obviously, they ‘prefer’ hunger to missing out on looking cool/fuelling an addiction. That’s their economic ‘trade-off’ I guess and we don’t need to feel any responsibility as a society at all about different people making different trade-offs, do we?

            You see, TS, people in poverty are actually very resourceful – necessity and invention and all that. Strangely, though, despite being the beneficiary of such useful lessons, my dad didn’t think the ‘inventiveness’ that emerged was justification for the degrading poverty he and his peers experienced. Don’t know why. 

      • mik e 7.3.3

        Tsmith you wouldn,t last a week in one of these impoverished homes.These children when they grow up like you haven,t are going to be the reason why we fall further down the oecd rankings.They are going to cost you in your retirement either in health, criminal justice system or their wages are going to be so low the country won,t be able to afford to look after you either in aged care or the extra healthcare elderly people require and then there is security you will probably have to live in a gated community in retirement.

      • mik e 7.3.4

        Tsmith YOU are very good at abusing the underclass .The solution your inferring is called feudalism!

        • tsmithfield 7.3.4.1

          WTF? Where have I inferred any solution? All I have asked is how kids can afford smokes to suppress their appetite for food when smokes in themselves are expensive. You still won’t actually answer my question.

      • “Doesn’t it seem a little ironic that these kids can find money for smokes but not food?” – T Smithfield

        Confirmed cases and stats, please?

        • tsmithfield 7.3.5.1

          I wasn’t the one who raised the issue in the first place. Ask Peter. As I said, it would have been helpful if he had linked to the article he was referring to. Until then, I am entitled to ask obvious questions.

    • Vicky32 7.4

      Can’t help but feel that a lack of paid work for many families is a fundamental underlying issue.

      Absolutely! You’re right…

  8. jackal 8

    Shame on the supermarkets and middle men for price gouging and making food unaffordable as well. When you hear about the peanuts a lot of suppliers are being paid, it’s pretty obvious we’re getting ripped off.

  9. Tangled up in blue 9

    the Child Poverty Action Group calls on the Government to work with charities, businesses and community groups to underwrite breakfast programmes in all 463 decile 1 and 2 primary and intermediate schools.

    I think that this would be a great investment and would result in better educated, healthier kids with more nutritious eating habits.

    Labour should scrap their feeble GST of fruit & veg. policy and propose to underwrite breakfast programmes.

    • bbfloyd 9.1

      who do you think laid the groundwork for the programs that still exist? your not going to try to tell me that national started them are you?

      are all you tories this shallow?

      • Tangled up in blue 9.1.1

        What the hell are you on about? Learn to read.

        I said quite clearly that I think these programmes are beneficial and that I would like to see them funded by the Govt.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      I think that this would be a great investment…

      I don’t. Charities are far less efficient than government, ergo, the government should be ensuring that people don’t go hungry, have excellent education and raising taxes to pay for it.

  10. Bart 10

    @ Carol, if the wages are too low, then they can go and apply for WFF, can’t they?

    As well as looking at the figures and questioning Government policy, there has to be an acknowledgement of individual responsibility, and the fact that there are parents out there who are not correctly prioritising their budget. Once my wife and I are paid, the first thing we buy is food for the fortnight, the bills are paid by AP, and the Mortgage. We don’t go out very often, if at all. Our major luxury expense would be the SKY decoder!

    Now I am not, for one second, saying that there are people out there not struggling, but we all know that some people are not helping themselves!

    • Tangled up in blue 10.1

      there has to be an acknowledgement of individual responsibility, and the fact that there are parents out there who are not correctly prioritising their budget.

      Yes this needs to be addressed. Though after we endure kids aren’t going hungry.

      • mik e 10.1.1

        Tangled one why don,t you live on their income and in their situation and show everybody how its done for a year or two . I doubt if you would last a week!Smug one.

        • Tangled up in blue 10.1.1.1

          Gee you clowns with poor reading comprehension are annoying. Wtf am I being smug about? Seriously.

          I acknowledged that in some cases parents are just plain irresponsible. In no way was I suggesting that this is the case for every struggling family.

          p.s you know nothing about my life situation or my experience with poverty

    • bbfloyd 10.2

      tell me what happens to beneficiaries then bart… do you have the first clue about this issue?

      your ignorance and smug superiority sickens me… you, and your overfed, self satisfied pack of carrion eaters have reduced this country to the sort of place our children will happily walk away from the second they can.. without a backward glance…

      i suppose i should concede that being the “largest ghost town in the world” has a certain charm that might attract the sort of tourists that visit places where atrocities and disasters have taken place..

      or it can become the world headquarters for the national front.

      • bart 10.2.1

        What do I know about beneficiaries? Given that i was raised by my mother on a widows benefit, I’d say i had an adequate frame of reference.

    • Vicky32 10.3

      and the Mortgage. We don’t go out very often, if at all. Our major luxury expense would be the SKY decoder!

      It is a luxury, dimwit! 
      You say “but we all know that some people are not helping themselves!” Did you by any chance see Close Up last night, and the feature about the woman with breast cancer, on SB, who has $50.00 a week after rent, and can’t keep herself warm in Dunedin because she can’t pay her power bills. How do you suggest she “help herself”? 

      • bart 10.3.1

        Hello? I said “some” not all. And I said Sky is a luxury! Do you people actually read my posts?

  11. Irascible 11

    I have just been walking around the square in Palmerston North and, for the first time that I can recall, saw people begging on the streets. My relations inform me that there are people begging on the streets in Hamilton as well.
    Given that this is happening under the Key owned NACTional government I can only presume that this is a result of the policies and life style choices being imposed by Key and his cronies.
    A sad indictment on our country,

  12. chris73 12

    For my view I don’t believe its simply as easy as blaming the govt (surprise, surprise) however I also believe that there are a lot of parents out there making poor choices (but then I also think its too easy to blame the parents)

    I’d suggest that while the govt of the day can do things better, parents can also do better

    One thing I’d like to see though is a study done on whether NZ could do a school lunch system similar to the USA/UK system

    • bbfloyd 12.1

      don’t tell me you actually believe that this govt would pay for a program like that? what kind of fool would allow programs to develop that demonstrate how badly they have failed those children, and their families..

      especially as there are much more deserving corporate recipients needing that money to create the thousands of jobs that they would exist if only the govt would give them more money.

      how unpatriotic to want to use up valuable investment capital simply so they can eat food when there are starving ceo’s out there lining up to help their fellow man..

  13. Barnardos Chief Executive and Green Paper champion Murray Edridge told TV ONE’s Breakfast that the paper is a starting point for finding a way to give all Kiwi children the “best start in life”.

    “We have a lot of children for whatever circumstance don’t get those opportunities so they are vulnerable… they’re vulnerable to issues of neglect and abuse and just not getting the advantages that we’d like our children to have.”
    Advertisement

    Edridge said he would like New Zealanders to take the opportunity to make a difference and put forward opinions about how the government’s resources can best be used to tackle the country’s child welfare problems.

    “As Kiwis we all look at some of the issues that come on our TV screens and our news and we feel angry. We feel enormously sad for things that are happening and frustrated that we’re so far away from it and the problem seems too large, too complex for us to deal with.

    “Here’s an opportunity for New Zealanders to have a say in how we go about addressing the issues that confront our most vulnerable children.”

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/govt-seeks-public-opinion-plan-protect-children-4327082

  14. King Kong 14

    Benefits in NZ are enough to sustain the basics of life – shelter, food, warmth etc – as acceptable in a first world country. It is certainly not beer and skittles living on a benefit but it can be done and everyone qualifies to recieve it.
    As much as you bleeding hearts whine, there is no excuse for anyone not providing food for their kids. It is child abuse pure and simple and should be dealt with as such.
    Anyone who is making the choice of a scratch card over their kids breakfast is an animal and should be treated like one.

    • felix 14.1

      “Benefits in NZ are enough to sustain the basics of life – shelter, food, warmth etc – as acceptable in a first world country.”

      Actually no.

      Benefits were deliberately set at 20% below the level you suggest by Ruthless Richardson and nothing has been done to reverse this decision since.

