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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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    Pundit | 22-04
  • Keeping up with the Joneses pretty damn hard actually
    28/3/2014: Editorial: can Shane Jones save the Labour Party? 13 hours ago: Nat man co-funded Jones’ Labour bid 6 hours ago: Shane Jones’ loyalties questioned 19s: Shane Jones quitting – National creating role for him ‘Pacific Economic Ambassador’ Seriously, the...
    The little pakeha | 22-04
  • John Key Aspires to Mediocrity
    The Prime Ministers of New Zealand who have had lasting respect are the ones who have stood up on the global stage on points of principle. While we may be a small country and almost insignificant in a population sense,...
    Local Bodies | 22-04
  • Photo of the day: Problem not a lack of roads
    This photo from Lennart Nout on Twitter today of the morning peak shows that the problem with traffic in Auckland isn’t a lack of roads. During the off peak and during times like school holidays there is more than enough capacity available...
    Transport Blog | 22-04
  • Climate dollars and sense – preventing global warming is the cheap option
    The IPCC has now released all three of the reports that comprise its 2014 Fifth Assessment of climate science. The first report tackled the physical changes in the global climate, while the second addressed climate impacts and adaptation, and the...
    Skeptical Science | 22-04
  • What ACT’s Jamie Whyte could learn from Albert Einstein
      stuff.co.nz   In a remarkable coincidence two Essex district court judges are arrested on the same night for riding their bicycles without lights. On the following morning they turn up at court to answer the charges. “Well, this is...
    Brian Edwards | 22-04
  • Australia’s lawless gulag
    When a reugee was murdered at its Manus Island gulag in February, the Australian government tried to blame the victims and pretend that its prisoners were responsible for the violence. Since then, we've learned that the opposite was the case,...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • John Key hates transparency
    Over the weekend, the Greens proposed greater Ministerial transparency, with quarterly public declarations of meetings, overseas travel, gifts and hospitality. Its a great idea, which would help restore confidence in our system of government. So naturally, John Key opposes it:Prime...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Access: Who Are Disabled New Zealanders?
    Disabled people are part of every community and grouping in New Zealand. However, most surveys do not ask about us, and we’re poorly understood for various reasons. Let’s start fixing that together.How manyOfficial Census results every five years or so...
    Public Address | 22-04
  • The GCSB has a credibility problem
    Last month, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden gave evidence to the European Parliament, in which he revealed that the NSA were "advising" their "partners" on how to interpret mass-surveillance-enabling "loopholes" into their spy-laws. New Zealand was specifically mentioned as having received...
    No Right Turn | 22-04
  • Green bonds set to help finance green economy
    Twenty-five of the world’s largest banks – including Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citi, JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, and Morgan Stanley – recently released the governance framework for a green bond market which is seeing billions of dollars...
    frogblog | 22-04
  • Mahurangi Matters on the Puhoi Warkworth Board of Inquiry
    To date there has been limited media coverage on the Puhoi Warkworth Board of Inquiry. Fortunately Karyn Scherer, from the local Warkworth newspaper Mahurangi Matters, is one of the few reporters attending the BoI.  She writes in her opinion piece:...
    Transport Blog | 22-04
  • Porn and Politics in the US of A
    What is with Kansas? My former colleague at UCLA Seth Masket, writing at The Mischeifs of Faction, has published a graph he made which compares per-capita usage of online porn to vote shares in the last Presidential election. Because... why...
    Polity | 22-04
  • New Fisk
    Another ‘sham’ election is over, so what now for Algeria?The Middle East we must confront in the future will be a Mafiastan ruled by money...
    No Right Turn | 21-04
  • Shane Jones confirms everyone’s suspicions
    So, it turns out that Shane Jones' campaign for the Labour leadership was funded by a Nat. Which is hardly surprising - the loudest voices talking up Jones' ability and "leadership potential" have always been on the right. But actually...
    No Right Turn | 21-04
  • Nerdy praise for The Nation
    A lot of the attention heaped on our current affairs shows is all about the interviews. But the investigative reports on TV3's The Nation are making really good moves to bring more actual evidence to New Zealand's discussion of current...
