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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. 🙂

                • 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. 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

      • 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. 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?

    • 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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    I have written previously about the overwhelming opposition expressed by local councils and community members to the latest Local Government reforms.  The Select Committee heard more submissions this week, specifically about some of the unintended consequences that may arise from ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    19 hours ago
  • Bigger is not always better with local government reform
    I have written previously about the overwhelming opposition expressed by local councils and community members to the latest Local Government reforms.  The Select Committee heard more submissions this week, specifically about some of the unintended consequences that may arise from ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    19 hours ago
  • This new play is here to remind you that the pay gap still exists in 2016
    Boys Will Be Boys director Sophie Roberts on the depressing reality of being a woman at work in New Zealand. Photo: Supplied Director Sophie Roberts is in the first week of rehearsal for Boys Will Be Boys when ...
    20 hours ago
  • Hard News: Medical cannabis: a polling experiment
    Yet another opinion poll has reflected a public mood for change in our laws around cannabis – and this one has an interesting wrinkle.The new poll was conducted by UMR for the reform group Start the Conversation between July 29 ...
    22 hours ago
  • Hard News: Medical cannabis: a polling experiment
    Yet another opinion poll has reflected a public mood for change in our laws around cannabis – and this one has an interesting wrinkle.The new poll was conducted by UMR for the reform group Start the Conversation between July 29 ...
    22 hours ago
  • An anti-fluoride trick: Impressing the naive with citations
    One way to make an article look impressive is to use citations – the more you use, the more impressive. Well, so some people think. Some of the over 140 references in Geoff Pain’s article. These references impress some people ...
    22 hours ago
  • ‘The trick is to learn not to feel guilty about it’
    Ashleigh Young on why it’s OK – important even – to spend time away from writing.   As is clear on the front cover of Ashleigh Young’s new book Can You Tolerate This?, her essays are undeniably personal, but ...
    22 hours ago
  • Hard News: Reimagining Journalism
    Five o'clock on a Sunday is not generally thinking time for me, but yesterday was different. That was the kick-off for Reimagining Journalism, a WORD Christchurch panel discussion I chaired with Cate Brett, Paula Penfold, Duncan Greive, Morgan Godfery and ...
    23 hours ago
  • Hard News: Reimagining Journalism
    Five o'clock on a Sunday is not generally thinking time for me, but yesterday was different. That was the kick-off for Reimagining Journalism, a WORD Christchurch panel discussion I chaired with Cate Brett, Paula Penfold, Duncan Greive, Morgan Godfery and ...
    23 hours ago
  • HOP in detail
    As mentioned this morning, at Auckland Transport’s board meeting today there is an interesting paper giving an overview of the HOP system, which AT say is the third largest financial transaction system in the country. Here are some of the figures ...
    23 hours ago
  • HOP in detail
    As mentioned this morning, at Auckland Transport’s board meeting today there is an interesting paper giving an overview of the HOP system, which AT say is the third largest financial transaction system in the country. Here are some of the figures ...
    23 hours ago
  • ‘It’s sort of about the end of the world’: The Veils’ Finn Andrews talks Total Depravity
    The Veils’ frontman gives us a track-by-track insight into the band’s just-released new album, Total Depravity. Photo: Supplied This is part of a regular series called Verse Chorus Verse which sees local artists break down the stories behind ...
    23 hours ago
  • Why I don’t fear the robot apocalypse
    Being in Christchurch made me realise how reliant I am on Google Maps whenever I’m out of the tiny patch of Wellington I’m familiar with. Maps doesn’t really work in Christrchurch – every time I tried to use it the ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • Absolutely Fabulous-ly Ugh
    The white boomer rebel is a farce.     Fox Searchlight Pictures/BBC Films The Absolutely Fabulous movie has been out for three weeks, and is now entering the end of its cinema run. Thank God. I have the ...
    1 day ago
  • Profits, Dividends or Customers?