      • chris73 14.1.1

        So you agree both Labour and National are to blame?

        • Ari 14.1.1.1

          I agree National are to blame and Labour has stood by and done nothing, probably to avoid political heat on the issue.

        • Bill 14.1.1.2

          A study came some months back that showed child poverty was on the increase. Some of the stats were quite frightening. Diseases wholly associated with poverty were/are becoming more commonplace.

          There was one discussion that I’m aware of (Radio NZ) and then discussion was buried.

          Soon after, Annette King came out with her fatuous rubbish about how Labour would elevate the needs of ‘the child’ etc.

          Thing is, the study was taking figures from/ up to 2008.

        • felix 14.1.1.3

          You probably think that’s hard for me to reconcile, but I’m not a Labour supporter. And even if I was, what difference would that make? We’re talking about people having food and shelter ffs.

          Of course Labour should have increased benefits to liveable levels. Only a fucking sociopath would say otherwise.

          Play your games with someone else.

        • bbfloyd 14.1.1.4

          don’t be stupid chris… oh, sorry, i forgot who i was addressing… job creation efforts took thousands off the benefits under labour.. and i should point out the felix isn’t quite right about benefit levels.. they had been raised noticeably by the time i got back to nz..(i left in 95, arrived home 2005)..(it was actually reported in oz when the benefit levels were raised) on top of that, they had introduced rental support so that nobody paid more than 30% of their income, whether from wages or benefits.. a necessary step to counter the rent increases imposed by the national govt.(which, btw, has been stalled by this govt). thousands of people are now having to use all, or nearly all their income just to pay rent and power.. food has become a luxury for them..

          surprise me chris… sat something that doesn’t revolve around soulless bigotry, and hatred for anyone who doesn’t look like you.

          • chris73 14.1.1.4.1

            You don’t get it do you, the people arn’t listening, the phones off the hook

            Even if the polls arn’t accurate (and they probably arn’t) I’d be surprised if Labour got 30% so over 2/3 of the population don’t want Labour in power, doesn’t that say something to you at all?

            However you want to cut it the only thing of interest in the next election is not whether National will win but whether National can govern alone

            • Puddleglum 14.1.1.4.1.1

              over 2/3 of the population don’t want Labour in power, doesn’t that say something to you at all?

              Let’s think – how about that 2/3 of people in New Zealand prefer to see rising childhood poverty than have Labour in power? Like Madeleine Albright’s comments over starving Iraqi children, perhaps it’s a price their willing to pay? 

              Now that I’ve stopped being facetious – I think – benefit levels are not sufficient to sustain a person or family because of the predictable regularity of supposedly irregular, ‘exceptional circumstances’ which keep cropping up in people’s lives and cost money. Those ‘irregular’ expenses mean that budgeting quickly becomes a chaotic affair being dealt with by people often stressed and with little neighbourly or family support (that’s an increasingly common characteristic of our modern, ‘mobile’ world, BTW).

              I lived with my sister and her three children for a few years, helping to pay the rent. She was on the DPB while doing an education degree and teaching qualification. The stress was unbelievable for her and it wore her out visibly. She wouldn’t/couldn’t sleep most nights, getting only a few hours, often supposedly ‘working’ on assignments (but a blank page in the morning).

              At one point she had a car that kept getting mechanical problems and punctured tyres (turned out it was the rickety wooden floor in the garage of the rental). It cost her over $1500 in one three month period (back in 1986). She needed the car for study and making sure she got her preschooler off to care and young girls off to primary. Ironically, she went without out it for another month while the partners who owned the mechanics had a business ‘split’ and simply kept her car (telling her they’d get it done ‘next week’ while it sat in their place in pieces).

              Oh, and as for those commenters (above) who claim that “don’t breed ‘em if you can’t feed ‘em” the problem that led to her separation from her husband was his chronic psychological disturbance. And on it goes. Life’s complicated. Fortunately all of that was before the benefit cuts.

              BTW, I genuinely appreciate your comment to the effect that “it’s too easy to blame the parents” 

              • chris73

                The problem as I see it is this: Can this country afford to pay absolutely everybody on a benefit a “decent amount” to live on?

                Can every single service in this country be given the funds needed to operate properly and efficently?

                I truly don’t believe that as a country we can afford to do this

                I don’t believe we make enough/can make enough (we are a small country) to do this

                I believe any party that says we can is lying

              • how about that 2/3 of people in New Zealand prefer to see rising childhood poverty than have Labour in power?

                That’s ridiculous and you know it.

                How about “17% of the population think Labour are able to properly manage the economy”?

                It’s all about the best way to use limited resources.

    • Campbell Larsen 14.2

      And what of the society that permits and promotes gambling? And the party (national) that cuts deals with casinos? Wake up angry ape, people and problems do not exist in isolation. Shame on you for your lack of understanding, and your thinly disguised hate. People like you make me despair for the future of humanity.

    • Tangled up in blue 14.3

      Benefits in NZ are enough to sustain the basics of life

      Says who? Your anecdotal evidence doesn’t make it so.

      And yeah some parents are irresponsible, let’s try and stop this. But that’s a side issue here as not funding breakfast programmes isn’t going to get us anywhere with the issue or poor parenting and children will still be going hungry.

      • mik e 14.3.1

        Even under National in the fifties and sixties their were school lunches, milk in schools ,cheap affordable housing,Most of this problem has happened since Rogernomics Ruthenasia .Looking at our ranking in the oecd on child poverty child deaths were virtually unheard of before then. with cheap reliable housing families were able to stay together or stay in one place to create a stable family.Like Mr KEYS MUM.HOW ever inter generational alcohol abuse has been probably the biggest Destructive force in our alcohol fueled society now including drugs. ALCOHOL alone is causing $5.5 billion worth of damage each year and is not paying its way.In fact those of us who are not using alcohol our most dangerous drug are subsidizing alcohol consumption.So I suggest we could tax alcohol user pays stop subsidizing ALCOHOLISM.And fix our abhorrent child poverty and abuse statistics SECOND only to the US with that money thats effectively being poured down the drain While wrecking our society

        • Vicky32 14.3.1.1

          ….inter generational alcohol abuse has been probably the biggest destructive force in our alcohol fueled society now including drugs. Alcohol alone is causing $5.5 billion worth of damage each year and is not paying its way.In fact those of us who are not using alcohol our most dangerous drug, are subsidising alcohol consumption.So I suggest we could tax alcohol

          Agreed!

      • King Kong 14.3.2

        Says the majority of beneficiaries who do it tough but get by without starving their children.

        • Tangled up in blue 14.3.2.1

          Again, who says that the majority of beneficiaries get by without their kids going hungry sometimes?

          Do you really think that the only reason kids are going hungry is because their caregivers are wasting money on alcohol. cigs and lotto?

          Get real. People with not enough income to build savings will struggle when unexpected bills come up.

          • King Kong 14.3.2.1.1

            My understanding is that there is an extraordinary allowance or some such thing available for beneficiaries who get unexpected and unusual bills.
            The reality is you wont be taking the kids to Disneyland on a benefit but you can feed them (like the majority are doing).

            • Vicky32 14.3.2.1.1.1

              My understanding is that there is an extraordinary allowance or some such thing available for beneficiaries who get unexpected and unusual bills.

              Well, your understanding is wrong. A beneficiary can apply for a special needs grant (which must be repaid and repayments are taken immediately, before the SNG is even received!). Special needs grant are discretionary, which means that the WINZ worker can say no, you don’t deserve it, and that’s that.
              When I was on the DPB I learned that I would have been entitled to 3 extra payments for food every year – but not knowing that these payments existed, I had never applied – then, one year (my last on benefit, I think) I applied and was given $100.00 (I can’t believe that in 2004 or whenever it was, I thought $100.00 was bloody luxury, but I did.) Then when I had a heavy power bill, I applied for another food grant, thinking that I would be able to use the food money for the power bill. The WINZ case worker said to me “this is your second in a calendar year, you’re a bad manager, so now, I don’t wanna. Get lost”.
              Given that I could have had an extra $300.00 a year for 10 years, I had saved that guy’s department a serious chunk of money over the years, had I even known such grants existed. I think that shows I was a very good manager!