    Polity | 21-04
  • The Greens Stand Alone
    Earth's Last Champion: The history of the twenty-first century will be shaped by an increasingly bitter struggle between the two great remaining “metanarratives” – Neoliberalism and Ecologism. If the Greens did not exist as a political option we would have...
    Bowalley Road | 21-04
  • The Moral Challenge of Dangerous Climate Change
    The combination of a recently acquired desktop video magnifier and a kindle has for the time being restored some ease to my reading. Hence this review. I was drawn by the title The Moral Challenge of Dangerous Climate Change: Values,...
    Hot Topic | 21-04
  • Fluoridation: putting chemical contamination in context
    Anti-fluoridation activists often claim fluoridating chemicals used for water treatment are contaminated with heavy metals and radionuclides. I have written about this before in Fluoridation – are we dumping toxic metals into our water supplies?, Water treatment chemicals – why pick on fluoride? and Hamilton –...
    Open Parachute | 21-04
  • Hard News: Sorting out our thinking on drugs
    That we have a trade in synthetic cannabinomimetics is not, as most of the country currently seems to believe, a consequence of the Psychoactive Substances Act passing last July. That business existed before July and, indeed, was substantially larger and looser....
    Public Address | 21-04
  • Boyd-Wilson
    Don’t get raped. That’s essentially what the message has been, the last few days. The Boyd-Wilson path is pretty notorious in Wellington and it’s in the news again with two attacks committed there in as many days. The police response...
    The little pakeha | 21-04
  • I am still holding out for a three-way
    David, Winston, and the Greens up a tree. G O V E R N I N G. Some of the commentary over Easter has focused on a supposed strategic conundrum for the Greens. If Peters is in a position to...
    Polity | 21-04
  • How rail was saved in Auckland
    Next Monday will be a historic day for transport in Auckland as for the first time the city will have electric trains carrying fare paying passengers. Electrifying the rail network is something that has been talked about for 90 years,...
    Transport Blog | 21-04
  • What makes a national day? Not the Anzacs
    There will be much talk on Friday of “national identity”. Just one year short of the original baptism of the Anzacs, jingoism will be in fashion. Some will say, and many will think, it is our real national day. The...
    Colin James | 21-04
  • ‘What they see is what they get’
    What they see is what they get … “Part of it is, I think, is, I suspect … I’m a pretty laid back, sort of down-to-earth hopefully approachable guy, and, … and, I think kind of again, what they see...
    The Political Scientist | 21-04
  • ‘What they see is what they get’
    What they see is what they get … “Part of it is, I think, is, I suspect … I’m a pretty laid back, sort of down-to-earth hopefully approachable guy, and, … and, I think kind of again, what they see...
    Political Scientist | 21-04
  • Legal Beagle: All of these things are quite like each other
    The following scenarios, based on cases that have made the news, or which I'm aware of because I've been around the courts for a while have something important in common:A group of drunk high school students scale a fence at...
    Public Address | 21-04
  • Another report won’t help the East Coast
    The Government has a critical role to play in regional development on the East Coast says Gisborne-based Labour MP Moana Mackey “The release of the East Coast Regional Economic Potential Study highlights a number of areas of strength and weakness...
    Labour | 23-04
  • Another interest rate hike will punish mortgage holders
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei says another interest rate hike on Thursday will cost home owners an extra $25 a month on a $250,000 mortgage, on top of the $25 dollars a month from the previous rates rise, and she...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Green Party launches Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill
    The Green Party has today launched the Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill, New Zealand's first ever Bill crowdsourced by a political party.Members of the public will be invited to shape the proposed law, which will protect ten basic rights and...
    Greens | 23-04
  • Sanil Kumar has to leave New Zealand tomorrow
    The Associate Minister of Immigration Nikki Kaye’s decision not to intervene means kidney transplant patient Sanil Kumar must leave New Zealand by tomorrow, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Rajen Prasad. “Kumar, a plumber and sheet metal worker, was on a work visa...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Time to do the right thing for our veterans
    A Labour government will adopt the Law Commission’s recommendation to ensure all war veterans are eligible for a Veteran’s Pension, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Veterans are only eligible for the pension if they are considered ‘significantly’ disabled, or more...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Public servant is owed an apology
    Nigel Fyfe is owed an apology from the State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie and Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “The former MFAT official has now been restored to a position in the Ministry...
