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Too many hungry kids

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

180 comments on “Too many hungry kids”

  1. Craig Glen Eden 1

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

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

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

      Or the hungry kids at his local school?

  2. tc 2

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

  3. vto 3

    The politics of greed alright.

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

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

    Shame on you.

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

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

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

    • Carol 4.1

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

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

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

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

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

      • Cadwallader 4.2.1

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

        • tsmithfield 4.2.1.1

          Exactly.

        • felix 4.2.1.2

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

          • tsmithfield 4.2.1.2.1

            Have you been talking to Mat McCarten from UNITE?

            • felix 4.2.1.2.1.1

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

              Fuck me, we must be brothers.

              • tsmithfield

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

                • felix

                  Why?

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

                  • tsmithfield

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

                    • felix

                      How do you figure that?

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

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

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

                    • tsmithfield

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

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

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

                    • felix

                      We should punish them all.

                      Dirty little people.

                    • felix

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

                      Since when should feeding kids be an emergency?

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

                    • tsmithfield

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

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

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

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

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

                    • Draco T Bastard

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

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

                    • felix

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

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

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

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

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

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

          • Tigger 4.2.1.2.2

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

            • mik e 4.2.1.2.2.1

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

        • Ari 4.2.1.3

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

        • mik e 4.2.1.4

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

        • pollywog 4.2.1.5

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

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

          Why aren’t the nutjobs celebrating this fact ?

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

          Maori child abuse disproportionately high: Minister

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

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

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

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

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

        • Ianupnorth 4.2.1.6

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

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.7

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

          • KJT 4.2.1.7.1

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

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

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

        • mik e 4.2.1.8

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

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

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

  5. Lazy Susan 5

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

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

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

  6. battleheed 6

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

    • Zetetic 6.1

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

      • battleheed 6.1.1

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

        • Ari 6.1.1.1

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

        • bbfloyd 6.1.1.2

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

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

          • battleheed 6.1.1.2.1

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

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

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

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

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

      What a strange little person you are…

    • Draco T Bastard 6.4

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

    • Ianupnorth 6.5

      Miss the first line did you?

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

  7. Peter 7

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

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

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

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

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

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

      It’s very interesting indeed.

    • felix 7.2

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

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

    • tsmithfield 7.3

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

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

      • felix 7.3.1

        Kids can’t buy smokes you dickhead.

        • tsmithfield 7.3.1.1

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

          • felix 7.3.1.1.1

            It’s also not irony.

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

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

            Then we can all just move on without you.

      • bbfloyd 7.3.2

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

        • tsmithfield 7.3.2.1

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

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

          • Puddleglum 7.3.2.1.1

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

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

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

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

      • mik e 7.3.3

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

      • mik e 7.3.4

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

        • tsmithfield 7.3.4.1

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

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

        Confirmed cases and stats, please?

        • tsmithfield 7.3.5.1

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

    • Vicky32 7.4

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

      Absolutely! You’re right…

  8. jackal 8

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

  9. Tangled up in blue 9

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

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

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

    • bbfloyd 9.1

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

      are all you tories this shallow?

      • Tangled up in blue 9.1.1

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

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

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      I think that this would be a great investment…

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

  10. Bart 10

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

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

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

    • Tangled up in blue 10.1

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

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

      • mik e 10.1.1

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

        • Tangled up in blue 10.1.1.1

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

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

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

    • bbfloyd 10.2

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

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

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

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

      • bart 10.2.1

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

    • Vicky32 10.3

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

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

      • bart 10.3.1

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

  11. Irascible 11

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

  12. chris73 12

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

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

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

    • bbfloyd 12.1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  14. King Kong 14

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

    • felix 14.1

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

      Actually no.

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

      • chris73 14.1.1

        So you agree both Labour and National are to blame?

        • Ari 14.1.1.1

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

        • Bill 14.1.1.2

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

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

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

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

        • felix 14.1.1.3

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

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

          Play your games with someone else.

        • bbfloyd 14.1.1.4

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

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

          • chris73 14.1.1.4.1

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

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

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

            • Puddleglum 14.1.1.4.1.1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

              • chris73

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

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

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

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

                I believe any party that says we can is lying

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

                That’s ridiculous and you know it.

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

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

    • Campbell Larsen 14.2

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

    • Tangled up in blue 14.3

      Benefits in NZ are enough to sustain the basics of life

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

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

      • mik e 14.3.1

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

        • Vicky32 14.3.1.1

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

          Agreed!

      • King Kong 14.3.2

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

        • Tangled up in blue 14.3.2.1

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

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

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

          • King Kong 14.3.2.1.1

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

            • Vicky32 14.3.2.1.1.1

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

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

        • Colonial Viper 14.3.2.2

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

          Starvation happens in Ethiopia.

          Malnourishmkent and under-nourishment> happens in NZ.

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

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

          Or for hungry NZ kids around the corner from him

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

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

      The facts are;

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

      There is no way you can live off that amount.

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

      Really? And you know this – how?

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

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

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

      Again, you’ve made an error.

      Not everyone qualifies for an unemployment benefit.

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

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

      That is the reality which you seem blissfully unaware of.

  15. Helen Kelly 15

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

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

  16. Afewknowthetruth 16

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

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

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

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

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

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

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

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

      • Afewknowthetruth 16.1.1

        CV

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

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

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

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

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

        • Mac1 16.1.1.1

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

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

  17. Eric 17

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Need I really go on?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Parents are potential voters, and governments are opponents?