        • Colonial Viper 14.3.2.2

          Says the majority of beneficiaries who do it tough but get by without starving their children.

          Starvation happens in Ethiopia.

          Malnourishmkent and under-nourishment> happens in NZ.

          So if you think the first is not acceptable for NZ kids, but the last two are, its quite clear what kind of person you are.

          Maybe John Key could have kept some left overs from his $7000 dinner for his dog.

          Or for hungry NZ kids around the corner from him

    • “Benefits in NZ are enough to sustain the basics of life – shelter, food, warmth etc – as acceptable in a first world country.”

      Rubbish. You obviously have never tried to survive on a benefit.

      The facts are;

      Unemployment benefit for 25+ single person: $201.40 p/w (nett). http://www.workandincome.govt.nz/manuals-and-procedures/deskfile/main_benefits_rates/unemployment_benefit_tables.htm

      There is no way you can live off that amount.

      “Anyone who is making the choice of a scratch card over their kids breakfast is an animal and should be treated like one.”

      Really? And you know this – how?

      As much as you bleeding hearts whine, there is no excuse for anyone not providing food for their kids. It is child abuse pure and simple and should be dealt with as such.

      “Bleeding hearts whine”?! As opposed to your fatuous, narrow-minded attitude of victim-blaming? You know very little.

    • King Kong, I also missed this rubbish you wrote; It is certainly not beer and skittles living on a benefit but it can be done and everyone qualifies to recieve it.

      Again, you’ve made an error.

      Not everyone qualifies for an unemployment benefit.

      Case A: two people flat together. Sally and John both work. John is made redundant. He qualifies for a single person’s unemployment benefit.

      Case B: two people are married and live together. Sandra and James both work. James is made redundant. Because they are married and Sandra is still employed, James does not qualify for unemployment benefits.

      That is the reality which you seem blissfully unaware of.

  15. Helen Kelly 15

    I think this clip captures the situation well. Campbell live is doing some really good work in this area.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Low-income-families-hit-hardest-by-rising-food-petrol/tabid/817/articleID/220142/Default.aspx

  16. Afewknowthetruth 16

    Malnutrition and starvation were the norm in all but hunter-gatherer societies until industrial farming commenced in the late 1800s.

    The Green Revolution generated massive increases in agricultural production, largely based on the use of cheap oil, cheap fertilisers and irrigation. None of those will be available for much longer.

    The implications are obvious to anyone who cares use their brain. Industrial farming has no long term future.

    However, all politicans prefer to promote ridiculous delusions based on the present system continuing (or even expanding). And people actually believe what politicians say. The culture of denial is extraordinarily powerful.

    In practice we are leaving the Age of Entitlement and entering the Age of Consequences. That is not what people want to hear.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Malnutrition and starvation were the norm in all but hunter-gatherer societies until industrial farming commenced in the late 1800s.

      In well organised feudal societies through the 14th-17th centuries sufficient food was usually available (barring massive crop failures and war).

      • Afewknowthetruth 16.1.1

        CV

        That is superficially true. But in practice a large proportion of the food consumed in those feudal societies was obtained from ‘the commons’, not from tilled land. Every winter was a period of semi-starvation, largely dependent on stored/preserved food.

        The enclosure of the commons (by the wealthy and greedy) led to a rapid rise in deaths from malnutrition. By the mid-1800s the theft of the commons by the wealthy was near complete. Most ordinary people were then forced to become cogs in the industrial system or starve.

        Another very pertinent fact, usually overlooked, is that Europeans became increasingly dependent on imported calories from the late 1600s onwards. As the population rose, more and more food was imported.

        England had a population of around 2-3 million for centuries, and that population did not significantly increase until industrialism commenced.

        Perhaps, more importantly as far as NZ is concerned, the Maori population hit the wall when the last moa were eaten, at well below 1 million.

        • Mac1 16.1.1.1

          Moa, according to two sources which I have just googled, were basically extinct within a hundred years of Maori colonisation. By 1400, they were gone.

          The golden age of pre-European Maori civilisation came later than this, and was obviously fueled by other food sources than Moa- fish, birds, imported animals and plants such as kumera, indigenous flora. Of course food availability affected population growth, but so did disease, warfare and land losses have their effects, especially after the advent of the European.

  17. Eric 17

    It is noticeable that some commentators are very abusive especially when challenging or rebutting comments that could be construed as right wing. I see it as the ugly 26%. Since when was it someone else’s problem and obligation for people having children and not feeding them. My wife and I went thought a very very tough time but always made sure our children were fed and clothed. I must admit it does take some effort to buy raw food and prepare and cook it. You can go into any supermarket and buy raw food in abundance and if you stick to the basics and specials the kids get fed. But no it seems every one else should pay according tho a lot of these comments.

    [lprent: I'm aware that this "abusive" is a theme of yours from your last handle as well. That is a question for the moderators and not for you. Read the policy to see what we are likely to tolerate. You can point out instances you think we should look at.

    However you'll cope a ban pretty fast from trying to run a debate on what you consider is "abusive" - which usually seems to consist of trying to stifle debate on topics you'd prefer not to read.

    While you are there refresh your memory on privacy sections and consider that if I see you trying to do your habit of trying to attach IRL names to psuedonyms again, then you're going to get a permanent ban.

    You're pretty much on probation here because of your previous behaviors. ]

    • “You can go into any supermarket and buy raw food in abundance and if you stick to the basics and specials the kids get fed. But no it seems every one else should pay according tho a lot of these comments.”

      Eric, that is a highly simplistic view of life. It may be easy for you to “buy raw food in abundance” – but the same situation may not apply to others. Not when rent/mortgages, rates, insurance, electricity, phone, medical bills, car and fuel, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, are all factored in. And of course, with kids you get school “donations”, uniforms, course fees, transport…

      Need I really go on?

      I really doubt if you’ve been in the situation you describe. It seems to me that you are pontificating from on high – that you’ve NEVER been in such a dire situation at all.I am reminded of Herman Melville’s quote;

      “Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.” (Acknowledgement to Bomber Bradbury, who put it on Tumeke.)

  18. There is a basic problem with the post, in that Anthony’s making some valid points about National increasing child poverty, but then presenting unrelated numbers as evidence.

    It appears plausible on the surface: yes, National is keeping benefits low, it’s driving down wages, it’s dramatically increased inflation, all of which are likely to increase child poverty. And here are some figures showing increasing numbers of children turning up to school without breakfast, so that proves it. Only it doesn’t.

    Sending your children to school without breakfast isn’t an indicator of poverty, it’s an indicator of either drug addiction or moral failure. There are parents in Somalia right now who are simply unable to feed their children, but there aren’t any in NZ. If the number not feeding their children is increasing, it’s a sign only of an increase in the waster and munter population.

    Now, you could make a case about an increase in the waster and munter population being tied to increasing poverty, but that’s a whole nother argument, also in need of some evidence. You could also make a case that children have to be fed regardless of whether their parents are wasters and munters or not, so just provide the damn food in the schools. That’s tempting, but you’d really want some kind of anti-waster and munter parents campaign going on at the same time, otherwise you’re just providing an incentive for all the other parents to stop giving their kids breakfast. What you can’t do is use increasing numbers of kids turning up without breakfast as evidence of a government failure. It’s prima facie evidence only of parental failure.

    • What you can’t do is use increasing numbers of kids turning up without breakfast as evidence of a government failure. It’s prima facie evidence only of parental failure.

      Parents are potential voters, and governments are opponents?

      But you’re right – this isn’t a government caused problem that the “right” government can wave a wand at and fix. It is a societal problem that society needs to work together on.

      The last thing we need for this is a one size fixes all (except it won’t) decree from Wellington that all benefits and all incomes should be set to a new minimum. It will leave is with much the same problems and another problem – more expenses.

    • Tangled up in blue 18.2

      So much fail here I’m not sure where to start.