    Labour | 22-04
  • Laws for enforcing not trading off
    The idea that a Government department can give a nod and a wink to traders that it won’t enforce shop trading laws and for a Government MP to then claim it as grounds for a review of the law is...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Kiwis still paying too much for ACC
    Kiwis are still paying too much for ACC so that the National Government can balance its books, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “ACC Minister Judith Collins told Cabinet levies were too high but ACC’s proposed cuts would impact the...
    Labour | 21-04
  • Collins’ memory recovery raises further concerns
    Judith Collins sudden memory of briefing the New Zealand Ambassador to China about her dinner with a Chinese border official and her husband's fellow Oravida directors raises further concerns about exactly what was discussed, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This...
    Labour | 21-04
  • MP to attend progressive politics conference
    Labour MP Grant Robertson will attend the Progressive Governance conference in Amsterdam later this week. “This conference brings together Social Democratic parties from around the world to discuss how progressive politics should work in the post global financial crisis environment....
    Labour | 20-04
  • Storm fans fire service commitment
    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Turning Shane: How Murray McCully deprived Labour of Mr Jones
    THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF TRAITOR. The first is the person who betrays his country for a higher cause. The second betrays his country for money. The third betrays his country for the wrongs it has done him. By far...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • Why NZ needs a Digital Bill of Rights
    I’m glad the Greens have taken on board some of my suggestions for a NZ Digital Bill of Rights. October last year I blogged… what should a NZ Digital Bill of Rights look like? -freedom of online expression -freedom of...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • The blue collar cred smoko room mythology of Shane Jones as told by the msm
    So apparently, Shane Jones leaving is the end of the Labour Party. Yawn. Vernon Small screams, “Disarray. There is no other word to describe the mess the Labour Party plunged into last night” while John Armstrong predicts “resignation couldn’t have...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Flockton Floods Again
    Last week the Flockton Basin flooded again – the second time in six weeks.  And not just roads and land, but homes and garages.  Some people have been flooded multiple times since the earthquakes.  One couple, after the March flood...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The PI vote and political stunts
    The mainstream media got quite excited a couple of weeks ago when a number of Pasifika church leaders were photographed at the Manurewa markets wearing blue, Key-people t-shirts. The clergy pictured in those articles said that they had changed allegiance...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • EDUCANZ / EDUCAN’T
    Oh hello, select committee … sorry to interrupt your tea and bickies, but I have something on my mind that I really need to talk to you about. You see, word on the street is that you are planning to...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Why Waiariki and Epsom are so important this election
    Two of the lynchpin electorates that need to go the Opposition’s way if there is any chance of a Labour led Government are Waiariki and Epsom. Epsom is the only lifeline for ACT and if the 6000 progressive voters in...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • TV Review: Seven Sharp: third strike lucky
     More prophetic than anyone could imagine – Jesse in a coffin  Jesse Mulligan was the last of the original ill-fated trio to be dumped from Seven Sharp.  This happened last week with little notice given and less notice paid.  His removal was more inevitable than the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The Liberal Agenda 23rd-27th April
    The week is dominated by the launch of the NZ International Comedy Festival – our picks for the week are… WEDNESDAY 23rdSunrise Yoga on Queens Wharf 7am-8.15am Queens Wharf, 89 Quay Street (bottom of Queen Street) Free ********************************************************************* THURSDAY 24th5...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Shane Jones caption contest
    Shane Jones caption contest...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Helping Simon Bridges find the forest he lost
    Helping Simon Bridges find the forest he lost...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • On climate change denial
    On climate change denial...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Labour on manufacturing
    Labour on manufacturing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • When your National Party mates claim National are a better economic manager...