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

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

    • Tangled up in blue 18.2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      • Puddleglum 18.2.1

        Good comment.

      • Psycho Milt 18.2.2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        • Tangled up in blue 18.2.2.1

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

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

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

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

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

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

          • Psycho Milt 18.2.2.1.1

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

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

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

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

            • Colonial Viper 18.2.2.1.1.1

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

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

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

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

            • Tangled up in blue 18.2.2.1.1.2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          • Psycho Milt 18.2.2.1.2

            Oh, and this one:

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

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

            • Tangled up in blue 18.2.2.1.2.1

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

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

  19. Eric 19

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  21. randal 21

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

  22. Treetop 22

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

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

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

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

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

  23. Plunket welcomes Green Paper on vulnerable children

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • r0b 23.1

      This deserves a non-political community orientated approach

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

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

      • Pete George 23.1.1

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

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

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

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

        • r0b 23.1.1.1

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

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

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

          We won’t get it from this government. 

          • Pete George 23.1.1.1.1

            We know what the problem is.

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

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

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

            • r0b 23.1.1.1.1.1

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

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

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

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

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

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

                • Colonial Viper

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

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

                • r0b

                  Is consultation with the people a bit hard for you?

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

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

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

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

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

                    • r0b

                      If you think you can “fix it”

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

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

                    • felix

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

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

                      It’s “common sense.”

                      It’s “Your NZ.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

                  • rosy

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

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

                    • bringing in opinion instead of evidence.

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

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

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

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

            • Ianupnorth 23.1.1.1.1.2

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

          • Treetop 23.1.1.1.2

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

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

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

            Affordable after hours health care and affordable access to education.

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

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

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

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

            What is going to get the government to just listen?

            • Pete George 23.1.1.1.2.1

              What is going to get the government to just listen?

              They are doing something.

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

              Green Paper for Vulnerable Children
              PO Box 1556
              Wellington

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

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

              • Treetop

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

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

              • Ianupnorth

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

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

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

                • Colonial Viper

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

                  • Treetop

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

                    • Colonial Viper

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

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

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

                  • Ianupnorth

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

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

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

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

                  • felix

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

                  • felix

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

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

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

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

  24. randal 24

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

  25. Colonial Viper 25

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

  26. oligarkey 26

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

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

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

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

    We are again offering to work across parties on this.

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

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

    • felix 27.1

      “well, after making a few political points”

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

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

  28. Marjorie Dawe 28

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

  29. Marjorie Dawe 29

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

  30. reid 30

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

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

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

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

    • Ianupnorth 30.1

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

      • reid 30.1.1

        Kind of, but very peripheral, Ian.

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

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

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

        • Ianupnorth 30.1.1.1

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

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

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

          • reid 30.1.1.1.1

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

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

            Not easy is it but that’s the task.

            • Pete George 30.1.1.1.1.1

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

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

  31. grumpy czeching in 31

    Notice to beneficiaries

    “Feed your kids before you buy booze and smokes”

    • Ianupnorth 31.1

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

    • Campbell Larsen 31.2

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

      • Afewknowthetruth 31.2.1

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

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

        • reid 31.2.1.1

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

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

          • Colonial Viper 31.2.1.1.1

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

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

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

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

            Or are you distracting with an un-implementable fantasy?