      Sending your children to school without breakfast isn’t an indicator of poverty . . . it’s a sign only of an increase in the waster and munter population. . .Now, you could make a case about an increase in the waster and munter population being tied to increasing poverty

      Basically you have a severe lack of understanding regarding the dynamics of poverty and it’s interrelation with the variables associated with an increased risk of negative societal outcomes.
      The strong correlation between low socioeconomic status and sending your children to school without breakfast shows that it is in fact an indicator of poverty. Further, it’s also true that the increasing rate of poverty is correlated with as increase of people without access to the right skills and resources necessary for their role to be a positive one (or “munters and wasters” as you so eloquently labelled them).

      You could also make a case that children have to be fed regardless of whether their parents are wasters and munters or not, so just provide the damn food in the schools. That’s tempting, but you’d really want some kind of anti-waster and munter parents campaign going on at the same time, otherwise you’re just providing an incentive for all the other parents to stop giving their kids breakfast.

      Concluding that “anti-waster and munter “parents would react by themselves acting like “munters and wasters” is unconvincing to say the least.

      What you can’t do is use increasing numbers of kids turning up without breakfast as evidence of a government failure. It’s prima facie evidence only of parental failure.

      Again you don’t seem to comprehend that people don’t exist in a vacuum uninfluenced from economic and societal influences. Deprived families are more likely to be exposed to risk factors associated with poverty (being uneducated, poor role models, lack of income/resources etc). Peoples level of depravity are influenced by Govt. policy. For example if services cost more and people’s real incomes are not increasing, then parents are more likely to fail

      • Puddleglum 18.2.1

        Good comment.

      • Psycho Milt 18.2.2

        So much fail here I’m not sure where to start.

        Ironic, given that you then decide to start with an egregious correlation=causation error. Sending children to school without breakfast is very strongly correlated with poverty, absolutely – but then, skirt-wearing is very strongly correlated with breast cancer. The one isn’t necessarily the result of the other. In this instance, it’s worth bearing in mind that being addicted to alcohol or other recreational drugs, or being the kind of complete waster who can’t even manage the first item on the parenting job profile, is unlikely to result in living a well-off middle-class existence. Being poor doesn’t necessarily make you the kind of person who won’t look after your children, but being the kind of person who won’t look after your children will definitely make you poor. The causal factors here aren’t clear-cut by any means.

        Concluding that “anti-waster and munter “parents would react by themselves acting like “munters and wasters” is unconvincing to say the least.

        In what way? If you’re lacking the money to make ends meet, and you see the school dishing up hearty breakfasts for the kids of people who are too drug-addicted or too just-plain-no-good to feed them, why wouldn’t you put your own kids on the breakfast list? Desperate times call for desperate measures. Schools giving out breakfasts will find demand increasing merely by virtue of the existence of the programme.

        Again you don’t seem to comprehend that people don’t exist in a vacuum uninfluenced from economic and societal influences.

        Again, ironic given that you’ve just declared yourself unconvinced by the idea that handing out free food might encourage increasing numbers of people to sign up for free food.

        All the above is entertaining but really pretty much beside the point, which remains: making sure kids don’t go hungry is their parents’ responsibility, not the government’s. There’s nobody in NZ so poor they can’t feed their children. Whatever needs doing about the fact that some aren’t feeding their children, having the govt feed them instead is a recipe only for increasing the number of parents not feeding their children.

        • Tangled up in blue 18.2.2.1

          Ironic, given that you then decide to start with an egregious correlation=causation error.

          Stop with the strawman crap please. I didn’t at all say that correlation=causation. Of course “being poor doesn’t necessarily make you the kind of person who won’t look after your children”. You seem to pretty much agree with what I’m saying but again you go wrong with “being the kind of person who won’t look after your children will definitely make you poor”. You don’t acknowledge HOW someone becomes this type of person. There are a range of adverse early-life social and environmental factors that contribute to someone being the kind of person who won’t look after their children. These multiple risk factors are more likely to be present in deprived families and is the context in which “munters and wasters” come about.

          In what way? If you’re lacking the money to make ends meet, and you see the school dishing up hearty breakfasts for the kids of people who are too drug-addicted or too just-plain-no-good to feed them, why wouldn’t you put your own kids on the breakfast list? Desperate times call for desperate measures. Schools giving out breakfasts will find demand increasing merely by virtue of the existence of the programme.

          Because there’s a difference between sending your kids to school without breakfast and sending your kids to school without breakfast because you know they will be getting breakfast. And yes handing out free food will encourage increasing numbers of people to sign up for free food, though if this becomes a problem then having a CSC could be a condition like many other services. Or, it could be argued that making it free for everyone is a worthwhile Govt investment, like free doctors’ visits for kids.

          All the above is entertaining but really pretty much beside the point, which remains: making sure kids don’t go hungry is their parents’ responsibility, not the government’s. There’s nobody in NZ so poor they can’t feed their children.

          Again it seems to come down to your misconception about people struggling to get by. Ask front-line workers at social service agencies and food banks etc if people are genuinely in need. Look at the research done by UNICEF and others regarding the increase of poverty in these tough times. Your opinion is simply out of touch with the reality of being a low income family.

          • Psycho Milt 18.2.2.1.1

            Stop with the strawman crap please. I didn’t at all say that correlation=causation.

            Well, if you’re not saying kids are going to school hungry because of poverty, I’m not sure what your point is meant to be.

            You don’t acknowledge HOW someone becomes this type of person. There are a range of adverse early-life social and environmental factors that contribute to someone being the kind of person who won’t look after their children. These multiple risk factors are more likely to be present in deprived families…

            Or, if we translate that from the original Obfuscan: people raise their children the way they know, to become people much like themselves. See, you don’t address HOW someone becomes this type of person either, you just offer a bit of blather about the influences of social and environmental factors. Those of us who actually are parents understand just how powerful the biological and social imperative to look after your children is, and realise just how difficult that imperative would be to overcome. Addiction will do it, having been raised by people who mistreated you may do it, but struggling to make ends meet isn’t even in the running as an explanation. Your argument needs to take into account the fact that parents aren’t merely automatons responding to the various inputs they receive – social and environmental factors may count, but so do the individual parent’s choices.

            • Colonial Viper 18.2.2.1.1.1

              social and environmental factors may count, but so do the individual parent’s choices.

              Parents who want to do the best for their children need easy free access to the support, advice, and resources needed to do so.

              In other words, parents need a good range of solid, quality choices to choose from, presented to them by the community and by society, which they can realistically access.

              If parents continue to ignore those good choices but insist on making injurious choices, then sanctions might be considered. Even then however the child’s best interests must be first and foremost.

            • Tangled up in blue 18.2.2.1.1.2

              Well, if you’re not saying kids are going to school hungry because of poverty, I’m not sure what your point is meant to be.

              *sigh* You’re still resorting to purposely misinterpreting what I’m saying, and then arguing from this distorted position.

              Kids are going to school hungry because of their parents poor choices. Their parents poor choices are made in the context of poverty. Positively change the risk factors to poverty and parents will be able to make better choices.

              If you’d had any sort of educational background or experience in this area you’d know that ‘associations between food security, income, and accessibility to material resources within households’ is very much the established academic view.

              • Kids are going to school hungry because of their parents poor choices. Their parents poor choices are made in the context of poverty. Positively change the risk factors to poverty and parents will be able to make better choices.

                Well, that’s the dispute over then. No argument – except that I’d say people sending kids to school without breakfast are “able to make better choices” right now, but aren’t, so your last sentence strikes me as wishful thinking rather than anything else.

                Parents who want to do the best for their children need easy free access to the support, advice, and resources needed to do so.

                I don’t think stirring yourself to feed your kids comes under the heading of “best” – it barely makes “adequate.” As well as that, parents already have easy, free access to support, advice and resources – there’s a shitload of govt agencies and charities providing it. At issue is whether or not it is literally impossible to feed your children on a benefit, and thousands of parents on benefits demonstrate that it’s not impossible.

          • Psycho Milt 18.2.2.1.2

            Oh, and this one:

            Ask front-line workers at social service agencies and food banks etc if people are genuinely in need.

            That much is obvious – the question doesn’t need asking. At issue is whether poverty is at such a level that it’s now physically impossible for some parents to feed their children – which is way, way beyond “genuinely in need.”