    When your National Party mates claim National are a better economic manager, show them this graph...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Introverts Unite (separately)
    Introverts Unite (separately)...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The problem with food
    The problem with food...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Why queues outside synthetic cannabis shop is proof regulation is working
    Latest moral panic on synthetic cannabis is that there were queues waiting for a store to open over Easter. Yawn. Before the Psychoactive Substances Act (PSA), there were up to 6000 venders and hundreds of different brands. Since regulation via the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Shane Jones resignation: Labour dodge a bullet & the Greens smile
    Best Friends Forever now Thank God Shane Jones is selling out and taking a job for National… Shane Jones to leave Labour, set to work with Murray McCully Shane Jones is quitting Parliament and the Labour Party, and there is...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The only one happy with ACTs new ’3 strikes’ for burglary will be priva...
    The great scholarly Grand Cleric of the libertarian right, Jamie Whyte, has come down from the mount with two stone tablets and sadly all he has is 3 strikes, not 10 commandments… Jail burglars after third offence, says Act Party...
    The Daily Blog | 21-04
  • Trade and Investment Agreements: Human Rights For Sale
    On March 29, many New Zealanders took to the streets in defense of democratic rights by opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). A week earlier, delegates from dairy unions from around the world (including the NZ Dairy Workers Union...
    The Daily Blog | 21-04
  • Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting polic...
    Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting police racism and injustice you were undefeated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Maori Party wine and dine invite
    Maori Party wine and dine invite...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget
    For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Never forget the GCSB lies
    Never forget the GCSB lies...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • The Empire strikes back
    The Empire strikes back...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • God bless capitalism
    God bless capitalism...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Drone killings erode social constraint on using violence
    The drone killing of an (unnamed) New Zealander in Yemen should prompt us to look at the ethics of this practice. We’re told from birth that murder is wrong. Yet drone killings (as conducted by the Obama administration) convey the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Labour’s first 100 days – where the messaging needs to be
    ‘The first 100 days’, an expression coined by President Roosevelt in 1933, is generally used to describe the successes and accomplishments of a government at the time when their power is greatest. During the 2008 election campaign, John Key issued...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Pharrell: a new brand of feminism?
    I think most people heard about how the song Blurred Lines featuring and co-written by Pharrell and performed by Robin Thicke (who has adeptly just been named “Sexist of the Year”) really pissed a lot of people off last year. ...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Why Easter holidays should always be mandatory and retail free
    The moaning from retailers that they can’t open the cash registers and worship the consumer culture of consumption over Easter bores me immensely because I’ve always believed that public holidays should be mandatory. It’s not that I really care about...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Total figures for campaign against alcohol fuelled violence
    The final total figures for the eighth police led Operation Unite: a Blitz on Drunken Violence was announced today by Jon White, CEO of the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA)....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • ACT’s proposal to further three-strikes policy short-sighted
    JustSpeak is calling out the ACT Party’s extension of the three-strikes policy as knee-jerk punitivism, political populism and based on a culture of fear, rather than evidence....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • InternetNZ pleased Green Party taking issues seriously
    InternetNZ is pleased to see the Green Party join Labour in having a serious discussion about online rights....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Age Concern calls for building accessibility for elderly
    Age Concern has made a submission strongly opposing the clause within the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill that exempts building owners from providing or improving building accessibility. The current Building Act 2004 clearly acknowledges...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Internet Rights & Principles Coalition: Internet Rights Bill
    The Internet Rights and Principles Coalition (IRP Coalition) of the UN Internet Governance Forum applaud the release of the NZ Green Party’s Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill for public consultation. The IRF Bill is a pioneering project for the internet...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Gender quotas should be a last resort
    The Institute of Directors in New Zealand (IoD), says introducing gender quotas is not the best solution to increase the number of women directors on New Zealand boards....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Taika Waititi lends support to #BeefWithBullies campaign
    Even if Chardonnay doesn’t like your Michael Jackson dance moves, that’s no reason for you to be made fun of. Renowned Kiwi director, Taika Waititi has pledged his support to the Mad Butcher’s anti-bullying campaign #BeefWithBullies. With...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Commissioner proposes limit on credit reporting charges