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

          • Vicky32 31.2.1.1.2

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

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

            • Colonial Viper 31.2.1.1.2.1

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

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

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  • Parliament rises on a good note, thanks to some meddling kids
    The above video provides a good introduction to the slavery conditions of workers on foreign charter vessels fishing in NZ waters, as well as the Christchurch Anglican church’s involvement in it. While the Government took a while to act on the problem,...
    Cut your hair | 31-07
  • Stuart’s 100 #4: Aotea Arts District
    Stuart’s 100 continues: 4: Aotea Arts District What if Aotea felt like an Arts District? The area around Aotea Square is home to a surprising number of performing arts venues. I say surprising because it’s not often that you feel...
    Transport Blog | 31-07
  • Overview: 2014 Poll Results (January – July)
    I'm currently completing a detailed Two-Part Post analysing Opinion poll trends over the last few years. Specifically, Part One will take a close look at the disparities between(1) Poll support for each party in the 18-month run-up to the last two...
    Sub zero politics | 31-07
  • The Māori Party and slave-fishing
    In the early C19th, when William Wilberforce was camapigning to abolish slavery in Britain's colonial posessions, he met with strong opposition from the British establishment. Few of his opponents were bold enough to say that they actually approved of slavery....
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • Colin and Jamie walked into a bar …
    A quick couple of points about some typically nutty stories provided by everyone's favourite comic puchlines - the Conservative and Act Parties....
    Pundit | 31-07
  • Our Work and Wages policy
    I want New Zealand to be the fairest, most decent, society in the world. To get there we need to grow the economy. But we also need to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to get ahead. That’s because...
    Labour campaign | 31-07
  • Fishing Bill a major step towards fixing industry problems
    The Maritime Union says the passing of a bill today 31 July 2014 reforming the fishing industry is a major step in fixing serious problems....
    MUNZ | 31-07
  • Labour work and wages policy good for working people
    Labour’s new policy on work and wages, announced today, is good for the working people of New Zealand....
    MUNZ | 31-07
  • Purge! Trotter vs Quin vs Labour
    In the last couple of days there have been two columns looking beyond the election to, in the eyes of the authors, the inevitable internecine Labour blood-sports that follow. Each has a purge to propose. Phil Quin thinks Labour is...
    Polity | 31-07
  • Students’ first-in-family policy needs support
    Free education for the first person in a family to undertake tertiary study is a creative, innovative and transformative proposal from New Zealand students, says TEU vice-president Sandra Grey. Tertiary education is full of...
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-07
  • Fiji: The law means nothing II
    Last month, we saw how Fiji's electoral law works in practice, when the supervisor of elections was instructed to register dictator Voreqe Bainimarama's "Fiji First" party despite the name being similar to that of the wound-up One Fiji - an...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • Unbelievable
    Why didn't Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully act sooner in the Malaysian diplomat case? Because he couldn't be arsed reading his email:DAVID SHEARER (Labour - Mt Albert) to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: Did his office receive an email at...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • The last day
    Today is the last day of Parliament for the term. After spending the morning on non-controversial legislation - including apparently the anti-slave-fishing bill - the House will have its last Question Time and then an adjournment debate. And then they'll...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • Traffic still at 2007 levels
    Gerry Brownlee’s media release yesterday trumpeted up traffic levels in 2013 surpassing those in 2012 – apparently this is a sign of New Zealand’s economic recovery that we’re driving a bit more. Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says increases in vehicle...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Oily pigs at the trough
    We all know that National MP Simon Bridges is a lackey for the oil and gas industry. But what wasn't readily apparent is just how much taxpayer's money the Energy and Resources Minister is willing to throw at his oil...
    The Jackal | 30-07
  • World News Brief, Thursday July 31
    Top of the AgendaRussia Reacts to New U.S., EU Sanctions...
    Pundit | 30-07
  • God Save The People!
    THE WORDS to When Wilt Thou Save The People? were written in 1827 by the "Corn Law Rhymer", Ebenezer Elliott. The refrain, "God Save the People!", is, of course, the radical working-class agitator's rejoinder to "God Save the King!"Elliott's song became the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-07
  • Why ACT always needs to play the race card
    During the 2011 election Don Brash was leader of the ACT Party, and he did something really stupid and crazy, but also rather admirable: Act leader Don Brash is calling for the decriminalisation of cannabis, saying prohibition of the drug has...
    DimPost | 30-07
  • Declan Waugh continues his distortion of Finnish fluoride research
    In my last post (Another fluoridation whopper from Declan Waugh) I described how Declan Waugh (a self-professed “scientist and fluoride researcher”) badly misrepresented data from a Finnish study which had concluded the prevalence of ailments attributed to fluoridation were “likely connected...
    Open Parachute | 30-07
  • The 40 Percent Solution.
    Challenging The Conventional Wisdom: The Labour Right believes the party can only succeed by conforming to the prevailing political and socioeconomic orthodoxy; the Labour Left understands that the whole point of the party is to challenge and change it.PHIL QUIN writes a...
    Bowalley Road | 30-07
  • Who wins the Education Debate ?: UMR and Herald-Digi Polls on Quality Teach...
    Herald-DigiPollThe Herald have just released further results from a Herald-DigiPoll (part of their Mid July political poll), which finds that "New Zealanders would rather money was spent on improving teaching standards" - ostensibly National's position - "than on reducing class...
    Sub zero politics | 30-07
  • Hard News: The crybaby philosopher
    Earlier this week, Act Party leader Jamie Whyte notified the world that he had delivered a speech entitled Race has no place in the law and, it seemed, sat back in anticipation of plaudits for his tremendous argument.Sadly, the next...
    Public Address | 30-07
  • Policymaking in a hyperglobalised world
    Speech to a conference of the Industry Training Federation and Polytechnics, 31 July 2014 First, some context. We are living through a turbulent decade. One element is the coming of age of a disruptive technology, digital technology, which is turning...
    Colin James | 30-07
  • Scientists criticise National Science Challenges
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 25 Radio New Zealand has used an official information request to expose serious unrest among scientists this week over the way the government is handling its NationalScienceChallenges project. The...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • League tables due out this week
    The TertiaryEducation Commission will publish 2013 educational performance indicators (EPIs) this week. The information ranks universities, polytechnics and wānanga institutions on their performance against the criteria, and inevitably morphs into league tables. However, TEU...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Joyce monitoring, not acting, on loan cuts
    The tertiary education minister Steven Joyce dodged a question last week about whether he would exempt medical students from the seven-year limit on student loans. Answering a written parliamentary question from Green MP Holly...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Whanganui prisoners want automotive course back