            • Tangled up in blue 18.2.2.1.2.1

              Ask front-line workers at social service agencies and food banks etc if people genuinely can’t feed their children.

              You can tell yourself that all people who can’t are “wasters and munters” but good luck finding anyone with authority on the matter to back you up.

  19. Eric 19

    Whoever lprent is: Your attachment to my comment is interesting. I have made maybe 2 comments on this site and each time I used decent language and expressed my thoughts on the opinions and aggressive language of some. For that I see you have decided that I am a threat to free speech and trying to stifle debate. So an opposing view to yours in you opinion ‘stifling debate’ A good example of what George Orwell was meaning by newspeak.

    As I am new to this comment on website business and did not realise that you had to think a certain way to be a part of the comments I will give your site a wide steer, however what the hell does ”

    if I see you trying to do your habit of trying to attach IRL names to psuedonyms again, then you’re going to get a permanent ban.”

    mean? Maybe 2 comments and I have a habit? Of what?

    [lprent: I am the sites sysop. This is your second comment using that e-mail address.

    But I read IP numbers as well as e-mails, handles, and the type of comments. In your case I looked at the IP which was static for a particular commentator for many months. I also looked at your comment which covered many of the same themes that commentator used - as does this comment.

    I always look at the first comment on a new handle to see if they are people who are previously banned. In this case the previous handle wasn't banned - but it'd had a series of warnings and was about to get banned if it didn't have a behavioral change.

    I'm pretty confident that the probability of my being wrong is pretty low. I'm pretty confident I know who you were. You are welcome to try this approach if you want to to the usual inevitable result on this privately held site - but I'm sure that our property rights outweigh yours.

    And even if I'm wrong. It simply means that as a newbie you got my usual warning for people trying to say how we should run this site earlier than usual. Also that you don't get the toleration period I'd normally extend for newbies learning the required behavioral limits for the site. But that shouldn't be a problem if you confine yourself to the behavior expected here.

    I really don't care - it is your problem (and my toleration level has just been exceeded) ]

    • Interesting how neoliberals/right wingers don’t seem to get the concept of private property when it comes to websites, messageboards, chatrooms, etc. I’ve seen the same resentment on Trademe messageboards when moderators remove offensive posts.

      Fact is, we’re all guests here. No blog – whether it is The Standard, Whaleoil, Tumeke, Kiwiblog, etc, is compelled to tolerate anyone. Blogs can set whatever rules they fancy. If someone doesn’t like the rules – move on to the next blog.

      Isn’t that the “power of the consumer”, that is so beloved of free marketeers?

  20. The Green Paper for Vulnerable Children website is up now.

    http://www.childrensactionplan.govt.nz/home

  21. randal 21

    this government is busy redistributing the wealth to the BRT and their cronies and buying a pie for a hungry kid just doesnt cut it. It doesn’t add to anyones net wealth and unless the restof the world can see what a wonderful person you are by giving a kid a pie then it doesn’t count.

  22. Treetop 22

    Life skills which problem solve need to be taught more. There is a disconnect with basic food items and how to stretch the preparation of the item. An example of this is to make oatmeal, 1/2 a cup of oatmeal, 1/2 a cup of water and 1/2 a cup of milk will make a breakfast for a child. A few chopped up sultanas in the mix will add to the taste.

    I do realise that some families go without meat altogether and that dairy is a luxury item and that it should not be and that iron and dairy are essential for growing children.

    During the war people became creative and this sort of problem solving has to return due to the cost of food, unlike during the war the rationing was due to the item being unavailable.

    No child should go without breakfast in this country because a hungry child is unable to perform to their academic potential. The state needs to step in here as providing breakfast is a good way to put iron and roughage in the diet as well as some calcium.

    Sad that rationing of food has become a reality in far too many households in NZ.

  23. Plunket welcomes Green Paper on vulnerable children

    Plunket CEO Jenny Prince was among the key people who were consulted during the development of the paper, which has a special focus on under five year-olds.

    “The health and wellbeing of our under five’s is an issue for all of society. It truly does take a village to raise a child,” she said.

    “While New Zealand has a strong foundation of services and support for children and families, there is more that needs to be done to help our children grow, develop and achieve.

    “We welcome debate and attention directed at ways to reduce child abuse and other harm to children. This paper is a great opportunity for all New Zealanders to discuss what we, as a society, can do to improve life for our most vulnerable citizens.

    “Evidence tells us there are no quick fixes. There are a complex range of contributing factors to the state of our children’s health and wellbeing. We need to concentrate effort on ensuring that families have the support they need to safely care for and raise New Zealand’s future generations.

    “Focusing on giving our children the best start in life is vital in helping us create a better society.

    “This Green Paper is a very tangible way we can all be involved in making real change for our children. We encourage all New Zealanders to have their say and make a submission.”

    This deserves a non-political community orientated approach. The wellbeing of our kids is far more important than ideological intransigence.

    • r0b 23.1

      This deserves a non-political community orientated approach

      That sort of comment usually translates as “oh please don’t ask the government to lead or take action”.

      But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, and ask what an effective “non-political community orientated approach” would look like. NB – “effective”.

      • Pete George 23.1.1

        I think this is how government should work on important social issues like this – get expert opinion into a report, make it available to everyone, and ask for comment and ideas.

        Don’t you think that’s a good approach?

        We’ll have to wait and see if they deal with it properly from here ie take note of what people say and develop policy from that, but the more involvment there is from community groups and individuals the better the chance of improving things for kids.

        You’ve posted on hungry kids so you must know a bit about it, you could see what you can contribute on this paper.

        • r0b 23.1.1.1

          Don’t you think that’s a good approach?

          It’s a good approach in many situations.  Not in this one.  We know what the problem is.  There have been any number of learned academic papers and expert reports on it.  And the cost of delay is too large.

          In this situation what we need is leadership.  Compassion. Action.  Now.

          We won’t get it from this government. 

          • Pete George 23.1.1.1.1

            We know what the problem is.

            Who’s “we”? What is “the problem”?

            There are a number of complex inter-related problems. Solutions are much more difficult.

            Jenny Prince: ““Evidence tells us there are no quick fixes. There are a complex range of contributing factors to the state of our children’s health and wellbeing.”

            • r0b 23.1.1.1.1.1

              Who’s “we”? What is “the problem”?

              Sadly, I was right the first time. You’re just an excuse for more delay and inaction.

              You’ll now more about “we” and “the problem” if you read a few of the many “reports” on child poverty in NZ.
              From the Children’s Commissioner.
              From the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
              From Unicef.
              From the OECD.
              From the Ministry of Social Development, and here.
              From Children’s Social Health Monitor.
              From the Child Poverty Action Group.
              From the Public Health Advisory Committee.
              And so on.

              Yeah – we really need another report don’t we. No need to actually DO anything.

              • Is consultation with the people a bit hard for you?

                Organisations like Plunket and Barnados seem to see this as potentially a worthwhile way to look for solutions from communities and organisations involved in dealing with children. They might know a bit about it.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Now ask them if they want to see Govt funding and Govt initiatives leave the scene PG.

                  In the UK David Cameron has has to backpeddle hard on his Big Society concept and restore a lot of funding which was to have been cut.

                • r0b

                  Is consultation with the people a bit hard for you?

                  Is that the best you can do?  The people have been consulted ad nauseam, see above.  

                  As a result of such consultation Labour instituted Working for Families which lifted a substantial number of children out of poverty.  Now the Nats are letting the problem get worse again.

                  We know what’s wrong, we know how to fix it.  Or we could just defend inaction while kids go hungry… 

                  • Most people know what’s “wrong” – many things are wrong.

                    If you think you can “fix it” you’re more out of touch with the real world than I thought.

                    • r0b

                      If you think you can “fix it”

                      Of course I can’t fix it – what a bizarre remark.  

                      Of course the government can.  Labour was (slowly) getting there.

                    • felix

                      I’m seriously thinking of voting for Pete George on the basis that he thinks no-one can do anything and isn’t interested in trying.

                      It’s a “new way of doing politics.”

                      It’s “common sense.”

                      It’s “Your NZ.”