    The Herald made a valiant attempt to explain last Friday how Air New Zealand had managed to produce a record $663 million profit.  They quoted the Chief Executive, Christopher Luxon, as attributing the result to the tourist boom, the fall ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 day ago
  • From Student Farce To American Tragedy.
    The Governor: "With his wing-collars up and his undergrad gown on, he looks like a cross between Dracula and Batman". Paul Gourlie wasn’t interested in the votes of the student “activists” who wore badges and carried placards. The votes ...
    1 day ago
  • What’s going on at NZ Fashion Week?
    Underdressed and overrated, The Wireless sent Lucy Zee to rub shoulders with the most stylish attendees of New Zealand Fashion Week. Presented and produced by Lucy Zee. Video shot and edited by Eddy Fifield. This content is brought to ...
    1 day ago
  • Even worse
    I spent the weekend in Christchurch at the (excellent) Word festival, and someone reminded me of poetry – although technically song lyrics – even worse than McGongall’s: I don’t want to see a ghost It’s a sight that I fear ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • Even worse
    I spent the weekend in Christchurch at the (excellent) Word festival, and someone reminded me of poetry – although technically song lyrics – even worse than McGongall’s: I don’t want to see a ghost It’s a sight that I fear ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • August 16 AT Board Meeting
    Today the Auckland Transport Board have their latest meeting and I’ve taken a look through the reports to pull out the interesting bits. Firstly and surprisingly the agenda for the closed session is surprisingly bare. The only non-regular item is Tamaki ...
    1 day ago
  • 2016 SkS Weekly Digest #35
    SkS Highlights... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Rebuttal Article Update... He Said What?... SkS in the News... SkS Spotlights... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... 97 ...
    2 days ago
  • Sunday reading 28 August 2016
    ‘Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19410723-34-27’ Hi y’all and welcome to Sunday Reading. Here’s a collection of stuff I found interesting over the week. Please add your links in the comments below. Whoops, we forgot to build housing. During ...
    Transport BlogBy Kent Lundberg
    2 days ago
  • Sunday reading 28 August 2016
    ‘Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, AWNS-19410723-34-27’ Hi y’all and welcome to Sunday Reading. Here’s a collection of stuff I found interesting over the week. Please add your links in the comments below. Whoops, we forgot to build housing. During ...
    Transport BlogBy Kent Lundberg
    2 days ago
  • 2016 SkS Weekly News Roundup #35
    A chronological listing of the news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week. Sun Aug 21, 2016 91,000 Electric Cars Sold In Europe In 1st Half Of 2016 by James Ayre, Clean Technica, Aug ...
    3 days ago
  • Guest Post: Rail Safety Week – A HSEQ Perspective
    This is a guest post from Harriet.  Recently we have had Rail Safety Week, the aim was to increase awareness of level crossings and their danger. Unfortunately we have had many deaths and injuries, with countless more near misses over ...
    Transport BlogBy Guest Post
    3 days ago
  • A wheely suitcase in Europe #6: San Sebastian to Gijon
    After four nights in San Sebastian, Basque we journeyed further west to Gijon, Asturias. Again we decided to use BlaBlaCar, mainly because the alternative rail and bus journeys were slower and more expensive respectively. The route we took is illustrated below, which as you ...
    Transport BlogBy Stu Donovan
    3 days ago
  • PFLP statement on Bilal Kayed hunger strike victory
    Support from the Palestinian people and international solidarity were key to this victory The following statement was released by the PFLP on Wednesday: The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine announced the suspension of the hunger strike of Comrade ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Report Shows Whopping $8.8 Trillion Climate Tab Being Left for Next Generation
    This is a re-post from Common Dreams by Lauren McCauley "We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children," is an oft-quoted proverb, frequently used to explain the importance of environmental preservation. Unsaid, however, is ...