    Prisoners who want to study at UCOL are the subject of a fierce debate between TEU’s UCOL branch president Tina Smith and Whanganui MP Chester Borrows. Chester Borrows told the Wanganui Chronicle last week that...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • No asset sales for Christchurch
    Christchurch City Council should not be forced into selling its strategic assets, the Green Party said today.Today's report into Christchurch City Council's finances by Cameron Partners shows that the Council is facing a substantial financial hole, with debt peaking in...
    Greens | 31-07
  • Plenty of options, asset sales not one of them
    Labour will vigorously oppose short term solutions to plug Christchurch City Council’s funding shortfall – including asset sales – which leave the city worse off financially and strategically in the long term, Labour’s Canterbury Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. Responding...
    Labour | 31-07
  • National forcing Auckland into second class rail
    National's lack of commitment on the Auckland City Rail Link (CRL) is forcing Aucklanders to accept second best for their city rail service, the Green Party said today."National has queered the pitch by requiring unrealistic targets be met before it...
    Greens | 31-07
  • Nick Smith hides shameful vacant house numbers
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has lodged an official complaint against Housing Minister Nick Smith with Parliament’s Speaker for refusing to release data on the number of vacant state houses around the country. “Nick Smith is clearly embarrassed by the...
    Labour | 31-07
  • GC Star supports Beyer +video
    Star of reality TV series The GC, Alby Waititi, has thrown his support behind Mana’s Te Tai Tonga candidate Georgina Beyer. In a short video clip, Waititi announces that he supports “the iconic and the wonderful” Beyer in her bid for New Zealand’s...
    Mana | 31-07
  • Mana supports the Silent Leaders Challenge
    “Tomorrow I will be participating in a challenge to break the silence about hearing loss”, said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “I’m doing it to feel what it is that those who are hearing-impaired face every day”...
    Mana | 31-07
  • ADJOURNMENT SPEECH – MP Hone Harawira
    It’d be nice to be able to say that for all the differences between us and this National government and its coalition partners, the last three years had seen our country come out of the Global Financial Crisis with a...
    Mana | 31-07
  • Evidence refutes doomsday wages predictions
    Minister of Labour Simon Bridges should cut the tired old rhetoric about rises in the minimum wage causing job losses and understand New Zealand has a serious problem with low wages and working poverty that needs to be addressed, Labour’s...
    Labour | 31-07
  • Slow, sluggish, not sweet at all
    Rural communities, frustrated by slow and unstable broadband, have been delivered a two fingered salute by Steven ‘Everything’s Sweet ’Joyce, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Mr Joyce deliberately obfuscated and refused to answer questions on the actual connection numbers...
    Labour | 31-07
  • McCully’s excuses in tatters
    New evidence has emerged today that shows Mr McCully’s excuses for not knowing about the Malaysian diplomat case don’t stack up, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Mr McCully said he had received no information about the Malaysian diplomat...
    Labour | 31-07
  • Poisons Centre 50 years; celebration or wake?
    The Government’s plan to roll a number of helpline services together looks set to proceed with disastrous consequences, Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson David Clark says.  Latest reports suggest Australian company Medibank is the most likely provider....
    Labour | 31-07
  • Green Party statement on passing of FCV legislation
    The Green Party congratulates all parties in Parliament for supporting the completion of the Foreign Chartered Vessel legislation.Legislation passed today ensuring the end of a shameful era of human rights abuses under successive governments and several fishing companies."Human rights and...
    Greens | 31-07
  • Govt must condemn Israel’s killing of civilians in Gaza
    The New Zealand Government must condemn Israel for its indiscriminate bombing of Gaza that continues to inflict massive civilian casualties, the Green Party said today.At least 15 people, mostly children and women, died when the school in Jabaliya refugee camp...
    Greens | 31-07
  • Veterans short-changed by new Act
    National Government reasons for rejecting a recommendation by the Law Commission to give veterans a payment to cover funeral expenses don’t stack up, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs spokesperson, Phil Goff. The Veterans’ Support Bill passed its Third Reading in Parliament...
    Labour | 31-07
  • Labour will establish Centres of Vocational Excellence
    A Labour Government will set up Centres of Vocational Excellence to boost training and innovation in industries that are vital to our economy and our regions, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics play a...
    Labour | 31-07
  • THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira
    “They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off it”, said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira, following comments by ACT Leader Jamie Whyte, Conservative Leader Colin Craig, and NZ First Leader Winston...
    Mana | 30-07
  • Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall
    Moves by the Government to increase the number of training placements for nursing graduates will be seen for what they are – a cynical election ploy, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Health Minister Tony Ryall has just announced the...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels
    Labour is appalled the Māori Party has refused to allow a final reading of legislation to abolish slavery conditions on foreign charter fishing vessels in New Zealand waters before the end of the Parliamentary term, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Ae Marika! 29 July 2014
    It wasn’t till I read John Armstrong’s column in the NZ Herald last week that I realised what a huge impact the Internet MANA tour has had, but the reality is that we achieved what no other political party has...
    Mana | 30-07
  • Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now
    The Israeli response in Gaza is disproportionate and with the firing of tanks and mortars into civilian areas, increasingly indiscriminate, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “Eight children were killed in Gaza last night, they were playing in an...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Novopay’s end must not be bulk funding’s beginning
    The end of the disastrous Novopay system must not serve as a stalking horse for the next big threat National poses to schools - the bulk funding of teacher salaries, the Green Party said today."Today's announcement that the National Government...
    Greens | 30-07
  • Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights
    A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth are shared fairly by all New Zealanders, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “That will put around...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue
    It will be cold comfort to teachers and school staff still struggling with Novopay that the National Government has finally stepped in to rescue the failed payroll system two years after it was introduced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says....
    Labour | 30-07
  • Auckland consents down second month in a row
    National’s housing policy is in disarray with building consents in Auckland falling two months in a row, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Statistics New Zealand’s latest building consent figures show consents in Auckland are down for the second month...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins
    The Green Party today launched its plan to protect the world's smallest and most endangered dolphin, the Maui's dolphin. The plan is the third component of the Party's environmental priority this election: clean rivers and beaches.The key policy points in...