                    • Of course I can’t fix it – what a bizarre remark.

                      I thought “we know how to fix it” was a bizarre remark – and I thought you were a part of “we”.

                      There is no “fix”. It needs to be a continuous process of trying to do better.

                      There will always be kids that go hungry, kids that get beaten, kids that aren’t loved, kids that don’t get adequate health care, kids that don’t get adequate education.

                      And there will always be a proportion of people who can’t be “fixed”, and there will probably always be insufficient money to do enough.

                      We can and should work on reducing these problems as best we can. Improvement will always be slow, many of the problems are intergenerational.

                  • rosy

                    +1 r0b. This is like the welfare working group – bringing in opinion instead of evidence. It’s also a stalling tactic – wait for the line ‘we’re doing something, look at all these esteemed people on the this working group, we need to wait until after the election when they’ve reported back to move on this, we want to get it right’ .

                    And Labour has only 2 choices – to go with it, which gives it legitimacy, or appear sour losers by agitating against it. Good political move by NAct, but it’s not helping anyone, it’s playing with kids health, education and life chances.

                    • bringing in opinion instead of evidence.

                      It is combining evidence with communities who are working directly with the problems and have to deal with any new policies.

                      Experts imposing theories doesn’t work, it has to be a combined approach to work properly – the community has to do the hard yards so they need to be an integral part of the solutions.

                • Pete George, these organisations will encourage anything that looks like it might possibly, eventually, result in something of use. They grasp at these straws as they pass by in the constant flow of policy releases, reports and the like. They find it hard to get any traction so they respond to any signs of hope.

                  But, ask them what they’d really like to see … 

            • Ianupnorth 23.1.1.1.1.2

              See below Pete – they (Key et al) employed an expert (Prof. peter Gluckman) but refuse to listen. Consultation will only bring out the voices of the Sensible Sentancing Trust and Families First who refuse to acknowledge credible research.

          • Treetop 23.1.1.1.2

            “We won’t get it from this government.” I agree with you because this government does nothing about providing stability to those with the greatest need.

            A massive housing programme is required or a big increase in the accommodation supplement so that private rent is only 25% of income.

            When you go to WINZ for food assistance the criteria is an immediate need and an unforseen circumstance, (the unforseen circumstance is low benefit levels which do not meet basic costs, so each week a person has an immediate need).

            Affordable after hours health care and affordable access to education.

            All of the above will give stability and then stress levels will decline and the vicious cycle of the main stressors (housing, health care, food and education) will decrease. Then a person is in a better space and they then have the energy to become more productive.

            People are angry because of emotional discomfort and the most vulnerable with the least cognitive resources (children) are the ones who are targeted or the ones who are the most affected.

            Other solutions (as well as the above) are required for those with addiction, health issues and poor life skills.

            Main organisations who assist those in poverty have the answers, but the government is not listening. The government is not listening to many in Christchurch either.

            What is going to get the government to just listen?

            • Pete George 23.1.1.1.2.1

              What is going to get the government to just listen?

              They are doing something.

              What can you do?
              Have your say and let us know what you think by making a submission before 28 February 2012. You can make a submission online, on the Facebook page, in person at hui or fono, by email to yourresponse@childrensactionplan.govt.nz, or posting your submission to:

              Green Paper for Vulnerable Children
              PO Box 1556
              Wellington

              Read the report first, they may already know something about your suggestions. It’s not very long.

              http://www.msd.govt.nz/documents/about-msd-and-our-work/work-programmes/policy-development/green-paper-vulnerable-children/green-paper-for-vulnerable-children.pdf

              • Treetop

                I intend to make a submission. I intend to write to the Commissioner for Children.

                I left employment off the list because a person is either work ready or not work ready, full or part time when they have the care of children. Being productive, there for your children, doing unpaid work, study or money saving hobbies is just as important when it comes to self esteem/self worth.

              • Ianupnorth

                A waste of time, effort and money Pete, IMHO (and I do know what I am talking about as I have worked in that field for 25 years!)
                A few facts – internationally what works and what doesn’t is well known. Internationally there are volumes of research on these thing called social determinants of health – Thatcher’s government refused to admit these existed and attempted to hide the Black Report in the 1980’s
                Have a look here http://www.rwjf.org/vulnerablepopulations/ – it is American, but the same groups suffer the same issues

                low or no wages
                poor quality housing
                poor access to services
                poorer educational attainment
                more chronic illness
                an earlier death

                Conversely other groups have better health, related to where they live, the colour of their skin, the school they attended, etc.
                If, and that is serious question, New Zealanders want a thriving, productive economy, then people need to bite the bullet and consider others. We need to adequately invest in people, especially the young – Professor Peter Gluckman has already told the government this!
                If on the other hand you are happy to have disenfranchised people, long term unemployed, people with skill sets that will do not match the reality of the 21st century keep going as you are. I don’t mean throwing money at the kids to buy weetbix, but legislate against all the fast food joints, put a tax on them, they are contributing heavily to this issue.
                The reality is that by keeping one group hungry you are already sowing the seeds of damage.

                • Colonial Viper

                  can we please have more bootcamps? Heard they were a roaring succes.

                  • Treetop

                    The best thing which came out of boot camp is that they were provided with three meals a day.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      That might explain the high re-offending rate with such high youth unemployment. You get three squares in prison too.

                • Don’t accuse me of being “happy” to do anything of the sort. I am simply promoting discusion and involvement in the consultation process.

                  For solutions to work it needs whole community involvement in finding workable solutions. Having ideology imposed from Wellington without consulation has not worked well up until now, we need to find different ways of getting at the root causes. All of us, not just a few party professionals

                  • Ianupnorth

                    A scenario – a group of internationally recognised experts on a subject (it could be jet propulsion, it could be cancer treatment, it could be education) do a meta-analysis of their subject; they come up with a set of guidelines that set the standard for best practice in jet propulsion/cancer treatment/education – by best standard you look at efficacy, cost, effectiveness.
                    So, do you follow the guidelines as set by the experts or do you consult lay people or groups and use their solution?
                    Does Bob McCroskie know more than say a Cochrane Review of factors influencing child health?

                    • So, do you follow the guidelines as set by the experts or do you consult lay people or groups and use their solution?

                      Both of course. That’s the process that’s under way now.

                    • So McCroskie has a valid and informed opinion? Like hell he has! The research is the evidence, you do NOT need consultation, you are asking people to offer opinion on a set of circumstances that they do not have a detailed picture of.

                  • felix

                    Who accused you of being happy, Pete? Exact quote please.

                  • felix

                    Pete, did you even read r0b’s list of links?

                    From the Children’s Commissioner.
                    From the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
                    From Unicef.
                    From the OECD.
                    From the Ministry of Social Development, and here.
                    From Children’s Social Health Monitor.
                    From the Child Poverty Action Group.
                    From the Public Health Advisory Committee.

                    These are the people you characterise as “party professionals.”

                    Which is just weird, considering your role in the party.

  24. randal 24

    Boot camps are just sinecures for loudmouth kiwi knowalls to get a job bossing kids around, government funding and a van.

  25. Colonial Viper 25

    I think we are pretty clear now that the RWNJ’s have no interest in building a stronger more inclusive society for all, and they are not going to change their minds no matter what.

  26. oligarkey 26

    t-smithfeild. Childhood hunger IS related to childhood poverty. Childhood poverty is related to the zero percent wage growth in the bottom quarter of the labour market over the lst 25 years (Employment Contracts Act and Labour’s retention of zero union bargaining power), and the huge family benefit cuts that National introduced in 1991 (and Labour, to their shame, retained).

    To change these things, the left needs to hit back at the right with a return to universal union contract coverage, like we used to have for 60 years before 1991, and like Australia still has. This is particularly needed in industries that are impossible to organise on an individual shop basis (i.e. the service industries). Labour needs to prioritise the reintroduction of decent family support, and prioritise employment for parents. The free market just isn’t delivering us an inclusive, cohesive and peaceful society. The time for playing supply and demand with the lives of hundreds of thousands of young people is over. The right wing experiment has failed, and the left, as a collective, need to be shouting this over and over again in a clear voice, taking none of this “politics of envy” nonsense from Oligarkey and his greedy, sociopath mates.