    4 days ago
  • Glasgow Celtic fans defy UEFA, step up support for Palestinians
    Taken from The Electronic Intifada (see our links section): Glasgow Celtic fans have launched a fundraiser to match any fine that Europe’s ruling football body, UEFA, will give the Scottish club for an expression of Palestine solidarity at a recent ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    frogblogBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: It’s Carter/Docherty Day; or three short – and wholly unrelated – things
    I’m big on making sure voters know how to make the best use of their votes at elections, so last week I went along to the Transparency International Mayoral Forum.After short-opening statements, the candidates were asked about governance, and avoiding ...
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Just because it’s been done before doesn’t make it right
    Back in March I wrote this post in which I expressed scepticism about Auckland Transport's rationale for having a by-law that prohibits the display of election advertising anywhere that is visible from a road, except for the 9 weeks before an ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • National Poetry Day
    I discussed this celebration with friends at lunch and somehow none of them had heard of 19th Century Scottish poet William Topaz McGongall, widely celebrated as the worst poet of all time: he seems roughly cognate to Tommy Wiseau. Here ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    4 days ago
  • National Poetry Day
    I discussed this celebration with friends at lunch and somehow none of them had heard of 19th Century Scottish poet William Topaz McGongall, widely celebrated as the worst poet of all time: he seems roughly cognate to Tommy Wiseau. Here ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    4 days ago
  • Sailing to the Arctic with the people who call it home
    The courageous Inuit community of Clyde River is standing up to protect their Arctic home from devastating seismic blasting.The circumpolar Arctic is home to four million people representing a diversity of cultures. As northerners, they share many connections, but in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why fixing your phone is one of the most empowering things you can do
    Like most people, I don’t go anywhere without my phone. In the morning, its shrill alarm rouses me from sleep. During the day it bobs between my ear, my hand, and my pocket. At night, I hunt for Pokémon before ...
    4 days ago
  • Microbeads: How did companies respond?
    Remember THIS video?Back in July, Greenpeace East Asia ranked 30 global companies to see how they measured in terms of their commitment to phasing out microbeads – the tiny terrors that are often found in shower gels and facial scrubs, ...
    4 days ago
  • Does your cafeteria serve ocean destruction?
    Every time you eat in a restaurant, hospital, airport, a university cafeteria, or at even at a rock concert, it is likely that you are eating food provided by a large foodservice company. Sea of Distress, a brand new Greenpeace ...
    4 days ago
  • My Arctic Home
    I live in Kangiqtugaapik (Clyde River) in the Canadian Arctic. Most people have never heard of my town. It's 450km north of the Arctic Circle with a population of roughly 1,000. We are isolated from much of the world, but ...
    4 days ago
  • Up Front: I Swear, It’s True
    There is a persistent myth among the kind of people I desperately try to avoid that swearing is a sign of low intelligence. Frequent swearing shows a lack of imagination and vocabulary.Fuck that noise.Research shows what people I would choose ...
    4 days ago
  • Up Front: I Swear, It’s True
    There is a persistent myth among the kind of people I desperately try to avoid that swearing is a sign of low intelligence. Frequent swearing shows a lack of imagination and vocabulary.Fuck that noise.Research shows what people I would choose ...
    4 days ago
  • One less objection to Skypath
    Some great news yesterday that the main objector to Skypath, the Northcote Residents Association (NRA), has withdrawn their appeal against the project. That leaves just the Northcote Point Historic Preservation Society (NPHPS) – made up of many of the same people ...
    4 days ago
  • A Political King.
    Birds Of A Feather: If Edward VIII had been a less enamoured sex-slave to Wallis Simpson and a more convinced fascist, it is entirely possible that he could have completely upended the British constitution. Royal words, and deeds, still matter ...
    4 days ago
  • Polity: Key peddles cynical “interest rate avenger” fantasy
    This week in Parliament, John Key repeated one of the lines that looks to be central to its election campaign in 2017. As we’ll see, that word “lines” probably has one too many n’s in it. Anyway, here it is:Rt ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: The Gaffer Departs
    My friend Simon Grigg this week announced something I've known for a while – that he's stepping down from his role as creative director at Audioculture. It is, literally, to spend more time with his family: Simon and his wife ...