    Greens | 29-07
  • Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media rele...
    The government is fudging the figures over Wellington road project, Transmission Gully, the Green Party said today.The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said today it had let the contract to a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for "a net present cost...
    Greens | 29-07
  • New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders
    New Zealand needs to listen to Pacific Island leaders when it comes to climate change action, said the Green Party today. Discontent with New Zealand and Australia is rife at the 2014 Pacific Islands Forum leaders' summit which commenced today...
    Greens | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government's attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows National will stop at nothing to open up our coastlines to deep sea oil, the Green Party said today.The article outlines...
    Greens | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Gerry Brownlee today tried to poor cold water on the...
    Labour | 29-07
  • Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate...
    At midday tomorrow, Annette Sykes will officially launch her campaign to win the Waiariki electorate seat for MANA in the upcoming general election. “A key goal for MANA this election is to mobilise our people to vote, especially rangatahi, and...
    Mana | 28-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    It seems that Conservation Minister Nick Smith has again been caught out interfering to allow more pollution in our rivers, the Green Party said today. Last year the Department of Conservation submission on the proposed Ruataniwha Dam was suppressed after...
    Greens | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    National's deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says."These parties have no electoral mandate and will return to Parliament only...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative costs are skyrocketing while the level of investment in actual science remains a mystery, says Labour’s Innovation, Research...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built under Gerry Brownlee in the last two years, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove....
    Labour | 28-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    The National Government should allow scientists and businesses to get on with innovation rather than allow Steven Joyce's heavy hand to direct it, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today. Dr Norman was responding to reports today that several...
    Greens | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait for solutions, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Of course CERA officials do need to...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they don’t keep in line with Government’s views, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “Nick Smith...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    “It’s great to have Georgie on board” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP.  ”She’s strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven’t had any – and won.  That...
    Mana | 27-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills
    The Green Party today launched its plan to protect New Zealand beaches from oil spills. The plan is the second component of the Party's environmental priority this election: Rivers clean enough to swim in again, and beaches safe from oil...
    Greens | 26-07
  • Auckland rail use spike shows need to start link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
    The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
    The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “It’s not good enough...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • You won’t believe Mike Hosking’s latest column
    You would think that after the furore caused by TVNZ appointing someone as biased as Mike Hosking to the election leader debates that he would be checking his privilege and pulling his head in so as to gloss over the criticism. You...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • 2014 and 1914
    Historian Nicholas Boyle (in ‘2014, How to Survive the Next World Crisis‘) foresees a big event happening this decade that will define the global geopolitical environment this century, much as World War 1 created the politics of the 20th century....
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • More NZers trust Kim Dotcom than John Key
    When asked by TVNZ who they believed – Kim Dotcom or John Key, an overwhelming number of people backed Kim over John…   Taking into account the bias of land lines opinion polls, that’s an extraordinary result and it’s a result that...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: Yet more changes at Radio NZ
      Paul Thompson is a man who can move mountains and in moving Radio NZ into another decade, he may have set off an avalanche – Chris Laidlaw retired and  replaced by Wallace Chapman, Geoff Robinson retired and replaced by Susie...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • Jamie Whyte loses the plot and why this is Dame Devoy’s finest hour
    I was a damningly critical voice over Dame Susan Devoy’s appointment as the Race Relations Commissioner, but her righteous condemnation of Jamie Whyte’s farcical statement that Maori somehow have the same legal privilege of 17th Century French Aristocracy is such a courageous stance...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • Latest Roy Morgan Poll: Labour jumps 6.5 points up to 30%, National tumble
    Latest Roy Morgan Poll: National down to 46%, Labour up to 30%, Greens down to 12%, NZ First down to 5%, Maori Party up to 1.5%, Internet MANA up to 2,5%, ACT, United Future and Conservatives stay unchanged. To take into...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • What is the nature of satire? Issues for the Human Rights Commission as the...
    Congratulations to Fairfax media for their detailed coverage of the current Human Rights Commission case being asserted by Louisa Wall that Al Nisbet’s cartoons were racist and deserved censure. Pity Fairfax published the cartoons in the first place however. The Human...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour promises $2 boost in minimum wage
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Labour promises $2 boost in minimum wage Labour leader David Cinliffe From the New Zealand Herald By Derek Cheng Wednesday July 30, 2014 A $2-an-hour boost to the minimum wage, scrapping the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira Posted on July 30, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labours policies a step change for working people
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Labours policies a step change for working people “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labours...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Novopay’s end must not be bulk funding’s beginning
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Novopay's end must not be bulk funding's beginning Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | Press Release Teachers have endured two years of hell, never knowing from one week to the next if they’ll...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | Press Release The Green Party today launched its plan to protect the world’s smallest and most endangered dolphin,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • USA: One year after her conviction Chelsea Manning must be released
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: USA: One year after her conviction Chelsea Manning must be released Exactly one year after Chelsea Manning was convicted of leaking classified government material, Amnesty International is renewing its call on...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • EU must close all loopholes in the torture trade