  27. Annette King is prepared to put the kids first (well, after making a few political points):

    …the paper includes many of our policy’s components, including information-sharing, child centred practices, agency collaboration and legislation changes.

    We are again offering to work across parties on this.

    This is a hugely important issue. The country as a whole needs to work together on it.

    Good. If all parties co-operate and work on this then kids get the attention and co-operation they deserve.

    • felix 27.1

      “well, after making a few political points”

      Err, she is a politician, Pete, just as you are.

      Please note that your first sentence is also a “political point” btw.

  28. Marjorie Dawe 28

    I wonder how many in our society take notice of the families and kids living without. I have been doorknocking lately and find that the chill of some of the dwellings I visit meets me at the door. I think the Nats need to visit a state housing area or an area with a high percentage of rental accommodation and randomly knock on a few doors and I dont mean the ones with nicely mown lawns.
    It’s winter and so many houses have no floor coverings, heat retaining curtains and are bare of furniture or any comfort in life. The landlords seem to care little about the wellbeing of their tenants. Few have picked up the insulation g
    or

  29. Marjorie Dawe 29

    I wonder how many in our society take notice of the families and kids living without. I have been doorknocking lately and find that the chill of some of the dwellings I visit meets me at the door. I think the Nats need to visit a state housing area or an area with a high percentage of rental accommodation and randomly knock on a few doors and I dont mean the ones with nicely mown lawns.
    It’s winter and so many houses have no floor coverings, heat retaining curtains and are bare of furniture or any comfort in life. The landlords seem to care little about the wellbeing of their tenants. Few have picked up the insulation grants or thought about making their rentals affordable so that the poor can buy decent food.
    Happiness is measured by so many as wealth and capital accumulation and it seems that too many have stopped caring.
    Our kids shouldnt go hungry.
    It’s time for a change and not the kind of change which our government has made.

  30. reid 30

    Key to getting kids out of poverty is educating them so as to ensure that when they have kids their kids will also be educated. That’s how it works in life, isn’t it. Education begats education. Doesn’t it. Can’t deny it. Look around you. Think of your own experience. Anyone who comes to a political blog is educated, aren’t they. That’s how it works with you and all your friends and associates, isn’t it. All of you have educated parents, don’t you. Occasionally you get the odd miracle but 99% of the time, that IS how it works, isn’t it.

    Kids in poverty who grow up to have kids who also live in poverty almost invariably had parents who didn’t encourage indeed sometimes disrupted their own education and that’s because their parents weren’t educated. Both in general and in how to be a proper parent. Break that cycle. That’s the key and that’s the only key. And that means, targeting parental behaviour in this generation of kids in poverty and making damn sure those kids currently in poverty know how life works, as in, what they need to do, to get educated so as to have a higher income than their parents.

    If Labour focused on policies which dealt with those dynamics, I might even vote for it.

    But it probably won’t, for Labour has a vested interest in perpetuating poverty as without a ready and large pool of economic “victims” Labour is no more and if their base become educated, well where would Labour be, in thirty or forty years?

    • Ianupnorth 30.1

      Two things relate to this; first is this http://www.healthpromotingschools.health.nz/hps_home – this is a WHO programme that seeks to develop children by developing their skills to maintain and promote their own health, thus it is sustainable (unlike breakfast clubs) – but regrettably it was the first thing to receive funding cuts from Ryall – the premise behind the programme is that healthy kids learn better, hence attain more, therefore are more employable later in life. But according to Ryall this isn’t front line work, it is better to fix hips and do bypasses than it is to prepare your young for their productive lives.
       
      The second is this – Fruit in Schools – was kept, as Labour had already budgeted for that; but remember, it wasn’t set up as a hunger initiative, it was a part of the Labour Gpvernment’s NZ cancer strategy.
       
      National has done very little – Simon Bridges wanted a ‘fishes and loaves’ programme in low decile schools in Tauranga and wanted to fund this via the Catholic church, but his bosses didn’t back him.

      • reid 30.1.1

        Kind of, but very peripheral, Ian.

        Agree good physical health is the basis for success in life therefore critical but this arises over time from moderation in everything and knowing that comes from wisdom and wisdom comes from education.

        From what you say I would probably support both those programs as part of the whole package but they’d be low priority.

        Higher priority would be giving them education on why fruit is better than beer and smokes and if they wanted fruit, beer and smokes altogether, telling them what they need to do in order to have that as well. But to realise, in their current circumstances, they have to make the choice. It’s either/or, not both.

        • Ianupnorth 30.1.1.1

          Hi reid, HPS works by addressing the issues that the school community identifies as their priority. For far too long there have been ‘groups’ going into schools telling them the biggest issue is ‘X’.
          For many teachers having a group come in and ‘deliver’ a programme in the class provides respite and time to do their admin.
          HPS addresses the schools issue by considering it in what are called the three bubbles

          Curriculum teaching and learning
          School organisation and ethos
          Community links and partnerships

          You can tackle any issue, but unless you address the three bubbles you will not affect change, e.g.
          Nutrition – you can teach forever and a day about healthy eating, but if the local dairy only sells crap and there is no policy preventing junk being brought to school, it fails. Now, if you change the school policies, ensure they are achievable and have the backing of the parents and then also approach local businesses, tell them what and why you are doing this, you really do get sustainable change.
          My main concern re. breakfast programmes is that they are unsustainable. As much as I see the need, they need to be part of a bigger picture.

          • reid 30.1.1.1.1

            Ian mate not talking about telling children how healthy fruit is. Am talking about identifying poorly educated parents who don’t get it for one reason or another, and using all sorts of tactics to get them to get it, so their kids and and as an incidental benefit they themselves, don’t die at 55 like their parents did or will. This means no fucking around, not tippy toeing around sensitivities, some of these parents have never even seen a good role model in anything their whole lives.

            That’s reality Ian. That’s the raw human being material we are talking about and it’s a question of in order to be effective, how do you best realistically get that raw human being material to change its behaviour and make that change stick for their whole lives.

            Not easy is it but that’s the task.

            • Pete George 30.1.1.1.1.1

              Very difficult, but it’s aiming at the cause of the problem rather than trying to patch up the aftermath.

              It’s also at best a long slow process – certainly not a quick vote catcher. That’s why it needs to be a cross-party commitment with a long term plan with realistic goals. The plan will need to be tweaked over time depending on what works and what doesn’t, but the overall plan needs to be continued, not chopped with political axes.

  31. grumpy czeching in 31

    Notice to beneficiaries

    “Feed your kids before you buy booze and smokes”

    • Ianupnorth 31.1

      Grumpy, it isn’t just beneficiaries in NZ struggling to feed kids, it is everyone!

    • Campbell Larsen 31.2

      Notice to National – get some policies that create jobs and address the causes of poverty and inequality in our society

      • Afewknowthetruth 31.2.1

        ‘address the causes of poverty and inequality in our society’

        That would mean exposing the money-lender scam. There is no way that National (or Labour) would do that.

        • reid 31.2.1.1

          Poverty is caused by attitude, not circumstance. The right attitudes are developed by education. If every person living in a Phillipine rubbish dump got the right education in no time only seagulls would live there.

          The money-lender scam is real, very real, but it’s not why some people are poor and others very rich. It’s not about money, it’s about power, as no doubt you already know, Afktt.

          • Colonial Viper 31.2.1.1.1

            Education guarantees you a burger flipping job since that is the economy we have left for the next generation.

            Oh, a burger flipping job to pay off a shit tonne of student debt.

            If every person living in a Phillipine rubbish dump got the right education in no time only seagulls would live there.

            Can we provide them with that education in NZ? What would that education consist of?

            Or are you distracting with an un-implementable fantasy?

            Common US scenario: finish law school with a $100K student debt, go to work in a $7/hr job (if lucky) because that is all their economy has.

          • Vicky32 31.2.1.1.2

            If every person living in a Phillipine rubbish dump got the right education in no time only seagulls would live there.