    4 days ago
  • Places to go, people to be
    Nothing from me today - I'm off to Christchurch for Phoenix, their annual larp convention. Normal bloggage will resume Monday, once I've caught up. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Is There Something Wrong With Aussie Sport?
    Is There Something Wrong with Aussie Sport? The news that Australian Olympians returning from Rio have been given a hard time by the Australian media and public for the alleged paucity of their medal haul will, sadly, have come as ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • The Pencilsword: I can’t draw horses
    ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand – we’re in the sh*t
    . . “…We should always measure a Government’s environmental rhetoric against its environmental record.” – John Key, 7 September 2008 . . ref . In September 2008, one month before the general election, National’s leader addressed the party’s “Bluegreen* Forum“, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago

  • Disability sector is in a ‘slow burning crisis’
    Disability advocates say the sector is in crisis and broken, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “A roundtable at Parliament organised by the Labour Party, heard today how National has left disability services chronically underfunded. ...
    18 hours ago
  • NZ fisheries depend on the environment – they should protect it
    The attitude of the fishing industry and the National Government to our oceans, and the life within it, still amazes me. Like many New Zealanders, I find it perplexing that an industry which depends entirely on the long-term health of ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    19 hours ago
  • Bigger is not always better with local government reform
    I have written previously about the overwhelming opposition expressed by local councils and community members to the latest Local Government reforms.  The Select Committee heard more submissions this week, specifically about some of the unintended consequences that may arise from ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    19 hours ago
  • Labour calls for state of emergency on homelessness
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s homelessness crisis. “There are 42,000 people homeless and living in severe housing stress while the National Government behaves like a possum ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour calls for state of emergency on homelessness
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is calling on the Government to declare a state of emergency over the nation’s homelessness crisis. “There are 42,000 people homeless and living in severe housing stress while the National Government behaves like a possum ...
    2 days ago
  • Government must review state sector retirement investment
    The State Sector Retirement Savings Scheme has no business investing in companies which manufacture cluster bombs, anti-personnel mines and nuclear weapons, Labour MP and Parliamentarians for Global Action executive member Su’a William Sio says. “I endorse the call made by the ...
    3 days ago
  • Councils shouldn’t rush into Easter Trading
    City and district councils must ensure they don’t rush into trading on Easter Sunday ahead of local body elections next month, Labour’s Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. “This decision must be taken seriously and only after extensive ...
    3 days ago
  • Minister can’t wash hands of illegal KiwiSaver investments
    The Minister responsible for appointing default KiwiSaver providers should take responsibility for ensuring they act legally, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The National Government has now had confirmed what they were told more than a week ago – that ...
    3 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • Fixing our broken economy
    Globally, the “neo-liberal” consensus is rapidly vanishing (I use quotation marks because there are some in Aotearoa who deny such a thing as neo-liberalism exists). Regardless of the debate around its meaning, neo-liberal is a useful descriptor for the general ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • Government railroading Maori Land Bill through
    Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell seems determined to railroad his Te Ture Whenua Maori Bill through despite the large number of submitters in opposition to the bill, says MP Meka Whaitiri, whose Ikaroa-Rāwhiti electorate contains nearly 30 per cent ...
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • A national day to commemorate NZ land wars
    It’s fantastic that the government has agreed to a hold a national day commemorating the New Zealand land wars. Announced at Kingi Tūheitia’s 10th koroneihana celebrations, alongside the return of Rangiriri Pā to the Kingitanga, the news marked a significant ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Government turns a blind eye to struggling sole parents
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley’s claims that her Government’s work with sole parents is her biggest success are in tatters after a major increase in homelessness amongst that group, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Anne Tolley is seriously ...
    4 days ago
  • Time has come for state apology on abuse
    Labour is today calling on the Government to issue an apology for historic abuse in state institutions. Speaking after the launch of Elizabeth Stanley’s book “The Road to Hell; state violence against Children in Post-war New Zealand”, Labour’s Justice spokesperson ...