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: EU must close all loopholes in the torture trade The European Union (EU) must urgently strengthen its laws to enable member states to immediately ban the trade in new devices and...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Swaziland: Deplorable sentences against journalist and lawyer stifle free s...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Swaziland: Deplorable sentences against journalist and lawyer stifle free speech The sentencing of a newspaper editor and a human rights lawyer to two years in prison on charges of contempt of...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall Moves by the Government to increase the number of training placements for nursing graduates will be seen for what they are – a cynical election ploy,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels Labour is appalled the Māori Party has refused to allow a final reading of legislation to abolish slavery conditions on foreign charter fishing...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now The Israeli response in Gaza is disproportionate and with the firing of tanks and mortars into civilian areas, increasingly indiscriminate, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer....
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue It will be cold comfort to teachers and school staff still struggling with Novopay that the National Government has finally stepped in to rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Auckland consents down second month in a row
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auckland consents down second month in a row National’s housing policy is in disarray with building consents in Auckland falling two months in a row, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Statistics...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • A brief word on why Murray McCully’s email didn’t work in New York
    Ummmmmmm. What? An email to Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s office about former Malaysian diplomat Muhammed Rizalman bin Ismail invoking diplomatic immunity remained unopened for weeks – allegedly because communications were limited as the minister travelled to New York. So Muzza...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The infallible NZ Police
    You would think 44 years after one of their own framed an innocent man by planting evidence that the NZ Police would admit they got it wrong. Not so. The whitewash report yesterday into the Crewe murders does the usual...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Just how crazy is ACTs Whyte Supremacy?
    Two reasons why Jamie Whyte’s claim that Maori are as legally privileged as 17th Century French Aristocracy is possibly the most stupid thing anyone has ever said. 1 – That easy-Maori-University-entry chestnut is one of the worst examples the right...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour Commits To An End To Factory Farming
    Revelations that the Pigcare Accreditation scheme is still failing animals despite protestations from the Ministry, resulted in a day of national action across the country last Saturday. Thousands rallied in the centres against factory farming for a historic outcome for animals. For the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Has Apartheid Israel committed war crimes?
    Last week 29 of the UN Human Rights Council’s 47 members voted to set up an inquiry into possible war crimes committed by Apartheid Israel during it’s latest bloody purge of the Palestinian people. It’s interesting to note the only member...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Mr Fixit is broken – Novopay becomes Neverpay
    There are deals so poorly agreed to with the barest amount of oversight green lighted for ideological reasons so mangled and damaged that not even Steven ‘Mr Fixit’ Joyce can dress it up beyond the turd cake it is. Novopay is one...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The Right-wing – strong on crime!
    . . National, ACT, and the Right, generally, are renowned for being “tough on crime”. What follows are just a few examples,  to illustrate National/ACT’s “toughness”. . . Ms Hauiti isn’t the first MP to mis-use tax-payer’s money, and most...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The 40 Percent Solution: Chris Trotter responds to Phil Quin.
    PHIL QUIN writes a mean political column. His long-standing connections to the right of the New Zealand Labour Party are extensive and strong. When he writes about politics, especially electoral politics, it is from personal experience and with considerable authority....
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour’s new worker policy – $16.25 minimum wage
    Labour’s much anticipated worker policy has been released. It’s a mix of the aspirational and the smart. $15 minimum wage by Christmas this year, bumped up to $16.25 next year while banning the 90 day right to sack laws and...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The Liberal Agenda: 30th July- 3rd August
    Wednesday GAZA: Setler colonialism, apartheid and resistance panel discussion Want to know more about what’s going down (and has been going down since 1948) in Gaza, and by extension the Palestinian territory?  Come along to this panel discussion. No boring...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • NZIFF: New Zealand’s Best
    Eleven   Saturday night was New Zealand’s Best at the New Zealand International Film Festival. The collection of 6 short films are selected from over a hundred and are all of very high quality. They compete for a number of...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “The Government needs to come clean. In fact, the cost is $125 million per...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “John Key and his government need to step up and take climate change seriously.” New Zealand needs to...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • So where are the Taxpayer’s Union on Simon Bridges luxury oil dinners?
    So where is David Farrar’s astroturf fake union, the Taxpayer’s Union, to criticise the quarter of a million spent on luxury wine and food to woo the oil industry then? Luxury oil summit during Rugby Cup was an ‘investment’Energy Minister...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • ACT show their true racist colours
    ACT Party conference in Epsom last week At some point ACTs low poll ratings were going to have to force ACT to stop pretending to be some free market under grad fantasy and get them back to their true purpose...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Broken English, broken government, broken climate
    Bill English’s unguarded statements on climate change demonstrate just how out of touch the National Party leadership really is, and how important it is that they should be forced to face facts. A couple of weeks ago finance minister Bill...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Privilege Lost
    Elton John didn’t get it wrong when said that sorry was the hardest word. It’s a word whose mere utterance can be seized upon as a sign of weakness and topic of ridicule, while simultaneously expressing understanding and opening the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST POST: Curwen Rolinson – A Vote For NZF Is A Vote For NZF – For Na...
    I’m loving this “Duelling Banjos” thing me and Bomber have got going on at the moment - he writes a piece castigating NZF for imminent existential failure due to Cons, I write a refutation setting out why we’ll be back. He writes a...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, holidays
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Laila Harre to run against Key in Helensville
    Another full house in Rotorua as part of Internet MANAs road trip Another day, another full house for the Internet MANA road trip. John Armstrong understands the energy now swirling around Internet MANA, and the latest announcements of Georgina Beyer...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Waiting for Gower’s Twittering of indignation…
    .   . Key has made his call; deals with ACT and Peter Dunne are in – a deal with the CCCP (Colin Craig’s Conservative Party), is out; . . Now we can look forward to TV3′s political commentator, Patrick...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government’s attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Owner of Kiwis’ favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action
    MIL OSI – Source: Oxfam NZ – Headline: Owner of Kiwis' favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action The maker of Old El Paso tacos, Betty Crocker cake mixes and Haagan Daz ice-cream has today committed to industry-leading measures...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood: Weekend at Bernie’s lll – ACT in Epsom