            Complete cobblers! Even educated people in the Phillipines can’t get jobs. When I was a single mother, I knew a few Filipina “Mail order brides”, one of them very well. She explained to me that she was here because despite her skills and her education, she couldn’t get a job in her home country. She was actually very lucky, she loved the husband who’d brought her here.
            Amongst those killed in the Christchurch earthquake were a number of Filipina nurses who had come to New Zealand, and were attending a languange school in order to get the IELTS of 7.5 required to work in a hospital here. They probably would rather have stayed home and worked there, as is the case with other Filipinas (some of whom I have taught), who despite their skills, can’t get work in their own country.

            • Colonial Viper 31.2.1.1.2.1

              reid doesn’t understand the economic realities facing the burgeoning underclass of the world.

              NZ graduates can’t even get jobs in NZ. It doesn’t seem to occur to him to put two and two together. Education gets young people into debt, starting them off on the backfoot compared to someone who has already been working for 3-4 years, has no debt and actually has savings (net worth).

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    On the Left | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • The idiot
    Here’s why this Steffan Browning/Ebola/Homeopathy thing is a really big deal for the Green Party. (a) Historically they’ve been stereotyped by their opponents as a bunch of nutters (b) The main focus of the party for the past five years –...
    DimPost | 30-10
  • Climate change and New Zealand cities
    Environmentalists sometimes have an uneasy relationship with cities. Because they concentrate a lot of people and economic activity in relatively small places, they also concentrate a lot of negative environmental effects. All that concrete, all that energy being consumed, the...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Got a mystery? Just ask John!
    Tuesday, November 24, 2009John Key has learned the identity of the entertainer guilty of an indecency charge through the grapevine of people circumventing the suppression order....
    Pundit | 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....
    CTU | 30-10
  • Blocked
    It is safe to say before the election last month I was fairly prolific in the blogosphere as we headed to an election. Was it because there was a glimmer of hope for we on this side of the coin?...
    My Thinks | 30-10
  • Blend with the Bruntletts Group Ride
    While Vancourerites Chris and Melissa Bruntlett are here for their Auckland Conversation talk, Generation Zero, Frocks on Bikes and TransportBlog have organised a slow, family friendly ride around the city centre. The map is below. The ride is designed to be self-directed so...
    Transport Blog | 30-10
  • Rawshark – Is she Maori or Pakeha?
    Cameron Slater blamed someone for being behind the hacking of his emails and passing them on to Nicky Hager. And then he named someone he thought was Rawshark. John Key says someone told him who Rawshark is but he ain’t telling. @B3nRaching3r is...
    Te Putatara | 30-10
  • Employment law: it’s toasted
    In an early episode of Mad Men, when the company’s going for the Lucky Strike account, sleazebag antihero Don Draper asks the client exactly how cigarettes are made. They talk through the process, mentioning the tobacco is toasted – and...
    On the Left | 30-10
  • Owners of the wind
    Thirty-odd years ago in the Kingdom of Denmark lived some brave people who disliked nuclear power and loved renewable energy. Determined to keep their country clean and safe, they began building their own wind turbines. Today, thanks to these passionate...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • TPPA Bulletin #58
    NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION 8 NOVEMBER 2014 Auckland, Hamilton, Raglan, Tauranga, Rotorua, Gisborne, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Levin,Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin,Invercargill. REGIONAL UPDATES Auckland (1:00 pm at Aotea Square): speakers include Robyn Malcolm (Actors Equity), Bunny McDiarmid (Greenpeace), Dayle Takitimu...
    NZ – Not for sale | 30-10
  • Seabed mining: drums in the deep
    Out on the Chatham Rise, the ridge jutting into the waters off Christchurch and extending out beyond the Chathams, Chatham Rock Phosphate has a mining permit and is now seeking EPA approval for its project to mine phosphate for fertiliser,...
    Pundit | 30-10
  • 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 again...
    CTU | 30-10
  • An unmanaged conflict
    Katherine Rich is a member of the government-appointed Health Promotion Agency, responsible for (as it says on its website) "inspiring all New Zealanders to lead healthier lives". Katherine Rich is also Chief Executive of the New Zealand Food and Grocery...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Robert Fisk
    Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • A stretch
    This morning the Herald revealed that Kim Dotcom had been convicted and fined for dangerous driving in 2009, but had not declared it on his application for residency. Immigration is now talking about deporting him. So, this is what we...
    No Right Turn | 30-10
  • Tauranga port happy to take the money – but not happy to accept responsib...
    Comments from a Port of Tauranga manager about deaths and injuries in their port during a Radio New Zealand interview are unacceptable....
    MUNZ | 30-10
  • New Ebola Toys for Xmas. Yay?
    From the "too soon?" file, here are two oddly successful exercises in niche marketing. First, the molecularly-sort-of-correct ebola plush toy. Apparently it has sold out: And, of course, the sexy ebola nurse outfit: Ebola, as everyone knows, ignores cleavage. And...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Temporary, discriminatory and an admission of Faliure
    The PM says that the legislation his government proposes to pass under urgency allowing for the confiscation of passports of NZ citizens in order to combat the threat of returning foreign fighters will be “tightly focused” on those traveling to...
    Kiwipolitico | 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...
    frogblog | 30-10
  • Experiment-gate update
    Readers may recall the saga around an experimental mailer some Stanford / Dartmouth researchers sent into the state of Montana. In a randomised trial, it provided voters with some added information about two candidates running for a judicial election, and...
    Polity | 30-10
  • Why are our Politicians Auckland Toll Chickens?
    Yesterday both the National Government and Green Party opposed the suggestion to place a toll on Auckland’s roads, but for completely different reasons. The Government opposes it because they see it as a new tax. The Greens because they would...
    Gareth’s World | 29-10
  • The obvious question
    John Key says he knows who the hacker Rawshark is. So, will the police be raiding his home for ten hours and taking all his data, or is that something they only do to enemies of the National Party?...
    No Right Turn | 29-10
  • Guest post: Living with a criminal conviction
    What happens when one moment of bad judgement changes everything anyone ever thinks about you? Mike Jones* used a weapon to defend his girlfriend from an aggressive man at a party seven years ago. He’s still paying for that choice....
    On the Left | 29-10
  • James Shaw speaks on the four Bills formerly known as the Accounting Infras...
    The assurance industry is a critical component of our economic framework. The idea that there is a trusted independent watchdog of the public interest underpins investor confidence and ensures financial probity on behalf of our country's leading institutions. New Zealand...
    Greens | 31-10
  • ANZ needs to look after its workers after another super profit
    The ANZ bank needs to acknowledge the super profits it makes are coming at the expense of its workers, the Green Party said today.Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ) 2014 full year results show a lift in performance...
    Greens | 31-10
  • James Shaw’s maiden speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • Feed the kids members bill
    Education is the best route out of poverty. But hungry kids can't learn and are left trapped in the poverty cycle. Let's break that cycle lunchbox by lunchbox. We can feed the country's hungry kids, if we work together.I have...
    Greens | 31-10
  • National’s “Auckland housing boom” a fizzer
    Falling Auckland consent numbers show the Government’s housing policy is going backwards contrary to wild claims by Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith that we are on the cusp of a massive construction boom, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Local job losses major blow to Bay community
    Job losses at Wattie’s Hastings plant will hit families and the community hard, Hawke’s Bay-based Labour MP Stuart Nash and MP for Ikaroa-Rawhiti Meka Whaitiri say. “I know a number of the Wattie’s staff and these job losses will be...
    Labour | 31-10
  • Zero tolerance for forestry accidents a must
    The Government must adopt a zero tolerance approach to workplace accidents in the forestry sector to stop people being killed, Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “It is time for the Government and the forestry sector to put an end...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Return to less holidays on the cards?
    John Key needs to lay his cards on the table regarding the Government’s intentions around holiday pay and annual leave entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “A day after National pushed through laws that take away the legal...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Forest Safety report first step in making our forests safe to work in
    Our forests are a very dangerous place to work. Between 2008 and 2013 there have been 32 fatalities and more than a thousand serious harm incidents in this industry. The Council of Trade Unions and First union have been doing...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Catherine Delahunty Speaks on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill
    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • 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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