    4 days ago
  • It’s OK to have a few slaves, just not too many? Minimum wage loophole hasn’t gone away
    New Zealand still needs legislation to ensure adult New Zealanders are not exploited by being taken on as contractors for less than the equivalent of the minimum wage, says Labour list MP David Parker.  “My Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment ...
    4 days ago
  • Lessons from the Future of Work Commission: Building Wealth from the Ground Up
    Good morning, and thank you for attending today’s Future of Work Seminar here in Wellington. I want to particularly acknowledge Beth Houston who has spent many hours pulling together the programme for today’s event, and to Olivier and the staff ...
    4 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Cooking 4 Change at the Auckland City Mission
    On Tuesday evening I participated in the launch of the ‘Cooking 4 Change’ recipe book, which Metiria and I both contributed our favourite recipes to. Along with Dick Frizzell, Trelise Cooper, Tiki Taane, Erin Simpson, Jono & Ben, Colin Mathura-Jeffree, a couple ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Backbencher Matt’s Bill is a Doocey
    The latest National Member’s Bill pulled from the ballot is yet another waste of Parliament’s time and shows the Government’s contempt for the House and the public with much more important issues needing debate, says Labour’s Shadow Leader of the ...
    5 days ago
  • Gun laws creaking under the strain
     Questions have to be asked  after surprising revelations at the Law and Order Select Committee about the police and their ability to manage the gun problem in New Zealand, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “The lack of resources is ...
    5 days ago
  • Most homeless are working poor – Otago Uni
    The finding by Otago University researcher Dr Kate Amore that most homeless people are in work or study is one of the most shocking aspects of the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Social service agencies report many ...
    5 days ago
  • Māori seats entrenched by Tirikatene Bill
    National and the Māori Party need to support my member’s Bill which is designed to entrench the Māori electorate seats in Parliament, Labour’s Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene says. “Under the Electoral Act the provisions establishing the general electorates ...
    5 days ago
  • Trade dumping bill could hurt NZ industries
    The Commerce Select Committee is currently hearing submissions on the Trade (Anti-dumping and Countervailing Duties) Amendment Bill. This bill worries me. I flagged some major concerns during its first reading.   I am now reading submissions from NZ Steel, ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Just 8 per cent of work visas for skills shortages
    Just 16,000 – or 8 per cent – of the 209,000 work visas issued last year were for occupations for which there is an identified skills shortage, says Labour Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The overwhelming majority of the record number ...
    6 days ago
  • Hard won agreement shouldn’t be thrown away
    The Government should ignore talk across the Tasman about doing away with the labelling of GM free products, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “Labelling of genetically modified products was a hard won agreement in 2001 by Australian and the ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s privatisation Trojan horse
     The National government is using the need to modernise the school system as a Trojan horse for privatisation and an end to free public education as we know it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “There is no doubt that ...
    6 days ago
  • Shameless land-banking ads show need for crackdown
    The fact that more than 300 sections are shamelessly being advertised on Trade Me as land-banking opportunities during a housing crisis shows the need for a crackdown on property speculators, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Of the 328 ...
    6 days ago
  • Standard and Poor’s warning of housing crisis impact on banks
    The National Government’s failure to address the housing crisis is leading to dire warnings from ratings agency Standard and Poor’s about the impact on the strength of the economy and New Zealand banks, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Standard ...
    6 days ago
  • Ihumatao needs action not sympathy
    The Petition of Save Our Unique Landscape (SOUL) calling on Parliament to revoke Special Housing Area 62 in order to protect the Ihumatao Peninsula and Stonefields, has fallen on deaf ears, says the Labour MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio.  ...
    6 days ago
  • Another delay to justice system reform for victims of sexual violence
    I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Another delay to justice system reform for victims of sexual violence
    I believe most, if not all, New Zealanders would expect our court system to uphold the dignity of complainants, hold perpetrators to account for crimes including sexual and domestic violence and uphold the crucial right to a fair trial. Yet ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Student visa fraud & exploitation must stop
    The Government must act immediately to end fraud and exploitation of international students that threatens to damage New Zealand’s reputation, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. ...