    The Privacy Commissioner, John Edwards, is proposing an amendment to the Credit Reporting Privacy Code that would limit what credit reporters can charge individuals wanting immediate access to their credit information....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Does ACC system provide access to justice asks UN
    The United Nations Committee responsible for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ("CRPD") has formally raised access to justice and other issues with the New Zealand Government. The Committee considered a report submitted...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Iwi concerned over future of country’s oldest wharenui
    An East Coast iwi says they are concerned the Crown has not made good on its promise to return their wharenui – the oldest meeting house in the country. “The Government promised to return our wharenui, now they are reneging,”...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • NZDF-Supported Anzac Day Commemorations in France, Belgium
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) will be increasing its support for official and locally-run Anzac Day commemorations in France and Belgium this year with a 10 person contingent, including a Māori cultural element, from New Zealand as well...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Third National Māori Housing Conference set to take place
    Success stories in Māori Housing developments from around Aotearoa will be shared at a National Māori Housing Conference, to be held in Whanganui from May 1-3. Conference hosts the Whanganui Iwi Housing Forum and national umbrella organization Te Matapihi...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Partnership targets visitor safety on New Zealand roads
    Partnership targets visitor safety on New Zealand roads Tourism New Zealand, the New Zealand Transport Agency and Air New Zealand have joined forces to target Chinese tourists with important road safety messages before they get behind the wheel. A...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Renewable energy in the Pacific under EU-NZ Partnership
    European Commissioner Piebalgs and New Zealand Foreign Minister McCully depart on 23-27 April on a joint mission to the Pacific to see EU-NZ renewable energy and energy efficiency projects....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Disabled Community Further Marginalised by Proposed Bill
    Disabled Community Further Marginalised by Proposed Building Amendment Bill for Earthquake Prone Buildings to the Building Act....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Home loan affordability worsens by most in 12 years
    Home loan affordability worsens by most in 12 years as interest rates and house prices rise...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • ACT should abandon Three Strikes
    Rethinking Crime and Punishment is urging right wing politicians to do their homework before coming up with one-off “tough on crime – high on vengeance’ sentencing policies for which there is no evidence of success. He was responding to the...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Noho Hewa’: Visit of Native Hawaiian filmmaker
    Native Hawaiian filmmaker, Anne Keala Kelly, will be in Aotearoa New Zealand for two screenings of the award winning documentary 'Noho Hewa: the wrongful occupation of Hawai'i', a powerful portrayal of the multiple links between militarisation and...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Rural Contractors NZ hits the road during May
    Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) will be updating its members on the latest changes in health and safety, transport and employment laws – as well as other topics – in a series of roadshows being held around the country during...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Landlord and tenant alarm at healthy homes bill
    Landlord and tenant alarm at healthy homes bill Landlords and tenants should be alarmed at Labour MP Phil Twyford’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill that would immediately impose stringent requirements upon rental properties without defining those requirements,...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • US/New Zealand relationship best in thirty years
    US/New Zealand relationship best in thirty years. NZ well qualified for UN Security Council seat...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Oxford University study says large dams are uneconomical
    Just in time for this week’s ASEAN Renewable Energy Week, new scientific results have questioned the economic viability of large dams. Calculations by the Bruno Manser Fund show that the Malaysian Bakun Dam scores even worse than the average large...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • ACT Speech: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail
    Last year there were more than 52,000 reported burglaries. According to the Treasury, for every 10 reported burglaries, there are another 12 that go unreported. This means there were more than 120,000 burglaries last year – or over 2000 a...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Derek Leask: Media Advisory Re: Nigel Fyfe MOJ Appointment
    Derek Leask yesterday 20 April 2014 made the following observations in response to a media enquiry about the recently announced appointment of Mr Nigel Fyfe, currently Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Justice (Legal and Operational Services and Legal...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Oceans In The Spotlight At Election Year Oceans Forum
    The marine environment will be in the spotlight at an ‘Election Year Oceans Forum’ at Kelly Tarlton’s SEALIFE Aquarium on April 27 from 10.30-12.30. A panel of non-governmental advocates and scientists will outline challenges facing our seas, and MPs from...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Tariana Turia: Labour doesn’t deserve our vote
    Maori Party Co-leader Tariana Turia told TVNZ’s Q+A programme that Labour doesn’t deserve the Maori vote. ‘I don’t believe they deserve our vote any more....
    Scoop politics | 20-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
    Family Court Consumers Group appalled at Lawyer for Child's "1 meeting in 10 years" taxpayer funded legal rort...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
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