    While no one will be surprised by yesterday’s deal to prop up ACT in Epsom, the audacity of it is still astounding. ACT is a political corpse. Their sole MP has been found guilty of electoral fraud and bides his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • So how’s all the ‘ Labour Party man ban’ hysteria working out for you...
    Remember all the screams from the media at the so called ‘man ban’ of the Labour Party? Labour’s attempt at gender equality was really just more evidence of Labour’s man hate,  feminists were taking over, heterosexual red blooded men burnt at the stake....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Paul Henry; the issue is you, not flag-burning
    There will always be reductive, dangerous and reactionary responses to different forms of oppressive violence by our western, often biased, mainstream media. These reactionary responses purposefully distract from the real issues and those who are at the root and the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Oh now John Armstrong and Vernon Small want to talk about policy?
    The audacity of the mainstream media seems to know no end. This week both John Armstrong and Vernon Small had the hilarity to demand a focus on policy and not ‘gotcha’ politics… John Armstrong: The ‘gotcha politics’ disease is afflicting...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • ALCP only party to support Charlotte’s Web
    There has been no support shown for Charlotte's Web by other political parties, Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party leader Julian Crawford says....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Petition on Bank Stability Dismissed
    The New Economics Party is disappointed that their 877 strong petition asking for a Parliamentary Enquiry on bank stability has been declined by the Select Committee on Finance and Expenditure....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Hutt Valley Man Continues Anzac Tradition in Queensland
    Lance Corporal (LCPL) Gregory Sanford says taking part in a warfighting exercise led by the Australians is good preparation for future joint operations....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Top Financial Analyst to join New Economics Party
    The New Economics Party has just added top financial analyst Nicole Foss as a spokesperson on the global economy. “We are delighted to welcome Nicole, Senior Editor of The Automatic Earth website to our team” said party co-leader Deirdre Kent....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Reassert the Place of Human Rights within the System
    “If there is one major challenge, it is to reassert the place and preservation of human rights within the criminal justice system”, said Kim Workman, spokesperson for Rethinking Crime and Punishment. In a wide ranging speech ( http://www.rethinking.org.nz/assets/Papers%20and%20Presentations/140731Changing_Fashions_in_Criminal_Justice.pdf...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Banks Conviction: ACT Should Apologise to Epsom
    “The conviction of John Banks today is another sad chapter for John Banks and the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Fish and Game Important Public Environmental Advocate
    Fish and Game NZ is a vital environmental public watchdog and needs full government support - not abuse - in its important role says the NZ Federation of Freshwater Anglers....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Technology get dangerous vehicles and drivers off roads
    Police is expanding its use of automated technology to catch criminals and make the roads safer for all users....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Seafood NZ Says Kaikoura Conservation Legislation a Template
    Seafood New Zealand has hailed the passage of the Kaikoura (Te Tai-o-Marokura) Marine Management Bill by Parliament today as a template for seafood and environment conservation measures throughout New Zealand. Parliament passed the bill into law on the last...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Whale Watch Kaikoura Welcomes Third Reading of Bill
    Whale Watch Kaikoura General Manager Kauahi Ngapora today welcomed the third reading of the Kaikōura (Te Tai ō Marokura) Marine Management Bill....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • NZ performers welcome Labour Party proposal
    NZ performers welcome Labour Party proposal to restore fairness and certainty for NZ workers Equity New Zealand today welcomed the announcement by the Labour Party that if elected, it would restore the right of film and television workers to collective...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Tear Fund’s Obsession: Food And Sex (Trafficking)
    Food and sex have always been kindred bedfellows; both are sensory experiences that ignite the passions. For TEAR Fund, however, the relationship is less savoury and more complex. We work in the darkest brothels of Southeast Asia where young girls...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Poll July 14-27: Nat 46% Lab 30% Gr 12% NZ1 5%
    National (46%) lead over Labour/ Greens (42%) cut significantly as Key rules out deal with Conservative Party but says National would consider a deal with NZ First (5%)...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Study could be used to counter high suicide rates
    Should social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter be subject to moral obligations with regards to their customers' mental health? In the wake of the furore following the “Emotional Contagion” study carried out by Facebook themselves, the question...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Labour’s Minimum Wage Proposal a Backward Step
    Democrats for Social Credit finance spokesperson Chris Leitch has attacked Labour’s proposals to increase the minimum wage labelling it ”a backward step for low and middle income earners”....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Sealord applauds passing of Fisheries FCV Bill
    Sealord Group has welcomed the passing of the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels) Amendment Bill as a move that will safeguard workers and protect New Zealand’s sustainable fishing reputation....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Liam Butler interviews Hon David Cunliffe
    With older Kiwis comprising a growing proportion of New Zealand's population we all need to recognise the significant contribution they make to society - not only as taxpayers and consumers, but as employers, paid workers and volunteers....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • GC Star Supports Beyer
    Star of reality TV series The GC, Alby Waititi, has thrown his support behind Mana’s Te Tai Tonga candidate Georgina Beyer....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • New ACC Executive appointments announced
    ACC Chief Executive Scott Pickering today announced appointments to the ACC Executive Team effective from 1 September. The new Executive, which contains new roles and responsibilities, contains five members of the existing Executive and two new appointments....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Ministry CEO Hides in Office for Award Ceremony
    Following this morning’s coverage of the extravagant expenditure by Pauline Winter, the CEO of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Porky the Taxpayers’ Union mascot visited the Ministry’s Wellington Office to present the Union’s first “Troughing...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Students’ first-in-family policy needs support
    Free education for the first person in a family to undertake tertiary study is a creative, innovative and transformative proposal from New Zealand students, says TEU vice-president Sandra Grey....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Fishing Bill a major step towards fixing industry problems
    The Maritime Union says the passing of a bill reforming the fishing industry is a major step in fixing serious problems....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Waikato-Tainui marae to receive $15 million top up
    Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui marae are set to receive a one-off grant worth more than $15 million. Following the call from Te Kauhanganui, sixty-six marae will receive a base grant of $150,000 and an additional per capita grant based on the...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Outdoor Council Backs Fish and Game in Minister Smith Stoush
    A national outdoor recreation council has backed Fish and Game in the wake of an argument with Conservation Minister Nick Smith over the organisation's advocacy role for cleaning up New Zealand's rivers from a deteriorating state....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc. – Closing the Gap
    Simon Bridges says increasing the minimum wage will cost us at least 6000 jobs, hurt businesses and reduce growth. Rubbish, says Peter Malcolm National Secretary of Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Call on Pauline Winter to Front up Or Resign
    Responding to the Fairfax report that taxpayers are footing the bill for the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs’ Chief Executive and to fly to Auckland most weekends, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Petition generates progress for new nurses
    Last week the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) launched a petition to get a nurse entry to practice (NEtP) programme for every new graduate nurse. This week, and more than 7,000 signatures later, we are very pleased to hear the...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • NZ Parliament backs media freedom in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland applauds the decision of the New Zealand Parliament to give its backing to genuine media freedom for local and international journalists in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Wellington protest rally to march for Gaza
    “Marchers from Wellington Students for Justice in Palestine intend to lay memorials at the Rabin memorial in Harris Street during a protest rally on Saturday. The names of some child victims of the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip will...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte calls Dame Susan Devoy to resign
    Dame Susan Devoy has responded to my speech calling for racial equality by publicly condemning it as “grotesque and inflammatory"....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • WW1 anniversary: Peace vigils on 4 August
    Monday, 4 August, is the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One, "the war to end all wars". Peace Movement Aotearoa, in association with Quakers, is coordinating nation-wide candle-lit vigils on 4 August, in conjunction with peace...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Making It Easier for Disabled Voters to Have Their Say
    The Electoral Commission is making it easier for disabled New Zealanders to enrol and vote, with the confirmation that telephone dictation voting will be in place for the 2014 general election....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • AA welcomes lower drink-driving limit
    Lowering the adult drink driving limit is one good step forward in making our roads safer, says the Automobile Association. Parliament voted last night to reduce the blood alcohol limit to .05 for drivers aged 20 or over. The AA...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • RSA welcomes Veterans Support Act
    The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association welcomes the passage of the Veterans Support Act into law tonight. RSA National President, Don McIver, says that while it has taken a long time to get to this point, and there...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Political debate Thursday July 31st at Whanau Centre
    Waipareira will host a political debate on Thursday at Whanau Centre, Henderson, starting at 7pm. Hosted by broadcaster Willie Jackson, candidates will be asked the tough questions about Whanau Ora, the future of the Maori Seats, Housing, Child Poverty...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • They Can’t All Win Off the Race-Card
    “They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off it”, said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira, following comments by ACT Leader Jamie Whyte, Conservative Leader Colin Craig, and NZ First Leader Winston...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • New Zealanders Being Gouged by Electricity and Liquid Fuels
    New Zealand consumers of electricity are being price gouged to the tune of about $1.388 million while the companies pocket the profits, a new economic analysis released today by the Iwi Leaders Forum reveals....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Push For Gender Confusion In Schools
    Family First NZ is warning schools about an agenda to bring gender confusion in to schools in areas such as changing rooms, sports teams and school uniforms....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour work and wages policy good for working people
    The Maritime Union says Labour’s new policy on work and wages, announced today, is good for the working people of New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Joint Statement on EU-New Zealand Partnership Agreement
    Joint Statement on EU-New Zealand Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation (PARC) by High Representative for EU Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Time to lift unliveable wage rates
    The Service and Food Workers Union has welcomed Labour’s determination to lift New Zealand’s unliveable wage rates. The Labour Party today announced their Work and Wages policy....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Judith Collins and Women’s Refuge – ‘Doing a Katie Bradford’
    In Rethinking’s latest blog; http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/07/judith-collins-and-womens-refuge.html Kim Workman suggests that Ms Collins treatment of the Women’s Refuge in a recent Q and A interview, could spark a new slang term in the national lexicon – ‘Doing...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Independent candidate advocates monetary paradigm shift
    Waikanae veterinarian Dr Amanda Vickers is standing as an independent for the Otaki electorate, with a view to modernise monetary policy....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Review of Radiocommunications Act 1989
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has today published a discussion document reviewing New Zealand’s Radiocommunications Act 1989. The discussion document looks at issues including competition regulation, technical parameters on...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Unite Union welcomes Labour Party increase to minimum wage
    Unite Union welcomes the announcement today by the Labour Party to increase the minimum wage by $2 per hour by early 2015....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Taxing Struggling Families to Boost Bureaucrats Shameful
    Responding to Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement that a Labour Government would ensure public servants would receive at least the Living Wage, significantly more than their private sector counterparts, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour reforms show commitment to tackling inequality
    The NZ Labour Party’s just-announced industrial relations agenda demonstrates a clear commitment to tackling the growing inequality in New Zealand and restore democracy to our workplaces, according to FIRST Union....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Debacle shows danger of contracting out public services
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the Novopay debacle shows core public services are best provided in-house....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Public servants welcome Labour’s living wage announcement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Labour’s commitment to ensure all core public service workers are paid at least the living wage will be welcome news to thousands of hard working New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Commission urges politicians to stick to the major issues
    In the run up to the general election Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging politicians to “do the right thing and stick to those major issues that will help make New Zealand a better place for all our...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
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