    7 days ago
  • Government needs to show leadership in reviewing monetary policy
    The Reserve Bank’s struggles to meet its inflation target, the rising exchange rate and the continued housing crisis shows current monetary policy needs to be reviewed - with amendments to the policy targets agreement a bare minimum, says Labour’s Finance ...
    7 days ago
  • Local democracy under threat
    The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Local democracy under threat
    The National Government is in the process of gutting our local democracy through it’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). We’ve been hearing submissions from councils, and a few community members, all around the country who are deeply ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Slash and burn of special education support
    Slashing the support for school age children with special needs is no way to fund earlier intervention, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.  “National’s latest plan to slash funding for children with special needs over the age of 7 in ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s Pasifika MPs must have free vote
      Pacific people will not take kindly to the Government whipping their Pacific MPs to vote in favour of a  Bill that will allow Sunday trading  at Easter, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “We are seeing ...
    1 week ago
  • Maritime Crimes Bill – balancing security and free speech
    Parliament is currently considering the Maritime Crimes Amendment Bill, which would bring New Zealand up to date with current international rules about maritime security. The debate around the Bill reflects two valid issues: legitimate counter-terrorism measures and the right to ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Rio Olympics captioning – setting the record straight
    In the House on Thursday, my colleague, Labour Party spokesperson on Disability Issues, Poto Williams asked a great question. After which the Minister, Nicky Wagner, stood up and finally publicly acknowledged the National Foundation for the Deaf for funding the ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 weeks ago
  • Rio Olympics captioning – setting the record straight
    In the House on Thursday, my colleague, Labour Party spokesperson on Disability Issues, Poto Williams asked a great question. After which the Minister, Nicky Wagner, stood up and finally publicly acknowledged the National Foundation for the Deaf for funding the ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    2 weeks ago
  • Teachers’ low wages at the centre of shortages
      Figures that show teachers’ wages have grown the slowest of all occupations is at the heart of the current teacher shortage, says Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  In the latest Labour Cost Index, education professionals saw their wages grow ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s Tax Law undermines common law principles
    A tax amendment being snuck in under the radar allows changes to tax issues to be driven through by the Government without Parliamentary scrutiny, says Labour’s Revenue spokesman Stuart Nash. “The amendment allows any part of the Tax Administration Act ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government slippery about caption funding
      The Government has refused to apologise for taking the credit for funding Olympic Games captioning when the National Foundation for the Deaf  was responsible, says Labour’s spokesperson on Disability Issues Poto Williams.  “This shameful act of grandstanding by Ministers ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Default KiwiSaver investments should be reviewed
    The investments of the default KiwiSaver providers should be reviewed to make sure they are in line with New Zealanders’ values and expectations, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Most New Zealanders would be appalled that their KiwiSaver funds are ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New ministry should look after all children
    The Government has today shunned well founded pleas by experts not to call its new agency the Ministry for Vulnerable Children, Labour’s Spokesperson for Children Jacinda Ardern says.  “Well respected organisations and individuals such as Children's Commissioner Judge Andrew Becroft ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Triclosan – nasty chemical will be reassessed
    Last week my campaign for this chemical to be reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) took another step forward. After many months of waiting, the EPA have agreed that triclosan needs to be reassessed. Triclosan is an ingredient in many ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Triclosan – nasty chemical will be reassessed
    Last week my campaign for this chemical to be reassessed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) took another step forward. After many months of waiting, the EPA have agreed that triclosan needs to be reassessed. Triclosan is an ingredient in many ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratification okay but we need action
    Today’s decision to ratify the Paris agreement on Climate Change by the end of the year is all well and good but where is the plan, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Government’s failure to plan is planning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Stats changes can’t hide unemployment reality
    Today’s minor drop in unemployment numbers is nothing to celebrate given the changes made to the official numbers that cut thousands of people looking for work out of the jobless rate, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Making any comparisons ...
    2 weeks ago

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